Creating and operating healthy & fun facilities worldwide
Our reputation may be international, but our dedication to clients remains highly personal. Every project in which we participate receives the individualized attention that it deserves—that means doing whatever it takes to deliver quality and satisfaction. We’re committed to providing you with the finest service possible, along with the experience and expertise to bring your project to life and remain within feasible economic parameters.
Building great relationships that lead to successful projects
American Leisure has been satisfying prestigious clients for over 30 years. You can enjoy the security of knowing that we will be there every step of the way, and long after your project is complete. We operate most of the facilities we’ve designed, developed, and vitalized. Our input is based on a real world understanding of what works. American Leisure knows how to make it work for you.
Integrity, Hard Work, Loyalty
We pride ourselves with not just staying abreast of industry trends, but being a pioneer and trailblazer in developing and implementing innovative ideas, standards and procedures. In fact, we are the trendsetters. With a staff that has been brought together from a variety of disciplines and composed of the industry’s top professionals, we analyze every facet of your project, and show you how to capitalize on it for a project that achieves its goals.
History of Success
American Leisure designed the first full-service health and racquet club at the Parker Meridien in New York.
Completed North Shore Towers Country Club, a ground breaking concept including 1,800 high-end residential units on an 18-hole golf course with a full offering including fitness, spa, theater, bowling, restaurants on Long Island.
Created the first 25 million dollar hotel casino-spa at Bally’s Park Place. This was the first full-service comprehensive spa and fitness facility in Atlantic City.
Designed and Managed Award Winning Spa Internationale at the exclusive Fisher Island Resort and Residences in Miami Beach, FL.
The Horizon: Designed and Managed Award Winning upscale, private full service 30,000 sq. ft. fitness center and spa for this luxury condominium.
Operate luxurious Millenium Hilton Hotel Fitness Center and Swim Pool and Sheraton Fitness Center and Swim Pool in New York, NY.
Provided equipment and conducted training for this opulent Spa at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV.
Conceptualized the design and operated The Spa, Lifestyle Center & Yacht Club at Hidden Bay, Miami, FL.
Designed and operated Bulova Corporate Fitness Center, Astoria, NY
Collaborated in the inception of the Spa & Lifestyle Center at the Pointe of Aventura, a luxurious community of opulent homes and first-class amenities on the southern coast of Florida.
Operated the Fitness Center for The University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ.
Designed and operated Lifestyle Clubs & Spas in several residential buildings at Trump Place, New York City.
Consulted on the Spa at Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans, LA.
Designed the equipment provision and trained the staff at successful spas located in Mannasquan and Red Bank, NJ.
Conceptualized and designed the 150,000 square foot Fitness and Sports facilities at JCC of Rockland County, NY.
Collaborated with Armani Designs on the concept and design of its Spa, Club and Aqua Grotto®.
Conceptualized and designed, along with the architect and interior designer, the entire lifestyle and fitness facilities at The Edge, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.
Conceptualized, collaborated on the design, and currently operate The Setai, 40 Broad Street, NY, a 24,000 sq. ft. Club and Spa.
Floating Pool – Collaborated on the design of, opened and operated this unique swim pool servicing over 50,000 people annually.
Conceptualized, designed and manage the Lifestyle Center at East Coast in Long Island City, NY, which was developed by Rockrose Development Corp.
Re-opened the Millenium Hilton, New York, after 9/11 damage
Conceptualized and collaborated on the design of The Setai Fifth Avenue, a 30,000 sq. ft. Club and Spa in New York City.
Aqua Grotto® – Conceptualized this trademarked water and thermal feature.
Developed and Manage the Lifestyle Programming on the campus of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.
Added the management of our 75th Facility: Waterside Plaza, New York, NY
Spa Luce - operating this ultra luxury spa at Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa
AMERICAN LEISURE CELEBRATES 30 YEARS!
515 East 72nd Street – Operating the 40,000 square feet of lifestyle amenity space
Founder & C.E.O.
Steve Kass founded American Leisure in 1967. Under his leadership the company has grown to become an internationally recognized leader in the design and operation of fitness centers, spas, and other lifestyle and recreational facilities.
