Building a business is only as strong as the values you build on.
Peter Thomas has been a values-based serial entrepreneur for more than four decades, specializing in real estate and franchising. He is recognized as one of the leading developers and lenders of his time in North America. Peter has developed billions of dollars in real estate projects, including shopping centers, apartments, condominiums, hotels, and golf courses.
Peter has authored many books including Windows of Opportunity, Never Fight with a Pig, Passport to Business Success, and Be Great and Be Great in Business. He has been featured on the cover of numerous magazines and has been recognized with many awards over the years including the National Caring Award, an honor shared by General Colin Powell and Laura Bush, and the prestigious Ernest and Young Pacific Region Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
For his outstanding commitment to values, ethics, entrepreneurship, and quality of life, Royal Roads University was pleased to present Peter Thomas for the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.
Peter developed the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, was Chairman and Founder of Century 21 Real Estate Canada Ltd., and founded Samoth Capital Corporation, a Canadian public real estate company now known as Sterling Centrecorp Inc. As a private equity investor, he has acquired and developed through public and private investment vehicles, billions of dollars of real estate assets. One major land development Peter acquired from the Resolution Trust was the 1,276-acre master-planned development in San Antonio Texas known as Westover Hills. His most recent venture is Urban Communities with a mission to improve people’s lives through the development and redevelopment of sustainable communities, creating value for residents, stakeholders, and society. He also provides bridge financing for developers to acquire multi-unit apartments.
Franchising has always been a core business in Peter’s financial world and he has invested in many new and exciting concepts. For his first franchise opportunity, he founded Century 21 Real Estate Canada Ltd. which he eventually sold with a sales force of 8,000 and sales totaling $9 billion annually, and that was in 1987 dollars! His most recent franchise venture is Dogtopia, a dog daycare, of which he recently stepped down as Chairman and is now Chairman Emeritus. In the eight short years since his acquisition, Dogtopia has grown from 20 franchises to 145 with an additional 161 in the pipeline. Peter is also an investor in the Canadian Dogtopia region, the Seattle Dogtopia region and is a co-owner of Dogtopia of Highland Ranch in Colorado.
Philanthropy has always played a significant role in Peter and Rita’s lives and as such Peter has been an author, a sought-after keynote speaker, and a mentor to many, from all walks of life. Peter and Rita also created a four-hour LifePilot program to teach others to live a life in alignment with their values. Peter has taught this program with Rita by his side all over the world to billionaires, prisoners, and everything in between.
One of Peter’s most significant contributions is Chairman Emeritus of the Entrepreneurs Organization and his role in the founding of EO which currently has 13,000+ members with 179 chapters in 57 countries. He has also been very involved in the Global Student Entrepreneurs Program “GSEA”, a premier global competition for student entrepreneurs who actively run a business. He has recently accepted Chairmanship for the Canadian GSEA program.