David Z. Levin

David Z. Levin   November 6, 2020

The following is from David’s website www.davidzlevin.com

David Z. Levin was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition to his academic achievements at Whitefish Bay High School (graduating 11th in a class of 183), Mr. Levin was a member of the school’s Debate Team, a leader in the Youth Council which planned the school’s social calendar, and Co-captain of the State Championship Swimming Team. He also led his own small jazz group and was a disc jockey on a local radio station.

As an undergraduate at Yale University, Mr. Levin made Ranking Scholar (top two percent of class) three of eight semesters and was a member of the Dean’s list (top 25 percent of class) in three additional semesters. He created his own custom-tailored major called “Divisional IV,” which comprised a mix of Social Psychology, Sociology, Linguistics, Philosophy, Scientific Methodology, and Metaphysics, a major that today would be known as “The Art and Science of Communication.” Most of his courses as an undergraduate were graduate-level classes. He founded the Yale Society for Mathematical Logic and Scientific Methodology, which brought luminaries from related intellectual disciplines to the Yale campus over the course of two academic years. In his senior year, he was the subject of a Yale Daily News front-page article, written by David Gergen, chronicling his bold entrepreneurial venture to focus the market for student parking spaces.

A semester at the Yale Graduate School in Philosophy was the pathway to a year of studies at Harvard University in the department of Social Relations under Talcott Parsons and Arthur Couch. While in Boston he helped to found a Japanese food and utensil retailing company that later grew into the famous Erewhon Trading Company.

To further his interest in traditional Oriental culture and philosophy, Mr. Levin moved to Japan where he lived and worked for over five years. As a management consultant there, he was engaged by Bell and Howell, Parke-Davis, NEC and other significant clients. He subsequently joined Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Ltd., first as a marketing executive and eventually as a Director in the Office of the President, during which time he co-founded The September Club, an organization of systems executives and thinkers which met informally to influence MITI policies on systems implementation in Japan. In Coca-Cola he implemented sophisticated planning procedures for the introduction of new products and reengineered the corporation’s retail distribution system (one million retail outlets called on weekly) to optimize both profitability and market share for the franchised bottler organizations.

Upon returning to the States Mr. Levin gained additional corporate executive experience as Vice President of Planning for Max Factor & Company, where he oversaw annual plan and budget creation, aligned corporate planning activities with sophisticated marketplace and competitive intelligence, integrated the information technology utilized in marketing, sales, and financial reporting, and built an entirely new corporate sales forecasting capability. He also worked as Vice President of Marketing Services of Havas Conseil Marsteller Advertising, introducing lifestyle trend analysis and current market dynamics to create fresh approaches to client account management and to new business efforts. This led to his creating The American Strategy Center, Inc., an international management consulting firm, to implement broad-scale strategy work and organizational design projects in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Consulting engagements there served both entrepreneurial clients and such major corporations as Flying Tigers/Federal Express (worldwide feasibility studies for new air freight services), Monsanto Chemicals (the redesign of the Rubber Chemicals global business for increased work productivity, market penetration, and profitability), Japan Airlines (feasibility evaluation of new service introductions between Japan and the U.S.), Merck Pharmaceuticals (leadership and organizational design work), The Chase Manhattan Bank (business strategy, leadership development, senior team-building, and organizational design work for the Credit Card, Private Bank, and Global Services businesses), and Deutsche Bank (leadership and organizational design for the Global Transaction Bank), as well as the communities of Los Angeles, Boulder, Denver, St. Louis, Atlanta and Cleveland.

Recognizing that for some years there had been a shift in focus toward leadership work more aligned with human values, Mr. Levin formed a new entity, Middle Way Leadership, Inc., which was subsequently retitled as its current name, True Command Inc., a more accurate descriptor of the potentiating nature of its leadership contribution. Leadership development assignments have served such prominent clients as Diversified Search, The Leaders’ Edge, George Perrier Restaurants, Project for Public Spaces, The New York Tiimes, Time Warner, Self Design Learning Systems, EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, Silver Bridge Advisors Wealth Management, Stromedix Biotech, Biogen Pharma, and Akebia Therapeutics.

From John de Neufville – A very talented guy. In our Pierson entry senior year. Entry adjacent to Master’s
House. He had ac, we, dc. We had “hi-fi” fans. Historically people in our entry had snuck into Master’s basement and strung an extension cord connecting his ac to their hi-fi, easily discovered and removed.
David, beginning just after the nightly midnight campus police inspection, rolled up his sleeves and worked all alone for a couple of hours on multiple sequential nights to rewire our entire entry to be connected to the Master’s ac. So we all benefited and the wiring was so professionally done it was not detected on our watch!