Listen to the Talk 2 Brazil interview by Tom Reaoch with John Thomas on LA Talk Radio, August 12, 2013; PLAY or DOWNLOAD
John Thomas is the Assistant Vice President for Economic Development for theFlorida Institute of Technology and a current City Council Member for the City of Melbourne, Florida.
He was first elected to public office on Nov. 7, 2006, and his current City Council term will continue to November of 2014. He has been appointed by the City Council to serve on the Airport Authority that governs operations of the Melbourne International Airport and has served a one-year term as Vice Mayor.
John also is on the Board of Directors for the Economic Development Commission for Florida’s Space Coast and the International Policy Committee for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
In 1985, John began a career in law enforcement and attended the U.S. Department of Justice - Drug Enforcement Administration's Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Law Enforcement School. There he was the recipient of the Scholastic Achievement Award for being the school's top student. He also received specialized schooling by the U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Secret Service, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
In 2000, following a 15-year law enforcement career, John retired to begin a career in education. He participated in the development of a new high school in Central Florida, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy where he was the Dean of Students, Director of College Athletic Recruiting, and Head Football Coach. During his seven year’s coaching high school football, John’s teams won two District Championships, made five playoff appearances and he was selected as the Florida Athletic Coaches Association District Coach of the Year four times. He coached student-athletes who went on to play for schools including the University of Notre Dame, Harvard, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, and the Air Force Academy.
In 2008, John moved to the Florida Institute of Technology where he was the Director of Athletic Partnerships and then later the Director of Football where oversaw the start of the university’s new division 2 football program.
Aside from his work with the university, as President of Sino-American Ventures, John began working extensively in China, building government and business relationships between Central Florida and the People’s Republic of China.
In February 2012, John was promoted to his current position as the Assistant Vice President for Economic Development where he focuses on attracting foreign aviation, aerospace and other hi-tech companies to the Florida Tech Research Park, and the Space Coast of Florida.
In that time, John has focused primarily on the countries of Brazil, China, and Germany. Most recently, John helped Sao Jose dos Campos based Archo Solutions engineering company expand to the United States and has initiated the Aerospace-Aviation Alliance of the Space Coast. With Embraer’s world headquarters based in Sao Jose dos Campos, John worked to formalize a Sister City relationship between the city and Melbourne, Florida.