Thomas grew up in Waverly — the son of a small business owner and hospital chaplain. He played little league down at the AMVETS fields, delivered the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, and was confirmed at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
After graduating from Waverly-Shell Rock, he went to the University of Iowa as a walk-on to the Hawkeye baseball team. He earned his degree, paying for it with student loans and summers as a letter carrier.
Driven by the desire to serve, Thomas worked for former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, focusing on issues central to Iowa’s communities and future success: agriculture, education, and labor policy. He later joined the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor, holding corporations and trading partners accountable to protect workers’ rights and level the playing field for Iowans and American workers.
Following government service, his commitment to justice continued. After earning his MBA, Thomas went to work for a clothing manufacturer as the Director of Sustainable Manufacturing and Sourcing. There he enforced fair labor and environmental standards at home and around the world, to show that profit doesn’t have to come at the expense of people and the environment.
Today, Thomas and his wife, Naomi, live in Cedar Falls with their dog Waverly.