Who Will Be the Region’s 2007 CEO of the Year?

Nominations Due Feb. 15 for the Leading Edge Award

The College of Southern Maryland’s Corporate Center is searching for the 2007 Chief Executive Officer of the Year. In its seventh year of recognizing outstanding leadership within Southern Maryland, the Corporate Center awards this top honor at the annual Leading Edge Awards in June.

“Every CEO of the Year award has gone to an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to our community. Not only are these individuals excellent business people but their philanthropic contributions are also admirable. The Leading Edge Awards is an opportunity for our community to thank them again for their success and generosity,” said Alan Kutz, vice president of the Corporate and Community Training Institute.

Previous recipients include Wayne Swann, SMECO; Luther Grainger, Applied Ordnance Technology, Inc.; Christine Stefanides, Civista Health, Inc.; Greg Billups, Systems, Maintenance & Technology; Joe Yearta, Intergraph Corporation; and Lloyd Harrison III, Mercantile Bank of Southern Maryland.

Grainger said that winning the award was “a tremendous compliment and a rare positive stroke for any business executive. I viewed the award as recognition of the efforts of the employees of AOT, both on the job and in the community. We have valued the award as a once-in-a-lifetime honor and will try to earn it through our future efforts.”

Swann, the inaugural CEO of the Year, has since retired from more than three decades with SMECO. While there, Swann was a firm believer in community outreach and economic development, serving the Charles County United Way, the Charles County Economic Development Leadership Executive Council, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the Blue Ribbon Committee for Charles County Waterfront Development.

Stefanides also demonstrated commitment to the community, serving on numerous community boards and committees, including Charles County United Way, Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board, Hospice of Charles County and the Charles County Healthcare Roundtable. Recognized for an uncompromising dedication to patients, staff and the community, coupled with a commitment to careful planning and fiscal responsibility, Stefanides was honored for demonstrating that good leadership requires a balanced mixture of strength and kindness.

Billups, who started his company about a decade ago, was recognized for his excellent organizational leadership qualities, for dedication to his clients and staff, and for his many contributions to the Southern Maryland community including serving on the Boards of Civista and CSM.

Yearta, the 2005 recipient, was lauded for his solid citizenship to the Southern Maryland community through his professional and community memberships, fundraising and leadership. His efforts have included helping to raise funds to buy prepaid phone cards for injured soldiers in Walter Reed Hospital and to send care packages to American troops stationed overseas.

The 2006 recipient, Harrison, led the successful merger of Calvert, 1st National of St. Mary’s and the Bank of Southern Maryland into one. Through his leadership, the new bank exceeded earnings goals throughout the merger. The bank continues to be a leader, not only among Mercantile affiliates, but in the region.

Located in one of the fastest-growing regions in Maryland, the Southern Maryland business community and its CEOs face a unique set of financial, technological and workforce challenges, according to Kutz, and the Leading Edge Awards offer an opportunity to recognize those individuals responsible for encouraging economic growth and vigor in the region.

Nominations for CEOs that deserve recognition for their contribution to the economic vitality of Southern Maryland—CEOs who inspire their organizations, exude success and make a difference in our community—may be submitted through Feb. 15.

CEO nomination criteria and online nomination forms are available at http://www.corporatecenter.csmd.edu. To qualify, nominees must be with a business located within Charles, Calvert or St. Mary’s counties, be in a position of leadership in a Southern Maryland business (private sector), and be available to attend the ceremony, June 20, 6 to 9:30 p.m., at the Jaycees Hall in Waldorf.

For information, call 301-934-7899 or 301-870-3008, Ext. 7899.