Ted Leonsis is the founder, chairman and majority owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which comprises three professional sports teams – the Washington Capitals (NHL), the Washington Wizards (NBA) and the Washington Mystics (WNBA) – as well as Verizon Center. The company also operates Kettler Capitals Iceplex (the Capitals training facility and front office) and George Mason University’s Patriot Center.
Leonsis retired from active management of AOL in 2006, where during the previous 13 years he held a number of senior positions, including vice chairman and president. Since his retirement from active management at AOL, Leonsis retains the position of vice chairman emeritus. At a May 2010 ceremony celebrating AOL’s 25th anniversary, one of the buildings on AOL’s Virginia campus was renamed the Leonsis Creative Center in his honor.
Recently Leonsis was chairman of Revolution Money, which provides secure payments through an Internet-based platform and in 2009 was sold to American Express; Leonsis is now on the board of directors at American Express. He is currently chairman of Clearspring Technologies, the largest online content sharing network, which connects publishers, services and advertisers to audiences on the social web. Over the past 20 years he has been a board member or early investor in a number of successful technology companies, from Google to Groupon. In 2008 Leonsis founded SnagFilms, which enables online audiences to find, watch, share and support thousands of documentary films. SnagFilms grew out of Leonsis’ experience as a producer of such award-winning documentary films as Nanking and Kicking It. Nanking premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the Documentary Editing Award and has won a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award. Kicking It premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and aired on ESPN. A third documentary produced by Leonsis, A Fighting Chance, will air on ESPN in fall 2010. In addition to being the Internet’s leading site for watching and sharing nonfiction films, SnagFilms owns indieWIRE, the leading news, information and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, the industry and moviegoers alike. While working on documentaries and establishing SnagFilms, Leonsis coined and championed the term “filmanthropy.” It is his unique way of combining film and philanthropy, raising the awareness of important issues with the goal of promoting change by increasing volunteerism and activating charitable giving. Leonsis’ book The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets To Extraordinary Success In Work And Life was published in February 2010 and quickly became a bestseller. Previous books by Leonsis include Blue Magic: The People, Power, and Politics Behind The IBM Personal Computer (1988.) In addition to serving on the board of directors of American Express, where he is chairman of the Technology and Innovation Committee, Leonsis sits on the board of publicly held companies such as Nutrisystem and Rosetta Stone. He also serves on the Technology Committee of the board of directors for Alcatel-Lucent. He also serves on the board of directors of his alma mater, Georgetown University. Leonsis has numerous business interests and investments, including the following companies: Algentis, GridPoint, Triporati, Mahalo.com, MediaBank, MobilePosse, ObjectVideo, SB Nation, TidalTV and Zedge. Leonsis is a committed philanthropist and is actively involved with numerous charities, including Best Buddies, D.C. Central Kitchen, See Forever Foundation, Street Soccer USA, Venture Philanthropy Partners, YouthAIDS and others through the work of the Leonsis Foundation. Early in his career Leonsis was the founder of several new media companies, including Redgate Communications, a pioneering “new media company” – a phrase Leonsis is crediting with coining – that in 1993 was the first company acquired by AOL. He was also the founder of six personal computer magazines and worked on the introduction of the IBM PC and the Apple Macintosh. He co-invented a successful board game called “Only in New York” and served as a marketing executive with Harris Corp and Wang Laboratories. He once served as mayor of Orchid, Fla. Among his many honors, Leonsis has been named Washington’s Businessman of the Year, a Washingtonian of the Year, one of the 20 most influential people in sports, one of America’s most creative executives and a top 10 entrepreneur of the year. Leonsis blogs daily at TedsTake.com. Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., and later, Lowell, Mass., he now lives in McLean, Va., with his wife and two children.
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