Chief Operating Officer
Michael Landers is a visionary leader with the rare combination of global experience, business savvy, transformation management and creative problem-solving in Fortune 100, entrepreneurial and international environments. He is a sought-after advisor who has helped pioneer “firsts” across many industries, from alternative energy, to customer engagement innovation, to hospitality-based service culture, to national design, construction and facilities programs, to nationally recognized and industry leading data center and network operations center projects. He has won numerous industry awards for team leadership, innovation, corporate social responsibility and his strong work ethic. He is known for his focus on execution, delivery of results and keeping teams motivated to embrace change while operating at the highest possible levels.
Michael proudly serves as Chief Operating Officer of Global Water Technology, Inc. In this capacity, Michael directs all business, strategy and operational activities for a privately held, growing organization. With operations in 26 states currently, and a sustainable growth strategy underway, he focuses on client and team engagement, customer service excellence, efficient and safe operations and a strong culture of service to advance the business.
Prior to joining Global Water Technology, Inc., Michael was Vice President for Sodexo Schools in North America and managed the national buildings & grounds business. With his deep industry expertise in facilities, construction and operations management, Michael provided best-in-class integrated facilities management and project management solutions to support student achievement at school districts across North America. He also led FM operations at over 300 Chicago Public Schools in Chicago, Illinois. With his team of 100 diverse facilities management professionals, he oversaw the complete building operations and activities of over 2,500 employees maintaining more than 35 million square feet of Chicago Public Schools sites. With his “grow local business” approach, Michael cultivated strong supplier relationships with small, women-owned and minority-owned firms located in the Chicago area. These relationships represented over 85% of Sodexo’s vendor spend on facilities services provided at Chicago Public Schools.
Prior to joining Sodexo, Michael served as Managing Director of Global Catering Operations and Airport Lounges for United Airlines/United Continental Holdings, where he had P&L responsibility for this $1.5 billion business. He served as customer experience and operations chief, oversaw global onboard catering operations across 150 cities and led nearly 5,000 employees with impact on 150 million customers. He created and launched reimagined onboard dining and lounges globally with Polaris, elevated United’s onboard dining across all cabins to wide acclaim enabling United to attain an industry leadership position, and led a global transformation initiative that reduced risk, enhanced production quality, improved cost, and achieved operational excellence. Under Michael’s leadership, his division achieved the highest employee satisfaction and engagement scores in the company.
Michael earned an undergraduate degree from Illinois State University and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He proudly serves on the Board of Directors with two impactful organizations, Urban Initiatives and SOS Children’s Villages Illinois. He is an active advisor at the city, state and federal level regarding environmentally friendly programs. As a sought-after and frequent keynote speaker, Michael is highly regarded as an industry thought leader in the areas of design, construction, project management and operations leadership.