Leondakis, chief operating officer of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants,
oversees operations, marketing, human resources, and social responsibility
initiatives for Kimpton’s forty-seven hotels and restaurants throughout
the United States. She joined Kimpton in 1993 as director of restaurant
operations and advanced through the restaurant division to an eventual
role of senior vice president of restaurants. In 2001, Leondakis was promoted
to executive vice president of hotels and restaurants. She became chief
operating officer in 2003.
Leondakis has been a key player in the expansion of Kimpton and Kimpton’s
values in the United States. In 1998, Leondakis formed Kimpton’s mentor
program, aiding in the development and advancement of emerging leaders.
In 2003, she launched Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Diversity Initiative,
which is committed to creating a culture that acknowledges, understands,
accepts, values, and celebrates differences among people. Leondakis is
also responsible for furthering the mission of Kimpton University, an education
and training program that inspires personal and professional development.
Leondakis has received numerous industry awards, including being named
one of the “100 Most Influential Women” by the San Francisco Business Times
every year from 2002 to 2009, being recognized as one of “30 Women Power
Players” by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2002, and being named one of the
“Most Powerful Women in Travel” by Travel Agent in 2002. In 2007, Leondakis
received the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association Silver
Plate Award for Operator of the Year. In 2008, Leondakis received the Fred
Tibbits & Associates Hospitality Award for Lifetime Excellence.
An avid contributor to the community, Leondakis serves as chair of the
Worldwide Board of Directors for Dress for Success, an international nonprofit
organization that provides job interview suits and career development assistance
to low-income women. Leondakis has served on the Board of Directors for
the National Restaurant Association since 2004 and currently chairs the
National Restaurant Association’s Green Task Force. Leondakis holds a bachelor’s
degree in hotel, restaurant management and travel administration from the
University of Massachusetts in Amherst. A native of West Springfield, Massachusetts,
Leondakis now resides with her husband in Hillsborough, California.