Make friends, build relationships, grow business, with LCI CEO Jeffrey Hawting

Just before turning 30, Jeffrey Hawting was an ordained priest traveling from Australia to America to study, but he never went home. After leaving the priesthood, his friend helped him find a job selling office products to the federal government, many of which were made by companies with blind employees. One of those companies was LCI, and that company recruited Jeffrey.

Now, he’s LCI’s CEO, and the manufacturing company based in Durham, N.C. has now employed over 300 people that are blind or low vision. The company is also continuing its mission of inclusive employment by backing Ablr 360, a digital accessibility and inclusion company working to bring 100% compliance to digital content. In this episode, Donald and Jeffrey talk about Jeffrey’s career journey and why Ablr’s mission is so personally important to them both.



Donald Thompson: Welcome to the Donald Thompson podcast. And one of the things that is such a blessing in my life, because I get to talk to tremendous business leaders from all over the country and all over the globe. And today is no different I have with me, the CEO of LCI industries, Mr. Jeffrey Hawting. Jeff. Good to see you.

Jeffrey Hawting: Good to see you too DT. Thank you. Great to be on the show.

Donald Thompson: One of the things that we like to do before we kind of dig into the business and topics and different things is we want our listeners to really know you. Take a minute and talk about family. Where are you from? Where you were educated? Just things that would allow us to now talk as friends.

Jeffrey Hawting: Excellent. Well, you might pick up from my accent. I’m not born in the U S was born in Melbourne, Australia.  Back in the mid fifties. So I’m showing my age and I got two older brothers, youngest sister grew up in a very traditional family.

Just before I turned 30, I was asked to come to the U S to study. And at that time I was an ordained Catholic priest and I was coming over here to do a master’s degree.

Full Episode Transcript

The Donald Thompson Podcast is hosted by Walk West CEO, The Diversity Movement CEO, mentor, investor, and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Donald Thompson.

Music for this episode provided by Jensen Reed from his song, “You Can’t Stop Me”.

The Donald Thompson Podcast is edited and produced by Earfluence. For more on how to engage your community or build your personal brand through podcasting, visit

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