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

LEONARDTOWN, MD,- August 21, 2018:The Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of 37 Southern Maryland leaders for its 11th class – the Class of 2019.

From Calvert County –

Susan E. Alexander, vice president/ CFO for PSI Pax, Inc.
Danielle L. Conrow, deputy director of engineering and highways for Calvert County Department of Public Works
Meagan Drees, executive director for Calvert Physician Associates, CalvertHealth Medical Group
Tom L. Jones, division chief for Calvert County Department of Buildings & Grounds
Theresa M. Kuhns, director of government affairs for the Southern Maryland Association of Realtors
Shannon Q. Nazzal, director for Calvert County Parks & Recreation
William A. Rector, deputy sheriff for Calvert County Sheriff’s Office
Pamela R. Wilkerson, workforce operations manager for Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland

From Charles County –

Erika M. Abell, development coordinator for the College of Southern Maryland
Christina S. Adams, business director for Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head EOD Technical Division
Donna H. Attick, small business innovation research program manager for NAVAIR
Aida Torres-Bohnhoff, metrics and analytics manager for Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head EOD Technical Division
Britany J. Waddell, deputy director for Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning
Jill R. Wathen, is director of project management and business solutions for the College of Southern Maryland

From Howard County; however, works throughout the Southern Maryland region

Kelly Gibson Caplan, community outreach manager for Washington Gas

From Prince George’s County; however, works in Charles County –

Nikial M. Majors, executive director of human resources for Charles County Board of Education

From St. Mary’s County –

Kimberly S. Aus, vice president of hotel operations for Cherry Cove Group
Bryan M. Barthelme, business development manager for ASEC
Michael D. Bellis, executive director for United Way of Charles County
Kyle K. Bishop, assistant dean of students for St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Jennifer L. Brown, programs and membership director for The Patuxent Partnership
Matthew A. Burgan, real estate professional for ReMax One
John J. Carey, software requirements analyst for Precise Systems
Christopher A. Cox, executive officer for NAS Patuxent River
Sandra I. Dorsey, president for Simms Insurance
Kristen M. Dziedzic, office manager for MedStar Cardiology Associates
Denise M. Ferguson, corporate compliance coordinator/ privacy officer for University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center
Amy R. Ford, Lexington Park branch manager for St. Mary’s County Public Library
Kate L. Harrison, principal for Kate L. Harrison Consulting, LLC
Maria “Christy” Hollander, chief engineer for St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission
Christina Johannsen, senior analyst for WBB, Inc.
Julie B. Randall, disabilities advocate (volunteer)
Donald O. Sirk, director of IT for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
David M. Trick, requirements analyst for HTii
Diana Mary Waldorf, corporate operations officer for Naval Systems, Inc.
Samuel H. Wiest, associate attorney for Dugan, McKissick, & Longmore

From Virginia; however, works in St. Mary’s County –

Phil A. Fickes, manager, global military business development – Lexington Park office for Bell Helicopter

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 325 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.

 

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – May 29, 2018 – On April 26 & 27, 2018, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class of 2018 participated in the last of nine educational sessions for LSM’s 2017-18 Executive Program – Energy and Environment.

The two-day event began at the Calvert Marine Museum’s Lore Oyster House where the class met with Captain Jack Russell, owner of Finns+Claws.  Russell spoke to the class about the life of a waterman, tools and practices of the trade, and challenges facing the industry.

Next, participants boarded a bus where Linda Vassallo, LSM founding sponsor and director for Calvert County Department of Communications and Media Relations, provided background information to the class about the day’s scheduled stops.  With that, the class arrived at Exelon’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant where they had the rare opportunity to take a walking tour of the facility.

Another brief stint on the bus brought the class to Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG Terminal, where Mike Frederick, LSM’11, Vice President of LNG Operations for Dominion Energy spoke with participants about Dominion Energy’s transition to exportation of liquefied natural gas. Dominion Energy hosted lunch with an educational briefing followed by a windshield tour of the newly operational facility and a walking tour of the pier to showcase the off-shore exportation pier as well as the shore restoration and maintenance project. The participants wrapped up their day with a “behind the scenes” tour of the Calvert Marine Museum by Doug Alves, LSM’13.

