Professional Staff

Elana Fine, Managing Director

Elana Fine

Elana Fine is Managing Director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Elana's primary focus is leading the Dingman Center in support of its mission to build a community that discovers, equips, connects and celebrate entrepreneurs. Key responsibilities include oversight of our student venture incubator, Fearless Founders; Dingman Center Angels investor network, business competitions, and integration with Smith School entrepreneurship curriculum and research activities.  Elana also develops and maintains relationships with donors, board members, EIRs, the Smith School community and other campus and regional partners.  Elana is also an adjunct faculty member with the Smith School’s Management & Organization department and part of the national teaching team for NSF’s ICorps program. 

Elana started in investment banking at Bear Stearns, but started working with technology startups when she joined Revolution Partners, a boutique investment bank specializing in M&A and private capital advisory for software companies. She joined the company in its infancy and helped the team grow to 40 bankers on both coasts, assisting and leading transactions from $10M-$200M in deal value. Elana left upon the firm’s sale to Morgan Keegan.

Elana earned an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2002, and earned a BS in Finance, magna cum laude, from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1997.  She started her career as a technology consultant with an Accenture. 

Elana was recently named a Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine, “Power Women in Tech” by Tech Bisnow and “50 On Fire” by In The Capital.”  She is also a contributor to the Washington Post Capital Business.

Elana resides in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband and two children.

Brent Goldfarb, Academic Director

Dr. Brent Goldfarb is Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the M&O Department at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. In 2014, Brent was appointed Academic Director to direct research and education programs for the center. In addition to teaching to popular #RealEntrepreneurship course, he is the faculty lead for the AdVenture Challenge: China and was responsible for designing the revamped curriculum for the course. 

Goldfarb's research focuses on how the production and exchange of technology differs from more traditional economic goods, with a focus on the implications on the role of startups in the economy. He focuses on such questions as how do markets and employer policies affect incentives to discover new commercially valuable technologies and when is it best to commercialize them through new technology-based firms? Why do radical technologies appear to be the domain of startups? And how big was the dot.com boom? Copies of Goldfarb's publications and working papers have been downloaded mire than 1,200 times. His research has been cited in The Wall Street Journal, Inc.com, Businessweek.com and The New York Times. Brent received a B.A. in Economics and Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University. 

Holly DeArmond, Associate Director

Holly DeArmondHolly DeArmond joined the Dingman Center in September 2012 as Assistant Director, Events and Marketing. In 2014, Holly was named Associate Director of the Center. She oversees the event strategy and planning for the Dingman Center’s annual events on campus, regionally and internationally. Holly is also responsible for developing and executing marketing and communications for all Dingman Center internal and external audiences. She also manages China Business Plan Competition and MBA global studies trip to Beijing. 

Holly first joined the University of Maryland in 2007 as the Associate Director of University Marketing. Her primary responsibility was management of the University’s largest annual event, Maryland Day. The event is hosted by 8,000 University volunteers and is attended by more than 75,000 people. In this role, Holly helped coordinate the planning and implementation of more than 400 events and managed such items as the marketing materials, event budget and planning committees of more than 60 people.

In addition to Maryland Day, Holly assisted in a variety of strategically targeted marketing initiatives including the university’s branding campaign, “Fear the Turtle.” While she was involved in most aspects of the campaign from brainstorming to implementation, Holly’s main role was to manage and execute the campaign media buy.

Previously, Holly worked for Cohn & Wolfe, a New York City-based strategic marketing public relations firm with offices worldwide. She served on multiple pharmaceutical accounts including GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil CR, Avandia and the Vaccines Franchise. On these accounts, Holly assisted in the planning and implementation of a number of public relations and government affairs campaigns, including the PR campaigns for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approvals of two new pharmaceuticals.

Holly received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. While her roots are deep in East Tennessee, she currently lives in Annapolis, MD with her husband, Davy and their Portuguese Water Dog, Crockett.

Danielle Bennings, Events & Marketing Coordinator

Danielle Bennings

Danielle joined the Dingman Center team in August 2011 as the Operations and Events Coordinator and has since been promoted to Events and Marketing Coordinator. She is responsible for coordinating all Center events including Dingman Center Angels’ investor meetings, Pitch Dingman Competitions, Entrepreneurship Research Series, Global Entrepreneurship Week, and her favorite, Cupid’s Cup. Danielle also supports the marketing and outreach efforts of the center by producing the Center’s bi-weekly digest, The Pitch, and the Dingman Center blog. Additionally, she manages the social media strategy.

Danielle is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Georgetown University. She received a B.A. in Political Science from the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. During her undergraduate career she completed internships with Evergreen Information Technology, Inc. at the United States Department of Agriculture Network Operations Center and with Events Management, LLC.

Adam VanWagner, Community & Venture Programs Coordinator

Adam VanWagner

Adam joined the Dingman Center in August 2013 as the Community and Venture Programs Coordinator. Adam is responsible for coordinating advisor and workshop scheduling for student programs including Innovation Fridays, Fearless Founders, and Pitch Dingman Competitions. He is also in charge of the development and implementation the new Salesforce.com database that is utilized to track involvement of all members of our community.

Adam VanWagner graduated from the Robert H. Smith School of Business in 2011 receiving a B.S. in Operations Management. As an undergraduate, Adam was accepted to the Hinman CEOs program at the University of Maryland, the nation’s first living and learning entrepreneurship program. With his twin brother Eric, Adam also founded MyFridgeRental.com, a dorm-sized refrigerator rental service. During their junior year, the brothers won the Grand Prize in the 2011 Cupid’s Cup Business Competition. MyFridgeRental.com continues to grow and is running full force with part-time involvement from Adam and his twin brother operating the business full-time.

Julia Klein, Operations & Business Coordinator

Julia joined the Dingman Center in September 2014 as the Operations & Business Coordinator. She manages the operations, budget and financials of the center. Additionally she is responsible for assisting in the coordination and support of the center’s many projects and programs. Julia is excited to be a part of the Dingman team and assist the student entrepreneurs and investing communities at Smith.

As a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting, Julia focused on driving growth for Fortune 500 companies. Julia also has experience working on growth strategies for startups in the education technology space, through New Market Venture Partner’s Private Equity and Venture Capital Clinic. Julia’s passion for helping others achieve professional growth extends to her personal activities. In 2014, she co-founded a web-based career selection and management tool for undergraduate students and works in her free time to build her new venture, CareerPeer. Julia holds a B.S. in Finance from the Robert H. Smith School of Business and a B.A. in Economics.

Dr. Rudolph P. Lamone, Founder

Rudolph LamoneDr. Rudolph P. Lamone is the Founder and member of the Board of Advisors of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and a Professor Emeritus at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park.

From 1973 to 1992, Dr. Lamone served as Dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business and as the first chair of the Program in Entrepreneurship. He is co-founder of the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers and a founding member of the National Consortium for Life Science Entrepreneurship Programs.

In 1996, Dr. Lamone was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young for his work in support of entrepreneurship. In 1998, Dr. Lamone was selected to receive the President's Medal at the University of Maryland. In 1999, Dr. Lamone co-founded DirectGene, a biotechnology company that has developed gene therapies directed toward the treatment of metastatic prostate and breast cancer.

Dr. Lamone serves as Director on the board of several companies, public and private. He also serves as a venture partner with Gabriel Venture Partners, Annapolis, MD, and Redwood Shores, CA. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. Lamone received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the business school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.