Leadership Essentials is a six-month leadership development program for emerging leaders that runs from December to June each year. Participants in the cohort strengthen their leadership skills through full-day sessions, coaching, and a community service project. The Leadership Essentials Class of 2023 includes twenty-four emerging leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Instituted by Leadership Howard County in 2007, Leadership Essentials is now managed by Loyola University Maryland as part of the ASPIRE Center for Continuing Education.

The three core components of Leadership Essentials are in-person and virtual workshops led by subject matter experts, one-on-one coaching, and a team-based Community Impact Project to support a local nonprofit. The skill-building workshops focus on leadership topics such as self-awareness, communication skills, high performing teams, conflict management, and more. Participants work one-on-one with a leadership coach to further develop critical thinking skills, strengthen relationships, and manage conflict. Community Impact Projects not only provide support to a local nonprofit but offer participants a practical learning lab to further develop teamwork, project management, and communication skills. The 2023 Community Impact Project hosts are Community Development Network of Maryland, GEDCO, and JustLiving Advocacy. 

The Leadership Essentials program benefits from the strong collaboration with Leadership Howard County, as well as the LE community of alumni, coaches, non-profit project hosts, community leaders, and facilitators.

Plans are underway for Leadership Essentials 2024! Recruitment will begin this Summer with group and individual information sessions. Applications are due in early October and the program runs from Dec-June. Please visit www.loyola.edu/leadership-essentials or contact Katherine Keefe, Leadership Essentials Program Consultant, at [email protected] for more information or to volunteer.  

Leadership Essentials Class of 2023

Stephanie Adibe, Deputy Director, Community Resources & Services, Howard County Government 

Maggie Beauchamp, Associate Director of Engineering, CRISP Shared Services

Hope Campbell, Associate Advisor, FAI Wealth Advisors 

Santiago Carrera, Santiago Carrera Realtor Group of Exit Realty 

Jin Chung, Business Banking Relationship Manager, M&T Bank

Sandy Cos, Director of Equity and Community Engagement, Howard Community College 

Adrienne Criss, Physicist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL) 

Rex Echevarria, Apps Team Lead, CRISP Shared Services

Sean Gauntt, Senior Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL) 

Brady Greer, Real Estate Services Program Administrator, Columbia Association 

Vanessa Hughes, Supportive Services for Older Adults Program Manager, Howard County Government 

Jillian Joseph, Executive Director, Ellicott City Partnership

Adrienne Mabee, Software Product Manager, enGen 

Efrika McIver, Product Analyst – IT, Exelon  

Father David Milad, St. Barnabas & St. Susanna Coptic Orthodox Church 

Jon Oberst, Marketing Manager, Whiting Turner Contracting Company

Sumit Patel, Sr. Data Analyst, Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) 

Dorothy Peoples, Assistant Superintendent, Maryland Transit Authority 

Dannika Rynes, Sr. Manager of Communications & Media Relations, Columbia Association 

Olatunde Sanni, Senior Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL) 

Jennifer Sullivan, Program Administrator, Simon Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Loyola University 

Laura Swartz, Sr. Interior Designer – Portfolio Manager, Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) 

Tayler Tarlton, Director of Programs & Events, Howard County Chamber of Commerce

Katherine Turner, Director of Finance & Decision Support, Howard County General Hospital