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ubde Celebrating a Decade of Distinguished Entrepreneurs

The University of Baltimore's Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center will present the 2010 Distinguished Entrepreneur Awards—the institution's highest recognition of the power of the entrepreneurial spirit—on Thursday, April 22 with a special event in the UB Student Center, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave. This year's event marks 10 years of honoring those pathbreaking area business leaders, each of whom has displayed a sense of belief in their company's continuing relevance to a marketplace that changes with each passing day.

"Looking back over 10 years of hosting the Distinguished Entrepreneur Awards, we are struck by what a difference each of our recipients makes in the lives of folks across metropolitan Baltimore and beyond," said Darlene Smith, dean of the Merrick School of Business. "It's also true that, as an institution that has been empowering entrepreneurs from its inception in 1925, UB has been and continues to be a starting point for thousands of the city's most successful businesses. We've always known entrepreneurs to be agents of positive change and drivers of growth for the city, the region and the nation. Their work matters—they point the way. On April 22 we will let them know it."

This year's ceremony begins with a 6 p.m. gala reception in the Student Center, and is followed by the presentation of the School's 2010 awards in the center's Performing Arts Theater. The event is capped by the presentation of the University of Baltimore Distinguished Entrepreneur, recognizing the outstanding achievements of a graduate of the University of Baltimore who has started or grown a local business, and whose entrepreneurial activity and altruistic behavior are widely admired in the metropolitan business community. This top award has been presented in previous years to some of the city's greatest business successes. (Attendance details are listed below.)

Justin P. Jones-Fosu, M.B.A. '10, president of Justin Inspires, will serve as master of ceremonies.

This year's award recipients include:

  • Robert B. Parsons, B.S. '75, D.H.L. '08, founder and CEO of The Go Daddy Group, the 2010 University of Baltimore Distinguished Entrepreneur
  • Fran Lessans, president and CEO of Passport Health, the 2010 University of Baltimore Distinguished Virtuoso Entrepreneur
  • Carl Christopher Coleman, B.A. '70, vice president and COO of Nelson Coleman Jewelers, the 2010 University of Baltimore Distinguished Family Business Entrepreneur
  • David Troy, co-founder of Beehive Baltimore, the 2010 University of Baltimore Distinguished Business Innovation Entrepreneur
  • Robert C. Russel, B.S. '64, president of R&H Motor Cars, the 2010 University of Baltimore Distinguished Small Business Entrepreneur
  • Patrick Hurley, CEO of HandyJamm, the 2010 University of Baltimore Student Entrepreneur   

For more information on this event, go here. R.S.V.P.s should be sent to Leslie Joyce at ljoyce@ubalt.edu or 410.837.4949, or visit www.ubalt.edu/ubdeawards.

The Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center, part of the Merrick School of Business at UB, is a growing campus-based venture designed to support local entrepreneurs as they continue to move into the economic mainstream of the city, the region and beyond.

Now in its fifth year, the center provides much-needed programs that support individuals and groups as they build, launch and grow innovative ventures, relying on in-house staff and faculty expertise and a large and growing contingent of external consultants, successful UB alumni entrepreneurs, and volunteers from the business community.

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