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Posted on: April 21, 2022

Linda Cook receives Lyle Butler Distinguished Leadership Award as Leadership Manhattan alum

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Linda Cook has been named as the recipient of the 2022 Lyle Butler Distinguished Leadership Award at the organization’s 2022 graduation ceremonies April 19. Cook recently retired from Kansas State University where she served as the chief of staff to the president and is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Manhattan.  

At each year’s graduation ceremony, the Lyle Butler Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes one leadership program alumnus for exemplary community service. Tom Phillips, the 2021 recipient, explained how the selection committee “looked at Lyle Butler’s body of work and how he approached being a leader in Manhattan” when making the selection.

The selection committee looked for someone that demonstrated a long-term commitment of being engaged in the community; someone who is a problem solver, a consensus-builder, and a collaborative leader; and an individual that focuses on the well-being of the entire community, always demonstrating a positive attitude, personal humility and caring for the people around them.

As chief of staff at Kansas State, Cook served as a member of the president’s cabinet helping lead and coordinate community affairs for K-State, representing the president’s office on issues related to the economic development initiatives for the city of Manhattan and Riley County. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, her vision, strategic planning and leadership skills were crucial to the University, the City of Manhattan and the number of boards she served. These groups include: Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce Board; Flint Hills Regional Council, Landon Lecture Series, K-State Alumni Association.

The Leadership Manhattan ceremony held April 19 concludes the program for 20 graduates. The four-month program – presented by Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce – includes sessions on state and local government, community awareness and Manhattan’s economy. 

Congratulations to Linda Cook on the Distinguished Service Award, and the entire Leadership Manhattan Class of 2022.



Pictured from left to right, Lyle Butler, Linda Cook, Tom Phillips

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