Dr. Alison Thompson, a former medic, math teacher, and Wall Street investment banker who rollerbladed to Ground Zero on Sept 11, 2001, to serve as a volunteer rescue worker, was honored today by the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) with its Lifetime Achievement Award for her subsequent 17-year career as a full-time volunteer global humanitarian.
Following the 2004 Asian tsunami, the Australian-born Thompson founded CTEC, the first and only tsunami early-warning center in Sri Lanka, which was devastated by the giant waves. In Sri Lanka, Thompson ran a field hospital and helped rebuild a village for 3,000 people. In January 2010, Thompson flew to Haiti with actor Sean Penn and 10 doctors to help with the earthquake aftermath. There, the volunteers managed an internally displaced peoples' camp and field hospital with more than 65,000 people.
That year, she was awarded the Order of Australia, the highest civilian medal awarded by Queen Elizabeth II, for her volunteer work and her contribution to mankind. She was also awarded the Medal of Excellence by the U.S.' prestigious 82nd Airborne Division.
Other honorees at today's ceremonies, which took place at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' (CSCMP's) annual EDGE conference in Nashville, were Dallas-based The Shippers Group, which received ALAN's Outstanding Contribution Award for donating space and labor in Dallas and Atlanta that helped non-profits provide comfort to families returning home after Hurricane Harvey and clean up for Caribbean communities after hurricanes Irma and Maria. Richmond, Va.-based less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier Estes Express and Atlanta-based home improvement giant The Home Depot Inc. received ALAN's Employee Engagement Award for teaming up to deliver cleaning supplies, food, and hydration to the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma.
In addition, MIT's Humanitarian Supply Chain Lab and LIFT Non-Profit Logistics received ALAN's Director's Partnership Award for their role in helping ALAN provide daily updates about the information and resources critical to restoration of private supply chains during hurricanes Lane and Florence.
ALAN began the awards program last year. Founded in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, ALAN connects humanitarian logistics and supply chain resources with groups and agencies helping communities worldwide recover from natural disasters.