Hugh Thomas

Founder @ The Ōnin Group

Twenty-five years ago, Hugh Thomas and his partner, Keith Phillips, founded The Ōnin Group, a collection of companies focused on serving people, primarily within the staffing industry. Hugh helped transform The Ōnin Group from a startup operation into the largest owner-managed, privately-held staffing firm in the United States. Today, The Ōnin Group has been ranked by the Staffing Industry Analysts as one of the Largest Staffing Firms in the U.S. (2020) and as a Best Staffing Firm to Work For (2022). As managing partner, Hugh leads Ōnin’s account development efforts, implementing his extensive advertising background and education. Hugh is passionate about workforce development and takes an active role in developing programs that transform high school students into workforce-ready employees. He also serves on numerous boards in the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa communities and as a member of several committees that promote improving education and fostering an appreciation for the arts. Hugh has an advertising bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama.