CPA, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer
New York, NY
Gary Levy, CPA, serves as the firm’s Chief Strategy and Growth Officer. In his role, Gary is responsible for the strategic advancement of the firm’s industry practices — aligning industry, service lines, and geographic leadership to drive profitable growth. He also oversees the firm’s marketing and business development teams. Gary focuses on fostering a diverse, teaming culture and nurtures deep industry relationships that support best-in-class solutions for the firm’s clients.
Prior to this role, Gary led CohnReznick’s Consumer, Hospitality, and Manufacturing Practice (CHAMP). Early in his career, Gary began advising leading restaurateurs and celebrity chefs. He quickly became a sought-after expert in the industry and was hired by a Fortune 500 financial advisory firm to teach the “Business of Restaurants” on a multicity tour. He became active in industry-related national charities and has presented at numerous conferences. He also has consulted on and contributed to pieces in WSJ, Forbes, The New York Times, Financial Times, and leading hospitality industry publications.
Upon joining the firm more than 20 years ago, Gary was given the resources to expand the firm’s Hospitality Practice to a national level. He built a team and developed specialized services that focused on driving profitability and improving governance and transparency for leading operators throughout the nation.
Gary’s innovative management guidance drew the attention of the capital markets arena. Private equity and investment banking firms consulted with Gary as they evaluated potential investments in the hospitality industry. Thus, Gary and his team have worked on several of the industry’s iconic transactions, advising management teams, investments bankers, private equity funds, and other related parties.
Under Gary’s leadership, CohnReznick became known as a best-in-class advisor to the hospitality industry. The firm expanded its advisory services within the Hospitality Practice and also launched the Restaurant Technology Summit in multiple cities. The summits pair leading technology companies with leading restaurant companies to further educate executive teams, helping them enhance value and improve operational performance and customer experience.
Having built a national team dedicated to working with hospitality companies — ranging from emerging concepts, multi-unit independents, national chains, leading franchisees, and hotels — Gary was asked to expand his leadership beyond Hospitality to CHAMP. Gary reorganized a team of more than 200 professionals, concentrated on the growth segments, and implemented a go-to-market strategy focused on relevant differentiated solutions. With a focus on working with leading private equity and investment banking firms, the practice groups quickly grew, adding deeper advisory services to further support the industry subsectors.
Gary is now leading the firm’s industry practices with the same philosophies that drove his prior success. Collaboration, communication, accountability, and execution are at the foundation of his leadership model, as well as a commitment to delivering world-class client solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s businesses. Finally, Gary is a dedicated mentor, having helped to develop dozens of professionals throughout his career who have become successful leaders themselves.
B.S., University at Albany, State University of New York
MBA, Pace University
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants