JACKSON TWP. Jim Thomas is the newest member of the Jackson Township Board of Trustees after being sworn in during the the Dec. 23, 2019, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2020.

Thomas won the seat held by longtime board member James Walters in November.

He and his wife Debra live in the Foxboro Meadows development and have been township residents for five years. They have a daughter Lauren, 19, and a son Jac, 17, who is a junior at Central Catholic High School.

After graduating from Stanford University in 1996, Thomas spent 12 years as a professional tennis player. Playing in doubles events, he and his partner’s highest career ranking was No. 3 in the U.S. and No. 29 in the world.

He traveled to nearly 50 countries and learning about other cultures and governments was one of the driving factors in his personal interest in running for office.

“My interest in government goes back to when I was in high school at Central Catholic,” Thomas said. “I’ve come to realize how important local government is and I feel it’s a place where I can make a difference. I’m really looking forward to serving the community.”

Thomas is president of JT Linwood Co. which manages residential rental properties. He said his management and communication skills should help him serve the community.

“I bring good communication, management and interpersonal skills to the table and I think those skills will help me serve the residents. I’m also a practicing an attorney in real estate law and those legal skills should also be beneficial,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the township has many strengths such as excellent safety forces including police and fire, an effective board of trustees and “everyone who works for the township works well together and does an excellent job.”

“The challenges I see at this point are managing the growth over the past 30 years and especially the last several years,” he said. “People who live here want to be able to manage the growth but keep the style of living they have come to love. The way of life is why many moved to Jackson Township.”

Thomas likes the fact that people get involved in issues because, he said, “the more organized and engaged people are, the better results you’ll get.”

Thomas has served on the Community Improvement Corporation in Jackson Township. He said he looks forward to learning more about the budget and working with Randy Gonzalez to learn more about the economic development in the township.

“I want to thank my wife Debra and the many friends and family who helped with the campaign. I got a lot of support and I’m really looking forward to serving on the board,” Thomas said.