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Sonnie Linebarger

Chief Operating Officer
Bristol Hospice

Location: Tucson, AZ
Founded: 2006
Industry: Hospice

Sonnie Linebarger has seen questionable culture in action, and it left an impression.

“I was raised up in an organization that put the spotlight on the star student, whoever was doing the best at the time,” said Linebarger, the chief operating officer of Bristol Hospice. “There wasn’t coaching on how to improve what you were doing or problemsolving through challenges, rather just that coveted No. 1 spot everyone wanted to be in. I started to operate in that mentality and made many mistakes because I was focused on me.

“It wasn’t until I got knocked on my tail and had a gnashing of teeth with my ego that I began to operate from a place of truly wanting to lay the pavers down for others to achieve their goals. When you focus on mentoring, coaching and setting others up for success, you begin to step into being a true servant leader.”

Bristol Hospice was born in 2006 with the intent to provide quality end-of-life care, which was not easily accessible at the time. Bristol excelled and was bought by Webster Equity Partners in December 2017. With the retirement of its COO, the company selected Linebarger as its new COO, a move that has proven to be highly successful.

Linebarger started her career as a nursing assistant and eventually became a nurse. She has held roles in clinical, sales and operations over the course of her time in healthcare. “In her 20-year journey from CNA to COO, she has become an industry thought leader committed to the transformation, growth and mentorship of others,” her team said.

Bristol’s five-year plan is to triple in size. “As an organization, we lay the pavers to providing exceptional end-of-life care by way of being the employer of choice to our team members, as we strongly believe that if we take great care of our people, they will take great care of our patients,” the company said.

In her three years with Bristol Hospice, Linebarger has increased EBITDA by 80% and closed on 25-plus acquisitions, expanding operations to 47 locations across 16 states.

Linebarger feels a responsibility to mentor others and give a helping hand, just as her mentors have helped her.

“I have had great success in life, personally and professionally, as a result of people mentoring me, giving me opportunities I didn’t think I was ready for, speaking wisdom into me, and pushing me to grow,” she said. “I feel that it is my responsibility to do the same for others and to lay the pavers for them that others laid for me.”

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Honoree Fun fact

In her spare time, she hosts a weekly podcast called Evoke Greatness that is driven by her curious nature and fascination with the champion mindset. She has an insatiable hunger for growth and knowledge and is dedicated to sharing the stories of herself and others, and how they have navigated this journey to greatness…all while stumbling through valuable lessons along the way.

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