LeRoy Thompson accepted Governor Bill Haslam’s appointment as Regional Director to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in October 2012 and served the State until December 31, 2014. During his tenure, Thompson spearheaded 33 major corporate projects that resulted in more than $1 billion in new capital investment, leading to the creation of thousands of new jobs across East Tennessee. Thompson transitioned from his State role to found LeRoy Thompson Consultants, LLC (“LTC”), a private consultancy which delivers professional business development, project management, and community and government affairs services to select clients.
Thompson is a business and community leader who also was founder and president and CEO of BDT Development & Management, LLC (“BDT”), a real estate development and construction firm specializing in the management of diverse public and private projects, from 2002 to 2012. BDT developed, design built, and managed a wide variety of retail shopping centers, clinics, single and multi-family residences, and commercial projects at its own risk and as an Owner’s Representative on behalf of city and county governments, economic development agencies, retail franchises, nonprofits, and diverse private companies. Thompson’s company was a featured small business in Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s Economic Development Guide, a Knoxville Chamber Minority Business of the Year Pinnacle Award finalist, and a two time recipient of the Knoxville Beautification Project award for its work on multiple center city development projects. In additional to holding other executive level positions in marketing and sales firms and nonprofits, Thompson has served as a board member for the Knoxville Chamber, Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation, University of Tennessee Cancer Institute, University of Tennessee Board of Visitors, Leadership Knoxville, Knoxville Family Justice Center, Project Grad, and City of Knoxville Golf Board, among others. Thompson has been widely acknowledged with many accolades and awards for his dedication to community and public service, particularly for the benefit of underprivileged youth and adults.
Thompson is a former Penn State standout and a veteran star National Football League running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He credits much of his creative corporate training modules and inspirational speeches to lifelong lessons learned firsthand from Hall of Fame Coaches including Joe Paterno, Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, Bill Parcels, and Tony Dungy.
Thompson is a graduate of Penn State University with a B.A. in Communications.