Leadership Howard County, which seeks to empower leaders to strengthen and transform the community, accepted 42 professionals from Howard County businesses and nonprofits into the Leadership Premier program’s class of 2019. Leadership Premier is a 10-month exploration of the Howard County community, during which participants visit Howard County businesses, meet with local leaders and learn about issues within the county.

“We are very pleased with the selection of this year’s Leadership Premier class,” said Alex Adler, board chair of Leadership Howard County. “As always, they represent a cross-section of the community, bringing an array of perspectives, talents and resources to the program. The class reflects our commitment to make Howard County the best place to live, work and play.”

The Leadership Premier program was launched in 1985 to develop capable, well-informed individuals committed to devoting their time and resources for community improvement. The program addresses countywide issues in monthly, daylong seminars where paticipants meet with established leaders in business, government and community services.

“This is a critical time in our community and our world to be actively involved. There are many challenges in communities throughout our country and the solutions come from the connections we make together. This year’s class will learn the tools to become and stay engaged,” said Stacie Hunt, president and CEO of Leadership Howard County.

Since its inception, more than 1,200 individuals have graduated from Leadership Premier and now lead nonprofit boards and civic organization serving Howard County.

The members of the class of 2019 are:

  • Saman Akhtar, HopeWorks of Howard County
  • Ajit Apte, Baltimore Gas and Electric
  • Charlie Camp, M&T Bank
  • Kelly Cimino, Howard County government
  • Jonathan Cohen, Howard County General Hospital
  • Mimi Cuddy-Mierzwa, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Patrick Curtis, Rubino & Co.
  • Matthew DeGourse, Harkins Builders Inc.
  • Fred Eikenberg, Sandy Spring Bank
  • Felicia Fleming, The Zaching Against Cancer Foundation
  • Talia Fletcher, The Lodestar Team of Keller Williams Integrity
  • Chris Frink, WMS Partners
  • Shawn Gladden, Howard County Historical Society
  • Ayesha Holmes, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center
  • Eleanor Hunt, Joseph, Greenwald & Laake
  • Celestinah Ibironke, IJC Systems Inc.
  • Meg Ignacio, Leadership Howard County
  • Saji Ijiyemi, The Saji Group
  • Janet Irvin, Howard County government
  • Mike Kalinock, JPB Partners
  • Tonya Kennon, Howard County Library System
  • Peter Laanisto, Enterprise Community Investment Inc.
  • Michael Lee, Making Change Inc.
  • Marcy Leonard, Howard County Public School System
  • Nannette Livadas, Howard County Housing Commission
  • Kelly McLaughlin, Bridges to Housing Stability Inc.
  • Tracey Millings, R.O.W. By Networking
  • Nicholas Mooneyhan, Columbia Associaion
  • Sherifah Munis, NewWave Foundation
  • Dan Nail, BB&T Bank
  • Raf Olazagasti, Wells Fargo
  • Paul Papagjika, Columbia Association
  • Rich Pardoe, M&T Realty Capital Corp.
  • Jason Peay, VersaTech
  • Stephanie Porter, Howard County Circuit Court
  • James Sanders, University of Maryland Smith School of Business
  • Cindy Sandler, Sandler and Associates
  • Rick Silver, The THRIVE Center
  • Jean Svacina, Howard Community College
  • Jason Van Kirk, Elm Street Development
  • Maria-Angelica Vargas, Howard County Economic Development Authority
  • Craig Wyatt, Williamsburg Homes