The following letters from Jeanne Forrester Singer, Esq. ‘07 (LM), Board Chair and Renée M. Winsky ‘05, President & CEO, appears in the Leadership Maryland 2021 Directory, which is being mailed to our members. We chose to also share it here, as it provides a great recap of the past year and what we have to look forward to in 2022.
I hope this letters finds you in good health and high spirits. We are coming to the close of a yet another chaotic year. Kicking off the year with virtual programming caused some concern among the staff, board and class but, we are happy to report, that the staff and class rallied and had a few great months via Zoom. That said, we were all thrilled to bring the class together in person for their October session. Never have the words “back on the bus” been so anticipated!
Maryland Leadership Workshops scaled back their summer programming to allow them to bring the students back for in-person sessions. Anita ’14 and her staff once again created a tremendous program with nearly 100 delegates participating.
As you are aware, Renee ’05 has announced her intention to transition to a different role in 2022. She will be facilitating the class sessions with Eliot and we are all excited to see what this dynamic duo delivers! Ken Brannan ‘05 is chairing the committee searching for our new President & CEO and we will keep you posted on their progress. That individual will undoubtedly have big shoes to fill, but we are confident we will find the right person for the job.
As we move into a new year, I hope you all take a moment to reflect on your experiences with our programs and the ways in which those experiences may have helped to prepare you for the tumult of the past two years. This moment necessitates empathy, resolve, and clarity of purpose. Our communities are desperate for connectedness, shared vision, and resilient leadership. Our mission of empowering a diverse network of local leaders has never been more important; I look forward to meeting and working with many more of you as we continue in that endeavor.
Wishing you all a happy holiday season and a wonderful 2022!
Jeanne Forrester Singer, Esq. ‘07 (LM)
Congratulations to the Class of ‘20/21! It took you two years, but you made it!
After eight years at the helm, living through a worldwide pandemic and personal challenges difficult to
imagine, you all know that I have decided to transition from the day-to-day operations of our favorite leadership organization to co-facilitating the program – my favorite part – with our beloved Eliot. I am thrilled the board is giving me this opportunity and that Eliot agreed to my grand notion.
I have had the opportunity to experience so many things, including graduating nearly 400 members in seven and a half classes, over 1,000 hours of programming and untold miles in the front of the seat of the bus.
I have also collected some amazing nuggets of wisdom. My friend Ken Brannan ’05 reminds us to “Have faith in the process” every year we select a new class – the most amazing process that still works after 28 years.
Carla A. Reid ‘03 reminded me during a panel at a MEDA annual conference, “Leaders…know your blind spots.” Good advice.
Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III ‘93 touts “The Brady-an Effect” to always ask yourself, “What keeps you up at night? What haven’t I thought about?” Something we can all learn from the incredible Jim Brady ‘93.
During our September program, Jake Day ‘15 encouraged us to, “Take bad news well. When you don’t, people will stop bringing it to you.” Words to lead by.
My friend John Wasilisin ‘05 lives by James Taylor’s lyrics, “The secret to life is enjoying the passage of time.” So true.
I am blessed to have the most incredibly supportive board of directors. Thank you.
Melissa and Anita ‘14 – you are the best staff ever. Keep up the great work!
Finally, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes you figure out why, sometimes you don’t. Whatever happens to you, listen and learn every day. Take joy in both and don’t keep it to yourself.
Renée M. Winsky ‘05
President & CEO, 2013 to 2021
Providing thought leadership and insights from our organization, board, and members.