Blank Center Team

 Smaiyra Million

Smaiyra Million Headshot - Team Page

Executive Director
The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

Smaiyra Million is an experienced CEO, investor, and advocate for advancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. She spent thirty years as a successful operator of luxury hotels, spas, and health clubs. As CEO of Millennium Partners Sports Club Management (Sports Club/LA & Reebok Sports Clubs), Smaiyra was named to the Top 100 Women Led Businesses in Massachusetts in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2014, she was inducted into the YW Academy of Women Achievers. Earlier in her career, she spent nearly a decade with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, in numerous managerial roles. She served as part of the hotel company’s opening team, traveling both internationally and domestically. She also served on the team that supported the awarding of the Malcom Baldrige Quality Award, given by the Department of Commerce; the hotel company was the first service company to win this award in 1992.

After the successful sale of Millennium Partners to Equinox in 2014, Smaiyra served as an operating and investment partner at Highland Consumer Partners, focusing on the retail and consumer sectors. She joined the investment and academic communities with the goal of leveraging her network, as well as her marketing, operating, and team building expertise, to benefit up and coming entrepreneurs.

At Babson College, Smaiyra served as the inaugural director of both the Diana International Research Institute (DIRI) and the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise through Entrepreneurship (BIFETE) prior to being named executive director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship.

Smaiyra has served as a member of the board of directors for StriVectin, Paint Nite, Artists for Humanity, and The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College, as well as on the five member Personnel Board for her hometown of Hingham, MA. She also advised the founders of HighCourt and Brio Systems. She currently serves on the board of Junior Achievement of Northern New England.

Alexandra Dunk

Associate Director, Entrepreneur Programs & Engagement
The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

As Associate Director of Entrepreneur Programs & Engagement, Alexandra is responsible for leading a portfolio of innovative programs and events for student and alumni entrepreneurs, including Rocket Pitch, the B.E.T.A. Challenge, and Summer Venture Program. Before joining the Babson team in 2018, Alexandra spent five years as the marketing director for national and regional restaurant chains, as well as three years in operations. She brings a passion for entrepreneurial environments to her position, having also had the opportunity to work with a food startup in the Harvard Innovation Lab. She earned her B.A. from Tufts University and her MBA from Babson College.

Sue Nealon

Program Manager, Entrepreneurship Programs and Fund Management 

Sue supports the development, production, and communication of Blank Center’s portfolio of events and programs that specifically pertain to the acceleration of student and alumni ventures. This programming includes Rocket Pitch, B.E.T.A. Challenge, Summer Venture Program/Summer Catalyst, and Global Entrepreneurial Leadership Week. She is also responsible for the stewardship of gifts associated with this portfolio of events and programs.

Before joining the Babson team in fall of 2019, Sue worked as the Office Manager and Facilities Coordinator at Saint Theresa Parish in Sherborn. Prior to that position, Sue was the manager of the furniture department at Macy’s Furniture Gallery.  Sue graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.A. in Fashion Marketing.

Cindy Klein Marmer

Associate Director, The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
Director, The John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad
The Butler Institute for Free Enterprise through Entrepreneurship

In her current role as Director of the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad, Cindy manages the mentoring of student and alumni entrepreneurs. Cindy also leads the student engagement side of the Butler Institute for Free Enterprise through Entrepreneurship where we explore the influence policies have on entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurs can influence policy. Cindy joined Babson in 2004, first in the Graduate School Center for Career Development working with both students and companies with a focus on technology, life sciences, energy and entrepreneurial pursuits. Cindy is an MBA from Babson College’s two year MBA program where she went through the Entrepreneurship Intensity Track (EIT) and co-launched AdvantageNet, Inc., a business and career management consulting firm. Prior to Babson, Cindy held several positions of increasing responsibility in the financial services and communications industries. She earned her B.S. in Accounting at University of Delaware, an MBA with honors from Babson College and is a former CPA. 

Cristina Urdaneta

Cristina Urdaneta, Program Manager, Butler Programs Portfolio

Program Manager, Butler Programs Portfolio

As the Program Manager for the Butler Portfolio, Cristina manages logistics and operations for the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad and the Butler Institute for Free Entreprise through Entrepreneurship, supporting students and alumni entrepreneurs in their ventures.

Before joining the Blank Center team, Cristina worked for the WIN Lab, an equity free business accelerator for female entrepreneurs housed under the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College. The WIN Lab invests in the development of its participants, enabling them to test, disrupt, and innovate, and in turn ignite economic impact in their communities. Before joining Babson in the spring of 2018, Cristina was part of the opening team of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, a contemporary visual arts space located in the heart of the downtown.

Cristina earned a Bachelor in Business Administration in Marketing from Florida International University and an MBA from Babson College.

Tamara Lamenzo

Assistant Director
Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference

Tamara is the assistant director of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC). BCERC, founded by Babson College in 1981 and considered by many to be the premier entrepreneurship research conference in the world, brings together entrepreneurship academics from all over the world every year. Tamara joined Babson College in 2012 as a program coordinator at Babson Executive Education and then served as a program manager. She has many entrepreneurial skills, as she started Parent Talk, a nonprofit that has been going strong for 25+ years. She also spent some time in the liquor business as the part owner of a store and as the operator of a beverage catering service. She is the staff advisor for TEDxBabsonCollege, managed by Babson graduate students each year.

Beth Peterson

Administrative Coordinator
Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference

Beth provides administrative support for the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC) and for the Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research (FER), proceedings from the BCERC. In her role supporting the conference, she is responsible for providing logistical support and assists in the efficient implementation of the conference.

Before joining the Babson team in the spring of 2019, she worked in the Franklin Public Schools in special education, as a staffing manager for Robert Half, and in HR for Fidelity Investments. She earned her BS from the University of New Hampshire, Durham with a degree in Business Administration.

Clare Currie

Clare Currie Administrative Coordinator

Administrative Coordinator
The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship 

Clare provides administrative assistance and facilities management to the Arthur. M Blank Center. Her role directly supports the Executive Director of the Blank Center, and she is responsible for providing logistical and budgetary support, as well as assisting in the efficient implementation of the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad and other entrepreneurial programs and events.

Before joining the Babson team in Spring 2022, Clare had relocated from the UK to Boston, MA. Clare was a Marketing and Brand Communication Manager with adidas for over 15 years and was based in Manchester, UK. Clare graduated from The University of Salford, with A BSC honors degree in Sociology.