The second 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. This portion of the program was facilitated by manager of The Front Porch, Jeff Lewis. Lewis shared his passion for sourcing ingredients for the restaurant’s menu locally and discussed the economic challenges of a locally-owned business. He also helped the 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 Ron Fuller, SMECO’s managing director, asset management, and Tom Dennison, SMECO’s managing director of government and public affairs.  Following the tour, Dennison, along with 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, including the Operations Center and educational brief on SMECO. The group finalized the afternoon with an agricultural panel discussion. The guest speakers were Shelby Watson-Hampton, Director, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), Yates Clagett, Chairman of the Board, SMADC, 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.  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.

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.

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 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 denise@leadershipsomd.org or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.

Kasia Sweeney, LSM’16 “Best Class Ever!”

You’re probably familiar with the saying, “if you want something done, ask a busy person.”  If that’s the case, Kasia Sweeney must get asked to do a lot.  Yet, somehow, she seems to find time to do it all.  Sweeney is a people-person.  She values the opportunity to connect with those around her – coworkers, patients at the hospital where she works, and members of the community.  Through these interactions, both at work and through volunteering, Sweeney strives to better understand the needs of people and her community and make improvements in any way she can.

Sweeney, LSM Class of 2016, is vice president, strategy and business development for Calvert Health System.  In that role, she facilitates the development, planning, and execution of the health system’s strategic plan.  “At Calvert, everyone plays a role in continually moving the organization forward – I’m just in charge of helping bring all the ideas and information together in an actionable way,” Sweeney explained.

Sweeney wears a number of metaphorical hats at CalvertHealth.  In addition to fulfilling the duties associated with her title, she oversees the oncology service line which recently added a lung cancer screening program and is currently focused on expanding services for patients diagnosed with prostate, bladder and kidney cancers.  “The oncology team is exceptional and working closely with them is a real bright spot in my day,” Sweeney said.  She also oversees the guest services and patient advocacy programs, a task she enjoys as it allows her to connect with patients and ensure that their needs and expectations are met or exceeded.

Sweeney is engaged in a lot of community outreach through her job.  She collaborates with the hospital foundation to raise funds for important community healthcare services, particularly oncology.  In fact, she has helped raise more than $500,000 for cancer care at CalvertHealth.  But her community engagement doesn’t start and stop at the hospital’s doors.  Sweeney is also involved in her children’s activities. She currently serves on the advisory council for their school, Our Lady Star of the Sea School in Solomons, and has coached both youth soccer and basketball.  “If I’m not at work, you will usually find me jumping in to volunteer or help with whatever activities my kids are interested in,” she said.  Sweeney recently joined the Economic Development Advisory Commission for Calvert County as well, an experience that has allowed her to interact with new people and broaden her knowledge of local businesses and county programs that she hadn’t engaged with previously.

Maintaining and creating new connections is key for Sweeney; and she believes it’s one of the most valuable things she gained from her LSM experience.  “I’ve lived in Calvert for 18 years and worked at CalvertHealth for 17, but on a normal day, I am so busy just trying to keep up with the changes and challenges of the healthcare industry that I don’t always pay as much attention to other industries as I should,” she explained.  She continued, “LSM really helped open my eyes to many other dimensions of our community and introduced me to people whose paths I may not have otherwise crossed in my professional life.  It also deepened my desire to have an impact on my community by exposing me to new community needs and new opportunities to make a difference.”

 LEONARDTOWN, Md. – March 9, 2018: On March 1, 2018, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class of 2018 participated in the seventh of nine educational sessions – Housing and Human Services – sponsored by the Cherry Cove Group and Ms. Catherine Meyers, executive director for the Center for Children and LSM council member.

The day began with an introduction and welcome by Executive Director Helen Mattingly Wernecke and Lead Advocate Robbie Loker LSM’16 at the Church of the Ascension in Lexington Park. A panel then convened to share information and insights on the topic “Asset Development Approach to Fighting Poverty: Building Volunteer Bases.”  Kerry Miciotto, LCSW-C, team leader for the St. Mary’s Department of Social Services, Lexington Park office; Dr. Janice Walthour, retired educator and current board member of the College of Southern Maryland; Sara Martin, church administrator & community ministry outreach liaison for Lexington Park United Methodist Church; Jennifer Neff, LCSW-C, program specialist for adult services at St. Mary’s Department of Social Services; and H. Spearman Lancaster, executive director for Three Oaks Shelter, were on hand to discuss the resources available both at the county government and community charity access points for those dealing with homelessness and poverty. Loker, who previously worked for St. Mary’s Social Services, leant her knowledge and experiences to the day’s discussions.  The morning concluded with session sponsor, Cathy Meyers presenting the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) assessment as well as educating the class on how intertwined childhood experiences, poverty, mental health, and homelessness can be and how adverse childhood experiences can affect one’s ability to thrive.

