Geoffrey Thomas (businessman)

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Geoffrey Alan Thomas AO is an Australian-born international businessman with interests in Australia, the United States, Indonesia, and Thailand.[1][2] He has held a number of government, political, and non-profit sector positions throughout his professional career. He is an advisor and industry expert to the Government of Queensland regarding trade and economic policy towards the United States and as the deputy chairman of Trade and Investment Queensland.[1][2][3]

Business interests and ventures[edit]

Current business activities[edit]

Thomas has numerous business interests that span multiple continents. Within Australia, Thomas is the sole owner of Maleny Manor, a noted ceremony and reception venue in Queensland;[4][5] Rancho del Cielo, a special events venue;[6] Settlers Rise Vineyard and Winery, an internationally distributed and award-winning Australian wine operated by Peter Scudamore-Smith, Australia's second Master of Wine and recipient of thirty-seven wine awards;[7][8] and Carbrook Nursery, a business that specialises in growing drought tolerant plants for the commercial industry.[9][10]

Past business activities[edit]

His past business ventures have included numerous owner and executive chairman positions in the finance industry, including Capitalcorp Financial Services, Australian Capital Home Loans, Capitalcorp Finance and Leasing, and Austcorp Finance and Leasing.[10][11]

Public sector, non-profit, and volunteer work[edit]

Thomas has held a number of government, non-profit, and political positions throughout his professional career.

Queensland trade and investment policy review[edit]

On 1 November 2012, Tim Nicholls, the Minister for Trade for Queensland, Australia announced that Thomas would undertake a comprehensive review of Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), an office of the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.[2][12] Premier Campbell Newman identified the TIQ review as among the Queensland Government's "top priorities"[13] within a series of ministerial "to-do" lists released on 23 November 2012.[13] Thomas conducted the review jointly with former Queensland Minister for Trade John Mickel.[2][12] The review was due to the Government by the end of 2012.[14] Thomas forewent a salary or financial compensation for this appointment.[2][15]

The recommendations of the review were adopted by Government, and on 22 October 2013, Nichols announced Cabinet approval for the appointment of six members of the newly created TIQ board, including Thomas as its deputy chairman.[3]

North American trade emissary[edit]

In 2001, Thomas was appointed Special Commissioner to North America by Queensland Premier Peter Beattie.[2][16] In this capacity, he operated as an emissary on behalf of the Premier, representing Queensland's interests abroad. He has continued to stay involved in international trade and economic policy.[1]

Thomas has since coordinated a collaborative industry venture with the Queensland State Government and has served as an independent panel member to the Commonwealth Government.[10]

Trade and diplomatic relations with Texas[edit]

At the international level, Thomas received a number of honorary designations in recognition for his business involvement and diplomatic efforts. He served as chairman of the Texas-Queensland Sister State Friendship Committee in 1997.[10] He served as an honorary trade representative for Queensland, Australia at multiple points between 1997 and 2006.[17] Thomas received recognition by the Texas government for his diplomatic efforts. In 1995 and 2000, he was designated an honorary Texan by then Texas Governor George W. Bush.[3][10] On 20 November 2004, he was designated honorary Texas Secretary of State for the Day by Texas Senate president pro tem Jeff Wentworth.[10] In 2007, he was appointed by the Texas Secretary of State as Texas' Honorary Trade Representative to Australia.[10]

Non-profit organisation board positions[edit]

Thomas serves as a member of the board of directors for the following non-profit or charitable organisations: The Board of the Friends of Griffith University (incorporated in the USA); The Board of Advice of the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University; and Trustee for General Douglas MacArthur Brisbane Memorial Foundation, MacArthur Museum.[10] He is a major benefactor of the MacArthur Museum.[18]

Awards[edit]

Thomas was created an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Queensland Government; The Queensland Cabinet. "Experts to advise on clear direction for Trade". Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f AAP (1 November 2012). "Former Labor MP to review Qld trade agency". The Australian. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Treasurer congratulates TIQ board appointees". State of Queensland, Department of the Premier and Cabinet. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  4. ^ Australian Bridal Industry Academy. "Maleny Manor". Australian Bridal Industry Academy. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  5. ^ Maleny Manor. "Maleny Manor, About". Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  6. ^ Rancho del Cielo. "Welcome Page for Rancho del Cielo". Ra ncho del Cielo. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  7. ^ News Staff (7 January 2011). "Simon sells Settlers Rise wines to China". Hinterland Times. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  8. ^ Settlers Rise Vineyard and Winery. "Settlers Rise Vineyard and Winery, About Us". Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  9. ^ Carbrook Nursery. "Carbrook Nursery, About Us". Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Griffith University; The Board of the Friends of Griffith University. "About Friends of Griffith Board Members: Geoffrey Thomas". Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  11. ^ CMI Limited (14 November 2003). "CMI accelerates growth through finance acquisition". CMI Limited Press Release. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  12. ^ a b Hon. T. J. Nicholls (1 November 2012). "Ministerial Statement: Trade and Investment Queensland" (PDF). Record of Proceedings. Parliament of Queensland, Australia. pp. 2359–60. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  13. ^ a b Wardill, Steven (23 November 2012). "Premier Campbell Newman releases Cabinet 'to-do' list of Queensland Government priorities". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  14. ^ Queensland Treasury and Trade. "Trade and Investment Queensland Review". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  15. ^ PSNews Staff (8 November 2012). "Review to scrutinise TIQ's performance". PSNews. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  16. ^ AAP (1 November 2012). "Former Labor MP to review Queensland trade agency". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  17. ^ Hon. Rob Borbidge (8 May 1997). "Ministerial Statement: Queensland/Texas Sister-State Arrangements" (PDF). Record of Proceedings. Parliament of Queensland, Australia. p. 1569. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Major Donors: Foundation Donors". MacArthur Museum Brisbane. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  19. ^ Officer of the Order of Australia entry for THOMAS, Geoffrey Alan, Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 13 June 2016, https://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=1153709&showInd=true. Retrieved 2 October 2016, "For distinguished service to business, particularly finance and international trade, through executive roles with a range of organisations, and to the community."