Written by Stacey M. Brown,
NNPA Newswire Chief National Correspondent
(NNPA NEWSWIRE) – Isiah Thomas played basketball with an insistence we haven’t seen much in today’s game. When a team beats the Detroit Pistons, it only means a negative mark in the loss column but Thomas is never defeated.
An NCAA Champion in Indiana and a two-time NBA Champion with the Pistons, Thomas continued his success on the court with a victory almost unrivaled in the business world.
Thomas said building with the right people, seeking sound advice, and closely monitoring the success of others has made him a giant in many industries.
He said the first parallel to success in basketball and in business is teamwork.
“You have to work together collectively to achieve something in terms of vision and purpose,” Thomas said. “The goal of winning the championship – how to do it together. So, when you’re managing people, it’s about giving them a vision and a goal and making sure we have the right game plan to get to the goal.
He continued, “Basketball has given me a lot of these
]To persevere, fall, fail and regroup.”
Thomas never experienced meltdown in his business ventures, always showing wit and pedigree for heroism in boardrooms.
President and CEO of ISIAH International LLC and Isiah Imports, Thomas has a wide portfolio of investments. His holdings include Isiah Real Estate, Cheurlin Champagnes, One World Products, GRE3N, RE3 Recycling, Sweetgreen, and Popcorn Indiana.
“I started my company in 1990 to get the second generation behind me out of poverty,” Thomas said.
“We always talk about generational wealth. The best way to do that is to start and get involved in the business. Little did I know I was an ESG – I was environmentally and socially conscious when I started. I was always interested in investing in things that affect the community, that affect the family, and I had A chance to make sure there’s some legacy to come. My economics teacher told me to invest in the things I love. So, popcorn was one of the first investments because it was a staple in my house. After all, we didn’t have much to eat, so my mother was Put a lot of popcorn.”
Thomas Indiana Popcorn, which comes in a red packaging, made him one of the first to put color on bags of popcorn.
His entry into the industrial hemp business was also considered significant and rare.
“When you talk about industrial hemp and carbon reduction, industrial hemp removes more carbon from the air than any other plant on Earth,” Thomas emphasized.
“What you see in Isiah and One World is how to replace plastic in cars. Looking at reducing hemp and carbon, it includes every business, even the cosmetic field. It runs the whole chain of its use, and at One World we have the largest supply of cannabis on this. side of the equator.”
Thomas’ Cheurlin Champagne is also one of the best. The grapes are pressed from the first grapes. He is the most prominent African American owner and importer of the world’s first pressed grape champagne.
“Anytime you buy champagne, you should ask if it’s at first swipe,” Thomas said.
He also noted how his champagne allowed him to survive in the farming space.
“I didn’t realize I was entering the farming space when I got into the champagne,” Thomas said. “I learned that soil, sun, and farmers make the best grapes.”
For the legend, the bedrock of his success and drive goes back to his family. His late mother, Mary Thomas, for example, remains an inspiration.
“We were poor, but my mother was always positive and always devoted,” Thomas said.
“I remember walking in the snow with my mom, and I had holes in my shoes, and I put cardboard in them. I looked at her and she had happy bags on her feet. We were on welfare, but she used the money not to pay rent or buy food but to ensure we had an education.”
With his children and other family members playing roles in Thomas’ business, legend has said that his mission for them remains simple.
“We put them in school. They took out student loans with Thomas Bank, and we tell them to go back to work for free for six months or a year. That’s how they pay off their student loans,” Thomas said.
Then he said, there are no restrictions.
“If they decide they like what they do at one of the companies or entities that we own, this is a place where they can earn their living, get a salary, pay their rent and buy food,” he said.
“If they want to stay, great. If not, they have gained the experience and knowledge to go elsewhere. But when you talk about trying to lift your family out of generational poverty, that’s the vision of Isiah International. So the diversity of the spaces we’re in is because we have Our family members and I specialize in those spaces.”