On Nov. 15 and 16, the staff and trustees of the CGSC Foundation gathered for a dinner and a reception to honor the service of Foundation President and CEO Doug Tystad and Foundation Director of Operations Ann Soby. Soby officially retired from her position on Nov. 16 and Tystad will turn over the reins to his replacement Dec. 14.
At the reception on Nov. 16, Mr. Kirby Brown, deputy to the commanding general of Fort Leavenworth, presented Tystad with the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for his five years of service in the Foundation and his support for the Command and General Staff College. Kirby also presented the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service to Soby for her 10 years on the Foundation staff.
Foundation staff members and others presented a few gag gifts to both Tystad and Soby during the reception. Notable of these were the personalized Foundation News magazine covers that the Foundation staff has traditionally presented to departing members. This time, however, one gift from retired CGSC history professor Dr. Jim Willbanks, was a highlight. In the tradition of Russian nesting dolls, Willbanks sent a gift to Tystad that consisted of a wrapped box within a box, within a box, until the actual present, a miniature rocking chair, was finally revealed. Earlier this year, Tystad had presented Willbanks with a child-sized Foundation chair during his retirement ceremony as a gift (although he ultimately received the full-sized version), so Willbanks simply returned the favor.
During the dinner on Nov. 15, Tystad presented Soby with a framed collection of all the annual holiday ornaments that she had designed over the years as a retirement gift.
“This job has been one of the most important and most rewarding positions in my 46 years of adult working life,” Tystad said.
Soby made similar comments thanking all of the trustees and staff and the College staff and faculty for their support during her 10 years with the Foundation.
Soby’s replacement, Lora Morgan, assumed the duties of director of operations on Nov. 16. Tystad’s replacement, Col. (Ret.) Rod Cox, the current program director of the Foundation’s Simons Center, will take the reins on Dec. 14.
It is often said that change is the only constant in life, yet people are resistant to change because of the turmoil and risk associated with it. “If you don’t like change,” said former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, “you’ll like irrelevance even less.” So with those wise words, those of us on the Foundation staff and the board of trustees will move forward with the mission of the CGSC Foundation in support of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College to seek new high ground with the knowledge that leaders like Col. (Ret.) Doug Tystad and Mrs. Ann Soby have prepared us for success.
Farewell to Doug and Ann from all of us.