Randy Levine knows that every major change is made up of many small changes. It's a lesson he learned at Hofstra Law, where he studied labor and employment law, and it's been reinforced throughout his career, including his time at the U.S. Department of Justice and as New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's labor commissioner during the last recession.
"I was trained as a labor relations lawyer and as a litigator," Levine explains. "The city was having significant fiscal issues: 60 percent of the city's budget was personnel costs — the cost of paying employee benefits." Levine brought innovative methods he'd used in the private sector to negotiating with the city's labor unions and worked out groundbreaking agreements that dramatically reduced costs while creating programs that were popular with employees.
Those experiences also served Levine well during the Major League Baseball players' strike in 1995. At the time, he was chief counsel to the Yankees, as well as George Steinbrenner's personal attorney, and he was called upon to represent the owners at the negotiating table.
"I developed a relationship with the head of the players association, Don Fehr. We were able to hammer out an agreement which changed the way baseball went forward. It created a partnership between the owners and players and improved the competitive balance. Today, baseball is enjoying its greatest popularity, and its revenues are the highest they've ever been. So I'm very proud that I played a small part in bringing the game to where it is today."