Chris M. Thomas


AGE: 31


Despite a busy career as a strategic marketing initiatives manager at GE Capital, General Electric Co.’s commercial distribution finance business, Chris M. Thomas makes sure that mentorship remains at the top of his priority list. Thomas is actively involved in more than five advisory organizations, including Penn State’s Alumni Association — Alumni Council and The Berrette Family Foundation. “I feel that alumni should play a part in preserving the traditions of the university and maintain and establish opportunities for current students and students to come,” he says. Thomas obtained both a bachelor’s degree and an M.B.A at Penn State University.


Thomas’ drive to give back was inspired by his participation in INROADS Inc., an internship program that prepares talented minority youth for careers in corporate and community leadership. Since his formative years as an intern, Thomas has held several positions, including as a sales and marketing representative for NVHomes of NVR Inc., a national residential homebuilding and mortgage-banking firm, and for GE’s coveted Experienced Commercial Leadership Program (ECLP), a two year, post-M.B.A. marketing/sales program. At just 31 years old, he has already received numerous accolades. In 2006, he was listed among Ebony magazine’s “30 Young Leaders Under 30” and the same year, his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., honored him with an Outstanding Leadership Award. Recently, GE Capital rewarded his work with ECLP’s Inclusiveness and Corporate Initiatives awards.


Thomas likes to unwind by traveling and he has done so across Europe, Central America and the Caribbean, spending extended time in London, San Jose, Costa Rica and Shanghai, China. He contends that every encounter is an opportunity to grow, and credits his strong faith for his past and forthcoming triumphs. “Knowing that all things are through God and provided by God keeps me humble and grounded in all that I pursue and experience,” he says.



Favorite book: “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
First car: Pontiac Grand Am
Favorite team: Washington Redskins