Executive Portfolio for Brian A. Thomas
Brian Thomas is a versatile administrator with over 11 years of experience in leading and directing the operations of service oriented organizations and colleges in San Diego and Atlanta, Georgia. He is equally comfortable in the entrepreneurial world. As publisher of Inspire! Magazine, a local community oriented publication, with a circulation of 20,000, he was responsible for all aspects of the business including budgeting, sales forecasting, accounting, directing advertising and other marketing tasks. He recruited a staff of talented writers, layout and graphic artists, sales staff and distribution staff. He truly enjoys planning, leading, implementing and attaining goals that he sets for his company, his staff and himself.
Brian maintains a passion for empowering (inspiring) people to visualize and actualize their dreams. It all started while yet an undergraduate at San Diego State University, he and a fellow student, along with an SDSU advisor formed the first student led mentor and outreach program targeting African American students. Brian's career accelerated through numerous counseling positions and eventually to senior administrative positions with University of California, San Diego, University of California, Irvine and Spelman College. He developed a regional and national perspective on issues affecting underrepresented students. Brian's interest in helping the community gain access to the world and benefits of higher education has been a hallmark of his professional career. According to Brian, "Though college is not for everyone, we (administrators) have an obligation to keep the gates of opportunity open for students who desire a college education and who have demonstrated a willingness to do the work and persist."
He is regularly called upon to speak to small and large groups about preparation for college admissions, the application process and the importance of parental involvement in the education our children. Brian is also one who feels compelled to keep his superiors and other officials informed about local issues and attitudes that may impact the college's ability to adequately serve the community.
Brian is presently serving as Dean of Admissions at Southwestern Academy and is responsible for directing the recruitment, enrollment and retention of 280 middle and high school boarding and day students at both the San Marino, CA and Rimrock, AZ campuses. During his first academic year on staff he and his team have increased student enrollment and revenue by 50%. and are projected to generate $5,000,000 for the upcoming academic year (first-time ever). He developed first ever Mid-year Enrollment Program to counter effects of low applications mid-year. He led his team in the development and modernization of marketing materials, mailing calendars, and advertising (print and web). He has assisted the campus in technological improvements in other administrative departments. And he implemented tighter integration with admissions student information system which improved efficiency 30%. The results, according to Brian, "lead to better communication with prospective and enrolled students and ultimately help retention."
His understanding of technology and the needs of a academic institutions led to both consulting opportunities, and entrepreneurial ventures. He developed proficiency in information systems (hardware and software) nearly twenty years ago and he has been using technology to solve business problems ever since. He understands networks and protocols, security measures, group policies etc. Though not certified, he is frequently called upon to troubleshoot computer and network (including wireless) problems and is sought after for advice and corroborating vendor information.
From database administration to internet to desktop publishing, he enjoys using computer technology as a tool to get things done better and faster. He created and published software installation and training manuals, 'new member' training manuals, annual membership profile reports, annual membership directories, an extensive market analysis report, marketing materials for community outreach, advertisement for local newspapers, specifications sheets for marketing major information and promotional materials for print and internet. He served as the webmaster and created all of the content including graphics, photographs, and text. He saved thousands of dollars in postal and printing expense by developing the email communication channel with the membership. He also built a customized database application using MS Access that reduced the amount of data entry errors and facilitated relationship building by designing the "communication flow model" and creating the computerized letter generation interface in Access that paralleled flow, cut down waste, eliminated duplication and enhanced member's sense of connection with the main body.
With an eye for efficiency and maximizing output, he increased productivity and streamlined operations by using technology to automate numerous manual processes while serving in a key leadership position at one of San Diego’s largest congregations. He also used his organizational skills and leadership ability to mobilize a 2500 member congregation in their largest fundraising campaign to date - raising $250,000 over 12 months which represents an increase of 177% over previous campaigns. While there, he supervised up to 15 separate volunteer groups, and 2 administrative staff members. He also designed the departmental expense tracking system prototype for his last employer which was later adapted to the main accounting system. As one of five executive administrators, he often was called upon to facilitate planning meetings and give reports back to his superior and Board of Trustees.
He has the ability to envision both short and long-term goals, create strategic plans, and introduce policy development to accomplish them. One example includes the restructuring of the Men's ministry from an antiquated monolith with little to no participation of male members- to the highly flexible less structured small group approach. This vision took several years to manifest but has now become an integral part of the congregation's culture and success.
His organizational skills are regularly called upon to design, market and implement numerous conferences, workshops, and seminars. Events he has developed include, College and Career Fairs, Field Evaluation Programs, Financial Empowerment Conferences, Women's Financial Conference, Knowledge Quest for students (similar to the old TV show "College Bowl") and many others. He also developed operating parameters and protocols and supervised the church "Computer Lab".
He has also served as Chairperson on various interoffice committees, including employment search committees for professional staff, Emergency Preparedness Committee, Technology Advisory Committee, and Data Management Advisory Committee.
He is an effective communicator and enjoys public speaking, writing and visual presentations. Proficient in all aspects of Microsoft Office Suite and other graphic applications, he is regularly called upon to design custom presentations for his superiors and clients. He is also skilled at motivating staff and building strong relationship with customers and suppliers. With his genuine interest in his coworkers and subordinates and his "open door" policy he has established a reputation of being a leader who is "approachable", "knowledgeable", "capable", "trustworthy", "dependable", "open to new ideas", "strong in conviction", and "willing to acknowledge his weaknesses".
His strong leadership ability, excellent organizational skills and outgoing management style have made him a valued contributor to executive management teams, and he looks forward to pursuing his next professional challenge and offering his administrative expertise to a new employer.