Celebrating 10 years of excellence connecting, collaborating,
and creating change in our community.

Lee Capristo, LSM’11 “Best Class Ever!”

When the newest LSM class kicks off each fall, the participants begin their journey at orientation. This is a time when connections are made, relationships are forged and class members are introduced to the framework of LSM – what it is and what they can expect to gain over the ensuing nine months. While every individual’s take-away is unique, there is one common thread – LSM impacts the lives of everyone it touches.

Lee Capristo, LSM Class of 2011, is a perfect example. Capristo truly embodies the effect of LSM’s mission to educate and inspire. Her favorite LSM moment took place during the public safety session. “We went to the firefighting school in La Plata and watched as the trainees practiced on an actual burning building,” she said. “When the fire was out and the trainees removed their helmets, I realized that they were high school students, learning to be firefighters for their local volunteer squads. That made an impression on me of the responsibility of all citizens to commit to the safety and welfare of their communities.”

Not only was Capristo impacted by the educational sessions during LSM’s executive program, she was also inspired by an honorary founding member of the organization. Eliot Pfanstiehl, CEO of Strathmore (www.strathmore.com). “I got to know him the same way that all other LSM program participants have: as a program facilitator,” she said. “The more I learned about him, the more he inspired me. He has a wry sense of humor, lifts up those who need a confidence boost, gently reins in those who need a nudge in that direction, appreciates the arts and is committed to their preservation,” she explained. “He’s a true Renaissance Man.”

Capristo continues to pay forward the insights she gained through LSM. “Like so many of my classmates, when my LSM program experience ended, I looked for a way to stay involved,” she explained. Capristo volunteered as an advocate for education day, then joined the LSM board of directors. She has served as board president (2015-2016) and recently orchestrated an internship opportunity through St. Mary’s College of Maryland (www.smcm.edu).

Outside of LSM, Capristo works as the director of publications at St. Mary’s College where she writes and edits copy for the College’s marketing and communications efforts, helping with admissions and institutional advancement objectives. She’s also the editor of the College’s magazine, the Mulberry Tree. St. Mary’s College of Maryland is the state’s only public honors college. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and master of arts in teaching degrees.

“LSM gave me a mid-career confidence boost, a way to give back in my community, and an opportunity to help the next generation of community leaders,” she said.

Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) has announced the addition of Alexandra Paglia to its team.  

Paglia, of Forest Hill, Maryland, is interning with LSM during her senior year at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM). She is helping the organization to carry out its media and communications plan with a focus on social media interactions.  Paglia is also assisting LSM with the creation of marketing materials and print communications. 

Paglia has been active in her college community. She was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, and is currently serving as secretary for the SMCM Economics Club. This fall, she acted as a peer mentor at SMCM serving as a liaison between first year students and professors and facilitating outside learning opportunities.  Paglia has volunteered her time with both Youth Opportunity and Remington Homework Center where she has tutored young adults and inner city youth in Baltimore.  

Paglia is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in economics and expects to graduate this spring. 

On November 2, 2017, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class of 2018 participated in the third of nine educational sessions – Education – sponsored by the College of Southern Maryland and Charles County Public Schools. The day was hosted at the James E. Richmond Science Center at St. Charles High School in Waldorf, Maryland. Lead Advocate Katie O’Malley-Simpson LSM’16, director of communications/ media relations for Charles County Public Schools, gave the introduction and welcome along with Advocate Larisa Pfeiffer LSM’16, community relations coordinator for the College of Southern Maryland. The first topic of the day was “How do we serve ALL students?”, a discussion led by Glennis Daniels-Bacchus, associate director of disability support services for the College of Southern Maryland and Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator for its La Plata Campus. She and her transition team explained the process of helping high school students understand and utilize the services available to them under the Americans with Disabilities Act in the college realm and the workforce. This was followed by a tour of St. Charles High School and a demonstration of the Science Center’s planetarium. Dr. Maureen Murphy, president of the College of Southern Maryland, wrapped up the morning with a presentation on the college and all of its successes.

In the afternoon, Drew Carter, student member of the Board of Education of Charles County facilitated a panel of students from the tri-county area. Students discussed positives and negatives of their high school education like class rank, grade recovery, and college preparation. Carter also presided over a panel of representatives for the superintendents for Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. The class members had a chance to hear about the public school systems’ budgets, facilities, competences, assessments, and challenges from Lisa Bachner, director of curriculum and instruction, St. Mary’s County Public Schools; Linda Gill, executive director of schools, Charles County Public Schools; and Kimberly Roof, director of student services, Calvert County Public Schools. The day was rounded out with an overview of unique educational opportunities facilitated by Larisa Pfeiffer LSM’16 and included presentations about the Summit Learning Platform (Kelley Adams, principal at Plum Point Middle School), SMCR, Inc., (Bonnie Elward, executive director), Southern Maryland Studies Center (Anna Kephart, coordinator), Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (Jason Morgan, regional director for Eastern Maryland & Regional Center Operation for UMUC), Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (Dr. Mel Powell, executive director), and St. Mary’s College of Maryland (Dr. Christine Wooley, chair & associate professor of English).

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.

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 the Helen Mattingly Wernecke, Executive Director Leadership Southern Maryland, 240-725-5469 via email helen@leadershipsomd.org

 

Lee Platt, LSM’10, credits her experience with Leadership Southern Maryland as a contributing factor in her decision to create Avening Management and Technical Services, of which she is CEO. “I’ve always been driven, assertive, and successful in business and I was truly humbled when I started LSM,” she said. “For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by others equally (or more) driven, assertive and successful. It changed my perspective quite a bit, but it took a while for the impact to manifest itself in me quitting my job and going into business for myself. I only discovered in retrospect that LSM, among other influences, did have that impact,” she explained. Platt added, “I had worked for other people for 30 years and always felt like I was being held back, pushed down and marginalized even though I believed that my skills, experience, and work ethic should have been leveraged more to impact the organization’s success. LSM contributed to me finding the courage to prove myself.”

Platt opened AveningTech in January 2013. The company provides information technology services to Federal government clients with a focus on network and systems engineering and cybersecurity. As CEO, Platt has a wide range of responsibilities including corporate and business development, recruiting, customer relationship management, capture and proposal management, project and program management, quality assurance, and “generally, anything that needs to be done.” Platt has dedicated many long days to making the company successful. “Having people whose livelihoods depend on you is a tremendous responsibility and one that I take personally,” she explained. “Our goal was to build a company that our employees would be proud to work for, and we strive to accomplish that daily.”

Over the last few years, Platt has traveled extensively around the country and in the Asia-Pacific region as she continues to grow AveningTech. She has written countless proposals and read thousands of resumes. Somehow, Platt still manages to stay involved in her community. She is very active during election season, contributing to and participating in campaigns for local candidates. She has served on several Charles County commissions, most recently as chair of the Redistricting Commission for the county commissioner districts. Platt previously volunteered at the Humane Society and currently contributes to Round Table Haven, a local animal rescue organization. She also meets monthly with a group of fellow female business leaders.

In addition to her work with AveningTech, Platt holds a Maryland real estate license. Outside of the demands of her business and community involvement, she strives for balance. She is a fitness-lover who enjoys both jazzercise and water aerobics. She also performs with a pops chorus in Alexandria, Virginia. Platt recently became a first-time grandmother. “I love what I do for a living so I spend a lot of my ‘free’ time on business related things,” Platt said. “When I’m not working, I enjoy cooking and entertaining, reading, and going to the beach.”

To learn more about Platt’s company AveningTech.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – September 14, 2017 – The Leadership Southern Maryland Board (LSM) of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of 31 Southern Maryland leaders for its 10th class – the Class of 2018.

From Calvert County –
Alison L. Banholzer, owner of MOSD LLC
Christopher P. Breedlove, chief of zoning enforcement for the Calvert County Department of Community Planning and Building
G. Shelby Butler, director of office of small business programs for Naval Air Systems Command
Philip N. Campbell, chief information officer/vice president information systems for Calvert Memorial Hospital
Jacquelyn V. Meiser, vice president and general counsel for Cherry Cove Group
Joan T. Thorp, deputy director of finance and budget for Calvert County
David C. Weigel, associate attorney for Davis, Upton & Palumbo, LLC

From Charles County –
Angela M. Booker, cardiopulmonary manager for University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center
Chelsea R. Brown, director of development for the College of Southern Maryland
Renee M. Brown, head of contracts for Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head EOD Technical Division
Robert H. Elrod, director of behavioral health services and nursing resources for Medstar St. Mary’s Hospital
John G. Hungerford IV, director of infrastructure strategy for Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head EOD Technical Division
Marcia L. Keeth, deputy director of Charles County Economic Development Department
Elizabeth I. Mildenstein, lead strategic communications and multimedia specialist for AVIAN LLC
Christine M. Mulcahey, executive director for Health Partners, Inc.
Randolph A. Sotomayor, assistant superintendent for fiscal services for Board of Education of Charles County
Lynette L. Starke, billing services director for Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
Tisha R. Tyler, marketing and development manager for Charles County Public Library
Maria V. Thorpe, associate director of the human systems department for Naval Air Systems Command

From Prince George’s County; however, works in Calvert County –
Lydia Williams, executive director of student services for the College of Southern Maryland

From St. Mary’s County –
Thomas E. Clark, senior vice president for the MIL Corporation
Corey R. Combs, senior financial planner and analysis manager for Sabre Systems Inc.
Roger L. Cordell, director of acquisition management-navy programs for KBRwyle
Steven A. Hall, captain of special operations division for St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office
Christa L. Hood, audit manager for Askey, Askey & Associates, CPA, LLC
Lisa M. Oliver, executive assistant to the CEO for Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
Kimberly F. Rider, lead associate for Booz|Allen|Hamilton
Charles W. Roach, president and CEO for Cedar Point Federal Credit Union
G. Ed Rule, president for Naval Systems, Inc.
Kate Shirey, director of career development for St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Christopher J. Weller, president for Monterey Insurance Group, Inc.

“These selectees represent a broad array of highly engaged folks from an amazing pool of applicants living and/or working in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties,” said Helen Mattingly Wernecke, executive director of Leadership Southern Maryland. “After participating in the LSM executive program, with a wide range of unique experiences throughout the year, these leaders will serve as important ambassadors in the challenging and exciting effort to improve and shape the future of Southern Maryland.”

Following a two-day opening retreat in September, these class members will attend eight one- or two-day intense sessions focusing on energy & environment, defense, public safety, health care, housing & human services, education, economic & workforce development, and multiculturalism. 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 nearly 300 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.

LSM is a nine-month tuition-based program specifically designed to develop leaders from the Southern Maryland area for regional collaboration. The LSM program is dedicated to building a cadre of informed regional leaders, prepared to address common issues and bring long-term benefit to their neighbors and communities and incorporates a cross-section of the region to include diversity of geographic location, profession, ethnicity and gender.

For further information on Leadership Southern Maryland, contact Helen Mattingly Wernecke, executive director, 240-725-5469 or via email helen@leadershipsomd.org or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.

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LEONARDTOWN, MD (July 10, 2017): At its June board meeting, Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) confirmed its board of directors for 2017-2018.

Joining the board is Mary Beth Cook LSM’17, deputy director and zoning officer for community planning and building with the Calvert County Department of Public Works. Cook joins these continuing board members: Linda Colina LSM’16, Anna Fagan LSM’14, Barry Friedman LSM’09,Theresa Johnson LSM’14, Karen O’Connor LSM’10, Carrie Plymire LSM’16, Angela Walters Small LSM’16, and Susan Mudd Vogel LSM’09.

LSM’s executive board membership for 2017-2018 is as follows: Patrick Murphy LMd’06, president; Steve Combs LSM’14, vice president; Hartmuth Csanadi-Schwartz LSM’14, treasurer; John Felicitas LSM’13, immediate past president; Samuel C.P. Baldwin, Jr., Esq. LSM’16, secretary and legal counsel; Lee Capristo LSM’11, special adviser.

LSM’s leadership council for 2017-2018 is as follows: Mark DeLuca LSM’10, Robin Finnacom LMd’98, Tom Jarboe LMd’06, Bert Johnston LMd’07, Dolores Martin LMd’06, Cathy Meyers LMd’98, Wilson Parran LMd’99, LSM’09,Matt Scassero LMd’07, Linda Vassallo LMd’07, Mary Washington LSM’09, Ray Wernecke LMd’06, and Harriet Yaffe LMd’01.

LSM thanks Natalie Cotton LSM’11 for her board service, which completed in June 2017.

LSM’s executive director is Helen Mattingly Wernecke.

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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. Leadership Southern Maryland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

LEONARDTOWN, Md., July 3, 2017: The Leadership Southern Maryland Board of Directors has announced the addition of Mary Beth Cook, a graduate of the Class of 2017, to its board of directors.

“Having just completed the Leadership Southern Maryland Executive Program, I was thrilled to be asked to join the board of directors for LSM, said Cook. “I have never been involved in such a well-organized, thought provoking and truly life-changing program. I am anxious to continue my involvement as a board member to provide the future classes an opportunity to learn, grow and better appreciate the diversity of life in Southern Maryland.”

Originally from Johnstown, Pa., Cook moved to Calvert County, Md. in 1990, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She is deputy director and zoning officer for community planning and building with the Calvert County Department of Public Works.

A graduate of University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown, Cook has a bachelor’s of science degree in civil engineering technology. She volunteers her time in the public school system and with her church.

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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. Leadership Southern Maryland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

LEONARDTOWN, MD. – June 27, 2017: On May 5, 2017, Leadership Southern Maryland held its annual Graduation L.S.M. (Leadership, Service, Mentoring) to honor the graduating class of its 2017 Executive Program. Leadership Southern Maryland’s nine-month tuition-based executive program 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. Close to 100 business and community leaders who represent the best of the Southern Maryland region joined in this memorable evening, held at the College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick, Md.

Each year, Leadership Southern Maryland bestows its Heritage Award to an individual or group from our region that has mastered leadership with a track record of collaborative and inclusive leadership, service by supporting meaningful innovation in their community and region, and mentoring through the fostering of motivating professionals to elevate their potential. Given on a rotating basis for Leadership, Service, and Mentoring, this year’s prestigious Heritage Award for Mentoring was presented to Mr. John McAllister, co-founder of Eagan, McAllister and Associates.

For more information, please contact the Helen Mattingly Wernecke, Executive Director Leadership Southern Maryland, 240-725-5469 via email helen@leadershipsomd.org or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: June 23, 2017
Contact: Helen Wernecke, Executive Director
Leadership Southern Maryland
240-725-5469
Email: helen@leadershipsomd.org

LEONARDTOWN, Md.  – June 23, 2017 – On April 27 & 28, 2017, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class 2017 participated in the last of nine educational programs for the 2016-17 LSM class – Energy and Environment.  The two-day event began at the Calvert Marine Museum where Linda Vassallo, economic director for Calvert County, provided information and data supporting the impacts on Calvert County.

