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David A. Thompson, President and CEO of TEC Equipment, Inc., to Receive 2022 Horatio Alger Award 

Horatio Alger Association names 16 outstanding individuals, each of whom has overcome adversity to achieve professional and personal success, to its Member Class of 2022 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that David A. Thompsonpresident and CEO of TEC Equipment, Inc., has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization. Mr. Thompson joins 15 other exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2022 honors. For more than 70 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon esteemed individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to higher education and charitable efforts in their communities. 

Mr. Thompson was just 15 years old when he lost his father. In order to ease his family’s financial burden, he began working at age 16 at a garage and gas station. This sparked his interest in the automotive industry, and a year later, he became a junior mechanic at a Chevrolet dealership and got a job as a truck driver. After high school, Mr. Thompson attended Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, and continued to work as a truck driver for Midwest Coast Transport, Inc. Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in business, Mr. Thompson served in the U.S. Army, where he was assigned to the Army’s Provost Marshall’s Office in Vietnam, and served one and a half tours as a criminal investigator. 

Following his honorable discharge from the Army, Mr. Thompson returned to work at Midwest Coast Transport, Inc. as a sales representative, and was transferred to Portland, Oregon. Soon after, he had an opportunity to join Market Transport, a trucking company owned by Peter Stott, a Horatio Alger Association member from the class of 2014.  After saving enough money to buy his own truck, Mr. Thompson became an owner-operator. He then started Thompson Equipment Company, buying and selling used trucks. Two years later, he built a 7,800-square-foot building to service and sell his used trucks. Through an economy collapse in 1981 and impending company foreclosure, Mr. Thompson prevailed and purchased a repossessed fleet of 102 trucks, which he resold for a profit to save Thompson Equipment Company. Mr. Thompson changed his business’s name to TEC Equipment, Inc. in 1983, and through his leadership over the next several decades, it has become one of the top three dealers of new and used trucks and trailers in the country.  

“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, 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.” 

Mr. Thompson is passionate about bettering his community and providing those in need with valuable opportunities and support. He and his wife Ann established a major annual scholarship program at Oregon State University, providing two four-year scholarships that include coverage for tuition, room, board and senior-year study abroad for students in need. Additionally, Mr. Thompson has made contributions to several student programs at Portland State University. He pledged $5 million to Legacy Health for the construction of its cardiology and patient center, and has made contributions to Oregon Harbor of Hope and the Oregon Food Bank. He has been a member of the Oregon State University Foundation Board of Trustees since 2013, and is an Emeritus Trustee of the Meridian Park Medical Foundation’s Board and a 2018 recipient of its Pillar of Excellence Award.  

“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,” said Mr. Thompson. “Because it is not just a scholarship – it comes with a network of Members that are excited to mentor and guide them. I am honored to become a part of such an important organization and look forward to getting to know its exceptional Scholars.” 

Thanks to the generosity of its Members, the Association awards need-based scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. The Association also educates young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system through hard work, honesty and determination. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced significant adversities, but have also displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming their challenges. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, the Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $1235 million to 35,000 students in need, all of which has been funded solely through the generosity of Association Members and friends. 

Mr. Thompson and the Member Class of 2022 will be formally inducted into the Association on April 7-9, 2022, during the Association’s 75th Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The annual three-day event honors the achievements of both Members and National Scholars, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and interact as well as exchange stories of hardships and triumphs. 

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its Member Class of 2022, please visit and follow the organization on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:  

Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, in 2020, the Association awarded more than $21 million in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships to 2,500 students across the United States and Canada and provided college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $235 million in undergraduate, graduate, military veteran and career and technical education scholarships to more than 35,000 deserving students. For more information, please visit