“One of my favorite things at Missouri Magazine is celebrating the people and heart behind so many amazing businesses throughout the state of Missouri. As I type out the interview, I always love reading the inspiration/heart behind their business. What a journey John has been on and an amazing transformation he has made in his life. I love that he is sharing his story and helping others see how we can overcome addiction. It is my pleasure to introduce to you, John Thompson, the face behind Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction.” -Cheri Cranford, Founder & CEO of Missouri Magazine.
Missouri Magazine: Tell us a little about yourself and your journey.
John Thompson: I am a 3rd generation Lake of the Ozarks Business owner. My grandparents, Darwin and Betty Vance owned Idle Days and Gayla resort in the 70’s on the west end of the Grand Glaze Bridge in the heart of Osage Beach. They eventually retired and moved to Florida and partnered with my uncle Randy Vance on the resort, he continues to run it for some time. They eventually sold the resort. My mother Cyndi Thompson owned Sweet Magnolia Sky a clothing and jewelry store with 3 locations in the early 2000’s. I grew up in Osage Beach and graduated from Camdenton high school in 2009. I moved to Ames, Iowa and attended Business Management courses at Des Moines Area Community College for 2 years after high school.
During that time, I worked for Josh Wirtzy of Wirtzy Construction. I started as a young laborer for Josh and worked my way up in his business. Eventually I was promoted from ground pounder laborer to equipment operator and truck driver. I also helped Josh with material inventory and office duties. I learned Mr. Wirtzys business inside and out. He took me under his wing and taught me hard work, organization and responsibility. I eventually wanted to move back to Missouri to be closer to my family, so I resigned with Josh and thanked him for the opportunity.
I moved back home, continued attending college for business but was not happy working in the restaurant business and going to school. I was a highly trained roofing professional after working for Josh Wirtzy. I knew enough from business classes that I decided to open Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction headquartered in Linn Creek, Missouri, centrally located in the heart of Lake of the Ozarks.
In the Ames/Des Moines area working with Josh there is a bigger city vibe and more professionalism than lake area contractors provide. I wanted to bring that professionalism here so the people of Lake of the Ozarks and Missouri could have access to true roofing professionalism and quality. I could see the demand needed to be filled so I decided to go for it. Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction was incorporated in 2013. I spent the first couple years getting organized and putting the business together. Worked hard building a reputation and eventually we started generating almost 3 million dollars in revenue every year. We have been consistently growing every year since conception.
This year we plan on breaking the 3 million dollars in revenue mark here locally at the Lake of the Ozarks and eventually go nationwide to generate 50 million dollars in revenue annually. We will do this by providing a professional family experience to the owner. When you hire Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction you become part of the Thompson Roofing family. We are with our clients through it all from start to finish and care for them and their properties.
Whether it be retail roofing or insurance work we are battle tested in these departments and are the best in the business. As the business CEO I have years of commercial and residential roofing experience working all over the Midwest. Ultimately when you hire Thompson you hire a team of people that care and that will get your home or business repaired or restored with the best workmanship possible. We communicate effectively and always respond 24/7 365 no matter what.
Missouri Magazine: Tell us your role at Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction
John Thompson: I am the founder and CEO
Missouri Magazine: What do you love most about living in Missouri?
John Thompson: Missouri is a beautiful state. We have rolling hills, bluffs, lakes and scenery. We get the best of all seasons. You get to experience it all here in Missouri. Never a dull moment with the weather. They say if you do not like the weather in Missouri wait 5 mins. I am a resident of Osage Beach Missouri and keep a Boat at the Moorings Yacht Club. I enjoy nighttime boat rides with the music loud. The lights at night cruising down the main channel in Lake of the Ozarks will never get old. I enjoy patronizing local lake bars and restaurants. My roofing team and I regularly attend chamber meetings by water and support local business. We buy all roofing materials locally. The scenery is what I love most about living in Missouri.
Missouri Magazine: What are your favorite activities?
