It’s almost time to open applications and once again begin the very important process of selecting our next Leadership Maryland class! It’s always exciting to meet new candidates who are motivated to experience our program and join our membership family.
Part of keeping our program thriving is ensuring we always have a vibrant list of prospects, and to build that list, we rely heavily on nominations from our members.
“Leadership Maryland is only as good as the participants make it. Having quality individuals with differing perspectives, backgrounds and experience is the lifeblood of the organization,” says Diane J. Devaney ’16, who nominates as many as 50 or more candidates each year. “I had such a wonderful experience in Leadership Maryland, I want others to experience it, too. By recommending individuals who I think are just a perfect fit for the program, I am paying it forward to keep the program going, stronger than ever.”
Kenneth L. “Ken” Brannan ’05 (LM), board vice chair, agrees that paying it forward is a vital component of the Leadership Maryland experience. That is why he is always working to identify new candidates and likes to have two or three potential applicants lined up for each new class year.
“Leadership is about passing the baton,” he says. “If you are not cultivating and providing stewardship for the next generations of leaders, in my judgement, you are not much of a leader.”
In addition to supporting the continued success of our program, nominating deserving candidates can also be an effective way to foster relationships.
“I feel that I also gain a lot from nominating individuals,” says Diane. “I nominate clients, prospects, referral sources and influencers to my business. Everyone always appreciates being nominated. I keep a running list throughout the year and whenever I meet someone who I think would be a good candidate, I write them down.”
No one better understands the makeup of an ideal Leadership Maryland program participant than those who have already lived it, which is why we so strongly value recommendations from our members.
“I look for individuals who have a bright intellect and a curious mind. I try to identify candidates who are open to unexpected outcomes and confident in addressing life's challenges,” says Ken. “It has been my experience that class members who are open, but not attached, to the outcome gain the most from the Leadership Maryland program. These graduates continue to find relevance in engaging with our organization long after the experience of their individual class year.”
“Even though I nominate many people, I am very picky in who I choose, because I am very protective of the program,” says Diane. “Leadership Maryland is not for salespeople or anyone with their own agenda. I love when I find an industry that I have never seen represented or is under-represented in our membership. I think all C-level executives who are new to Maryland should go through the program, plus it is always good to have a few legislators as well.”
Renee Winsky ’05, Leadership Maryland president and CEO, agrees that member endorsements are the organization’s most powerful marketing resource.
“We have learned the best nominations are those that come directly from our members. Word of mouth or, in our case, ‘word-from-the-impassioned-member’ is better than any ad we could buy or any social media message we could post,” she says. “We are grateful for every nomination we receive.”
To submit a nomination for the Class of 2022, please send your candidate’s name and contact information to Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org. All prospects will be notified as soon as the application is available.
Thank you for your support in preserving the legacy of Leadership Maryland for the next generation!
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