16 Dec 2020

HudsonAlpha Foundation appoints two new board members

The HudsonAlpha Foundation is proud to announce the appointment of Karen Thomas, MPH, and John H. Shields II to the board of directors.

Since 2007, Ms. Thomas has been a manager with Townhouse Galleries. Ms. Thomas received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina Asheville and a Master of Public Health from Emory University.


Prior to joining the HudsonAlpha Foundation board, Ms. Thomas served as the Board President for the Tennessee Riverkeepers, Historic Decatur Association board of directors and the Princess Theater.

“HudsonAlpha is one of the most exciting organizations in the state,” said Thomas. “The synergies, research, educational programs and incredibly talented people are contributing in meaningful ways to some of the most challenging questions and problems the global community faces. I am humbled and honored to be able to serve as a foundation board member and am continually inspired by the amazing work of HudsonAlpha.”

John H. Shields II serves as the Chairman of the Board for Century Auto. Upon graduating from Northwestern University, Shields began his career with General Motors Corporation in Detroit, Michigan. The first of his businesses was Royal Chevrolet in Huntsville, Ala., the city where he and his wife, Patsy, chose to call home and raise their two children. For the past six decades, his career has spanned from manufacturing to retail and including a diverse set of roles, including ownership, leadership, consulting, and investing.


“It is an honor and privilege to serve on the HudsonAlpha Foundation Board of Directors,” said Shields. “Responsible philanthropy was instilled in me from an early age from my father and this gives me another opportunity to help further the mission of the Institute.”

In addition to serving on the HudsonAlpha Foundation Board, Mr. Shields also serves on the Board of Directors’ of the Mayo Clinic Legacy Foundation and MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors.

The HudsonAlpha Foundation is a nonprofit that grows and stewards private support to advance genomic discoveries and science education at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. The HudsonAlpha Foundation board of directors is composed of individuals from various backgrounds with a diversity of skill sets. The board is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the Foundation and for overseeing its finances, operations, and policies.