2022 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner Libby Weber ’10

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Professional Achievement, College of Business, Leadership, and Ethics

When Libby Weber was working on her Master of Business Administration degree at Viterbo, the name chosen for her cohort was the Tuesday Sherpas, a reference to the day their classes met and the mountain climbing guides known for making sure climbers get to the summit (and back).

Little did she know when she finished her MBA work that 10 years later, she would be CEO of The Weber Group and facing a long, steep climb indeed.

Libby Weber
Libby Weber

“I didn't really know what to expect as my career developed after I earned my MBA, but I assumed I would remain involved with the family business,” Weber said. “I certainly did not expect for our company to grow as large and diverse as it has, or for my responsibilities to be as significant as they have become.”

The Weber Group, a La Crosse-based company with 430 employees encompassing 12 businesses in the hospitality, health care and wellness, and real estate development arenas. Among the most well-known Weber Group enterprises are Belle Square, The Charmant Hotel, Home2 Suites by Hilton, The Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern, Riverside Corporate Wellness, and Weber Health Logistics. Weber also is president of The Idea Fund, an early-stage startup venture capital fund.

Soon after Weber took over as CEO of The Weber Group, she was faced with a challenge few if any saw coming: a pandemic. As COVID-19 began spreading and people hunkered down, the hospitality industry was among the hardest hit. For Weber, the foremost concern was taking care of the company’s many employees.

“Entering into unchartered territory and accepting the worry, fear, confusion, and frustrations from people you are responsible for was a defining moment to either accept the challenge, take the lead, and make a positive impact, or to succumb to the same fears and worries as those you are trying to lead,” Weber said. “These moments somehow fueled my strength to be creative with solutions, respond quickly and calmly, and prepare for unforeseen change.”

Weber also made sure that The Weber Group's resources and expertise in the health care realm were used to help deal with pandemic health issues. "As we felt a responsibility and obligation to contribute to the many solutions needed during the pandemic, we very quickly developed programs that assisted the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), as well as developed and executed COVID vaccination programs for the University of Wisconsin System and several Wisconsin counties," Weber said. "It was a tremendous challenge but fulfilling at the same time." 

Weber credits Viterbo with putting her on the path to becoming the kind of leader she wanted to be. “Viterbo gave me a supportive space for me to break out of my shell as a young professional,” she said. “I became more confident in myself and my passions, which allowed me to become a more confident, yet empathetic, leader in my work and community.”

A self-described lifelong learner, Weber studied at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse after graduating from Aquinas High School, earning a degree in marketing in 2004. After she earned her Viterbo MBA, she earned a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2013.

As one would expect of someone trained in the art of servant leadership, Weber gives credit for the success of The Weber Group to the people who work with her.

“I am most proud of the team that we have cultivated in our organization, a team that offers endless support, trust, loyalty, and kindness,” she said. “With this team, I am so proud of the way we navigated so much responsibility through the pandemic. Their input and trust in the decisions we made led us all to become stronger leaders with stronger outcomes.”

Being recognized with a Viterbo Distinguished Alumni Award means a lot to Weber.

“To know that I have continued to demonstrate Viterbo's core values of hospitality, integrity, contemplation, stewardship, and service is an honor,” she said “This is what I strive to carry with me in my professional and personal life, and what I come back to when I face most challenges. It's what keeps me grounded and motivated.”

2022 Viterbo University Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients main page