In the News

Class 2016 experiences Defense and its Industry

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – November 30, 2015 – On November 18, 2015, the Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Class 2016 participated in the second of nine educational programs for the 2015-16 LSM class – Defense and Industry. The one-day event began at 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. Matt Scassero (Retired Navy Captain, LSM Council Member, and Univ. of Md. UAS Test Site Director) hosted the day by prefacing their visit on their way to the base. LSM class participants began with the USMC Color Guard and a welcome to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River by the Commanding Officer, Navy Captain Heidi Fleming. Following the welcome, the class members had the rare privilege of a walking tour of the U. S. Navy Test Pilot School, hosted by Lieutenant Colonel Timothy A. Davis, USMC, Commanding Office the Test Pilot School. The tour paused for a luncheon in the River’s Edge Catering and Conference Center. LSM alum 2014, Ms. Stephanie Gleason, arranged for members of the Engineering and Scientist Development Program to join 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, Mr. Rich Adamo provided a brief on Unmanned Aerial Systems followed by a class tour of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance—Demonstrator (BAMS-D) Hangar, hosted by Mr. Dave Seagle, and the X-47 Hangar, hosted by Ms. Barbara Weathers. LSM alum 2011 and Retired Navy Captain, Mr. Dave Gleisner, hosted participants on a windshield tour to these two locations by answering questions and providing information 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 RADM C. J. Jaynes, Program Executive Officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs (PEO(A)).

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 & Industry 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 240 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 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.

For more information, please contact the Helen Mattingly 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) nonprofit