Board of Directors


Thomas L. Peeples, Jr.

Position on Board

Committee Member

Began Serving on Project GRAD Akron Board:


Favorite quote:

“So, you never know who you touch. You never know how or when you'll have an impact, or how important your example can be to someone else”
Denzel Washington

Favorite thing about Project GRAD Akron:

As a Project GRAD mentor, I have had the opportunity to mentor several young men. I believe I was able to provide them with a vision of what is possible and be an impartial positive influence in their lives.  If you can see it, you can be it.

A little about Thomas:

Thomas L. Peeples, Jr. is a 1994 and 2003 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering and later a Master of Science in Cross-Disciplinary Professional Studies (Quality and Statistics) from the College of Applied Science and Technology.


Currently, Thomas is the Sr. Manager of Lean Operations, Americas at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.  Thomas hired into Goodyear at the Goodyear Innovation Center in Akron, OH as a tire designer/tire engineer in 1999.  He spent the first five years of his career designing large earthmover vehicle tires and original equipment passenger car tires.  In 2004, Thomas moved to San Angelo, TX to work at the Goodyear Proving Grounds.  There, he had several different leadership roles in tire evaluation (testing).  In 2009, Thomas took on the role of Quality Technology Team Leader (Curing/Final Finish) in Goodyear’s Danville, VA truck and aircraft tire manufacturing facility.  In 2011, Thomas returned to Akron, OH, as an Enterprise Project Leader (Project Manager in Marketing) where he managed the successful launch of several new tire lines, including the Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure.  In 2013, Thomas came back into the Goodyear technical organization as a team leader in Customer Engineering where he and his team were responsible for managing the technical relationships with key Commercial Original Equipment Truck customers and fleet focus testing.  In 2015, Thomas moved to Brazil, where he was the Director of OE product development for Latin America, Manager of the Latin America Proving Grounds, and Manager of the Latin America Customer Engineering team.  In 2017, Thomas moved back to Akron, into the role of a Chief Engineer in Global Tire and Mold Engineering, construction group 3.  In June of 2018, Thomas took on the Chief Engineer role at Akron Test Center /Engineering Technology Lab.  Most recently, prior to his current role, he was a Sr. Technical Project Manager in Off-Highway/Aviation where he had responsibility for the tire design of military aircraft, commercial and business jets, and several large commercial original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).


While at RIT, Thomas ran track (55m High Hurdles, 110m High Hurdles, and High Jump).  He is a 5-time NCAA All-American and recipient of the RIT Walls-Olsen Memorial Scholarship for “Outstanding Contribution to Student Life”.  Thomas was inducted into the RIT Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.  While at RIT, Thomas participated in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), and upon graduation from RIT, he was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy.  In the Navy, prior to Goodyear, he served in various Surface Warfare roles onboard the USS Fletcher (DD-992) and the USS Hewitt (DD-966). 


Thomas is actively engaged in several community-based organizations, as well as other professional development organizations in Goodyear.  He is a past Vice-President (2014-2015, 2017-2018) and President (2019-2020) of the Goodyear Veterans Association and a graduate of the 2018-2019 Goodyear Community Leadership Institute.  He is also Adjunct Faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology in the College of Engineering Technology.


Thomas is the recipient of the US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine 2020 Stephanie C. Hill Black Engineer of the Year “Legacy Award”.


Thomas currently resides in Hudson, OH.  He is originally from Boston, MA.  He is married and has three children.