The Shore Leadership Class of 2023 kicked off in April, bringing together 25 of the region’s top business and community leaders. The program is dedicated to building leadership, coaching, and management skills that will benefit corporations and non-profit organizations across Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Running through December, this group meets each month in a different geographic area of the Eastern Shore where they learn about one aspect of leadership in the morning and then meet with local business and industry leaders from that area in the afternoon.
“Shore Leadership doesn’t only help develop leaders but also finds a way to incorporate local economy, businesses and tourism,” stated Jess Kilby, VA Military Compliance Specialist at Chesapeake College and a member of the Shore Leadership Class of 2023. The current class has finished Orientation and four sessions which highlighted: Tourism, Energy and Renewable Resources, and Agriculture. Leadership topics that have been covered thus far include Transformational Leadership, Leading with Strengths, Personal Mission Statements and Coaching, and Creativity.
Halfway through the program, Dr. Tia Bell shared, “Every session broadens your knowledge of different aspects of the Eastern Shore.” Dr. Bell is the Youth Services Director at Channel Marker, Inc. in Easton, MD.
Leadership sessions are led by Carol Graser, President of the Annapolis Leadership Group, and Joe Thomas, PhD, Director of the James B. Stockdale Center on Ethical Leadership. Carol and Joe bring leadership topics and make them relevant to today’s world and to the members of each class. In August, following their leadership session on Creativity, the class had the opportunity to visit the Blackwater National Refuge and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park in Dorchester County.
With only three sessions left before graduation in December, the class will focus on Leading Change and Environmental Education in September, Building Strong Teams during a two-day program with NASA Wallops in October, and the group will finish with Climate Change and Technology and a leadership session on Adaptive Leadership in November.
Sarah Lyons, Marketing Specialist at Shore United Bank, summed up what Shore Leadership has meant to her by explaining that “Shore Leadership builds a strong foundation for what it means to be a great leader. It doesn’t just teach the dos and don’ts of how to lead but it uncovers truths about ourselves that enhance personal growth.”
The twenty-five members of the Shore Leadership Class of 2023 will graduate on December 6th. They have been enthusiastic learners and have absorbed not only the leadership skill development but all that the Shore has to offer! “Shore Leadership is about building relationships, professional development and discovering many of the gems of the Eastern Shore,” said Amber Rash, Senior Relationship Manager at Horizon Farm Credit.
If you are interested in learning more about the Shore Leadership Program, please contact Ms. Chris Caulk at [email protected]. Applications are now being accepted for the Class of 2024 and scholarships are available.