Your paper reported IDG's Computerworld, the "Voice of IT Management" recognized me as one of the business world's Premier 100 IT Leaders ("Mais Oui: Thibodeaux's Tops in Information Technology," Dec. 14). This recognition was indeed an honor, and I am extremely proud to receive this award, along with others that I have received in the last 15 months.

Awards are many times given to individuals, but they are rarely earned solely by individual effort. It would be nearly impossible to name all of the individuals who have been instrumental in the recognition I have received. But one thing I do know is that it takes the support of many people, at many levels, to accomplish things above the ordinary.

Lafayette is truly a magical community. Over the years the people of Lafayette have supported me, encouraged me, challenged me and cheered me. When I got down and discouraged, people here stood me back straight and pointed the way. When I got too high, they pulled me back down to earth. When I needed inspiration, they came from all corners with insight, and when I got cocky, they brought me to my senses ' and it was always done with the class, tact, love, acceptance and encouragement that can only come from the people of our great culture.

Any distinction that has been bestowed upon me is owed to Lafayette and Acadiana, for it is here, of all the places I have lived, that I have found my balance and a foundation. To the people of Lafayette, please accept my deepest appreciation, my dedication and, above all, my sincere thanks for lifting me beyond my own capabilities.

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