Dedication to Serving Others Earns Prestigious Honors

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For Jim May and his son Michael, serving others has always been a driving motive in their lives. Although this father-son duo has led very different lives, each has managed to use the values of dedication, commitment and purpose to reach the top of his field. Recently, each of them has been honored for the contributions they have made in their respective fields.

These two men have a loving relationship that all fathers and sons should aspire to. They are a reminder to all about the importance of putting others first.

For Jim May and his son Michael, serving others has always been a driving motive in their lives. Although this father-son duo has led very different lives, each has managed to use the values of dedication, commitment and purpose to reach the top of his field. Recently, each of them has been honored for the contributions they have made in their respective fields.

Jim May has quietly started a food revolution in the U.S. With his personal mission of preventing childhood obesity and diabetes, he waged a triumphant battle against government bureaucracy to bring the all-natural sugar alternative, stevia, to the United States. May began importing stevia to the U.S. in 1982, and challenged a number of government regulations over the years before becoming the first company to receive GRAS status from the FDA for a line of stevia products under the name SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener. For his lifelong efforts, he was recently awarded the illustrious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stevia World Europe conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Today, after years of challenges, his dream has become a reality as SweetLeaf™ is now the only 100% all-natural stevia sweetener with zero calories, zero carbs and zero glycemic index on the market. It is available in thousands of stores across the country and has already begun helping Americans live healthier, happier lives.

Meanwhile, his son, Dr. Michael May, Associate Professor of Leadership and War Strategy, has dedicated his life to the real battlefields of today’s world but remains connected to his father by using the same sense of commitment and purpose that his father instilled in him as a child. Inspired by his father’s determination to achieve a lifelong dream, Michael chose to live his life according to the same principles. Serving as a professor of military history and strategy for the Air Force, he shares those values while teaching the men and women who protect our country subjects such as cyberspace and air warfare, leadership development, and military strategy. In recognition of his impressive work and leadership, Michael was recently presented the prestigious Air Command and Staff College Civilian Educator of the Year Award. This honor recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the Air Education and Training Command’s educational mission. Dr. May teaches officers from various military services throughout the United States and its allies around the world.

However, the story of this father and son goes much deeper than honors or awards. When asked about his father, Michael simply says, “I have the greatest dad in the world. Growing up, he was my best friend.” Jim May says that Michael “is the son every father hopes for: intelligent, compassionate, honorable and accomplished – a truly good man, husband and father.” These two men have a loving relationship that all fathers and sons should aspire to. They are a reminder to all about the importance of putting others first.

Both father and son graduated from Brigham Young University, Jim in 1960 (business administration) and Michael in 1998 (history). Michael received his PhD in Military History from Kansas State University in 2005.

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Kaitlin Najewicz

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