Buzz Thomas

Buzz ThomasKnight of the Rolodex, Navigator of Rough Waters, Super PAC-Man

Buzz has a passion for policy, politics and business. He also has a big Rolodex. More importantly, Buzz is able to scan through his vast network with a laser-like focus to pinpoint exactly the right connection you need – whether it’s at the local, state or federal level – and facilitate a meaningful introduction.

A gentleman to the core, Buzz embodies the business acumen, political savvy and forthright communication needed to get results without compromising integrity. Quite the snappy dresser too.

Buzz has nearly 20 years of experience as a public affairs professional. He spent 14 years in the Michigan legislature, serving as Democratic Floor Leader in the Senate and as Democratic Leader in the House during his terms. Buzz founded and Co-Chaired Turnaround Detroit, the Super PAC credited with electing Mike Duggan as Detroit’s Mayor. He was the Co-Chair of the 2008 Michigan campaign for President Barack Obama.

The Dome’s reputation for historical battles along partisan lines, coupled with territorial wars attached to geography notwithstanding, Buzz took pride in, “presenting a well balanced, professional middle of the road political ideology. That afforded me the opportunity to, when I introduced bills and resolutions; I was able to get them passed.”

It also translated into regulatory and other expertise in the areas of health care, energy and utility policy, education reform, business development incentives and arts and culture. Buzz’s past work includes creating rigorous academic standards for Michigan schools, electrical and natural gas deregulation, and creation of tax incentive laws that helped spur development in Detroit. That is some heavy lifting in this neck of the woods!

Buzz, 46, has equal experience and empathy for small and large business owners. Prior to his foray into politics, Buzz was Construction Manager for Parkside Building Company and Avis Tech Partners. There he managed both commercial renovations and single-family residential construction.

Buzz is a lifetime member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity where he is both a Minton and Brawley Fellow.

Thomas’ other passion is hunger. (Solving it, not experiencing it). He is in the process of establishing his own food bank. “I’m really concerned about hunger,” Buzz says. “Frankly, I plan on cooking and feeding people myself.” He is definitely qualified for this work.

A lifelong Detroiter, Buzz enjoys traveling when his schedule allows. He is an avid cook and savors get togethers and entertaining his friends and family.

Beyond his professional life, Buzz serves on the boards of:

  • The Karmanos Cancer Center of Detroit
  • The DIA
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • The Belle Isle Conservancy
  • Democrats for Education Reform
  • The New Urban Learning Schools
  • The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation

Buzz has been recognized by the following diverse statewide and national organizations for his dedication to Michigan’s families:

  • Advantage Health Care, Help and Hope Award
  • ArtServe Michigan, Recognition for Leadership and Vision
  • Alliance for a Safer, Greater Detroit, Recognition for Outstanding Leadership
  • Autism Insurance Michigan, Leadership Award
  • Diabetes and Kidney Health Care Organization, Legislator of the Year
  • Fitzgerald Community Council, Award for Outstanding Support and Community Involvement
  • Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan, Distinguished Service
  • Karmanos Cancer Institute 14th Annual Heroes of Cancer Award
  • Metro Detroit Optimist Club, Friend of Youth Award
  • Michigan Association of Health Plans, 2005 Legislator of the Year
  • Michigan Association of Regions, State Legislator of the Year
  • Michigan Association of School Psychologists, Outstanding Leadership and Advocacy on Behalf of Children
  • Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, Distinguished Legislative Service
  • Michigan Municipal League, Legislator of the Year
  • Michigan Youth Arts Festival, Recognition for Superior Achievement
  • Real Detroit Weekly, Best Detroit Politician ‘04
  • Real Detroit Weekly, Most Dedicated Detroiter ‘03
  • The Wayne State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Community Peacemaker Award
  • Michigan Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness, Legislator of the Year
  • Michigan’s Children, Legislator of the Year
  • Detroit Free Press, Five Key State Technology Leaders
  • Savoy Magazine, One of Four Up-and-Coming American Leaders