The year was 1983–Michael Jackson and The Police ruled the radio airways, Microsoft Word was unveiled, the first Motorola portable cellular phone went on the market, the Baltimore Orioles won the World Series, and The Leadership was incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization in Baltimore City.
Since the founding of The Leadership in 1983, our commitment to helping develop more effective civic leaders in the Baltimore region has remained constant. Some things, however, were ready for a change, including the organization’s brand identity.
Over the past year, a marketing team has worked with us on creating a fresh brand identity and more effective communication strategies for The Leadership. The group was led by immediate past board chair Suzanne Fischer-Huettner and consisted of staff, volunteers, board members and Leadership alumni. The group hired Sagesse, Inc., a local marketing firm headed by Tracy Gosson, a Leadership alum from the Class of 2003, to help guide them through the project.
The work began with a series of listening sessions with Leadership alumni and Baltimore-based entrepreneurs who had never participated in the program to gather feedback about perceptions and effectiveness of the organization. Almost 200 alumni participated in an online survey, covering the full spectrum of class years and age ranges and sharing a variety of insights, including how the organization can better engage with alumni.
After compiling the data from those findings, the first order of business was to make our email addresses more intuitive by aligning them with our website domain name. Now, all team members can be emailed using their first firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next, we worked to update The Leadership logo (we have retired the mixed font version of the LEADERship name) and develop a modern color palette that reflects the vision and diversity of the organization today. Included is a fully-streamlined package of corporate stationery, presentation materials, and social media graphics, ensuring that the new branding can be consistently implemented across all communication platforms.
Updating a website that dated back to the early 2000s that could be easily viewed on a desktop or mobile devices was another urgent priority. The new website helps tell the complete story of The Leadership. Through features like the Better Connected series, we tell continue sharing the stories of meaningful connections that have been made both within and across class years.
Staying connected to what is happening with The Leadership today is easier than ever! The website will keep you updated on the latest news and events and our ever-changing photo gallery will bring on pure nostalgia. We are also excited about the homepage feature of current class member photos—the next generation of leaders to watch in our community.
We begin this year with great optimism for this next phase of the organization and look forward to hearing your feedback about these changes. 2019 will be a break-out year, with expanded programming and events for alumni, prospective partners, and future applicants.
And who knows? This could just be the year the Orioles make it back to the World Series!
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