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UMGC Wraps Up Successful Executive Academy for Minority-Owned Firms

University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) and the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC) teamed up—for a second consecutive summer—to offer a free executive academy for minority-owned firms in a post-pandemic economy funded by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Enthusiastic feedback from participants at the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) CEO Pandemic Recovery Academy has paved the way for future collaborations.

“The MBE CEO Pandemic Recovery Academy was interesting, organized and engaging,” said Enor Williams, vice president of The ELOCEN Group, an academy participant. “Each instructor/mentor presented information that piqued my interest and sparked dialogue amongst the cohort. In addition to the weekly presenters, the academy incorporated homework assignments that were online simulations that included digital marketing, business and supply chain management.”

According to its website, “The ELOCEN Group is a program and project management provider in the built environment, committed to improving the quality of lives in our communities.”

Using cutting-edge simulation technology, the six-week academy exposed 25 participants to real-life business experiences and challenges. Each week, attendees at the academy gained knowledge on executive leadership, workforce challenges, economic realities for business, digital marketing strategies, supply chain management and cybersecurity readiness. 

“In my opinion, the most impressive part of the program was the willingness of the participants to engage,” said Rudy Watson, chair of UMGC’s business management program. “We were asking already busy people to invest additional time outside of the sessions to work on the simulations. Many of them did so, which demonstrated their commitment to enhancing their skills.”

Participants attending represented companies from the following industries: IT consulting, construction project management, professional services consulting, law, public accounting, marketing and advertising, hospitality, food and beverage, insurance, health care, waste management and cybersecurity.

The Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council served as the operator of the Coronavirus Response & Relief Center (CvRRC) and has been in existence for more than 50 years certifying, connecting, and advancing business opportunity and economic growth for minority-owned firms through a network of Fortune 500 corporate members. 

“The relevant nature of the content offered by the UMGC professors and facilitators, and the incorporation of the simulation technology were remarkable,” said Sonya Bigelow-Smith, director of business development for CRMSDC. “…it was such a pleasure to work with Rudy and his team. The collaboration and ease of execution was best in class!”

Future partnerships between UMGC and CRMSC are on the horizon.

“I found the simulation to be most intriguing which, not intentionally, nurtured interaction through competition at least for me,” Williams added. “Overall, I truly appreciate the opportunity to participate in the academy and found it to be thoughtfully planned and well worth the time I allotted to learn and refresh my leadership skills. I would highly recommend others in executive leadership to register for future academy sessions.”

Visit to learn more about the program and future offerings.