In the News

Class of 2017 Experiences Economic & Workforce Development in Southern Maryland

LEONARDTOWN, Md., October 28, 2016: On October 13, 2016, Leadership Southern Maryland’s Class of 2017 held its first 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 Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Md. The day’s program advocates were Ruthy Davis, LSM ’14, director of regional workforce and business development for Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland, and Karen O’Connor, LSM’10, lead business developer for the Corporate Center at the College of Southern Maryland.

The day opened with a welcome to the Regency Furniture Stadium by Jason Sproesser, corporate sales manager, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. This was followed by a panel discussion on economic development current hot topics with the economic development offices of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties (Kelly Robertson-Slagle, Darrell Brown, Chris Kaselemis). 

Robin Finnacom, deputy director for the St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development spoke of county and regional support of diversifying the local economy, with Steve Eastburg, executive vice president of engineering solutions for Smartronix creating a discussion on economic growth through AeroMaryland. Matt Scassero, director of unmanned aircraft systems test site for the University of Maryland, rounded out the discussion by speaking about the development of civilian and commercial unmanned aviation systems in the region. 

Ellen Flowers-Fields LSM’09, southern maryland regional director for Small Business Development Center offered examples of supporting business development and growth through entrepreneurial communities through the Small Business Development Center and Kim Mozingo LSM’14, manager of technology business growth for Energetics Technology Center spoke of growth through meetups, pitch contests, TED talks, incubation, acceleration and teaming through organizations such as the Southern Maryland Innovation & Technology. Eleanor Nelson, director of Job Match Re-employment Project, spoke of mid-career re-employment successes in the region.

In the afternoon, Ruthy Davis 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