Many talents guide Art Thomas to Port Arthur Chamber leadership

Published 12:20 am Saturday, January 20, 2024

Incoming chairman of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce Art Thomas is described as a man of many talents.

He’s employed with Texas Gas Service, having started out as a meter reader and is now field operations manager.

He’s a U.S. Navy Veteran who spent years with the All Navy Basketball team.

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He’s served as president of the Rotary Club of Port Arthur, as well as serving on the YMCA board of directors and Port Arthur Education Foundation.

But there’s more.

He’s served as executive chef of the Holiday Inn Beaumont Plaza and has a catering business.

Chamber of Commerce President Joe Tant commended Thomas on his many talents, noting Thomas and board member Ron Fletcher were the ones who started Young Emerging Leaders, an organization aimed at individuals ages 18 to 39 that fosters their professional growth.

Thomas attended a recent YEL meeting and gave the group a pep talk, passing along knowledge to the up-and-coming leaders, Tant said.

“It’s very encouraging that Art can switch hit quickly,” Tant said. “He’s not in the YEL age group but still has a mentoring role. We are very blessed to have him in that role.”

Thomas is also a small business owner, which gives him insight as chamber president.

“He’s also a small business owner. I am very encouraged because he will make sure he continues that legacy that Randy (Sonnier, outgoing chairman) started,” Tant said. “Ensuring that small business has a place, and we’re taking care of them.”

Thomas is a Port Arthur native who attended Carver Elementary and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1987.

After graduation he married Angela Thomas and they had five children. He spent 10 years in the Navy and afterward attended Olympic College in Washington State and earned an associate’s degree in culinary arts.

He later moved back home, and the rest is history.
Randy Sonnier, outgoing chamber chairman, believes Thomas is going to do great job in the role, he said.

Sonnier will hand over the title to incoming chairman Art Thomas during the Chamber’s 124’s Annual Banquet set for Jan. 24.

For more information on the banquet call the Chamber at 409-963-1107.