Greg Thomas serves as the General Manager of the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and has lived in the Valley for nearly 20 years. Thomas started his career serving in the US Marine Corp, which gave him an opportunity to live and work in places across the globe. When his tenure with the military was complete, Greg and his wife, Carla, chose Southwest Riverside County as their place to raise family and start his career in the water industry.
The quality of life and the people drew us to the area. The opportunity with EVMWD, which came just under two years ago, allowed me the opportunity to work and live in the same community and offered new challenges in my career. I spent 22 years with the U.S. Marine Corps, serving time in the Middle East and East Africa, leading several large civil and water related projects , ultimately serving as the Facility Maintenance Officer for Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, where I was responsible for all buildings, roads, water, sewer, gas, and electric. After my retirement from the Marines, I spent seven years in private engineering/construction consulting, then served over 6 years as General Manager for the Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District. . Embracing opportunity, I arrived at EVMWD in 2019 and it is here that it continues to be a pleasure to serve as general manager and be part of a leading-edge organization in a burgeoning community.
Being part of the community and making a change, I belong to several veteran, community, and water industry associations. I am a big proponent of ‘Water for People’, an international charity which focuses on creating sustainable access to water and sanitation in nine countries. The effort has taken me to South America, where I have helped play a central role in helping communities create and maintain new water and sanitation systems. I am also active in fund-raising for WFP and other charities.
I also serve as the architectural committee chair for my church and am proud to be part of the team who orchestrated a new preschool/administration facility, which is finished design and will begin construction this summer.
A passage from Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times speaks greatly to my philosophy: “It is your duty to advance the aims of the organization and also to help those who serve it. If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens you can never regain their respect and esteem”.
This notion is my compass to leadership. It guides me in vision, mission, goals and ensuring teamwork to accomplish those goals. It also reminds me to be humble, respectful and genuinely care.
I love many sports- golfing, hiking, skiing, soccer, football. I love to watch and participate, though some I haven’t participated in since high school. I want to change that, though, as I’m interested in finding a local soccer league for guys my age!
Personally and professionally, my goal is always to be the best I can be, to continue to learn and grow, to give back, and to follow the path God leads me on.
My parents were great mentors; they instilled good old fashioned, mid-Western values in me. I am also grateful for the many military leaders, community leaders and colleagues who have advised and mentored me to be the person and leader I am today.
My favorite leadership book is Lincoln on Leadership by Donald T. Phillips. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is a great guide for personal and professional growth. I am also a fan of the Civil War epics Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara and Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. The Bible is definitely the top favorite.