Ann McGee-Cooper Spirit of Servant Leadership Award

The Ann McGee-Cooper Spirit of Servant Leadership Award was created in memory of Ann McGee-Cooper to honor servant-leaders who exemplify an extraordinary commitment to living, serving, and bringing the spirit of servant leadership to life. 

McGee-Cooper was mentored by Robert K. Greenleaf, who coined the term “servant leadership” in his essay, The Servant as Leader, published in 1970.

Following in his footsteps, Ann spent more than 50 years as a spirit carrier; working tirelessly to nurture the spirit of servant leadership in well-known organizations such as Southwest Airlines, TDIndustries, AT&T, and many others.

Ann McGee-Cooper, AMCA
Servant-Leader & mentor to many

“Servants who nurture the human spirit are spirit carriers.”

– Robert Greenleaf

Award Recipients

The following award recipients are role models who exemplify an extraordinary commitment to nurturing the spirit, dignity and potential of all people through acts of servant leadership.

2023 Spirit of Servant Leadership Award Winner

Dr. Kent Keith, author & scholar of servant leadership

Dr. Kent M. Keith is an author and scholar of servant leadership, having earned many prestigious degrees.

Kent has served as CEO of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership (USA), and as CEO of the Greenleaf Centre for Servant Leadership (Asia).

Honoring individuals who embody the “spirit” of servant leadership

The Ann McGee-Cooper Award was co-created by Duane Trammell, Virginia Gilmore, and Isabel Lopez in 2018 and continues to be presented to spirit carriers who have made inspirational contributions to leave the world with the highest possibility through servant leadership.

More on award with Virginia + Duane

“He is brilliant. Yet, he is approachable, easy to talk to, welcoming, and humble. Through is presence – his way of being – Kent is the nurturer of the human spirit.”

– Virginia Gilmore, Sophia Foundress + Duane Trammell, TMCA

Past Award Recipients

Tom Thibodeau (2022)

Known for being the founder of the Master of Arts in Servant Leadership program at Viterbo University, the first of its kind, Thibodeau has shown enthusiasmcompassion, and commitment to leadership and service in the La Crosse community and beyond.

Don M. Frick (2018)

With a mission is to “spread the knowledge, tools and stories of servant leadership so people can choose to lead more integrated lives” it’s no surprise Don was the first recipient at the 2018 International Servant Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. 

More Servant Leadership Awards & Impact

Sophia Partners is a community-benefit, nonprofit organization dedicated to building a network of transformative servant-leaders who unleash the potential of people and create collaborative and thriving spaces and places.