Charlotte’s H.A. Thompson is on the ride of his life.

Posted On: 03/25/2015

When H.A. Thompson first started chauffeuring newlyweds in a beige 1956 Rolls-Royce, AM radio was king, the Yellow Pages was his company’s best advertising tool and Charlotte’s business community was an infant – small but growing, he said.

Thirty years later, Rose Chauffeured Transportation, the family-owned company he founded with his two sons, drives more corporate clients than married couples, has a fleet of 58 sedans, motorcoaches and minibuses and employs 125 people – some of whom have shuttled some of the city’s most illustrious figures, from Hugh McColl Jr. to Michael Jordan.

“You pay a premium, but you get the quality,” Thompson, 81, said. “That’s the secret.”

In the three decades he and his team have piloted the company, which generated $10 million in revenue last year, Thompson has amassed a trove of takeaways that turned his idea for a career change into a profitable enterprise.