Leader Development Program


APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2020-21 LDP Class will open on September 1, 2019.

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 beginning at the SAME Joint Engineer Training Conference (JETC) 2019 to be held in Tampa, FL. The graduation will be held at JETC 2020 in Washington D.C.!

Read about the program in the SAME Bricks and Clicks blog.

Download the LDP Task Force member bios here.


LDP seeks mentors willing to guide each participate through their professional development. Ideal candidates should located near their participant to aid in regular engagement opportunities. More information can be found on the mentor application.

Download the Mentor Application PDF file.

Call for Instructors

LDP also seeks instructors that can provide monthly webinars as part of the program curriculum. If you are interested in being an instructor on on a wide range of topics such as  leadership, team dynamics, or personal growth, see the instructions in the Call for Instructors.

Download the Call for Instructors PDF file

Learn More about the Leader Development Program

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 7, 2019 – May 29, 2020

Application Period
October 31, 2018 – December 21, 2018

Program Overview
The program is a yearlong commitment beginning at the SAME Joint Engineer Technical Conference (JETC) 2019 to be held in Tampa, FL. The graduation will be held at JETC 2020 in Washington D.C.!

The one-year program is broken into three themes

  • Know Yourself
  • Know Your Team
  • Know Your Future

The opening kick-off at JETC 2019 will be 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 face-to-face at JETC 2019 will set the foundation for the rest of the year. The inaugural class will consist of 17 candidates, 1 from each SAME region. We plan to grow participation in subsequent years.

Meet the 2019-2020 Class

The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the SAME Foundation are pleased to present the inaugural class of participants in the Leader Development Program (LDP). Eighteen (18) individuals from across the membership, one from each SAME region and one representing the International Committee, have been selected to participate in this professional development program.


  • 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)
  • Mary Ruiz, VP of Sales, Quaternary Resource Investigations, LLC (Lower Mississippi 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 December 21, 2018, 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 2019 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
  • An understanding of government and Congress

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:

  • 2019 JETC – 2 days (12 hours of formal training)
  • 2020 JETC – 2 days (12 hours of formal training)
  • Monthly Sessions – 11 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 2019 and JETC 2020. 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.

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 2019 and JETC 2020 registration, travel, lodging, associated travel expenses, training and administrative costs paid by the SAME Foundation. Salary, books and all other costs are paid for by the candidate or candidate’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 five books.

Reading List

Month Book Author Pages
May/June/July 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership w/workbook John Maxwell 256
August/September/October Know your Teams: Good to Great Jim Collins 320
November/December/January How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie 291
February/March/April Start With Why Simon Sinek 256
Optional The Carpenter John Gordon 160
Optional Precious Present Spencer Johnson 80


Mentoring – The program will pair participants (mentee) with a mentor from the participant’s Post or from the Academy of Fellows to help participants become more effective in their current roles and maintain career ownership.

How to Apply

Each applicant must submit four documents to your Post President:

  • Application Information Sheet
  • Resume
  • Response to four (4) Questions
  • Letter of Recommendation from Employer

In two pages or less, participants are asked to respond to the following questions:

  • Referring to your biographical information, education and work experience explain how you meet the selection criteria?
  • 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.
  • What do you expect to gain from the LDP experience and how do you see that effecting your leadership capabilities in the future?
  • 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 boss 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 boss will be accepted.


All applications MUST be typed and submitted electronically through your Post President to the Regional Vice President and to the Academy of Fellows POC.

Applications are accepted from October 31, 2018 through December 21, 2018. The Regional Vice President must be in receipt of applicants’ complete application package containing all required information and signatures no later than midnight Friday, December 21, 2018 for program consideration.

Applicants are to submit original responses. Late, or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Advisory: Regional Vice President’s may have a deadline that is prior to December 21, 2018.

Selection Process

  • Each Region will select one individual to participate.
  • Regions will submit additional applicants above the one they chose to the AOF Selection panel for consideration in the event another region is unable to choose a participant from within their region.
  • Regional RVPs have until January 15, 2019 to submit alternates for consideration.
  • The SAME Fellow alternate review board will convene to review the RVP selections to insure they meet the participant criteria and to prioritize all remaining applicants as alternates in the event not all 17 seats are taken.
  • Replacement selection after January 15, 2019 will be at the discretion of the AOF selection panel. An alternate list will be created and a panel of Fellows consisting of at least three members will rank order the alternates who will be used to fill in in the event there is vacancy.
  • Candidate applications will be rated on the following:
    • Leadership across functional and geographic boundaries
    • Leading change
    • Vision
    • Future Contributions to the Society
  • Final selections and determinations will be made by the SAME Fellows and Steering Committee with every effort made to ensure equitable representation from submitting agencies.
  • Graduates will be asked to sit on future selection committees
  • Notifications will be made for all primary selections by March 1, 2019
  • Alternates will be notified by April 1, 2019

For More Information

To learn more about the Leader Development Program, visit: https://www.same.org/ldp. Or contact Eddie Gonzalez, Program Manager, at egonzalez@same.org.

SAME provides equal opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, or political affiliation.