Donnell Thompson is President of Checkerboard Foods LLC and RWDT Foods Inc. He is responsible for directing the financing, development, operations, and administration of franchise companies with Checkers/Rally’s restaurants in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Thompson exemplifies excellence in his work. He received the Checkers/Rally’s 2021 Brand Champion Award and was named Checkers/Rally’s President’s Club winner for 2019 for re-opening six Rally’s restaurants within nine months in the Birmingham, Alabama area.
As an astute businessman, he moved into the world of franchising after a successful football career with the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League, by owning five McDonald restaurants in the northern Atlanta area, receiving the Golden Hat award from McDonald’s Corporation for operating all restaurants with AAA standard of quality, cleanliness, and profitability. He also developed other successful full service and quick service restaurants.
Thompson is a licensed realtor in South Carolina. He developed, constructed, owned, and operated several Marriott and Choice Hotel franchises in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. As a real estate developer, Thompson has constructed residential homes ranging from $300,000 to million-dollar homes. He has also developed two commercial real estate facilities in Red Springs, North Carolina.
Thompson, born in Lumberton, North Carolina, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he participated as a student athlete in football. He received honors as an ALL ACC, ALL AMERICAN player. He was drafted into the National Football League by the Baltimore/ Indianapolis Colts in 1981 as a first-round selection and played for 11 years with honors including Miller Lite Player of the Year, Defense Player of the Year, and Defense Lineman of the Year. He maintains his membership in the National Football League Players Association. Thompson has served on the board of visitors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is married to Deborah Carr Thompson, and they have four children and seven grandchildren.