Baltimore County Leader Insight: John Hayden

A Special Interview: November 2022

During LBC’s 30th anniversary, I had the pleasure of chairing its Board of Directors. As I reflect on that experience 10 years later, I appreciate how participating in LBC’s signature and alumni programs fostered my enthusiasm for service. In particular, it helped me pursue my philanthropic passion: education.  
Over time, I became a school board member, chair of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, and a member of foundation boards at CCBC, Stevenson University and Towson University. These experiences added to my understanding of and dedication to civic leadership as I saw what a tremendous impact volunteers can make in our community. The challenges of each organization are different, but the enthusiasm of those around each cause and organization is refreshing and inspiring.
It is a joy to witness LBC alumni living out their philanthropic mission and supporting each other in their civic roles.  Elayne Hettleman, founding President of LBC, embodied that joy in service. She inspired alumni to give their best, and as a classmate once said she could “light a candle from across the room.” That same spark carries on today through 1300+ LBC alumni supporting each other and making a positive impact on our community every day.

Baltimore County Leader Insight: Jeff Morgan

A Special Interview: October 2022

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing Baltimore County?

Baltimore County is such a diverse place to live with so much culture and history.  This county has everything you need from entertainment, waterfront attractions, businesses, and sports.  The pandemic has really taken a toll on the economic growth within the county, as it has everywhere, and hindered the ability to effectively attract talent, business growth, and keep people motivated to live here.  A challenge for Baltimore County is keeping our local businesses (both large and small) healthy as well as ensuring that as a county, we can gain momentum despite the increase in inflation and cost of living expenses. Those are factors that can negatively impact the economy here in Baltimore County. We need to utilize Leadership Baltimore County to enhance the partnership and connections with our county leaders to get all voices heard and develop a unified strategy to weather this storm.

Becton Dickinson is the largest medical device manufacturing company in Baltimore County with our Life Sciences business segment headquarters right here in Sparks, Maryland. Leadership Baltimore County has helped connect Becton Dickinson with the community to attract talent for employment, and develop partnerships with local colleges and STEM/PTECH programs to prepare our youth for future employment in an engineering/manufacturing field.  People and talent are the key assets to Becton Dickinson and that foundation starts right here in Baltimore County.  The work that we do in helping people live healthy lives with our Medical Diagnostic Equipment (i.e. our COVID Test kits) brings me great joy knowing that it is all manufactured right here in Baltimore County!

Seeing the success and longevity of this outstanding organization is extremely important to me.  The work that Leadership Baltimore County does to develop leaders, and strategically connect leaders throughout the county all to further improve the lifestyle within the county is nothing short of amazing. I am looking forward to celebrating 40 years of leadership while rolling up my sleeves to ensure many more years to come with a lot more work to do! I am excited to get our LBC alumni together to reconnect, regroup and get them recharged to help make a difference within Baltimore County.  We are living thru unprecedented times and we need to all get-together and rekindle those lost relationships and networks to foster a better Baltimore County.

Starting out in the workforce as a waiter and bartender in multiple high-volume restaurants and bars in New York, I have learned a lot about humility, hard work, and grit in a fast-paced, unforgiving environment.  That service experience, along with my African American and Asian (Filipino) background, makes me the poster child for growing up with diversity in a multicultural background. I was told my background would be a setback growing up, but I have used it to my advantage while working overseas in Asia.  I was able to embrace my Asian culture by setting up multiple manufacturing sites in Asia and using that rich diverse culture and understanding, along with my African American culture, to truly appreciate and respect multiple perspectives and use it as a tool to help motivate and successfully develop cohesive diverse teams. Having the ability to understand and relate to my diverse workforce has helped me become an effective leader globally.

In order to not only be a good leader, but an effectively great leader, you need to take the time to understand your team, the work environment, the community, and how they all interact with each other.  Doing your due diligence to truly understand and listen to your personnel, you will be able to set clear expectations and act as that servant leader to guide and motivate your team to meet the goals. A great leader develops and motivates their team to work together to achieve their goals, and not to direct and dictate what should be done.  Having the ability to get your team motivated to want to serve starts out with ensuring the team is set up with the foundation to be successful.  This is all done by taking the time to enhance your team’s strengths, along with developing a plan to improve on those areas that need work while always being open to learn as a leader yourself.