Gerald D. Thomas

Gerald D. Thomas
2008 Outstanding Alumnus

Gerald Thomas is the president and owner of Thomas Construction Co., Inc., a Johnson City, Tennessee, infrastructure contractor that builds roadways, municipal utilities and does site work for commercial, industrial, and residential developers throughout Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. The company employs 100 people with an annual payroll of $4,500,000 and operates 100 machines and heavy duty trucks. Thomas has been with the company since its beginning in 1973 and purchased full ownership from his brother Joseph V. Thomas in 1999.

Thomas grew up in Meadowview, Va., a small town in Southwest Virginia, with six brothers and two sisters, and currently resides in Johnson City with his wife of 39 years, Cassandra. They have three adult children and six grandchildren. Their sons, Robert and wife Beth, and William and wife Jessica, both work with him in the business and are both graduates of the ETSU College of Business and Technology. Their daughter Alex is a graduate of Wolford College and currently resides with her husband, Tim, and their one-year-old triplets in Atlanta, Ga. Thomas and his family are long-time members of Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church.

Thomas is a veteran of four years in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the Navy, he worked several years with the Central Intelligence Agency and lived and traveled extensively throughout Africa. After returning from Africa, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from ETSU, graduating Cum Laude, in 1971 and a Master of Arts degree, also from ETSU, graduating in 1972. The following year he taught Sociology and served as the Assistant Director of the Appalachian Semester program at Union College in Barbourville, Ky. Thomas completed his education with post-graduate work at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

Thomas believes in being involved. He is a past member of the Johnson City Regional Planning Commission, where he served for six years as both member and chairman. He currently serves on the Johnson City Power Board as both member and past chairman, the Johnson City Economic Development Board, as Chairman of the Blue Ridge Physicians Group Board for MSHA, and the Bank of Tennessee’s Washington County Advisory Board. Thomas’ professional memberships include the Tennessee Road Builders Association, the Tri-Cities Business Alliance, the Johnson City Area Home Builders Association, the Association of General Contractors, the Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol Chambers of Commerce.

Thomas also believes in giving back to the community. He is a member of the ETSU Foundation board of directors and a Distinguished President’s Trust member at the Gold Society Level. He is also a member of the MSHA Foundation as a financial supporter of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital, and the College of Pharmacy at ETSU. He gives financial support to the Boy Scouts, the March of Dimes, the Hands On Museum, Young Life, and the Girl Scouts.

Thomas believes in ETSU and its importance to Johnson City and Washington County in particular and the region in general. Under the guidance of Dr. Paul Stanton, Thomas feels ETSU has been recognized as a major regional university excelling in the Arts, Sciences and Technology with tremendous economic impact on the region. The growth and development of the Medical School, Pharmacy School, and the Innovation Lab are prime examples.