Thomas was the top Pontiac Dealer nationally and the only Minority Dealer in the 100-year history of General Motors to lead a General Motors Division in sales. Senator David Durenberger recognizes him in the United States Congressional Record in a statement for his success as an entrepreneur. His many awards include: Leader of Distinction Awards from Pontiac and GMC, Top Dealer Award, Image of Excellence, Pontiac Master Dealer, Elite Dealer, National Supplier of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and Minnesota Business Hall of Fame Honorable Mention. Thomas has received other awards for his local philanthropic contributions.
Along with his business success, Thomas has been involved in philanthropic giving. As Chairman of the Board for the International Leadership Institute, he has and is reaching across the world to help countries in poverty.
ILI is a 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 1994 in the State of Minnesota. Its resource center is located at 310 Groveland Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their mission is to provide global partnerships in infrastructure, rule of law, education, and development that focus on people and nations in transition. The Institute’s mission is to facilitate interaction in world affairs and intercultural communication between Minnesotans, international organizations and people around the world. The work of ILI is designed to create trans-formative dissemination, leadership development, and expert-level training programs for health care services, firefighters, emergency responders, computer technology, and rule of law.
ILI has launched a $6.5 million capital campaign in order to purchase a building that will accommodate training programs, service for participants and administrative offices. ILI is working to improve access to health care and “upstream influences on health” in Minnesota, Jamaica and Kenya. They are prepared to send teams of nurses, physicians and health care workers to areas of the greatest need to coordinate emergency responders, provide ambulance services, and provide training in the use of modern diagnostic technology. Funding for response teams is urgently needed.
Thomas has not only been a top-ranked GM Dealer, but also started his own insurance company known as Oakwood Life Insurance Co. For 30 years, Oakwood Life sold life, accident, and health insurance. Oakwood Life was sold when Thomas retired. After a brief retirement, Thomas decided he would like to return to sales. He is launching a new project with a major insurance company that understands the needs of individuals and families. Thomas stated, “I’m excited about the opportunity to help people by providing an important product to protect them in their time of need.”
In addition to the business ventures, Thomas is serving on the Board of Directors for Walker Arts Center. There he serves on the audit and acquisition committees.
For more information about International Leadership Institute or the Kenya and Africa initiative, visit the website at www.internationalleadership.org.
About the International Leadership Institute:
The International Leadership Institute directs the efforts of professionals, and others who share a commitment to social justice, representative democracy, and nurturing community leadership. The professionals who work through the Institute to improve their communities are widely experienced in international travel, providing technical assistance in diverse forms, from teaching to business consulting. The Institute relies upon the expertise of skilled professionals and upon cooperation with other organizations to identify and fill gaps in existing community services.
The Institute promotes partnerships in infrastructure, rule of law, and education development projects throughout the world. Utilizing resources from both the public and private sectors, it focuses on reaching people in the least developed nations of the world and restoring services in countries ravaged by war. The Institute's programs focus on improving the justice and education systems in host countries.
To this end, the Institute undertakes educational programs for children in science and computer technology building anti-corruption mechanisms within the judicial systems, and fostering economic development where immediate, as well as, long-term solutions is needed. The Institute develops and works on sustainable interventions that require the active collaboration of host country organizations in project planning, implementation and financing.
Read more about the ILI and Mr. Thomas at http://jamesthomasmn.blogspot.com
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IBNN is a Minneapolis based news and information blog focusing on politics, business, money, education with delivery for all ethnic media from the IBNN mainstream.