Mr. Arthur W. Thomas III received his Bachelor’s in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University. Upon graduation, he worked in finance for many years while preparing the transition to investing in real estate and community development. Once transitioned, Mr. Thomas focused on residential rehabilitation and acquisition for both his personal investment company, and in a consultation capacity for other investment organizations. With a heart for his hometown of Newark, and experience in redevelopment, Mr. Thomas partnered with the City of Newark to beautify depressed areas with the construction of new multifamily residences.
During this time, Mr. Thomas became extremely active in a local church, and formed the Divine Grace Foundation aimed at empowering youth with academic proficiency, financial literacy, mental health care, and workforce development skills. Both Arthur and his wife Dr. Jennifer Pierre-Thomas are leading board members in this foundation, and are developing programs and raising capital to cultivate these initiatives both locally and abroad in Haiti and Nairobi.
Mr. Thomas recently graduated from a master’s program at Yale Divinity School to enhance his ability to evaluate the ethical outcomes of community empowerment programs, and build strategic partnerships to reduce socio-economic inequities in underserved populations. He has also been invited to serve on the board of directors for Inextricably Bound, (a community development organization), he is co-chair of the Faith in Action outreach ministries at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church, and is in the ordination process with the American Baptist Convention. Mr. Thomas is a healer at heart, and passionate about using innovation, real estate, and entrepreneurship as a treatment for disrupting the reproduction of poverty outcomes in under-resourced neighborhoods.
He is the founder of “Divinnovation” at Yale Divinity School, an organization that partners with local incubators and accelerators to foster the incubation of faith-based initiatives and social impact work, that is reinforced with business acumen and innovation tools to ensure effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and scalability. Most recently, Mr. Thomas joined the Community Foundation as the Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives and Inclusive Economic Opportunity – providing the platform for collaborative cross-sector leadership and strategies for equity and empowerment. As such, He is currently holding conversations with various anchor institutions and community leaders to think through ways of building an innovation ecosystem in NH.
Mr. Thomas loves to travel with his wife, shopping, socializing with family and friends, learning about other cultures, reading, playing pool, dancing, and spending time counseling anyone who needs help.