Leadership Howard County (LHC) is all about connections — connecting leaders, connecting graduates with organizations to better serve our community and connecting leaders with ideas and “hot” issues. This past year LHC initiated a new series of timely and topical programs called “This Just In.”
This new series is in direct response to what alumni indicated they wanted. So, the organization is listening as it works to enhance its member benefits and make member participation more relevant, educational and fun.
As the LHC board of directors recently examined the organization’s strategic direction for the next 10 years, a major imperative was to find ways to better engage alumni with impactful programs. There was a strong response from a survey of LHC alumni that identified that they are more interested in education and networking vs. social functions and interested in community forums on current “hot topics,” hearing directly from community and thought leaders.
Additional research with other Leadership organizations across the country supported the popularity and success of similar topical events. The board listened, planned and then launched This Just In.
So far this year, LHC has held two of these topical forums. They are free events and only available to current dues-paying members. They are intimate, with a maximum of 24 attendees. They are held in early mornings and kept to just 90 minutes, including some networking, a light breakfast and the forum. They provide an opportunity to gain timely insights with a rich dialogue between guest speaker and participants.
LHC plans to do four or so of these forums each year, mixed in with its regular general membership events, the Big Event and annual graduation.
The first forum presented Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-7th district), who spoke on the current climate in Washington and issues he personally was passionate about. One vital issue discussed was about the critical shortage of prescription drugs in the U.S. This discussion prompted the cover story in the February issue of The Business Monthly.
The second forum presented Howard County Police Chief William McMahon, a 2005 LHC Premier graduate. He felt that one of his greatest accomplishments since 2006 was to increase the number of Howard County beats (now 28), thus decreasing response time of sworn officers to a reported incident. McMahon said he really enjoyed the smaller event format of This Just In in that it allowed for a healthy exchange of ideas.
If LHC alumni have ideas about hot topics they would like to see discussed, they should contact Stacie Hunt or Sue Emerson. And be sure to pay attention when the This Just In announcement to current members is made because the events sell out within days. Why? Because they are “hot.”
Ron Nicodemus is a graduate of the Leadership Premier Class of 2007 and a member of the LHC Board of Directors Executive Committee. He is also president of Nicodemus Communications Group (www.NicodemusOnLine.com). He can be reached at 410-203-9585 or Ron@NicodemusOnLine.com.