Charles E. Tate's concern for minority economic development has taken him from 1960s demonstrations in Dayton, Ohio, to the presidency of a think tank in the nation's capital.

Tate was named this month to head the Booker T. Washington Foundation, a nonprofit agency that attempts to improve the position of minorities in the American economy.

He replaces Charles T. Williams, who has been named chairman of the foundation's board. The former chairman, Val Washington, has retired but will remain on the board with the title of chairman emeritus.

The foundation studies different facets of the U.S. economy in search of opportunities for minorities. "Some economic opportunities have more impact than others," said Tate.

One of those opportunities was cable television systems. Tate said he believed that minority ownership of cable systems would be an effective way to bring disadvantaged groups into the mainstream market.

In the early 1970s, while at the foundation, Tate helped organize more than 100 minority-owned cable corporations that won 40 cable TV franchises.

"We wanted the money made from the franchises plowed back into the community. It had great potential," he said.

But now, less than a dozen of those franchises are still operated by the original owners. "Most minority firms will not invest in the long term.

When they have the chance to take money in the short term, they will do it," said Tate. One of the foundation's jobs is to "figure out how to sustain a position once it is established."

Another of its tasks is to monitor public policies on the federal, state and local levels that may provide opportunities.

For example, the foundation is trying to encourage the state of Michigan, which has earmarked $500 million for a venture capital fund for high-tech companies, to use some of that money to promote minority businesses.

"We want to make policy makers aware that minorities should be part of their strategy for economic development. These are public funds. We should be involved," Tate said.

While the foundation tries to break down longstanding barriers to minority development in the public sector, Tate said it is also addressing barriers that minorities have put up themselves.

"There is a lot of capital in black America, but it is not attracted to economic development ventures," he said. "The money goes to conspicious consumption, and no new wealth is created."

Tate's first priority is to launch a program called "Enterprise America," which will deal with economic deprivation for minorities in an era of political gains. The program will put together local task forces of professionals to discuss strategies that will "create a new psychology about enterprise" in the minority communities, said Tate.

ASSOCIATIONS Neil Gray joined the Highway Users Federation as director of governmental affairs. He will coordinate legislative strategy and keep the organization informed on congressional action.

The American Insurance Association named Marialice Foley senior counsel for its western region.

Former White House press secretary Ronald L. Ziegler has been named president of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

Linda Daschle has been appointed vice president of federal affairs for the American Association of Airport Executives.

The National Association of College and University Business Officers named Robin Jenkins director of the financial management center and Lucy Howton manager of communications.

FINANCIAL SERVICES Virginia Smith has been named president of Signet Mortgage Corp., a subsidiary of Signet Banking Corp.

David W. Glenn has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co.

First American Bankshares Inc. elected Gwain H. Gillespie executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Janice L. Biennas is in charge of Sandy Spring National Bank of Maryland's recently formed trust department.

Nancy E. Sheehan has been named vice president for operations for Maximum Savings Bank.

Bank 2000 in McLean appointed Michael A. Caggiano to its board.

American Express Co. has named Denise G. Ferguson vice president of government affairs.

COMMUNICATIONS Thomas E. Haller has been named director of corporate communication for Communications Technology Applications Inc.

HIGH TECHNOLOGY Gregory R. Gill has been named vice president and chief financial officer of Computer Entry Systems Corp.

GOVERNMENT Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. named Janet L. Barnes chief information officer and director of the information resources management department.

HEALTH A.S. Damiani, president of Com-Site International, was elected chairman of the board of trustees of Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.

HOTEL, FOOD SERVICES Nicholas J. Sabatini has been named manager of budgets and forecasts for the corporate controller of McCormick & Co. Inc.

Leadership Lodging Corp. appointed John Kilkenny general manager at the Best Western-Executive Inn in Arlington.

Sean Warner joined the Washington Plaza Hotel as restaurant manager.

Richard Harris was named general manager of Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Rosslyn.

INDUSTRIAL Amoco Corp. named Ronald W. Wolsey Washington representative in the District office.

Avondale Industries Inc. appointed Cynthia L. Martin director of government relations in the company's Crystal City office.

INSURANCE Joan Albert Dreux has been named vice president of federal legislative and regulatory affairs for Mutual of Omaha and its life insurance affiliate, United of Omaha, in the companies' District office.

