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EMBA Alumni Newsletters

Summer 2015

Dear Alums:

Just as our spring weather has warmed up as we are moving into summer, such is the case with the Smith School Office of Executive Programs. Cohort 15 of your EMBA program began in January and with 44 executives, it is the largest cohort in our history. They are an excellent group of professionals and my hope is that you will meet them at one of our future events. Our fantastic Cohort 14 is on the home stretch with their July graduation in sight.

Our Office of Executive Programs is also proud to report that Cohort 8 in our Beijing EMBA program began recently and they also have a record number of executives for their program since we re-entered the China market in 2012. Our Online MBA program is in its second year and each quarterly intake of students is eclipsing last year's number by a significant percentage. It has been an excellent addition to our portfolio of programs. Last but not least, our non-degree executive education business is growing, with FY15 revenue exceeding where we were as recently as FY13 by 30%. Based on new contracts, we anticipate substantial growth in FY16. If your organization could benefit from leadership, development or functional area training, I hope you will be a strong ambassador for your Smith School.

Thanks for your continued support as a member of our Smith family. It is through your engagement that we are able to thrive in the future.


In this issue:

Smith Brain Trust: Weekly Snapshots of Thought Leadership

Interested in what is relevant and trending in the business community. Visit Smith Brain Trust to see quick and informative news items on everything from finance to information technology and career development tips.

Join the #SmithEMBA Conversation on Social Media!

We recently launched Twitter and Facebook accounts for the Smith EMBA program. Follow us on Twitter@SmithEMBA and "Like" our Facebook page. Join the conversation at #SmithEMBA.

Leading Telehealth & Mobile Health Programs

The Robert H. Smith School of Business' Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) and Office of Executive Programs with support from the State of Maryland's EARN Maryland Grant Program and industry partners is bringing you the Maryland Health Leaders Network (MHLN) to support Maryland's growth as a health tech hub.

The Network's aims are two-fold:

1) Delivering cutting-edge research, training and professional insights around digital health strategy, operations and market opportunities.

2) Fostering peer relationships between those leaders responsible for providing and paying for care and developing solutions.

Visit to learn more.

Spring HH & Panel Discussion

On April 14, 2015 over 100 alums, current students and potential future EMBA students met at The Mayflower Hotel for the annual Spring EMBA Happy Hour & Panel. This year's topic, Big Data Drives Big Decisions was discussed at a high level from a multi-industry panel of alums from healthcare, cyber security, hospitality, consulting and government regulation. Dr. Joe Bailey provided an insight question to wrap up the discussion – "Big data…creepy or cool"? Don't miss the next community wide networking event on December 2, 2015for the Fall Happy Hour.

If you have a friend/colleague interested in our top ranked EMBA, send their contact information to Shelbi Brookshire.

EMBA Professor's Research Explores the Hidden Quota for Women in Top Management

Companies work fairly hard to place one woman -- but only one -- in a top management position, according to research by Cristian Desző, an associate professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and two co-authors. The article found evidence of a "quota" effect: Once a company had appointed one woman to a top-tier job, the chances of a second woman landing an elite position at the same firm drop substantially -- by about 50 percent. Read more.

EMBA Alumni Investment Club

The Old Line Capital Club was founded by EMBA 11 and currently has members from cohort 10, 12 and 13. We cordially invite all alumni and current students of the Smith Business School EMBA program to join the club. This club is a fun way to apply what you learned in business school to investing in the stock market. You will gain access to investment tools that would cost you thousands individually and have an opportunity to share investment ideas in a friendly environment.

If time is a factor, then consider that we only meet once a month for one hour and half and it's online. For the convenience of the current cohorts the club's in-person meetings are held quarterly at the Greenbelt Marriott on Friday evenings after class. Additionally, you will learn about different investment opportunities from members who are experts in their respective fields. The wealth of knowledge in the club spans from defense, healthcare, industrials, financial services, real estate, and several others. Come join us and become a part of our growth while increasing your knowledge about investing.

NEXT MEETING: June 12, 2015 at8 p.m. at Greenbelt Marriott, Annapolis Room, 6400 Ivy Lane, Greenbelt, MD

Please email oldlinecapitalclub@yahoo.com or contact Jonathan Wright at jonathan.wright1981@yahoo.com or 757-329-2779 for more information.

