In the News

Class of 2019 Experiences Economic & Workforce Development in Southern Maryland

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – October 31, 2018 – On October 4, 2018, Leadership Southern Maryland’s Class of 2019 held its first of nine program sessions to learn about economic and workforce development in the tri-county region. The program was sponsored by the Calvert County Department of Economic Development and held at Sabre Systems, Inc. in Lexington Park, Maryland.  Ruthy Davis LSM ’14, director of regional workforce and business development for Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland was the advocate for the session and planned the day’s events.

The day opened with a welcome to Sabre Systems by Jamie Norris, vice president, National Defense Sector for Sabre. This was followed by a panel discussion on economic development current hot topics with the economic development office representatives from Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties (Kelly Robertson-Slagle LSM’10, Marcia Keeth LSM’18, Chris Kaselemis).

The class then explored the topic of diversifying the local economy with presentations by Matt Scassero, director of the University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site, and Matt Parker, senior agent associate for University of Maryland Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources. This discussion included the development of civilian and commercial unmanned aviation systems in the region and the growth of oyster aquaculture in the area.

The morning concluded with Ellen Flowers-Fields LSM’09, regional director, southern region for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  Flowers-Fields offered examples of supporting business development and growth through entrepreneurial communities through the SBDC.

In the afternoon, Ruthy Davis and Rodney Giles, special programs coordinator for the Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland shared efforts by the Tri-County Council to meet the region’s demands for workforce development. This session was followed by a tour of the JobSource American Job Center in Lexington Park by Davis and the JobSource Mobile Career Center, led by Hans Welch, mobile career center coordinator for the Tri-County Council.

At the conclusion of the program day, the class adjourned to Pax River Ale House in Lexington Park for an after-hours social where they talked through the events of the day and met up with LSM grads.

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 Denise Foster, Executive Director Leadership Southern Maryland, 301-862-SOMD, via email or visit