Winds of Leadership

Mission Statement

The Winds of Leadership will find projects in Harford County and assemble the leaders necessary to accomplish them, thus leaving behind us an improved county and a legacy of leadership.

Vision Statement

The Winds of Leadership is committed to exploring and applying the force of united leadership to achieve the tasks that leave a legacy. As a sail catches the force of the wind for speed and direction, so the Winds of Leadership will catch the force of a leader to go and do all good tasks in Harford County.

Who are we?

We are an open group of leaders. Currently, all of the leaders participating are Harford Leadership Academy graduates. There are no dues and there are no membership requirements. Winds of Leadership (WINDS) is the 501 (c ) (3) philanthropic arm of HLA.

What have we done?

The first designated task was to replace the main sail on the Skipjack Martha Lewis. This was accomplished.

The second task was to erect a sculpture to leadership, a symbol, on the Harford Community College property. It is a modern rendition of a sail. Why? Why build a visual symbol for leadership? Some may say, "It's just a sculpture." We believe it is more. Visual symbols are important in this modern world, where there is so much competition for our attention. Our hope and desire is that this symbol will be a graphic picture for the WINDS philosophy. We want it to:

  • Affect and influence people to unite as leaders in support of Harford County
  • Bind us together
  • Reinforce our philosophy
  • Point people beyond themselves

The sculpture is also a fitting tribute to the county and the college for the formation of the Leadership Academy.

What we are doing. . .

We recently raised support for the Maryland Center of the Arts with Game on: Harford Has Talent. This was a successful event, and we thank everyone that helped, participated, and came out to support this effort!

Due to recent events, the Game On event scheduled for March 24 has been postponed.

Details on rescheduling will be posted as soon as possible. In the mean time, if you experience symptoms and believe you are at risk of coronavirus due to recent travel or exposure, please seek immediate medical attention. We also ask that you or your doctor contact the Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness, Jennie Towner, at studentaffairs@harford.edu or 443-412-2142 to ensure the College has a record of any suspected coronavirus cases among the campus community.

Game ON: Harford Has Talent

The Harford Leadership Academy presenting a check for award.

Dawn and Hugh from the Winds and the rest are board members for the Maryland Center for the Arts.

Left to right: Dawn Hamilton, Paul Balsamo, Dr. Mary Teddy Wray, Hugh McCarthy, Kathleen Heidelmaier, Tobias Musser, Carolyn Wilson Evans, Deborah Williams, Anthony Lisuzzo.

The Winner!

Dr. Duke Thompson being presented with the WINDS of Leadership award. 

Dr. Duke Thompson
Founder and President
Maryland Conservatory of Music


At our annual Holly Jolly Holiday Mixer in December, 2019, we also raised funds to benefit the Nurturing Parent Programs, Family Based Programs for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Community Support

The Winds of Leadership is now focusing on assisting nonprofits in their efforts to build leaders in our community. Direct costs related to projects/programs, such as but not limited to, personnel, equipment, materials and supplies, and administration and must support Leadership Development for an employee, client services, or development of future leaders are some of the criteria established for this new support effort. Funds must be for services that have a direct impact in Harford County, Maryland. We will begin accepting applications July 1st, 2020.

Types of Support Funded:

The Dawn Hamilton Event Specific Fund - Proceeds from WINDS sponsored events

This fund is in honor of Dawn Hamilton and her service to WINDS.
Dawn is a 2005 graduate of The Harford Leadership Academy (HLA) and was a founding member of the WINDS of Leadership in 2007. She served as Treasurer, Vice President, President and continues to provide service as Past President. Her commitment to the WINDS has brought leaders together through annual events and fundraisers and led to the completion of the sculpture, "Uplifting", to recognize the importance of leadership. Dawn inspired leaders to use their energy and power to accomplish one project at a time. Dawn's personal commitment to the WINDS has helped to leave a legacy in Harford County.


The Marlene Lieb Emergency Fund - Emergent and unanticipated needs will be awarded up to $500

This fund is in honor of Marlene Lieb and her service to the community through WINDS.
Marlene followed Joe Brooks as the second coordinator of The Harford Leadership Academy (HLA) from 2001-2006, and organized and directed The HLA Ambassador group from 2007 -2012. The WINDS of Leadership was the brainchild of the HLA class of 2006. Marlene encouraged and supported that class in their efforts, believing in the power of local leaders to use their resources and connections to increase community philanthropy. Hoping to encourage others to financially support WINDS, she made a significant personal contribution. Marlene has been on the WINDS board roster since 2007.


Joe Brooks Program Fund - Assist with funding programs (including matching dollars) $500 or more. All Requests must be submitted for review. Please see application for further details.

This fund is in honor of Joe Brooks for his vision and starting the Harford Leadership Academy. Major General Joe Brooks dedicated most of his adult life to service in this community. After a successful military and civilian career he settled in Bel Air, where he served two terms as the town mayor. In 1991, Harford Community College took advantage of Joe's strong leadership abilities and experience by recruiting him to help establish a local Leadership Academy. He worked closely with the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and Harford Community College to develop the structure and mission of the Academy. Joe coordinated the Harford Leadership Academy for the first ten years from 1991-2000. His knowledge and influence laid the foundation for the respected program that is evident today.

What can you do?

What can you do? In one word, UNITE. Unite to finish the monument, to find the next project and to leave a legacy of leadership visible by all we accomplish.

Participate in the process.

  • Donate time.
  • Donate resources.
  • Donate expertise.
  • Donate money.
  • Share your ideas.
  • Share your thoughts.
  • Unite today and start creating your legacy.

Board of Directors

Hugh McCarthy, President
Beth Marchiano, Vice President
Terry Troy, Secretary
Mary Kay Fishpaugh, Treasurer
Melissa Blessing
Rod Bourn
Erika Alston Buck
Dawn Hamilton, Immediate Past President
Brenna Kupferman
Marlene Lieb
Nancy Mahoney
Diane Moore

Victor Cyran, Harford Leadership Academy Coordinator

Wendy Ambler, HLA AA WINDS & HLA Liaison

Want to know more?

Hugh McCarthy
Edward Jones Investments
410-336-5536 - Cell phone
htmccarthy10@verizon.net


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