“All that I personally have done in community service is very little compared to many in this great town of Chico… just part of what we are supposed to do as good stewards and good citizens by helping others in our community.” —Stan Thompson
A third-generation painting contractor, Stan Thompson and his wife, Lauri, own Chico’s Bestway Painters Inc., a painting, wallcovering and drywall contracting business established by his family 60 years ago. Stan attended Citrus Elementary School, Bidwell Jr. High, and Chico High, graduating in 1970. He also attended Butte College at the Durham campus. He has served—and continues to serve—on a wide range of educational and community-based youth committees and foundations, including the Rotary Club of Chico, for the past for 28 years, and the Butte College Foundation Board, for the past 15. He and Lauri are also active with business affiliations at the state and national levels, including the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America—representing 3500 painting contracting businesses—of which Stan is a past president.
Stan strongly believes in giving back to his community, a virtue formed and fostered largely by his long involvement in Boy Scouts of America and by his family. First joining Scouts in 1963, Stan attended the National Jamboree held in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1964, an experience, he says, that started him down his life path of deeply felt pride and patriotism for his country and its citizens. He emphasizes that Scouting programs and values not only shaped him but “help thousands of young men learn to be good citizens of their communities and their country.” In 1965, Stan earned the Scouting God and Country Award and became a member of the Order of the Arrow, a Scout honor camping society. In 1966 he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Additionally, Stan is thankful to his parents for helping him see the value of service. “They were always helping out in some capacity with a church, Salvation Army or some other organization,” he says. “So we didn’t think it was anything special to spend a few nights or weekends building or painting something for people I really didn’t know so long as they needed
Stan extended his Scouting skills and commitment to service by joining the United States Air Force Reserves in 1971. As a Staff Sergeant, Stan served as Crew Chief and then Loadmaster on C-130 and KC-135 in-flight refueling aircraft in Tactical and Strategic airlift missions for five years. He received the Air Force Commendation Medal in 1974 for his professional skill, knowledge and leadership qualities during support missions in Alaska, Puerto Rico and the Philippines during the closing months of the Viet Nam War.
Stan emphasizes that he is fortunate to have a “willing partner” in his wife, Lauri, who worked beside him on many occasions and was “very understanding when I would take time away from home to go work on some other project for some one else’s benefit.”
Stan remains active in Scouts today, 46 years after first joining. A Scout Cub Master and Troop Scout Master for over ten years, Stan was very proud to have is son, Adam, and six other young men become Eagle Scouts under his guidance as a Scout leader. He looks forward to remaining active in its programs for years to come.