Weber State University Associate Provost Named Winner of Kolbe Founder’s Award

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Ryan Thomas honored at Symposium for work on conation theory.

It’s not easy to describe Ryan Thomas, at least not succinctly. He is a father, a college dean, a husband, a doctor of philosophy, a maker of musical instruments, church leader, lawyer, Eagle Scout, friend. Today he can add to the list recipient of the Kolbe Corp Founder’s Award.

Dr. Thomas has spent most of his professional life in academia developing leaders and helping the world understand how people perform at their best. For over 25 years he has collaborated with Kathy Kolbe and Kolbe Corp to research the role conation plays in human performance. It is for that work that Kathy Kolbe presented him with the Founder’s Award at the Conation Nation Symposium.

While theories regarding conation originated with the ancient philosophers, when Kathy Kolbe began her research in the 1970’s, this general area of study had fallen in disuse. As Kolbe developed her theories, Dr. Thomas played a critical role in converting those theories into practical application.

As both an attorney and a statistician, Thomas addressed legal concerns regarding compliance with employment law, and played an important role in validating Kolbe’s assessments as accurate and reliable indicators of instinctive strengths.

Thomas is the associate provost and dean of undergraduate studies at Weber State University in Utah. As a nationally respected leader in both academic and legal circles, Thomas’ early support for Kolbe’s work helped to establish a scientific foundation for her theories, and to this day, he remains a regular contributor to Kolbe’s thinking, a sounding board, providing great counsel.

Conation is the faculty of the brain that drives individuals to take purposeful action according to their instincts. Conative abilities are the natural, inherent and unchanging talents that, when acted upon, lead to success and well-being for individuals using creative energy to solve problems. Kathy Kolbe, the founder and chairman of Kolbe Corp, has been the leader in research on conation and human instinct for four decades.

For more information about the Conation Nation Symposium, visit: or email: kolbetraining(at)kolbe(dot)com.

About Kolbe Corp
For four decades, Phoenix-based Kolbe Corp has helped people identify their instinctive talents and use their innate abilities to succeed. Kolbe Corp’s software, consulting, and personnel assessments are used by individuals and organizations throughout the United States and in 34 countries on five continents to find and develop top talent, increase productivity and build effective teams. Kolbe solutions are currently available in English, Spanish, French, and German.


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Mark Nageotte
Kolbe Corp
602-840-9770 Ext: 101
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