George F. Spellman has been appointed senior vice president of Association & Society Insurance Companies, an organization in Kensington that specializes in marketing group insurance plans and membership services.

NONPROFIT The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., a nonprofit neighborhood revitalization organization, appointed Bonnie Nance Frazier special assistant to the executive director for public information.

Arlington Community Residences Inc. named Edward Szrom chairman and Richard Wakefield and Diana Cerisi vice chairmen.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation elected Robert M. Bass chairman.

Jane M. Watkins has been named director of programs at OEF International, a nonprofit agency dedicated to improving the economic status of women in developing countries.

The D.C. Preservation League added eight new members to its board of trustees: Theresa F. Brown, Ann R. Kinney, Nellie L. Longsworth, Mary Oehrlein, Robert P. Pincus, Marshall E. Purnell, Jordon E. Tannenbaum, and Sheila R. Weidenfeld.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Arthur Young & Co., an international acounting, tax and management consulting firm, named Sue Molina a partner and the following people principals: Linda McCay, Jack Findlater, Dan Murrin, Joe Simnowitz, Cheryl Smith and Mary Zackrison.

Coopers & Lybrand, an accounting and management consulting firm, named five new partners: Peter M. Horoszko, Elaine M. Kramer, Charles W. Snader, David K. Carr and Judith A. Rosenblum. In addition, Raymond A. Ranelli is the new head of the firm's mergers and acquisitions practice for the mid-Atlantic region. Russell Muir was elected partner in Coopers & Lybrand United Kingdom.

The Adams Group Inc., an advertising and public relations firm, appointed Deborah West Noble account administrator; Karla Araujo vice president of creative services; and Linda Willis vice president of production services.

Oldham & Seltz, an architecture and interior design firm in Washington, appointed the following people associates of the firm: Joyce Bein, Margot Fehrenbacher and John Styer.

Henry J. Kaufman & Associates named Maria Ivancin vice president for media and research; and David E. Henderson senior vice president at Kaufman Public Relations.

Stephen W. Mooore has joined ORS Associates, an office relocation and management consulting company, as a consultant.

Mary Frances Yount and Cybele Silea joined The Satterwhite Group as account managers.

Marlowe & Co., a public affairs consulting firm, appointed Susan F.E. Milner public affairs consultant.

ERC International appointed Gen. Richard H. Thompson, U.S. Army (retired), to a new position on its board.

Tracy Rogers-Paquin has been promoted to manager of The Choice for Temporaries Inc. in the District.

Kenneth E. Krosin joined the law firm of Lowe, Price, LeBlanc, Becker & Shur.

Friedman, Fuller and Hudson Inc., an independent insurance and risk management consulting firm, appointed Robert B. Middleton director of marketing and Peter J. Dec and Jean M. Pittler associate consultants.

Tom Lawler, Bruce Reynolds, John Foreman and Gary Tabach have been named partners of Touche Ross, an accounting and consulting company.

The Martin Agency in Richmond named Morton Baran senior vice president and director of broadcast production.

REAL ESTATE The Oliver Carr Co. appointed Thomas K. Bourke vice president of D.C. development.

CSX Realty Inc., part of CSX Corp., appointed Penelope Ward Kyle assistant vice president and assistant to the president of CSX Realty.

William P. Murphy joined Grady Management Inc. as vice president for development. Grady manages apartments and condominiums in the Washington area.

RETAIL, WHOLESALE WEB Service Co., which operates a chain of coin-operated laundry equipment, appointed Michael Calderaro district sales manager for the Washington office.

John Whitacre has been named manager of the Nordstrom store in Tysons Corner.

Jeanne Herrick and Jose A. Gonzalez have been appointed executive vice presidents of Crown Books. Dart Group Corp. owns the majority interest in Crown Books.

TRANSPORTATION The Union Pacific Corp. elected Edmund S. Hawley vice president of external affairs and Gary F. Schuster vice president of corporate relations.

Trak Auto in Landover appointed the following corporate officers: Tom Reilly, executive vice president; Carol Schofield, assistant vice president of advertising; Jim Kilkenny, assistant vice president of distribution; Greg Bankos, assistant vice president and controller; Frank Ortiz, assistant vice president and general manager of the Los Angeles division; Bob Verbeck, assistant vice president and general manager of the Washington metropolitan division, and Dick Bonham, assistant vice president and general manger of the Chicago division.