Duane B. Adams is dropping two of the three titles he holds at The Acacia Group in a plan to diversify the management at the Washington-based financial services company.

Adams has been chairman, president and chief executive officer of the firm since 1983. He will give up the roles of president and chief executive officer when a successor is named by the board, but will remain as chairman.

In a prepared statement, Adams said the changes "will strengthen our management team as we move beyond the $1 billion asset milestone."

John E. Pluhowski, a spokesman for Acacia, said, "It was in the board's interest to accelerate the process of diversifying the management group."

The board is establishing a search committee that is scheduled to meet this week to start its search for a new president. "We are looking for a special kind of person," Pluhowski said. "We don't have any timetable."

Pluhowski said the change in management structure stemmed in part from the company's recent diversification from insurance into other financial services.

"Adams felt the need to diversify the management structure as our product line changed," Pluhowski said. "We were a single-product company in 1983. Under Adams, we expanded our business and became a diversified financial services organization. He had always planned to diversify the management team with the company."

Acacia, which started as a life insurance company 118 years ago, has acquired a mutual fund company, an investment management firm and a savings bank in the past four years.

Acacia has had several other top-level management changes this fall: Clifton S. Sorrell Jr. was named president of the Calvert Group in September; Stephen H. Detwiler resigned as president and chief executive officer of Acacia Federal Savings Bank, and Detwiler's position was filled by F. Weller Meyer, former president of Acacia Mortgage Corp.

ASSOCIATIONS The Academy of Independent Scholars named John E. Whiteford Boyle, current president of the Foreign Services Research Institute, executive officer.

Richard M. Reilly was elected to a second term as chairman of the Investment Co. Institute, the national association of the mutual fund industry.

John Thomas has been elected to the National Academy of Public Administration, a federally chartered organization that gives advice to government organizations.

The American Movers Conference named Nathan R. Berkley director of government traffic.

Janet M. Widmer was appointed executive director of the American Lung Association of Washington.

The American Health Care Association elected James Durante president.

ADAPSO, a computer software and services industry association, appointed Roberta H. Hough controller and Susan Allen vice president of marketing.

Norman Myers was elected director of the Northern Virginia Regional Chapter of the National Association of Realtors.

BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES Riggs National Bank appointed William G. Batz executive vice president and promoted Basil D. Yauger to senior vice president.

The College Construction Loan Insurance Association elected Richard J. Ramsden chairman.

First Liberty National Bank appointed Ann M. Bowman executive administrator.

Ruesch International, a District-based foreign exchange and precious metals firm, appointed Frances Berndt vice president of operations; Michael Man vice president of finance; Susan B. Merrick assistant vice president; George Dwarka vice president for wholesale banknotes, and Mary Beville assistant vice president for finance.

Signet Home Loan, the second-mortgage subsidiary of Signet Banking Corp., named Delores Spraker manager of its Manassas office.

COMMUNICATIONS MCI Communications Corp. of Washington appointed Bernard A. Goodrich director of public relations.

Sharon Denny was named senior editor of Defense News, which is published by a division of The Times Journal Co. in Springfield.

Washingtonian magazine appointed Lynne Mannino design director.

WAMU-FM Public Radio appointed Laura Forman manager for publicity and promotion. The station is licensed to American University.

COMPUTER, HIGH TECHNOLOGY United Computer Systems Inc., a computer maintenance firm in Columbia, named Vera C. Mey director of marketing; Robert Craig technical director; Dean Godbout controller, and Patty Hoctor a member of the accounting department.

Comnet Corp. of Washington appointed Gary M. Siegel president of its computer services group.

Vitro Corp. appointed James S. Zimmerman director of Air Force business development.

Gerald J. Doyle has been promoted to vice president and group manager of Maxima Corp.'s systems technology and support group.

Veronica Romanow has joined Logistics Applications Inc. of Landover as director of marketing and planning.

GOVERNMENT The Maryland Port Administration named Mary Jane Norris assistant regional manager of its Baltimore sales and marketing office.

HEALTH The District of Columbia Chapter of the American Red Cross named Peter W. Tredick chairman of the board; G. Patrick Clancy Jr. chairman of the financial development committee; Peter A. Burkhard, Horace G. Dawson and Joseph S. Hezir members of the board, and Ellen K. Sommer director of communications.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute named Dr. Alexander G. Bearn a trustee and Dr. W. Maxwell Cowan vice president and chief scientific officer.

HOTEL, FOOD SERVICES Jerry T. Cerand was appointed manager of the Garden Cafe, located in the State-Plaza Hotel in Washington.

INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING McCormick Properties Inc., the real estate subsidiary of McCormick & Co. Inc., named Shar L. DePalma senior marketing manager. The McCormick/Schilling division of McCormick & Co. Inc. promoted W. Douglas Gunn to manager of human relations for the field sales organization.

INSURANCE John C. Gray joined USLICO Corp. as senior vice president of management information systems.

Frank S. Phillips Insurance Agency Inc. in Bethesda promoted Robert N. McClung to president.

NONPROFIT Allan Schlosser joined the Wolf Trap Foundation as vice president of public affairs.

The Washington Center, a nonprofit educational organization, named Michael Smith senior vice president; Mary Ryan vice president for academic programs; and Allyn Enderlyn vice president for institutional advancement.

For Love of Children, an agency that helps homeless and abused children, elected William H. Lewis Jr. president.

Christopher Scott has been named executive director of Montpelier, the National Trust's 2,700-acre museum that was once the home of James Madison.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES David Cox has been named chief operating officer for the Washington Consulting Group, a technical consulting firm based in the District.

Mary Douglass Brown joined Meadows & Wiser, a graphic design studio based in Washington, as a designer.

Williams Whittle Associates Inc. named Wendi Kushner advertising account supervisor; Olwen Thorpe public relations account supervisor; Donna Nielsen marketing research manager; Christopher Hornbrook advertising account executive; Julie Graef public relations senior account coordinator; Smiti Kumar advertising account executive; Judi Malawar advertising account executive, and Kelli J. Cates traffic assistant.

Marcille G. Williams has been named to direct Hill and Knowlton Inc.'s new advanced technology division practice group.

Resource Consultants Inc. of Vienna elected Charles R. Collins to its board.

Jonathan V. Cohen joined the law firm of Arter & Hadden as a senior associate resident in its Washington office.

Lerch, Early, Roseman & Frankel Chartered, a law firm based in Bethesda, named David J. Levenson, Stanley J. Reed, Stephanie Wickouski and Cindi E. Cohen principals of the firm; and Ronald M. Gootzeit an associate.

Politics Inc., a political strategy and consulting firm, named Lesley Israel president and chief executive officer, and Lynn Cutler and Deborah E. Miller vice presidents.

REAL ESTATE Carey Winston Co., a commercial real estate and mortgage banking company based in Chevy Chase, named Virginia M. Gallagher a leasing agent; Oray R. Nicolai vice president/production manager of the residential loan division in the Tysons Corner office; Samuel A. Stroup assistant vice president/manager of the residential loan division; J. Roger Hill a sales associate specializing in apartment building sales, and Fred M. Gober a leasing agent.

The Milton Co., a residential builder and developer in the Washington area, named William J. Bestimt assistant vice president of operations, and William P. Cripe director of human resources.

EDAW Inc. appointed Bradley E. Wellington director of project and staff management.