The Lasallian Education Council (LEC) has announced that Tom Southard will serve as the first executive director for Christian Brothers Conference (CBC), the office for the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN).
Southard currently serves as chief operating officer at the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, where he first encountered the De La Salle Christian Brothers and the Lasallian mission. He has a deep commitment to service and community and a passion for Catholic education. Southard brings a demonstrated appreciation for charism-infused ministry and consecrated life, embodied by his service with the Cabrini sisters in previous roles at Cabrini University and his current leadership at the Conference of Major Superiors of Men.
“Tom’s faith-informed leadership, sense of vocation and enthusiasm for our Lasallian mission combined with his management expertise and communication abilities make him an ideal fit for this important role. I, along with my colleagues on the Lasallian Education Council, look forward to supporting Tom in his efforts to lead Christian Brothers Conference,” said Dr. Kurt Schackmuth, LEC chair. “I would also like to express my gratitude and deep appreciation for the outstanding work of Dr. Mike Daniels, who expertly guided and facilitated this search process.”
“I am honored to join Christian Brothers Conference as executive director and thank the Brothers and the LEC for this opportunity,” said Southard. “While working with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men and with the many charisms of the members, I always connected with the Lasallian charism in a very personal way. The idea that Brothers and Partners can share responsibility to teach minds and touch hearts is in keeping with my understanding of the Church: that we are all called by Christ to be co-workers in the vineyard.”
Southard, an experienced association professional and fundraiser, is currently working toward his doctorate in organizational development (spring 2022) and holds a Juris Doctor from Villanova University, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore, a master’s in philanthropic studies from Indiana University and a bachelor’s in community studies and civic engagement from the University of Baltimore.
As executive director, Southard’s responsibilities will include maintaining the high quality of programs and events while collaborating to create and animate a bold, unifying vision for the future of formation and other initiatives at the Regional level. He will also be responsible for promoting the mission, developing a strategic plan, advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion, strengthening philanthropy and focusing on long-term financial sustainability.
Invited to serve by the LEC, with the support of the Regional Conference of Christian Brothers, Southard’s hiring marks a leadership model change for CBC, which introduces a single leader for the staff, programs and other initiatives of the office. The new model replaces the current model of leadership held among the General Councilor, executive director of the Office for Lasallian Education and director of administration. Among Southard’s first responsibilities will be focusing on the new organizational structure and leading the hybrid CBC staff, building relationships with key Brothers and Partners in the Region, and prioritizing his Lasallian formation.
“I am eager to continue my own formation in the Lasallian charism,” said Southard, “and I look forward to partnering with the Brothers, CBC staff, the Lasallian Education Council, Visitors and District leaders, and those who walk the path laid out for us by De La Salle as we work to enhance the vitality of the Lasallian mission across the Region.”
Southard’s hiring comes after a nationwide search led by AGB Search with the support of a search committee comprised of LEC members, District leaders and CBC staff members. He will join CBC on July 1, 2022. Southard lives in Horsham, Pennsylvania, with his wife and three children.