Chris Longmore LSM’09, attorney and partner at Dugan, McKissick & Longmore, led the lunchtime activity and discussion on how we, as leaders, can help with housing and human services issues in our own communities and beyond. Afterward, the class heard from Wanda Digennaro, director of H.O.P.E, an organization based at the Church of the Ascension that has helped over 130,000 needy individuals with electric bills, fuel oil, rent, food, medicine, and other emergency needs in St. Mary’s County, and toured the church’s food pantry which has supplied food for over 22,000 local households since it’s inception.  “Little Jack” Woodford was also on hand to share information about Heart F.E.L.T., a Calvert based program that supplies meals to children to bridge the weekend gap for those who participate in the public schools’ free and reduced lunch programs and face food insecurities at home.  The session wrapped up with a presentation by Mike Bellis, executive director of United Way of Charles County.  Bellis introduced the class to the A.L.I.C.E. report which details financial struggles and hardships faced by Marylanders, many of whom are “one blown transmission away” from financial crisis.

The class wrapped up their day with a networking event that evening hosted by LSM’s Alumni Association at Elements Eatery and Mixology in Lexington Park. Class participants were able to meet and interact with LSM alumni, nearly 300 strong, as well as Leadership Maryland alumni living in the Southern Maryland region.

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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.  Leadership Southern Maryland is a nine-month tuition-based program.

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 or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.

 

 

 

LEONARDTOWN, Md.  – March 8, 2018 – The Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) board of directors announced today that Denise Foster has been selected as the new executive director.

Foster will join LSM on April 1 and comes with over twenty years of combined work experience within the government and nonprofit sectors.  Within the past two years, Foster has been completely dedicated to nonprofit and community-based organizations with her consulting business, DKFoster Services, LLC. Foster has had the opportunity to work with many area nonprofits, including Leadership Southern Maryland, and understands the hard work and commitment it takes to be a true part of the community.  Foster holds a bachelor’s degree in public communication and a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on nonprofit management.

“I look forward with enthusiasm to taking on the role of executive director of Leadership Southern Maryland,” said Denise Foster.  “With outstanding alumni and a dynamic board of directors, I am excited to build on the great work of my predecessor, Helen Wernecke, and to continue to promote and expand in Southern Maryland.”

“The LSM executive search committee conducted an exhaustive search for a new leader,” said Patrick Murphy, president, LSM. “Denise has strong experience and a proven passion for this work.  She will be an asset to LSM and we are very happy to have her as our new executive director. I look forward to all the great things Denise will do for LSM and our community.”

Outgoing executive director, Helen Mattingly Wernecke stated, “it has been such an honor and privilege to serve Leadership Southern Maryland and its amazing network of leaders as well as the Southern Maryland communities they support.  This educational program and its experiences gave me a more heartfelt appreciation for the three counties and the amazing people who live and work here. As LSM prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, I am honored to have been a part of the LSM family.”

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For more information about LSM, please contact Helen Mattingly Wernecke, Executive Director Leadership Southern Maryland, 240-7258-5489, via e-mail helen@leadershipsomd.org or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.

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 not-for-profit organization.

Sue Greer, LSM’14 “Best Class Ever!”

Sue Greer is a self-described “military brat” who moved from duty station to duty station with her family until her father retired from the Air Force in the late 1970s. Raised in Charles County, he chose to return and the family took up residence in Port Tobacco, Maryland.  Greer went on to become an attorney and spent the first twenty years of her career representing government in roles including assistant state’s attorney, general counsel to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, and deputy county attorney.  In 2011, life intervened and she left her government practice to run her husband’s law firm while he was deployed to Afghanistan.

