The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland has appointed Liz Sara as Chair of its Board of Advisors for the 2016-18 academic years. She becomes the first female chair in its 30-year history. She officially took the helm at the Oct. 5, 2016, board meeting. She will lead the current board of 14 members in advising the Dingman Center’s managing director on initiatives, development and growth strategies. She succeeds prior Chairman Mark Walsh, who currently runs Investment and Innovation for the Small Business Administration.
“One of my key strategic initiatives as managing director is to grow the size of our board so we needed a chair who had connections not only to the university but also to the regional startup community,” said Elana Fine, managing director of the Dingman Center. “Liz’s experience in marketing and technology and her vast network made her the ideal candidate and I am flattered by her willingness to serve in this role given all the requests made on her time.”
Sara has more than 25 years experience in the local high-tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader and angel investor. In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early stage tech companies with strategic marketing services and expertise. Since inception, she has worked for more than 90 companies, to increase revenue and speed market adoption for their B2B products and services. Recently, she was featured in Dingman Bootstrapped, a podcast featuring founders, investors and serial entrepreneurs.
“I am honored to accept this role as chair and look forward to ramping up the visibility of the fantastic programs, services, support and mentoring available to student-led startups across the campus through the Dingman Center,” she said. “I’m especially excited to attract additional members to the board and to the angel group, which will further our ability to raise awareness in the region and build on our success to date of nurturing startups that last. Long term, I see the Dingman Center providing the roadmap to supporting entrepreneurship across the entire university-wide system in Maryland.”
In addition to serving as the Dingman Center’s chair of the Board of Advisors, Sara is also an entrepreneur-in-residence and an adjunct marketing professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. She has been an active member of the Dingman Center Angels for more than five years. In the region, she mentors founders at Eastern Foundry, Tedco, Founders Institute, and the German American Accelerator in New York City. She’s a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops geared to entrepreneurism and angel funding.
Joining her on the Dingman Center Board of Advisors are the following:
- G. Anand Anandalingam, University of Maryland
- Bill Boyle '81, FiberGate, Inc.
- Charles G. Carr, '85, RSM
- Jason Cohen '96, Halen Brands
- Matthew Fishlinger '07, Gramercy Risk Holdings, LLC
- Jon Forster '86, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
- Harry Geller '81, Serial Entrepreneur
- Jeffrey S. Grinspoon '90, MBA '95, VWG Wealth Management - Hightower Advisors
- Mark Levine, Core Capital Partners
- Ted Rose '89, MBA '93 Rose Financial Services
- Michael Schwab, D&H Distributing Company
- Kathryn Stewart, Cranbrook Capital
- Brian S. Taff, '89, Streetsense
- David Quattrone MBA '05, Cvent
- Elana Fine '97, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
- Dr. Rudolph P. Lamone, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
- Dean Alex Triantis, Robert H. Smith School of Business
About the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
The Dingman Center is one of the nation’s pre-eminent institutions where the research, education and practice of entrepreneurship are pursued vigorously. We develop and execute curricular and non-curricular programs that uniquely leverage Smith School thought leadership, experiential learning and our network of practitioners to provide maximum resources to startup businesses. Every initiative is designed to support the center’s mission to make entrepreneurs of all kinds successful. In 2014, the Dingman Center received the prestigious NASDAQ Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence Award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship.