Peoria’s Thom Gyder wins 2018 Business Leader of the Year award

Photo courtesy Leadership West
Phil Jackson, second from left, accepts the 2018 Business Leader of the Year award for Thom Gyder, flanked by Patrick McDermott (2017 winner); Shawn Bradford, Leadership West Board president; Michelle R. Hess, executive director for Leadership West.

Leadership West, the West Valley’s preeminent leadership organization, hosted an annual awards celebration June 8 at the Wigwam in Litchfield Park recognizing the region’s outstanding community leaders in business, civic, and nonprofit sectors, as well as the Leadership West alumnus of the year.
In addition to announcing the award winners, the event honored those graduating from Leadership West Class XXIV with an induction ceremony and recognized a group of individuals who completed a Leadership West Institute professional development program sponsored by Salt River Project.
“In the 24-year history of Leadership West, our alumni base of more than 500 leaders have made a significant impact in the business, civic and nonprofit sectors of the West Valley,” said Leadership West Board President Shawn Bradford, who is vice president corporate services of EPCOR Water. “These awards serve to promote the success of the West Valley and recognize the amazing achievements of individuals who continue making a difference in our region.”
The Leadership West award winners for 2018 are:

Business Leader of the Year
Thom Gyder, President, Wilhelm Automotive, actively supports Westside Food Bank, Cave Creek Museum, International Rotary, Luke Air Force Base, American Cancer Society, local schools and Peoria downtown revitalization.
 
Civic Leader of the Year
Georgia Lord, mayor of Goodyear, serves on Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council and Transportation Policy Committee, WESTMARC Executive Board and Board of Directors and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Executive Committee and Policy Committees.
 
Nonprofit Leader of the Year
Tom Loegering, founder of the nonprofit Golf Program in Schools, providing golf instruction on more than 20 campuses of West Valley public schools reaching 16,000 students.
 
Leadership West Alumnus of the Year
Gina Godbehere, Class XXII, criminal defense attorney, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office; a force behind the Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life annual conference for students to prevent youth suicide, which sparked a national movement.

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