Frederick’s Top 50 CEOs: Mike James, Tom Kleinhanzl, Marty Lapera and Doug Leidig

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) received 146 nominations for lead executives, founders, entrepreneurs and company owners of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations for Frederick’s Top 50 CEOs. The final list included criteria based on the CEO’s individual responses on the following: Strategic leadership concepts; significant growth under his or her leadership; number of employees; tenure; company’s turnover rate; company’s median salary; number of times CEO was nominated; and the CEO’s involvement in the community.

Get to know four of the top 50 this month:

As someone who's been creating interactive kiosk presentations for over 30 years, Mike James has truly been a pioneer in the kiosk industry. After introducing the first kiosk enclosures for iPads (and later other tablets), Kiosk Group has had the chance to work on kiosk projects with some of the top companies and organizations in the world, all from our base here in Frederick.

Tom Kleinhanzl serves the Frederick Regional Health System organization by staying well-informed as a CEO and maintaining active involvement at the state and national levels in order to best direct the organization down the right path. He has been described as a “practical visionary” who has led the organization through very positive growth, both figuratively and literally, as they have transformed from a community hospital into a regional health system with new entities and creative partnerships.

Marty Lapera believes in investing in people. He consistently monitors the pulse of the global, national, regional and local economy and communicates/ collaborates with our Bank leadership in order to effectively strategize our financial position to better serve our Community. He is involved with multiple organizations in which he extends volunteerism and philanthropy.

As President & CEO of Asbury Communities, Doug Leidig plays an important role with major individual, corporate, and foundation donors.  Whenever needed, Doug meets personally with donors to share the Asbury Mission, Strategic, and Campaign plans, providing the necessary information needed prior to a major gift commitment.

What brought you to Frederick County?

Mike: Wonderful small town feel and business-friendly environment.

Tom: The opportunity to play a role in shaping health care in a great community.  I saw great potential for adding wonderful services and enhancing the quality of care we provide.  Frederick County also reminded me of the mid-west (Ohio), where I grew up, wonderful people who care about their community.

Marty: I lived in Frederick County during my high school years. I attended Frederick Community College for one year, then enlisted in the US Army. After leaving the Army, I attended and graduated from Towson State University and began working at First National Bank of Maryland. I was given an opportunity to take a banking assignment in Frederick with First National Bank.

Doug: I began my professional career at Homewood Retirement Center here in Frederick, and have spent the majority of my career – nearly three decades – living in, working in, raising a family in, volunteering in and supporting Frederick County in a myriad of ways. 

Please describe your personal values or your strategic leadership ideas for your company.

Mike: Innovation! Since we're in a tech-based industry, we strive to continually develop new hardware and software products that keep us ahead of the curve.

Tom: From a values perspective, there are several that I see as important, such as teamwork, honesty, collaboration, and accepting the need to change. From a strategy perspective, health care is changing rapidly, and our health system is focused on expanding our ambulatory presence, making consumer interactions with our health system easier and seamless, and becoming more engaged in enhancing general health in our community versus reacting just to disease.

Marty: I believe that through generosity, thoughtfulness, appreciativeness, understanding and engagement, I can make a difference in the communities We strongly believe that we are more than a bank - we are an advocate for our clients and the local not-for-profit and for-profit business community. My personal leadership style is to lead by example, and to be a servant leader.  Our management team shares authority, balances the needs of others and helps people to develop and perform as highly as possible.

Doug: I developed a passion for serving older adults at an early age, and as my experience has grown, so has my belief that servant leadership is often the most impactful and successful leadership in our mission-driven industry.   Asbury’s most recent Strategic Plan – in which we strive to be the Provider of Choice and the Employer of Choice while simultaneously Building Financial Strength – reflect a servant leadership mentality that aligns with these three Strategic Goals.

Since you founded or started with your company, what innovative new ideas or concepts did you implement? What has your sales growth been like and is there a turnaround story?

Mike: We've been designing and building tablet-based interactive kiosks ever since the first iPad came out in 2010. Our small three-person team worked out of my attic with only had early-adopters for customers. Now we're in a 12,000 foot space and have sold over 15,000 kiosks and have more than 250,000 software customers.

Tom: We've grown a great deal in the past several years. Specific services have been created such as our interventional cardiology service, our level 3 neonatology intensive care unit, the James M Stockman Cancer Center and our affiliation with the MD Anderson Cancer Institute.  We've also worked with two likeminded partners, Meritus Medical Center, and Western Maryland Medical Center to create the Trivergent Health Alliance, which operates as a management services organization. This Alliance has saved our three organizations over $40M over the past three years while also allowing us to collaborate on best practices and population health efforts.

Marty: Frederick County Bank is a customer centric, community oriented bank that utilizes a universal banker concept to deliver its product and services through various integrated channels. We are very well defined as a brand and client experience - an advocate for our clients and the business community, and for a culture where we believe that our primary role as bankers is to be fully integrated into the community.

Doug: The “turn-around” aspect of the Asbury story centers on the transformation of our workplace. Through my guidance and working with an outstanding team of experienced leaders, we were encouraged to explore a modern approach to serving older adults and those we partner with by creating a state-of-the-art headquarters. Our associates told us they wanted open spaces, bright colors with plenty of natural light, and multiple areas for collaboration with their coworkers. They wanted technology that would enable them to videoconference more easily with communities across the Asbury system as well as our business partners. They wanted a sustainable workplace, with energy-efficient lighting and a shift toward a paperless environment. 

Who is the leader you most admire and why?

Tom: There are several, but Abraham Lincoln has always been a favorite.  He faced great adversity during a trying time and did so with courage and conviction.  One of my favorite quotes of his is "live a good life, and in the end, it's not the years in the life, it's the life in the years".

Marty: Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. - Lincoln for abolishing slavery and keeping the country united, and King for his non-violent civil rights activism.

Doug: There are really three individuals that I look up to and who have most influenced my leadership style. The first influencer was my father, Wes Leidig, who instilled in me the principles of hard work and accountability. The second is Charlie Kind, a nursing home administrator in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, who taught me about the sacred part of our work, and what it means to be committed to service and leadership within our industry. Finally, while I never met him, the third leader I look up to is Walt Disney, who believed “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.”  He was a leader who, in assessing a significant amount of swampland in Florida, had the vision, the mettle, the resources and sheer determination to transform that same swampland into the epitome of his dream.

What do you love to do for fun in Frederick County? On any given weekend, where could you be found?

Mike: My wife and I have a small hobby farm near Jefferson. We breed Nigerian Dwarf goats, as well as an assortment of other creatures. Frederick County is paradise.

Tom: Most weekends I'm gardening in yard, playing golf, playing guitar with friends, or enjoying any one of Frederick's great downtown restaurants with my wife and family.

Marty: I spend mostly every weekend in downtown Frederick, on or near Frederick's Square Corner. I particularly love the downtown restaurant scene, visiting the shops and walking the streets, visiting Baker Park and the Carroll Creek Linear Park.

Doug: When I first moved to Frederick, I lived downtown, and from early on, I have loved to watch the downtown area – and really, the entire county – develop and grow into a destination both for those who live here, as well as for visitors from across the state and even from around the country. To this day, our family enjoys the dining and shopping experiences offered here, and outings such as Keys baseball games, and the consensus for us is, we don’t tend to leave Frederick much to do things.