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LEONARDTOWN, Md. – November 30, 2020:  On November 19, 2020, Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM)’s Class of 2020 graduated the executive program with a virtual closing session and ceremony.  The 31-member class completed an extended 14-month program comprised of monthly sessions devoted to exploring regional topics like healthcare, public safety, and education.  The program, which typically spans 9 months, was extended as a result of challenges and restrictions imposed by COVID-19.  The creatively re-imagined virtual graduation featured remarks by LSM Board President Samuel C. P. Baldwin, Jr. and a speech by Class of 2020 member Janet Virgin, elected by her classmates to represent the group.  At the conclusion of the event, these local mid and upper level executives were awarded certificates and affectionately dubbed the “longest class ever.”

Leadership Southern Maryland is a nine-month tuition-based program and is designed and dedicated to educate and inspire a diverse group of current and emerging leaders to create collaborations and partnerships to impact the community needs of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties and incorporates a cross-section of the region to include diversity of geographic location, profession, ethnicity, and gender.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – November 13, 2020:  On November 5, 2020, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class of 2021 participated in the third of nine educational sessions for the 2020-2021 LSM Executive Program – Defense. Class members started the morning at Patuxent River Naval Air Museum (PRNAM) with an overview of the day by CAPT John Brabazon LSM’20, Naval Air Station Patuxent River commanding officer.  They also received an overview of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) from John Hungerford LSM ’18. NSWC IHD, located in Charles County, is the Department of Defense (DoD) Energetics Center and serves as the DoD Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Program lead.

The class then proceeded to the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) for a presentation delivered by CDR Jeremy DeBons, USNTPS executive officer. DeBons gave the class a brief on what goes on inside the “schoolhouse” followed by a tour of the TPS flight line.  This was followed by a windshield tour of NAS Patuxent River with stops including Atlantic Test Range, the Environment Department Conservation Division Education Center, and the air traffic control tower.

After returning to PRNAM, the class got an up-close look at EOD robotics with several members taking up the controls and operating the robots.   This was followed by briefs by local advocacy groups who champion both the base and members of the military.  Representatives included Roger Cordell LSM’18 from the Navy League, Bonnie Green, LSM Founding Sponsor and executive director of The Patuxent Partnership, and Gary Kessler, president of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance.  The class wrapped up the day with a presentation on Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) with Community Planning Liaison Officer Sabrina Hecht and environmental scientist Melanie McGinnes.  Glen Ives, president and CEO at Sabre Systems closed out the session by helping the class to “connect the dots.”

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – October 30, 2020:  On October 23rd, 2020, Leadership Southern Maryland’s (LSM) LEAP Class of 2020 graduated the Emerging Leaders Program.  The 22-member class completed a 6-month program comprised of monthly sessions devoted to facilitating, fostering, and refining their individual leadership understanding and abilities via structured course curriculum focused on self-discovery, teamwork, and networking. At graduation, these new or emerging leaders received their certificates and presented their capstone projects. These projects showcased their work in identifying the leadership behind community-wide efforts addressing issues such as the opioid epidemic, food security, and gender equity.

During the graduation ceremony, class speaker, Phillip Melton, summed it up nicely: “I believe we all entered this program with the expectation by the end, we would confidently answer the question ‘Am I a Leader?’ Our progression through this program has transformed that question into ‘What is next for me to grow as a leader?’ LEAP has provided a heightened sense of self- awareness in our respective fields. We have collectively grown from sharing our unique life stories that have shaped our leadership styles, which has helped us to learn more about ourselves. LEAP has proven that in order to be the best leaders we can, we must show ourselves in all respects to be a model. Thank you LSM LEAP 2020 for modeling the emerging leader.”


Leadership Southern Maryland is a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service (EIN#26-2989381). Contributions are deductible as charitable contributions to the extent permitted by law.

For more information, please contact Denise Foster, Executive Director, Leadership Southern Maryland, 301-862-SOMD, via email or visit

LEONARDTOWN, MD – September 4, 2020: The Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of 29 Southern Maryland leaders for its 13th class – the Class of 2021.

From Baltimore County, works in Calvert County

Crystal G. Dowd, deputy director of Public Safety – Animal Services for Calvert County Government

From Calvert County –

Tamara L. Blake-Wallace, principal planner for Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning
Erin M. Farley, community wellness manager for CalvertHealth

Stanley D. Harris, Jr., assistant division chief for Calvert County Department of Emergency Communications

Harvil C. Jenkins, senior vice president for MIL Corporation

Barry A. Murphy, chief financial officer for AIRtec, Inc.

Lauren Sampson, director of corporate and foundation relations for St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Laura A. Schuessler, head detailer for aviation engineering duty/ aviation maintenance duty officer communities, United States Navy

From Charles County –

Kerry P. Dull, director for Calvert County Department of Public Works

Erin Ferriter, action officer for the technical director for Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head EOD Technical Division
Kara A. Harrer, director of pharmacy for CalvertHealth

Monica A. Kempson, director of tax services for Askey, Askey & Associates

Darrin Z. Krivitsky, head of corporate operations for Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head EOD Technical Division

Jenny L. Plummer-Welker, long range planner for Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning

From St. Mary’s County –

Kimberly Bannister, supervisory program manager for the US Department of Health & Human Services

Tracy Anne Barkhimer, president of Tracy A. Barkhimer, Acquisitions Strategy & Consulting

Lucia M. Beal, senior reliability compliance manager for SMECO

James H. Bolin, vice president at KBR

Dave D. Davison, vice president of business development for Naval Systems, Inc.

Heather M. Earhart, senior program manager, PSI Pax, Inc.

Ann M. Hawkins, director of patient access security, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

James R. Hayden, realtor with REMAX 100

Derrick W. Kingsley, prospective executive officer of Naval Air Station Patuxent River

Dawn M. Lessel, director of human resources for Zenetex

Deborah C. Settle, supervisor for field services administrative support for MetCom

Kenneth M. Sheffield, air operations officer for Naval Air Station Patuxent River

BJ Sievers, chief information officer for Cedar Point Federal Credit Union

Tara N. Strickland, director of communications for AVIAN

Marsha L. Williams, partner at Williams, McClernan & Stack, LLC

Following a two-day opening retreat in September, these class members will attend eight one- or two-day intense sessions focusing on economic and workforce development, defense, education, healthcare, public safety, housing and human services, multiculturalism, and energy and environment. These sessions will conclude with a closing retreat and graduation in May. More than 50 experts from across the region and state representing business, government, education, and the nonprofit community will serve as panelists and guest speakers.

Founded in 2008, LSM has successfully graduated over 350 regional leaders. LSM 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. Leadership Southern Maryland is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.