Alfred W. Thomas III


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Al Thomas was born in Greenville, SC with a textile spindle in his hand. He graduated from Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, PA where he was Alumni of The Year in 2007. He also graduated from Furman University in Greenville with degrees in Business and Economics. He served in the US Army in Germany as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne during the Vietnam war.

Following military service, Al worked for US Textile Machine Company in Scranton, PA and Greenville, SC. He became Vice President of the parent company and President of Utex, Inc. the sales organization.

His textile career began at the age of 16 with summer jobs at Jaunty Textiles in Scranton. It was a filament twisting, weaving, dyeing and finishing operation. The plant ran primarily nylon but also some silk. He began in the twisting department and worked in every area of yarn preparation including warping and beaming. Al is one of the last active people in the textile industry who actually ran silk.

In 1971 he founded Thomas Textile Machinery, Inc. a textile machinery sales agency. In 1986 he merged TTM and Ernest L. Frankl Corp. an old line German textile machinery sales agency to form Frankl & Thomas, Inc. which is the oldest textile machinery sales agency still in business. The combination of the two organizations has been a good move. F&T has prospered since 1986.

An ardent conservationist, he and his wife Kay founded the four active chapters of The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in South Carolina.

Hobbies include snow skiing, running, biking, fishing, hunting and working at his lake house. He is also a volunteer assistant rugby coach for Greenville High School.

He has served the Republican Party in many positions since 1970. He and his family are communicants of Christ Church Episcopal. He is a member of the advisory board School of Material Science and Engineering at Clemson University. He is Alumni Trustee of Wyoming Seminary. He and Kay live in Greenville where their four adult children also have the good fortune of living.