Mayor Bailey recognized John Thomas, Dean of the Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business and Bashir Hasso Professor of Entrepreneurship at La Sierra University as the February Innovation Honoree on Tuesday Feb. 11.
A creative thinker committed to integrity, compassion, and social entrepreneurship, Thomas has led La Sierra University’s Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business in radically redefining its mission to incorporate a focus on global service and entrepreneurial creativity and identifying distinctive market niches ideally suited to its traditions, commitments, and capacities. He is an effective administrator, teacher, and scholar who has spearheaded ambitious fundraising efforts, including ones enabling the School of Business to move toward the completion of an innovative, 60,000-square-foot business education center, and has championed innovative academic and co-curricular programs—including centers for philanthropy, conflict resolution, and financial literacy and entrepreneurship—with the potential to enrich the university academically and dramatically expand its student base.
Thomas holds a doctorate in political economy from Claremont Graduate University and master’s degrees in marketing, finance, and political economy. A member of La Sierra University’s business faculty since 1988, he has taught courses in entrepreneurship, management, economics, and finance. Thomas journey of entrepreneurship started when he took over the management of a losing a local drive thru business and turned it around allowing him to graduate debt free. From selling groceries to selling ideas, Thomas is interested in anything creative. And is a strong advocate of encouraging students to become more creative. He serves on the board of numerous for profit and not for profit companies including Genelux, Architron Systems Inc., Family Services of Riverside, LLBN and KSGN among others. He enjoys working with start-ups and is passionate advocate of property rights.
To learn more about the La Sierra Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business, click here.