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Niki Leondakis Recipient of the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society's
Hospitality Executive of the Year Award

October 19, 2009 - Niki Leondakis, Chief Operating Officer, Kimpton Hotels & Resorts, will be the 48th recipient of the Hospitality Executive of the Year Award and will join an esteemed group of industry leaders in the Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame. The reception which is the premier annual event for the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society, will be held at the Kimmel Center at New York University and promises to be a memorable evening! 
Niki 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.

Individual reservations for the event are $125 (a portion is tax deductible) and corporate sponsorship packages are also available.  This is a fantastic opportunity to support the Penn Staters in your organization!  All proceeds after expenses of the reception will benefit student programs in the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. 

The Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society cordially invites you
to join us as we honor the forty-eighth Hospitality Executive of the Year

Niki Leondakis
Chief Operating Officer
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Sunday, November 8, 2009
Reception 6:00 p.m., 
Award Presentation 7:00 p.m.

Rosenthal Pavilion of the Kimmel Center, New York University
60 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012

Individual Reservations $125
Business Attire

Reply by October 23, 2009 to 


Mr. Paul Howard
Paul Howard
Director of Hospitality Industry Relations
School of Hospitality Management
Penn State University
201-A Mateer Building
University Park,  PA  16802

Also See: Niki Leondakis, EVP Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Recognized for Making an Impact on San Francisco’s Hospitality Industry / June 2003

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