Steven H. Korman
Korman Communities
Founder and CEO

Biography

Steven Korman was just 21 years old when he took a job with a debt-collection agency in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia. He was excited about the financial arrangement, which gave him 30 percent of everything he could collect. Then, on his first day, he knocked on the door of a fourth-floor walk-up apartment in Willow Grove. The door opened to reveal a rail-thin man holding a baby. The only visible furniture in the room behind him was a crib, with another baby sitting in it. “When I left, I had a big smile on my face,” Mr. Korman recalls. “I had given him $300, and I knew who I was. That was a lesson for me in life.” When he told this story once to a gathering of MBA students, Mr. Korman says, some of them came up afterwards to thank him, with tears in their eyes. “You’re so caught up with making money in business, you can forget who you are. That was the happiest day in my life. It just defined what I wanted in life.”Mr. Korman went on to join his family’s real estate business, where he invented the Korman Suites concept of extended-stay hotels. “But my real passion has been in changing lives,” he says. He’s been deeply involved in a broad range of philanthropic activities, working with various Philadelphia non-profits on nutrition, homelessness, and jobs. Consistent with his leadership in the hospitality industry, Mr. Korman has sponsored cohorts of 10 Korman Scholars in each freshman class of the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, providing them with $4,000 annually to support their studies. More importantly, he gets to know them, taking them out for dinners and field trips, even offering them his private cell phone number. “They become like a little club; they all hang together,” he says. “And all 30 have said this to me, ‘We’re going to pay it forward.’”

Temple University Awards & Affiliatons

  • Former Dean’s Council, Fox School of Business
  • Chairman, Board of Visitors, School of Sport, Tourism, Hospitality and Management, 2001 – Current
  • Sponsor, School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management 15th Anniversary Dinner
  • Member, Tribute Committee, Musser Awards, 2001 and 2005
  • Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, 2012

What I wanted to be when I was 20 years old
Mayor of Philadelphia

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave me
Work hard and never forget to care about other people