In the News

Leadership Southern Maryland Graduates 15th Executive Program Class


Photo Credit: Ron Bailey Photo Productions


LEONARDTOWN, Md. – May 25, 2023:  The Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) Executive Program graduated its fifteenth class on May 18 at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center in Solomons, Md.

The 29-member cohort of Southern Maryland executives completed a nine-month community leadership development program of monthly full-day discussions of regional issues. The group studied economic and workforce development, defense, education, healthcare, housing and human services, diversity, public safety, energy, and the environment.

The graduation ceremony featured a rousing speech by Class of 2023 member Rodney Flowers, elected by the cohort to represent them.

“There are no shortages of leaders in the world today,” Flowers said, “but the missing element is courage. Courage is the new currency and most critical skill set for leaders. What separates courageous leaders from others is the courage to take action in the presence of valid excuses or challenges.”

In their closing session, participants reflected on key insights gained from their Executive Program experience. “We discovered that we all share something very important in common,” said ALisa Casas, Director of Communications and Outreach for the Office of the State’s Attorney for St. Mary’s County. “We are all here for the common good.”

Graduates of the LSM Executive Program Class of 2023 are:

From Calvert County –


Yu-Hsuan Chen, Vice President, Integrated Program Solutions, Inc.

Nick DeFelice, Corporal, Special Operations Team, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office

Sarah Ehman, Public Information Program Manager, Dept. of Communications & Media Relations, Calvert County Government

Stacy Hutchinson, Associate Director of Administration, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Julianne Oberg, Director of Economic Development, Calvert County Government

Stephen Pereira, Director of Technology Services, Calvert County Government

Kevin Schmidt, Public Broadcast Manager, Calvert County Government

Kevin Switick, Chief Executive Officer, AVIAN, LLC


From Charles County –


Tonya Allen-Shaw, Director, USDA-OGC

Michelle DeSoto, Acting Deputy Director of Economic Development, Charles County Government

Maryanna Lanham, Executive Director, Dream Queen Foundation

Craig Renner, Director, Marketing & Communications, University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center

Ashley Teagle, CEO, Southern Maryland Regional Library Association, Inc.


From St. Mary’s County –


Curtis Brown, Business Development Manager, AIRtec, Inc.

Douglas J Burfield, Executive Officer, NAS Patuxent River

ALisa Casas, Director of Communications and Outreach, Office of the State’s Attorney for St. Mary’s County

AliceMarie (AM) Dillon, Branch Manager, Charlotte Hall, St. Mary’s County Library

Rodney Flowers, Director of Facilitation, NavalX, Naval Air Systems Command

Steve Girard, Vice President of PAX Operations, Tekla Research

Mark Goodrich, Executive Vice President, Programs, Naval Systems, Inc.

Campbell Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, SMECO

Denise Kopel, Office/ Facilities, BD Development Manager, MAG Aerospace

Toni Kruszka, Donor Relations & Special Events Manager, College of Southern Maryland

Wade McConvey, Business Development Manager, KBR

Michael Meisel, Chief Financial Officer, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital & MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

Ryan Morning, Director of Business Development, StraCon Services Group

Jennifer Raley, Energy & Technology Programs Manager DSM, SMECO

Richard Tarr, Manager, Highways Division, Dept. of Public Works & Transportation, St. Mary’s County Government

Johnnie D Taylor, Jr., Managing Director, Contracts, NEANY, Inc.

Leadership Southern Maryland’s flagship Executive Program is an interactive and life-enriching nine-month, tuition-based “behind-the-scenes” experience designed to enhance the collaborative abilities of our region’s top senior professionals. LSM welcomes mid- to senior-level executives representing diverse geographic locations, industries, professions, ethnicities, genders, and other backgrounds who are committed to addressing the community needs of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties.