- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Many have been celebrating the proud graduates in their lives during recent weeks. Earning that diploma or degree is a pivotal point in any graduate's life and serves as a springboard to their future endeavors.
For this year's graduates of Leadership Southern Maryland's regional nine-month leadership program, the celebration is one of both personal achievement and regional enrichment. The network of leaders continues to strengthen as the program finishes its fifth year.
On May 3, a commencement ceremony was held at Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa, and graduates from the tri-county area were honored, including Douglas Alves, Martina Arnold, Dawn Barrett, Carmen Belen, Amie Bothwell, Leland Bradshaw, Robin Burt, Rebekah Carmichael, Tania Dawson, John Felicitas, Anne Forrest, Glenn Frank, Rhiana Haney, Louis Hari, Charles Jackson, Gladys Jones, Holly Kellogg, Kristina Moore, Donna Nestor, Gregory Olson, Edward Otten, Christopher Oursler, Kory Raftery, Timothy Renz, Robert Schaller, Stephanie Simm, Jonathan Sola, Jacqueline Vaughn, Kenneth Waldrop, Lori Werrell and Cheryl Wyatt.
After selection for the Leadership Southern Maryland program, the Class of 2013 engaged with recognized leaders and delved into pertinent regional issues such as energy and the environment, agriculture, housing and human services, public safety, economic and workforce development, education, technology and defense industry, community health and diversity.
Through a series of workshops and behind-the-scenes visits to important facilities in the region, the group gained a greater understanding of their community and learned of the need for leadership development and collaboration in a multitude of areas.
The ceremony featured speaker Eliot Pfanstiehl, CEO of Strathmore and longtime facilitator of Leadership Maryland's core program, who has become an integral part of the Leadership Southern Maryland program as well.
Matt Scassero, a Leadership Maryland graduate, founding board member, past president and member of LSM's Leadership Council, described Pfanstiehl as an engaging speaker and “a man with a wealth of knowledge about the state of Maryland.”
He explained how Pfanstiehl is there at the beginning of the program to talk to class members about how to get the most out of their experience and at commencement to ask them “What now?” encouraging them to apply their leadership skills in their communities in a tangible way. This year, he said, the class members Pfanstiehl put on the spot during the ceremony were able to provide thoughtful and thorough answers.
Bert Johnston, current president of LSM, said, “Eliot is just a remarkable fellow and a natural leader, able to get into your head in the most wonderful way.”
Scassero and Johnston shared the sentiment that Pfanstiehl's connection to LSM is of great benefit for both the program itself and the participants who are able to learn from him.
Members of the Class of 2013 shared some thoughts about completing the regional leadership program during the graduation ceremony, many acknowledging the friendships formed and memories made along the way.
“I have been enlightened, educated and, at times, entertained. Now that I have experienced so much during this journey, I am forced out of my 'bubble' and compelled to do more within my community,” Martina Arnold, development director at the College of Southern Maryland, said in the release.
CPA and partner with Askey, Askey & Associates Glenn Frank said, “The program opened my eyes to the prevailing cooperative spirit that strives to bring balance and reinforcement to our community's values.”
Leadership Southern Maryland is an independent, educational leadership development organization designed to broaden the knowledge base of mid- to senior-level public and private sector executives about the critical issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the region.
For more information, go to www.leadsomd.org. Contact Karen Holcomb at 240-725-5469 or firstname.lastname@example.org.