Langton Green is fortunate to have dedicated, talented leadership and is grateful for the contributions of its board members. This month’s conversation is with. . .
Scott D. Carson, former president & board chair
Scott has been a volunteer at Langton for more than 20 years –ever since Langton Green’s founding by his mother, Shirley Carson, Harry Sylce and Charley Hendry. His sister, Anne, has been a resident throughout her adult life. Scott currently serves as scientific advisor to the U. S. Government and President of Carematic Systems. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, has published numerous papers in this area, and has started two successful companies. In addition to his professional work, he is the proud father of two thriving daughters and became a grandfather during the pandemic.
When did you first set foot on Langton’s main campus?
I’ve been involved since the first shovel went into the ground. I was in my early 20s. My mother, Harry, and Charlie –we went into the woods on what is now Langton’s main campus and stuck a shovel in the ground. I was in college at the time and came back for this opening dedication. There were so many dedicated people involved at that time who worked a million different angles –establishing plans, dealing with permits, architects, mortgage, HUD paperwork –to make Langton Green a reality. Langton Green is a place where my sister and others can live in a thriving community. This still means so much to me, my family, and hundreds of others.
What did you do as a volunteer in the early years?
I attended board meetings in my 20s. I also helped out with physical labor. In those days there were less staff and as volunteers we filled the gaps, especially with physical labor. We had volunteer paint parties. I remember blasting old paint off with a power washer so we could paint the siding. We put in plantings, built a play space, and added a garden where the pavilion now stands.
How can volunteers from the community get involved with Langton today?
There is always a way for volunteers to be involved on campus. In the early days much of the maintenance was done by volunteers. Now we’ve grown to the point where we have professionals handling many tasks and a more professional maintenance crew. Langton Green’s Farm offers so many opportunities for volunteers and engagement with the community.
What makes Langton Green so successful?
Langton Green has been fortunate to have an amazing team who have been here throughout their careers. I cannot thank our staff enough for their professionalism, hard work, and dedication to our mission. We are committed to guiding individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live meaningful lives –the lives they choose –with as much independence as possible.
The board of directors always has sustainability in mind in setting goals for the organization, and with Langton Green’s management, we’ve done well at this. One big priority has always been to establish sound financial footing. This has allowed us, for instance, to embrace the idea of the Farm. If you do not have a firm financial foundation then nothing else in the organization matters. Early on there were financial challenges, but now I am proud to say that Langton Green is on solid financial footing. This has enabled us to grow and provide quality of life for individuals in our care.
The sustainability of our organization is a tribute to our strong staff development programs. We’ve only had two Executive Directors during my (decades long) tenure here, and many of our staff have come up through the ranks to positions of leadership today. Langton Green is a recognized leader in our field. For example, we’ve earned the Maryland Nonprofit Standards of Excellence accreditation.
You have had a long, successful career in IT. How did you get started?
My dad worked at the Naval Academy, so I had access to computers. After school I was 16 –I had access to a Teletype –it produced 10 characters per second. My dad brought one home and I was hooked. My first job in computers was at CadCom, a local consulting company, working on computer-aided design in the defense industry.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I’m a yoga instructor (certified – 200 hours). For the past decade, I’ve been teaching in Washington, D.C at Yoga District. I enjoy sharing the benefits –fitness, inner peace, a community –that I gain from sharing yoga with others.
Despite the challenges was there a silver lining to the pandemic for you?
I found that I was able to adapt to it. I don’t mind isolation. I kept up with people all over the world. Some drifted off the radar and others I became closer to. The highlight of the year: I became a granddad!
What accomplishment in your life makes you the most proud?
Of all the things I’ve done, the thing I’m most proud of is my two daughters. They’re both very different people, yet each is highly accomplished in her own way. Parenthood is one of life’s most humbling, yet rewarding experiences. Those two give me hope for the future.