Dr. James A. Tompkins,
Chairman, Ph.D.

Jim Tompkins is an international authority on designing and implementing end-to-end supply chains. He is a serial entrepreneur who has started several businesses; worked with private equity; designed many industrial facilities and automated materials handling systems; implemented many supply chain information technology solutions and worked to enhance the performance of many 3PLs and 3PL clients.

Jim was the founder and Chairman of Tompkins International, for over 40 years and he focused on helping companies achieve profitable growth, giving him an insider’s view into what makes great companies even better. In 2020 Jim founded Tompkins Ventures, LLC, a firm that helps executive teams address five big problems: entrepreneurial growth, development prosperity, logistics partnerships, technology and leadership.

Jim received the prestigious Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) on June 1, 2015. The award is a tribute that recognizes Dr. Tompkins through the contributions he has provided to the welfare of mankind in the field of industrial and systems engineering. In addition, Jim has served as President of the IISE, the Materials Management Society and the College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education and has been named a Distinguished Engineering Alum by Purdue University. He has also received more than 50 additional awards for his service to his profession.

Michael Royster,
Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer Mike Royster has over 30 years’ experience managing Logistics and Distribution on a global basis for companies like Ingersoll Rand/Trane, Eaton Corporation, and XPO Logistics. Mike now leads Tompkins Ventures’ global logistics and consulting practices. His vision, strategy and implementation have resulted in the exponential growth of these practices for enterprises ranging from start-ups all the way to the largest companies in the world.

Mike evaluates new commercial partners and supports all Tompkins Ventures business partners with new and existing opportunities.

Beyond Logistics and Distribution, Mike’s previous leadership roles include Materials, Supply Chain Optimization, and TMS Control Towers.

Mike has received many leadership awards throughout his career, including multiple Ingersoll Rand Presidents Awards. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Appalachian State University and has completed several Leadership Certification programs.

Zane Browning,
Chief Growth Officer

Zane Browning is a lifelong connector.

As Chief Growth Officer of Tompkins Ventures’ Entrepreneurial Growth Practice, Zane deploys his experience in capital formation to match the right people with the right business technology with the right investors, building networks worldwide.  His passion is finding compelling technologies that are ready for funding. 

Prior to joining Tompkins Ventures, Zane worked in capital formation, business development, and intellectual property strategy and monetization. He has held VP and executive-level positions for two venture backed startups (automotive testing and automotive electronics) and an early-stage material science and IP-focused startup.  Along with being an angel investor in a wide range of companies, he co-founded Adapted Guidance LLC, which produces SF-5 nano-engineered lubricants and solvents primarily for the firearms industry.   Zane spent 17 years in technical sales and sales leadership for 3M’s Automotive and Aerospace Division winning multiple division awards. His B.S. is from the Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma.


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