Engineering Building

September 20, 2021

Health care executive to discuss leadership Sept. 25

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – A renowned health care leader and author later this month will talk about leadership during a presentation sponsored by an engineering leadership program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Leadership-WoodyHester-smSIU’s Leadership Development Program will host Woody Hester, a longtime health care leader, whose new book, “Leadership Maxims,” discusses 12 “truths” for today’s leaders in the field. Hester will speak at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, in room A-111 in the Engineering Building. A book-signing will follow the presentation, which is free and open to the public. SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all those attending  this event must wear masks and follow current campus and state pandemic safety protocols.   

Hester’s book discusses the most important lessons of leadership journey, including 38 years in the health care industry. During that time he served in various roles, including senior vice president of a health care system, president and CEO of a community hospital and vice president of operations for a large teaching hospital.

Hester, of Springfield, also served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1971, attaining the rank of captain. He received the Bronze Star with oak leaf clusters for his service in the former republic of South Vietnam.

The Leadership Development Program at SIU is designed to mold students into future executive leaders in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by providing leadership training, mentoring and community service-learning opportunities. Students in the program also get opportunities to complete a summer internship with corporate sponsors, a major boost to starting their post-graduate career in the working world.

Bruce DeRuntz, director of the LDP, said he was inspired to invite Hester to speak after reading his book.

“I wanted other hopeful leaders to learn from his leadership journey,” DeRuntz said. “Many of his lessons are from the health care field, and I thought it would be beneficial to our expanded health care programs at SIU as well as our partners at Southern Illinois Healthcare and Shawnee Healthcare Services.”

DeRuntz said those who attend the presentation will benefit and learn from Hester’s simple, clear stories.

“He talks about how he used leadership lessons taught to him to not only become a CEO, but more importantly, help transform a hospital to provide critical health care services and jobs to thousands in their community,” DeRuntz said.