Spirit of Servant Leadership Award given to Thomas Thibodeau
Sophia named Thomas Thibodeau as the recipient of the 2022 Ann McGee-Cooper Spirit of Servant Leadership Award.
This award celebrates people who enrich the lives of individuals, build better organizations, and ultimately, create a more caring and just world.
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 enthusiasm, compassion, and commitment to leadership and service in the La Crosse community and beyond. Putting his values into practice, he works as a professor and talented public speaker, and is an active community member who has made a significant impact in the world of servant leadership.
In 2018, the 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 said,
“In my view of the world, there are people whom I would call ‘spirit carriers.’ Servants who nurture the human spirit are spirit carriers.”
Following in his footsteps, McGee-Cooper 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.
Thibodeau was the first recipient since the inaugural award which was presented to author and servant leadership scholar, Don Frick, at the International Servant Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. Communities across the country and world are impacted by men and women like Frick, Thibodeau, and McGee-Cooper, who made an impact as pioneer servant leaders.