Warren W. Thomas
Mr. Thomas has more than forty years of experience in private-sector business including banking, oil & gas, real estate investments/development and technology-commercialization.
His banking experience included interests in four commercial banks, one of which, (with another investor) comprised majority ownership in a downtown Oklahoma City bank, where he served as Chairman of the Board and CEO. He has also served on numerous Executive and Loan Committees.
Mr. Thomas excels at creatively engineering complex financial strategies with an emphasis on enhancing shareholder value and mitigating risks. He has started and/or acquired numerous companies over four decades and led them to successful growth and incremental value-creation. Launched at TBIP, Thomas was a founding partner of Acorn Growth Companies, now AGC Aerospace, a private-equity firm with over $200 million under management. AGC companies are primarily engaged in composite materials, sensors, non-destructive inspection (NDI); and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, all related to the Defense and Commercial Aviation industries.
He is a licensed real estate broker (over 40 years) and a seasoned commercial and industrial real estate developer with recognized expertise in sector-specific development, i.e., industry clusters like the Tinker Business & Industrial Park (TBIP), which is adjacent to Tinker Air Force Base. TBIP was conceived and developed by Thomas in 1985 and today serves as a working model of cluster development within a targeted industry - defense and aviation/aerospace - and consistently exceeds $1 billion in contracts with the Tinker Air Logistics Center and the Department of Defense. TBIP was included in a special section of the October 22, 2017 Sunday Oklahoman newspaper celebrating the 75th anniversary of Tinker Air Force Base highlighting TBIP’s unique relationship with defense contractors and the Air Force Base. The full article can be accessed by clicking here.
Mr. Thomas has enjoyed a 30-year partnership with the 100 (plus) year-old Flintco Companies of Tulsa, OK (now Flint Resources). He also serves as Managing General Partner of TBIP, home to more than 40 prominent defense contractors such as Rockwell Collins, Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, Rolls-Royce, General Atomics, Lockheed, Spirit Aero Systems, IAP, KBRWyle, Choctaw Defense and Chromalloy – among others. This highly-synergistic aviation/aerospace cluster includes strategic relationships with Oklahoma's research universities, community colleges and Oklahoma’s CareerTech institution for targeted job-creation and workforce development. Employment at TBIP averages over twice the State’s per-capita income consistent with Thomas’ goal of creating high-value, high-paying careers for young people. Upon completion, TBIP's master-planned, one-million square foot campus has been forecast to exceed $100 million in asset value. Today it represents the largest aggregation of technology companies in the State of Oklahoma.
Thomas is also a principal in and co-founding partner of Oklahoma's "Unmanned Systems Innovation Center" (USIC). Located within the TBIP aerospace campus, the facility envisions an emphasis on research and development, technology-commercialization, education, certification, and training, while nurturing entrepreneurship linked to its own multi-tier capital facility. As Managing Equity Partner of DII, LLC (formerly Design Intelligence Inc.), Thomas continues to help shape the emerging unmanned systems industry, not only in Oklahoma but also in the surrounding region and on the national platform.
In 2004, Mr. Thomas was appointed by Governor Brad Henry to the Governor’s Council on Science and Technology. He is now in his third term after being reappointed by Governor Mary Fallin. The Council reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Science and Technology and is charged with formulating a blueprint for advancing science and technology-related policy initiatives based upon STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education for the State of Oklahoma. In his original capacity on the Council, Thomas was charged with overseeing the Center for Aviation Systems Support & Infrastructure (CASI), a consortium of Oklahoma's higher-education institutions organized for the purpose of supporting the State's aerospace sector. He is currently a OSSM Foundation Trustee for the widely-respected Oklahoma School for Science and Mathematics (OSSM) and serves on the Advisory Board for the National Research Traineeship (NRT) program in Earth Observation Science for Society and Sustainability (EOS3), at the University of Oklahoma, funded by the National Science Foundation. Previously, he was selected to serve on the Base Commander's Executive Advisory Committee which resulted in the purchase of the General Motors facility, now the Tinker Aerospace Complex (TAC), for the Tinker Air Logistics Center. Thomas served as a Director of the Oklahoma Aerospace & Defense Alliance (OADA). In 1989, he was instrumental in helping author and advance Tax Increment Financing (TIF) legislation sponsored by then Oklahoma State Rep. Bill Brewster (later U.S. Congressman). Submitted to Oklahoma voters as a constitutional amendment, TIF gave businesses a new capital improvement financing vehicle, a measure that has resulted in billions of dollars of investment in development and growth throughout the State of Oklahoma.
In accord with his passion for entrepreneurship and high-quality education, Mr. Thomas is developing Green Valley Farms Living Laboratory (GVF LL), a 3,500-acre (mol) property located in Cleveland and McClain Counties, Oklahoma, as a true “Living Laboratory”. It is less than 15 minutes south of the University of Oklahoma’s South Campus, a Multi-Disciplinary Research Center. As a "Living Laboratory", GVF LL has partnered with the University of Oklahoma (in its second year), The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation (currently Noble Research Institute) and DII, LLC to provide a site for a wide-range of research and demonstration projects utilizing autonomous and unmanned systems, most notably with research universities and laboratories, targeted to the creation of a growing portfolio of entrepreneurial businesses.
In 2013, Mr. Thomas was selected as one of 200 business leaders from across the United States to serve on the GE Education Foundation. His role is to advocate for academic rigor in the State of Oklahoma, particularly relating to "college and career readiness." He is also a founding member of the Board of Directors for “One Safe Place”, a Family Justice Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Mr. Thomas' long-term professional associations include (among others) the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Association of University Research Parks (AURP). Mr. Thomas has attained numerous professional designations via specialized coursework in banking, finance, real estate and the petroleum industry. He has lived and worked in and around Oklahoma virtually all of his adult life.
located in Cleveland & McClain Counties, Oklahoma