Every year, Leadership Howard County (LHC) identifies a group of professionals to help fulfill its mission of strengthening and transforming the community. LHC provides a curriculum containing civic information and leadership development, along with opportunities to apply what has been learned; the program continuously evolves to respond to the changing needs of Howard County.
I am a member of the Class of 2012, which is composed of 42 leaders from businesses, nonprofits, the faith community and government.
In September 2011, my class met for a kick-off session involving a “scavenger hunt,” finding landmarks throughout the county. Later in September, we went on a two-day retreat away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, learning about leadership styles and teambuilding techniques.
While there, we were formed into seven sub-groups with an assignment to assist a local nonprofit with a much-needed project — my team is developing a strategic plan for a children’s camp. The project work continues throughout the year and is directly correlated with LHC’s primary goal of helping leaders to become more involved in the community.
When our class came together in October, November and December, the subject matter was Living and Learning in Howard County. Here, we explored information related to our county’s demographics, quality of life and current overarching problems. This was effected through meetings with recognized community leaders and visits to major area institutions.
In January, we learned about the economic factors impacting Howard County by meeting economists, developers and business leaders. The focus shifted in February to government, with sessions in Annapolis and Ellicott City.
The upcoming classes will focus on Howard County issues, project presentations and ideas on how we can become more involved in our community.
In addition to our class and nonprofit project work, we participate in four supplemental learning activities — we have multiple choices which include: (1) a police or paramedic ride-along, (2) a visit to the detention center, or (3) a tour of the recycling plant.
There is one mandatory activity: the “transportation challenge.” Here we follow a specified route through the county using only public transportation.
My LHC experience has been a great journey. Each of my classmates joined LHC for a different reason — what is mine? In 2011, my eldest son lost his battle with a rare form of cancer. During his illness, the community banded together to help in a variety of ways. It is time for me to give back in a leadership role, and LHC has given me what I need to do so.
Throughout this past year, my classmates and I have become a tight-knit group, eager to take our places as community leaders and volunteers.
If you would like to recommend someone for the 2013 Leadership Howard County Premier Program or to apply yourself, call the LHC offices at 410-730-4474, visit www.leadershiphc.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Gregg Gorman, a member of the Leadership Premier Class of 2012, is the chief financial officer at Legg Mason Capital Management. He can be reached at GGorman@leggmason.com.