Michael Dingman Bio and Center
As he flew into Maryland over the Chesapeake Bay on the morning of Sept. 21
for a visit to the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business,
Michael Dingman recalled special memories of growing up in the state. A Maryland
native, his father was born in Baltimore and was himself a University of
Maryland graduate, setting an example his son soon followed. Dingman studied
arts and sciences, and left the university to pursue a Wall Street job.
He went on to become a wildly successful businessman and investor. Dingman
spent 21 years at the Ford Motor Company as former director, and 24 years at
Time Inc., and then Time Warner Inc. He has served as a director of Mellon Bank
Corp., Temple Industries Inc., Temple-Inland Inc., Continental Telephone Co. and
Teekay Shipping Corp.
Dingman previously was chairman and chief executive officer or president of
several major U.S.-based industrial corporations, including Wheelabrator-Frye
Inc., Signal Companies Inc., AlliedSignal Inc. and its Henley Group Inc.
spinoff. The $1.2 billion Henley public offering in 1986 was the largest in
history at the time.
It was during this time that Dingman again became involved with his alma
mater. Rudolph Lamone, then dean of the business school, had a vision to create
on of the first entrepreneurship centers in the country to give students and
regional entrepreneurs hands-on support to start and grow ventures. He convinced
Dingman to support the effort and in 1989, the fledgling effort became the
Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, thanks to a generous endowment. The center
soon emerged as a top-ranked entrepreneurship center, thanks to Dingman’s
support, Lamone’s vision and the leadership of directors Charles Heller
(1990-1999), Don Spero (2000-2004) current Managing Director Asher Epstein.
Mr. Dingman is now president of Shipston Group Ltd., a diversified
international holding company based in Nassau, Bahamas. Dingman first set his
sights to offshore opportunities in the 1990s, first in Russia and other
countries in the former Soviet Union. Shipston joined a consortium investing in
OAO Sidanco, one of the country’s largest oil companies. Parlaying the
experience that had earned him a reputation as a company turnaround expert in
America, Dingman invested his own funds, skills and energy to renovate
noncompetitive, outdated companies in the Czech Republic.
Spurred by his son, Jamie, Dingman shifted Shipston’s focus to China. The
company is now heavily invested in mainland China, focusing on its internal
growth and consumption. Drawing on local partnerships formed in recent years,
Shipston continues to invest in a range of industries. With offices in Nanjing
and Beijing, the company has acquired a portfolio of businesses in education,
medical technologies and heavy industry.
All three of Dingman’s sons, Jamie, David and Patrick are involved in the
company. Jamie heads up Shipston operations on the ground in China.
The Dingman Center’s History of 'Firsts'