In two weeks, David L. Winstead, current executive director of the Washington/Baltimore Regional Association, is moving from boardrooms into the nation's schoolrooms as new president of the Challenger Center.

The Challenger Center was created in September 1986 by the families of the seven astronauts who died in the Jan. 28, 1986, Challenger shuttle disaster. It is a nonprofit organization funded by private contributions that seeks to continue the Challenger's mission of promoting education about space exploration.

"The Challenger crew sought out and took advantage of teaching that enabled them to reach for the stars. That's what the Challenger Center is all about -- teaching and reaching for the stars," said June Scobee, widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee and chairwoman of the Challenger Center.

When searching for a president of the center "we looked for an organizer, a manager, someone with business expertise," Scobee said. "What sold us on Winstead was his enthusiasm for the center, for space exploration and, most of all, for children."

Winstead is a business school graduate who got interested in space issues while working for Sen. Charles McC. Mathias and an appropriations committee that oversaw NASA in the late 1970s. He confesses to having "always been fascinated with space, but basically my interests are in taking management skills and applying them to various product areas."

"At the Washington/Baltimore Regional Association {a nonprofit business alliance}, I assembled materials and targeted them to interested individuals and businesses. The same kind of discipline is involved here," Winstead said.

He and eight employes, with the help of several influential board members, are assembling a Space Life Station in the District. The space station has no building yet but, when completed, it will enable students and teachers to take part in realistic "mission scenarios" for days at a time. The space station on earth will house sleeping, eating and recreation quarters -- all simulating life aboard a space station. It is designed to make those inside feel as if they were in orbit.

The Washington Challenger Center is the flagship for other centers that are to be established throughout the country. The next one is planned for Houston. Winstead envisions four regional centers and several satellite centers that will provide space science learning areas for children and teachers. Through seminars and simulated space labs set up all over the United States, students will become acquainted with scientific and problem-solving skills needed for space exploration.

The center has merged with the Teacher-in-Space Education Foundation, created by teachers who took part in NASA's Teacher-in-Space Project. This project will train teachers through sabbaticals and residence fellowships to teach about space travel.

Challenger Center's first task is to acquire funding. The group has already received more than $1 million in private donations and another $1 million from the Gannett Foundation. Scobee and Winstead are looking for $30 million to $50 million.

"We are accepting money from anybody," Scobee said. "We got $5,000 from children donating their penny collections and $35,000 from a school garage sale. If the kids were in charge of this project, it would have been built a long time ago."

ASSOCIATIONS

The National Contract Management Association elected Daniel M. Jacobs national president and Joseph S. Sansone Jr. national vice president for education and certification.

The Graphic Arts Marketing Information Service, a special industry group of Printing Industries of America Inc., elected John Morrison president, Terry Tringle vice president, Mavis Motherway secretary and Timothy L. Klee treasurer.

W.B. Todd Jr. will join the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association as senior vice president of government and technical affairs.

BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES

Edwin J. Gray, former chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, was named president and chief operating officer of Chase Federal Savings & Loan Association, a south Florida mutual thrift that has no connection with Chase Manhattan Corp. Gray succeeds Charles L. Clemens Jr., who remains Chase's chairman and chief executive officer.

Dominion Bankshares Corp. elected William G. Shenkir, dean of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, to its board of directors.

Patrick C. Ryan, senior vice president, director and manager of trading at Johnston, Lemon & Co. Inc., was elected a governor of the National Association of Securities Dealers Inc. by the NASD's District No. 10 committee.

Riggs National Bank of Washington, D.C., appointed Harold C. Warner executive vice president and chief trust investment officer.

Arlington Bank named Eileen M. St. Louis vice president and Ashley Headen assistant vice president in charge of commercial loans.

United Bank and Trust Co. of Maryland elected Susan C. Regan, William M. Grucella and Holley D. Zippi branch officers.

COMMUNICATIONS

Cable & Wireless Communications Inc. in Vienna promoted Scott G. Yancey Jr. to vice president and controller.

Mimi A. Feller, vice president/public affairs and government relations of Gannett Co. Inc., has been appointed to the Gannett Management Committee. The committee coordinates overall management policies of the company.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting named Dennis J. McIntosh director of the office of government affairs.

Harriet Edleson has been named family/health/people editor of the Tempo section of the Journal Newspapers.

COMPUTER, HIGH TECHNOLOGY

Martha F.C. Byrne joined Entre Computer Centers as manager of direct response.

GOVERNMENT

The Virginia Port Authority named J. Stanley Payne, former executive assistant and general counsel of the agency, deputy executive director.

HEALTH

Group Health Association appointed Theodore J. Weinberg chief financial officer.

INSURANCE

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. appointed Michael J. Curran manager of its Washington region real estate investments office.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Calvert Group, a subsidiary of the Acacia Group, named six new members to its board of directors: E. Patrick Coady, C. Lawrence Evans Jr., Eugene S. Koster, Morey C. McGlasson, Clifton S. Sorrell Jr. and Ronald M. Wolfsheimer.

Former U.S. senator John Tower is chairman of the board of a newly formed international management consulting firm -- Tower, Eggers & Greene Consultants Inc.

Nationwide Remittance Centers in Rockville appointed Richard W. Wirth president and chief executive officer.

Wilton T. Delano has been named vice president at Bengtson, DeBell, Elkin & Titus Ltd., a Virginia consulting engineering firm.

The Weihe Partnership, Architects & Planners, appointed Marc Nathanson associate partner, and Bill Brenneke and Jeffrey Morris senior associates.

The law firm of Byran, Cave, McPheeters & McRoberts, appointed John G. Johnson Jr., Carl W. Northrop and Jack R. Smith to its Washington office.

Simeon M. Kriesberg joined the Washington office of Mayer, Brown & Platt law firm.

Swanke Hayden Connell Architects appointed Lynne A. Byall regional business development manager.

The Stenrich Group, a subsidiary of the Martin Agency of Richmond, named Katrina Hernandez traffic manager, Mary Ann Kretowicz production manager and Emily Snellings mechanical art supervisor.

REAL ESTATE

Wynmark Development Corp. in the District appointed Lori Seader, Jeremy W. Taylor and Kent H. Worthington vice presidents.

Henry A. Long Co. named Michelle L. Chapman and Andrea L. Selfe marketing project representatives.

Carey Winston Co. appointed William S. Lottier assistant vice president of commercial mortgage financing in the Vienna office.

Robert & Lloyd Inc. Realtors named Michael Gutherie sales manager of its Reston office.

Catherine A. Harris has been named manager of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.'s Chevy Chase branch.

RETAIL, WHOLESALE

Hydro Service & Supplies Inc. elected Timothy C. Holden vice president of field operations.

TRANSPORTATION

Dana J. Lockhart has been named sales finance director of Airbus Industrie of North America Inc. in Herndon.