LM Kicks off 30th Anniversary with Successful Homecoming Event

What a way to begin celebrating a generation of leadership!  On October 17, nearly 350 Leadership Montgomery graduates, current class participants and guests gathered at the Silver Spring Civic Building for an evening of connecting with classmates, meeting new faces and kicking off the 30th year of Leadership Montgomery.

The night began with a networking reception, a little shopping– courtesy of the Kendra Scott pop-up shop– and the yearly tradition of a crowd photo captured from the 2nd floor. The guests were treated to a recap of the 2019 fiscal year from Immediate Past Board President, David Hill, of DHill Professional Services. He reported the following LM accomplishments:

  • Awarded over $25,000 in tuition assistance for our leadership programs
  • Hosted 3 LM Serves Days, providing services to more than 200 families and educating more than 25 students
  • Introduced racial equity programming that included 9 sold- out workshops and 7 community debrief sessions with more than 475 participants combined; as well as hosted 2 community conversations on racial equity and social justice attended by more than 400 members of the community
  • Completed 10 successful matches between board-trained candidates and nonprofits through our BoardMatch Montgomery program
  • Offered more than 25 member events for over 2,100 attendees
  • Provided more than 1,500 hours of volunteer service to Montgomery County’s nonprofits through CORE, SLM and EL program service projects

David then welcomed LM’s Current Board President, Marilyn Lynk, of Adventist HealthCare Center for Health Equity and Wellness who addressed the crowd with LM’s vision for the next 30 years. This vision includes expanding LM’s reach deeper into the community so that a larger, more inclusive Montgomery County can be created through building relationships, challenging assumptions, asking questions and connecting others to opportunities. Marilyn continued by saying that LM would reach this vision through programming that demonstrates LM’s core values of action, integrity, diversity, engagement, inclusion and growth so that Montgomery County can thrive for the next generation of leaders.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the night, event attendees were asked to bring an unwrapped toy to help kick off LM’s Holiday Giving Project. Attendees learned more about the initiative from and LM’s Director of Partnership and Corporate Engagement, Wylea Chase and the Holiday Giving Project sponsor M&T Bank, represented on stage by VP/Regional Manager- Greater Washington Business Banking Division, Greg Smith. Each year, LM partners with the Kennedy Cluster as part of the county’s larger Holiday Giving Project that provides deserving families from the Kennedy High School cluster with toys, food and cold weather gear for the November and December holidays.

To close out the program, LM President and CEO, C. Marie Taylor, gave a quick overview of the activities and programs planned for the current 2020 fiscal year highlighting the launch of LM’s 6th program: REAL Inclusion. The program will help participants form action plans to become change agents- working to operate through a racial equity lens in the future.

For the entertainment part of the evening, LM welcomed members of the North Coast Improv Comedy Troop, thanks to the help of Michael Zhuang (CORE 2013). The group prepared to make guests laugh with an unfortunate elevator experience that required a Fire & Rescue intervention. After getting stuck in the elevator for a short time, the group took to the stage for a unique improv performance utilizing suggestions and stories from the audience. Using a mix of song, storytelling and beatboxing, the group highlighted the people and places relevant to LM such as CORE retreats, Jimmie Cone and even a love story that happened through Leadership Montgomery connection.

LM thanks everyone who attended and we hope to see you at our next event.