LDP: Leaders to Watch

SAME Leader Development Class 2023 – 2024

Welcome to the 2023 edition of the LDP: Leaders to Watch, where we shine a spotlight on the 2023 – 2024 Leader Development Class (LDP).

SAME’s Leader Development Program (LDP), now in its fifth year, is the cornerstone program of the Foundation. LDP nurtures leadership skills in high-potential mid-career members through a dynamic curriculum of speakers, training, discussions, and group exercises.

Funded entirely by the SAME Foundation, the year-long program culminates with a Utilization Project to advance a significant engineering issue.

2023 – 2024 Class Members

*It is with deep sadness that we share Pamela Nugent died tragically in July 2023, during a flooding incident near her home in upstate New York. She is survived by her fiance and her father. An SAME member since 2009, Pamela was an enthusiastic individual who repeatedly expressed her excitement at being a member of the Leader Development Program. Nominated for the program by the New Jersey Post, she had “unlimited potential for success and advancement through her positive outlook and wealth of experience from local government, small business, and large firm employment.” SAME honors her memory and our thoughts are with her family and friends on her loss.

Fun Facts about Each Member of the 2023-2024 Class
Member Fun Facts
Aaron Burrows
Aaron Burrows
  • Adopted three children with my wife
  • My friends tell me I am a great listener
  • I like golf, bourbon, and cigars in no order
Alexander Bohlin
Alexander Bohlin
  • Has a minor in explosives engineering
  • Three pets named after scientists (Schrodinger, (Marie) Curie, Rosalind (Franklin))
  • Favorite animal is a platypus
Alyson White
Alyson White
  • Mom to 7-year-old twins
  • I was the project OIC for the Newtok to Mertarkiv Innovative Readiness Training (IRT)
  • I have three master’s degrees which are an MBA, master’s in civil engineering and the Online master’s Program with Air University for Air Command and Staff College (ACSC)
Christian Ward
Christian Ward
  • I’m a huge foodie and used to operate a food Instagram page
  • I love to be outside amidst nature
  • My earliest memory is from when I was 2 years old
Emelia Brooks-Sisco
Emelia Brooks-Sisco
  • I am a lifetime Girl Scout with a passion for mentoring girls in STEM programs
  • I played bass drum in the Cowboy Marching Band at Oklahoma State University
  • I am the mother to five children ranging in age from 6 months to 18 years
Joseph Brejda
Joseph Brejda
  • Eagle Scout and still enjoy camping, hiking, outdoors
  • Regular volunteer with several college orgs, doing leadership training and career coaching
  • Shave my head every year for the past 14 years for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, raising money and awareness for childhood cancer research
JR Gregory
JR Gregory
  • I have hiked from dusk till dawn covering 27 miles in a day
  • I was a child model at the age of 6
  • Newly married as of November 2022!
Kathleenann Brunstad
Kathleenann Brunstad
  • I Irish Danced for 12 years
  • I competed in the first female only CrossFit Competition in Qatar
  • Both of my dogs are brown
Kathryn Thomas
Kathryn Thomas
  • Vice President of Business Development for ANAMAR
  • Served in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Aviator
  • Sits on the Board of Directors for the SAME Portland Post
Kaylee Kostka
Kaylee Kostka
  • I’ve watched sunrise on Mt. Fuji after a midnight hike
  • I’ve walked on Antarctica
  • I’ve never broken a bone
Kevin Chatary
Kevin Chatary
  • I have achieved a 2nd Degree Black-Belt in Taekwondo
  • I am an avid runner and have participated in several marathons
  • I am a firm believer in having fun in a workplace environment
Larry Estrella
Larry Estrella
  • My dream growing up was to be an Astronaut and go to the moon
  • My Wife and I have traveled together to 6 of the 7 continents
  • I played Saxophone in High School and was originally going to get my degree in music
Lawrence Mullaly
Lawrence Mullaly
  • Was in the Rose Parade as an Eagle Scout in 1993
  • Since 2008 I have refereed over 3,500 travel soccer and high school games
  • Have Hiked 50 miles in the high Sierras
Mary Londquist
Mary Londquist
  • I am an Advanced Open Water Diver and former Scientific Diver
  • I started playing the ukulele ten years ago while living in Hawai’i
  • I straddled the International Dateline on my birthday, so I was two different ages at the same time
Matthew NelsonMatthew Nelson
  • I am an avid blacksmith and have been working with metal for 5 years now
  • I serve as a deacon at my church
  • I have visited 6 countries outside of the United States
Pamela Nugent
Pamela Nugent
  • My interest in the built environment began as a kid tagging along with my Dad to his various construction sites
  • My partner Rob and I spend most weekends hiking with the world’s silliest dog, Penny
  • Two of the best weeks of my life were spent in Costa Rica – first on a meditation retreat and a few years later trekking through the mountains and cloud forest

*Pamela Nugent died tragically in July 2023, shortly after starting the LDP. SAME honors her memory and her enthusiastic spirit as a member of the 2023-2024 class.

Rene Cortez
Rene Cortez
  • Went ice fishing on Lake Michigan for the first time this winter
  • He is a WWII aviation enthusiast and a member of the Commemorative Air Force’s Tex Hill Wing
  • While at an ocean depth of seventy feet, Rene faced eight beefy bull sharks
Thomas Heesom
Thomas Heesom
  • Outside of work, I enjoy watching and playing sports and travelling around Europe
  • I’m learning German to improve my language skills
  • I’m the first LDP participant from the United Kingdom Post, and as far as I can tell, the first Brit
Travis Cummins
Travis Cummins
  • I was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada and became a US citizen in 2018
  • After completing a project in Japan in 2021, I have now traveled to every continent except Antarctica
  • The final day of JETC 2023 was also my birthday!
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Hear From LDP Graduates

The Leadership Development Program has allowed me to make several connections and relationships with other members and to gain leadership knowledge and skills that I could bring to the teams I work with. It also inspired me to find more opportunities to further get involved.

Brittany Schultze, Black & Veatch, LDP Class of 2022

Meet Past Leader Development Program Classes

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)

Catherine Niles, AFG Group, Inc. (Washington DC 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 Participant Bios

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 Participant Bios

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 Participant Bios

Interested in LDP?
Applications for the 2025-2026 class will open fall 2024.

SAME’s Leader Development Program was a rewarding and unique experience. I was able to leverage the experience and knowledge from other aspiring leaders and mentors from similar A/E/C backgrounds and grow personally as well as apply lessons back to my primary profession. This network still exists and helps me even today, years after I graduated the program.

Capt. Arpan Patel, USAF, LDP Class of 2021