Part myth, part folk tale, during our lunch, Mike Levy spun narratives about his long career of hotel managing, teaching, and reinventing the landscape of the Chicago hotel industry and transferring his knowledge and expertise to Roosevelt University students for nearly twenty years. During Fall 2018, Myron “Mike” Levy decided to retire from teaching at Roosevelt University and put his long career in the Chicago hospitality industry behind him. Bonnie Smothers, Mike, and I joined together on a chilly fall afternoon to share his memories of running the Ambassador West Hotel, his experiences teaching Hospitality and Tourism, and his service with the Roosevelt University Senate.

Mike Levy is a union guy. His experience with both working with union members and being a union member gave him particular insights into the complex relationships between management and workers. Starting a career with the O’Hare Hilton, Mike moved onto the Ambassador West Chicago and finally settled into 18 years at the Midland Hotel in the position of general manager, where he transformed the business and established the Midland Hotel into an ideal destination for out-of-town executives. Over lunch with Bonnie and I, Mike shared his tales of hotel life and the challenges of managing many departments under one roof. In 1986, Mike Levy was named the “Man of the Year” from the Hotel-Motel Associations of Illinois for his contributions within the Chicago hotel industry.

In Fall 1999, prior to RAFO organization, Mike joined the faculty at Roosevelt University teaching Introduction to Hospitality. Over the past twenty years, Mike has taught twelve different classes in the Hospitality and Tourism Department. When speaking of his classroom experiences, Mike shared his enthusiasm for the students and the university while reflecting on the hospitality department and its future. I met Mike Levy during our terms of serving in the University Governance positions of Senate and College Council. As a union member and long standing adjunct faculty instructor, Mike made a point to attend the university events and collaborate with his department’s changing programs and curriculum updates.

RAFO extends heartfelt congratulations to Mike Levy and his family as he takes these steps into a full and well-deserved retirement. Thank you for your service and support with representing our union members and teaching numerous Roosevelt University students.

In solidarity,

Jen Wilson, President and the members of the Executive Committee