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Paul Thompson to deliver the Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished Lecture Oct. 28 in the Holmes Convocation Center at Appalachian State University; talk will illuminate seven attributes of a great leader

By University Communications

BOONE—Paul Thompson, founder and chairman of Transportation Insight and a supporter of business programs at Appalachian State University, will deliver the fall Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished Lecture at 10 a.m. Oct. 28 in Appalachian’s Holmes Convocation Center.

View larger imagePaul Thompson will deliver the fall Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished Lecture Oct. 28 in Holmes Convocation Center at Appalachian State University. Photo courtesy of Transportation Insight

His talk, titled “The Seven Attributes of a Great Leader,” is sponsored by Appalachian’s Walker College of Business. It is free and open to the public. Beginning one hour prior to the lecture, shuttles to the center will run from Peacock/Raley Lot Circle and the Rivers Street Parking Deck.

The Boyles Lecture, which is presented each semester at Appalachian, is named for the late Harlan E. Boyles, an ardent supporter of Appalachian who served for 24 years as state treasurer of North Carolina. For more information, call the dean’s office in the Walker College of Business at 828-262-2057.

Thompson would seem well-suited to the task of illuminating leadership qualities. Through his visioning, and a major gift to the Walker College of Business to support building the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship on the second floor of Peacock Hall in 2011, he has been instrumental in fostering entrepreneurship at Appalachian. The center is named for Hickory-based Transportation Insight, one of several transportation and logistics companies that Thompson has founded or co-founded in North America. He serves as a board member for the center as well as for Appalachian’s supply chain management program.

As a businessman, Thompson has compiled more than 25 years of executive experience in supply chain, logistics and transportation leadership, having worked in such areas as business strategy, operations, optimization modeling, supply chain consulting and yield management. He is now a recognized innovator in long-term value creation, having spent 15 years developing pricing models for some of the largest motor carriers in the United States.

Transportation Insight, at which Thompson also serves as chairman, is a global third-party logistics provider with more than $1.5 billion in gross revenues and more than 1,200 clients that range from mid-cap to Fortune 500 companies. It has appeared on the prestigious Inc. 5000 Honor Roll of fastest-growing privately held companies in North America since 2008 and it was named a 2016 SmartWay® Excellence Awardee by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The latter honor recognized Transportation Insight’s work with client partners to implement supply chain network and transportation strategies that move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible while reducing the impacts of carbon pollution.

Thompson’s investment in Transportation Insight’s 66,000 square-foot corporate campus at the historic Lyerly Mill has been a catalyst in efforts to revitalize Hickory and its downtown area. While the campus is a cornerstone of the company’s Vision 20/20 growth plan to become a $3.5 to $5 billion company by 2020, Thompson’s underlying purpose in the development is to invest in a lifestyle business that promotes physical activity and better overall quality of life for its associates and the community at large.

Thompson was received several honors. He was recently named the inaugural Grant Thornton North Carolina 100 Cultural Leader of the Year. He received the 2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Southeast Region.

Thompson is a devoted volunteer. He serves on the board of directors of the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and of Wine to Water, a Boone-based organization devoted to providing clean drinking water to those around the world who don’t have it. He is the past board chairman of Hickory Christian Academy and Samaritan’s Feet. The latter organization aims to share “hope with children in the U.S. and around the world by washing their feet, giving them a new pair of shoes, and helping them believe that their dreams can come true.” He acts as a strategic advisor for other nonprofits and several churches in the Hickory area.

Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas.

About the Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs, and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 2,800 undergraduates in nine majors and nearly 150 graduate students, the Walker College is accredited by AACSB International – the premier global accrediting body for schools of business.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.