35th Anniversary

A Year of Celebration Honoring LGW’s 35th Anniversary

The 35th Anniversary is a celebration across the entire year starting in January 2021 and culminating with the Celebration of Leadership on October 12.

The year of celebration involves everyone. We will be spotlighting members, reflecting on our history and milestones, and bringing people together for special events throughout the year. 

This is an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made together, look back at some of the obstacles we overcame, celebrate our diversity, and consider plans for our future. 


Key Dates



Class Challenge FUN-raiser

Our Class Challenge FUN-raiser encourages each LGW Class to meet (or exceed) a goal of $3500 in funds raised in 2021. The funds will be used to expand scholarship opportunities within communities in our region where we have less representation, along with enhancing our core programs and operating capabilities. With your help, we will meet our goals and have a lot of fun along the way.



History of LGW


In 1986, Leadership Greater Washington was established by a group of regional leaders and three leading organizations—Meyer Foundation, Greater Washington Board of Trade, and the Junior League of Washington—to foster communication and cooperation among the area’s established leaders.

In 1991, after five years of operation, LGW expanded its programming to serve area high school students through its Youth Leadership Greater Washington program. More than 1000 youth leaders have completed the program since its inception. It was created by the LGW Class of 1991 with the goal of advancing area youth leaders.

Then in 2014, the Rising Leaders program was launched to provide career-building skills and training to mid-level professionals. Since it was created, the program has graduated 300 early-career, mid-career, and management professionals.

Today, LGW continues to offer unique programming to leaders by way of its three core programs and an array of events that connect leaders and inspire their collaborative efforts to improve the Greater Washington community. Across its 35-year history, LGW’s impact has fostered the success of more than 1,900 influential leaders, 300 young professionals, and over 1,000 high school students in DC, Virginia, and Maryland.

Special 35th Anniversary Edition Frontline Conversations and Videos: 

Special 35th Anniversary Edition Frontline Conversation ft. Charlene Drew Jarvis ('92)

LGW 35th Anniversary Message - Mayor Muriel Bowser ('13)

Special 35th Anniversary Edition Frontline Conversation ft. Barbara Davis Blum (Founder)

Special 35th Anniversary Edition Frontline Conversation ft. Myra Peabody Gossens ('87)

Special 35th Anniversary Edition Frontline Conversation ft. Stephen Harlan (Founder)

Special 35th Anniversary Edition Frontline Conversation ft. Martie Kendrick ('89)

Special 35th Anniversary Edition Frontline Conversation ft. Tim Kime ('98)

Special 35th Anniversary Edition Frontline Conversation ft. Dana Stebbins ('88)


LGW Members Reflect on the Legacy of Our Founders

"John Tydings was a towering figure in the business community in Washington, DC through his leadership of the Board of Trade. At his urging, I applied for membership in Leadership Greater Washington and with the benefit of his mentorship and counsel, I have been privileged to grow in my understanding of the region and in my ability to lead during the past 34 years.  John gave his time, treasure, and talents to the region for many many years, and for that, we are eternally grateful!"
- Dana B. Stebbins ('87)

"Ed Pena believed strongly about supporting the Latino community in the Nation’s Capital and ensuring they had a seat at the table and a voice in leadership positions. Along with serving as National President of LULAC, Ed was committed to serving the local organizations of the District of Columbia. As a leader in the City, Ed served as Counsel to Martha’s Table and helped start Mary’s Center and Gala Theater. For four years, Ed served as president of the Festival Latino which attracted half a million people to DC for the annual events. It was hard for Ed to say no when asked to help our community and the same was true for LGW where he worked to secure scholarships for program attendees. On a personal note, Ed also inspired me to join LGW and I am a proud alumnus from the class of 1987." 

- Ada Pena ('87)

"Ray LaPlaca was a true visionary when it came to human rights and fairness for all. He was a true leader in the legal and social equity communities in Prince George’s County."
- Howard Stone ('96)

"Steve Harlan has been a change-maker all his professional life. He has always believed in and rewarded diversity, inclusion and leadership, which is why he was a Founder of LGW. He is extremely proud of the success of the organization which has always stayed true to its mission."

- Linda Rabitt ('08)

"Robert Linowes was a champion for economic empowerment and philanthropy in the DC region and one of my very first mentors. I worked with him to start the Economic Club of Washington DC in 1986. Bob Linowes understood that regional economic and civic development requires a broad range of strategic initiatives supported by a wide spectrum of community leaders.  His leadership was evidenced at the Federal City Council and the Greater Washington Board of Trade where he lead efforts to create the Economic Club of Washington and Leadership Greater Washington as leadership development organizations.  He then transformed the Community Foundation of Greater Washington, and the Shakespeare Theater from fledgling efforts into irreplaceable community powerhouses in philanthropy and the arts."

- Mary C. Brady ('09)

“Tom Watson was one of those rare people who brought both deep intelligence and wisdom, along with an open heart and the poignancy of a storyteller. He was a calm and steadying influence even when dealing with difficult issues. Even so many years after his death, his memory warms my heart.”

- Howard Ross ('91) 

"When Leadership Washington (Greater came later) was being considered for a Washington, D.C. chapter, Tom Owens, Chairman of Perpetual Bank, the largest DC saving and loan at that time, was a “must-have” as one of the founders. Tom commanded considerable influence and reach into the community. He brought a no-nonsense, seasoned management approach to the inception of the organization. And his warm and approachable personality helped LW create a positive culture that was essential beginning with the very first class in 1987."

- Paul Rothenburg (‘87)