Robert M. (Bob) Thompson, President of Thompson-McCully Company of Belleville, Michigan, has devoted his life to furthering the proper use of hot mix asphalt and sharing his technical knowledge of paving to improve the asphalt industry. He was a driving force behind the Institute and NAPA moving closer together in their effort to counter adverse environmental regulations. He has been at the forefront in leading teams of industry representatives to meet with legislators and federal officials to comment on proposed regulations that would impact the asphalt industry. This was evident in his effort against the Crumb Rubber Mandate, which was ultimately defeated.
Thompson was the creative thinker behind the Environmental Engineering Controls for asphalt payers around the U.S. His ability to work across organizational lines was instrumental in bringing the industry, government and labor to an agreement that eventually led to the engineering controls being added to all new payers. The result has been a significantly improved environment for paver operators.
Bob Thompson’s company was the first affiliate member to join the Asphalt Institute under its revised eligibility category. Soon after, his company became a regular U.S. member.
Thompson evolved from a farm boy in Janesville, Michigan, to the head of one of the largest asphalt production and paving companies in Michigan. He began his company with a chip-seal spreader and an asphalt distributor. His first project was a street job in Battle Creek, Michigan. Thompson sold his company to CRH of Dublin, Ireland for $422 million. From the proceeds of this sale, he gave $128 million to his employees, making 90 of them millionaires.
Thompson’s position over the years has been one of student and teacher. “Over the years, we’ve made a lot of mistakes,” says Thompson. “But we’ve also learned from them” From his successes and mistakes, he developed the basic principles that form the foundation of Thompson-McCully’s success.