July 6, 2017

What an exciting year it has been!  This past Wednesday, June 28th, Leadership Greater Washington (LGW) held its Annual Meeting of the Membership It was great to see so many members in attendance.  Congratulations to all the new Board members who were elected, and thank you to all the Board members who after years of service have rolled off the Board.  For those who were not able to attend, I want to share with you the LGW Strategic Plan highlights that were presented at the meeting.

As many of you recall, the Board of Directors formalized and implemented a Strategic Plan two years ago.  The plan was developed to help guide the organization to be one of the principal conveners and connectors of diverse professional leaders in the region in order to facilitate community impact.  The Strategic Plan has four key areas:

1. Improve Membership Engagement: Over the past year, we have seen a 27% growth in event attendance, and a 60% increase over the past three years.   Our membership values smaller, more intimate events to connect with fellow LGW members.  LGW held 117 events last year or about 2.25 events every week.  Earlier class members are also re-engaging in LGW’s events which helped drive a 7% increase in active membership over the prior year. 

2.  Promote Program Quality and Relevance:  The Signature Program, Rising Leaders’ program, and the Youth Leadership Greater Washington program are receiving some of their highest marks based on feedback surveys.  The quality of individuals signing up for our programs continues to improve, and our membership continues to increase quality referrals to all our programs.  Companies and individuals have also taken notice of the relevance LGW has in the region with a 41% increase in sponsorship funding.  LGW is also looking outside the region to create member experiences and learning opportunities through the Leadership Greater Chicago Exchange and our recent trip to Cuba, both which were well received.

3.  Build and Leverage the LGW Brand:  Two years ago we rolled out a new communications strategy including an updated LGW logo to reflect the new direction the organization is heading.  This past year we increased our communication to the membership to inform and engage more members in all the new events being offered, and to tell the outside world of all the great things accomplished by LGW

4. Improve Long-term Operational Stability:  This past year, LGW has exceeded its budgeted surplus and is on track to make significant contributions to our “rainy day” fund.  This will allow LGW to weather future financial bumps in the road while maintaining event and program value.  These financial increases are due to more members being actively engaged and new sponsors wanting to support the mission of LGW in the Greater Washington Region.

Our President and CEO, Doug Duncan, also shared a one-page “LGW at a Glance in FY17” document with the membership at the Annual Meeting.

LGW has designed and implemented a new Signature Program Scholarship Fund initiative that was kicked off this past year under the leadership of Jeff Rubery (’10).  Because we strongly value the diversity of LGW, the vision of this initiative is that financial constraints will not be a barrier to anyone receiving an invitation to join the LGW Signature Program.  The importance of this new initiative is positively resonating with the membership that we currently have secured over half of the $50,000 goal by the Fall Kick Off, including 100% giving by our Board of Directors.  I hope you will join me in financially supporting this new initiative in the months and years to come.

The state of LGW is very good.  I am very pleased with what LGW has accomplished during my Chairmanship over the past two years.  This has been a team effort that includes a big thank you for all the hard work done by the LGW Staff led by Doug Duncan, the entire Board of Directors, and of course you the membership of LGW.  There is momentum within LGW from which our incoming Chair, Pinkie Dent Mayfield (’01) and the new Board of Directors can build upon to continue to make LGW the best professional organization in the Greater Washington Region.

Thank you for supporting me over the past two years and LGW.  I encourage you to become more engaged with LGW in the coming year and look forward to seeing you at future LGW events.

Joe Budzynski (’06)
Chairman of the Board
Leadership Greater Washington

The 2017 Annual Meeting occured on 6/28/17