The Marcus Foundation of Atlanta, Georgia, recently hired Michael A. Leven as vice chairman, a position newly created to handle the foundation’s recent growth. Leven has been a trustee of the foundation for five years, and a member of the board of the Marcus Institute and Georgia Aquarium since 2003.
Leven’s background includes 45 years in the hotel industry as president of Americana Hotels, Days Inn of America, and Holiday Inn Worldwide. He also founded US Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS) in 1995.
Leven’s primary duties at the Marcus Foundation involve forming strategies for the foundation’s five areas of interest with founder Bernie Marcus. These areas include: free enterprise/ entrepreneurship, children, medical research (in both traditional and integrated medicine), community (both Atlanta and Georgia at large), and Jewish causes, including supporting Israel.
“I have great respect and admiration for the values and dedication of the foundation, as well as for Bernie,” Leven says. “The foundation is Bernie Marcus.” Leven plans to ensure that all Marcus Foundation grants follow the wishes of its founder and that the foundation remains “programmatically oriented” in its five strategic areas of giving.
Leven is a native of Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and a Master of Science from Boston University.
The Stupski Foundation recently appointed Alexa Cortes Culwell as its new chief executive officer.
Ms. Culwell was previously CEO of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation for more than a decade. During her tenure with Schwab, the foundation became the most trusted resource in the country for families struggling with learning disabilities. She won national recognition for the foundation’s contributions, directing initiative-based grantmaking programs in homelessness, poverty prevention, and substance abuse. She is a longtime friend of Larry Stupski, the first president of the Schwab Corporation.
Ms. Culwell says she likes the Stupski Foundation’s “commitment and engagement of living donors and its compelling social mission.” The foundation is currently focused on the development of knowledge concerning the best methods for helping school districts increase student achievement for lower income and minority students.
As CEO, Ms. Culwell plans to “identify, demonstrate, and advocate for effective practice” in the field of education reform, including engaging other donors and state policy makers about the foundation’s work.
Ms. Culwell holds a Master of Arts in nonprofit management from the University of San Francisco.
The Philanthropy Roundtable
Joining the Roundtable as director of major events is Mary Johns.
Ms. Johns will assist Sharon Wood with facilitation of the 2006 Annual Meeting and will assume chief responsibility for planning future annual meetings. She will also assist in planning the Roundtable’s regional meetings.
Ms. Johns, a professionally certified meeting planner, is president and founder of EventVitaille, LLC, a full-service event planning company located in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Prior to founding EventVitaille, Ms. Johns worked for Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International as manager of corporate programs and corporate members. She also worked for Kahn Travel Communications as a public relations correspondent representing Victoria Cruises, China’s most elite cruise ship operator.
Ms. Johns was graduated from Messiah College in 2000.