Chief Executive Officer
George James Tsunis, the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Hotels, is an attorney, developer, philanthropist and public policy advisor with a strong interest at the intersection of economic and foreign affairs.
Chartwell Hotels is an innovative company that 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 since its founding in 2005 as well as successfully navigated a national economy gripped by the great recession. Chartwell continues to grow, opening the first ever Generation 9 Marriott Residence Inn inWilliamsport PA in January 2013. The firm's focus includes development for community renewal that assists regions in benefiting from tourism, business travel and other investment dollars from around the nation and the world.
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. Mr. Tsunis was recognized with the Saint Paul's Medal, the Greek Orthodox Church of America's highest recognition for a lay person personally awarded to him 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 has served on its National Council. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios asked 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 attacks.
Mr. Tsunis is a Member of the Board of Trustees of Hofstra University, a Director of the Don Monti Cancer Research Foundation,Trustee of The Hellenic Initiative and a Member of the Board of Trustees of Friends Academy serving as its Building and Grounds Committee Chair, and has recently been invited to join the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Mr. Tsunis was a member of the Brookings Institution's Foreign Policy Leadership Committeeand its Metropolitan Studies Leadership Council as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Business Executives for National Security. He has also previously served on the Board of Trustees of Dowling College, the American Red Cross Suffolk County Chapter, the Huntington Chamber Commerce/Committee on Good Government, the Education and Assistance Corporation, and the Private Industry Council of Suffolk.He was selected by Long Island Business News as one of the 40 most influential people on Long Island under 40 years old.
Mr. Tsunis' interest in public affairs began in his youth with his selection and participation in the American Legion's Boys State Program where high school juniors participate in a one week simulated government. Subsequently American Legion Post 694 Northport, New York awarded Mr. Tsunis its Medal of Citizenship in 1984.
Mr. Tsunis was awarded the Presidential Medal from Dowling College in 1999, the Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award by Long Island Cares in 2003 and was the WLIW Honoree at their Golf tournament in 2007.
Mr. Tsunis was the recipient of the Cyprus Federation's Justice for Cyprus Award, which 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 is traditionally reserved for Heads of State. In 2013, President of Cyprus Anastasiades similarly honored Mr. Tsunis for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of the children of Cyprus.
Mr. Tsunis was the honoree of the Long Island Children's Museum Annual Gala in 2012, the recipient of the Dickey Humanitarian Award from the Lycoming County United Way and has been recognized as a member of the United Way'sTocqueville Society, 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 and recognized for his efforts in erecting a Bronze statue De Oppresso Liber honoring the US Special Forces, known as the Horse Soldiers which overlooks Ground Zero in New York City.
Mr. Tsunis was the 2014 Grand Marshall of the Greek Independence Day Parade in New York, the youngest Grand Marshall in the history of the Parade, was the Honoree at Congresswoman Maloney's Queens Gala for his commitment to the borough of Queens, was also recognized by The Naupactian Brotherhood of New York for his efforts on behalf of the Greek community as well as the Lt. Detective Joseph Petrosino in America Humanitarian Award.
The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University honored Mr. Tsunis as their Celebration of Suburban Diversity Banquet honoree and keynote speaker in 2014. The following year, The National Association for the Advancement for Colored People, NAACP, Huntington Chapter awarded him their Freedom Fund Award.
Mr. Tsunis established the George and Olga Tsunis Fellowship for Cancer Prevention at Stony Brook University Hospital.
In furtherance in their belief in education and learning, the Tsunis' established The James and Eleni Tsunis Endowed Distinguished Academic Scholarship at Hofstra University, The James George Tsunis Memorial Scholarship at Pennsylvania College of Technology as well asThe George James Tsunis '92 and the Xanthi and Father Alex Karloutsos Scholarships at St. John's University School of Law and is a member of the University's Loughlin Society. Mr. Tsunis underwrote The James and Eleni Tsunis Library at The Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons in honor of his parents.
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 in Matinecock, Long Island, New York with their three children.