Dr. Gerald Suarez Publishes Leader of One

As Smith EMBA Alumni, we have had exposure to a number of amazing professors not the least of which is Dr. Gerald Suarez. Gerald has motivated hundreds of Smith EMBA students to leverage the concept of idealized design. Now, with his book Leader of One, Gerald gives more insights into this method first applied in corporations by the renowned Wharton Emeritus Professor Russell Ackoff.

In his book, Gerald helps us understand the task of envisioning and creating a desirable future and address the difficult gap we impose between our thoughts and our actions. He helps us to understand that we create barriers to change because to shape our future, to take control of it, means to take on activities that require purposeful action.

EMBA Alumni Launches Makerspace in Silver Spring

Steve Morris (EMBA 11) has started Catylator LLC, a company focused on bringing a makerspace to Silver Spring, MD, to provide a local platform for making and creating. The Catylator Makerspace is a community resource where people of all ages can come and learn to be Makers, where Makers will have affordable access to space and advanced tools to work on their projects and have fun collaborating together, and where Makers who want to take their interests to the next level can be supported in going to market. As the name implies, the Catylator Makerspace will be a crucible where change will happen, it will be a platform for bringing agency and creativity to people's lives, so they can proudly wear the Maker badge.

To foster community outreach, a strong MeetUp group has formed with over 140 members and monthly meetings have been held in Silver Spring to support the Makerspace coming to life. Steve has also started a summer camp program, and developed seven weeks of programming, teaching Young Makers the engineering design process, 3D printing, and other desktop manufacturing tools. He recently facilitated an 8th grade project April focusing on applying a design thinking approach to environmental sustainability while utilizing computer aided design and desktop making technology.

More information can be found at:

Website: www.catylator.com
MeetUp: www.meetup.com/Catylator-Makerspace-Silver-Spring-Meetup
Indiegogo campaign for summer camp scholarships: www.indiegogo.com/projects/scholarships-for-catylator-makerspace-summer-camp

Smith Alumni Volunteer Opportunity

Smith Terps need your help, give them the advice you wish you'd had! We know that many alumni live far away; the UMD Alumni Advisor Network gives you the opportunity to connect with the Smith community from wherever you are. It only takes 5 minutes to sign up to become an advisor, but the impact you bring could be life changing for students and other alumni. Register here where you can Import your LinkedIn profile or create a profile, indicate your availability and areas of proficiency.

You can make an impact by offering your time and talent to help the next generation get their start. It is designed to be an easy platform to give back whenever and how often you want.


June 4, 2015 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Webinar with Vice Dean Joyce E.A. Russell
The Importance of Sponsorship & Mentoring for Career Advancement with Vice Dean Joyce E.A. Russell
RSVP to Shelbi Brookshire at sbrooksh@rhsmith.umd.edu for login details.

June 6, 2015 from 7-10 p.m.
Smith Alumni Networking Opportunity – Baltimore
Maryland Science Center
601 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
Register now!

June 12, 2015 from 12:45-6:15 p.m.
Mastery Session
Drs. Olson & Grimm are hosting Jon Hilsenrath Senior Economic Correspondent, The Wall St. Journal to discuss recent socio/political events and their impact on the global economy.
Van Munching Hall, College Park, MD
Register now!

June 27, 2015
Career Development Programming
In person session on The Importance of Networking
Van Munching Hall, College Park, MD
RSVP: Rachel Loock at rloock@rhsmith.umd.edu

July 20, 2015
Be a Mock VC at EMBA 14s Business Simulation
Interested in reliving the glory of your Business Simulation without the 13 hour days, over eating and lively group discussions on features, benefits, R&D, etc.? Volunteer to be a mock venture capitalist at the July 20, 2015VC day. Contact Shelbi Brookshire at sbrooksh@rhsmith.umd.edu to sign up.

