Celebrating 11 years of excellence connecting, collaborating,
and creating change in our community.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – July 8, 2019: Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) is accepting proposals from nonprofit organizations within Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties to provide projects to be completed by the LSM Class of 2020. This year, proposals will be accepted from both 501(c)(3) and community-focused organizations.

To view the Request for Proposal (RFP) or submit a proposal, click HERE. The deadline is August 1, 2019, after which all proposals will be reviewed and selections will be made by mid-August. A maximum of eight projects will be chosen to form the Leadership Southern Maryland Connections project list for 2020. To see successful past projects, click HERE. LSM will also host a question and answer session on July 23, 9:30 am at the St. Mary’s Chamber of Commerce for organizations interested in submitting proposals.

The mission of Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) is 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.

In keeping with this mission, Leadership Southern Maryland is looking to establish a partnership with nonprofit organizations within the Southern Maryland region. This partnership, Leadership Southern Maryland Connections, will aid the participants’ learning by increasing their knowledge of regional issues, lend the nonprofit extra expertise and manpower to complete a needed project, and allow for team building within a small group. Leadership Southern Maryland Connections will affect change for the organization and region while enabling participants to go beyond simply connecting the dots of regional issues by connecting themselves to the organizations to become a part of lasting change.

For more information, please contact Denise Foster, Executive Director, Leadership Southern Maryland, 301-862-SOMD, via email at denise@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 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

On June 13, Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) welcomed several new members to its board of directors.  Each person adds their own unique perspectives and experiences to the group, helping LSM to continue its mission to educate and inspire a diverse group of current and emerging leaders in Southern Maryland.  Included on the new roster are Christina Johannsen LSM’19, Tom Jones LSM’19, Mike Colina LMD’00 and Joan Thorp LSM’18.

Christina Johannsen is a senior analyst for WBB, Inc. and resides in St. Mary’s County.  During her seven years with the company, she has performed program management support, both internally for WBB, and externally for her Navy and Air Force clients.  Johannsen is heavily involved in the community.  She is the founder of NextGen Professionals, St. Mary’s County’s independent young professionals’ organization.  “I have found a particular passion in the Southern Maryland community in terms of connections, workforce retention, and engaging the millennial cohort in viewing Southern Maryland – and St. Mary’s County in particular – as home,” she said.  Johannsen plans to continue to bring that passion for emerging leaders to her role as a board member for LSM.  “I wanted to join the LSM board to help the organization focus on ensuring that strategically LSM has a robust portfolio which offers opportunities for all stages of leadership,” she explained.

Incoming board member Tom Jones felt drawn to join the LSM board after graduating with the Class of 2019 and feeling called to give back to the organization and his community.  Jones is the division chief for Buildings and Grounds in Calvert County.  Jones has a heart to help others, serving as the house captain for Christmas in April in Calvert County for the last three years.  He also volunteers at the Calvert Marine Museum during its summer concert season.  “While I was attending the LSM program in 2019, I realized the impact it has on the region.  I was at a point in my career where I wanted to be more involved in the community and this provides the perfect opportunity,” he said.

LSM Class of 2018’s Joan Thorp hails from El Paso, Texas but has called Port Republic, Maryland home for the past 36 years.  Thorp is the assistant chief of accounting for Charles County Government, the department responsible for the county payroll, ensuring that the county’s bills are paid and accounts receivable are tracked, preparation of the annual audited financial reports, and a host of other financial tasks.  “My LSM experience helped me to become a more knowledgeable and active member of my community,” she said.  When she was first approached about joining the LSM board, Thorp was concerned about the time commitment.  She already serves on the budget committee for her community’s homeowners’ association and plays the clarinet with her church’s choir and the Southern Maryland Concert Band.  After careful consideration however, she realized she didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to stay connected with LSM.  “I want to help ensure that the LSM program continues and flourishes,” she said.

