Background, Credentials & Publications
In addition to his university degrees, Mr. Tomaras holds the hospitality industry's highest professional designations: Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) from the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and Food Management Professional (FMP) from the National Restaurant Association. As a consultant, he has assisted five hotel development groups, three banks, and 75+ attorneys. He served as president of both the Illinois Innkeepers Association and the Illinois Restaurant Association.
Mr. Tomaras initiated the development and became general manager of his family’s Best Western Paradise Inn and Restaurant. He also served as president of Restaurant Concepts, Inc., operating food/beverage businesses in five cities. After stepping away from active management to pursue teaching and writing, Mr. Tomaras returned to hotels as executive vice president of Champaign’s State Street Development and Management. In 1990 he was named General Manager of Champaign's first all suites hotel, AmeriSuites (later Radisson Suites, now Hawthorn Suites).
In 1982 Mr. Tomaras began teaching in the Restaurant Management program at Parkland College in Champaign. He later developed and implemented the Hotel Management curriculum. In 1993 he became Associate Professor and Program Director of Hospitality Management, teaching nine different courses including Hospitality Law, Front Office Management, and Human Resources Management. Under his direction, Parkland's hospitality program earned international CHRIE accreditation (Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Education). He has presented educational seminars to hotel operators and employees on security, front desk operation, and human resources.
As a guest researcher authorized by the CEOs of Hilton Hotels and Hilton International, Mr. Tomaras studied operations at major hotels in Chicago, Washington, Barcelona, Paris, Athens, and Nicosia (Cyprus). He also researched award-winning midscale hotels, and performed case studies of Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Hotels; the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, MI; the Wickaninnish Inn on Vancouver Island, Canada; and The Inn at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. The latter two are Relais & Chateaux properties.
In 1999 his research paper, "Total Quality Service in Small North American Hotels: An Attainable Goal," was selected "Best Paper" from among 150+ international entries for presentation at the International CHRIE Conference in Austin, TX. The scholarly paper was later published in Praxis: The Journal of Applied Hospitality Management.
Mr. Tomaras published a guest column in the June 16, 2008 issue of Hotel & Motel Management, and contributed a feature article on optimizing the attorney-expert relationship in the October 2008, edition of TRIAL magazine.
Extending his business-writing competence to fiction, Mr. Tomaras authored two novels, one featuring an international hotel security expert and the other an international hotel general manager: Resistors and Innkeeper.
Both are available at www.amazon.com/books/, then enter Peter Tomaras.