Bruce Wahl, Mayor - Chesapeake Beach, Maryland



Bruce Wahl is a great leader and a great friend.  In fact, I suspect Bruce’s impeccable reputation as a leader is grounded in his uncanny ability to forge lasting friendships with every encounter.  I’ve seen Bruce at work as a leader in the broadcast industry and I’ve seen him at work as a leader in Maryland government.  His enthusiastic vision of a bright and strategic future is infectious at work and in politics. 

I had the great pleasure of succumbing to his relentless encouragement to join Leadership Maryland – and everything Bruce told me about it was true and inspiring.  His relationships and leadership in that important program are mirrored in his work with the Maryland Municipal League, in Chesapeake Beach and in Annapolis.  Bruce has taught me by first hand example and inspiration that giving back to the great Free State of Maryland is among the highest honors any of us could hope for in a blessed life. 

I can’t imagine a better friend, colleague or governmental leader than Bruce Wahl.  He has my eternal gratitude and my highest personal recommendation.

Michael Starling, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, NPR
and Executive Director of NPR Labs


If I could vote for mayor, it would be for Bruce Wahl.  But I can't.  I live in another state.   But I can tell you why I would vote for Bruce. He is a leader who knows how to bring people together to work as a team, sometimes under very stressful situations, to work hard and enjoy it at
the same time.  

I know that because 42 years ago I was an Army enlisted photographer serving in the 4th Infantry Division, assigned to one of the infantry brigades in the hill country of Vietnam. I got to try out for the American Forces Vietnam Network and won a spot to be a radio broadcaster.   I was thrilled.  It would be goodbye jungles and hiking over big hills, hello living in a hotel with a real bed with sheets. It would be "Gooood Morning Vietnam!"
When I got to Saigon , very quickly they said, "well they need an announcer in Pleiku, You're it. Get up there."  Pleiku was in the Central Highlands , right where I'd come from, and famed for the number of rockets that the enemy forces fired into the American bases. Hotel living it was not.  

But in Pleiku I discovered a hard working gang of soldiers, sailors, airman and Marines - led by a gangly geeky kid named Bruce Wahl.   Some were career men (we called them lifers), non-commissioned officers with years of experience. Some were guys with almost no time in the service and no real broadcasting experience. There was at least one man who had been a combat infantryman.   There were engineers and technicians and disc jockeys and cameramen. Some of us had college or commercial broadcasting experience, and a disdain for military discipline unmatched until MASH came on TV.

Wahl was in the middle of that gaggle. He was the detachment commander. His job title should have been "cat herder." But he did lead us.   He got us to work as a team, sharing strengths and helping each other improve our areas of weakness.  He got us to do a better job as individuals than we thought we could - and do an even better job as a group.

I went on to serve a full career in the Army, as a senior sergeant and then as a commissioned officer on active duty with the Army National Guard.   I worked for Army officers up to 4-star General in rank.  The best of them were like Bruce - they could get a job done by leading (and
inspiring) a diverse team by giving them the tools, techniques and desire to work together for the common good.   Some leaders develop those skills over a long career.   Like Bruce, some come by their talent early and seemingly naturally - and then carry it with them always. You're lucky to have a man of his quality willing to serve.

Ken MacNevin


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