Thompson has over twenty years' experience in the hospitality industry. Beginning his career as a Roy Rogers Assistant Manager in 1983, Thompson soon became a Regional Manager responsible for 35 restaurants and an annual sales volume of $40M. From there he began operating Travel Plazas on the New Jersey Turnpike. He then assumed control of 18 airports from Portland, Maine to Tampa, Florida to include JFK, Newark, LaGuardia and Orlando.
Having received his B.A. in Managerial Economics from Hampden-Sydney College in 1981, Thompson was provided the rare opportunity to move directly into the M.B.A. program at the University of Virginia's Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. He graduated in 1983.
In 1992, he founded Thompson Hospitality Corporation with a leveraged buyout and purchase of thirty one (31) Bob's Big Boy restaurants, which Thompson turned into Shoney's restaurants while also opening three original concept restaurants in Maryland and Virginia. In 1997, he formed a new division, Thompson Hospitality Services, L.L.C., in partnership with Compass Group North America, to concentrate on the booming contract food service business.
He serves on the Board of Directors of several corporations and universities, including: University of Virginiaâ€™s Board of Visitors, Compass Group North America, Pepsi-Cola African American Advisory Board, and HILB ROGAL & HOBBS.