SB Foundation & The Simons Effect Stony Brook University The Simons Effect

George Tsunis Establishes Center and Chair in Hellenic Studies
at Stony Brook

George James Tsunis Esq. is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Hotels,  philanthropist and public policy advisor with a demonstrated interest in foreign and economic affairs.

Tsunis'Chartwell Hotels owns, develops and manages Hilton, Marriott and Intercontinental hotels throughout the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. Under Mr. Tsunis’ leadership, Chartwell Hotels enjoyed tremendous growth increasing profitability by approximately 900% from 2006 to 2012  despite the nation’s economy being gripped by the great recession. Chartwell continues to grow, opening the first ever Generation 9 Marriott Residence Inn in Williamsport PA in January 2013.

Prior to founding Chartwell Hotels,  Mr. Tsunis was a partner at the law firm of Rivkin Radler LLP, Long Island’s largest law firm, representing both private clients and municipalities in the practice areas of land use and zoning, real estate, corporate, municipal law and commercial litigation. Mr. Tsunis’ public service includes time as a Legislative Attorney at the New York City Council, Special Counsel to the Town of Huntington Environmental Open Space Committee, and as Counsel to the Dix Hills Water District.

Mr. Tsunis is a member of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and is a member of both the Faith and Leadership 100 Endowments. He was recognized with the Saint Paul’s Medal, the Greek Orthodox Church of America’s highest recognition for a lay person personally awarded to Mr. Tsunis by his Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. Mr. Tsunis is a member the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate the highest ecclesiastical honor that can be bestowed upon a layman by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and serves on its National Council. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios recruited  Mr. Tsunis to serve on the committee to assist in the design and rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Church at Ground Zero, the only religious institution to be destroyed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Tsunis also serves as a  member of the Board of Trustees of Friend’s Academy, a member of the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy Leadership Committee and its Metropolitan Leadership Council, a Director of the Don Monti Cancer Research Foundation, as well as, Business Executives for National Security.

Mr. Tsunis has previously served on the Board of Trustees of Dowling College, the American Red Cross Suffolk County Chapter, the Huntington Chamber of Commerce/Committee on Good Government, the Education and Assistance Corporation, and the Private Industry Council of Suffolk County. He has also been an Executive Board Member of the Coordinated Effort of the Hellenes and a member of the Board of Visitors at Touro College/Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.

Mr. Tsunis is the recipient of the Dowling College Presidential Medal, the Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award for Long Island Cares, the WLIW Channel 21 Person of the Year, Long Island Business News 40 most influential people on Long Island under 40 years old, and the recipient of the Cyprus Federation’s Justice for Cyprus Award, which award was personally awarded to him by President of Cyprus Christofias in 2010.  In 2012, President Christofias presented Mr. Tsunis with a plaque of sterling silver olive branches signifying peace, this award has traditionally been reserved for Heads of State.

In 2012, Mr. Tsunis was the honoree of the Long Island Children’s Museum Annual Gala, the recipient of the Dickey Humanitarian Award from the Lycoming County United Way, the recipient of the Israel Unity Award from the State of Israel Bonds of Central Pennsylvania Chapter and the Vice Chairman of the 2012 NYC Veterans Day Parade.

In 2012, Mr. Tsunis established the George and Olga Tsunis Center for Hellenic Studies and created an endowment for  the James and Eleni Tsunis Chair of Hellenic Letters in honor of his parents at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In furtherance in their belief in education and learning, the Tsunis’ established The James George Tsunis Memorial Scholarship at Pennsylvania College of Technology and underwrote the Tsunis Library at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons.

Mr. Tsunis received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from New York University and his Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law.  Mr. Tsunis is married to his wife Olga and they live on Long Island, New York with their three children.

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No further lectures for 2014

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Stony Brook is an outstanding public university, offering a wonderful education at reasonable cost to thousands of young people. The generosity of those who joined us in this effort will enhance the University in many dimensions, making that education more valuable still.

—Jim Simons