James A. Thomas
Kansas Historical Foundation
Board of Directors
Elected to board: 2002
James A. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He received a master’s degree from
Stonier Graduate School of Banking in Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He is a senior vice president in commercial loans for Bank of the Prairie in Olathe.
He has served on numerous boards and committees including Ducks Unlimited National Art Committee, Quail Unlimited, National Wild Turkey
Federation, and Salvation Army of Greater Kansas City. He was treasurer and president of the Fox 4 Love Fund for Children and officer of UMKC Alumni Association. He has been active with the United Way and President's Club of Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
He is interested in hunting upland birds, wild turkeys, and ducks; fly fishing for wild trout and bonefish; and furniture refinishing. He enjoys collecting Kachina dolls of the Hopi Indians; firearms; items from the Arts and Crafts Movement; and 1930s and 1940s toys, especially slush tin soldiers of World War I and metal ray guns of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon.
Thomas has twice followed the Oregon Trail from Independence to Oregon City. He also enjoys traveling the Santa Fe Trail, missions of New Mexico and California, and major sites of Civil War battlefields. He is also interested in World War I and World War II history, the Rocky Mountain fur trade, exploration of the West, and Native American culture.
He and his wife, Rene, live in Olathe. She is self-employed, working in health and wellness.
Thomas was first elected to the Kansas Historical Foundation Board of Directors in 1998.