SAME Leader Development Program

Established in 2019, the SAME Leader Development Program serves to identify and cultivate talent from within the Society’s membership to develop leaders for the future of the A/E/C profession and to address the nation’s grand challenges. Participants explore individual strengths and team dynamics as they build leadership experience alongside their peers in a true joint environment. Since its inception, about half of program participants have come from the uniformed services; the other half represent SAME member companies.

Financially supported by the SAME Foundation and facilitated by the Leader Development COI, the Leader Development Program encourages the growth and enrichment of the next generation of military, government, and industry leaders through a curriculum of hands-on training, study, and active engagement in new opportunities. All individuals also complete an independent or collaborative utilization project that must be focused on a key need or interest-area of SAME or the A/E/C profession.

The Leader Development Program is a year-long commitment, which runs from JETC in May to the following JETC a year later.

Applications for the 2024-2025 LDP Class are now closed.

Never before in history has our A/E/C community faced as much change as we do today. The SAME Foundation is working to ensure that our nation has a continuous pipeline of qualified and committed engineering and STEM leaders to address our complex national security and infrastructure-related challenges. None of us can address the challenges facing the engineering community alone. But if we each do our part and pool our resources together, we can help develop the future leadership our nation needs within the A/E/C profession.

Col. John Mogge, Ph.D., RA, F.SAME (Dist.), USAF (Ret.), President, SAME Foundation (2017-2019)
LDP Class at JETC

LDP: Leaders to Watch

The 2023-2024 class of SAME’s Leader Development Program includes a diverse group of participants from across the Society. Now in its fifth year, the Leader Development Program is financially underwritten by the SAME Foundation, and serves to nurture leadership skills in high-potential mid-career members through speakers, training, group exercises, and utilization projects intended to advance a key issue within the engineering community.

LDP Knowledge Network Presentation at BOD Meeting, May 2023

Utilization Projects in Action

During the Board of Direction meeting at the 2023 JETC in San Antonio, three members of the graduating LDP class (Brandi Smith, Brec Wilshusen, and Camille Murray) briefed their utilization project on the SAME Knowledge Network they developed over the past year.

The project seeks to address the gap in accessing industry experts by leveraging the larger membership to create the SAME Knowledge Network, to be housed in the new SAME national website. The Knowledge Network will provide a database that can be utilized to identify subject matter experts. In part, it is the group’s intention to pilot the project through a Speaker’s Bureau to be deployed for the Resilience COI initially, and then within other COIs. More information will be available in the coming months as the capability is refined and implemented.

Later in the week, ahead of the LDP graduation on May 3, two program alumni, Colleen Rust and Lt. Cdr. Kevin Remley, USPHS, made a presentation (inset) to the JETC audience about their utilization project, “We Must Go To Them,” which is focused on STEM outreach to Alaska Native/American Indian youth, and was subsequently selected for a grant by the United Engineering Foundation. In the last year, a handful of SAME Posts (Albuquerque, Tulsa, Anchorage, and Panama City), additionally supported by funds from the SAME Foundation, have begun to execute We Must Go To Them—now the STEM Pathways initiative—and are making an impact in encouraging more Alaska Native/American Indian youth into engineering and related careers.

We Must Go to Them project presentation, JETC

Leader Development Program Overview

Program Curriculum

The SAME Leader Development Program is a year-long commitment, broken into three overarching themes:

  • Know Yourself
  • Know Your Team
  • Know Your Future

The opening classroom session at JETC (May) 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, and their approach as leaders.

The opening classroom session sets the outline for the rest of the year. Each class will consist of about 20 participants, with representatives from each SAME region.


Participants will select a mentor to help shepherd their professional development throughout the year.

If you do not have a mentor in mind, ask your Post President, Regional Vice President, or Leader Development COI for suggestions. The Academy of Fellows has offered to make themselves available to LDP participants as mentors as well.

  • Support the development of the next generation of 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.
Key Outcomes

Following completion of the program, participants will gain a series of skills and confidence in preparation for increased leadership responsibilities:

  • 120 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
Program Participation
Who May Apply

Members of SAME with at least one-year membership 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. Most of our candidates have 5-15 years of experience in the A/E/C industry, but we do not have a strict lower and upper limit. We are looking for LDP participants who have diverse experience and are ready for increased responsibilities within the Society and our industry.

Key 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 year-long 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.

Estimated time required by participants:

  • JETC – three days (up to eight 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. If a participant misses more than three hours of program sessions, or a mandatory program session, he or she may be dropped from the program.

Utilization Project – Students will 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 much of the Leader Development Program. Participants will have their JETC registration, travel, lodging, training, and administrative costs paid. Salary, books and all other costs are paid for by the participant or their organization.

Participant 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 3-4 books.

Leader Development Program Classes

Meet the 2023-24 Class

Alexander Bohlin, USACE Nashville District (Tennessee/Kentucky Region)

Joseph Brejda, P.E., Argus Consulting Inc. (Southeast Region)

Emelia Brooks-Sisco, A&M Engineering and Environmental Services Inc. (Heartland Region)

Capt. Kathleenann Brunstad, USAF, Air Force Institute of Technology (Ohio Valley Region)

Aaron Burrows, Aleta Technologies (Tennessee/Kentucky Region)

Kevin Chatary, HRV Conformance Verification Associates Inc. (Ohio Valley Region)

Rene Cortez, P.E., Jacobs (Texas Region)

Travis Cummins, Enterprise Engineering Inc. (Northeast Region)

Larry Estrella, P.E., LEED AP, NAVFAC Pacific (Pacific Region)

JR Gregory, Towill Inc. (California Region)

Thomas Heesom, Mott MacDonald (Europe Region)

Capt. Kaylee Kostka, USAF, 823rd RED HORSE Squadron (Gulf Coast Region)

Mary Londquist, PMP, Oneida ESC Group (California Region)

Lawrence Mullaly, Jacobs (Middle Atlantic Region)

Matthew Nelson, Shaw AFB (Carolinas Region)

Kathryn Thomas, ANAMAR Environmental Consulting Inc. (Northern Tier Region)

Christian Ward, Osprey Management, LLC (Southeast Region)

Maj. Alyson White, USAF, 147th Civil Engineer Squadron (Texas Region)

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)

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 2021-2022 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 2020-2021 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 PlocidoSenior 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 TuryganP.E., PMP; Civil Engineer; US Army Europe, G34 Protection (European Region: Rhein-Main Post, Mainz, Germany)

Download the Participant bios here.

Meet the 2019-2020 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.

Application Information

Applications for the 2024-2025 LDP Class closed Dec. 1, 2023.

Download program flyer | Download application questions | 2024-2025 Program Description

Through the Leader Development Program, I learned that anybody, at even the lowest level of an organization, has the opportunity to lead.

Taylor Chassaignac, P.E., LDP Class of 2022