Company Officers

Mark Labovitz

Mark Labovitz is President and Chief Executive Officer of Labovitz Enterprises, a Duluth based and family owned business that owns and operates hotels and real estate in Beavercreek, Ohio; Bozeman, Montana; Duluth, Minnesota; Bloomington, Minnesota and Palm Coast, Florida. Mark is responsible for identifying and managing investment and new business opportunities, and directing financing and development activities.

Prior to full time responsibilities at Labovitz Enterprises in 2005, through Labovitz Consulting, Mark provided marketing research, database analysis and project management services to clients including RBC Dain Rauscher, Wealth Enhancement Group and Macy’s online. Mark managed the marketing research and database department of RBC Dain Rauscher from 1996 to 2003.

Mark started his career in 1985 as an investment banking analyst in Dain Bosworth’s Public Finance Department. After earning his MBA in 1990 from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management in Claremont, California, he held positions in the Corporate Development and Strategic Information departments of First Bank System prior to rejoining Dain in 1996.

Mark is a member of the Advisory Board of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at UMD and has been a guest lecturer in marketing research courses at the school. He is also a member of the Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary.

Mark graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1985 with a degree in Business Administration.

Mark is a Duluth native and resides in Minneapolis with his wife, Jennifer. They have two sons, Jackson and Franklin.

Mark Emmel

Mark Emmel is a Partner and Vice President with Labovitz Enterprises, a Duluth, Minnesota headquartered firm with interests in various businesses including Lion Hotel Group and First Properties. As President and Chief Operating Officer of Lion Hotel Group, he is responsible for the management and operation of the Labovitz Hotels, operating as the Lion Hotel Group, and its Duluth, Minnesota corporate office. The hotels include the Holiday Inn in Bozeman, Montana, the Residence Inn by Marriott and the Courtyard by Marriott in Beavercreek, Ohio, the Hilton Garden Inn in Palm Coast, Florida, the Home2 Suites by Hilton in Bloomington, MN, the Holiday Inn & Suites and Holiday Center Shopping Mall, and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Duluth, Minnesota.

Mark began his career in the hospitality business in 1990 as a night auditor and has held several other positions including Guest Services Manager, Director of Sales & Marketing, and General Manager.

Mark oversees First Properties commercial property operations at the Duluth Holiday Center Shopping Mall, Plaza Shopping Center, Center Building and Missabe Building.

He is a 1994 graduate of Leadership Duluth, a 10-month program sponsored by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce and a 2006 graduate of the Blandin Community Leadership Program, a program sponsored by the Blandin Foundation based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Mark Emmel currently serves on the US Bank Advisory Board of Directors. He has been active in several professional and civic organizations including Rotary and the United Way.

Mark is a past President of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) Board of Directors, the Waco Hotel Motel Association and the Duluth Steam Cooperation. He is a past Chairman of Visit Duluth, Past Chair of the St. Luke’s Board of Directors and past Chair of the APEX Board of Directors. He has served on the Texas Hotel Motel Association, the Great Lakes Aquarium Board of Directors and is a past member of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and UMD Chancellor’s Advisory Council.

Mark graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Mark Emmel is a native of Sauk Centre, Minnesota. He and his wife, Heather, reside in Duluth and have two children, Benjamin and Elizabeth.

Joel Labovitz

Joel Labovitz is the Chairman of Labovitz Enterprises, a Duluth headquartered firm with interests in various businesses including Lion Hotel Group and First Properties. Joel is a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where, beginning in 1984, he originated and taught a new course, Entrepreneurship, to graduating seniors and graduate business students. He also taught a course: Business Ethics: An Oxymoron?

