Born in the traditionally industrial Ruhr-District of West Germany, Thomas grew up surrounded by big industry. Growing up, his family enjoyed holidaying on the coast, exploring the harbours and gazing out onto the wondrous Ocean. His aquatic curiosities coupled with his industrial roots led to a flourishing career in the shipping industry. On the verge of retirement, Thomas found himself drawn to the Timbercoast initiative. In his own words "After learning about the Timbercoast project I was charmed by the radically different approach to shipping which ignores the biggest, cheapest and fastest mentality. Instead the focus is on the environment, the people and the financing to grow cargo under sail."