About – Leadership Arts Associates

It’s not your everyday HR team, but Leadership Arts Associates is redefining what it takes to foster new energy in the workplace.

Samm Smeltzer and MaryRose Ritter worked in traditional human resource jobs in York and kept finding the same issue: a gray approach to the job with employees who get upset when the HR rep comes around.

Samm felt stuck, but one day her husband suggested, “Think about what it would be like to do it on your own.” She leapt with the advice and started Leadership Arts Associates in 2014.

She created the business to fill a gap in the city, to break the status quo and show other businesses there’s another way of doing human resources.

“I just kept having this feeling like there was something more,” Samm says. “It’s amazing the skills and talents we have locally, but there’s also this untapped potential.”

Leadership Arts Associates takes a more colorful route to helping businesses. It’s more than the boldly colored North George Street office. 

MaryRose is the more traditional of the pair, but there’s nothing cookie-cutter about her work. Each plan is tailored to the individual. She enjoys doing the little things – like attending company functions, even though she’s not required – to achieve success. 

“It’s not you and I, it’s we,” MaryRose says. “I want to become an arm of their employees and become part of their group and culture. I’m not just showing up when things are bad.” 

Samm takes a holistic and modern approach to her work, specializing in leadership development through workshops and coaching. Sometimes, she says, it’s simply guiding leaders to best attack stress with everything from yoga and reiki – a Japanese healing technique – that they do in-house.  

“Even 15 minutes of allowing someone to just chill out and take stock of what’s happening is helpful,” Samm says. “We want to help people reach their potential.”

Article Written By: Anthony Machcinski, Our York Media

"Most of the time, when we consider ourselves and others, we are looking at only parts of people. Parts are often mistaken for wholes. Ideas are viewed as complete when they are incomplete. Relationships are considered well formed when they are insufficiently formed. Values are taken for final statements when, in fact, they are only beginnings. Were these parts recognized for what they are, and were we to work toward their completion- were we to keep 'becoming' as individuals- we would be better off as persons, as corporations, and as institutions."  - Max DePree, Leadership is an Art

Our Mission

To authentically invest and empower our clients

so that worthiness is resilient within their lives and businesses.

Samm provides a calm in the storm in one on one coaching. She can help untangle complicated personal and professional situations. Working with Samm you have the opportunity to gain confidence as you learn new skills.

Kimberly Preske

Coaching Client

The Interception of Entropy

Entropy is a physics term used to describe, a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system. In the 1989 book, Leadership is an Art, CEO Max DePree shares a story about a time when he is asked, "What is one of the most difficult things that you personally need to work on?" His response was the interception of entropy. 

Entropy loosely describes the beginning signals of deterioration. Everything has the tendency to deteriorate especially when we aren't paying attention because of the many distractions and demands that fill our day. Our organizations and our ourselves are not exempt from this impending entropy. That's why we constantly are changing, innovating and growing. Evolution is necessary for leaders and organizations to thrive.

MaryRose's services have been much needed for Healthy Hemp. We've been quickly growing over the last few months and needed to hire over 20 employees during this time. MaryRose has been with us every step of the way and has helped us land some pretty solid candidates. I appreciate her professionalism and her ability to follow up on all interviews she passed on for our consideration. I could not recommend her services more to any small or medium size business that doesn't have the need for a full-time HR person!

Amanda Witters


Leadership Arts in the beginning...