Season 2, Episode 7: A Leader’s Toolbox: Striking Balance, Making Connections, and Establishing Trust
“[Good leaders] have an openness to things we may not know, or even be interested in at the onset. Oftentimes, leaders have grown to a point where they’re experts in their field, but we always have the opportunity to learn more and grow more.” – Eli Modlin ‘19 (LM)
In this episode, Eric Brotman ’09 (LM), and guest host Eliot Pfanstiehl (LM) are joined by Eli Modlin ’19 (LM), Chief of Staff and Director of Government and Community Relations at Salisbury University. Eli and the hosts discuss how Salisbury University has navigated political, social, and COVID-19 issues, while faculty and staff have worked together to assist students and families during this unprecedented time. Eli shares insight on leadership roles within the University, and how the institution goes above and beyond to engage with and support the greater Salisbury community.
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In this episode, we discuss:
About our guest:
Eli Modlin has served as Chief of Staff at Salisbury University since July 31, 2019. Prior to this position, Modlin held roles as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Government and Community Relations.
Eli graduated from Salisbury University with a degree in communication arts and a minor in political science, spending his summers in Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Capitol intern. At Salisbury University, he served as president and general manager of the campus TV station, SUTV, where he conducted interviews with dozens of state and local leaders including Governor Larry Hogan, Senator Chris Van-Hollen and other members of Congress, the Maryland General Assembly, and local elected officials.
In addition to the President’s Executive Staff, he chairs the Town-Gown Council and serves on the PACE Steering Committee, Safety Task Force, Neighborhood Relations Committee, and Strategic Planning and Budgeting Committee.
Prior to joining SU, Eli served as the Public Affairs Officer for the Comptroller of Maryland where, as a member of the Communications Team, he was responsible for writing speeches, talking points, and briefing memorandums for the agency. Before joining the Communications team, he served as the special liaison officer and handled constituent matters and staffed the Comptroller in Baltimore City, Baltimore, Howard, and Wicomico Counties.
Eli is a member of the Salisbury University Chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa and an active alumnus of Mount Saint Joseph High School. He is also a member of the inaugural class of the Transformational Leadership Program, a collaboration between Salisbury University and the Greater Salisbury Committee to engage the next generation of leaders.
Beyond the University, Modlin serves on the board of directors of My Brother’s Keeper, a Baltimore organization that provides workforce development and meals for those in need, and the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce. He also is a member of the National Folk Festival Executive Committee and the Leadership Maryland Class of 2019.
By: Jody Sprinkle '17, Chief Government Relations & Policy Officer, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)
At TEDCO, we embrace the core value of stewardship every day in each of our programs. It is our responsibility and privilege to manage the scarce resources entrusted to us by our public and private partners. As a quasi-public instrumentality of the State of Maryland, TEDCO incorporates stewardship into our mission to serve the State’s entrepreneurs in an efficient, effective, and fiscally responsible manner.
TEDCO provides a public service to the State’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem by providing grants, investments, and wraparound services. Nothing is more fundamental to public service than the trust instilled by the citizens it serves. That trust is earned by the continuous and repeated demonstration of responsible stewardship of the public’s investment.
More broadly, for TEDCO, stewardship means that we understand the impact of our resources and how we choose to deploy them. Our resources are deployed to maximize the benefit to Maryland entrepreneurs and to position Maryland for growth. Since its inception, TEDCO investments have led to the creation of over 7,800 direct jobs in Maryland. Under the Maryland Innovation Initiative alone, our portfolio companies have generated over $200 million in follow-on funding. TEDCO has made over 400 investments from our Seed Fund in Maryland start-ups. In total, TEDCO has generated over $1.6 billion in economic impact for the State.
However, having core values means that we cannot let successes lead to complacency. Good stewardship also means openness to stakeholder input. It means that we are caretakers of the relationships with our collaborators in the ecosystem. We use that stewardship to strengthen the dialogue with our partners to evolve our programs to be more responsive to the challenges in a modern economy. We build on that stewardship to cultivate a reputation for an unfailing dedication to our mission.
When we demonstrate trustworthy, ethical, consistent, and responsive stewardship, we are afforded the confidence and the space to lead in new and pioneering ways. TEDCO is developing innovative approaches to entrepreneur development because of its proven track record of responsible and productive investment. This is increasingly vital as Maryland continues to address a new generation of rapidly changing technologies, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, biotechnology, clean energy, and blue technology, etc. This challenge is compounded by new realities of changing workplace dynamics and a long overdue reckoning with income and wealth disparities.
TEDCO is embracing its leadership role by facing these challenges with new programming and re-energized partnerships. With the Department of Commerce and the University System of Maryland, TEDCO has launched the Maryland Entrepreneur Hub, an AI assisted portal that matches Maryland entrepreneurs with the best and most appropriate resources in the State. Under the Builder Fund, TEDCO has introduced its first Entrepreneur-in-Residence to guide early-stage companies that are owned by socially and economically disadvantaged founders to meet critical milestones toward growth. To address the economic impact of the pandemic, and with the partnership of the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly, TEDCO launched the Rural and Underserved Business Recovery from Impact of COVID-19 (RUBRIC) Grant Program and the Agriculture and Rural Rebuild (ARR) Challenge.
The benefits of stewardship do not only lie in the accumulation of trust, but in the flexibility to find new methods to address modern challenges. TEDCO earns its freedom to innovate by embracing its role as a steward of a public mission. TEDCO will continue to use its stewardship to lead innovation to market.
This is a contributed post from our silver sponsor, TEDCO.
Providing thought leadership and insights from our organization, board, and members.