Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Dear EMBA Alums:

After a tough winter in the D.C. area, we are finally seeing spring. Our friends in Beijing have already been experiencing beautiful spring weather and must be enjoying it. It is hard to believe it is May of 2014. Time is flying by.

Our College Park Cohort 13 only has three months until their closing residency and graduation. Our Beijing Cohort 6 is only five months away from their closing College Park residency and graduation. My hope is that these executives are feeling a great sense of accomplishment and we are excited to have them become our alumni in 2014! Our College Park Cohort 14 began the program in January and our Beijing Cohort 7 had orientation on April 12th to launch their program. We hope these new executives in our family will have a rewarding experience as a Smith EMBA.

We continue to build our custom, non-degree business with corporations and government organizations in the U.S., China, and several other countries. Our most recent new client is the NFL and we had a successful program with them. We continue to work closely with numerous organizations in building out this space of executive education and lifelong learning. If you believe your organization (or one that you know) would benefit from Smith custom executive education programs, we appreciate your partnership in building the relationship with us. There is no better face to our executive education programs than our fabulous alums who have experienced our courses, faculty and staff first hand. If you have an organization in mind, please contact me directly at gcohen@rhsmith.umd.edu. I look forward to your partnership!

I was recently in Beijing for our China EMBA Alumni Reception on April 12th. It was wonderful seeing old friends and meeting new ones. If you have questions about upcoming EMBA alumni engagement opportunities in China, please contact Tracy Wu for all of the details, at twu@rhsmith.umd.edu.

We are committed to our relationship with you and hope you will engage with us at future events in DC and Beijing!


Gary Cohen
Assistant Dean Of Executive Programs

Table of Contents

Andrew Sherman, Esquire – Ted Talk

Think back to your Entrepreneurship Action Learning Project. For some, that was not too long ago and for others it has been a couple of years. Some have launched their ventures and some have translated the experience into skill sets with their current employers. Whether you have launched a venture or not, we all remember the passion, humor, expertise and energy Andrew Sherman brought to the ALP. He brings these same qualities to his Ted Talk regarding innovation and harvesting intangible resources.

Recruiting Update

The Cohort 15 recruiting cycle has officially begun. The Admissions Committee began accepting applications on April 14th. As we strive to attract the best and brightest of the DC/Baltimore metro, we have enhanced our admissions processes to include a mandatory case analysis and class visit. Finding the right individuals to be brand ambassadors for Smith’s EMBA is paramount for Shelbi and the Admissions Committee.

Feel free to pass along Shelbi’s contact (sbrooksh@rhsmith.umd.edu) to any interested individuals.

Warren Buffett Blog part of Smith's Exclusive Access, Insight to Berkshire CEO

Tyser Teaching Fellow David Kass is a go-to source for analysis of activity connected to Berkshire Hathaway and its CEO and largest shareholder, Warren Buffett. Reporters from the likes of Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal have the Smith finance professor on speed dial.

This niche extends to the Warren Buffett blog – launched by Kass on Buffett’s 80th birthday (Aug. 30, 2010). A Berkshire shareholder, Kass has monitored Buffett’s investment philosophy for 25 years. The blog taps such into insight as a resource for investors and students seeking to learn from Buffett.

Smith finance majors in each of the past five years have accompanied Kass to the annual Berkshire shareholder meeting in Omaha. In November 2013, he led 20 Smith MBA students to Omaha for a private meeting with Buffett.

Kass’ expertise further emanates from holding senior positions with the Federal Trade Commission, General Accounting Office, Department of Defense and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Bookmark and follow his Warren Buffett blog.

Smith EMBA Alumni Spotlight

James Li, China EMBA Cohort 1


James Li graduated from the Smith Executive MBA program in China in 2004 having been a member of the first cohort. March 2014, James joined Samsung Electronic China as a Vice President and in charge of the B2B business of China.

When James looks back on the value of the EMBA program at R.H. Smith after 10, he has believes the experience helped accelerate his career to his executive position in the MNC companies.

James feels the brand itself is worth every penny and. He clearly remembers during his application for the position of the general manager of Lexmark Greater China in 2005, right after graduation, one of the key success factors was because of the MBA certificate of UMD. Secondly, the courses broadened his horizons and enriched his knowledge, from which he understands how to look at a business as a whole, instead only keeping his eyes on sales activities. From the program curriculum, James understood the differences between accounting and finance, noticed how to identify the business issues from the financial report, and learned the importance of supply chain management and what “strategy” really means.

James hopes more and more young professionals in China can realize the value of the University of Maryland Smith Executive MBA program and see benefits to their future carrier development as he has.

Ani Matson, College Park EMBA Cohort 3


When Ani Matson joined the University of Maryland Smith School’s Executive MBA cohort 3 in 2003, she was a director with her organization hoping to become a Vice President. It was communicated to her that without an MBA, the move would be extremely difficult if not impossible. Additionally, she noticed an increasing number of new job applicants had MBAs. She realized the competitive landscape for executive management would require the knowledge and experience that an MBA brings. Five years after graduation she had surpassed Vice President to become Chief Marketing Officer for her current organization NEA Member Benefits Corporation.

Ani credits her executive coaching experience, fellow classmates and experienced faculty for giving her multifunctional insights as well as opportunities to reflect and address her personal leadership development. The program opened her eyes to the opportunities of making a bigger impact. It also afforded her an opportunity to engage in a think tank for problem solving via the interactions with her cross functional class mates.

EMBA Career Coach Corner

Rachel Loock, Associate Director, EMBA Career Coaching, Programming and Outreach, provides insights below as you consider the cultivation of your career.

