By the time I met Nancy Wolff – later Minieri – in 1995, she was just launching Leadership Maryland, an offshoot of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. Nancy was looking for someone to wrangle her statewide program sessions while she managed virtually everything else. It was a marriage made in heaven.
Already a life-long leadership fan, I had incorporated Maryland Leadership Workshops, Inc., graduated in the inaugural class of Leadership Greater Washington, and facilitated sessions and retreats for Leadership Montgomery. Admittedly, I was skeptical that any statewide program like Leadership Maryland could coalesce around a common agenda mission, and I told her so. I was delightfully wrong.
Flash forward over the next 25 years, and a significant portion of my life has been consumed running around the State helping build public and private communities of true believers. I stepped into a whole new world of opening and closing retreats, meeting brilliant and engaged leaders, and shepherding the best of our committed citizens through a gauntlet of new experiences, challenges and adventures in self-awareness, far beyond my expectations.
They say one’s life passion should do three things. Your work should inure to the benefit of others. It should develop skills or talents already nascent within you. And it should animate your deepest values through action. My day job at Strathmore was fulfilling, but the chance to regularly work with hundreds of new and emerging community activists from all around the State was simply too good to pass up. I signed on and never looked back. It even led to helping create several local programs in Southern and Western Maryland.
After retiring from Strathmore two years ago, surviving the COVID lockdown, becoming a new Grandpa, and recovering from a brief health scare, I have a new perspective on life. And just as each of you have left ‘footsteps’ during your time in Leadership Maryland and gone on to building new dreams, I now look forward to having the time and space to listen with new ears to anyone plagued with curiosity about their own leadership potential. To anyone still possessed of a relentless hunger to change the world for the better. To anyone still waiting for the next bus to their destiny.
Providing thought leadership and insights from our organization, board, and members.