Wendel Thomas

Joining the  board in 2017, Wendel moves from a year as Vice President to President in 2022.  Wendel has been active various community organization and a long time member of FOBH. Born on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean and moved to St Croix in the United States Virgin Islands when he was nine. On St Croix he enjoyed being part of 4-H club, the Upward Bound program at the University of the Virgin Islands, my high school French Club and the Quiz Bowl. 

After high school, Wendel attended Rutgers University majoring in Urban Planning. At Rutgers, he met many who would be very close friends and 

professional colleagues. Rutgers under President Edward J. Bloustein was a place to exercise your First Amendment rights for he was a scholar in that field.  Many students, faculty, and administrators were demanding that the Board of Governors divest from companies doing business with the apartheid South Africa. Nelson Mandela was still a prisoner.  The events surrounding this led to my political awakening. 

After Rutgers Wendel worked as a GED instructor at the Edison Job Corps, sold encyclopedias and tried his hand in manufacturing. During his time in manufacturing, he started shifting to recruiting and helped manage an employment agency in New Brunswick. This later led to an opportunity to work for the State of New Jersey as an employment interviewer, later working with the mass layoff unit where he did presentations, workshops and group counseling regarding utilization of labor market data to find employment.

He has been married for over 23 years and his wife has two teenagers. Raising children affords Joan and he the opportunity to find new and interesting activities. They love fruit picking, attending outdoor concerts, the beach, visiting museums, travel, attending book signings and going to concerts.   One of the activities their girls tried and really enjoyed was sailing with the Friends of Belmar Harbor. They have done it for 4 summers.

Their daughters enjoy winter sport with Thrillseekers Ski group. Many parents from this group have been interested and some had their children participate through FOBH’s sailing program. He hopes his participation on the board can lead to some collaboration between the two groups. Both groups are very interested in the expansion of the enjoyment of their respective activities.