Jackson H. Polk has been named president of Pyramid Video Inc., a company that concentrates on what Polk considers a simple concept: "The American mind is used to seeing things on television."
Polk is replacing Dr. Indu B. Singh, who recently resigned as president of Pyramid Video Inc. of Washington.
Polk has worked in broadcasting, both radio and television, since the age of 12 when he operated radio equipment for his local church in El Paso, Tex. Now he partly owns and runs the $2 million television services company in the National Press Building.
Pyramid, a privately held company, performs television production services, said Polk. The company caters to correspondents from other countries who need a studio to broadcast news from the U.S. Pyramid tapes and transmits the broadcast via international satellites. The company also performs live video conferences for businesses and associations. It translates corporate brochures into video and works on special projects with public relations firms.
"The three major television networks often considered foreigners who wanted to use their studios a nuisance," said Polk. "Most of their studio time is scheduled long in advance and they cannot accommodate foreign correspondents who need to get a story to Tokyo by deadline. In the National Press Building, we have a concentration of foreign broadcasters who can step into our studios anytime and do an interview," he said.
Polk founded the company with Douglas White, now vice president of operations, in 1976. They began by setting up film editing equipment in the bathroom of White's condomium in Wheaton. They edited anything from industrial training films to Canadian Broadcasting Co. newscasts. "We were starving, but it was fun," said White. Randy Allen, the third founder and now vice president of news services, joined the company in 1978.
Pyramid moved to the third floor of the National Press Building in 1980, adding studios and international satellite television transmissions to its list of services. The company prospered with shocking news -- when Reagan was shot and when the space shuttle blew up -- and faced leaner times during slow news periods. So, it decided to offer more corporate and public relations services.
Pyramid remained in the National Press Building through renovations of 1983-85. "That was tough," said White. "Jackhammers pounded all day and minibulldozers ran through the hall while we were trying to tape programs inside the studio. In 1985, we found that most of our clients had left the building, and more facilities similar to ours had opened up around D.C. We ran into a cash flow problem."
Thus, in 1985, Pyramid sold 48 percent of its stock to a Dallas investor with the understanding that the firm would be represented in management of the video company. The board of Pyramid agreed to name Dr. Indu B. Singh president in 1986. Singh is a marketing man "well versed in the international marketplace," Polk said.
Singh resigned last week because "things were not happening in the time frame he wanted for his own career," said Polk. The board renamed Polk president, a title he had held from 1976 to 1986.
"We sit at a crossroads right now, because so much information is processed over television, whether it be live, cable or tape," said Polk. "Communications technology is continually improving. When we started, it cost $3,000 per hour to get a braodcast to Japan. Now it costs as little as $600 to $800."
But Pyramid's greatest asset may be that "there is a deadline somewhere in the world all the time," Polk said.
ASSOCIATIONS Dorsey Davidge has been named director of marketing/member relations for the National Food Processors Association.
The International Association of Wiping Cloth Manufacturers appointed Bernard D. Brill executive vice president.
Howard N. Manaker has been named general counsel of the National Association of Truck Stop Operators.
The Downtown Jaycees of the District elected William J. Brennan president; David H. Cox chairman of the board; Judith A. Klein, Michael A. Caggiano and Karen Lyter vice presidents.
Richard H. Koonce has been named director of marketing and public relations for the American Association of Museums.
The Washington Association Financial Management Roundtable named Laura M. Witherspoon chairman and James J. Caputo vice chairman.
Janice F. Stanton has been appointed director of public relations of the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County.
The AdClub of Washington elected Terry Coveny president.
The United States Advanced Ceramics Association elected Dr. Thomas MacAvoy chairman; Richard Alliegro president; and Dr. Jon Hinton president-elect.
The Society of Federal Labor Relations Professionals elected Lou Guest president and Charles Donegan vice president.
Hugh Morgan was elected president of the Society of National Association Publications.
BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES NVR Mortgage L.P., a newly created mortgage company created from the merger of NVMortgage and Ryan Financial Services Inc., appointed Joseph P. Berghold president.
Dr. Charles F. Mess was elected a director of the Sandy Spring Bank of Maryland.
The Acacia Federal Savings Bank of Annandale elected E. Patrick Coady, Charles G. Gulledge, Arthur Pugh, Farol F. Seretean and Sarah P. Wells to the board of directors.
