Leadership Southern Maryland Celebrates Class of 2013

June 19, 2013

LSM Grad 2013 1, Alex ClarkeFifth Group Graduates Prestigious Regional Nine-Month Leadership Development Program

Many, throughout Southern Maryland, have been celebrating the proud graduates in their lives during recent weeks. Earning that diploma or that degree is a pivotal point in any graduate’s life and serves as a springboard to their future endeavors.

For this year’s graduates of Leadership Southern Maryland’s regional nine-month leadership program, the Class of 2013, the celebration is one of both personal achievement and regional enrichment. The network of informed leaders continues to strengthen as the program finishes its fifth year.  On May 3, a commencement ceremony was held at Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa in Calvert County.

 After selection for the Leadership Southern Maryland program, the Class of 2013 engaged with recognized leaders and delved into many pertinent regional issues such as energy and the environment, agriculture, housing and human services, public safety, economic and workforce development, education, technology and defense industry, community health and diversity.

Through a series of workshops and behind-the-scenes visits to important facilities in the region, the group gained a greater understanding of their community and learned of the need for leadership development and collaboration in a multitude of areas.
The ceremony featured guest speaker Eliot Pfanstiehl, CEO of The Strathmore and long-time facilitator of Leadership Maryland’s core program, who has become an integral part of the Leadership Southern Maryland program as well.

LSM 2013 Grad 3, Alex ClarkeMatt Scassero, a Leadership Maryland graduate, founding board member, past president and member of LSM’s Leadership Council, described Pfanstiehl as an engaging speaker and “a man with a wealth of knowledge about the state of Maryland.”

He explained how Pfanstiehl is there at the beginning of the program to talk to class members about how to get the most out of their experience and is there at commencement to ask them ‘What now?’, encouraging them to apply their leadership skills in their communities in a tangible way. This year, he said, the class members Pfanstiehl put on the spot during the ceremony were able to provide thoughtful and thorough answers.

Bert Johnston, current president of LSM, said, “Eliot is just a remarkable fellow and a natural leader, able to get into your head in the most wonderful way.” Scassero and Johnston shared the sentiment that Pfanstiehl’s connection to LSM is of great benefit for both the program itself and the participants who are able to learn from him.

Members of the Class of 2013 shared some thoughts about completing the regional leadership program during the graduation ceremony, many acknowledging the friendships formed and memories made along the way. ” I have been enlightened, educated and, at times, entertained. Now that I have experienced so much during this journey, I am forced out of my ‘bubble’ and compelled to do more within my community,” shared Martina Arnold, Development Director at CSM.

CPA and partner with Askey, Askey & Associates Glenn Frank stated, “The program opened my eyes to the prevailing cooperative spirit that strives to bring balance and reinforcement to our community’s values.”

I am always amazed to find out how much I still don’t know about this region that has been my professional and personal home for over 17 years,” said Director of Health Connections at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Lori Werrell. “I learned something in every session that I can use in my work and gained a network of colleagues I hope to continue to be in contact with long after this experience is over.”

LSM Grad 2013 2, Alex Clarke“LSM has equipped me with an abundance of knowledge, long lasting friendships, and a long list of things that I want to do to give back to the community,” stated Kristina Moore, Director of Human Resources for The Arc of Southern Maryland.
“I will truly be thankful for all the laughs, all the tears, all the experiences, and the footprints made on my heart,” she added.
Several others commented on the group’s many shared eye-opening experiences and their newly-sparked personal interests in volunteering and getting more involved in beneficial community and regional projects.

Scassero stated, “I continue to be impressed by the great participants we find year after year.”

“For the fifth year, the Leadership Southern Maryland program has brought together a group of individuals from various educational and professional backgrounds and created a strong, connected network of leaders who will apply the leadership skills they’ve gained in dynamic ways that will benefit both their respective communities and the region as a whole,” said LSM’s Executive Director Karen Holcomb.



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