Pow! 300 central Maryland superheroes convene in Baltimore

Date: May 21, 2016

This May, more than 300 of central Maryland’s top young leaders took a stand at United Way of Central Maryland’s Fifth Annual Emerging Leaders United (ELU) Young Professionals Conference. The “Power of You” superhero-themed event focused on personal and professional development.

An all-star lineup of local executives kicked off the event by sharing their greatest mistakes and lessons learned; panelists included BGE’s Stephen J. Woerner, P.E., Baltimore County Public Schools’ Dr. Dallas Dance, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School’s Dr. Bernard Ferrari, Ayers Saint Gross’ Luanne Greene and Generosity’s Jamie McDonald. Ken Ulman, president of Margrave Strategies & former Howard County executive, closed out the day challenging attendees to see every difficulty as an opportunity.

Throughout the day, powerful speakers shared inside tips on financial planning, networking, social media, brand building, board service, inclusion in the workplace and much more. In her “Wearing the Yellow Suit” session, Jackie Gaines encouraged women to embrace the skills they bring to the table and “never let anyone tell you what you cannot be.”

The upbeat event ended with a surprise: guests were given the opportunity to register to volunteer with United Way and enter to win tickets to Beyoncé’s World Formation Tour on June 10, featuring her new album, “Lemonade,” all while enjoying Baltimore Lemon Sticks. The contest is still open (just text the keyword “LEMONADE” to 51555 or visit uwcm.org/lemonade and submit the form; winners will be announced June 3.)

“I didn’t even know Baltimore had that many young professionals,” said Kristen, one of the attendees. “I met a number of other young professionals that I hope to see again so I am going to join ELU.”

United Way of Central Maryland also announced the “Philanthropic Five” award winners five young professionals who are creating positive change in central Maryland through their leadership and community commitment. This year’s winners are:

  • Oana Brooks — Equity Compliance Investigator at Johns Hopkins University, president-elect of the Junior League of Baltimore and involved with House of Ruth, Moveable Feast and My Girlfriend’s House.
  • Nicholas Culbertson — President and COO of Protenus, Inc., co-chairman of The Sixth Branch (T6B), a veteran-led nonprofit.
  • Kip Hollar — Community Relations Supervisor at UPS, serving on the executive committee of ELU, advisory board of Empty Bowls of St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore and Project Lead the Way (Pre-Engineering Pathway), as well as member of the Paul’s Place Rising Leaders Young Professional Group and founding member of the E-Council with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
  • Shawnice Jackson — Post-High School Individualized Services Manager at Thread, involved with Baltimore Corps, Public Allies, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake and Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents.
  • Jillian Ruskey — Assurance Manager at Ernst & Young, founding chair of the Ernst & Young Professionals Board, board member for the American Heart Association and local chapter chair of Back on My Feet.


“ELU encourages members to take a stand and make a difference in the local community,” said Jeremy Rosendale, United Way of Central Maryland Emerging Leaders United Director. For more information about ELU, email Jeremy.Rosendale@uwcm.org.

  • Learn more about United Way of Central Maryland’s Emerging Leaders United and how it continues to help change the odds for families across central Maryland.
  • Watch a video about the Philanthropic 5 award winners.
  • Check out event photos.

Special thanks to event sponsors: CareFirst, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Loyola University, Murthy Law, The Shelter Group, UPS, Wells Fargo, Ayers Saint Gross, BGE, Covergirl, M&T Bank, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, First National Bank, Greater Baltimore Committee, PNC Bank, RSM, Strategic Factory and KIND Snacks.

Leave a comment

© 2021 United Way of Central Maryland | Privacy Policy | Donor Privacy Policy | Client Privacy Policy | Annual Report | Strategic Plan

For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been improving lives in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, Maryland.

United Way of Central Maryland is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization! | Tax ID: 52-0591543