Meet the Inaugural SAME Leader Development Program Class

At the 2019 JETC in Tampa, SAME introduced the inaugural class of the Society’s new national Leader Development Program. Formed thanks to the tireless efforts of the LDP Task Force over the past year and made possible financially through the support of the SAME Foundation, the SAME Leader Development Program will seek to identify and cultivate talent from within the organization to support the development of the next generation of military, government, and industry leaders and help meet the crucial leadership needs of the country, and the profession.

SAME Foundation Board President Col. John Mogge, F.SAME, USAF (Ret.), welcomed each participant to the stage during the morning general session on May 8, and provided some words about the role the SAME Foundation will play in supporting the Leader Development Program now and into the future.

The first class includes 18 participants, one representing each of SAME’s 17 Regions as well as the International Community of Interest. Members applied during fall 2018 through their Post President, with an individual being selected from each Region by the Regional Vice President, as well as one from the International Community of Interest.

Candidates were then reviewed and confirmed by representatives of the Academy of Fellows and the LDP Task Force.

2019-2020 LDP Participants

  • Ilana Almquist, Coffman Engineers Inc. (Pacific Region)
  • Holly Bigelow, P.E., Wood (Europe Region)
  • Maj. Craig Bryant, USA, Fort Hood, Texas (TEXOMA Region)
  • Maj. Mark DeSouza, P.E., USAR, Thomas & Hutton (Carolinas Region)
  • Angela Gomez, KOMAN Construction LLC (Southwest Region)
  • Patricia Graham, EnSafe Inc. (New England Region)
  • Lt. Mike Guaigua, P.E., CEC, USN, NAVFAC EURAFSWA (International Committee)
  • Erin Krug, P.E., USACE St. Paul District (Great Lakes Region)
  • Sean Lebel, P.E., AECOM (Mid-Atlantic Region)
  • Lt. Cdr. Samuel Lee, P.E., CEC, USN, University of Washington (Northwest Region)
  • Melissa Lewis, Scott AFB, Ill. (Missouri River Region)
  • Capt. Brendan Maestas, USAF, Air Force Institute of Technology (Ohio Valley Region)
  • Benjamin Nichols, Harkins Builders Inc. (North Atlantic Region)
  • Zakary Payne, P.E., Matrix Design Group (Rocky Mountain Region)
  • Claudia Penny, HCR Construction Inc. (South Atlantic Region)
  • Jorge Rodriguez, P.E., M.S. Hatch Consulting (California Region)
  • Mary Ruiz, Quaternary Resource Investigations (Lower Mississippi)
  • Stephen Shattuck (South Central Region)

Fostering Engineering Leadership

SAME Foundation President John Mogge introduces the Society's first Leader Development Program class

The Leader Development Program is supported by the SAME Foundation, which is underwriting the participation of the class participants as well as the overall program. Established in 2016, the SAME Foundation is committing to investing in programs that support its compelling purpose of “fostering engineering leadership for the nation.”

Participants in the Leader Development Program will explore individual strengths and team dynamics and discover their potential personally and professionally through a curriculum of hands-on training, study, and active engagement in new opportunities. The first class, which began at the 2019 JETC, will graduate at next year’s JETC, to be held May 27-29, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the SAME Leader Development Program, visit