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Niki Leondakis, Chief Executive Officer, Commune Hotels & Resorts
Niki Leondakis, Chief Executive Officer, joined Commune Hotels & Resorts in November 2012 to lead the aggressive global expansion for the Commune brands. Previous to Commune, Leondakis led Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants as their President and Chief Operating Officer. She was with Kimpton from 1993 through 2012. Under her leadership, Kimpton was named one of Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and achieved consistent segment leading scores in Market Metrix Hospitality Index Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
Prior to joining Kimpton, Leondakis worked as a food and beverage director for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in Marina Del Rey, Calif., Atlanta and San Francisco, from 1985 to 1993. She began her hospitality career as a food and beverage manager for Marriott Hotels in 1982, in Nashville, Tennessee.
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 2010, and in 2011 was inducted into its Forever Influential Honor Roll. She was recognized as one of "30 Women Power Players" by Nation's Restaurant News and was named one of the "Most Powerful Women in Travel" by Travel Agent Magazine . She was the recipient of the International Food Service Manufacturer's Association Silver Plate Award for Operator of the Year, the Fred Tibbits Hospitality Award for Lifetime Excellence and Penn State's Hotel and Restaurant Society Hospitality Executive of the Year. The American Hellenic Institute awarded Leondakis the 2010 Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award. Further, Leondakis' alma mater, the University of Massachusetts — Amherst's Department of Hospitality and Tourism, awarded her its Stephen E. Elmont Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011, and in 2012 she was honored with Hospitality Design's Platinum Circle Award.
Tempering business with community stewardship, Leondakis served as Chair of the Dress for Success Worldwide Board of Directors from 2009 to 2011 and continues to be a board member for Dress for Success, an international nonprofit providing job interview suits and career development assistance to low-income women.
A native of West Springfield, Massachusetts, Leondakis now resides with her husband in San Francisco, California.