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Leadership Southern Maryland Educates Leaders

Class 2015 experiences Defense and its Industry in Southern Maryland

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – March 10, 2015 – On November 20, 2014, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class 2015 participated in the second of nine educational programs for the 2014-15 LSM class – Defense and Industry. The one-day event began at the Smartronix Inc., in Hollywood, Maryland, where participants learned how employers support the Maryland National Guard and the Military Reserves as well as a capabilities brief by Smartronix executives and a tour of the facility.

At the conclusion of the tour, the participants boarded a bus that ferried them to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. CAPT Matt Scassero (USN Retired and LSM Council Member) hosted the day by prefacing their visit on their way to the base. LSM class participants had the rare privilege of a walking tour of the U. S. Navy Test Pilot School, hosted by Lieutenant Colonel Greg Fortier. The tour paused for a luncheon in the River’s Edge Catering and Conference Center. Members of the Engineering and Scientist Development Program joined the participants for lunch to ask questions about their experience on the tour and gain understanding from the LSM leaders and their challenges as leaders, as well as share their experiences as new members of the NAVAIR workforce. For the afternoon session, the class toured the Global Hawk Hangar, where LSM alum 2011 and Retired Navy Captain, Mr. Dave Gleisner, hosted participants on Unmanned Air Vehicles. From there, the participants transitioned to the Atlantic Test Range, where another LSM alum 2010, Mr. Rob Vargo, welcomed them and provided a brief on the capabilities of the Atlantic Test Range. The participants finalized their day with a “A Future of Naval Aviation” brief provided by RDML Mark Darrah, Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation & Strike Weapons (PEO(U&W)).

The class interacted with staff at each site, including program advocates, and as leaders living in the Patuxent River area they had the opportunity to discuss the impact to the economy, environment, wildlife, natural resources and future generations while understanding the commitment of the defense and supporting industry to our community. Overall, the class participants were thrilled to be part of Leadership Southern Maryland and the Defense Program.

The class wrapped up their day with a networking event that evening hosted at the LSM Alumni Association at The Rex in Leonardtown, Maryland. Class participants were able to meet and interact with LSM alumni, more than 200 strong, as well as Leadership Maryland alumni living in the Southern Maryland region.

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 M. Wernecke, Executive Director Leadership Southern Maryland, 240-725-5469 via email or visit


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.