Kaden leaving Semmes for Choice Hotels Administrator to become CFO

August 04, 1993|By David Conn | David Conn,Staff Writer

Rick Kaden, executive director of the Baltimore law firm Semmes, Bowen & Semmes, will leave this month to become chief financial officer at a division of Manor Care Inc.

Mr. Kaden, 47, left Manor Care in 1987 to take the top administrative job at Semmes. He'll be returning as CFO at the Silver Spring company's Choice Hotels International division, which includes 3,000 franchised hotels in the United States and abroad.

"I guess it was time for a change," Mr. Kaden said, explaining his resignation, which is effective Aug. 11.

Mr. Kaden said he was also swayed by the chance to return to a more "structured and hierarchical" corporate life, to work in the town where he still lives, and to travel internationally.

The seven Choice hotel brands include Clarion, Quality Inns, Comfort Inns, Sleep Inns, Roadway, Econolodge and Friendship.

Mr. Kaden, who is not an attorney, said he feels comfortable leaving a firm that has stabilized after some tough times. In the past few years, Semmes has been hit by heavy defections in several areas, including its labor and employment law practice. But the firm has been selectively hiring attorneys in the past few months. And the firm recently renegotiated a lease that was too large and too expensive at its 250 West Pratt St. offices.

"I don't think it's been a hairy time," Mr. Kaden said. "I think this is an industry that's been insulated for a long time, and that time is past."

Just yesterday, the Daily Record reported that at Venable, Baetjer & Howard, the city's largest law firm, up to 10 partners and associates will leave the firm following midyear performance reviews.

Venable managing partner William McCarthy said yesterday that the departures, which have not yet occurred, followed a midyear review that found their prospects for success at the firm lacking.

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