When I took over as CEO in 2002, Leadership Howard County (LHC) was 17 years old. Its core mission was the same then as it is now — to be the critical force in preparing, inspiring, connecting and sustaining community leaders to make Howard County the best place to live, work and play.
Many things have changed to allow LHC to expand its capacity to do this, including a redesign of the format of the Premier program to allow for a richer learning experience; a partnership with Loyola University MD, helping to develop and engage the young professional leaders in the community; and even more alumni programming to keep LHC graduates up-to-date on the issues and the leaders they need to know about.
LHC will graduate its 30th class in June, giving it more than 2,000 alumni from all its programming: Leadership U, Leadership Essentials and Leadership Premier. In addition to the challenging program sessions, each class takes on challenging projects in service to Howard County’s nonprofits, striving to create strong connections and better outcomes for organizations and those they serve.
I’m proud to say LHC is consistently recognized as the premier organization in the county that provides dedicated and informed leaders for nonprofits, people who want to make a difference, and a can-do spirit that is at the core of LHC’s mission.
On the national level, my personal involvement as a board member with the Association of Leadership Programs has allowed us to be exposed to many best practices that we have incorporated into LHC’s programs. LHC also has shared many outstanding initiatives and programs its staff and volunteers have developed here in Howard County. It’s gratifying to know LHC can take its place with community leadership programs across the country whose mission is to empower leaders to become engaged citizens and work for the betterment of their communities.
As I reflect back on my 13 years here, I am proud to be continuing the legacy of my predecessor Shirley Burrill to help people discover their potential and expand their awareness of our community and its issues. Looking to the future, LHC’s volunteers, staff and board are actively developing plans and programming to make Leadership Howard County even more effective and critical to the county’s future.
Thank you all for our first 30 years. Together we will make an even greater impact in the next 30.
President and CEO
Leadership Howard County