He is the principal owner of the Holiday Inn in Bozeman, Montana, the Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott in Beavercreek, Ohio, the Hilton Garden Inn in Palm Coast, Florida, the Home2 Suites by Hilton in Bloomington, MN, the Holiday Inn & Suites and Holiday Center Shopping Mall, and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Duluth, Minnesota. Joel has conducted seminars for and lectures to faculty at UMD where he gave the 1988 Annual Commencement Address. Joel served as Adjunct Professor at the College of St. Scholastica, a private liberal arts college, and was a member of the Business Liaison Advisory Committee at the college. He has conducted a Colloquium on Entrepreneurship at Macalester College in St. Paul. Each year the UMD Center for Economic Development recognizes regional entrepreneurs by presenting Labo Awards, named in honor of Joel.

In 2003, the University of Minnesota Duluth Campus School of Business and Economics was renamed the Labovitz School of Business and Economics in recognition of a $4.5 million gift to the School from Joel and his wife, Sharon Labovitz. See additional details at http://www.d.umn.edu/lsbe/.

Until January 1981, Joel was President and Chief Executive Officer of Maurices Incorporated, a Duluth headquartered, 600-plus store group specializing in retail women’s and men's fashion apparel. Maurices stores are located nationwide.

Joel’s father, Maurice Labovitz, established the first Maurices store in Duluth in 1931. Joel joined his father in 1950, when the company operated three stores. Subsequent to that time, Joel became the majority stockholder. Under his direction, Maurices grew to a chain of approximately 175 stores by 1977. In late 1978, Maurices Incorporated was sold to the Amcena Corporation of New York. In 1979 and 1980, Maurices grew to 271 stores, occupying approximately 750,000 square feet of selling space. Joel remained as President and Chief Executive Officer for the new owners, until January 1981.

Joel is and has been active as a member and/or director of numerous civic, charitable and nonprofit organizations. Some of his activities over the years are:

  • City Marble Championship 1940 – Runner-up
  • Named Business Leader of the Year by University of Minnesota Duluth Student Business Administration Club and Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Numerous local, statewide and national business, trade and charitable associations
  • First recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Board of Directors – Minnesota Public Radio
  • Board of Directors – Timken Museum of Art, San Diego

Joel was born in Duluth and graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1949 with a B.A. in Business Administration. He and Sharon have been married since 1960 and are members of the La Jolla Congregational Church of La Jolla, California. They have three children, Mark, Anne and Sarah, and seven remarkable grandchildren.

Bruce Stender

Bruce Stender is Vice Chairman and a Principal of Labovitz Enterprises, a Duluth headquartered firm with interests in various businesses including Lion Hotel Group and First Properties. For seven years prior to joining Labovitz Enterprises in 1981, Stender was President of the College of St. Scholastica. He has an earned Ph.D. in Administration from Florida State University, and Masters and A.B. degrees from Marquette University, Milwaukee. He has held administrative and faculty appointments at Marquette University, Boston College, and Maryville College, St. Louis. In the late 1960's, he was the Chief Consultant for a study assessing Florida's independent higher education.

Bruce has been civically active serving on numerous business, health care, and community and statewide boards and committees during the past forty years in Duluth.

He was chosen One of Ten Outstanding Minnesotans in 1978. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from the College of St. Scholastica in 1981. In 2005, Bruce was named Business Person of the Year by the University of Minnesota, Duluth Labovitz School of Business & Economics.

Bruce is a former member of Allete’s Board of Directors, a diversified utility company and Northern Minnesota's largest shareholder owned NYSE Company. He served as Allete’s Board Chairman and then as Lead Director. Stender served as Trustee of the C.K. Blandin Foundation and Trust, a $400 million charitable foundation and served as its Chair for four years. He was a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, and the Labovitz School of Business Advisory Committee at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He served as a founding Board Member of APEX (Area Partnership for Economic Expansion). Stender has also served as the interim Sandbulte Professor of Business and Ethics at the College of St. Scholastica.

Bruce grew up in Cumberland, Wisconsin and White Bear Lake, Minnesota. He and his wife, Kaye Lee, have four adult children and five grandchildren. He has combined many years of experience in business and education with particular emphasis on organizational development, management, and corporate and non-profit board governance.