Leadership Montgomery Celebrates 30th Anniversary


Rockville, MD- Leadership Montgomery (LM) announced its 30th Anniversary as a connector, convener and thought leader for professionals in Montgomery County.

Founded in the late 80’s by Esther Newman, the idea for Leadership Montgomery came about in response to a need for more engaged civic leaders in the county. The first year of the Connecting Our Region’s Execs (CORE) program ran from September 1989 to June 1990 and had 32 leaders from the county, representing  the business, government, and nonprofit sectors.

As the organization gained notoriety, the program offerings expanded. In 2002, in response to a Vital Living Initiative, the organization added its Senior Leadership Montgomery (SLM) program to connect experienced leaders over 55. In 2014, its Emerging Leaders (EL) program launched to engage young professionals ages 25-35 with a blend of professional development, critical skills and connections critical for success. The organization also previously hosted a Youth Leadership Montgomery (YLM) program for high school students that ran from 1995 to 2017.

In 2015, the organization’s current President and CEO, C. Marie Taylor took over following the retirement of Newman. Together with the board, Taylor and the organization implemented a strategic plan to help businesses find multiple pathways to achieve community impact.

The first move in this pathway implementation came in 2017 when the Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County (CVC-MC) integrated its work to become a program of Leadership Montgomery. With an overlap in mission, both organizations utilized an opportunity to offer structured opportunities for businesses to engage their employee while engaging leadership program graduates.

Since 1989, the organization has seen more than 2,500 leaders across all sectors graduate its programs including eight current state delegates and five of the nine current Montgomery County Council, with the sixth councilmember and ninth state delegate completing the CORE program in 2020. Leadership Montgomery programs have also fostered relationships that have been instrumental in the creation of key programs and organizations within Montgomery County.

“Throughout its history, LM has successful positioned itself as a thought leader and changemaker within the county” said Taylor. “By engaging leaders across all sectors year after year, we will continue to inspire and connect leaders who can continue making a difference in Montgomery County and throughout the region.”

During this 30th year, LM will launch its sixth program, Racial Equity Action (REAL) Inclusion program. The program expands on racial equity work that began as a two-day Racial Equity Workshop pilot project in 2018 which served as an additional community impact strategy . This new program will examine the systemic beliefs, practices, and policies that have perpetuated racial inequities and situates that analysis within the context of organizational leadership. The organization also plans to continue offerings of the phase one two-day Racial Equity Workshops while adding a phase two later in the year.

The 2019-2020 CORE, SLM and EL programs will begin in September while the REAL Inclusion program, which is still accepting registrations, launches in October. CVC offerings and programming continues to be offered year-round to businesses and organizations looking to achieve their community engagement goals. The organization also plans on holding several special 30th anniversary events throughout the year including their signature Homecoming, Corporate Volunteer Awards Luncheon, Family Picnic events. The year will conclude with it’s annual Celebration of Leadership commemorating the organization’s 30 years. A special 30th Anniversary webpage has also been created documenting the organization’s history and involvement throughout the county. Stay tuned for more information about special events to commemorate this monumental anniversary.