Chairman of both Kensington Investment Company (KIC) and Grand Circle Corporation, Alan is an entrepreneur, business leader, philanthropist — and a lifelong social entrepreneur. Having grown up in some tough Boston neighborhoods and moving 14 times before the age of seven, he knows firsthand how uneven life’s playing field can be for young people, and this understanding has influenced the decisions he has made throughout his personal and professional life.
Alan founded KIC in 1985 to develop the Lewis Family’s real estate holdings and manage its philanthropic activities. Today, KIC is one of Boston’s leading real estate investment companies, with various properties within the Boston and New Hampshire area, including more than one million square feet of residential and commercial property. It is also the umbrella operating company of the Lewis Family holdings, which include real estate, other investments, travel companies, and their charitable works.
The Pinnacle Leadership Center in Kensington, NH, is also part of KIC, and Alan established it in 1993 to create outdoor, experiential learning and leadership-development opportunities for employees. Today, Pinnacle’s programs are utilized by for-profit businesses, as well as by scores of nonprofit organizations, including inner city schools, community organizations, and other nonprofit partners, in an effort to develop strong, courageous leaders and effective, high-performing teams.
In addition to serving as KIC’s chairman, Alan is Chairman of Grand Circle Corporation, the leader in international travel, adventure, and discovery for Americans aged 50 and older. He and his wife Harriet acquired Grand Circle Travel in 1985 and transformed the $23 million travel company that was losing $2 million a year into a fast-moving, global enterprise with gross sales exceeding $600M, more than 35 offices worldwide, and 3,000 associates, guides, and ship crew. Today, Grand Circle Travel is joined by two other travel entities: Overseas Adventure Travel, acquired in 1993, and Grand Circle Cruise Line, which Alan established in 1998. For the past four years, Grand Circle’s fleet of privately owned small ships, river ships, and exclusive charters has been named “World’s Best River Cruise Line” by Condé Nast Traveler readers, and Travel + Leisure has repeatedly named Overseas Adventure Travel a top tour operator and a “Global Vision” leader in philanthropy in travel.
In 1992, Alan and Harriet established Grand Circle Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting communities where Grand Circle operates, including 100 schools in 50 countries. The Foundation is an entity of the Lewis Family Foundation, which since 1981 has pledged or donated more than $144 million to educational, humanitarian, and conservation efforts in Boston; Kensington, NH; and around the world. To encourage associate volunteerism and philanthropy, Alan and Harriet founded Grand Circle’s Community Service Program in 1993; to date, Grand Circle associates have donated more than 120,000 hours of service — and more than 90% of associates participate in at least one of more than 40 service events worldwide each year.
Alan has been recognized for his philanthropic leadership, including by the late Paul Newman’s Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy for “CEO Leadership and Innovation in Philanthropy” and as Ernst & Young’s New England “Social Entrepreneur of the Year.” He is an avid traveler, a persistent reader of history and biographies, a lover of risk, and a lifelong fan of all Boston sports teams — no matter how they’re playing. Above all, he is a family man, committed to Harriet and their children Edward and Charlotte.
Kensington Investment Company, Inc.
347 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210