The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has announced that Stephen Lebovitz has been selected by the council’s Board of Trustees nominating committee to serve as the association’s chairman for the 2015–2016 term, a press release said.
Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL & Associates Properties, is expected to be elected as the association’s 56th chairman at the ICSC’s annual meeting of members in May. He will succeed Robert F. Welanetz, a global retail real estate advisor for Blackstone Real Estate Partners, Business Wire said.
Lebovitz, along with his father Charles who served as CEO until 2010, and two brothers — Alan, the firm’s senior vice president for asset management; and Michael, who is executive vice president for development and administration — have overseen the dramatic growth of CBL since it went public in 1993, the press release said.
CBL boasts a $10 billion market capitalization and some $4 billion in equity value, about 80 malls or large open-air centers, and an additional 50 smaller community, power and open-air centers, according to Business Wire.
“Under Stephen’s skillful leadership, we have watched CBL grow and prosper, even during some very challenging economic times, ” said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC’s president and CEO, in the press release. “ICSC has similarly benefited from his insights and extraordinary energy. I can’t think of anyone more suited to leading our organization in the coming year.”
Even before Lebovitz joined CBL, he cultivated an early enthusiasm for the industry. “I had this magnetic attraction to real estate, ” he said, noting that he has also taught college courses on the subject, according to the press release..
Lebovitz has been active in ICSC since the very beginning of his career. Shortly after graduating from Harvard Business School and setting up CBL’s Northeast office, in Boston, he became the ICSC’s state director for Massachusetts. He was subsequently named ICSC’s Eastern divisional vice president and has also served as an ICSC state operations chairman, an ICSC trustee and on the Executive Committee, Business Wire said.
“ICSC really has been the facilitator for so many relationships that I’ve been able to develop over the years in the business, ” Lebovitz said. “By volunteering, by working, that’s how you get to know people.”
Lebovitz, 54, is also involved in many philanthropic activities. He is a trustee of Milton (Mass.) Academy as well as a former director, campaign chairman and committee chairman for the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston and received that organization’s Edwin Sidman Leadership Award in 2014. The CEO is also a former member of the Trust Board of Boston Children’s Hospital, the press release said.
An avid cyclist, Lebovitz won a silver medal and a bronze medal competing in the international Maccabiah Games last year. Lebovitz lives with his wife, Lisa, in Weston, Mass., and they have four children, Business Wire said.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 68, 000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials, the press release said.