Leader Development Program

Applications for the 2022-23 LDP Class are now finished. The applications for the 2023-24 LDP class will open in October, with a deadline around December 5, 2022.

Download the program flyer | Download the application instructions | Download the program key dates


Developed with support from the SAME Foundation, LDP identifies and cultivates talent from within the SAME membership to address the nation’s grand challenges. Participants explore individual strengths and team dynamics. The program supports the development of the next generation of world class military, government, civilian, and industry leaders for the Society and our Nation. LDP is a yearlong commitment, running from Joint Engineer Training Conference (JETC) to the following JETC.

Read about the program in the SAME Bricks and Clicks blogTo learn more about the impact the LDP projects are making to the Society, click here for a feature in the TME Nov/Dec 2020 issue.

About the Leader Development Community of Interest

Leader development is a key part of the 2020-2025 strategic plan under Goal 3: Develop Leaders for the Profession. To address this goal, the Leader Development Program task force has evolved into the Leader Development Community of Interest. If you are interested in supporting the Society's leader development efforts, log into your member profile and join the Leader Development Community of Interest on the member dashboard. The COI steering committee will reach out to all interested community members.

Download bios of the current LD COI Leadership team that oversees the program


Learn More about the Leader Development Program

Download the program flyer PDF file

Working with support from the SAME Foundation, the Leader Development Program (LDP) was developed to identify and cultivate A/C/E leadership from within the SAME membership. Through this program, SAME fills a vital training gap within our industry, delivers value to our members and Posts, and ensures strong leadership for the future our nation.

Program Year: May 2022 – May 2023

Program Overview

The program is a yearlong commitment beginning at the SAME Joint Engineer Training Conference (JETC) with the graduation occurring the following JETC.

The one-year program is broken into three themes

  • Know Yourself
  • Know Your Team
  • Know Your Future

The opening classroom session at JETC is facilitated by a professional experienced in the science of personality strength assessment and leadership coaching with the goal of identifying how each candidate’s perception of the world around them informs their decision-making, and ultimately defines their values and beliefs.

The opening classroom session sets the foundation for the rest of the year. Each LDP class will consist of 20 participants: 1 from each SAME region, 1 representing the International Committee, and two at-large participants.


Participants will select a mentor to help shepherd their professional development throughout the year. If you don’t have a mentor in my mind, ask your Post President, Regional Vice-present, or LDP task force for suggestions. The Academy of Fellows has offered to make themselves available to LDP participants as mentors.

Meet the 2022-23 Class

Lt. Cdr. Steven Becker, P.E., USCG, Coast Guard Base Miami Beach (South Florida Post)

Chief Master Sgt. Adam Boubede, USAF, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron (Kaiserslautern Post)

Cameron Bowsky, P.E., Matrix Design Group (Pikes Peak Post)

Lt. Cdr. Jaison Eapen, USPHS, USPHS/OS (New Jersey Post)

Josh Graham, P.E., CCM, PMP, HDR (San Antonio Post)

Andy Harlan, Smith Seckman Reid Inc. (Nashville Post)

Jacob Hilton, P.E., PMP, LEED AP, Dewberry (Fort Bragg Post)

Capt. Mack Howell, TP.E., USAR, Ball Maritime Group (Savannah Post)

Capt. Jenee Jagoda, USAF, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron (Kittyhawk Post)

Brittany Kallenberger, Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp. (Greater Kansas City Post)

Merle Keener, GuernseyTingle (Virginia Peninsula Post)

James Kirk, The Weitz Company (Phoenix Post)

Anne MacMillan, Bluestone Environmental Group, Inc. (Boston Post)

Camille Murray, Eurofins Calscience (Orange County Post)

Maj. Victor Nelson, P.E., PMP, USA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Detroit Post)

Catherine Niles, AFG Group, Inc. (Washington DC Post)

Brandi Smith, Wood (Kentuckiana Post)

Jennifer Snape, P.E., Batture (Louisiana Post)

Capt. Andrew Storey, P.E., USA, U.S. Army Student Detachment (Honolulu Post)

Maj. Brec Wilshusen, P.E., USAF (Ret.), 55th Civil Engineer Squadron (Omaha Post)

Meet the 2021-22 Class

Capt. Victoria Cachro, USAF, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron (Korea Post)

Josh Cohen, P.E., PMP, Kiewit (Louisiana Post)

Capt. Eric Collett, USA, HQ USACE (Washington DC Post)

Taylor Daigle, P.E., Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (Louisiana Post)

Julie Eiter, P.E., LEED AP, Black & Veatch (Greater Kansas City Post)

