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AVIAN celebrates first cohort of new Leadership Development Program

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. – Being a leader at AVIAN isn’t just being a manager. It means coming to work every day ready to create vision, inspire trust and empower others around them.

In the last year, the first 11 participants of the AVIAN Leadership Development Program (ALDP) learned exactly how to do that.

Last April, AVIAN introduced ALDP for aspiring leaders. The program intended to set foundational knowledge, tools, and understanding for employees to master their own leadership skills and apply them as they grow in their careers.

Student in the first ALDP cohort were selected from across AVIAN’s three market sectors and its corporate staff. The 11 graduates who recently completed their 12-month leadership studies curriculum are Melissa Ball, Kristen Beauchamp, Kate Evans, Eric Flagg, Jeannine Harris, John Healy, Morgan Hoey, Jeff Peters, Tyler Sautter, Laurie Schmidt, and Elise Smith.

“I personally witnessed each and every one of the participants come together over the year to forge a cohort that respects and admires one another,” said Kevin Switick, CEO and co-founder of AVIAN. “Their participation in ALDP has paved the way for many cohorts to follow and for that, I am forever grateful.”

During their time in the program, students gained valuable insights into leadership practices across business areas such as finance, human resources, compliance, business development, and communications. They heard from in-house speakers and external leadership experts in workshops, panel discussions, and presentation settings.

For their capstone project, students used the lessons learned to contribute to the implementation of a brand-new leave program for the company called Flexible Time Off. Their contributions as a team were instrumental in the successful launch of the program last fall.

Although ALDP does not guarantee career advancement upon completion, several members of the 2021 cohort were promoted and advanced their leadership influence during the program year.

“ALDP is the first formal leadership training I’ve ever participated in, and it has been an invaluable experience. Throughout the year, I broadened my understanding of what it truly means to be a leader, and the important role a leader plays in cultivating team success,” said Morgan Hoey, who was recently promoted to Senior Director of AVIAN’s Training, Multimedia and Consulting sector. “As the first year of ALDP ends, I feel well prepared to handle the responsibilities of my new role.”

In just a few short weeks, AVIAN will welcome the 2022 cohort of the ALDP in their journey to becoming an AVIAN leader.


AVIAN (pronounced *ae-v-yin*) is an employee-owned government services small business headquarted in Lexington Park, Maryland with over 400 employees across the country.

AVIAN is a two-time honoree on the Inc. Best Workplaces in America list (2018 and 2020) and a 10-time honoree on the Inc. 500 | 5000 lists of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies. AVIAN ranked No. 230 in 2010, No. 267 in 2011, No. 660 in 2012, No. 1675 in 2013, No. 2630 in 2014, No. 2417 in 2015, No. 3599 in 2016, No. 3764 in 2017, No. 4878 in 2018 and No. 4496 in 2019.

AVIAN believes talent and passion generate solutions to today’s business challenges. We understand that these characteristics thrive in a business culture that embraces innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit.

We are resourceful, responsive and reachable for our clients in program, financial, and logistics management; engineering and systems engineering; test and evaluation of manned and unmanned surface, subsurface and aerial systems; workforce development and training; communication strategy and graphic design.

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