A Servant’s Heart
Patti Thayer Geissler is the kind of behind-the-scenes leader who puts others’ accomplishments in the spotlight.
“I don’t believe we can do anything without a team,” says the owner of Thayer Energy Solutions, in Loves Park, Ill. “I don’t believe this business is a success without the right people.”
Indeed, in business and volunteering Thayer Geissler surrounds herself with people who share her sense of drive, enthusiasm and commitment to doing the right thing. She treats her team of eight like family, sharing in their successes and supporting them through challenges. They return the favor by calling her “a good leader,” “a mom,” and “family.”
Thayer Geissler’s passion is clear, as is her sense of vision. Raised in New Orleans, she started her career in a French Quarter hotel and rose through the ranks, eventually training and setting up front and backend operations as new hotels opened. She moved to Denver and managed a hospital’s payroll before landing in Rockford with the National Federation of Independent Businesses. While working at the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce in 1996, she married a persuasive salesman named Tom Thayer, whose nascent business the pair would soon turn into an expert in energy-efficient lighting solutions.
It wasn’t the technology that drew her into the business, Thayer Geissler says. Rather, it was a “gut feeling” about the way this technology could help others. Ask how it turned out and you’ll hear about the difference her team has made for car dealers, manufacturers, shopping centers, bankers – all demonstrated through before-and-after photos adorning the walls.
Outside of business hours, community service remains important for Thayer Geissler, who’s served on the Winnebago County Board and the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce board, among others. She encourages her team members to get involved in nonprofit and industry groups whenever possible.
Thayer Geissler lives with passion and enthusiasm, and she’s also committed to doing a job well. Knowing your limits is an important part of the equation, she says. “I pray every morning for balance.”
Inside an old camper at Thayer’s headquarters, the “brains” behind her team’s newest project are meeting the next generation of cutting-edge technology: electric vehicle chargers. As she did with LED lights years ago, Thayer Geissler’s following her passion, her gut and her team into the future – and along the way, she’s positioning others for unbounded success.
“Anything I’ve done in life, I have immersed myself completely in it, because there’s a good feeling when you do something that gives a good return,” she says. “The good return isn’t just financial. It’s a satisfied customer.”
Source: “25 Most Interesting People.” Northwest Quarterly. The Annual 2023, page 107.
Articles in this series are by various writers: Chris Linden, Lindsey Lukas, Jim Taylor, Steven Bonifazi, Paul Anthony Arco, Stephanie N. Grimoldby, Paula Hendrickson, and Jermaine Pigee.
Photography by Samantha Behling.