Don Thompson

  • Ocala US-FL
Don Thompson

Interests

I have written for virtually every medium from newspapers (remember those multiple sheet publications that got ink all over you?), magazines, television, film and video, books, screenplays, Internet, digital and social media. I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king (wait a minute, those are lyrics from a favorite Sinatra song)!  Seriously, I've been a journalist, author, playwright, screenwriter, poet (yes, really), advertising copywriter, publicist and sportswriter (yes, they're different from journalists).  I love the written word.  

Summary

Experienced, high-energy marketing and communications executive seeks challenging, fast-paced environment and opportunity to give back from years of success.  Strong business development and relationship-building experience. Focused creativity, excellence in every endeavor and results-driven performance are hallmarks.  Successful track record of leading and managing during dynamic change.  High levels of competence in internal and external communications.  In-depth experience in building and enhancing communications across widely diverse teams and geographic locations.  High standards for self and others.  Offer style and substance because the sum is greater than the respective parts.  

Robust branding experience.  Varied industry experience, including CPG, healthcare, financial services, retail, not-for-profit and education, among others.   Extensive primary qualitative and quantitative market research experience. Created and implemented marketing and communications plans positioning products and services, creating strong brands and delivering positive customer experiences.  Excellent speaker and writer. Innovator who melds skills and talents of traditional communicator with new-age media concepts. Accomplished public affairs manager with strong outreach, education and relationship-building skills and talents. Resourceful P & L manager with $200 million budget planning, forecasting and oversight experience.   Supervised 70+ on-staff communications professionals. Interfaced with outside ad agencies and other consultants. 

Knowledge coupled with a great attitude is an invaluable asset...always!  Hoping and wishing aren't strategies, they're excuses.  Nothing is more important in communications than knowing your target audiences...really knowing them.Well-conceived plans executed flawlessly win. 

Work History

Work History
Jun 1985 - Present

President

Thompson Communications

Creates and executes winning marketing and communications strategies for client organizations worldwide. Delivers consistent, top-of-mind branding propositions.  Identifies and assesses development opportunities and creates strategies that penetrate new and grow existing markets. Extensive experience across several industries and not-for-profit organizations. Builds collaborative relationships with key internal and external stakeholders to develop cohesive, innovative and effective marketing and communications programs. Performs well under tight deadlines and pressures of competing and diverse needs.  Develops and implements digital communications strategies and tactical approaches to reflect realities and mission priorities. SEO/SEM experience. Strong analytical skills.  Reputation as creative problem-solver.  Positive, visionary leader who inspires enthusiastic cooperation and creative problem solving among team members. Keen ability to understand, define and manage target audience expectations and identify potential roadblocks. Active consulting firm from June 1987 to Feb. 1994, and again from Oct. 1999 to Present, serving GE Capital in the interim.  Served as Senior Consultant and Task Force Leader on acquisitions of various financial services, manufacturing and CPG companies for GE Capital.Worked with management teams to developnew marketing and communications programs consistent with GE Capital operations and culture.Focus on branding, positioning and business development/sales.Efforts led to average of 40%annual return on 9 of 10 entities acquired.

  • Consistently exceed clients' marketing and sales goals and objectives  
  • Launched more than 100 new products and services
  • Directed dozens of major primary market research projects
  • Deliver favorable results on time and under budget
  • Communicate the inextricable links between a team's understanding of financial metrics, high performance and profitability
  • Authored scores of Business, Strategic and Marketing Plans across wide range of industries
  • International experience (Canada, Germany, France and Italy)
  • Co-founder of Nation's Most Successful Wine Auction to benefit Youth Haven
Jun 1983 - Apr 1985

Director of Corporate Communications

Lamalie Associates, Inc.

Developed and implemented marketing and communications programs to position organization as worldwide leader among retainer-based executive search firms. Supported the firm's seven offices nationwide, providing diversity of consultants with comprehensive array of marketing and communications tools to leverage business. Advised partners and Chairman on media relations, public affairs, community affairs and outreach. 