Of course, welcoming new board members means LSM bid a fond farewell to those who have completed their terms.  The organization extends its gratitude to past president John Felicitas LSM’13 who will continue to support LSM on the Leadership Council as well as Linda Colina LSM’16, Anna Fagan LSM’14, and Angela Walters Small LSM’16 for lending their time and talents to the organization over the past several years.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – May 10, 2019: On April 25 & 26, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class of 2019 participated in the last of nine educational sessions for LSM’s 2018-19 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 Fins & 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 headed for Exelon’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant where they received a brief on nuclear energy and had the rare opportunity to take a walking tour of the facility.

The class then traveled to Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG Terminal, where George Anas, External Affairs Manager State & Local Government for Dominion Energy and Frank Brayton, director of LNG Operations 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 facility and a stop overlooking the off-shore exportation pier. The participants wrapped up their day with a “behind the scenes” tour of the Calvert Marine Museum.

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 Rob Plant, owner of Elements Eatery & Mixology in Lexington Park.  Plant shared his extensive knowledge and passion for buying local.

The participants then traveled to Hughesville, where they were given a tour of the SMECO Solar Farm by Tom Dennison, SMECO’s managing director of government and public affairs.  Next, the class was off to Farming 4 Hunger where they had an opportunity to learn about the farm’s mission and were introduced to tower gardens, one of the organization’s newest projects that provides outreach to local schools.

Back at SMECO, President Joe Slater along with Dennison and Natalie Cotton LSM’11, director of community and public affairs, hosted the participants at the Engineering and Operations Center, where they had a tour of the facility and educational brief on SMECO. The group concluded the afternoon with an agricultural panel discussion. The guest speakers were Plant, of Elements, Shelby Watson-Hampton, director, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), Chip Bowling, president of Bowling-Agri Services, Inc., and Paul Kellam, a commercial waterman and owner of Kellam’s Seafood.

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.

Samuel C.P. Baldwin, Jr.  hails from Baltimore but has called Hollywood, Maryland home for 35 years.  He is a managing partner at The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Steinmetz where he has a full-time practice concentrated in family law.  Baldwin also oversees the development of the firm’s practice areas which include family matters, real estate, criminal and civil litigation, estate planning and administration, as well as government contracting, security clearance issues and associated business matters.

After living in St. Mary’s County for over 3 decades, Baldwin thought he knew everything there was to know about his community.  What could Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) possibly have to offer him?  As it turns out, a great deal. “The nine-month LSM program more fully immersed me in the Southern Maryland community,” Baldwin said.  “LSM took my localized St. Mary’s County knowledge and expanded it to Charles and Calvert Counties.”  In addition, Baldwin was appreciative of the new layer of connectivity that LSM afforded him.  “I had nine months of intensive interaction with 30 like-minded classmates; something that would not have happened otherwise,” he explained.  “My LSM experience helped me better connect with others who share a drive to contribute to Southern Maryland.”

Community involvement is key for Baldwin who has served as the chairman of numerous community advisory boards.  He has over 25 years of youth soccer coaching and Sunday School teaching experience.  He has also guided the St. Mary’s Ryken mock trial team to the state final rounds 4 times over the last 10 years.  Baldwin served as president of the Historic St. Mary’s City Foundation where he created their signature summer event, Beer Fest and is an active volunteer for Historic Sotterly.  Add involvement in several local political campaigns over the years and work on his online history of St. Mary’s County, “The John Hanson Briscoe Historical Project,” into the mix, and there’s no denying that Baldwin has a passion for his community.  He credits all of this volunteerism with preparing him for his next adventure as incoming president of Leadership Southern Maryland.  Baldwin’s one-year term begins in June.

Even when Baldwin takes time to recharge, his favorite way to escape is evidence of his love of Southern Maryland.  He and his wife live on a family farm and landscape approximately 20 acres of land that boasts an orchard and maze, chickens, and a 200-year old barn which they’ve saved from dilapidation.  Baldwin finds working on the property and seeing the fruits of his labors brings a sense of contentment.  Making Southern Maryland a better place to live is a theme that carries throughout Baldwin’s life and career from the region as a whole down to his own piece of paradise.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – March 28, 2019: Leadership Southern Maryland announces Scott A. Goldstein as the 2019 Teen Leadership Academy facilitator.

