Top Young Leaders Award LogoThe Top Young Leader Award recognizes those who play critical roles in the community and professional arenas of the construction industry. We believe it's important to honor the achievements of our young leaders; the emergence of these young leaders is critical to the future of CAGC and the members we serve.

2020 Top Young Leader Awards

Lindsay Smith

Lindsay works at Palmetto Corp in Conway, SC as the Safety Director. Lindsay graduated from Auburn University for both her undergrad and master’s degrees. For 5 years she worked in the public sector as a transportation planner for the Myrtle Beach MPO covering three counties in the grand strand area. In January of 2013 she decided to take the plunge over to the private sector and has never looked back. 

Now, over 8 years into her career at Palmetto Corp, she is overseeing all safety and risk management practices for this 600+ person company. She enjoys safety meetings at sunrise, spending time with dump truck drivers, getting her cowboy boots dirty on jobsites, and is convinced she looks best under the warm glow of balloon lights on a paving machine at night. In her time away from work she enjoys playing tennis, boating with Kristin Levy, cooking masterful dinners, running an occasional 10k, and spending time with her new boxer puppy, and her husband, Ryan. 


Travis Thompson

Travis is the Director of Operations at J.M. Thompson Company and has most recently been with the company for five years.  Travis graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management.  He then continued his education at Georgetown University and gained a Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate Development.  In his current position at J.M. Thompson, Travis handles all employee management, including the overall productivity of employees, as well as overseeing research and development of the business.   

Travis started working for J.M. Thompson at the age of 15 during his summer breaks from high school.  He participated in general labor, demolition, carpentry, and operating construction equipment.  In college, Travis spent two summers interning at J.M. Thompson, one where he learned how to estimate from his grandfather Hal, and the other in the field being mentored by an experienced superintendent.  Following a summer internship after graduating from East Carolina University, Travis took a job as project engineer in Washington D.C. with DAVIS Construction Corp, one of the top 100 ENR firms.  He worked both in the office and on the field during his five-year stint with the company contributing on a vertical expansion project in D.C. and a 20-story residential tower along the Silver Line Metro to Dulles Airport.  When his wife was accepted in a pediatric residency program at Duke University Hospital, Travis left D.C. and went back to work for J.M. Thompson as a project manager, with a plan to carry on the legacy of the family business. 

This year, Travis was also received one of East Carolina University’s 40 under 40 Leadership Awards. 

Travis lives in Durham, NC with his wife Liz, son Tucker (2) and dog Oliver (miniature goldendoodle).   



Clay Tresher
Clay Tresher is a surety producer, partnering with contractors of all sizes to assist them in achieving both their corporate and personal goals. Clay started in the surety industry in 2013, shortly after graduating from Lenoir-Rhyne University. There he was a four-year letter winner in baseball, while also graduating at the top of the Charles M. Snipes School of Business with BA’s in Accounting and Finance. Over the past 8+ years, he has had the privilege of working with some of the best minds in the construction industry, two of whom he is fortunate enough to be alongside of today. 

Clay first got his passion for construction early on in life from his father, who has been in the industry for over 30 years. During his time as both a surety underwriter and agent, Clay has learned that it’s not simply the end product that matters most in our industry. To steal a line from one of his favorite people, it’s about doing things in a way that thrills our partners. This is what he strives to do on a daily basis for his clients. 

Outside of work, some of Clay’s favorite things to do include saltwater fishing, duck hunting, and hiking with his yellow lab, Maddux. 

Clay has been a member of the young leaders group since 2014 and has been a member of the young leader action team since 2019.