1600 Grand Ave
St. Paul MN 55105
2010 Charles J. Turck Global Citizen Award
Steve Laible and his wife Nancy both enjoyed 30-year professional careers; he in auditing and business consulting with KPMG, where he was a partner, and she in microbiology. Together they planned an early retirement in line with their values, and a poor, rural community in Bangladesh is reaping the benefits. Laible first traveled to that country with Lutheran Aid to Medicine in Bangladesh (LAMB) as a volunteer financial consultant to a local hospital. Laible learned that Bangladesh's "free" school required so many extra costs that many parents could not afford to send their children. Soon the Laibles were supporting ten girls in their quest for an education.
In return visits supported by St. Paul-based Compatible Technology International, Laible saw more opportunities to make a difference. Between visits, he did research, involved friends, wrote grant proposals, and served on the LAMB board. As a result, five families in the village now support themselves making peanut butter with hand- powered grinders. Several more use a special extruder that turns waste rice hulls into cooking fuel sticks that are comparable in price to wood, but burn cleaner and help stave off deforestation. Women are establishing businesses selling these logs in the marketplace.
The impact of his work on residents in the country, one of the poorest in the world, is profound and virtually immeasurable.
Laible's peers at the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants presented him with their 2005 Public Service Award.