A calendar of meetings published in yesterday's Business...


September 28, 1992|By Leslie Cauley

A calendar of meetings published in yesterday's Business section provided the incorrect date for a dinner sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Committee. The dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore.

The Sun regrets the error.

Bell Atlantic chief pushes culture shock

Raymond W. Smith, chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic Corp., stopped by the University of Maryland recently to visit M.B.A. students as part of a special speakers' series.

Mr. Smith regaled the standing-room-only crowd with stories about transforming Bell Atlantic's corporate culture so the company can prosper in the new and fiercely competitive world of telecommunications.


At Philadelphia-based Bell Atlantic, the parent of Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co., an emphasis on rigid standards and procedures is slowly being replaced by a culture that values common sense and creativity, he said. The idea: to foster teamwork, something that's been missing at the Baby Bell and at other major companies.

"The lack of teamwork is at the root of many problems," Mr. Smith said.

To foster teamwork, Bell Atlantic has done away with the executive dining room, executive apartments and chauffeurs at its headquarters. Such trappings, said Mr. Smith, are "barriers to teamwork."

That's a far cry from Bell Atlantic's past. Just a few years ago, then-CEO Ray Bolger and his chief public information officer arrived at Baltimore's Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for the annual stockholders meeting in separate stretch limousines -- with chauffeurs, of course.

For the annual meeting this year in Richmond, Va., Mr. Smith arrived by car -- with no chauffeur. And Bell Atlantic eliminated the dinner traditionally held for board members the night before the meeting.

But such changes don't come quickly. Mr. Smith said the corporate transformation, which began about four years ago, should take another six to complete.

IBM auction gavel closes 1,000s of deals

They came, they saw -- and they bought.

Five thousand pieces of IBM computer equipment, including personal computers, peripherals and accessories, were snapped up Sept. 19 at what was billed as one of the largest computer auctions ever held in the Baltimore-Washington area.

Almost 2,000 people showed up for the auction, held at Renaissance Park near Dulles International Airport in Virginia. The auction was conducted by Ross-Dove Co. Inc., a San Francisco-based industrial auction house, in cooperation with International Business Machines Corp.

What did people buy? Over 3,200 personal computers, 1,300 printers and assorted accessories, all of it certified Big Blue equipment. Nuri Otus, the Ross-Dove regional vice president who handled the auction, said equipment -- most of it still in the box -- went off at prices comparable to those that discount houses charge for clones. A 386 personal computer excluding printer, for example, could be had for about $1,000.

"We weren't trying to reach out to your standard IBM buyer," said Mr. Otus.

"We wanted to reach people who normally go to Wal-Mart, Price Club, places like that, to buy a computer. And we think we were successful in doing that."

More than 70 percent of the equipment was sold to individuals, who ranged from high school kids to "ladies and gentlemen with walking canes."

The rest went to buyers for businesses, including several regional Bell phone companies, a few oil companies and at least one Big Eight accounting firm.

"We don't know if we'll be back in the D.C. area in the near future, but we will definitely do it again," Mr. Otus said.

New program teams Tobias, Kiplinger

The Godzilla of tax software has teamed with the King Kong of personal finance.

The result isn't a Japanese horror flick, but a new program that includes expert tax-cutting tips and strategies that reportedly are not found in any other software package.

"Kiplinger TaxCut" combines "TaxCut," the handiwork of personal finance guru Andrew Tobias and one of the most popular tax preparation programs on the market, with Kiplinger Washington Editors Inc., publisher of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine.

The software preserves TaxCut's acclaimed "interview" process, which asks users a series of questions to determine relevant information. Users receive Kiplinger's assistance to answer those questions.

Based on the responses, the program selects and completes required forms.

Kiplinger TaxCut is available in DOS and Windows versions for $59.95 exclusively from Kiplinger. The program can be ordered by calling (800) 365-1546.

If you order by Dec. 31, the price is just $39.95 -- and Kiplinger will throw in a free copy of "Kiplinger's Sure Ways to Cut Your Taxes," a 470-page tax guide.

TaxCut, published by MECA Software Inc., will continue to be sold in its original form.

Assembly to fete high-tech sector

The Greater Baltimore Committee will begin its annual homage to the city's high-tech community next week.

The Third Annual High Tech Assembly, which runs Oct. 5-30, features more than 20 events on topics ranging from technology transfer to venture capital. The Oct. 5 kickoff dinner features Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Mayo Shattuck, president of Alex. Brown & Sons, as speakers. For more information, call the ** committee at 727-2820.

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