One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for September 15, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
On Saturday night I got to get a treat by attending a pregame tailgate event at the Two Rivers Classic Football Game on the campus of Fayetteville State University. The event was sponsored by Metcon Inc. a commercial construction company with headquarters in Pembroke, NC. The president of Metcon is a friend named Aaron Thomas. Aaron was just 24 when he helped form the company. He is a leader not only in his industry but in our community.
In fact Aaron has received several awards in recent years related to his leadership and the fact that he hasn’t quite turned 40 yet.
Metcon is a Native American-owned business (Lumbee) and was founded in 1999 in Pembroke, NC. Metcon is an acronym for Metal and Construction and was conceived as a business that specialized in panelized metal studs and truss construction. In their infancy the business worked primarily on housing and related panelized projects throughout North Carolina. They quickly transitioned into a full-service commercial general contracting operation still incorporating metal-framed systems whenever possible. The UNC system higher education bonds of the 2000’s were a catalyst to Metcon’s growth as Metcon was a primary contractor for the UNC-Pembroke campus. One project that brought me close to Metcon and Aaron’s leadership was the Bob Caton Fieldhouse.
In the fall of 2005 UNCP began a campaign called “First and Ten” to raise money to bring football back to our campus. The primary focus of the fundraising was to build a field house that could house the players, coaches, and visiting teams. Construction didn’t begin until July 2006 with the goal to have the facility opened in March 2007 for spring football.
As the Director of Athletics at UNCP in 2006 and 2007 I was very concerned about such an aggressive construction timeline. At every meeting Aaron gave me and UNCP Football Coach Pete Shinnick his word that the project would be finished on schedule and he delivered. The first day of spring football practice in March 2007 UNCP took occupancy of the Bob Caton Fieldhouse.
Aaron is a big supporter of all things UNCP and the university is proud to call him a graduate. If UNCP has a big football game, basketball game, or event on campus Aaron and his wife Azaela are often in attendance. He also has a brother Tyler Thomas who is part of the Pembroke community.
The Friend -AARON THOMAS
The Friend of the Friend – TYLER THOMAS
Tyler Thomas is the Town Manager in Pembroke, NC. He and his brother Aaron both are important young leaders in our community.
Tyler Thomas grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, but calls Pembroke home. Tyler and Aaron have a large family with lots of aunts and uncles, three brothers—one is who is Tyler’s twin—and two sisters. Tyler even though he was living in Greensboro spent most of his summers in Pembroke
Tyler has always had a passion for helping people, an example he learned from his mother, who is a retired elementary school music teacher, and his father, who works for Goodwill.
Tyler received a degree in exercise and sports science from UNC-Chapel Hill. While an undergraduate, he was president of the Carolina Indian Circle and a member of the American Indian Center’s Internal Advisory Committee. As part of his work at the University’s Office for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, he encouraged high school students to attend college.
Today he is helping to lead a town that has great opportunities. He knows all about the power of education being able to change lives. I have great hope for the Town of Pembroke, NC. The Thomas brothers are just two examples of young leaders we have in our community.
I have sneaking suspicion before it is all said and done Tyler will be recognized on lists like 40 Leaders under 40″ also.