It was after her husband’s return from deployment that Greer began thinking about broadening her horizons and learning more about Southern Maryland beyond the scope of her experiences in Charles County.  “In my various roles with government, I interacted with a large number of citizens, citizen groups, and other government entities,” she explained.  “I entered the LSM program with the confident belief that I had a broad grasp of the Southern Maryland community, its assets, needs, and the issues within the community.  I was quickly disavowed of this confidence and belief,” she said.  Greer realized that her extensive knowledge of the area she’d lived and worked in for years barely scratched the surface.  “I discovered so many hidden gems and opportunities,” she said.  “More than that, I was able to hear perspectives and views on issues that I had not previously heard.  The diversity of viewpoints and thoughts was invaluable.  There existed issues of which I was unaware”

Greer is now a sole practitioner in La Plata, Maryland at The Law Offices of Sue A. Greer, P.C. & Title Professionals Ltd.  Her practice focuses on land use, zoning and other real estate matters, as well as government affairs.  The title company division of her business conducts both residential and commercial real estate settlements.  Gaining a greater awareness of community concerns has benefited her in her work.  “The experience helped me view issues in my practice and for my clients differently and has been significant in helping me articulate my clients’ concerns or issues to others,” Greer said.  The Executive Program has helped her grow personally as well.  “The experience has caused me to work harder at listening and understanding other’s viewpoints and concerns before moving forward or coming to a conclusion.  It also inspired me to re-engage with my community to address the issues I saw.” she said

In addition to running her law firm, Greer is involved in a number of community organizations including the Charles County Chamber of Commerce, the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Military Alliance, Melwood, the March of Dimes, and her church community.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Will Greer, and two sons just doing “family things.”  She also carves out time to read suspense novels and take walks with her dog.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – February 16, 2018:  On February 8, 2018, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class of 2018 participated in the sixth of nine educational sessions – Public Safety. The day began with an introduction and welcome by facilitator Gerald Gardiner Jr. LSM’15 at Calvert County Public Safety.  He proceeded to set the tone for the day with a team exercise followed by an overview of public safety in the region.

Next, the class received a brief from Fire/EMS personnel.  Bill Smith (Charles County), Kelly Bell (St. Mary’s County), and Wayne Hardesty (Calvert County) discussed the volunteer Fire and EMS programs and their recruitment challenges.  The morning was capped off with an introduction to the Southern Maryland Information Center, where law enforcement collects, evaluates, and disseminates information on known or suspected criminal violators, groups, or organizations for analytical exploitation.  Chris Strong, meteorologist from the National Weather Service (NWS), was also on-hand to explain how NWS shares information to help the counties prepare for weather events.

The afternoon portion of the session included a presentation about narcotics.  The class also had the opportunity to interact with volunteers from the Fire/EMS departments, get up close and personal with emergency vehicles, and tour the Calvert County Detention Center.  Al Jeffery, division chief of emergency management for Calvert County, wrapped up the day with a discussion on emergency management and collaborative efforts among the Southern Maryland counties.  The class adjourned and members headed to Brick Wood Fired Bistro in Prince Frederick to discuss the day’s events.

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 now accepting applications for the Class of 2019 Executive Program. Interested emerging and senior leaders should visit www.leadershipsomd.org to learn more about the program and apply by April 1, 2018.

 

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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 or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.

John Felicitas, LSM’13 “Best Class Ever!”

When John Felicitas applied to Leadership Southern Maryland’s Executive Program, he was newly retired after working in education for 37 years. “The nine-month Executive Program not only renewed my passion for involvement but has allowed me to continue working in the area of diversity as well as the Teen Leadership Academy (TLA),” he said.  Felicitas has been an active alumnus with LSM, participates in several facets of the organization, served as president of the board, and is instrumental in planning the TLA curriculum each year.

Felicitas’ dedication to LSM is just one piece of his community involvement puzzle.  He is the owner and operator of Be-AThEdge, a company that offers education, consulting and training in the area of diversity.  The company aims to “define diversity one human at a time” and Felicitas has served on advisory committees at both the College of Southern Maryland and St. Mary’s College of Maryland to further that aim.  He is also involved in the Southern Maryland community through volunteer activities, financial sponsorship of events, and organizational advisory committees.  Felicitas lends his time and talents to Mission of Mercy, The Conversation Starters, and Three Oaks Veterans Stand Down Day just to name a few.  He stays connected with his roots in youth education, not only through his involvement with TLA but also by assisting with senior portfolio interviews and STI 8th grade interviews for North Point High School in Charles County.  Somehow, Felicitas still finds time to relax and recharge.  His favorite activities include traveling, cooking, watching movies, and dancing with his Zumba friends.

