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Bruce LevensonPhilanthropist and Businessman

A journalist, entrepreneur and successful builder of several businesses, Bruce Levenson’s global endeavors span a wide range of interests from business intelligence to professional sports to cooking technology. He is perhaps best known in the business world as co-founder of United Communications Group, a company that provides guidance, analysis, data and solutions to customers in energy, government contracting, healthcare, information and software, banking, technology, telecom, and defense industries worldwide.

Levenson is a director of TechTarget, a publicly-traded company that serves as the online intersection of serious technology buyers, targeted technical content and technology providers worldwide. He is also a partner in GasBuddy, a mobile app downloaded by over 45 million motorists who use it to find low-priced gasoline. Additionally, he co-founded DOT, a new cooking technology that, among other things, toasts sliced bread in three seconds. He is an owner of Atlanta Hawks LLC, which owns the Atlanta Hawks NBA franchise. Most importantly, Bruce has been a philanthropist for over forty years.

 

Philanthropy

Since the early 1980s, Bruce and wife Karen have funded numerous education initiatives targeting disadvantaged youth. Several of these initiatives, including PeacePlayers, “I Have a Dream,” the Seed School and the Bringing the Lessons Home program at the U.S. Holocaust Museum still exist and continue to do extraordinary work. But other well-intended efforts, often launched by passionate and committed leaders, have fallen by the wayside. Frequently they come to an end because they lack professional management.

With this in mind, four years ago the couple conceived and funded the Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Management at the University of Maryland. The Center has two goals:

Educate and empower the next generation of non-profit leaders, giving them the knowledge and tools they need to succeed as heads of no-profit organizations.

Insure that every student graduating from the University of Maryland graduates as an informed and motivated philanthropist. The Center provides students campus wide with unique, philanthropy-focused experiences ranging from informed gift-giving to the highly acclaimed Do Good Challenge which draws thousands of student participants every year.

The Center now provides undergraduate and graduate courses focused on philanthropy and non-profit management. The classes often feature prominent philanthropists and non-profit leaders as guest lectures. And several courses each semester include a component whereby non-profits submit grant requests. Each class gives away $10,000 to worthy non-profits based on a thorough assessment of proposals, site visits and, finally, a class vote. Since the program’s inception in 2011, these classes have award approximately $40,000 in grants each year.

In addition, students from the center are much in demand as fellows at non-profits in the Washington DC area ranging from the Smithsonian to the Marriott Foundation. The center also sends students overseas to India, Jordan and Israel where they put their skills to work in local NGOs.

Freshmen can also apply for the opportunity to live together in a special 60-students living/learning dorm where all the residents are focused on philanthropy and non-profit management.

The center continues to rapidly expand on Maryland’s campus. A philanthropist-in-resident program is in the works as is an initiative during freshmen orientation week to begin the process of informing and motivating all students to become philanthropists. And in 2016 the overseas program will expand to China.

United Communications Group

When it comes to the business sector, Bruce Levenson is best known as co-founder of United Communications Group (UCG), a company he started in a storage room atop his father’s Washington, DC liquor store in 1977.

In 1978 UCG won its first journalism award for editorial excellence and has since won over 125 such awards, by far the most recognized business information company in America. In 1980, UCG was one of the first business information companies to deliver its information on-line, doing so over a decade before the commercial availability of the Internet. Headquartered just outside Washington, DC, UCG has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in the Washington metropolitan area.

Today, UCG has over 46 million customers worldwide, has offices in North America, Europe and Asia and employs over 1000 people.Levenson remains active in the company focusing and business development, acquisitions and strategic planning.

Atlanta Hawks LLC

Bruce was able to live out a childhood dream in 2004 when he became an owner of two major professional sports franchises, purchasing the Atlanta Thrashers, Atlanta Hawks and the operating rights to the Philips Arena from Time Warner.

In 2010, Levenson and his partners sold the Atlanta Thrashers and the team was relocated to Winnipeg, Canada.

Levenson is a member of the NBA Board of Governors and chairs the Board of Managers that operates the Hawks. Under his leadership, the Hawks are the only team in the Eastern Conference of the NBA to reach the NBA playoffs for the past seven consecutive seasons and throughout the 2014-15 season the Hawks have had one of the best records in the NBA. Three Hawks are on the 2015 All-star team and the Hawks head coach was named head coach of the Eastern Conference all-stars. In 2012 Levenson hired Danny Ferry to head the Hawks basketball operations and in 2014 announced his intention to sell the team.

Resume

Education
May, 1971

Washington University in St. Louis

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

American University

Juris Doctor

May, 1976
Experience
Jan, 1977

United Communications Group

1977 – Present
Co-founder and owner

Atlanta Hawks LLC

2004 – Present
Owner

Jan, 2004
End