Pioneers in Marine Air Conditioning
Today’s Thomas Marine Systems was opened by John Thomas Jr. and his wife, Sue, in 1989, but the company’s history in South Florida is much longer than that.
John’s father, JT Sr., began working in residential air conditioning with his brothers in Hialeah in 1967 but soon discovered the demand for marine cooling and began to specialize in the field. He installed one of the first air conditioning units built by Cruisair founder Jere Crews as well as the first unit built by Marine Air founders Bert and Connie Ammons.
Truly a pioneer in marine air conditioning, JT Sr. designed, built, and installed most of the large vessel air conditioning and refrigeration systems in South Florida in those early days when the industry was first becoming established.
John Jr. started working with his father at the age of 12. Later, he served in the U.S. Navy, where he received his electrical/3D radar background, then returned to South Florida to open Thomas Marine, which today is a thriving family business with 18 employees.
John Jr. has served two terms as a board member of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and currently serves on the board of the Miami Marine Council, the leading nonprofit advocacy group for recreational boating interests in Miami-Dade County.
Both South Florida natives, John Jr. and Sue have worked together at Thomas Marine since 1989 and have three children. They are avid airboaters and anglers but like occasionally escaping to the mountains of northern Georgia.