Goldstein, of Calvert County, has been a teacher for 34 years, spending the last 23 years as a history teacher at Patuxent High School.  He has been chosen as Patuxent High School’s Teacher of the Year twice as well as the Washington Post Agnes Myer Teacher of the Year in 2014 by Calvert County Public Schools.

Goldstein is currently an Advanced Placement Coordinator for Patuxent High School and serves as the sponsor of the High School Student Government and Calvert Association of Student Councils.  In addition, he has coached varsity and JV men’s basketball, baseball, and football throughout his career.

Goldstein holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Northeastern Illinois University with an emphasis in secondary education.  He has done graduate work at Northeastern Illinois, Bowie State, and Sand Diego State University.

Goldstein is married and has two adult daughters.  He enjoys reading, sports and fishing.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – March 19, 2019: On March 7, 2019, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class of 2019 participated in the seventh of nine educational sessions – Housing and Human Services.

The morning began with Cathy Meyers, LSM founding sponsor and executive director at Center for Children, Inc., presenting the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) assessment. Afterward, she gave context to the assessment, educating the class on how childhood experiences, poverty, mental health, and homelessness can be intertwined and how adverse childhood experiences can affect one’s ability to thrive. The class also received an overview of human services in Southern Maryland thanks to a presentation by Department of Social Services directors Therese Wolfe (Charles) and Alexis Zoss (St. Mary’s).

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. Next, the class heard from Jennifer Moreland LSM’17, director of community resources for Calvert County Government who spoke about collaborative efforts in the region. She was followed by a presentation by Lisa Blottenberger, owner of Boundless Expectations, on resources for families impacted by learning differences. The session concluded with a discussion on innovative approaches to intervening in homelessness by Sandy Washington of LifeStyles of Maryland, Inc. and remarks by Karen Carloni LSM’17 from Southern Maryland Community Network on investing in human potential.

The class wrapped up their day with a networking event at Elements Eatery and Mixology in Lexington Park. Class participants were able to meet and interact with LSM alumni, over 300 strong, and reflect on the day’s events.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – March 11, 2019: Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) announces that it is now accepting applications for its Teen Leadership Academy (TLA), which will run daily from June 24-28, 2019. The academy is open to teens living in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties entering grades 10, 11, or 12. The program is based at the College of Southern Maryland’s Prince Frederick campus, with bus transportation available from the CSM La Plata and CSM Leonardtown locations each day. The application is online at www.leadershipsomd.org under the “Programs” header. Need-based scholarships are available.

TLA is designed to teach and develop leadership skills in a hands-on, experiential program with workshops and visits to meet with leaders in their workplaces throughout the region. This year, students will explore public safety in Southern Maryland.  The academy will feature inspiring speakers as well as excursions to local public safety facilities and the United States Naval Academy.  LSM is able to offer TLA in part thanks to community sponsorships.  This year’s academy is sponsored by BeAthEdge Consulting. LSM is looking for a second organization to co-sponsor, allowing it to keep this unique experience accessible for youth in the tri-county area.

Leadership Southern Maryland offers TLA in addition to its nine-month tuition-based adult executive program.  TLA is an extension of the organization’s mission to educate and inspire a diverse group of current and emerging leaders to create collaborations and partnerships to impact the community needs of Southern Maryland.

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, 301-862-7663 via email denise@leadershipsomd.org or visit www.leadershipsomd.org.

Christina Payne is a perfect example of a leader who helps and a helper who leads.  The newly promoted vice president of human resources and corporate relations at Precise Systems, Payne spends her time outside of the office actively working to make her community better.  Whether it’s buying local and supporting small local businesses, coaching youth field hockey, or organizing a 5K for Foundation 4 Heroes, she’s always looking for ways to get involved and support causes that inspire her.  Payne also dedicates her time to helping individuals write and enhance their resumes.  She guides them through the process of applying for a job and acing the interview.  “This has brought me some of the biggest personal wins,” Payne said.  “Helping be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself will deliver happiness in your life.”

