May 23, 2016
Thomas to Join Foundation as Vice President of DevelopmentJames “Jim” Thomas, who led innovative fundraising campaigns for Western Michigan University and the University of Michigan, will join Colonial Williamsburg as vice president of development July 1, President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss announced Monday.
“Colonial Williamsburg was established only with the philanthropic support of one man, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Over 90 years, that base of support has grown to more than 100,000,” said President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss. “To sustain that legacy and our Foundation’s critical mission will require continued leadership and innovation, which Jim has shown to great effect throughout his 25-year career.”
“It's an honor to join President Reiss and the championship team of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and its donors, volunteers and friends, all of whom make this a very special place, a place worthy and deserving of philanthropic investment,” Thomas said. “It's great to be here.”
Thomas comes to Colonial Williamsburg from Western Michigan University, where he served as vice president for development and alumni relations and as executive director of the Western Michigan University Foundation. At Western Michigan he led implementation of a service-based, integrated approach to development and alumni engagement that resulted in a 160 percent increase in gifts over the prior five-year period.
Previously Thomas served in development leadership positions with the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Health System, as executive director of the Greater Lansing Catholic Education Foundation, and as director of development for Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He earned his master’s degree in theological studies from St. John’s Provincial Seminary and his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.