Suzanne Grix, Forgen LLC (Sacramento Post)

Frances Hinkley, P.E., Jacobs (Mobile Post)

James Kline, P.E., LC, National Institute of Building Sciences (Mid-Maryland Post)

Lori Kropidlowski, Ahtna Solutions LLC (Anchorage Post)

Pamela Little, P.E., PMP, Pond & Company (Atlanta Post)

Matt Matteson, P.E., PG, Wood (Detroit Post)

Dr. Joshua McClure, P.E., CFM, PMP, Halff Associates Inc. (Fort Worth Post)

Cdr. Kris Neset, P.E., USPHS, Centers for Disease Control (Pikes Peak Post)

Travis Pital, P.E., PacRim Engineering (San Diego Post)

Faith Powell, HDR (Seattle Post)

Samantha Robbins, Stone Environmental Engineering & Science Inc. (Kittyhawk Post)

Capt. Bradford Shields, P.E., USAF, Air Force Installation & Mission Support Center (Kaiserslautern Post)

Capt. Ariel Waiters, USAF, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (New Jersey Post)

Brian Wybrecht, P.E., U.S. Army Europe-Africa (Rhein-Main Post)


Download the participant bios here.

Meet the 2020-21 Class

Tasmin Brown, Senior Project Manager, Stantec Consulting Services Inc. (California Region: San Francisco Post, Walnut Creek, CA)

Maj Joshua Carroll, Engineering Flight Commander, 8 Civil Engineer Squadron, Kunsan Air Base (International Committee, Republic of Korea)

Agapito Diaz P.E., Project Manager, AECOM (Pacific Region: Guam Post, Hagatna, Guam)

CPT Thomas Fakler, P.E., Civil Engineer, Ulteig (Great Lakes Region: Minneapolis-St Paul Post, Fargo, ND)

Summer Gladden CF APMP, LEED AP BD+C, Proposal and Marketing Manager, Leebcor Services, LLC (Middle Atlantic Region: Central Virginia Post, Williamsburg, VA)

LT Kristi Gordon, P.E., CEC, USN, FEAD Director, PWD Meridian, NAVFAC SE (Lower Mississippi Region: Vicksburg Post, Meridian, MS)

Capt Gregory Hege, Chief, Operations Engineering Element, 628 CES (Carolina Region: Charleston Post, Charleston, SC)

LT Christopher Joseph, P.E., LEED AP, USNR, Project Manager, Stanley Consultants, Inc. (Texoma Region: San Antonio Post, Round Rock, TX)

LT Aaron Kotlarz, P.E., CEC, USN, Public Works Officer, Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa (International Committee, Japan)

Jared Matthews, P.E., Mechanical Engineer, Merrick & Company (South Atlantic Region: Space Coast Post, Merritt Island, FL)

SMSgt Philip McAlpin, Jr., Operations Flight Superintendent, 5th Civil Engineer Squadron (Missouri River Region: Minot Post, Minot, ND)

Ree Miskimon (North Atlantic Region: Baltimore Post, Baltimore, MD)

Capt Arpan Patel, P.E, USAF, Team Chief - Civil Engineer, Air Force Civil Engineer Center (South Central Region: Panama City Post, Burke, VA)

Vinnie Plocido, Senior Planner, WSP (Ohio Valley Region: Pittsburgh Post, Pittsburgh, PA)

Bruce Preston, Director of Operations, TSK Architects (Southwest Region: Phoenix Post, Mesa, AZ)

LT Kevin Remley, P.E., Senior Environmental Engineer, Indian Health Service (Northwest Region: Gem State Post, Fort Hall, ID)

Colleen Rust, PG, PMP, Project Manager, Sundance Consulting Inc. (Rocky Mountain Region: Albuquerque Post, Albuquerque, NM)

Scott Turygan, P.E., PMP; Civil Engineer; US Army Europe, G34 Protection (European Region: Rhein-Main Post, Mainz, Germany)


Download the Participant bios here.