August 3, 2015
Quarterly IMPACT conference on HR/L&D best practices
RSVP: Shelbi Brookshire at sbrooksh@rhsmith.umd.edu

August 7, 2015
Career Insights Lunch
Join current students and Dr. Jeff Kudisch in Van Munching for a lunch and learn discussing Personal Branding.
RSVP: Rachel Loock at rloock@rhsmith.umd.edu


  • Sept. 12 – Career Development Programming on Emotional Intelligence
  • Sept. 29 – Webinar: Personal Branding with Dr. Jeffrey Kudisch
  • Oct. 2 – Career Lunch & Learn discussing Career Transitioning
  • Oct. 3 – EMBA for a Day – spread the word to future EMBA students
  • Oct. 14 – Webinar: Dr. M. Faulkender: The Strategies Behind Companies Holding High Cash Reserves
  • Nov. 13 – Annual Smith School Business Summit
  • Dec. 2 – EMBA Fall Happy Hour

EMBA Updates

Adelke, Anthony (EMBA 13) joined EventsDC as their Director of Contracts and Procurement.

Alm, Keith (EMBA 11) has joined KLA Enterprises as their new Chief Operating Officer.

Bailey, Kristina (EMBA 12) accepted a new position with Capital One in Digital Product Management.

Bell, Adam (EMBA 10) recently joined the Young Professionals Board of Back on My Feet Baltimore, a national non-profit with chapters in 11 metropolitan areas of the US that is focused on helping those experiencing homelessness transition to independent living through running. On July 31, 2015 the organization is hosting its fourth annual "Sneaks Come Out at Night" Corporate Challenge in Baltimore. The race format is a 15k and a 3x5k relay through Druid Hill Park, with individual awards as well as company awards like "Most Athletic Company" and "Best Dressed Team." There are also "fundracing" opportunities that offer guaranteed spots in the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon on October 25. Visit www.baltimore.backonmyfeet.org for more information about the organization and upcoming events.

Brookshire, Shelbi( EMBA 13) has accepted a promotion to Senior Director, EMBA Recruiting and Alumni Engagement with the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Bugg, Sylvia (EMBA 10) accepted the role of Vice President, Diversity and Innovation with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Coombes, Dan (SAIC 1) accepted the role of Vice President/Ethics & Resource Manager with Leidos.

Cowens, Dan (EMBA 13) with cohort mates Jason Mathis, Marco LeGette, Tanjina Shapiro and Paige Holden have launched their entrepreneurship ALP Oasis Marina. Read more.

Curran, Danny (EMBA 14) joined Herren Associates, Inc. as a Senior Consultant.

Dugan, Chris (EMBA 10) joined Evolvent Health as Director, Product Portfolio Management.

Echalar, Carlos (SAIC 1) joined CDM Smith accepting the role of Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President.

Geppi, Mike (EMBA 11) was appointed Deputy Secretary for Operations (COO) for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Gettier, Trey (EMBA 3) joined cVent as Senior Director, Finance Planning & Analysis

Good, Lauren (EMBA 10) joined The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a Senior Program Officer .

Hodges, Katie (EMBA 13) joined Tunnell Consulting, Inc. as a Senior Consultant in Operational Process Improvement.

Horn, Beth (EMBA 14) was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer with Northwestern Mutual.

Jackmon, Lolita (EMBA 15) recently accepted the position of Director of the Enterprise Program Management Office for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.

Johnson, Ricky (EMBA 13) was promoted to Chief Engineer-MOW North for CSX.

Kerwin, Patrick (EMBA 11) accepted a promotion to Global Director of Process Technology, Specialty Catalyst with W.R. Grace.

Lynch, Alicia (EMBA 11) joined VeteranFederal, LLC as their Chief Operating Officer.

Macier, John (SAIC 6) accepted the role of Vice President, Division Manager with Leidos.

Magtiby, Allen (EMBA 13) is now a Commander at the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.

McElwaine, John (EMBA 5) is now a Deputy Chief of Party with DAI.

Neighbors, Tiffanee (EMBA 12) joined Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company in their Federal Sales, Office of Growth and Strategy.

Plooksawadi, Kiati (EMBA 9) had joined the Board of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning Maryland.

Riley, Doug (EMBA 11) was named President of Thomas Somerville Company.

Taylor, Reggie (EMBA 6) joined the Board of Directors at Providence Health Foundation.

Valdez, Victor (EMBA 13) has been named the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Executive of the Securities and Exchange's Enforcement Division, where he will oversee project management, information technology, human capital strategy, and risk management among other functions.

Walker, Jason (EMBA 11) accepted the role of Director of Client Operations with Oracle.

Winter, Henry (SAIC 2) joined Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. as a Division Finance Manager.