Trade group's chief quits Program cuts cited as reason

May 15, 1991|By Michelle Singletary | Michelle Singletary,Evening Sun Staff

The executive director of the World Trade Center Institute, who had held the post less than a year, has resigned because the board of directors eliminated some of the institute's programs.

Christopher J. Brescia, the executive director, resigned last month.

The institute's board consists of the heads of some of Maryland's major firms such as RTKL Associates Inc., architects; Legg Mason Inc., stock brokers; and Semmes, Bowen & Semmes, lawyers.

"Chris left because he and the board were heading in different directions," said James L. Hughes, the institute's program manager.

Brescia could not be reached for comment. Prior to becoming executive director, he was director of the Price Waterhouse International Trade Advisory Service.

The private, non-profit institute was created in 1989 to assist and train leaders in business, government and education to operate in the global economy. With a state grant and private contributions, it became operational last June.

But state spending cutbacks and the recession prompted the directors to cut some of the institute's programs.

To date, the institute has received $584,382 from the state. This year, the legislature approved another $159,000 for the institute.

In February, however, during a budget hearing in Annapolis, the institute's directors faced sharp questioning from legislators about its purpose and request for additional funds.

Elizabeth K. Nitze, the institute's new executive director, said it was concern for future funding that led the board to cut some of its programs, which were announced in a grand fashion by Gov. William Donald Schaefer in January.

Nitze said the institute will drop its plans to hold conferences on international education for teachers and administrators in colleges and secondary schools.

"We wanted to do things on a large scale," she said. "It was a great idea but we had to ask ourselves, 'Was anybody going to pay for it?' -- and the answer was no."

Another ambitious effort, the International Business Leadership Program, has been scrapped for this year.

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