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Board of Trade picks Peck

(Published August 13, 2001)

BY JONATHAN TANNENWALD

Staff Writer


D.C. Board of Education member Robert A. Peck will step down from his school board position this fall to take over the presidency of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the metropolitan area’s largest and most influential business organization.

Peck was introduced at a press conference Aug. 6 as the unanimously selected successor to John Tydings, who has led the Board of Trade for the past 32 years. Potomac Electric Power Co. CEO John Derrick, who chairs the Board of Trade, hailed Peck as the individual who will "continue [the Board of Trade’s] long legacy of being an organization that makes things happen in our region."

Peck stressed his goals for improving the District in particular.

"Everyone recognizes that without a strong core city, the region’s ability to grow and prosper is limited," Peck said. "I think the goal of the Board of Trade is to expand businesses as much as we can throughout the region, particularly the District, and to find ways to promote them."

He also set forth some goals for the District for his term, including generating $6.5 million in sales and 150 new jobs for neighborhood-based D.C. small businesses involved in the Board of Trade’s Community Business Partnership. He said he also plans to promote D.C. universities as economic development engines.

Peck comes to the job with a long list of D.C.-related accomplishments.

He grew up in Congress Heights and after a short spell in Montgomery County, moved back into the District to the Logan Circle area. Most recently, Peck was appointed to the D.C. Board of Education by Mayor Anthony A. Williams last January, but he has resigned that post to take over the Board of Trade job.

Tony Bullock, the mayor’s interim communications director, said the mayor plans to select a nominee to replace Peck on the school board by the time the D.C. City Council returns from its recess after Labor Day. Appointees to the school board must be confirmed by the city council.

Peck was chosen for the Board of Trade position by a seven-member search committee which included Derrick, Linda Rabbitt of Rand Construction, Fred Bollerer of the Morino Group, Barbara Krumsiek of the Calvert Group, Frank Ross of KPMG, Jim LaFord of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and David Rutstein of the Venable law firm.

A former General Services Administration official, Peck served as GSA’s liaison to the National Capital Planning Commission and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. He has been a member of the D.C. Preservation League and the Downtown D.C. Partnership and was chief of staff to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., in the mid-1980s.

Copyright 2001, The Common Denominator