About Michael Lende
Michael Lende combines entrepreneurial drive and astute business acumen with a very strong and proven background in marketing, sales, advertising and promotions. Lende has had over 20 years of verifiable successes as an entrepreneurial business developer, steering daily operations and large-scale change initiatives to deliver measurable increases in revenue growth, productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction.
Between 2006-2011, Lende was Regional Vice-President of Zipcar Canada Inc. He joined this car sharing company to lead Zipcar Canada and manage the Toronto market to profitability. In his role, Lende was responsible for creating and achieving budgetary goals and sustained company growth, and he oversaw all marketing, sales, customer service, fleet management and business development activities in Toronto. Michael created and implemented a number of marketing and operational strategies that greatly enhanced customer satisfaction levels and lead to successful partnerships with high profile clients, including Starbucks, the Toronto Transit Commission and Via Rail. Michael’s innovative and creative approach led to him being dubbed “a pioneer in Canadian car sharing” by Zipcar’s CEO and Chairman. During his time as Regional Vice-President, Lende played a leading role in attracting over 500,000 new members to Zipcar, growing the company by over 400 per cent in 5 years and gaining a 70 per cent share in a market that had been dominated by a long established and well respected competitor. Michael’s success at Zipcar Canada resulted in him being nominated for Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.
From 2003-2006, Michael was Senior Vice President, Marketing for Dominion Twin Rinks Sports & Entertainment. Here, Michael’s primary responsibility was creating, launching and managing a multi-purpose facility which contained rinks, a restaurant, athletic leagues & community programming. Michael was also responsible for overseeing all sales and partnerships at Dominion Rinks Sports & Entertainment: he secured a naming rights partnership from A&P’s dominion brand while also securing partnerships with a range of high profile companies and brands including Ford, Chrysler, Molson, Stanley, Clarica, Bell Mobility, PlayStation, AM 640 and Kellogg’s.
Between 2002-2004 Michael was Chief Marketing Officer and Partner at The Kee To Bala Concert Hall. This legendary Canadian music venue had fallen on hard times although in its early days it had featured performances from Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington & The Dorsey Brothers. Michael successfully renovated and resurrected this infamous venue. He booked, marketed and sold out performances from artists including Blue Rodeo, Shaggy and Tom Cochrane. He oversaw a process of diversification in which sponsorships, restaurant facilities, family performances and resort nights featured prominently at the venue.
From 2000-2002, Michael worked as Director of Sales for The Liberty Entertainment Group, with ultimate responsibility for overseeing the marketing, launch and sales, as well monitoring the revenue, for the Liberty Grand in Toronto. During his time as Director of Sales, Michael surpassed revenue goals for pre-opening of the venue, generating more than $7 million in sales. Michael oversaw a number of high profile events during his time at The Liberty Entertainment Group; he worked closely with the CEO on the ‘World Leaders’ event, the Toronto International Film Festival as well as on 7 NHL Alumni Awards. Michael was also successful in securing various corporate events at the venue, with RBC, Unilever, Deloitte, Air France, NHL Alumni and Rogers all having corporate events at Liberty Grand during his tenure as Director of Sales.
Prior to becoming Director of Sales at Liberty Grand, Michael served as Vice President, Marketing & Sales, as well as being the co-founder, of the Capitol Event Theatre in Toronto. The vision was to revolutionize the event business in Toronto and create a trendy new venue to host the city’s most prolific events. A whole new category of hospitality was created in 1998. During his time in this position, Michael arranged the financing, created the infrastructure and organized the management team for the venue, secured editorial events from Nesbitt Burns, Royal LePage, Osler Hoskin, Amdocs & Lipton and exclusively aligned with North 44, Presidential Gourmet and other elite caterers in order to ensure that the Capitol Event Theatre was seen as Toronto’s finest and most exclusive venue. Under Michael’s guidance the Capitol Event Theatre reached profitability in its first 9 months of operations.
Michael’s first entrepreneurial venture was as President & CEO of Lende Management & Promotions between January 1993 and October 1998. At age 21, Michael started this company, which operated both as a consulting firm for events and event venues while operating a subsidiary company known as The Hockey Academy of Toronto Inc. (HAT). Lende Management & Promotions launched the first ever International Coaching Clinics which featured prestigious coaches Jacques Demers, Ted Nolan and Jacques Martin, consulted for several professional teams including Detroit Vipers and Chicoutimi Sagueneens and built the first training centres with synthetic ice in Chicago, Detroit and Toronto. Michael grew membership of the International Coaching Clinics from 100 students to 1,100 students in 9 months in 4 cities, executed many high profile sporting events for Bauer, CCM and NHL Alumni and, with NHL guest coaches and a state of the art training centre, Michael sold HAT for a sizeable profit.