Although American Leisure has grown dramatically in size and stature, Steve maintains the same operational philosophy with his hundreds of employees as he had when American Leisure was a three-man operation: a belief in strong, personal management. "Creativity, space-use effectiveness, innovative programs and providing impeccable service to our clients can only be maintained by concerned hands-on day to day management." Steve is a highly motivated speaker and frequently lectures and conducts seminars at leading industry trade shows. He received the Leisure and Recreation Leadership Award from Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management for his outstanding contribution to the hospitality and tourism industry. Steve holds a Masters Degree from Queens College, C.U.N.Y.
Wendy is a dedicated professional devoted to the spa, wellness and fitness industry for over 25 years. She is actively involved in developing and expanding American Leisure's spa division and has worked on projects such as: Plaza Athenee Hotel Spa of New York; The Spa at Setai Wall St., NY; Spa Luce, Hollywood, CA; the Marbella Club, Puente Romano Resort in Spain; The Spa Internazionale At Fisher Island, Fisher Island, FL; The Spa At Williams Island, Williams Island, FL, and The Spa At Bally's, Atlantic City, NJ.
Wendy is a Founder and Vice President of the Medical Spa Society, a not for profit organization, and is a past president of the Day Spa Association. Wendy previously served on the Marketing Committee of the International Spa Association (ISPA). She is a highly motivated speaker and frequently conducts seminars at leading industry trade shows. Wendy is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She received her BA in Business Management from SUNY Empire State.
Chief Operating Officer
Tom is responsible for leading the business operations for all facets of the American Leisure brand. He is committed to achieving American Leisure’s client’s strategic objectives through visionary leadership, focused planning and disciplined implementation. Tom’s hands-on approach to operations is a reflection of his passion for the health, fitness and lifestyle industry and his 25 years of experience. Tom has been an integral part in building some of the most successful commercial club operations in the United States.
He has built a culture that is focused on exceeding the lifestyle needs of a highly discerning clientele, developing and implementing best practices with a balanced approach of fiscal responsibility and an eye on operational excellence. Tom received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Mercy College.
Senior Executive Vice President
Terri W-Barbaria is responsible for the conceptualization and development of fitness centers, spas and lifestyle centers. In addition, she heads up and manages new business development, sales and marketing and American Leisure's internet development.
Terri is a member of the International Spa Association (ISPA) and is a contributing writer to many industry publications.
Ms. W-Barbaria joined American Leisure in 1986 as Assistant Manager of Towers Country Club in Floral Park, New York.
Chief Financial Officer
While at American Leisure, Beth has played a key role in the further development of the commercial financial department. Her financial and budget experience provides her with strong insights into all aspects of effective corporate management and spa management.
Beth began her career as an auditor for Laventhal & Horwath, at the time one of the country's top ten accounting firms, with a strong emphasis on the hospitality and real estate industries. While there, she specialized in the audits of publicly held companies. Prior to joining American Leisure, Beth worked as a Business Manager. Her clients included many high net worth individuals, primarily in the entertainment, hospitality and health care industries. Her financial responsibilities have provided her with strong insights in cash management and her dealing with such high profile clients has made her sensitive to all aspects of financial management, planning and reporting. Beth is a Certified Public Accountant with a Business Degree from Bernard H. Baruch College.
Jason D'es Verney
Vice President of Operations
Jason brings over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness Industry. His extensive background includes start ups as well as multi-club supervision in commercial and residential markets. Prior to joining American Leisure, Jason worked with the Bally’s Organization for ten years, as well as with New York Health & Racquet Clubs, CanDo Fitness and Sports Fitness & Fun.
Jason’s expertise in instructional fitness, Personal Training courses and management and service training has been instrumental in his success in the lifestyle and fitness industry. Jason’s educational background includes Computer Science and Aviation Avionics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He holds certifications in a wide variety of areas: American Academy of Fitness Professionals – Post Rehabilitation Conditioning Specialist, American Red Cross - Professional Rescuer, NYC Department of Health – Certified Pool Operator, along with certifications from Nautilus Equipment Company, Reebok and Bally’s. Jason is also a regional Aerobic National Champion.
Vice President of Operations
Don Amblo has been in the fitness and lifestyle industry for over 20 years and currently oversees American Leisure's club portfolio. Working with a dedicated team of Area Supervisors, Don ensures that the American Leisure "Family of Clubs" is maintained in a first class manner.