Harvesting Relationships

Networking is a critical component of a successful job search. Networking is not asking for a job, but rather building relationships for mutual gain. The Smith EMBA program provides an excellent opportunity to develop new relationships with your classmates, faculty and staff. Connect with and get to know your classmates beyond team assignments and action learning projects. Update your LinkedIn profile and connect with others in the program, both in person and virtually.

Be sure to attend educational and networking events offered through the Smith School of Business. The next EMBA networking event will take place May 7, 2014 at the Mayflower Hotel 6 pm - 8 pm and will feature a panel on Workforce Development, followed by a networking reception. Register online.

Career coaching appointments are available during the lunch hour on EMBA weekends, late afternoons on Tuesdays and Thursdays and throughout the week. Phone appointments are also available. Email Rachel at rloock@rhsmith.umd.edu

Smith Executive Education Partners with the NFL


The Robert H. Smith School of Business Executive Education recently partnered with the NFL to deliver a Consumer Products Boot Camp to current and former NFL players, including one of our own TERP alumni and a local favorite, Baltimore Ravens’ Torrey Smith. The boot camp focused on helping players grow business ideas and prepare for their post-football careers, and culminated in a pitch competition hosted by Under Armour at their Baltimore headquarters.

EMBA 13 Paige Holden Presents at 2014 Philly Women in Tech Summit

Paige Holden, Director of Communications at XONEX Relocation, was a featured speaker at the 2014 Philly Women in Tech Summit on April 12 at WHYY headquarters in Philadelphia. The summit is an annual event that inspires, educates, and connects women in the technology industry from the Philadelphia region. At the summit, Paige presented MyXONEX, XONEX's new mobile app that was selected as one of Philadelphia’s Best Mobile Apps for 2013, and discussed how companies can create value for customers with mobile technologies. Read more.

Smith Shows Off the Nation's Capital

Executives from New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France and Italy were among those who were treated to a private tour of the U.S. Capitol early this year. Former Congressman Jim Moody (D-WI) took Smith's visitors on to the floor of the House and into the Speaker's Lobby--parts of the building not usually open to the public. The marketing managers, from global staffing company Randstad were attending the Professional Services Leadership Initiative along with peers from commercial real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle and investment specialists T. Rowe Price.

Feel free to reach out to Liz Barron at lbarron@rhsmith.umd.edu, if you are interested in scheduling a special Smith Capitol tour and/or to design an executive education program exclusively for your company or in partnership with other companies who share your challenges and opportunities.

EMBA Updates

Kandel, Don EMBA 9 has recently accepted the role of CFO & COO for EarthShare.

Hiltbrand, Chris EMBA 6 and his wife Diana welcomed Robert Jonathan Hiltbrand, born 3/13/2014, weighing 5 lbs and 17 ¾ Inches long. Robert joins his big sister Mackenzie Hiltbrand.

Walker, Mary Ann EMBA 13 recently accepted the promotion of COO at Tapestry Solutions.

Jodhun, Dev Cohort '06 recently began a new position with Gartner as Managing Client Director.


EMBA Alumni Mock Interviews 6/27 – 6/28 - Save the Date!

Inaugural EMBA Mock Interview Event - June 27, 2014

The first EMBA Alumni Mock Interview Event will take place on June 27th. We are actively seeking EMBA alumni from a variety of industries and sectors who will serve as interviewers for students on Friday, June 27th, in the morning or afternoon. There will be an alumni networking lunch between sessions. Training will be provided during the first half of the session. This is a great way to hone your interview skills and share your expertise with students in EMBA Cohort '13. 

Please contact Rachel Loock at rloock@rhsmith.umd.edu for additional information or to sign up. 

Summer Cohort Lunches

The annual Summer Cohort Lunches are happening again this year. As usual, you are welcome to attend the lunch most convenient for you (or more than one lunch). Below are details.

Washington, DC Lunches

The DC lunches will all be at Rosa Mexicano near the Verizon Center from 11:45 am - 1:15 pm. The days and targeted cohorts are below.

  • Wednesday, June 18th Cohorts 1, 2, 13 and 14
  • Thursday, June 19th Cohorts 3, 4, 10, 11 and 12
  • Wednesday, June 25th Cohorts 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

Northern VA – Tysons Area

  • The NOVA lunch will be held Tuesday, June 17th 11:45 am – 1:15 pm location TBA. This lunch is open to all SAIC/Smith EMBA alumni and current students. Location is TBA.

Rockville, MD

  • The Rockville lunch will be held on Friday, June 20th 11:45 am - 1:15 at Clyde's Tower Oaks Lodge in Rockville, MD.

Baltimore, MD

  • The Baltimore EMBA lunch will be Thursday June 26th 11:45 am - 1:15 pm at Fogo de Chao in the Inner Harbor.

Annapolis, MD

  • The Annapolis EMBA lunch will be Monday, June 23rd 11:45 am - 1:15 pm location TBA.

It is a wonderful opportunity to meet other members of the Smith EMBA Community. Please RSVP directly to Shelbi Brookshire via email at sbrooksh@rhsmithumd.edu with the date(s) you plan to attend.

Alumni Venture Capital Day – Cohort 13 Business Simulation

July 21st 8:30 am – 2 pm

In July 2014, Vice Dean Joyce Russell will conduct her 13th Business Simulation for the College Park EMBA 13 executives. Volunteers are welcome act as mock venture capitalists on Monday, July 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you haven’t volunteered in the past, it is a great way to network with other alumni and current students, as well as re-live the friendly competition without the late nights and stressed out team meetings. If you've volunteered before, you know it's a fun way to reconnect and provide valuable insights to the current students ― and you get to compete to be the best VC. And as you know, you will be well fed.