Maryland Business: Rebooted

A Free Online Education Series for Maryland Residents and Businesses

Even though 2020 is in the rearview mirror, Maryland businesses continue to suffer from the effects of the pandemic and the COVID economy it has created. The goal behind the Maryland Business: Rebooted series was to offer local residents and business owners a free educational program, taught by our faculty experts, that would inform them about the latest business trends and strategies, as well as sharpen key business skills.

Due to the overwhelming, positive response to these webinars, we are proud to announce that Maryland Business: Rebooted will continue to serve the local Maryland community in 2021, helping Maryland businesses and business owners address challenges such as:

  • How can we revisit our purpose in life?
  • What steps can we take to make sure we are meeting our personal challenges?
  • Which strategies can be used to address challenges in the retail industry?
  • Which performance metrics should be used to diagnose problems in the retail industry and to improve retail decisions?
  • What data to consider when making business decisions?
  • What are the best approaches to mitigating risk now?

Smith’s expert faculty will help you sharpen key business skills:

  • Personal and business leadership skills
  • How to mitigate financial risks
  • Data-driven economic decision-making
  • How to improve retail business operations

Series Details

We asked Maryland businesses what areas they most need help with right now and designed this series to cover all. In 2021 we will focus on personal and leadership effectiveness, retail management, and data-driven decision making. Each focus area consists of three live webinars offered in conjunction with Maryland Smith's existing free MicroMasters courses. Attend the webinars while you take the MicroMasters course if you like – or just attend the webinars! It's all free, and it's all for you!

  • The courses each include three one-hour, live webinars.
  • We will host panel sessions for you to share experiences and exchange ideas with others facing similar challenges.
  • Maryland Smith is excited to partner with the Maryland Small Business Development Center, which offers business coaching to participating small business owners.
  • Every Maryland Business: Rebooted webinar is free and hosted live, on Zoom.

You will need to register for each webinar individually.

Upcoming Webinars

Rajshree Agarwal

Successful and Purposeful You: Where Abilities and Aspirations Enable You to Soar

January 19, 2021
3-4:30 p.m EDT


The New Year often brings with it new resolutions. On January 19th, learn how to ensure that these resolutions do not fall on the wayside. Create your entrepreneurial journey towards success by attending this free webinar. After all, you are the CEO of a very important enterprise. You! You are the CEO of Me, Inc. Smith professor Rajshree Agarwal will lead us through a session revisiting our purpose in life and the steps we can take to ensure we are heading in the right direction to achieve it.


Strategies for Survival: How Local Restaurants are Adapting in the Face of COVID

February 17, 2021
3-4:30 p.m EDT


Restaurants have been particularly challenged by the pandemic and Maryland Business: Rebooted has organized a panel discussion with local restaurateurs who are willing to share ideas on how they have survived thus far and how others might learn from those experiences. The panel will be led by special guest Tim Carman, award-winning food writer for the Washington Post and Judy Frels, Clinical Professor of Marketing.

There will be an opportunity for participants to engage in a Q&A with the panel and moderators.


 Tim Carman
Food Reporter, Washington Post

Tim Carman is a James Beard Award-winning food writer and columnist for The Washington Post. His work has appeared in numerous editions of the “Best Food Writing” collection. He has also written for Imbibe magazine, American Scholar, Food Network magazine and other publications. Before joining The Post in 2010, he served as food editor and columnist for Washington City Paper. He lives in Hyattsville, Md., with his wife, the writer M. Carrie Allan, and their two dogs, Lucinda and Hans Floofer.

 Judy Frels
Clinical Professor of Marketing
Maryland Smith School of Business

Guest Panelists

Eric Shu-Pao Wang
Toli Moli/Thamee, Washington, D.C.

Josh Phillips
GM/Mezcalier, Espita Washington, D.C.

Peter Opare
Open Crumb, Washington, D.C.

Janet Yu
Hollyweed East, Wheaton, Md.

Jackie Greenbaum
Quarry House, Silver Spring, Md.
Little Coco's, Washington, D.C.
Bar Charley, Washington, D.C.

Course Four

Retail Management Strategies for Success

Explore the latest trends in the retail industry and implications for small and medium-sized retailers through active discussion on what strategies, data and metrics can be leveraged now. Make sure your resources are aligned for maximum impact!

