In the News

Class of 2016 Experiences Economic and Workforce Development

LEONARDTOWN, Md., June 14, 2016: On May 5, 2016, Leadership Southern Maryland’s Class of 2016 held its ninth of nine program sessions to learn about economic and workforce development in the tri-county region. The program was sponsored by the Calvert County Department of Economic Development and held at the Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Md. The day’s program advocate was Ruthy Davis, LSM ’14, director of regional workforce and business development for Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland.

The day opened with a welcome to the Regency Furniture Stadium by Courtney Knichel, general manager, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. This was followed by a panel on economic development current hot topics with the economic development directors of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties (Linda Vassallo, Darrell Brown, Chris Kaselemis).

Jeff Arrington, regional diversification manager for the Maryland Department of Commerce spoke of statewide grants in support of diversifying the local economy, with Doug Leepa of Smartronix providing an overview of the commercially viable technology being marketed through AeroMaryland. Joe Anderson, LSM ’12, of PAE Applied Technologies, LLC, rounded out the discussion by speaking about the development of civilian and commercial unmanned aviation systems in the region.

Bill Hitte and Pam Wilkerson offered examples of supporting business development and growth through entrepreneurial communities: Hitte through the Small Business Development Center and Wilkerson through Project Open Doors and Project Opportunity with the Tri-County Council. Eleanor Nelson, director of Job Match Re-employment Project, spoke of mid-career re-employment successes in the region.

In the afternoon, Ruthy Davis and Dan Mosser (VP, College of Southern Maryland’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development) shared efforts by the Tri-County Council and the College of Southern Maryland to meet the region’s demands for workforce development. This session was followed by a tour of the JobSource Mobile Career Center, led by Hans Welch,  mobile career center coordinator for the Tri-County Council, and then a tour of the American Job Center in Waldorf, Md.

Leadership Southern Maryland 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. Leadership Southern Maryland is a nine-month tuition-based program.

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 the Helen Mattingly Wernecke, Executive Director Leadership Southern Maryland, 240-725-5469 via email or visit