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Home : Volume 23 : Fall 1996 :
Distinguished Service Award for Paul D. Thompson

Paul D. Thompson

Paul D. Thompson
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By combining visionary leadership with engineering expertise, Paul D. Thompson, president of the Bou-Matic division of DEC International, Inc., has helped his company become a world leader in dairy equipment manufacturing.

Thompson's career began in 1962 after he received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. During his four years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, he was assigned to the Pacific Fleet's Submarine Force, where he performed planning, electronics and intelligence duties. At the end of his tour, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning his PhD in biomedical electronics in 1970.

From 1971-78 Thompson was a scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland. As part of an interdisciplinary research team, he explored techniques for reducing the economic and public health costs of bovine mastitis. He also managed solar energy research pertaining to dairy farm applications.

Thompson joined Bou-Matic in 1978 as a product manager with authority over the research and development department. He was subsequently promoted to vice president of engineering and product development, vice president of corporate development, and president and general manager of the dairy systems division. In 1982 Thompson was named president, responsible for the Madison headquarters, and subsequently branch operations in France, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Thompson holds several U.S. and foreign patents on milking devices, including Bou-Matic's "Flo-Star®" milking machine claw and liners. Additionally, he has written more than 100 scientific papers.

Thompson has five children. Daughters Katrina and Michelle pursue careers and families in California and Thailand, respectively; sons Matt, Jeff and John remain at home with him and his wife Clara, pastor of Oregon's First Presbyterian Church.

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