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Charles Thomas Jr.

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Charles Thomas Jr.
BornFlint, Michigan
OccupationAuthor, radio host, professor, Organizational Dynamics practitioner
NationalityAmerican
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame
University of Texas at San Antonio
Creighton University
GenreNon-fiction

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Charles Thomas Jr. is a best-selling author, on-air personality, public speaker, community volunteer, and philanthropist. He has written four creative nonfiction books, Scars, Exile, & Vindication (2012), Breakthrough: Stories of Resilience, Tragedy, and Triumph (2017), Leading Through Difficulty: The Darker Side of Workplace Behavior (2017), and Best Kept Secrets: From Invisible Walk-ons to Life Champions (2019). He is a co-host of the Divergent Thought podcast.

Early life[edit]

Thomas was born in Flint, Michigan and attended Powers Catholic High School, graduating in 1998.[1] Thomas played varsity basketball and served as co-captain of the team in high school. He helped his team make state semifinals in 1997 and regional finals in 1998.[1] Thomas has said that growing up in Flint was a brilliant upbringing.[2]

Education and Career[edit]

Thomas attended the University of Notre Dame, on academic and athletic scholarships, where he played as point guard and shooting guard on the varsity basketball team.[1] He was a two-time Big East Academic All-Star team member.[3] About wanting to play basketball for Notre Dame, Thomas stated, "I practiced every single day … 1,000 shots a day. I wasn’t going to give up on my dream.”[4]

He was chosen as the recipient of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student Athlete Award and the NAACP Senior of the Year in 2002.[5]

Thomas earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2007, a master's degree in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University in 2009; and a Doctorate of Education in Leadership Studies from Creighton University in 2014.[6] While pursuing his doctoral degree, Thomas was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society in February 2013.[7] Thomas worked as a full-time project leader at a government consulting firm in Tysons, VA,[6] and served as Vice President of organizational effectiveness and people operations for Data Intelligence Inc.[8] Thomas currently serves as the CEO of Clear Cloud, a software engineering organization.[9] He serves as Chairman of the Board for Opportunities, Alternatives and Resources (OAR) of Fairfax County, Inc, and teaches life-skills classes to incarcerated men who are preparing for re-entry into society.[10]

He also works as an Adjunct Assistant Professor [11] at University of Maryland University College [12] and George Mason University.[13] He speaks to audiences on a variety of topics across the country. In February 2017, he presented on a panel about community involvement and philanthropy as part of the Future Fund at The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia's Giving Back Seminars.[14] Thomas delivered the Reverend William F. Kelley, SJ, ΑΣΝ Endowed Lecture: "Prose and Poetry: The War Within" at Creighton University on March 14, 2018,[15] and presented on the Darker Side of Workplace Behavior and the importance of Diversity and Inclusion at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Diversity and Inclusion summit in Oct 2018.[16]

Thomas published his first work of creative nonfiction, Scars, Exile & Vindication: My Life as an Experiment in 2012.[17] His second work, Breakthrough: Stories of Resilience, Tragedy, and Triumph, was published in May 2017. [18] His third nonfiction book Leading Through Difficulty: The Darker Side of Workplace Behavior was released in December 2017,[19] and his fourth nonfiction book Best Kept Secrets: From Invisible Walk-ons to Life Champions was published August 2019.[20]

Philanthropic Engagement[edit]

Thomas is the former Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Leadership Fairfax, a nonprofit professional leadership development organization.[21] He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for OAR of Fairfax County, and is a Board Member for Shelter House, an organization serving the homeless population in Fairfax County, Virginia.[22] He also volunteers as a Wish Granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.[23]

In 2015 and 2016, he served as a member of the Future Fund's leadership committee,[24] a giving circle of young professionals at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.[25]

In 2018, Thomas accepted the Sojourner Truth Award, along with OAR Executive Director Derwin Overton, on behalf of OAR of Fairfax County.[26]

Works[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Best Kept Secrets: From Invisible Walk-ons to Life Champions. 2019 ISBN 978-1-9736-7199-2 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Leading Through Difficulty: The Darker Side of Workplace Behavior. 2017 ISBN 978-0-692-04776-7 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Breakthrough: Stories of Resilience, Tragedy, and Triumph. 2017 ISBN 978-1512783520 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Scars, Exile, & Vindication: My Life as an Experiment. 2012 ISBN 978-1618623669 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.

