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“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”.

― Albert Einstein

About John Thibodeaux

John Thibodeaux is the Global Improvement Leader for the instrument discipline at Dow, Inc. He has a BS Electrical Engineering degree from Louisiana State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt and a member of the International Society of Automation (ISA). He resides in Pearland, TX with his wife, Lavaille.

John joined Dow 32 years ago where he spent the first half of his career in design engineering, process automation and the bulk of that time in maintenance where he served as plant I&E reliability engineer and worked on several capital project commission & startups. The second half of John’s career found him serving as Maintenance Leader for Instrument & Electrical Technical Services in Texas as well as leading a global instrument technology team within Dow. From there, John took on regional and global leadership roles within the instrumentation function. John’s passion has always been learning something new every day, helping those around him to get better, and making a difference.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month has had several meanings to me through the ages. As a young kid growing up in a small southern town, it gave me inspiration by giving me examples that showed that I can achieve just as much as the next person. Later in my life, Black History Month gave me the opportunity to pass along that same inspiration to my daughter. Now, Black History Month is a reminder that I still have much to offer and should not bend to any excuses to do anything but my very best.


John Thibodeaux was nominated by Shadrach Stephens, Global Improvement and Reliability Director, Dow Inc. and Founder of

Shadrach's reflections: My list of career accomplishments exists because of a man named John Thibodeaux and there are so many professionals who would not hesitate for a moment to say the same.

John has been an unsung hero within the manufacturing industry for decades, not just because of his revolutionary work to reduce equipment and process failures which has become a standard rework process in many facilities across the world, not just because of his ability to usher in diagnostic, analytical technologies that enable predictive maintenance, not just because of his genuine nature of caring for people from all walks of life. John is an unsung hero because through his own hands, he has done what many can only hope to accomplish - - Empower the next generation of diverse STEM professionals and leaders.

John took me in as a young engineer who didn't even know what a process instrument looked like to years later, coaching me as I led a team that would generate millions of dollars of value using those very instruments. He is the only leader that I know who has produced not one but two ethnic diverse engineers that have both been the recipient of a Plant of the Year and a 40 under 40 Engineering Leader award, and because of his humility, most would never even know.

If I am the Founder of, John is The Godfather, as my foundation in value creation, respect of diversity of thought, and collaboration comes directly from being his apprentice.

John showed me what possible looked like and it's an honor for me to pay it forward.

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