Dr. Sandra Thomas, the second African-American woman ever appointed to Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, was appointed to the Commission on February 13, 2007 by former County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. She is a community advocate who firmly believes that economic challenges should never overshadow goal realization.
Dr. Thomas’ resume includes a number of academic achievements including a BA in psychology, MA in engineering from the University of Kansas, and a PhD in psychological counseling from Columbia University. Dr. Thomas used her talents in the telephone industry where she worked as an engineer for 26 years. In 1968, she created what is now known as the “800” toll free telephone number system.
She faces life with gusto and firmly believes that her academic success can be replicated by others if they are fortunate enough to conquer critical crossroads in their lives. Such a philosophy and an innate desire to help others have motivated Dr. Thomas to found the Quality of Life Center, Inc., where she serves as President and CEO.
Another individual with less enthusiasm for life would have retired to enjoy her three adult children, Roselyn, Vincent and Michael, and six grandchildren. Commissioner Thomas served as youth counselor for 20 years at the Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church of Pasadena, where her husband Rev. A. Douglas Thomas is the Pastor Emeritus, and she continues to counsel scores of youth and young adults.
Dr. Thomas has been a foster mother in the state of California for more than 22 years and hundreds of local children have grown up in and around her home. She was named “Outstanding Mother of the Year” at Altadena Elementary School in 1977, and was Pasadena High School’s “Mother of the Year” in 1979 when she single handedly raised enough money to buy new uniforms, jackets and shoes for the entire athletic department.
Currently a councilperson in Altadena, Dr. Thomas is an active participant in the Pasadena/Altadena African-American Leaders Community Coalition, the Pasadena City College African American Advisory Council, the Pasadena Junior League, The Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Leadership Pasadena, D’Veal Family and Youth Services, the Altadena Community Center Board of Directors, and California State Senator Jack Scott’s African American Advisory Committee.
She was selected as “2005 Congressional Woman of the Year” by Congressman Adam Schiff, and was named the first African-American female president of the Altadena/Crown City Kiwanis.
Dr. Thomas is a Life Member of the National Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) organization, and is the first individual to ever serve simultaneously at all levels of the NAACP organization. She is currently an NAACP National Trainer, a Regional Officer, the Southern California State Director and on the executive committee of the NAACP Altadena Branch, where she has just completed four very successful years as President.
Dr. Thomas was appointed to the Commission by and represents the Fifth Supervisorial District.