Many people first became aware of Bruce Levenson when he was part of the Atlanta Spirit group that bought the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, Atlanta Thrashers ice hockey team, and operating rights to Phillips Arena. But long before Bruce Levenson became an NBA owner, he was an attorney, a successful businessman, and a long-time philanthropist. The Chevy Chase, Maryland native co-founded the very successful United Communications Group, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and among his charitable works created a non-profit organization on the University of Maryland campus that prepares students to create, lead, and support effective philanthropic organizations to help the less fortunate.
But Bruce Levenson’s work with the Atlanta Hawks is noteworthy. After becoming a majority partner in the group that purchased the Hawks, he was appointed to the NBA board of governors. This enabled him to have some impact on how the league is run. He has also presided over a sea change in the quality of the basketball the Hawks play while keeping the money they pay players under the salary cap. He also hired Danny Ferry a top-notch and very effective general manager and innovative head coach Mike Budenholzer. That combination led the Hawks to the best record in team history and a berth in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time.
In business circles, Bruce Levenson is not only known for his success at UCG, an industry leader in providing up to date information that’s essential for the energy, healthcare, financial services, and other fields, he also helped to create and run GasBuddy. GasBuddy is an app which helps drivers to find the lowest gas prices in their area. He’s also co-founder of the cooking technology company DOT, and on the board of directors of publicly traded IT company TechTarget. Levenson was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Software and Information Industry Association in 1997 for his contributions to the industry.
One of the projects in which Bruce Levenson is involved that has the potential to have the most widespread and long-lasting impact is his funding, founding, and development on the University of Maryland’s campus of the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. The center was created in 2010 and helps to make students aware of the needs of philanthropic organizations worldwide, helps them to understand how to assess the effectiveness of a philanthropic organization, and teaches students the skills needed to run a nonprofit organization. Levenson and his wife also give the center thousands of dollars each year to donate to the non-profit organizations they deem worthy.
So while as majority owner of the Atlanta Hawks Bruce Levenson has helped to turn the team into a contender and helped provide them with good players while remaining under the salary cap, he has done important work in other sectors as well. In fact, some feel his work assisting low-income, at-risk youth to pursue higher education through the I Have A Dream Foundation and his involvement with the Seeds of Peace are more noteworthy.