Thom was born into a working-class family with his father and mother and five siblings. During his childhood, his family was frequently forced to relocate depending on where his parents could find work. After graduating from high school, Thom was unable to afford college, so he took a job as a warehouse records clerk earning minimum wage. He knows firsthand how difficult it is to raise a family while attending school at night, struggling to make ends meet.
Through hard work and dedication Thom quickly moved up the corporate ladder, earning his degree at 36 and becoming a top-level executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. Thom’s 22-year private sector career in technology and management consulting provided him with a deep understanding of policy-making and the management of complex organizations.
Fueled by a desire to make a difference in his local community, Thom’s involvement in public service began by serving as the PTA president of his daughter’s high school and as a member of the Town of Cornelius Board of Commissioners. In 2006, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives and was selected by his peers to serve as Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2014. As Speaker, Thom played an instrumental role in enacting job-creating policies and reforming North Carolina’s tax and regulatory codes. Thom was elected as U.S. Senator in 2014 and he has focused on pragmatic solutions and delivering results for North Carolina.