  • Keynote speaker on marketing at two Association of Executive Search Consultants Annual Meetings
  • Provided five-fold increase in major news media articles 
  • Translated higher visibility media profile into verifiable increases in searches conducted 
  • Supervised 12-member staff of professionals
Mar 1979 - Jun 1983

Program Associate, Media Relations Consultant, Chief Speechwriter

E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company

NY Media Relations Manager, Chief Speechwriter and Assistant to Chairman of theBoard. Managed media relations office in NY, raising profile and improving accessibility by news media outlets. Participated at Board level on various acquisitions anddivestitures, including Conoco and Endo Labs, with analyses and presentations. Worked closely with Chairman on speeches, interviews and strategic communications issues. Demonstrated high levels of technical competence with scientists, physicists and directors at company's prestigious Experimental Station, including Nobel Prize winner.

  • Developed and implemented communications strategies at 100 plant sites nationwide 
  • Proposed and managed company's first Media Relations Office in NY
  • Wrote Chairman Irving Shapiro's speeches from 1979 until his retirement in 1981
  • Gained unprecedented favorable publicity by securing first national television appearance for Du Pont CEO on Phil Donahue Show
Jul 1981 - May 1983

Senior Vice President, Partner & Director

Stellar Communications, Inc.

Partner in full-service Advertising and Public Relations firm serving corporate and governmentclients, including GE, Du Pont, Johnson & Johnson, Burroughs-Wellcome, Ford, GTE, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Air Force, amongothers.  Liaison with major accounts.  Co-Creative Director.  Created strategies and implemented marketing, advertising and promotion plans for CPG, manufacturing, governmental clients. Directed creative content and programmed eight major advertising and PR campaigns with $10+ million media budget.

  • Developed widely recognized Center for Executive Broadcast Studies, which trained more than 200 executives for television and news media appearances
  • Assisted Federal Operations of various corporations with Senate and House Committee and Sub-Committee testimony
  • Advised Du Pont management on involvement with Chicago Tylenol poisonings in 1982
  • Retained every client that signed on with firm
  • Supervised diverse 15-member staff of Advertising/PR professionals
  • Sold one-third interest in firm to partners
Jun 1976 - Mar 1979

Supervisor, Publicist

General Electric Company

Served variety of operating businesses within GE, including healthcare, lighting, aerospace, among others, with PR and media relations services.  Developed and implemented advertising and sales promotion plans for GE's Anesthesiology and Cardiology Units, Aircraft Engine Group and GE Lighting Systems.  Served as White House Liaison on Annual Pageant of Peace celebrations.  Manager, GE Carousel of Progress at Disney World.

  • Accelerated advancement to Supervisor
  • Designed innovative GE Lighting Systems Distributor communications program that contributed to record sales two successive years
  • Co-authored technical articles and studies with company's leading research scientists 
  • Planned and implemented award-winning communications and promotional campaigns for Thomas Edison Centennial Celebration
Nov 1969 - Jun 1973

Protocol Specialist/Social Actions Officer

United States Air Force

Served as aide to General staff at U.S. Strike Command. Supported Apollo 14 lunar mission at Patrick Air Force Base, and Kennedy Space Center.Co-authored DOD Race Relations Institute program, and implemented program in USAFE (Germany) as workshop instructor/moderator.

Education

Education

B.S. Degree

University of Florida

Graduated with Honors, 3.56 GPA, Dean's List, Kappa Tau Omega Honor Society,

Jeffersonian Award Winner, Double Major - Journalism, Public Relations, Minor - Marketing

Additional MBA Degree Coursework at Virginia Tech, 1977-1978.Charter member ofCollege of

Journalism & Communications Curriculum Advisory Council of Professionals, 1978-1986

(Chairman,1981-1983).

Skills

Skills

Environmental Education/Activism

Active volunteer, participant and communications advisor for a variety of environmental outreach and education programs, including The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Everglades, Institute for Global Communications, Open Media, among others.  A strident and passionate believer in helping safeguard and sustain sensitive environmental areas throughout the US and world, and the need for responsible and accountable media.

Market Research

Extensive experience in the development, implementation, analysis and interpretation of market research techniques, including focus groups, surveys, in-depth interviews and observational studies, SWOT, among others. Expertise with analytical tools include factor, regression, trade-off, cluster and discriminant analyses. Accomplished at market forecasting.