HOW EXTRAORDINARY the Baltimore welcome has been!" remarked one of our newest residents, Rick Little, at a dinner party Mayor Kurt Schmoke gave for him, his wife, Elaine, and the board of directors of the International Youth Foundation (IYF).
This foundation selected Baltimore over finalists Atlanta and London as the new home for its corporate headquarters. This 6-year-old foundation is dedicated to improving conditions and prospects for all the world's children and youth.
No sooner had the headquarters opened than board members from all over the world arrived for a meeting and a look at the foundation's new home at 34 Market Place. Mayor Schmoke and his wife, Dr. Patricia Schmoke, invited several hundred people to the Walters Art Gallery to welcome them to our fair city.
It's a most prestigious board, led by Richard Schubert, president emeritus of the Points of Light Foundation and chair of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation; and vice-chair Rita Sussmuth, president of the Bundestag (the German parliament). Other members are Little; David Bell, chairman and CEO-financial of Times-Pearson plc; Maria Livanos Cattui, a member of a prominent Greek business family and the president of the International Chamber of Commerce; Arnold Langbo, chairman and CEO of Kellogg Co.; Inonge Mutumbaetwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, a member of the Zambian Parliament; Shoichi Saba, adviser to the board of Toshiba and former chairman and CEO of Toshiba; Par Stenback, secretary general of the Nordic Council of Ministers; and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, president and CEO of Ayala Corp., the second largest holding company in the Philippines.
The party was sponsored by Alex. Brown & Sons, which was represented by its chairman and CEO, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard and his wife, Pat, as well as firm members J. Carter Beese and Greg Barnhill. Another sponsor was the Washington law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, which was represented by Lloyd Cutler, who has served as special counsel to the White House under several presidents. Accompanying Cutler were his associates George Stamas, Mark Dewire and Dick Cass.
Alice Ilchman, chair of the Rockefeller Foundation and president of Sarah Lawrence College, sat at the mayor's table. Nearby was Monsignor Guiseppe Conte, who arrived with William Cardinal Keeler -- the monsignor is visiting from Rome, where he's in charge of Vatican protocol; the Rev. Michael White, who's being transferred from the Archdiocese offices to the Church of the Nativity in Timonium; Finland Ambassador Jaakko Laajava and his wife, Rita; Peter Westmacott, counselor for political affairs at the British Embassy in Washington; and Wally Pinkard, a Baltimore businessman whom Lee Tawney, the mayor's adviser on international affairs, lauds for playing a leadership role in luring IYF to Baltimore.
The Classic Catering People outdid themselves with a tasty dinner of rockfish, salad and a divine banana bread pudding.
I had the pleasure of sitting with Elinor Bacon, of Bacon & Co., a development company that does a lot of business with the city. She's also the sister of actor Kevin Bacon, who's busy putting on concerts with their brother Michael. If you'd like to catch the Bacon brothers in concert, they will be at the Bayou in Washington July 18. Call (202) 333-2897 for information.
I also enjoyed sitting with Janet Marie Smith, the architect who helped design Oriole Park at Camden Yards. An amazing woman, she has been hired by the Ravens to provide ideas for the football stadium. She's married to Bart Harvey, Enterprise Foundation, and she commutes weekly to Atlanta for her job as vice president of sports and entertainment facilities for Turner Properties.
Christy Macy, who works for the Casey Foundation and is a part-time speech writer for Schmoke, came to the party without her Pulitzer Prize-winning husband, Taylor Branch. Seems President Clinton telephoned Branch with an invite to Washington, an offer he couldn't refuse.
Of ships and teams
The USS Oriole, a Navy minesweeper commissioned here in 1995, came home for a party and an O's game on the Fourth of July. An invite from Sail Baltimore lured the ship back. It also helped that the ship's commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Peter Grause, has a sister and brother-in-law here: Susan and Mark LoPresto. Oh yes, Mark's a member of Sail Baltimore's board.
Others enjoying the game and party were Vice Adm. Phillip Quast, Commander Military Lift Command; Capt. Herb Kaler, Naval Sea Operations; and John Reichl, a naval financial coordinator.