James Thomas

James was born in Durham, North Carolina, and raised in Oxford, North Carolina. He has two brothers, two sisters and parents, who were his driving force in getting an education and chasing his dreams. He is a graduate of Chabot College–AA Degree in Education, North Carolina Central University- BA Degree in Political Science, and University of Phoenix,-MA Degree in Organizational Management.

James is married to Denise Thomas, who is his inspiration on their life-long journey. He moved to California after joining the United States Navy where he served as a Corpsman for six years. After the Navy, James worked as a Manager for Eden Hospital, where he was responsible for six staff members. The staff duties were to ensure the medical records were coded, transcriptions completed, and medical records updated timely and accurately. The medical records department was also responsible to insure the patient records were available to the Emergency Room Department and for the immediate delivery tithe medical floors.

He was the Director of Education for Bryman College providing oversight for a staff of 15-20members and 150-200 students. His daily duties included assuring the school operations and budgetary needs were met.

James has been employed with the California Employment Development Department (EDD). James joined the International Association of Personnel in Employment Security (IAPES) the first day on the job at EDD. He is currently an Employment Program Manager I for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claim Filling Unit. He has nine employees who are responsible for filing claims and providing customer services tithe unemployed workers of California. James has also been a Determination Unit Manager with 10 employees. The staff was responsible for determining the UI eligibility or disqualification for both the employer and employee.

James has been a member of IAPES/IAWP for 13 years. He has served in the California Chapters Treasurer (one year), Second Vice-president (one year), First Vice President (one year), and President (two years) for the Silicon Valley Subchapter. He continued his service in IAWP as Second Vice President (two years), First Vice President (two years), and President (three years) for the California Chapter. James has also served on the International Level as District Director-Elect and District Director (two years). He has attended eight International Educational Conferences.

During his tenure he would like to form lasting partnerships with similar groups, update the association’s technology, increase the number of WPDP Masters and CWS designations, increase younger members, and hire a full-time, long-term executive director for the association.

James’s motto is: “I am IAWP, You are IAWP, and we are IAWP.”