Don develops and maintains American Leisure's educational programs for the company's management staff and nationally certifies all of American Leisure’s club managers as Pool Operators.
Don has a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and attended Queens College on scholarship for Exercise Physiology. Don is a Fitness Instructor for the American College of Sports Medicine, and is a certified CPO instructor for The Professional Pool and Spa Association along with his other certifications with the National Swimming Pool Foundation and the New York City Department of Health.
Vice President of Operations
Gail has over 30 years of experience in the health, wellness and amenity management industry. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Exercise Physiology from Columbia University, and is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Specialist. Gail has developed a network of over 30 first class residential amenity facilities in the greater NY area. Development of community cohesiveness, healthy lifestyles, and recreational venues for all ages is the goal at each location. Gail interacts with the Board of Directors, Property Management, and residents on a regular basis to ensure the delivery of services meets the highest level of client satisfaction.
As Vice President of Operations, Gail oversees all facets of American Leisure’s lifestyle facilities ensuring that American Leisure’s high facility standards are met. Gail works with American Leisure’s executive team on strengthening American Leisure’s management team operations, maintaining client relationships and communications and developing new business.
Executive Vice President
Joann Patrello brings to American Leisure twenty-six years of experience in Property Management.
Joann is knowledgeable in all aspects of residential and commercial property management. Joann has extensive background in Co-op, Condominium and rental properties.
Her skills have enabled her to be chosen to work for the F.D.I.C. on a three million dollar re-habilitation venture of a luxury hi-rise building in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Joann's success in New Jersey has been featured in the Bergen Record Business Review.
She has also been commended by the borough of Fort Lee on her ability to abate and correct violations in record time and put into place planned preventative maintenance activities. Joann holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Business Management and Marketing.
Vice President of Operations
Frank originally joined American Leisure in 1984 as Golf Manager and Assistant Lifestyle Manager of the Towers Country Club in Floral Park, NY. Frank was quickly promoted to Area Supervisor overseeing four facilities in Queens, NY. Frank later left American Leisure to pursue other endeavors.
In 2006, Frank returned to American Leisure as the Lifestyle Center Manager of The Wyndham at Garden City. He was quickly promoted to Area Supervisor and was responsible for the staffing, programming and total operation of seven pool facilities on Long Island. Frank was then asked to manage one of American Leisure's premier residential Lifestyle Centers, The Fifth Avenue Club, in NYC. Currently Frank is the Vice President of Operations responsible for overseeing the operations of nine exclusive residential Lifestyle Centers.
With over 20 years of experience in the Health and Fitness Industry and an educational background in Business Administration and Recreational/Fitness Management, Frank brings a vast point of view and experience to the executive team. His extensive management experiences, as well as proficient people skills, are keys to his success in operating facilities at the highest levels.
Maureen Fletcher Bankson
Executive Vice President of Spa Development and Operations
Maureen Fletcher Bankson joined American Leisure in 2003 and brings over 25 years of expertise to the health, wellness and spa industry. Her background includes extensive experience in finance, management, retail, spa operation and business development. Throughout her career she has consulted and worked with many firms within the United States and Europe and has held high level positions with such companies as EveryBody Creative, Clarins USA and Soliv International.
In her current role of Executive Vice President, she is responsible for the development and growth of the Hotel Spa division. Her expertise is in Spa and Lifestyle project start-up, implementation and management of a brand through operation set up, staffing, policies & procedures, treatment menu planning, treatment protocols, standard operating procedures (SOP) manuals, staff handbooks, job descriptions, staff compensation models, equipment, retail programming and marketing.
For 12 years Maureen served as a Corporate Director for day spas in Southern CA. She is a member of the International Spa Association (ISPA), Medical Spa Association (MSS) and past Advisory Member of the Day Spa Association (DSA).
Vice President of Operations
Sherri Capo is Vice President of Operations. With over 25 years of experience in the residential lifestyle management industry, Sherri works closely with Property Management, Boards, and Developers to ensure the highest standards of operations and to further develop new business in the region. Her experience in new business development, area supervision and management & lifestyle training has fostered excellent client relationships and the ability to build a quality service team.