Jim Craver

General manager of Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago – Downtown
Class of 1996
Jim Craver is the general manager of Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago – Downtown. This exceptional hotel does approximately $15 million in annual revenue, making it one of the top three revenue generators of the 500 Homewood Suites within the Hilton brand.

Jim has had a successful career in the hospitality industry spanning over 20 years. He has worked in numerous hotels, including Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Indian Lakes Resort and Holiday Inn Chicago/Elk Grove Village, among others.

When he started at Moraine Valley, he already was working part-time in a hotel and was undecided on a major. When he discovered the college had a hospitality program, he enrolled, which helped solidify his career path. Jim appreciated the way instructors augmented textbook lessons with real-world experiences, which helped him gain confidence and provided guidance he has used throughout his career.

After earning his associate degree from Moraine Valley, he started to move up in the industry and attained his first general manager position in 2001 with White Lodging Services at the Fairfield Inn in Merrillville, Indiana. He ended his first year with the highest guest satisfaction scores of any White Lodging Services’ Fairfield Inn property. After that, he had continued success at each company where he worked. Along the way, Jim mentored many employees and is proud that he helped them move into supervisory positions.

Jim decided to share his enthusiasm for the industry by becoming an adjunct instructor at Moraine Valley, teaching classes such as Convention Management and Sales, Hospitality Management and Front Office Procedures. Some of his former students have since gone on to have successful careers in the hospitality field.

He has earned numerous industry awards, including Promus Hotel’s President’s Award, White Lodging Services’ Excalibur Award and Crestline Hotel’s Crestline Cup. He also was the general manager of the first non-Marriott-operated Fairfield Inn and Suites to be awarded the status of “Connect U/GM Training Hotel.”

Jim has worked with several local convention and visitors bureaus and chambers of commerce. In addition, he served on the Meet Chicago Northwest Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors.

Over the years, he has volunteered for many organizations such as the Salvation Army, Alicia’s House Food Pantry and Ronald McDonald House Chicago/Streeterville.

His hotel leads the Chicago market in Hilton’s Clean the World Campaign, which sends shampoo and soap to developing countries.

Jim and his wife, Gabi, met in 2001, while both working in the industry and have been married for 10 years.

They have two young sons – Jimmy and Liam.