Kent County Administrator Wayman Britt announced that Brett Thomas will join the team at Kent County in June as the County’s Communications and Public Relations Director. Thomas is the main anchor at WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana and is the former WOOD-TV Daybreak anchor and Executive Producer in Grand Rapids.
“I’m thrilled to have Brett join the incredibly dedicated and talented staff at Kent County,” said Wayman Britt, Kent County Administrator. “His creative energy, relationship building and communications skills will have an immediate impact on our commitment to communicate with and inform the citizens of Kent County about the wonderful resources of their County government and to help grow our influence in making Kent County an even greater place to live, work and play.”
Thomas comes to Kent County with more than 20 years of experience in the communications field. Throughout his career, he has served as an anchor, reporter, manager and executive producer. He has been awarded four Emmy’s and three Edward R. Murrow’s for writing. Thomas has a Master’s Degree from the University of Kansas in Journalism, and graduated from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas with a degree in History and teaching certification. Before becoming a journalist, he taught 8th grade American History. “Brett brings a unique set of skills to Kent County. From teaching to managing I know his exceptional ability to communicate and his energetic, positive, team-oriented style will be a perfect complement to the forward momentum already in place in Kent County,” said Britt.
Thomas fills the role vacated by Community Liaison and Communications Director Lisa LaPlante, who was with the County for more than six years. LaPlante has continued to work under contract since moving with her husband to Nevada in February 2018. Her efforts included handling public information duties during the February flooding emergency, responding to inquiries from residents and media, and sharing the good work of the County while the search for her replacement was underway. “Lisa has been an outstanding member of County leadership team,” said Britt. “I appreciate her helping move us to where we are today. Her commitment and passion for Kent County has been bar none.”
Prior to moving to Fort Wayne in 2015, Thomas lived in Kent County for 17 years. He is married to Gina Thomas, and the couple has three daughters, Gabriella 11, Kai 8, and Dahlia (Dolly) 5 months. “I am thrilled to bring my family home to Kent County. I look forward to joining the team that Wayman Britt has assembled and telling the story of their efforts to bring fiscally responsible, highly responsive, award winning services to the people who call Kent County home,” said Thomas.