Meet the 2019-20 Class

Ilana Almquist, Marketing Coordinator, Coffman Engineers, Inc. (Pacific Region)

Holly Bigelow, Program Manager, Wood (European Region)

MAJ Craig Bryant, P.E., Operations Officer, Fort Hood, TX (Texoma Region)

Mark DeSouza, Civil Site Design Project Manager, Thomas & Hutton (Carolinas Region)

Angela Gomez, Business Manager, KOMAN Construction LLC (Southwest Region)

Patricia Graham, Project Geologist, EnSafe Inc. (New England Region)

LT Mike Guaigua, Civil Engineer Corps, U.S. Navy (International Committee)

Erin Krug, P.E., Structural Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Great Lakes Region)

Sean Lebel, P.E., Operations Manager, AECOM (Mid-Atlantic Region)

LCDR Sam Lee, Civil Engineer, U.S. Navy (Northwest Region)

Melissa Lewis, Supervisor Project Management, Scott Air Force Base (Missouri Region)

Capt Brendan Maestas, Instructor, Wright-Patterson AFB (Ohio Region)

Ben Nichols, Project Executive, Harkins Builders, Inc. (North Atlantic Region)

Zakary Payne, Associate, Matrix Design Group, Inc. (Rocky Mountain Region)

Claudia Penny, Assistant Project Manager, HCR Construction, Inc. (South Atlantic Region)

Jorge Rodriguez, Senior Engineer, M.S. Hatch Consulting, LLC (California Region)

Stephen Shattuck, Civil Engineer, formerly with LandMark Engineering (South Central Region)


Download the Participant bios here.

Program Objectives

  • Support the development of the next generation of world class military, government, civilian, and industry leaders for the Society and our Nation.
  • Understand individual strengths and how to apply these strengths to achieve success.
  • Understand team concepts including roles, responsibilities, accountability, and groups.
  • Develop leadership skills through training, assignments, a service project, and other opportunities.
  • Foster engineering leadership for the Nation!

Who May Apply?

Members of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) with at least one-year membership in the Society as of application deadline, and with at least five years of progressive professional experience may apply.

The target participant is an enthusiastic, mid-career professional dedicated to the Society who exhibits the leadership talents and capabilities necessary to become a leader.

Participation Outcomes

Upon completion of the Leader Development Program (LDP), participants will gain the following in preparation for increased leadership responsibilities:

  • 35+ hours of formal leadership training
  • A perspective larger than their organization
  • Ability to understand and embrace change
  • Incorporate the perspectives of peers, customers, stakeholders, and industry partners
  • Ability to make timely, sound, and risk-based decisions
  • Understand how leaders articulate and use vision and values
  • The power of diversity
  • Promote cooperation, coalition team building and networking
  • Develop knowledge and skills necessary to form relationships, teams and partnerships
  • Develop an understanding of mission, vision, and challenges of partnering agencies and stakeholders
  • Learn to think strategically

Participant Responsibilities

Commitment of Time – Selection and participation is a privilege. Participants must commit to the time during and after normal duty day hours. Participants must be able to travel. Participation is entirely voluntary. Most employers cannot afford for staff members to engage in a yearlong program where the employee will be away from their office responsibilities. Therefore, this program has been designed to offer optimal benefits using the least amount of out-of-office time possible. Estimate time required by participants:

  • 2022 JETC – 3 days (up to 8 hours of formal training)
  • 2022 SBC – 3 days (up to 2 hours of formal training)
  • 2022 JETC – 3 days (up to 4 hours of formal training)
  • Monthly Webinars and Book Discussions – 20 hours
  • Monthly Preparation and Reflection – 14 hours
  • Reading Assignments – 24 hours

Attendance – Program participants will be expected to attend all on-line class sessions, as well as JETC both years and SBC. If a participant misses more than three (3) hours of program sessions, or a mandatory program session, he or she may be dropped from the program.

Utilization Project – Design and execute a Utilization Project that leverages relationships and resources of the Society at the local or national level.
To view past projects, visit here.

Program – Participants will meet with leaders from government, private sector, and academic fields to discuss issues impacting government and explore each topic with special attention focused on building core competencies.

Program Tuition Cost – The SAME Foundation is funding the Leader Development Program due to the generous funding of individual members, sustaining members, partners and friends of the Society. Participants will have their JETC 2022, SBC 2022, and JETC 2023 registration, travel, lodging, training, and administrative costs paid by the SAME Foundation. Salary, books and all other costs are paid for by the participant or the participant’s organization.

Participation Details

Methodology – Training information will be presented through a combination of classroom-style lectures, seminars, simulations and hands-on experiences throughout the program year with participants engaging in detailed class discussions and synthesizing concepts for application in their current leadership roles.

Reading Assignments – Participants are required to read and be prepared to discuss four books. A sample books are listed below. Your final list will be provided once accepted into the program.

Sample Reading List

Book Author
21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership w/workbook John Maxwell
Know your Teams: Good to Great Jim Collins
How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie
Start With Why Simon Sinek
The Carpenter John Gordon
Precious Present Spencer Johnson


Mentoring – Participants will select a mentor to help shepherd their professional development throughout the year. The mentor will help participants become more effective in their current roles and maintain career ownership. The Academy of Fellows have offered to match participants to mentors.

