This morning I helped to welcome 21 women from the Greater Baltimore region into the 2016 class of the Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women.

Dr. Tim Chandler, Towson University interim president, said at this morning’s opening session, “Leadership development is at the core of Towson’s mission and this program really reflects that.” When we developed this program in 2014, we had high hopes that this would be a meaningful program and that the experience would be a rewarding one for both the participants and their employers. I believe the feedback from the 2015 class, their organizations, and the energy shown in this morning’s reception really proves that it is.

Don’t Be Men in Pink

This morning, we heard from Ellyn Spragins, noted author of the What I Know Now series of books. Her books ask women to write letters to their younger selves with messages of inspiration and advice. Ellyn’s presentation showed that it doesn’t matter what level of success a woman achieves, there is always some bit of advice we all need to be able to grow. She noted that successes and knowledge typically emerge after a bit of struggle. “What you need to know is already inside of you. Many women who are successful have uncovered something that was inside that needed to be changed or revealed to start on the road to success,” Spragins said.

Something in her presentation that really stood out for me was “Don’t be men in pink.” This rings true. As women in leadership roles, we needn’t strive to be someone else’s model of success. We each can choose our own path, whether that’s in our leadership roles or in our personal lives.

2016 Class Participants

The women in this year’s class are an incredibly diverse and accomplished group of women leaders who represent a broad range of professions. Each brings her own unique perspective, which I believe will benefit the other women and the program as a whole.

TU Professional Leadership Program for Women, 2016 Class

Tricia Brandenburg
Deputy Director of Athletics / SWA
Towson University
Laura Geissler
Director of Learning and Organizational Development
LifeBridge Health
Dee Outlaw
Training Manager
Maryland Aviation Administration
Kerri Coard
Senior Cash Manager
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Mimi Giguere
Associate Principal, Director of Preservation Services
KANN Partners
Terri Paddy
Field Sales Representative
Musco Sports Lighting LLC
Ruth Coby
Director, Regulatory Compliance and Quality
Bon Secours Health System
Kristi Halford
Director of Marketing and Communications
Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore
Kelly Ringer
Staff Officer / HR Program Manager
Department of Defense
Chris Cortezi
Director of Public Relations
Harborside Group
Shawn Harrison
Director of Public Safety & Emergency Management
Montgomery College
Kim Schmulowitz
Communications and Marketing Director
Susan G. Komen Maryland
Jennifer Riggs Driban
District Director
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, US House of Repre-sentatives
Cecilia Helmstetter
Assistant Director of Development
United Way of Central Maryland
Laura Scott
Director, Global Supply Chain
McCormick & Company
Laura Duklewski
Trading Manager, Environmental Group
Makaya Jackson
Senior Program Manager, CTY Scholars
Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth
June Smith
Special Assistant to Secretary Stephen T. Moyer
Public Safety & Correctional Services
Meagan Enrique
Director, Total Rewards and HR Operations
Carroll Hospital, a LifeBridge Health Center
Kristin Kosmides
Head, Corporate Social Responsibility
Legg Mason Global Asset Management
Ashley Valis
Executive Director of Community Initiatives and Engagement
University of Maryland, Baltimore

Learn More about the Program

You can learn more about the Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women by reading a news feature from Towson University. You can also stay up-to-date via the Program’s Facebook page.