Warren Thompson learned at an early age the importance of hard work, focus, and determination. He started his career at age 14 with a grass-cutting business, graduated to delivering and selling produce out of a school bus at age 15, and, in his first leveraged buyout at the ripe old age of 16, purchased the family hog business from his father.
His parents, both educators, stressed the importance of education. Warren used the proceeds from the family’s hog business to help finance the Managerial Economics degree he received at Hampden-Sydney College in 1981. Warren then attended the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, where he received his M.B.A. degree in 1983.
Upon graduating from Darden, Warren joined the Marriott Corporation as an Assistant Manager at a Roy Rogers unit. Having spent nine years with Marriott, Warren’s entrepreneurial spirit could not be contained any longer. Starting with a $100,000 personal investment, Warren Thompson pursued his vision of becoming a restaurateur and created Thompson Hospitality in October of 1992.
He expanded the company’s interests into the contract food service arena, and in 1997, created Thompson Hospitality Services, LLC by forging a strategic partnership with Compass Group, the world’s largest food service company.
Warren has been recognized for his commitment to promoting diversity in business, as well as his philanthropic efforts. He sits on the Board of Directors for several major corporations including Compass Group North America and Duke Realty. Today, Warren leads the nation’s largest minority-owned food and facilities management company.
Read Warren's latest interview with Virginia Business on expanding options.