That approach makes it no surprise that Payne volunteered to be the lead advocate for Leadership Southern Maryland’s (LSM) Housing and Human Services session.  A 2015 graduate of the Executive Program, Payne credits her LSM experience with helping her to build self-confidence and wisdom while becoming a more well-rounded leader.  “I had the opportunity to get to know myself a little better by exploring my motivation to lead and to test my level of self-confidence, my emotional intelligence, and other qualities that are needed to become a good leader,” she said.  She also appreciated the opportunity LSM gave her to “network with other regional leaders, share challenges and accomplishments, and make a new support net for the future.”

Payne has kept strong ties with LSM over the years, serving as a program session advocate on more than one occasion.  “My favorite memory is of the year after I graduated with the “Best Class Ever” and assumed the role of Housing and Human Services day advocate,” Payne said.  “I was so nervous about the agenda, speakers and how the students would take to the day I had planned.”  The day was a great success and Payne continues to build on that experience to offer a session this year that will engage the Class of 2019 and open their eyes to housing and human services in the region.  “It was very special to me to share my passion for helping others in that forum,” she said.

Payne’s other passions include supporting and watching her daughter play volleyball and competitively dance.  She also enjoys “glamping” with her family and has recently taken up the hobby of home staging as she moves through the process of designing her new home.

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – February 22, 2019:  On February 7, 2019, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class of 2019 participated in the sixth of nine educational sessions – Public Safety. The day began with an introduction by St. Mary’s County Emergency Management Manager Gerald Gardiner Jr. LSM’15 at the St. Mary’s Count Emergency Communications Center.  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 Chris Strong, meteorologist from the National Weather Service (NWS), on how NWS shares information to help the counties prepare for weather events.  Class members rounded out the morning with a presentation and tour of the St. Mary’s County Detention Center.

The afternoon portion of the day included a question and answer session with Sheriff Mike Evans, Sheriff Troy Berry, and Sheriff Tim Cameron hosted at the Paul Hall Center.  The class spent the remainder of the day at the Sacco Firefighting School where they had the opportunity to interact with volunteers from the Fire/EMS departments, get up close and personal with emergency vehicles including the Trooper 7 helicopter, and watch demonstrations by local K9 and SWAT units. The class held a post-session debrief at Olde Town Pub in Leonardtown 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 2020 Executive Program. Interested emerging and senior leaders should visit www.leadershipsomd.org to learn more about the program and apply by April 1, 2019.

Photo Credit: Harry Gieske, Paul Hall Maritime Center

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  It’s a common question asked of small children.  Answers run the gamut but firefighter and police officer often top the list.  This was the case for Chris Breedlove.  During his youth, Breedlove developed a fascination with fire trucks.  At the age of 16, he joined the fire department.  It was then that he realized his love of being in public safety.  As an adult, he set his sights on becoming a police officer and joined the Maryland Transportation Authority in 1999, promoting to the rank of sergeant before retiring on disability in 2010.

Upon his retirement, Breedlove took a position with Calvert County Planning & Zoning as chief of zoning enforcement.  In this role, he enforces the Calvert County Zoning Ordinance.  But public safety is still close to his heart.  Breedlove is an active volunteer with the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department.  He has also had the opportunity to share his love of public safety in his role as an advocate for Leadership Southern Maryland’s (LSM) upcoming public safety session.  The session will feature a tour of the detention facility and county sheriffs panel as well as a K9 demonstration, a landing by Maryland State Police Trooper 7, and more.  In the words of Breedlove and his co-advocate, the session promises to be “the best day of the year and the BEST Public Safety Day to ever be held by LSM.”

Breedlove graduated from LSM in 2018 and looks back on his memories of the program with fondness.  His favorite session was Energy & Environment.  He particularly valued that experience as it gave him the opportunity to take behind-the-scenes tours at SMECO and the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. 

Breedlove resides in Chesapeake Beach with his wife and their son.  In his spare time, he enjoys camping with his family.