A lot has happened this past calendar year. We’ve learned from leaders and made connections that matter, and it wasn’t easy picking our favorites. But as we look back there were definitely some moments that stood out above the rest!
Welcoming a New Signature Program Class
Is it cheating to pick something that’s one of the biggest highlights of every year? There’s never a more exciting time at LGW than when we meet our newest Signature Program class. And even moreso when they meet each other. From Orientation to the Opening Retreat, and three Program Days so far, it’s been a joy to watch another group of extraordinary leaders connect and begin to build relationships that will make big changes in our region. We’ll be seeing even more of them in 2023, but we’re already amazed at how thoughtful, engaged, and enthusiastic they are about embarking on this experience together.
… and Sending Off Another
Saying hello to a new class means saying farewell to another. Though it’s less a farewell than a welcome to an extended network of support, encouragement, and collective change. Graduating from the Signature Program means you’re an official part of the LGW family, and this past year is no different as the Class of 2022 – Nothing We Can’t Do! – completed their Program Year and started a new journey of impact powered by the connections they built.
2022 was also an end and a beginning for our Youth and Rising Leaders. Our mission is one of connecting leaders to make a difference, but part of that mission is also building leaders and guiding them on a path to make positive change in our region and beyond.
Celebrating an Extraordinary Leader
We welcomed a new group of amazing leaders in 2022, but we also celebrated the accomplishments and commitments of one who came before. October was our annual Celebration of Leadership, and this year we honored Diane Tipton for her tireless devotion to building the communities of today, and the leaders of tomorrow. It was a room full of LGW members, partners, and other changemakers who make this region great, and it all started with a very special introduction from an organization near and dear to Diane’s heart, the Girl Scouts. Read more about it in our recap of a very special night.
Taking Journeys of Reflection
Over the past several years LGW has been committed to equity and racial justice. From our Civil Rights Journeys to the South to the Anti-Racist Leadership Series (starting its fourth year in January), it’s been at the forefront of our mission, and this year was no different. Starting in September we embarked on series of DMV Bridge Journeys focused on racial history and healing around our region. We revealed the hidden past of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reflected on monuments and memory in Richmond, and recalibrated our mindset going forwards in DC. These journeys weren’t just a history lesson, but an active exploration of our roles in the past, present, and future of the fight against systemic inequities and injustice.
Meetings to Remember, and Outings to Never Forget
We never pass up on opportunity to get together, and whether that’s an Annual Meeting to share what we’ve been up to behind the scenes, or an End of Summer Happy Hour to reconnect after a season of (relative) rest and relaxation, these moments are always some of our favorites. There’s a definite theme running throughout this list, and that’s our deep appreciation of the strength of the connections made through LGW and the importance of the work that comes about because of them. The new year will bring new faces, new opportunities to build impactful relationships, and new (and returning) additions to our list of favorite things.