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June 15, 2000

Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists Include Three UMBC Grads

Baltimore, Md. - Three UMBC alumni have made the final cut for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Maryland - 2000 award, honoring Maryland's outstanding entrepreneurs.

David Oros (Mathematics, 1985), a member of UMBC's Board of Visitors, is founder, chairman, and CEO of Owings Mills-based Aether Systems Inc. Aether is at the forefront of the wireless revolution as a leading provider of wireless and mobile data services allowing real-time communications and transactions across a full range of devices and networks. In May, Aether Systems and UMBC initiated a $510,000 research and education partnership which will team Aether engineers with UMBC faculty in the development of a wireless data curriculum.

Robert A. Baruch (Computer Science, 1989), also a member of UMBC's Board of Visitors, is founder and president of RABA Technologies, Inc., a Columbia, Md.-based professional services company focused on Web-based technologies. Deloitte & Touche listed RABA as one of the fastest growing IT firms in the United States in 1998, 1999 and again in 2000. RABA has also been recognized by "Washington Technology" as one of the 50 fastest growing IT firms in the Washington area for 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Nathan A. Chapman Jr. (Economics and Political Science, 1980) is president and CEO of The Chapman Worldwide Financial Services Group which, in 1998, became the first publicly traded African American owned security brokerage firm in the U.S. His newest venture,, is the first publicly-traded African American owned online financial services firm in the U.S. Chapman is also head of the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents, the first African American to hold this position.

Also nominated are UMBC Board of Visitors members John C. Erickson, of Erickson Retirement Communities, and Carl William Struever of Streuver Bros., Eccles & Rouse.

UMBC's entrepreneurial culture will soon be bolstered by its new Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown Center for Science and Technology Entrepreneurship, made possible by a $1 million gift from Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. Students are currently applying for admission to the program which will offer its first course, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, in the fall.

The 2000 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is sponsored in Maryland by The Baltimore Sun, First Union, Multi-Media Holdings, Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe, and Sprint. Winners will be announced at an awards banquet to be held be on June 21, 2000 at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Posted by dwinds1 at June 15, 2000 12:00 AM