John Thompson: Boating, jet ski, cruising on the lake and flying my airplane.
Missouri Magazine: Where can someone find you when you are not at work?
John Thompson: On the water cruising in the boat or flying my airplane out of Camdenton Airport.
Missouri Magazine: What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
John Thompson: My greatest professional achievement is leading a roofing team to multi million dollars in revenue. I also learned how to fly planes recently and have incorporated that into my roofing business. We sometimes fly private to training seminars and business meetings.
Missouri Magazine: Do you have a favorite local charity?
John Thompson: Yes, I donate airplanes and flight time to patients that need to get to their doctors’ appointment across the country through Angel Flight Air Support headquartered in Camdenton Missouri. I fly these patients with John York, the local flight instructor in Camdenton, Missouri. This is by far my favorite and most rewarding thing I do.
Missouri Magazine: What are some of your local favorite places?
John Thompson: I frequent Baxter’s, Bentley’s and JB Hooks. I enjoy a good dinner with nice views after a long week of running a roofing company.
Missouri Magazine: How did the name of your business originate?
John Thompson: I take pride in my team’s work, so I was not afraid to put my last name on the company, Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction. I wanted my name on my work. My father and I worked together to get it off the ground and sure enough we did. Before my Grandpa Jack Thompson passed away, he grabbed me by my arm shortly before he passed and said, “be careful with my family name”.
I have taken that with me and made sure I have taken care of each and every customer as they are family so I can properly carry on the quality reputation of the Thompson Name. My Grandpa Jack Thompson was a private pilot, politician and car fleet salesman. He actually survived a plane crash in his plane in Kansas City with my Grandma Virginia, Aunt Joyce, my dad John Thompson Jr., my uncle Jim and Jeff Thompson. The particular plane at the time had a flaw in the fuel suction design that caused the engine not to get any fuel at a certain angle of attack causing loss of power. Grandpa Jack Thompson put it down in a corn field in a controlled crash and everyone survived with only minor injuries. It is a miracle they survived.
The Thompson family loves to fly! My father was involved in aviation Vietnam and eventually went on to fly commercial jets. His Brother my Uncle Jim Thompson was a Navy pilot and retired from the navy moving on to the commercial aviation world and retiring there as well. Jim’s son my cousin Zane Thompson is a Flight Surgeon in the Navy present day and fly’s many different types of military aircraft. My uncle Brent Vance and Grandpa Darwin Vance were both Airforce pilots. I have continued to carry on the Thompson name in private aviation and construction.
Missouri Magazine: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
John Thompson: Necessity
Missouri Magazine: How long have you lived in Missouri?
John Thompson: 25 years
Missouri Magazine: What has kept you here?
John Thompson: Family and comfort.
Missouri Magazine: What is something on your bucket list?
John Thompson: Branch into the Florida roofing market and own a jet.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite thing about Missouri?
John Thompson: Lake of the Ozarks and the people are nice.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite restaurant in Missouri and what do you love there?
John Thompson: Baxter’s Lakeside Grille at the lake and the cedar plank salmon.
Missouri Magazine: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Missouri?
John Thompson: I met Jason Bateman one time at Stewarts Restaurant on the strip in Lake Ozark. He was there ordering one of their giant cinnamon rolls.
Missouri Magazine: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
John Thompson: I enjoy recording and producing all kinds of music and video but never have any time to excel in it. I have a home studio that I fool around in occasionally when I have free time. I hope to find more time to enjoy this or incorporate it into my roofing business for advertising purposes.
Missouri Magazine: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
John Thompson: I see Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction branching into some other states such as Florida, Colorado and Texas.
Missouri Magazine: How did you get started in roofing and construction business?
John Thompson: My friend Brandon Garms introduced me to Roofing and Construction. We worked together at Dorsey’s Pit stop before it burned down years ago. When that ended, he invited me up to Iowa to roof with Josh Witzy of Wirtzy construction and I really loved the comradery on the roofing crews and operation of large dangerous equipment.