Articles[edit]

Magazine Features[edit]

Podcasts[edit]

  • Divergent Thought on BLIS.FM

Awards and Honors[edit]

  • 2019 Washington Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award Honoree[27]
  • 2018 Sojourner Truth Award on behalf of OAR with Executive Director, Derwin Overton[28]
  • 2017 40 Under 40 Honoree from the Leadership Center for Excellence [29]
  • 2016 Outstanding Service to the Community Award from Creighton University [30]
  • 2015 Emerging Influential Leader of the Year Award from Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce [31]
  • 2015 National 40 Under 40 Honoree from The Network Journal [21]
  • 2015 Alpha Sigma Nu Magis Medal Winner [6]
  • 2015 Northern Virginia Trustee Leadership Award from Leadership Fairfax [32]

Personal life[edit]

Thomas lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two children.[33]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "For Dr. Charles Thomas Jr., there is no Plan B" (PDF). Powers Pride: 3. Summer 2016.
  2. "Guest view of Charles Thomas Jr.: America's most 'apocalyptic' city? We know better". MLive.com. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  3. "Charles Thomas Bio :: Notre Dame Men's Basketball :: UND.COM :: The Official Site of Notre Dame Athletics". Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  4. Kelly, Lisa (May 1, 2018). "Echoes From Notre Dame: The Men (Or Women) We Became?". onefootdown.com. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  5. "'02 Grad, Former ND Walk-on Pens New Memoir". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Davis, Rick (October 23, 2015). "Magis Medal Honoree Inspired to Give Back". AJCU. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  7. "Alpha Sigma Nu New Member Induction" (PDF). creighton.edu. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  8. "Charles Thomas Jr. | People on The Move". bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  9. "Charles Thomas Jr". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  10. "Magis Medal Honoree Inspired to Give Back | Creighton Magazine | Creighton University". creighton.edu. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  11. "Faculty List". UMUC. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  12. "Twp. Board approves long-term charity gaming license for nonprofit | November 3, 2016 | flinttownshipview.mihomepaper.com | The Flint Township View". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  13. "Honors College Weekly Newsletter". December 12, 2018.
  14. "Carry Your Passion Into Your Career - Giving Back Seminar Presented by The Future Fund". Fairfax City, VA Patch. 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  15. "NCR Newsletter Spring 2018". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  16. "Diversity and Inclusion Summit". Greenville Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  17. "Scars, Exile & Vindication: My Life as an Experiment". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  18. pat.wilson. ""Breakthrough" By Charles Thomas Jr. | The Katy News". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  19. "Charles Thomas Jr. Author".
  20. "Best Kept Secrets: From Invisible Walk-ons to Life Champions". Amazon. Retrieved 8 September 2019. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  21. 21.0 21.1 "40 Under Forty Class of 2015". The Network Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  22. "Shelter House Board of Directors".
  23. "OAR Board of Directors". OAR. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  24. McClain, Buzz (April 14, 2016). "Meet the Young Philanthropists". Northern Virginia Magazine: 1.
  25. Feldman, Ross. "Future Fund". cfnova.org. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  26. "OAR is honored to receive the 2018 Sojourner Truth Award". OAR Nova. July 23, 2018.
  27. "Minority Business Leader Awards". Washington Business Journal. February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  28. "OAR is honored to receive the 2018 Sojourner Truth Award". https://www.oarnova.org/sjt-award. Retrieved February 24, 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  29. "Leadership Center details annual 40 Under 40 awardees". insidenova.com.
  30. "Creighton University's Werner Institute Celebrates 10 Years". Strictly Business | Omaha. 2017-01-01. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  31. "2015 OCCA Winners". Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce | Tysons, VA. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  32. "Congressional Record". congress.gov. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  33. "About the Author | Breakthrough". breakthroughstories.net. Retrieved 2017-06-27.


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