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Peter H. Thomas

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Peter H. Thomas

Award Received

Honorary Degree

Convocation Ceremony

Fall 2011 Convocation

Peter Thomas is recognized in North America as one of the leading developers and lenders of his time. From his early start in real estate and development he has transitioned his focus to a rich portfolio of values-based leadership work and a strong commitment to mental health issues.

Born in England, Thomas was raised in Canada by his mother who instilled in him an unshakable foundation of ethics and values. He spent seven years with the Royal Canadian army, including a tour of duty in the Middle East and Gaza Strip in 1961. After leaving the army he founded Century 21 Real Estate Canada Ltd., the largest real estate network in the country. When he sold the company in 1987 it was earning $9 billion in annual sales through 450 franchises and a sales force of 7,000.  He also founded a North American real estate investment and management service company called Samoth Capital Corporation in 1984 and served as chairman and CEO until 2001. Among his other ventures, Thomas developed the Four Seasons Resort and Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2000, through his U.S. real estate company Thomas Pride International.

It was that same year that Thomas lost his only son, Todd Thomas, to suicide. He shifted gears professionally, and went on to focus his energy on celebrating his son's life and helping others live a values-based life. In 2000, he founded the Todd Thomas Foundation to raise awareness about mental health issues and support the search for effective treatments.

In 2002, he founded LifePilot, a not-for-profit organization that provides workshops to empower and teach people to live their lives in alignment with their values. To date LifePilot has more than 5,000 graduates from all over the world ranging from senior business executives, students, families and prison inmates.

In 2006, Thomas funded a partnership with Royal Roads University to create the Todd Thomas Institute for Values-Based Leadership. The Centre was established to provide research in this field and in 2011 evolved to become the Institute for Values-Based Leadership.

Among other positions, Thomas is chairman emeritus of Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), is actively involved in the Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards and chairman of the board for the Thomas Foundation, a privately endowed Canadian foundation established in 1990 with a focus on children, mental health and education. He is also the author of four books, including his most recent work Be Great: The Five Foundations of an Extraordinary Life, in Business and Beyond.

He has received numerous accolades for his charitable works with his most recent being the 2010 National Caring Award granted by the "Mother Theresa inspired" Caring Institute which has also honoured General Colin Powell, Laura Bush and many other esteemed recipients.

Peter is very excited to be starting another chapter in his corporate life with the introduction of Thomas Franchise Solutions - a company that is starting with its first investment fund of $10,000,000 that will be investing in the franchise industry in specific industries and with companies which have a proven concept.