Thomas is most proud of bringing thought leadership to set strategies in developing a fully online MBA program, executing collaborative learning initiatives and creating programs to bring students and industry leaders together. As an administrator, he excels in engaging leaders from local, state, national, and international organizations to understand the evolving needs of the hospitality and tourism industries and connect industry leaders with students.
Within the higher education landscape, Thomas is recognized as a passionate and innovative educator and holds the faculty rank of tenured Associate Professor at DePaul teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on hospitality and tourism operations, customer service, technology innovation, and human resources. As a dedicated researcher, Thomas actively publishes his findings in the field’s top journals and is regularly invited to present across academic, industry, and public settings. He co-authored a human resources leadership textbook in 2019, with a second edition released in 2021.
Prior to working in higher education, Thomas held managerial positions with oversight in luxury hotel operations and human resources training and development programs for some of the world’s most recognizable brands. He worked in properties ranging in size from 90 to 7K+ rooms located in top destinations such as Las Vegas, Pebble Beach, Carmel, and Palm Springs. Additionally, he holds an FAA commercial pilot license and he was a commercial airline pilot prior to his higher education career.
Thomas holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration, a Master of Hospitality Administration, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Hospitality Administration. All three academic degrees were awarded by the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.