Newswise — When COVID-19 halted the global economy, business still carried on across borders. In Maryland, five companies stand out for weathering the storm and will be featured in a Maryland Business Adapts Roundtable, a virtual event from 9 a.m.-noon Thursday, June 3, 2021, organized by the Center for Global Business (CGB) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

“The event celebrates the adjustments during the pandemic of Maryland companies in international business while providing insights for topics like minimizing the business risk of their global operations or preparation for sudden operational changes,” says CGB Executive Director Rebecca Bellinger.

“Representatives of companies any size can benefit by participating, including exporters or those thinking about exporting, plus entrepreneurs and business students,” Bellinger says. “Participants further can take away insights for innovating workplaces both from case studies featuring the recognized companies and networking with peer participants.”

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin will give remarks, in addition to those by opening speakers including Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz, University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines and Maryland Smith Dean Prabhudev Konana.

A keynote address by Anthony Roche, McCormick Vice President for Human Relations – Global and Corporate Functions, will lead into formal recognition of the honoree firms, whose representatives will lead break-out panel discussions for deep dives into their pivots and practices that proved effective.

The panel discussions, moderated by Maryland Smith faculty experts, will involve:

Miltec UV (Stevensville) President Bob Blandford describing his company’s effectiveness in maintaining cost efficiencies and restructuring operations to deter competition from abroad by diversifying product lines into higher value-added technology, clean and sustainable energy products.

United Source One (Belcamp) President and CEO Michael Imgarten sharing results from his company’s international corporate restructuring with a focus on new import financing and distribution and expanding export markets. He also will discuss harnessing the SBA’s Payment Protection Program.

RIFE International (Rockville) President and CEO Kwabena Osei-Sarpong discussing his firm’s move to reimagine the future of the renewable energy industry and position the company for long-term global growth, including identifying innovative value-added services leading to cost-saving operations, a leaner balance sheet, and increased profitability.

Get Real Health (Rockville) President and Founding Partner Robin Wiener sharing insights on shifting from “hospital-centered” to “individual-centered” value-based healthcare through establishment of extensive healthcare expertise, data, and advanced IT networks. She also will discuss expanding telehealth solutions to the Indo-Pacific region and the UAE.

Rovner Products (Timonium) President and Owner George Reeder discussing utilizing a customized ERP system to optimize the use of resources, strengthening stakeholder relationships, investing in new technology, and training of employees to take advantage of opportunities in China.

These companies were publicly nominated and selected by a CGB-organized committee including Kislaya Prasad, Maryland Smith research professor and CGB Academic Director; and Signe Pringle, Maryland Deputy Secretary of Commerce and CGB Advisory Board member.

“These firms will offer valuable situational insights to other companies that participate in the roundtable and separately to Maryland Smith students and business students nationwide through open-source case studies available in fall 2021 classes,” Bellinger says.

“Resilience is a key skill in business,” Bellinger adds. “There is no greater situation for it to be tested than during a pandemic, and this can apply for companies—who may be right down the road from you—who successfully pivoted and adapted their strategies to minimize business risk of their global operations in challenging times.”

Co-sponsors of Maryland Business Adapts are the Center for Global Business, Office of Career Services and Office of Executive Education at Maryland Smith, plus the U.S. Export Assistance Center, the Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland/DC District Export Council.

This event is supported in part by a Title VI grant program, CIBE (Centers for International Business Education), administered by the U.S. Department of Education. 

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