World Class Instructors and Discussion Leaders

The Leader Development Program benefits from a world-class selection of instructors and discussion leaders that help the participants explore different concepts of leadership.


Chris Collie
Managing Partner, Engaged Talent Solutions

Chris Collie is highly knowledgeable and skilled Learning and Development Specialist has excellent interpersonal skills and strong abilities in designing conducting and implementing training and educational programs. Has superior technical writing skills and thorough knowledge of Adult Learning Theory and best training program practices. Possesses a Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Certification through HCITB (London) as a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance and 13 years of Learning and Development Specialist experience.


Don Gleason
President, Achieve New Heights Consulting

Don believe leadership is a life-long journey. He became Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team in 2017. Combined with his years of experience working with people to achieve the mission, plus personal and professional goals, he is focused on how to “Grow leaders, so they can grow their teams.” His goal is to raise them to Achieve New Height, as it’s only thru intentional action, and prioritizing those actions, that desired results become reality.


MG Holland headshotMajor General Diana M. Holland
Commander, South Atlantic Division

Major General Diana M. Holland assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division on July 18, 2017. The South Atlantic Division is one of nine U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regions providing engineering and construction services to the Nation. It is the regional business center in the southeast, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, with district offices in Wilmington, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; and Mobile, Alabama.


Victoria Mechtly
Business Development Manager, Tepa Companies

Victoria Mechtly is an architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) business and  marketing professional who specializes in client development, strategic messaging and imagery for business-critical marketing and communications efforts. For the past seven years, she has worked with her technical staff to create business development approaches and materials, and with principals to secure new clients and projects. Ms. Mechtly holds a degree in business management, marketing and sales, and brings a passion for helping others develop interpersonal skills. She works with technical professionals and marketing staff to improve communication, team collaboration and other soft skills that lead to successful careers.


Ted Studdard
Business to Business Operations Manager, The Home Depot

Ted has appeared as a featured guest on national TV, radio, and podcasts. He is a published author; his book, Depot to Depot, a story about transition, transformation, and leadership, hit the shelves in Fall of 2019. Ted speaks to a variety of audiences from junior leaders to executives about individual and organizational leadership. Ted also educates business leaders and their HR partners about the value veterans bring to the civilian workforce and how to best incorporate them into Corporate America. 


Heather L. Wishart-Smith, PE, PMP, LEED AP BD+C
Senior Vice President, Technology & Innovation, Jacobs
National President, SAME

Ms. Wishart-Smith is the Senior Vice President, Technology & Innovation for Jacobs, the #1 ranked architecture/engineering design firm in the world by Engineering News Record (ENR), providing professional solutions such as engineering, cybersecurity, data analytics, architecture, and consulting for the buildings, transportation, aerospace, government, water and related markets.  Prior roles include Buildings & Infrastructure Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager, Federal Department of Defense Market Sector Leader, Sales Executive, and Principal of multiple large, full-service programs for the Army, Navy, and Air Force worldwide.  A former Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer, Ms. Wishart-Smith served at the Presidential Retreat, Camp David, among other duty stations.  Ms. Wishart-Smith holds Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia.  Awards include the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Gerald C. Brown Mentoring Award and Tudor Medal, and ENR’s “Top 20 Under 40” Mid-Atlantic.  Ms. Wishart-Smith is a Fellow of SAME and national President for the 2020-2021 centennial year, and has held numerous leadership positions in the Society.  She is also a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

How to Apply--Deadline: December 6, 2021

To Apply

1. Log into your member account: https://www.same.org/Login.

2. Go to Member Account.

3. Scroll down to the “LDP” section.

4. Click on “LDP Application” to begin your application.

5. Then click on “LDP Document Upload” to upload your resume and letter of recommendation.

6. Once completed and uploaded, you will be able to revise the application by clicking on “My LPD Application” or update your documents using the “My LDP Documents” link.

7. No changes will be allowed after the deadline.

Each applicant must submit the following as part of the application:

  • Online Application and Answers to Narrative Questions
  • Resume
  • Letter of Recommendation from Employer

In the online application, participants are asked to respond to the following questions:

1. Referring to your biographical information, education and work experience explain how you meet the selection criteria?

2. Provide a brief synopsis of your background, including activities, which show possession of the ability to lead and/or manage. Outside activities include leadership in performing various community, religious, and civic programs and activities.

3. What do you expect to gain from the LDP experience and how do you see that effecting your leadership capabilities in the future?

