Jack Moseley, the former chairman and chief executive officer of USF&G Corp., has a reputation as a hard-nosed businessman who insists on having his way.
That reputation was reinforced yesterday when he didn't show up for a tribute to his civic contributions to Baltimore.
"Jack did not want this tribute," Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, R-2nd, told hundreds of people gathered at the Baltimore Convention Center. "We went back and forth on this, and he finally said, 'no,' " she said.
But the tribute was held anyway.
"Jack does not control this luncheon," said the equally strong-willed Bentley.
The tribute to Moseley was sponsored by the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, the quasi-public group that promotes the Baltimore Convention Center and tourism. Moseley founded the group in 1982 at the request of then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer.
Moseley's contributions to the city neither started nor stopped with the founding of that group, of course.
"Jack has left an impressive legacy," Bentley said, citing his contributions to various museums, the zoo, the Baltimore Symphony and the new Camden Yards baseball stadium.
Moseley retired in November from USF&G, the giant Baltimore-based insurance company, after the company's fortunes began to decline. He is now living in the Sapphire Valley of North Carolina, about 60 miles from Asheville.
Accepting the award for his father was Edward Moseley. "I'm sure Dad wished he could be here," Edward Moseley told the crowd. But asked why his father could not come, Edward Moseley simply said, "He was unable to make it."
The departure from the Baltimore business community of Moseley and other major corporate fund-raisers has raised concerns about the future of corporate giving in the city and state.
"Moseley was an individual who set the pattern," said Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg, who was at the tribute. He said Moseley and USF&G would often make the beginning donation in a campaign, and other companies would take their cue from that. "He will be sorely missed," Steinberg said.
But Steinberg was optimistic that the void left by Moseley will be filled, though it may take more corporate executives to fill it.
Bernard Trueschler, former president of Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. and an active civic booster, agreed with Steinberg and said fund-raising will not be more difficult, since more people will have to contacted.
"You're going to have to work a little harder, but that's not all bad," he said, adding that more people will become involved.
The featured speaker at the luncheon was Robert Fitzpatrick, the president of Euro-Disney, which is working on opening a Disney amusement park near Paris. Fitzpatrick was a Baltimore City Council member from 1971 to 1975 and was dean of students at Johns Hopkins University from 1972 to 1975.