Missouri Magazine: Tell us about your day.
John Thompson: I wake up early, grab coffee and either see the team off over the phone or go into the office. I work late with my employees and am studying for the Florida roofing contractor test. This consumes all of my time. I work until 6 or 7 then study most nights and then recently got a gym membership at 5-star fitness in Osage Beach. You can find me at the office or on the road taking care of customers’ homes. I go to the gym late at night and work in my business during the day.
Missouri Magazine: What are your steps for success?
John Thompson: Never get to Lonely, Hungry or Tired. Stay centered and organized. Manage my time.
Missouri Magazine: Where does your inspiration come from?
John Thompson: Honestly, I have been hesitant to share my past and how I draw inspiration from it. But maybe it is time to embrace it and maybe my message will inspire someone else with a similar story to never give up.
I spent many years as a kid tearing the world apart. I was involved in drug trafficking and distribution. Eventually I was stopped by federal marshals and did time in Leavenworth Penitentiary. I met some folks in the penitentiary that were serving life with no chance of parole. They saw potential in me and did not want to see me back in trouble. I attended prayer groups with these amazing men that would never see the light of day again. They prayed over me and showed me support. They helped me develop a plan.
I returned to society with a fierce determination to do well. The odds and statistics were stacked against me. I did not want to let these guys down. I decided I would start putting some of the world back together again instead of continuing to tear it apart. I am heavily involved in the Narcotics Anonymous community across the nation and proudly carry the message of recovery to still suffering addicts.
Through Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction I restore people’s homes and businesses, through Narcotics Anonymous I carry the message of recovery in hopes I can restore some people’s lives and help show them how to live. Through Angel Flight Air Support, I medivac patients to their life saving doctors’ appointments that otherwise they would have never made it to.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite part about your job?
John Thompson: Putting peoples homes and lives back together after storm damages.
Missouri Magazine: What drives you most in life and your career?
John Thompson: My drive is derived from my natural want to make the world a better place. I enjoy building lasting relationships with people. People are who make this world go round. People drive me. I enjoy seeing others succeed. I love introducing new people to the roofing industry. I work hard training them and then watch them grow into amazing talented individuals financially and morally. This is my purpose and my drive.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite quote?
John Thompson: 1 Peter 5:8-11 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Missouri Magazine: What choices have you made to invest in yourself and your own success?
John Thompson: I have decided to roof, fly airplanes and live a life of sobriety. These things have taken me to amazing places. I have seen the world through these avenues and am shocked at the blessings they bring. It is truly amazing.
Missouri Magazine: What is ahead for Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction?
John Thompson: Expansion into other states. Continue to learn and get better every day.
Missouri Magazine: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
John Thompson: I have a family member in Dubai that I would love to visit someday with my Dad that owns a federal contracting company. They build entire military bases and airports. Would love to spend some time with him and pick his brain one day and have him show me around Dubai.
Missouri Magazine: If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?
John Thompson: I would advise myself to never pick up using drugs or alcohol and to start helping people much sooner.
Missouri Magazine: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
John Thompson: Love one another.
Missouri Magazine: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
John Thompson: I would like to thank all my clients for the trust they have in my team. We will continue to work hard for you no matter what. You come first and as always; we are with you through it all.
About John Thompson:
John Thompson started roofing as a laborer in Ames Iowa in 2010. John worked his way up from ground clean up to installer/equipment operator. In 2013 John founded Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction in the Lake of the Ozarks area after attending business classes at Des Moines Area Community College. John is a 3rd generation business owner in the Lake of the Ozarks area. Having a passion for business and helping others John has launched his re-build Missouri Campaign geared and focused on reconstructing homes and businesses in the state of Missouri after storm events.
HAAG Engineering Certified Roof Inspector
Licensed General Contractor in Missouri
Owens Corning Roofing University Certificate Holder