Notable Minority Executives: Mark Thomas

Regional chief executive officer/southeastern Wisconsin executive director, American Red Cross

  • Category: Notable Minority Executives
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 15
  • Undergrad degree/university: Northwestern University

Mark Thomas joined the American Red Cross as its regional CEO/Southeastern Wisconsin executive director in December 2018. At the time, the Red Cross was experiencing dramatic change — bringing all five of its lines of service under one umbrella – to become “One Red Cross.”

Thomas hit the ground running. He led efforts to diversify Wisconsin’s boards of directors and has recruited new members to best represent the diverse communities that the Red Cross serves. He stressed connecting the organization’s humanitarian relief efforts with partners and areas of need in the community.

With the Red Cross volunteer team, he works to identify creative ways to recruit volunteers who best represent the communities served and to provide opportunities for staff to grow.

As issues around race, policing and equity became national and local headlines during the past year, Thomas responded by bringing together staff and volunteers for town hall meetings.

Thomas’ work has been recognized by the Red Cross’ national leadership and he has been tapped to serve on the black executive steering committee as well as the leadership cabinet for a national diverse donor/sickle cell initiative. In addition, he serves as the chairperson for the Community Care, Inc. board of directors and as a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee.

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