Judge W. Neil Thomas III will be sworn in as the 98th president of the Chattanooga Downtown Rotary Club on Thursday. Judge Thomas presides over the Fourth Division of Hamilton County
Circuit Court and has served on the bench for the past 14 years.
Judge Thomas is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill where he graduated with honors with a B.A. in English. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and later obtained his law degree from the University Of Michigan School Of Law.
He holds licenses in the State of New York, Tennessee, United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals, Second, Third, Sixth and Tenth Circuits.
In addition to his judicial duties, Judge Thomas is an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is or has been a member of the chairman of the board of directors of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, a trustee of the Baylor School, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, past chairman of the Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park and past chairman of the Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
Judge Thomas is a member of the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the Ray L. Brock Jr. and Robert E. Cooper American Inns of Court and the Chattanooga Bar Association.
Judge Thomas and his wife, Anne, are the parents of four sons and grandparents to three grandchildren.
Judge Thomas said, "This is going to be a defining year for the Downtown
Rotary Club. I have a great executive team that I've challenged to modernize our efforts, attract our city's up and coming leaders and position ourselves to continue to engage in efforts that promote 'service above self'."
He noted that several surprises are in store for the Club in the
The Downtown Rotary Club was established in 1914, making it one of
Chattanooga's oldest service clubs. Its first meetings were held at the
former Patten Hotel and later, at the Read House before moving to its current weekly meeting place at the Chattanooga Hamilton County Trade and
Currently, there are over 360 members of the Downtown Rotary Club, making it one of the larger chapters.
The club is often the first stop for those considering public office or for
those considering higher office. It has served as host to international
speakers as well as to Volkswagens driven into the meeting room. With over 26 classifications of membership, the Downtown Rotary Club is comprised of some of Chattanooga's leading citizens and will welcome President Neil Thomas on July 14 as he is roasted by those he is about to lead in the coming year.
"I hope the club will be kind to its newest President and look forward to
all the year has to offer," said Judge Thomas.