Leading with Impact: A Sneak Peek into Leadership Montgomery’s Exciting Program Year

 By: Sarah Burnett

Two months in, I can confidently say that returning to Leadership Montgomery was an excellent decision. Some of you may remember me from my time leading LM’s corporate engagement work from 2017 to 2019; I’m thrilled to be back as a part of the team here and the wider LM network.

In my new role as senior director, programs and training, I lead the team in planning and executing our leadership programs and our consulting and training offerings.

I am tasked with designing and leading engaging sessions for our three individual leadership programs. Our CORE program, designed for executive and senior-level leaders, helps participants deepen their connection to the county and one another to broaden perspectives and inspire collaboration.

Our Emerging Leaders (EL) program, designed for professionals actively growing their leadership skills, balances professional development with network building and county knowledge.

The newly launched Encore program is designed for individuals transitioning their leadership and defining their post-professional life and retirement purpose.

While each program is distinct to serve participants where they are in their careers, there are a few things each will experience:

  • Joint Session Day – This year, we will pilot a joint session day where all three programs convene together to learn about and discuss topics related to Montgomery County with an intergenerational lens and build relationships beyond their cohorts. This will also enhance the Emerging Leaders Mentor program. (Stay tuned for more information and how you can serve as a mentor for a 2024 Emerging Leader.)
  • Civic and Community Engagement Projects – In small groups, each cohort will conduct and present a project that will benefit the county and deepen their connections. You can stay tuned next summer for recaps of these projects and opportunities to help carry the impact forward! (Check out summaries of last year’s CORE projects here.)
  • Intersession Goals – LM participants are always focused on their development; to help maximize their Leadership Montgomery program experience, participants are challenged at the end of each session to set one small goal they can meet between sessions inspired by something they’ve learned or a connection they’ve made through the program. If a participant reaches out to you to help them complete a goal this year, I hope you’ll answer their call!

I had the chance to meet many of our Class of 2024 program participants at a meet & greet event at our offices, and it left me even more excited and inspired as we plan to kick off each program in September. As an incoming CORE participant and SVP/Relationship Manager for EagleBank, Teresa Thompson said she was most excited to “learn more about her community and make amazing cross-sector connections,” a sentiment that many incoming class participants echoed. Yurani Sandoval, incoming EL participant and Founder & CEO of Women Palente, said, “I want to learn from leaders who have walked a similar path. I also want to learn how leaders work with the many diverse groups that make up this county.”

One of our new Encore participants mentioned that he was looking for ways to give back to the community after retiring earlier this year. “I found this program at the right time in my life and I am very excited to work with this cohort to use my skills to improve the community.”

I hope you’ll join me in welcoming them to Leadership Montgomery at Homecoming on October 5th!

Sarah Burnett is a nonprofit professional with a background in business administration. Sarah re-joined the team at Leadership Montgomery (LM) in July 2023 as Senior Director, Programs & Training after previously serving as Vice President of Program Operations at Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, where she led a team of 20+ program staff in executing K-12 education programs focused on preparing young people to succeed in our global economy. Read More