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About Says Simon

Steve Simon is vice president of Van Eperen & Company, a Rockville-based strategic communications and public relations firm. A longtime Montgomery County political observer, he has been in the media and public relations field locally for nearly 30 years. In addition to serving as an independent public relations consultant, he... Read more

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An Interview with a Real ‘Rock Star’ (VIDEO)

I almost hate to admit it, but I’m absolutely guilty of over-using a common phrase to suggest the level of one’s greatness, in any field or endeavor. Often, I’ll be heard saying: “He/she… is a real rock star!” I use it so much that I’m known within our company for periodically showering accolades on members of our team with what has been dubbed as the Van Eperen & Company “Rock Star” award, complete with cool “rock star” clip art on the emails.

It’s a fun phrase, but it does remind me that too often many of us do mistakenly attribute concepts of “greatness” and “success” with folks from what could only be considered the celebrity circuit – professional athletes, famous musicians, actors, television hosts, and even, dare I say it, politicians.

All too often, we don’t realize that greatness is found all around us. Educators, first-responders, non-profit leaders, medical professionals, the armed forces… how about a nod to all of these “rock stars” too?

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III Photo | UMBC

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
Photo | UMBC

Recently, I had a brush with such greatness, as I had the privilege of doing an on-stage interview with a man who has definitely earned “rock star” status in the field of higher education. As the longtime president of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, has been lauded by every possible organization that recognizes excellence in higher education. He was even named one of the nation’s 100 most influential leaders by Time Magazine.

“Conversation on Leadership with Freeman Hrabowski” – presentation sponsored by Leadership Montgomery and televised by Montgomery College Television – provided a chance to explore Dr. Hrabowski’s views on leadership. It also offered some insights into the career of an extraordinary educator who has taken a Maryland public university from what was known as simply a “quiet commuter school” to an institution that is now almost universally recognized for its innovation in teaching and research.

 

If you’re interested in the issue of what makes for successful leadership, in any field or endeavor, I invite you to watch this interview and to hear from a real – forgive me – “rock star.”

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Steve Simon

About Steve Simon

Steve Simon is vice president of Van Eperen & Company, a Rockville-based strategic communications and public relations firm. A longtime Montgomery County political observer, he has been in the media and public relations field locally for nearly 30 years. In addition to serving as an independent public relations consultant, he has held previous posts as the public information director for Montgomery County Public Schools, as director of communications for Montgomery College, and as a public information officer for Montgomery County, under three different county executive’s administrations. Earlier in his career, he was managing editor of The Chronicle Express newspapers, a former community newspaper chain in Montgomery County. He is the former host of several Montgomery County cable television shows, including Capital View Annapolis for County Cable Montgomery and Campus Conversations for Montgomery College Television.

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