Thomas Amonett, president and CEO, Champion Technologies Inc.

Distribution & Manufacturing — Energy, Finalist

In 1999, the owners at Champion Technologies Inc. named Tom Amonett president and CEO. In the 12-plus years since, the organization has grown into a billion-dollar global specialty chemical company that is now challenging its competitors for the market leadership position.

The growth of Champion has been due in large part to the leadership of Amonett, who has spearheaded major changes to the company’s infrastructure, including the supply chain, safety, systems, financial reporting and human resources, which have facilitated its growth into a market leader at a rapid pace and without significant disruption.

Amonett does not necessarily consider himself to be an entrepreneur. He believes he was lucky enough to walk into a company that was already filled with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. As he sees it, his role is to encourage that entrepreneurial spirit through the culture of the company and to provide strategic direction.

The company’s growth began to accelerate in 2000 when Champion began to transform from a strong regional player in the energy chemical segment to one of the leading global companies in the industry. The company had almost exclusively served independent producers, but Amonett envisioned strong growth potential if the company could penetrate the super-major market.

During the decade-plus period of growth, the supply chain has struggled to keep pace with front-line sales. Amonett considers that to be one of the larger challenges facing the company into the future, as he foresees continued high sales growth potential. Though previous investments in infrastructure have allowed the company to avoid growth disruptions, the company is currently undertaking several infrastructure products in anticipation of continued high growth rates.

How to reach: Champion Technologies Inc.,