Ella Fitzgerald was quoted as saying “It isn’t where you came from, it’s where you’re going that counts.”  That may be true; but it’s hard to deny that while your roots may not determine your path in life, they do determine what you carry with you as you go.  Felicitas took a careful look at where he’d been, where he was at, and where he was headed during one of the exercises that his class took part in at LSM’s orientation retreat. “Though I have used this exercise in my teaching, this was the first time for me, as a participant, to feel the movement back and forth for each question,” he explained.  “I, and another classmate, ended at the very back [of the group].  My initial response was sadness, then pride for what I, as a POC (person of color), have accomplished in my life that allowed me to be a part of LSM ’13.”

Felicitas took what he learned about himself and his community, not only during orientation but throughout the Executive Program, and used it to direct his energy towards bettering Southern Maryland.  “Participating in LSM broadened my view of my backyard to all the wonderful opportunities to become involved,” he explained.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – January 31, 2018: Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) announces that it is now accepting applications for its Teen Leadership Academy, which will run daily from June 25-28, 2018. The academy is open to teens living in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s County entering grades 10, 11, or 12. The program is based at the College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick campus, with bus transportation available from the CSM La Plata and CSM Leonardtown campuses each day. The application is online at www.leadershipsomd.org under the “Programs” header.

The Teen Leadership Academy is designed to teach and develop leadership skills in a hands-on, experiential program with workshops and visits to meet with regional leaders in their workplaces throughout Southern Maryland. This year, students will explore healthcare in Southern Maryland with a focus on veterans in our community.  LSM has proudly partnered with HTii in support of the academy and is looking for a second organization to co-sponsor, allowing us to keep this unique experience accessible for youth in the tri-county area.

Leadership Southern Maryland offers the Teen Leadership Academy in addition to its nine-month tuition-based adult executive program 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 or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – January 26, 2018:  On January 18, 2018, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class of 2018 participated in the fifth of nine educational sessions for the 2017-18 LSM Executive Program – Healthcare. Sponsored by The Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance, this one-day event began with the class participants visiting one of the three hospitals in the region – CalvertHealth Medical Center, University of Maryland-Charles Regional Medical Center, and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital – for an in-depth brief of the hospital, its capabilities, specialized types of treatment/service lines offered, and a walking tour of the facility.

By mid-morning, the classmates met at Walden Behavioral Health’s Anchor Treatment Center in Charlotte Hall where they were welcomed by Executive Director Dr. Kathleen O’Brien.  After a tour of the treatment center, Dr. O’Brien briefed the class on substance abuse and the impacts it has on those who suffer from the disease, their families, and the community as a whole.  Her presentation was followed by personal testimonies from people undergoing treatment who were willing to share their life experiences.

At the conclusion of the testimonies, the participants transitioned to the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Charlotte Hall.  They began the afternoon with an informational session on current issues in healthcare presented by Mike Robbins, senior vice president for the Maryland Hospital Association.  This was followed by a tour and overview of the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. The class also learned of Melwood’s Operation Tohidu, a program that is helping veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress.

The day concluded with a panel discussion on public and community health issues facilitated by Tony Jones LSM’16, public information officer for St. Mary’s County.  The panel members, Dr. Dianna Abney LSM’15, Charles County health officer, and Dr. Meenakshi Brewster, St. Mary’s County health officer, answered questions about challenges facing local healthcare departments, the opioid crisis, and what keeps them up at night.  Following the discussion, Dr. Abney, conducted a certification course on administering naloxone, which blocks or reverses the effects of opioids.

After the official program ended, members from the Class of 2018 reconvened at Tequila Cantina and Grill to attend an After Hours Social hosted by LSM’s Alumni Association, giving them an opportunity to go over the day’s events and decompress from a session that was both thought-provoking and impactful.  The day’s success can be attributed to Dr. Rebecca Bridgett LSM’14, county administrator for St. Mary’s County, and Tony Jones who gave their time and talents into planning the day’s agenda.  The support and hospitality of the staff at the three regional hospitals, Walden Behavioral Health, and Charlotte Hall Veterans Home were also instrumental in making this class session both educational and inspiring.

Leadership Southern Maryland is a nine-month tuition-based program that educates and inspires a diverse group of current and emerging leaders creating opportunities for collaborations and partnerships impacting the community needs of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties ensuring a cross-section of the region including 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) nonprofit.