Julie Thomases is the former Executive Director of The First Tee and The First Serve youth development programs serving primarily underserved youth in Allentown and Bethlehem. She has background of executive positions in the private and not profit sectors for more than twenty years. She was the Program Director for Community Action Development Corporation in Allentown for over four years and as such, worked towards helping low income communities grow their own economic future. This process included conducting market research that identified the needs and assets of the community and provided assistance through the organization’s business expertise. In response to food security issues in the downtown, she developed a successful Center City Grower’s Market in downtown Allentown. Before her work in the non-profit sector, she worked in the private sector as a Merchandise Manager in NYC for manufacturing corporations.
Her community involvement includes: founder of the Sustainable Business Network LV; founder of the Allentown Environmental Advisory Council (EAC); three time chairperson for the EAC Sustain-a-Ball; board member of Renew Lehigh Valley. She was part of the committee that helped bring El Sistema, a renowned youth development program, to Allentown and is a former board member of Seven Generations Charter School. She is currently studying to become a Master Watershed Steward. Julie lives in Allentown in the 1920’s house where she was born.