Century National Bank elected Roger C. Johnson to its board of directors. The bank appointed Linda W. Townsend senior vice president; Linda S. Bruce and Rosemary M. DeMark vice presidents; and Scot R. Browning commercial loan officer.
First American Bank N.A.'s professionals and organizations division promoted Paul B. Huffman to vice president and business development officer and Beverly S. Luper to vice president and manager of client service and operations. The bank's real estate division appointed Stacy P. Krough assistant vice president and manager of warehouse lending; Debra L. Erb assistant vice president and manager of secondary marketing; and Katherine P. McLoughlin assistant vice president and manager Melrose M. Nathan has been appointed finance officer for the planning and operations division and Barbara A. Love branch manager of First American Bank's 7th street office.
The Federal Home Loan Bank Board appointed Karl T. Hoyle executive director for public affairs. COMMUNICATIONS Contel Federal Systems appointed Donald W. Barrett sector vice president of technical operations.
Montgomery Community Television Inc. named Gregory Van Smith facilities manager and Kevin Pollock traffic clerk.
COMPUTER, HIGH TECHNOLOGY UNC Inc. elected Jack Moseley to its board of directors. Moseley is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of USF&G Corp.
The Computer Sciences Corp. appointed Donald C. Latham vice president and principal deputy to the president for the Systems Group.
Vanguard Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Vanguard Technologies International Inc., named W. Byron Waltham and Gary L. Lewey division vice presidents.
GOVERNMENT Edward J. Babbitt has been appointed deputy assistant secretary for governmental affairs.
The Northern Virginia Planning Commission elected Margaret E.G. Vanderhye chairman.
HEALTH Maryland Medical Research Institute Inc. appointed Dr. Christian R. Klimt chairman; Genell L. Knatterud president; and Dr. Michael L. Terrin vice president.
James E. Bobbitt has been named vice president and chief administrative officer of the Columbia-FreeState Health System, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland health maintainence organization network.
HOTEL, FOOD SERVICES Virginia Shippole has been named director of personnel for the Omni Shoreham Hotel in the District.
The Sheraton Washington hotel appointed Bruce T. Cunningham director of catering.
INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING Thulman-Eastern Distributor Sales, a manufacturer of fireplace wall systems, named Barbara Alderson sales representative.
INSURANCE Loss Control Management Corp., a Rockville-based insurance company, named Peter G. Baldwin president.
Connecticut Mutual Life of Washington appointed Melissa J. Millan brokerage director of the Washington Group of CM Alliance.
NONPROFIT John J. Giannini has been named regional trade officer for the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Peter W. Wood has been appointed senior vice president of ERC International's Defense Group.
The architecture firm of HTB Inc. appointed William R. Lawson vice president and director of its District office.
Walter Dorwin Teague Associates appointed Eric C. Hagerstrom director of the Washington office.
Francis P. Cotter has joined the law firm of Lipsen, Hamberger, Whitten & Hamberger.
Marna McLendon has joined the Columbia law firm of Ahlstrom & Davis, P.A.
Gauthier, Alvarado and Associates, an architectural and engineering firm based in Falls Church, has appointed Edwin C. Majer Jr. a principal of the firm.
Walt Ratcliff has been appointed director and account executive of the newly created Educational Printing division of Colortone Press Creative Graphics Inc.
Squire, Saunders & Dempsey named Timothy W. Bergin and Fred L. Levy partners of the law firm.
Rosenthal, Greene & Campbell appointed Davyd Morris business development manager; Suzan Suminski account executive; and Jill DeGroot account coordinator.
KT Enterprises, a landscape management firm in Alexandria, promoted William M. Smith to vice president of operations.
Dean Armstrong has been appointed first director of development services of the law firm of Fossett & Brugger, Chartered.
The architectural firm of Keyes Condon Florance named Karl Riedel, Emily K. Alexander Robinson and William W. Tucker associates of the firm.
Alan D. Strober has joined CTB Associates, a public affairs consulting firm in Baltimore, as legislative assistant.
Moller/Cochran Productions appointed Helene C. Sugarman director of communications.
Figgie International Inc. appointed Richard H. DeLisle manager of training.
Carol Cofield joined John Adams Associated Inc. as senior account executive.
W.B. Doner and Co. promoted Philip E. Lassalle to senior account executive.
The public accounting firm of Pannell Kerr Forster named Kevin F. Reilly director of the firm's national tax office in the District.
The Parking Market Research Co. named Sebrina Zerkus Smith director of subscriber services.