As the first part of the two-day curriculum, LSM class participants had the unique privilege of an experiential presentation on the environmental impacts on our waterways highlighting the challenge of the crab and oyster population by Captain Jack Russell, owner of Fins+Claws, and Richard Dodds, curator of Maritime History at the Calvert Marine Museum’s Lore Oyster House.  The participants were bussed to Exelon’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant where Janna Jackson, communications manager, and Anne Lindner, director of state government affairs, provided the rare opportunity of a walking tour of the facility.  For the afternoon session, the class toured Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG Terminal, where Danny Woods, director, LNG Operations, Joe Gardner, manager, LNG Operations, and Karl R. Neddenien, media relations and community relations manager, briefed participants on Dominion’s transition to exportation of liquefied natural gas. Dominion hosted lunch with an educational briefing followed by a windshield tour of the facility under construction and a walking tour of the pier to show the off-shore exportation pier and the ongoing shore restoration and maintenance project as well as their new emergency operations center in the Patuxent Park.  The participants finalized their day with a “behind the scenes” tour of the Calvert Marine Museum by Doug Alves, LSM’13.

The second day was emceed by manager of the Front Porch, Jeff Lewis. Lewis shared his passion and educational information on local agricultural and environment challenges within the region as well as the economic challenges of a locally owned business.  The day began with a visit to the Loveville Produce Auction allowing the participants to experience “commerce in action” while observing interaction of the Mennonite and Amish agricultural community with local restaurateurs, grocers, and individuals who purchased from their harvests.  Lewis helped class understand the process of buying through the auction and how impactful this market is to Southern Maryland.  The participants then traveled to Hughesville, where they were given a tour of the SMECO Solar Farm by Kenneth Capps, senior vice president of engineering and operations and chief operating officer, and Thomas Dennison, director of government and public affairs. Following the tour, Austin J. Slater, chief executive officer, along with Dennison, and Natalie Cotton LSM’11, director of community and public affairs, hosted the participants at the SMECO Engineering and Operations Center, where they had a tour of the facility, highlighting its environmentally friendly construction, including the Operations Center and educational brief on SMECO.  The group finalized the afternoon with a Buy Local panel discussion.  The guest speakers were Shelby Watson-Hampton, executive director of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission and owner of Robin Hill Farm and Vineyards, Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and helps operate the family-owned Bunker Hill Farm, and Paul Kellam, a commercial waterman and owner of Kellam’s Seafood.

The class interacted with staff at each site, including program advocate, Joe “Mort” Mortensen, LSM’16 and Natalie Cotton, LSM’11, and as leaders living in the Chesapeake Bay area they had the opportunity to discuss the impact to the economy, environment, wildlife, natural resources and future generations while understanding the commitment each one of these organizations visited has towards our community.  Overall, the class participants were thrilled to be part of Leadership Southern Maryland and the Energy and Environment Program.

Leadership Southern Maryland is a nine-month tuition-based program and is designed and dedicated to building a cadre of informed regional leaders, prepared to address common issues and bring long-term benefit to their neighbors and communities and incorporates a cross-section of the region to include diversity of geographic location, profession, ethnicity and gender.

For more information, please contact the Helen Mattingly Wernecke, Executive Director Leadership Southern Maryland, 240-725-5469 via email helen@leadershipsomd.org or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.

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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. Leadership Southern Maryland is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (June 26, 2017)—Leadership Southern Maryland has announced the addition of Jessica R. Heck to its staff.

Heck, of St. Mary’s County, serves as the administration manager with Leadership Southern Maryland in Leonardtown. She is the primary administrative support for the Executive and Teen Leadership Academy programs, coordinating session days, learning enhancements, recruitment, and communications. She provides logistical support for all membership events and also supports fundraising activities and grant research.

Heck has served as President and Vice President of VFA 146 Officer Spouses’ Club in Lemoore, California, and Treasurer of VFA 86 Officer Spouses Club, Beaufort, South Carolina, as well as she’s currently serving on two Parent Teacher Association (PTA) boards simultaneously – Leonardtown Elementary and Middle schools.   She brings with her a wealth of communications and organizational experience while moving throughout the United States supporting her husband’s military career.

Heck earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the Virginia Wesleyan College.

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Leadership Southern Maryland 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.  The Executive Program is nine months in duration and is a tuition-based program.

For more information, please contact the Helen Mattingly Wernecke, Executive Director Leadership Southern Maryland, 240-725-5469 via email helen@leadershipsomd.org or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.