College of Business > Faculty > A to Z listing of Faculty > Lisa Young Thomas

Lisa Young Thomas

  • Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs
  • ​​​​

  • School of Hospitality Leadership
  • (312) 362-6680
  • 14 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 320
    Chicago, IL 60604

Academic Degrees

PhD, University of Nevada Las Vegas
MS, University of Nevada Las Vegas
BBA, Sam Houston State University

Research and Teaching Interests

Hospitality Sales and Marketing
Revenue Management and Pricing
Hospitality Human Resource Issues and Trends
Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Expositions
Education, Teaching and Scholarship


Lisa Thomas is an associate professor and the director of undergraduate programs for the School of Hospitality Leadership. Prior to joining the faculty of DePaul, Thomas was a faculty-in-residence and the director of student leadership programs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – Singapore Campus.

Thomas teaches ratio and data analysis (HSP 206), yield management (HSP 361) and hospitality pricing (HSP 360). In the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, she instructs revenue management (HSP 561) and hospitality data analysis and financial metrics (HSP 563). Each December, as part of DePaul’s mission to reinforce global industry relationships, Thomas and fellow Assistant Professor Nicholas Thomas have designed an in-depth study abroad business seminar to key Asian hospitality destinations Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore (ICS 350/IB 750). 

Thomas has more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing management positions with top brands in the hospitality industry. One of her research streams stems from her experiences as a District Sales Manager for the preeminent mass-market cruise line, a successful tour operator with charter air service to top resort destinations, and the leading all-inclusive resort company in the Caribbean. One key responsibility was pricing distribution channel promotions to ensure a profitable bottom line. Another career focus was to motivate sales by holding frequent special events, conventions and trade shows to introduce clients to resorts, ships and/or destinations. 

Her research asks the question: how can hospitality organizations maximize their profits through revenue management efforts? Her enthusiasm for this research stream has increased with the evolution of the hospitality industry due to rapid technological advances, new distribution channels, and changing consumer needs. The result has been research conducted on how special events are emerging as a strategic tool to increase revenue for casino resorts, how hotels can utilize large citywide events to increase key performance metrics of nightly rates and occupancy percentages, and the underlying theories behind consumers’ hospitality purchasing decisions. 

Thomas’ research has been published in several journals including the Journal of Convention and Event Tourism, the Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism and Hospitality Review. Thomas is an editorial board member of the Journal of Convention and Event Tourism, along with being a referee for the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management and the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research among other journals. 

She has authored two textbook chapters, one on managing revenues and costs in "Hospitality: An Introduction," and a chapter on evaluating employee performance in "Managing Hospitality Human Resources," published by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. Along with two colleagues, she continues to be an author of the instructor collateral for "Hospitality: An Introduction."

To support hospitality revenue managers, Thomas facilitates the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics seminar, jointly offered by Smith Travel Research and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. The certification process provides recognition of thorough understanding of the foundational metrics, definitions, formulas and methodologies used by the hotel industry. 

Providing students with a meaningful educational experience that not only imparts the core learning objectives of her courses and the College of Business, Thomas also embodies DePaul’s Vincentian spirit. She strongly believes that a high-quality hospitality business education can provide students with excellent skills for career success.