Facilitated byJie Zhang

Dates: Jan. 27 to Feb. 24, 2021

January 27, 2021
3-4:30 p.m. ET


This session will focus on the "big picture" and major trends of the retail industry, more or less organized by different retail sectors, as well as the implications for SMR's. We'll also define the strategies to address these challenges, from the perspective of SMR's.

February 10, 2021
3-4:30 p.m. ET


This session will cover retail performance metrics and how to utilize them to diagnose problems and improve retail decisions. It will focus on those performance metrics that can be implemented using a retailer's existing inventory management and bookkeeping infrastructure (so that they can be easily adopted by SMR's).  We will also discuss more advanced metrics and frameworks that have been utilized by sophisticated retail operations and the additional data/resources required.

February 24, 2021
3-4:30 p.m. ET


Open discussion with participants about the challenges and issues they face in the retail industry. A forum facilitated by Zhang where additional retail topics, trends and analysis will be highlighted.

About the Professor

Jie ZhangJie Zhang is a professor of marketing and the Harvey Sanders Fellow of Retail Management at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She received her PhD in marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She was a faculty member at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan prior to joining the Smith School. Her general research interest is to apply advanced econometric and statistical models to study consumer purchase behaviors and retail strategies.

In Case You Missed Them

Watch the 2020 Webinars & Panel Discussions On Demand

The first series of Maryland Business: Rebooted webinars addressed strategies to manage the challenges of the new marketplace and capitalize on new opportunities, accounting techniques to interpret financial information and to make sound financial decisions, and techniques to create effective websites and maximize social media efforts. You will find the recordings of these webinars below. Make sure you also check out our panel discussion with black business owners, and our interview with Andy Shallal founder and owner of Busboys and Poets on how he has adapted his business strategy in the face of COVID.

Course Three

Digital Marketing and Targeting the Right Customers

Learn key marketing strategies and tactics to help your company develop products that match customers' needs, create awareness and demand for those products, and drive sales.

Facilitated byMary Harms

Dates: Sept. 22-Nov. 30

Sept. 30, 2020


Once you’ve decided on your site’s target audience(s), it’s time to design the site with their needs in mind. We’ll explore infusing your company’s site with your unique company brand personality through content and design to guarantee a positive user experience. We’ll also look at the nuances of a mobile site/app design to assure a frictionless interaction.

Oct. 14, 2020


As the general population has gravitated towards e-commerce, industrial buyers have come to expect more from B2B sites. We’ll look at how you can make your B2B site more engaging and informative for procurement officers. With millennials entering the supply chain field, we’ll also explore what content and platforms they are seeking to guarantee a smart B2B purchase.

Oct. 28, 2020


In this webinar, we’ll discuss selecting the social media outlets that resonate with your target audience(s). As the number of social media platforms expands, it becomes more confusing for the business owner to decide where to invest their time and resources in the social arena. We will look at established and emerging social media platforms to better understand who is using them and how businesses can make the most of their social media efforts on each SM platform.

About the Professor

 Mary B. Harms joined the University of Maryland in 2001. She is an associate clinical professor in the department of marketing, the program champion for the Strategic Design and Innovation in Marketing undergraduate fellows, founder of the Young Alumni Marketing Council, academic coordinator for marketing internships and the faculty advisor of MasTERPiece, the Smith School’s fashion organization for undergraduates.

Course Two

Key Metrics for Performance Management

Financial accounting is the language of business. Learn to effectively interpret financial information to make sound decisions and confidently communicate to other leaders in your company and with potential investors and creditors.

Facilitated byEugene Cantor

Dates: Aug. 10 - Oct. 12, 2020

Aug 18, 2020


We will review the conceptual framework that defines financial accounting and explore the four fundamental statements accountants use to present financial information to investors and creditors. In addition, we will examine accrual accounting, the core method accountants use to determine a company’s income, and compare it to cash basis accounting, which is used by many smaller companies.

Sept. 1, 2020


We will expand the discussion of accrual accounting to specific areas of a company’s business and explore the key differences between a company’s income statement and its cash flow statement. We also will review concepts of financial analysis and use analytical tools that use accounting information to assess the financial health of a company.

