|Name||Juan R. Thomas|
|Address||961 Wellington Circle |
Aurora, Illinois , United States
Jan 11, 2018 04:35pm
Black - Liberal - Anti Alaska/Offshore Oil Drilling - Anti-Bush Tax Cuts (Pro-Tax Cut Rollback) - Anti-Social Security Privatization - Health Care Reform - Internationalist - Pro Environment - Married - Baptist - Straight -
|Info||Juan was born and raised in Aurora, IL where he attended public schools. From an early age, Juan had a passion for serving his community. He was elected Student Council President in junior high school and served as class president and Student Council President at West Aurora High School. Juan was elected by his colleagues from around the State of Illinois to serve as President of the Illinois Association of Student Councils during his senior year. At West High, he was also a trumpet player in the symphonic, jazz, and marching bands. |
Juan’s family has always been an integral part of the Aurora community. He was raised with a strong faith tradition and belief in community service. His mother, Wanda, is Senior Vice President of Programs & Services of the Association for Individual Development (AID) in Aurora, working to improve the quality of life for the disabled community. She has served on the board of numerous community organizations including, YWCA, Easter Seals, and the Visiting Nurses Association. Juan’s father, Larry, owned LT’s Restaurant in Aurora for over 25 years and was a founding member of the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce. Juan developed his entrepreneurial spirit by working in his dad’s restaurant as a youngster and his desire to serve others by working with the disabled community at AID during summer vacations in college.
Juan grew up as a member of Gayles Memorial Missionary Baptist Church in Aurora where he was baptized. As a child, he was a member of the church choir, usher board, and the youth department. Juan is an ordained minister and has served his community by working with the youth of Aurora and through prison ministries around the State of Illinois.
On September 13, 2008, Juan married the love of his life the former, Angela Nichole Clay, who is from Silver Spring, MD.
Juan founded The Thomas Group in Aurora in 2003. His area of practice includes real estate/estate planning, governmental compliance, and family law. Prior to starting his own law practice, Juan served as Labor Counsel to Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, providing legal advice on labor and employment, and collective bargaining issues for the Office's approximately 4,000 employees. Juan has practiced in small and large law firms where he has gained broad knowledge and experience in labor and employment law affecting the private sector, state and local governments, as well as school districts within the State of Illinois.
Juan currently serves as the National Secretary of the National Bar Association (NBA) and is a member of the NBA's Executive Committee. He is a past Vice Chair of the NBA Legislative Division and co-chair of the “NBA Day on the Hill Visits” where leaders have gathered to meet with Members of Congress to advance the organization’s national legislative policy agenda. He also served on the Executive Council of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Young Lawyers Division, was an assistant Editor of the Affiliate Newsletter Team, and was selected as a Fellow for the Labor and Employment Section for the ABA. In 2003, the President of the ABA appointed Juan to the Standing Committee of Small Firm and Solo Practitioners. Juan is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Cook County Bar Association and a past co-chair of the Committee for Racial Diversity for the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. He is also a past member of the Illinois Bar Association’s Education Section Council, the Section Council for Business Planning and Financial Advice.
In April 2009, Juan was re-elected Aurora Township Clerk with 57% of the vote and received more votes than any other candidate in Aurora Township. In 2005, he was the first African-American to win a township-wide office in Aurora, the second largest city in the State of Illinois. In March 2004, he was elected a Delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Juan served on the West Aurora School Board from 1995-2000. In 1998, Juan ran for the Illinois House of Representative as a Democrat in a heavily Republican district. Most political observers believed he would not garner more than 33% of the vote in the district. Although unsuccessful, Juan received 43% of the vote in the overall district and gained 55% of the vote in the Aurora portion of the district which was also a heavily Republican area. Due to this showing and the excitement of the campaign, Juan was voted a “Face of 98” by the Aurora Beacon News that year.