Meet LaHoma Thomas
When you stop by Group Health Foundation’s Seattle office, the first person you are likely to meet is LaHoma Thomas. LaHoma recently joined GHF as an administrative associate and sees her role as an opportunity to help people feel welcome and to lead from within.
LaHoma enjoys being a helping hand to others and an active part of a community. After relocating from her hometown of Mamou, Louisiana to Seattle in the early ‘90s, LaHoma and her husband—a minister of music—found fellowship with a group of local musicians who made them feel at home. Now, LaHoma pays that kindness forward in both her personal life, where she serves as her church’s choir director and volunteers to help produce Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Teen Summer Musical, and in her professional life, where she says building relationships and helping others give her a sense of fulfillment.
LaHoma began her career in the Pacific Northwest as a coordinator for King County’s Dislocated Worker Program, a nonprofit organization that creates career pathways for adults and young people through workforce and training programs. “I started with nonprofit work and just realized that my heart was really in it, because whatever I was doing benefitted the communities we served.”
Although her path took her to other opportunities, including working as a business and planning analyst for Boeing and an accounting analyst for Alaska Airlines, LaHoma continued to prioritize people. In fact, it was this sentiment that led her to become a licensed insurance producer in Washington. She wanted to help people, especially young people, understand the importance of life insurance and investing as vehicles for building generational wealth, protecting one’s family, and providing freedom of choice.
Eventually, LaHoma made her way back to the nonprofit sector as a housing stability case manager for the YWCA and now as an administrative associate at GHF. “[Group Health’s] value and mission stood out to me. I believe in all of that Group Health stands for, so when I saw the job announcement, I was like, ‘Yep! I’m doing it.’”
As GHF’s administrative associate in Seattle, LaHoma is bringing her people-first approach to coordinating the office’s daily operations, welcoming visitors, working with vendors and contractors, and supporting new staff who join the Foundation’s ever-growing team. She likes making people feel comfortable and being that knowledgeable person who can help folks get what they need.
Outside of work, LaHoma enjoys spending time in her Seward Park neighborhood with her three sons Cedric, Brennen, and Saibrien. She has also helped establish two churches, one of which—New Day Christ Church—where she continues to serve as music department coordinator and sit on the board of directors.
Music and faith have both been powerful forces in the lives of LaHoma and her sons and the legacy of her late husband. She has seen firsthand the ways in which music can transform individuals, unlock their leadership potential, and connect people to one another. She believes her faith informs her desire to be of service and to be a driver for equity.
It’s no surprise, then, that LaHoma uses music as a lens through which she explains the importance of equity. Her favorite quote, by Professor Cynthia Almeida, says it this way: “Diversity is being invited to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to dance. Equity is being allowed to choose the music.”