In the News

LSM Emerging Leaders Program (LEAP) Class of 2020 Experiences Mentorship, Diversity and Team Building in Southern Maryland

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – February 28, 2020 – On February 21, 2020, Leadership Southern Maryland’s new Emerging Leaders Program (LEAP) Class of 2020 held its second of six program sessions.

The day opened at Whitney, Bradley & Brown, Inc. in Lexington Park with a discussion on teams and team building with Captain Steven Hall LSM’18, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office. Mayor Mike Benton of North Beach in Calvert County followed with a motivating discussion on mentorship and how to choose a mentor. The day also included a book discussion with Amy Ford LSM’19, Lexington Park’s branch manager for St. Mary’s County Public Library.

This was followed by small group panel discussions with several St. Mary’s County leaders, including Chris Kaselemis, director of St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development, Rich Fleming LSM’11, president/CEO of St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce, Sheriff Tim Cameron of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department, Captain Chris Cox, USN LSM’19, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, and Lori Werrell LSM’13, regional director of Population & Community Health at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital.

After lunch, the class members had a discussion on diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias with Mike Bellis LSM’19, executive director of United Way of Charles County, and Josh Bellis, talent & human resources consultant at HR Acuity. The final activity of the day was goal setting with Dottie Tackett, deputy director of Corporate Operations, Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indian Head.

At the conclusion of the program day, the class adjourned to Taphouse 1637 in California to meet Leadership Southern Maryland’s current Executive Program Class of 2020 as well as board and council members.

Leadership Southern Maryland’s Emerging Leaders Program (LEAP) provides educational programming opportunities to new or emerging leaders in our region. Through a series of six “experiences”, young leaders will facilitate, foster, and refine their individual leadership understanding and abilities via structured course curriculum and a focus on self-discovery, teamwork, and networking. These sessions will conclude with a capstone project and graduation in June. Experts from across the region and state representing business, government, education, and the nonprofit community will serve as panelists and guest speakers.


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