After accepting the job offer to become the Eau Claire City Manager, but before actually moving to Eau Claire, I was given Terry’s name and contact information as a person I should contact to research and inquire about the faith-based community in Eau Claire. I contacted Terry by phone and had a pleasant, informative, and down-to-earth conversation not only about the various faith-based organizations and parishes, but about the community as a whole. He answered all of my questions and gave me his opinions, advice and interacted with me as if we were friends for the past 50 years. He took the time to understand my values and beliefs and he shared his with me. It was unbelievable on how fast two people could make a connection over the phone.
Upon arriving in Eau Claire, Terry took the initiative and made the first contact to welcome me to the City. We again exchanged stories and shared opinions like we were friends. He always made me feel welcomed to the community and encouraged me to join the Thursday noon Kiwanis Club.
Terry was truly viewed as an incredible community leader. According to former City Manager Mike Huggins, “When I think of people who focus on the greater good of their communities, I think of Terry. He was this incredible person who was always thinking of how to strengthen the community and how to take care of those who were vulnerable in the community.” Mike also added, “When you think of servant-leader, Terry lived that. You don’t replace people like that.”
We should all try and strive to put others before ourselves. I know that is not an easy thing to do. We all should aspire to emulate the things that Terry Sheridan did for our City. I will, and when I am gone, I hope that people will remember me as “Just doing what was right”.