William Fitzerald

. . . President of Independence Federal Savings and Loan.

As head of the nation's fifth largest minority-owned savings and loan association, William Fitzgerald has distinguished himself as a champion of minority business in Washington. Shortly after independence was founded in 1969, 65 percent of its money was being invested into the city's minority areas. Now Fitzgerald has embarked on what may be the largest and most ambitious minority development project in the city's history.

The prize is the redevelopment of a part of Gallery Place, one of the choicest properties in downtown Washington. With Fitzgerald in the forefront, presidents of four black-controlled financial institutions formed a unique interracial group called Capital Landmark Associates and won the bid for the $140 million development of the block between 6th and 7th and G and F Streets NW.

Fitzgerald said the group will place heavy emphasis on minority ownership of the various businesses in the Gallery Place project, which is situated near the Metro station. Fitzgerald said it is "important for blacks to own a piece of the rock. It could stimulate other blacks into other kinds of actions. It's not a racist kind of thing, but we feel it's really healthy."