These experiences gave me an appreciation early in my life for how precious life is and how precarious or fragile freedom is.

As we proudly honor Veterans Day (11/11/23), in this week’s leadership profile, we’re in the Valley of the Sun to talk with Jason Thomas, a veteran in our Phoenix office!

You were a member of the United States Air Force where you served as an Electronics Intelligence Analyst, and you’re also a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. How have these experiences shaped your life and legal career?

These experiences gave me an appreciation early in my life for how precious life is and how precarious or fragile freedom is.  It made me a fairly serious person compared to my peers and gave me a deep sense of determination.  I think I carry that still in all I do. 

Without naming your clients, are there any intriguing current matters that you’re working on in your Business Litigation practice?

As lawyers we can be instrumental in clarifying the law or changing its practical effect on businesses.  Those cases are typically very challenging, and I have a couple that may lead to that type of meaningful result for the community.

Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?

It’s a tie between my father and grandfather.  I am very close to both, and they remain a huge source of my drive in life. That they are proud of me and respect how I handle myself or go about my life means the world to me.

What is the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

Someone once encouraged me to stay at a job that was very secure just because of the security—although I understood the logic, I thought that was bad advice and happily did not listen.

Best advice was from my grandfather. He gave me a piece of paper with a quote on it when I was younger, and like him, I keep that printed quote taped to the wall above my desk.

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.” —  L. P. Jacks

What are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming? And what’s your go-to take-out food order?

I love Sci-Fi—Apple TV’s Silo or Foundation are both great. I also find myself replaying episodes of the Hidden Brain Podcast.

I love spicy food so my go to takeout is usually Thai.  

You and your family and friends are hosting a lavish dinner party, Name the three people – from any time in human history – who you would invite.

James Madison (I have some interpretation questions for him), Leonardo Davinci (I think he would be entertaining and interesting on about anything you could think to ask), and Chris Cornell (I miss this guy and a chance to hear him perform again is worth more to me than I might learn from someone else interesting).

Many thanks to Jason for his profound insights, and for proudly serving our country!

And please join us in thanking – and proudly saluting all of our current veterans here at the firm:

John Bambulas

Shawn Baxter

Gregory Borgel

Nickolas Dibiaso

Brandin Inouye

 Fritzia Marquez Puga

Donald Pool

Ken Stream

Jason Thomas

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