AFA's 13th Annual Aerospace Summit | PRESENTERS
CARROLL A. THOMAS
Director, Manufacturing Extension Partnership - Associated Organizations: National Institute of Standards and Technology (agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce)
Ms. Carroll A. Thomas, Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) leads a nationwide network of centers focused on helping U.S. manufacturers strengthen their supply chain integration and access new technology thereby helping them to compete globally. MEP is a $300 million public-private partnership program leveraging federal support by teaming with industry as well as state and local organizations. With over 400 manufacturing extension offices located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, MEP provides companies with services and access to resources that enhance growth, improve productivity and expand capacity.
Prior to being selected as the MEP Director, Ms. Thomas was appointed as the Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in November 2012. At SBA, Ms. Thomas was responsible for program and policy development, implementation and oversight of the $113 million grants program that funds the Small Business Development Centers located in every state plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands in more than 900 service locations.
From 2000–2012, when Ms. Thomas was initially employed by MEP, she served as Program Manager for Supplier Scouting and as the Partnership Catalyst to help government service providers seamlessly assist small manufacturers. She implemented pilots to support Buy America procurement provisions by matching U.S. manufacturers with opportunities from publicly-funded projects and co-founded the Interagency Network of Enterprise Assistance Providers. Earlier in her career, Ms. Thomas was a small business manufacturer/retail franchise owner; negotiated product deals with over 23,000 U.S. inventors and small manufacturers for electronic retailer QVC and directed marketing efforts for the National Gallery of Art’s vast reproduction portfolio.
With more than 30 years of entrepreneurial and small business development experience, her accomplished public/ private sector career demonstrates her leadership expertise as a catalyst for creating innovative partnerships and advocating economic development by supporting dynamic innovation ecosystems.
Ms. Thomas is a graduate of Leadership Washington and a former Regional Director of the Fashion Group International of Greater Washington, DC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University in Design and a Master of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University in International Business.
AFA'S 13TH ANNUAL AEROSPACE SUMMIT
Carroll Thomas will be presenting at this year's Aerospace Summit. Find out more about the Summit.