2012 Inductee - Thomas A. Sanchez


2012 Inductee - Thomas A. Sanchez

Community Service

Thomas Alcadio Sanchez is a second generation Mexican-American. He is the sixth of seven children born to David Nicasio Sanchez and Elvira Cervantes Sanchez. Although his parents only had a 2nd and 3rd grade education, they instilled the value of education, discipline, a hard work ethic, the importance of family and a belief in God while encouraging them to assimilate into the society they lived in.

Thomas was born in Tracy, in a Southern Pacific tract home where his grandmother, Nina Cervantes delivered him. His parents spent their young married life in the San Joaquin Valley picking cotton and other fruit prior to World War II. After serving in the US Army Air Corp, his father David was hired by the Southern Pacific Railroad. With a growing family, his father would take his children to the fields and packing sheds to assist with the income, and to teach them the value of hard work. His mother Elvira was hired as a social worker and as a court interpreter for the Lodi Courts. His mother’s example of service and compassion for others set the standard of social service for Thomas.

While growing up in Acampo, Thomas worked in the packing sheds and as a field worker to pay for his education. He used this experience and values that his parents instilled in him, to build strength, stamina, and resistance to the heat. This prepared him for the rigors of his dream to play college football and successes in business and life. Ultimately, Thomas became a scholar athlete, graduating from Lodi High in 1968, and San Joaquin Delta College in 1970. In 1972 he received a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University. Thomas also attended San Jose State University graduate school. He received his business certificate from the University of the Pacific.

Thomas began his career serving underprivileged youth. As a drug abuse counselor for the Mission Rebels in San Francisco, Executive Director of the Boys City Boys Club of Santa Clara County and Tokay High School varsity football coach. As fate would have it, Thomas became involved in business. He became Vice President of Operations and co-owner of a business and after a merger, was appointed Area Director of Business Development for Waste Management, a fortune 200 company that has been recognized for retaining over two billion dollars of business.

Thomas gives freely of his time, energy and money to helping young people . He participates in the principal of the day program, reads in classrooms, and in career day in the Lodi Unified School District. He was an involved participant in the Lodi Grape Bowl renovation project, and coaches youth soccer. He is a board member of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, has served as Lt. Governor for Kiwanis International, President of Lodi Kiwanis Club, Lodi Boys Club, and a member of the Lodi Mexican American Lions Club. He is also involved in many local civic and non-profit organizations