Belle Vee B. Gentry, founder and president of a Washington highway construction company, has become the first elected woman president of the District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce. She succeeds Joseph McLaughlin of McLaughlin Oldsmobile.
In its annual elections, the 700-member volunteer business organization also chose five other officers, including four women. They are:
*Inez P. Austin, president of Design Innerphase, as first vice president.
*Belva Newsome, director of the D.C. Commission on Housing, as corporate secretary.
*Patricia Shannon, vice president for business development at D.C. National Bank, as financial secretary.
*Michele Hagans, president of the Fort Lincoln New Town Corp., as treasurer.
Stanley Straughter, senior vice president of DAC International, was selected second vice president.
Members of the Chamber applauded Gentry's appointment, calling her an energetic and experienced business owner. Andre Gandy, a three-year member of the board and chairwoman of the chamber's business and economic development committee, said Gentry's "leadership style is very dynamic. She gives a lot of herself."
Gentry, whose family has long been involved in the construction industry, six years ago founded Ebone Inc., a construction company specializing in highway and sewer construction. Gentry now runs the business with her husband.
Gentry said she would continue to promote the chamber as a forum for pooling the interests of the business community and increasing the clout of its members, particularly small and minority-owned firms. BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES
Riggs National Bank has named 10 new members of its board of consultants: Yartin K. Alloy, president of the Stanley Martin Cos. Inc., a commercial and residential development company; P. Jackson Bell, vice president and chief financial officer of USAir Group Inc.; George M. Brady Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of the National Corporation for Housing Partnerships, which helps finance low- and moderate-income housing; Vincent C. Burke III, a partner in the law firm of Reasoner, Davis & Fox; Robert V. Fleming II, a partner in Hoskinson & Davis, a real estate firm; Lee Merritt Folger, chairman of Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Inc., an investment banking firm; Thomas B. Hargrave Jr., president of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington; Alfred J. Hayre, vice president and treasurer of the National Geographic Society; Wallace F. Holladay Jr., vice president of The Holladay Corp., a development company; and George R. Houston Jr., vice president and treasurer of Georgetown University.
The National Bank of Washington has promoted Claiborne D. Gregory Jr. to senior vice president of the commercial lending department from vice president.
First American Bank of Washington has elected Jamie H. Gronning to senior vice president of the real estate division. Gronning has been with First American since 1978 and is responsible for residential and construction lending. INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING
Retired Navy admiral George E. R. Kinnear II has been named head of all Washington operations for Grumman Corp., replacing John F. Carr, who is retiring after a 30-year career with the aerospace conglomerate. Carr, formerly vice chairman of the board of the New York-based corporation, will become counsel to the Washington law firm of Zuckert, Scoutt, Rasenberger & Johnson. Kinnear, a vice president who joined Grumman in 1982, previously served as commander of the naval air force for the Atlantic Fleet.
Bruel & Kjaer, a Danish manufacturer of precision sound measuring equipment, has formed a new U.S. subsidiary to market its products to the U.S. government, naming former Air Force colonel Morris T. Warner Jr. as president of the Alexandria firm. Warner was previously director of military systems technology with the International Trade and Investment Corp. in Annandale.
Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad Co. has appointed Sidney R. Johnson senior vice president. Johnson, who joined the RF&P in 1985 from the Seabord System Railroad, was most recently vice president for operations. PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
MMM Design Group, an architectural and engineering firm with offices in Washington and Norfolk, has appointed Jack M. Hill as vice chairman of the board. Hill, who joined the firm in 1950 as associate and rose through its ranks to president, will be succeeded by Paul R. Gates, a company vice president.
Richard D. Cunningham, formerly director of international marketing for the Fairfax architectural and engineering firm of Dewberry & Davis, has formed a private consulting firm, R. D. Cunningham & Associates. The firm specializes in marketing, policy analysis and strategic planning for architectural, engineering and scientific organizations and the government.
Calculon Corp., a local professional and technical services firm, has appointed Eugene Sharer president. Sharer was formerly vice president of Computer Sciences Corp.'s systems group before joining Calculon three months ago. RETAIL, WHOLESALE TRADE
Hechinger Co. has named Roger K. Wright vice president of real estate and development and a member of the company's management committee. Wright, formerly director of construction and facilities management, succeeds John W. Hechinger, who was recently elected president and chief operating officer.