The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business announced the recipients of this years Smith Leadership and Excellence Awards, honoring business leaders and organizations that have made significant and positive impacts on their industries and the community in the mid-Atlantic region. Smith School Dean Howard Frank presented the 2007 awards at a ceremony at the seventh annual Undergraduate Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 3 at 6 p.m.
2007 Leadership and Excellence Award winners:
Business Excellence Award
Baltimore-based Legg Mason Inc. is this years Business Excellence winner for its exemplary business practices and leadership within its industry and the greater community. Recent acquisitions have positioned Legg Mason as the ninth largest mutual fund manager in the United States. Under the leadership of Chairman and Chief Executive Raymond Chip Mason, the global asset management firm now manages more than $944 billion in assets worldwide. The company is also a strong partner and supporter of charitable organizations that include Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, Partners in Excellence Scholarship Fund, and the Hippodrome.
Leadership Excellence Award
Under Armour Chairman and Chief Executive Kevin Plank, founder of the Baltimore-based sports performance apparel company and a 1996 graduate of the Smith School, was selected as the 2007 Leadership Excellence winner. He has grown Under Armour from a concept for sweat-wicking t-shirts as a University of Maryland football player in 1996 to a 1,000-employee, multimillion-dollar publicly traded company. Still directly involved in all facets of the business, Plank was selected for his entrepreneurial leadership and as an exemplary role model.
Leaders for the Digital Economy Award
Constellation Energy Chief Information Officer Beth Perlman was selected as a Leader for the Digital Economy for individual excellence for her role in harnessing the power of information technology to drive organizational change and transform business. She is responsible for all company-wide information technology initiatives that support business transformation and enable growth, including the standardization of systems and architecture. Notable accomplishments include her appointment to chair of the Maryland Task Force on Women in Information Technology under former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
Blackboard Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based educational software company, was named Leader for the Digital Economy for corporate excellence for its innovations in education technology and its contribution to the establishment of the e-Education industry. The 10-year-old company has established a strong reputation for its technology connecting people within the education industry; from primary schools to higher education, and from both the public and private sectors.
Public Excellence Award
Gerald Stempler, former CEO of Textilease and a 1953 Smith School alumnus, was selected to receive the Public Excellence Award for his lifelong commitment to philanthropy and volunteer leadership in the Greater Washington community. He has provided guidance as an organizational consultant and support to many Jewish charities, educational institutions and civil rights organizations within the Washington, D.C. area.
I'm very proud to present this years Smith Leadership and Excellence Award winners, who are each deserving of this recognition for their great contributions to advance business practices and improve their communities, said Dean Frank. These individuals and organizations have truly impacted current and future generations of business leaders through their outstanding examples of demonstrated leadership and admirable principles.
The 2007 honorees were selected from nominations submitted by the regional business and academic communities. Finalists were judged by a distinguished panel of business and academic leaders that included members of the Smith School Board of Visitors, the Deans Advisory Council, faculty and staff.