When I was a kid, growing up in northern Indiana, I was convinced that my career trajectory would lead straight to being the starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls. Despite Derrick Rose’s spotty attendance record, I think it’s probably time to let go of the notion that I’ll ever hoop on West Madison Street.
Instead, I have followed a wonderfully circuitous path into politics, advocacy, and philanthropy. My first job out of school – at a national political committee, doing office and admin work - lasted all of three days, before my supervisor handed me the keys to a large black Buick and a laminated map of the District of Columbia.
“Can you pick up Joe tomorrow morning at 6am in Bethesda?”
Yes I can. Once I figure out where the hell Bethesda is.
And with that, I had a different job, as the chairman’s driver and body man. Which led to writing press statements and speeches. Which led to a job as a congressional communications director and campaign manager. Which led to serving two different governors in Indiana and New Mexico. Which led me to Colorado almost ten years ago, where I carved out a life with two yellow dogs and a girlfriend who I proposed to last month (she said yes!), and where I did communications and advocacy work at an economic justice group. Which led to serving as a program officer at a health foundation, where I spent five years developing and managing grant strategies to build advocacy capacity and advance policy solutions. Which led to today, where I get to announce the launch of my new consulting business – Thomas LLC, which partners with foundations, nonprofits and other social change organizations to design, develop, and manage strategies and projects that can solve complex problems.
What does that mean exactly? We’ll help your organization get done what you or your staff don’t have the time or space or capacity to do yourselves. The great idea that you haven’t had time to research or conceptualize on paper? The proposal that you want to take to your board for approval? The project that you haven’t had a chance to get off the ground? The strategy you’re implementing that requires external leadership, support, or coordination? We can help.
The work you do matters. The role your organization serves matters. And the meaningful difference that you’re capable of making for individuals and communities matters. And that’s why Thomas LLC exists, to help you on that journey, to help you cut through clutter to meet your goals, and to help you better advance your mission.
With unique skills, expertise and capacity, and a network of researchers, evaluators, designers, and communicators that we partner with, Thomas LLC can help get you where you want to go.
Over the past 15 years, I have been lucky to work with and learn from many smart, talented people across different organizations that made a meaningful difference. It’s been an extraordinary education to see what’s possible, to see what can be achieved, and to help figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
And this is it. So let’s get to work.