Jews named GBA chairman

CareFirst president to lead economic development group


June 05, 1999|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

William L. Jews, president and chief executive officer of CareFirst Inc., has been named the board chairman of the Greater Baltimore Alliance, a quasi-public economic development corporation that markets the region to businesses, the GBA announced yesterday.

Jews, 47, succeeds Mary E. Junck, who was publisher and chief executive officer of The Sun from 1993 to 1997 and president of Times Mirror Eastern Newspapers when she resigned from the company in March. She is leaving the state to become president of Lee Enterprises Inc., a chain of newspapers and television stations based in Davenport, Iowa.

Jews became head of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland Inc. in 1993 when it was on the brink of bankruptcy. He is credited with cutting costs, building reserves and positioning the insurer for a merger with the Washington Blue Cross, which occurred last year. CareFirst was created as the alliance's nonprofit holding company.

"Bill's perfect. He understands the GBA, he knows the staff and the players and the government leadership that needs to participate. He understands marketing and he's a wonderful leader," said Donald P. Hutchinson, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee, a business group that helps develop public policies. Jews chaired the GBC from 1994 to 1996.

Jews sits on several boards, including Crown Central Petroleum, the Ryland Group and Municipal Mortgage and Equity Inc. He also serves on the governor's Judicial Nominating Committee for Baltimore County, the Baltimore County Revenue Authority, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County President's Advisory Board and the Maryland Health Care Foundation Board of Trustees.

He recently stepped down from the Abell Foundation's board and left his position as chairman of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association.

"Our region has tremendous potential and I look forward to working with both the elected and corporate leadership to best implement strategies to maintain, promote and attract economic enhancement opportunities throughout the area," Jews said in a statement.

Ioanna Morfessis, president and chief executive officer of the GBA, said: "His leadership in the corporate community nationally and his role as a civic entrepreneur in the greater Baltimore region makes Mr. Jews a natural as chairman of the GBA."

Douglas L. Becker, president and co-chief executive officer of Sylvan Learning Systems, and Michael E. Waller, publisher and chief executive officer of The Baltimore Sun Co. and a senior vice president at Times Mirror Co., were elected to the GBA board.

Pub Date: 6/05/99

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