4. How do you see applying what you gain from the program towards your future involvement in the Society?

Each applicant must submit a letter of recommendation from her or his direct supervisor, stating why they are a solid candidate for this program. If the supervisor is unavailable, submission of a short statement regarding their unavailability and a letter from a former supervisor, or someone in a leadership position above the applicant’s supervisor will be accepted.

Meet the LDP Management Team

National LDP Co-Chair: LTC Michael R. Darrow, P.E., PMP, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)

National LDP Co-Chair: Col. Eric Wilbur, P.E., F.SAME, USAF (Ret.)

National LD COI Chair: Cmdr. Roland DeGuzman, P.E., CEC, USN (Ret.)

LDP Monthly Webinar Lead: James S. Blake II, CQM

LDP Book Discussion POC: Lt. Col. Craig Bryant, P.E., USA

LDP Mentor POC: Ree Miskimon, P.E.

LDP UPIC Projects Lead: Caroline Roberts

LDP Classroom Lead: Caroline Roberts

LDP Overall Curriculum Lead: Mike Darrow

LDP Mentor Roll Call

Mentor Resources

Mentor Relationship Guide

Mentor Briefing, April 23, 2021 (YouTube Link)


2021-2022 LDP Program



CAPT Victoria Cachro

Anne Coverston, USAF (Ret.)

Josh Cohen

COL Shawn Moore, F.SAME, USAF (Ret)

CPT Eric Collett


Taylor Daigle

Susan Walter

Julie Eiter

MG Rich Kaiser, USA (Ret.)

Suzanne Grix


Frances Hinkley

COL Bob Keyser, P.E. F.SAME, USA (Ret.)

Wendy Kerkhoff

John Metcalf

Jay Kline

LTC Randy Westfall, P.E., PhD, F.SAME, USA (Ret)

Lori Kropidlowski

Dennis Brownley, P.E.

Pam Little

Erik Blechinger, P.E.

Matt Matteson

Chris Knutson, CEng, P.E., FICE

Joshua McClure

Russell Killen, P.E.

CDR Kris Neset

RADM Edward Dieser, P.E.

Travis Pital

Rick Rubin, P.E., F.SAME

Faith Powell

Travis Shaw

Samantha Robbins

Nichole Lashley

Brad Shields

COL George Nichols

CAPT Ariel Waiters

COL Scott Grainger, P.E., F.SAME, USAF

Brian Wybrecht

Joe Copeland, II, P.E.


2020-2021 LDP Program



Tasmin Brown

Kevin Lovell, F. SAME

Josh Carroll

COL Anthony Higdon

Pete Diaz

Jane Penny, F. SAME

Thomas (TJ) Fakler

Rich Houghton, F. SAME

Summer Gladden

LTC Mike Darrow, F. SAME

Kristi Gordon

Amy Basehoar, F. SAME

Blake Hege

Ron Welch, F. SAME

Christopher Joseph

Shawn Moore, F. SAME

Aaron Kotlarz

BG Mike Herman, F. SAME

Jared Matthews

Bob Van Vonderen, F. SAME

Phil McAlpin

LTC Matt Altman

Ree Miskimon

Rad Delaney, F. SAME

Arpen Patel

Charlie Penham, F. SAME

Vincent Plocido

Bill Haight

Bruce Preston

Bob Schlesinger, F. SAME

Kevin Remley

Matthew Martinson

Colleen Rust

John Mogge, F. SAME

Scott Turygan

Allan Lucht, F. SAME


2019 – 2020 LDP Inaugural Year



Ilana Almquist

Noel Enriquez

Holly Bigelow

Christian Knutson, PE, PgMP, PMP

COL. Craig Bryant

Charlie Hart (Col. Retired), F. SAME

Mark DeSouza

Kurt Ubbelohde, F. SAME

Angela Gomez

Christine Tsai, F. SAME 

Patricia Graham

Suzanne DiGeronimo, F. SAME

Mike Guaigua

Tim Rogers

Erin Krug

Thomas Heinold, PE, F. SAME

Sean Lebel

Dean Vanderley, PE, CEM

Samuel Lee

Emmanuel Bautista, PE, F. SAME

Melissa Lewis

Joan Freitag, F. SAME

Brendan Maestas

Shawn Moore

Benjamin Nichols

Susan Thames, F. SAME

Zakary Payne

Dave Brewer, F. SAME

Claudia Penny  

Michael Blount, F. SAME

Jorge Rodriguez

Jeff Davis, F. SAME

Stephen Shattuck         

LTC Russ Torgesen



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View the complete list on the new website