Posted on Jun 22, 2015
Uniting, Guiding & Leading: Appreciating our Past Presidents CFBC's Past Presidents at the 20th Anniversary Gala on October 10, 2014

As our 20th Anniversary year comes to a close, Judy Hogel, Executive Director of the CFBC, reflects on the many gifts the FBC/CFBC Past Presidents have contributed to our community.

When I was asked to write a tribute to all of our FBC/CFBC Past Presidents, I started sweating. How in the world could I capture the contributions they have made to others and share the many gifts and lessons they have taught me over the years? Impossible, right? I hope that this communicates the power of the leaders that have guided us through the last 20 years.

Some understand a leader simply as somebody whom people follow, or as somebody who guides or directs others. However, leadership can also be defined as “motivating and organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”.

This definition got me thinking about each of our Past Presidents and all of the lives they’ve touched over the years. Each one has their own style of leadership. They organized and motivated us and they all had a common goal – to leave the CFBC in a better place than when they started their term. They all left their footprint which still impacts us as a community, and me personally.

You may recognize some of their gifts, inspiration, guidance and legacy. Their words and lessons serve as a constant reminder of what it takes to be a leader. Our Past Presidents brought us Strategic Partners, the Marketing Committee, infotainment, hugs, Good to Great, a new home at DePaul University, by-laws, Forum Protocol and so much more.

They’ve also shared words of wisdom throughout the years, such as…

It is important to listen and help bring out the leader in everyone you meet.

Change can be messy. Listening and adapting will help get you through it.

In a family business, make sure you always ask: What ‘hat’ do you want me to wear for this conversation?

Sometimes you just have to stop chopping wood and sharpen the ax.

Sometimes you take arrows, it means you’re going somewhere.

Treat and give to others as you would expect to be treated in return.

Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.

Patience, careful listening and communication skills are essential.

Do what is right, as nice as possible.

You get out of it what you put into it.

We are willing to listen without judgment and share our successes. We are in this together.

As you have been served by others, you must remember to reach out and return that service.

Forum members serve as mirrors, reflecting back what you say in a most helpful way. They demonstrate their caring in words and actions.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

And from our founder, Jim Liautaud: “spread the love!”

Each of these Presidents showed all of us that there are so many different types of leadership styles. I’ve come to believe there is no good or bad style, just a needed type of leadership at that particular time. It was almost as if the fates knew in advance just what kind of leader we needed. From command control, visionary, transformational, servant, quiet and steady, authentic, and consultative – each and every one touched the organization, forums, committees, members, and the public. Regardless of their leadership style, they all knew that it wasn’t about serving themselves, but serving and championing the entire CFBC community. We are forever grateful and appreciative for each of you setting the path and laying down the foundation for the future.

With much appreciation and gratitude for your 20 years of service,
Judy Hogel
Executive Director


  1. JHH
    June 23, 2015

    Nice letter Judy… You are quite a leader yourself!

  2. Cathie Duff
    June 23, 2015

    This is a great article, Judy! And I really appreciate that your history with CFBC is so deep — thank you!


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