August 16, 2018 

By E Mesiyah McGinnis 

Contributing Writer 


According to its press release, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) unanimously elected businesswoman Marlo N. Thomas to chair its 15-member board.  Thomas started her term July 1, where she oversees a governing body for contractors in the state of California, where consumer protection is a key focus. 


The release stated that the South L.A. native is the first African American woman to serve in this position and was appointed to the Board in 2015 by Governor Jerry Brown.  Thomas worked 15 years as an executive in law and in law enforcement in Los Angeles.  She also has executive level experience in the restaurant, retail, health care, and real estate industries.  She is excited to bring these experiences with her.  “I enjoy being in a position to bring about positive change,” said Thomas.


Thomas will oversee a Board that licenses and regulates contractors in 44 classifications that constitute the construction industry.  There are approximately 300,000 contractors in California.  CSLB maintains a budget of approximately 66 million dollars with over 400 employees throughout the state of California, the release stated. 


According to the CSLB site, the organization holds Board meetings quarterly, and Committee meetings on an as-needed basis.  “I’m headed to an emergency meeting now,” Thomas texted to the Sentinel.”  The meeting agendas are posted at least 10 days prior to the meeting date. Minutes are posted after Board approval, which happens at the following quarterly Board meeting. CSLB may provide live webcasts of meetings.


Thomas grew up in South L.A. and Westside neighborhoods, leaving Westchester High, then graduating from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a BS in Communications.  Thomas continued, attended USC’s School of Public Policy in addition to law school.  “Growing up in L.A. definitely played a role in my success. I saw a lot of things that made me know that I wanted more for myself. I started to network with people who I admired, and made sure I had the professional and personal qualities that would be a benefit to others,” said Thomas.


Thomas says she was determined to attend college and made sure she was always at the top of her class, and that her work represented her best efforts. With a background in law-enforcement, Thomas knew it a very young age that I wanted to help others.  “As I got into law-enforcement environment, I found myself promoting fairly fast and utilizing leadership skills that I learned growing up. I started mentoring other people and saw a need in a certain type of leadership,” she said.  According to Thomas, she used her experiences with incompetent managers as inspiration to be better and invest in herself and uplifting others.


One of the strategies in place for CSLB is a structured mentoring program to develop the future of the organization.  Thomas says when you investing in people, there is less employee turnover and happier employees make for better businesses.


“I’m a spiritually grounded person, and I’ve had some great things happen to me and I believe it is my purpose.  Everything I do and that I am is bigger than me. I am in a position to inspire and encourage others and try to do that often both personally and through my work,” said Thomas, who is also working as an executive producer in the film industry. “This has been a very rewarding journey.”

Category: Business