2012 coalition appoints 14 to regional board


In a move to beef up the Washington-Baltimore effort to land the Olympics in 2012, the group working on the region's bid has named 14 new members to its board of directors.

Among them, former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and John S. Hendricks, founder and chairman of Discovery Communications Inc., will serve as vice chairmen. Hendricks also is founder of a planned women's professional soccer league.

"We have been very fortunate that our bid effort has attracted some of the most committed and talented members of the Washington-Baltimore community," said John Morton III, chairman of the Washington-Baltimore Regional 2012 Coalition. "I am confident that their experience and expertise will enhance our ability to craft a winning proposal."

Also elected to the board were C. E. Andrews, managing partner, mid-Atlantic region, Arthur Andersen; Barbara Bozzuto, event consultant; Lillian R. Greene-Chamberlain, international physical fitness and sports consultant; Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Bob Linowes, Linowes & Blocher, a Washington-based law firm; Alan G. Merten, president, George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.; and C. D. Mote Jr., president University of Maryland, College Park.

Other new members include Meredith Rainey Valmon, co-founder of the Avenue Program, a nonprofit athletes group that introduces children to sports, and an Olympic athlete; John L. Richardson, of the Washington law office of Crispin & Brenner and chairman of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission; Ken Rietz, chief operating officer worldwide, Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations firm with an office in Washington; B. J. Surhoff, Baltimore Orioles left fielder and former Olympic athlete; and Bennett A. Zier, executive vice president AMFM Inc., a group of eight Washington-based radio stations.

"We're excited to have leaders of this caliber join our board," said Dan Knise, president and chief executive officer of the coalition. "It helps reinforce the leadership capability of the board. It also reinforces that we're real and growing in our significance to the region."

The board of directors is responsible for overseeing the preparation of the bid for the Games which is due to the United States Olympic Committee by Dec. 15.

Washington-Baltimore is competing for the Games against Dallas; Houston; San Francisco; New York; Los Angeles; Tampa-Orlando, Fla.; and Cincinnati, among U.S. cities. In 2002, the USOC will choose one U.S. city to be a candidate for the 2012 Games. The International Olympic Committee will make its final selection on a host city in the fall of 2005.

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