Sept. 22, 2020


We will broaden our studies to include concepts of managerial accounting. This type of accounting involves the application of business management tools, including budgeting, cost accounting, performance management, breakeven computations and incremental analysis.

About the Professor

 Eugene Cantor retired in 2015 after 31 years of federal service to return to his alma mater the University of Maryland to teach on a full-time basis. He served 25 years as an attorney with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an office of the United States Treasury Department. 

Course One

Strategy for Businesses of All Sizes

Learn how to capitalize on opportunities, and manage the challenges of the COVID-19 marketplace, and leverage this dynamic environment for long-term value.

Facilitated byOliver Schlake

Dates: July 13-Sept. 7, 2020

July 14, 2020


How to test your plan forward in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Whether or not you have a formal strategy or you are “muddling through” a crisis, it is essential to review your plan forward. The session will give you a simple framework on what makes a “good” and a “bad” strategy – given the current business environment there are plenty of examples available.

Discussion questions for the Webinar:

  • How much could you rely on your strategy when the pandemic hit?
  • Why do you need a strategy – for your business or for your career?
  • When was the last time you led, acted or thought strategically?
  • How to detect a good and a bad strategy?

July 28, 2020


Why planning is so much more important than the plan. Building on Webinar 1, we will discuss the process of building a better strategy. In essence, your value proposition serves as the baseline of “what to do”. The strategic planning process takes the “what” and tries to find the best ways “how to do it”. While there is eventually a plan emerging, the webinar will stress the importance of planning over plan.

Discussion questions for the Webinar:

  • What are the critical skills for a strategic planner?
  • What is the real benefit of having a formal strategy?
  • Are formal strategies as important for small and medium-sized business as they are for large organizations? 

August 25, 2020


How to create a strategy that maximizes flexibility and captures opportunities no matter what the future brings? Strategic plans are always about the future. Therefore, you can’t build a great strategy without a better understanding of the immediate and distant future of your industry, your competitors, your customers and the world at large. This webinar shows you how to find opportunities locally and globally by discovering early warning signals and capitalizing on trends before your competitors do.

Discussion questions for the webinar:

  • How to discover the important trends that change my strategy before it is too late?
  • Can you predict the future enough to include in your strategy?
  • What kind of strategies could have helped during the COVID 19 pandemic?
  • What is the impact of the post-COVID world on business strategies?

About the Professor

 Oliver Schlake is a clinical professor at Maryland Smith, a senior business consultant, entrepreneur and researcher. His publications and research on scenario-based strategic planning and innovation strategy have been featured in leading academic and practitioner journals worldwide.

Concluded Webinars

Here are the insightful webinars in our Maryland Business: Rebooted series you may have missed. Enjoy any or all of them for free, at your convenience.

Pivoting is the New Normal

Sept. 15, 2020


Andy ShallalAndy Shallal, CEO and founder of Busboys and Poets joins Maryland Smith Associate Dean Victor Mullins in a conversation about pivoting your business strategy in the midst of a global pandemic, economic distress and racial protests. Join us to share your thoughts and ask questions on how to move your business and your career forward in uncertain times.

Panel Discussion with Maryland Black Business Owners

July 21, 2020


It’s clear that Maryland’s African American community, Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs have been affected disproportionately by the economic, health and psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of the Maryland Business: Rebooted program, Maryland Smith is hosting a virtual, open panel discussion with local Black entrepreneurs and small business owners. Panel members will shed light on the challenges that these particular companies currently face and share experiences of successes and failures in meeting those challenges.

Interested in taking a deeper dive? 

Don't forget! Each of the courses above will be synchronized with the beginning, middle and end of seven online Maryland Smith MicroMasters business courses for those participants who seek deeper knowledge on a particular topic. Just like the Maryland Business: Rebooted webinars, your access to the MicroMasters program is also free.

Join us!

Whether you need to re-engage with your job more effectively, launch a new career, restart or revitalize an existing business, start a new enterprise, or prepare for further education, this free program for Marylanders will provide you with key skills and insights needed to succeed during and after the pandemic. You are invited to participate in any or all of these webinars.

For support, please direct all questions to

The program is the brainchild of Michel Wedel (Distinguished University Professor), Judy Frels (Clinical Professor and MicroMasters Program Director), and Christine Thompson (Executive Director of Executive Education).

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742