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ATD Member David A. Thompson to Receive 2020 Horatio Alger Award

Published January 15, 2020


The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. has honored ATD member and TEC Equipment, Inc. president and CEO David A. Thompson with their 2020 award.

Each year, the Horatio Alger Association, a nonprofit educational organization encouraging youth to pursue their dreams via higher education, honors individuals who have overcome adversity and achieved personal success.

“I am honored to become a part of such an important organization and look forward to getting to know its exceptional Scholars,” said Thompson, the 2007 ATD Truck Dealer of the Year. “I have admired the Association’s work for years and I’m continuously impressed by the incredible impact a scholarship from this organization can have on the lives of inspiring young people.”

Thompson is one of 14 honorees from North America named for their achievements in light of adversity and who are committed to higher education and philanthropy in their local communities.

Thompson is no stranger to adversity. He began working at a garage and gas station at the age of 16, following the death of his father – sparking his love of and a career in the auto industry. During his time at Parson College in Fairfield, Iowa, Thompson worked as a truck driver for Midwest Coast Transport, Inc. After college, Thompson served in the U.S. Army.

After serving one and a half tours as a criminal investigator, Thompson returned to the truck industry where he became an owner-operator and later started Thompson Equipment Company in 1976. In 1983, Thompson changed the company to the name it holds today, TEC Equipment, Inc. Through his leadership, the company has become one of the top three dealerships of new and used trucks and trailers in the country with 26 locations from Seattle to Southern California.

“David Thompson faced adversity from a young age, but persevered to build his company to become one of the largest heavy-duty truck and trailer dealerships in the country,” said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director of the Horatio Alger Association. “In addition to his professional success, he is a pillar in his community, providing those in need with life–changing opportunities through his philanthropic efforts and generous contributions. We are thrilled to welcome David as a Member.”

Thompson’s philanthropic efforts prove his commitment to enhancing his community and those in need. Thompson and his wife Ann established an annual scholarship program, which provides two four-year scholarships to Oregon State University; Thompson also supports several programs at Portland State University. Additionally he pledged $5 million to Legacy Health and has made financial contributions to Oregon Harbor of Hope and the Oregon Food Bank.

Thompson, along with his fellow 13 honorees, will be inducted at the Association’s 73rd Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. on April 2 to 4, 2020.

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its 2020 honorees, please visit