With the Washington area burgeoning with high-growth technology firms, health care companies and trade associations, a leading executive search firm is opening a Washington office to tap into the local pool of executive talent -- and bring new talent here.

For the past 15 years, Heidrick and Struggles has been dealing with executive placement in Washington through its Atlanta, New York and Chicago offices. Last year, the mid-Atlantic market around Washington brought the firm $1 million in fees.

"We had a business without an office," said John K. Semyan, who is coming from the firm's Dallas office to take charge of the new Washington branch. "The number of assignments has exploded in the past five years. We were committed to open a Washington office in 1987."

The mid-Atlantic region around Washington promises to be a lucrative area for the company, Semyan said. "We expect to do more than $3 million of business annually in this office by 1989," he said.

Heidrick and Struggles, which placed such executives as John Sculley at Apple Computer Inc. and Edward Hennessy at Allied Corp., searches for senior executive talent for companies and groups in exchange for a fee.

Heidrick and Struggles' search system hinges on a detailed exercise that determines a client's needs and a large data base of senior executives who can fill a position. "We have to understand the client and find someone who will have an immediate successful impact on the company," Semyan said.

"Our data base is a reservoir of highly visible executives with successful track records," he said. "We read about these executives in the newspapers or trade magazines. When a partner meets a successful executive, his name and background are entered into the system.

"Most of these executives are happy where they are. They are not even thinking of a career change. We present them with alternative opportunities," Semyan said.

The Washington area is attractive to many senior managers. "Some parts of the country have negative points, such as high cost of living, cold weather, or poor economic and cultural surroundings," Semyan said. "But D.C. is easy to sell. The quality of life here cannot be beat, housing is expensive but not prohibitive. Washington has more selling points than knock-offs."

The advantage for Heidrick and Struggles in Washington, Semyan said, is that it is not "coming in from scratch. We have built contacts, we know this marketplace. Right now, we are looking for a new president for a university in Virgina and a financial executive for an area company. Over the past year, we have placed a dozen association presidents, a president of a local college, and a chief executive officer of a Baltimore medical center."

ASSOCIATIONS The Metropolitan Washington Area Council of Health Planning Agencies named Mel Bergheim chairman.

The American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations named Lynn O. Dowling its executive director. Dowling has been director of the department of practice management for the American Medical Association.

Tracy Sparks has been elected president of the national capital chapter of the Professional Picture Framers Association.

Gisela Miller has been named executive director of Ballston Partnership, a coalition formed to promote development of the Arlington neighborhood.

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce promoted Yvonne Croft to general manager and hired Gay Andrews Dillin as director of communications and special projects.

The Washington D.C. Convention and Visitors Association appointed Joseph McMahon national sales manager and Patricia M. Fisher sales manager.

BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES Jefferson Bank & Trust Co. of Greenbelt named William R. Johnson president and chief executive.

Sandy Spring National Bank appointed Louisa White Riggs a director of the bank.

Mortgage Banking Service Corp., a subsidiary of Mortgage Bankers Association of America, appointed Warren J. Dunn first general manager and senior vice president.

First American Bank of Maryland named Barbara M. Hart vice president of Upper Montgomery County corporate banking; Judith L. Neyman vice president and manager of corporate services in corporate banking; and Richard B. Luttrell senior branch officer in Bethesda.

COMMUNICATIONS Kiplinger Washington Editors Inc. named David L. Harrison director of books. Changing Times, a magazine published by Kiplinger, named Carol F. LePere circulation director.

The Washington Accountant, a bimonthly business publication, appointed Jodi L. Wolf associate editor.

Contel Corp. named John H. Mattingly vice president of North American network services for the company's ASC information networks division. Contel's federal systems sector appointed Walter A. Kennedy director of strategic planning.

Bernard A. Goodrich has been appointed director of public relations for MCI Communcations Corp.

COMPUTER, HIGH TECHNOLOGY Comnet Corp. appointed Charles F. Wilson Jr. production manager of its automated image management division.

Vitro Corp. promoted Seymour L. Moskowitz to vice president of advanced development and Kent D. Brostrom to the newly established position of director of corporate development.

Planning Research Corp., a subsidiary of Emhart Corp., named Pierson J. Holcombe corporate vice president for program development.

UNC Inc., a high-technology firm based in Annapolis, named Robert J. Waugh and G. Vern Diedrick sector presidents and Robert L. Pevenstein vice president of finance.

Byron Products, a Rockville-based supplier of computer and office information systems, named Sheryl Staren director of administration and Bryan Nieman customer service manager.

United Technologies Corp., a high-technology industrial company based in Hartford, Conn., appointed Sidney F. McKenna senior vice president of public affairs in Washington.

Mitre Corp. named Barry M. Horowitz executive vice president and chief operating officer for its office in McLean; Edward C. Brady senior vice president and general manager of the Washington C3I division; and Richard P. Granato vice president of the Washington C3I division.

HEALTH Janet I. Dye has been appointed product manager for Manor Healthcare Corp.'s assisted living facilities. Manor Healthcare, based in Silver Spring, operates 144 nursing centers in 22 states.

INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING Fairchild Industries Inc., a diversified aerospace company based in Chantilly, named Robert L. May to its board and Dominick C. C. Bellezza general manager of Fairchild Control Systems Co.

James S. Anderson has been named senior vice president of human resources for Figgie International Inc. of Richmond.

Thulman Eastern Corp., a Baltimore manufacturer of housing-related products, appointed Larry Bradshaw division manager and Suzanne Fitchpatrick sales representative for the Charlottesville region.

Ceco Corp., a concrete construction company in Landover, named Dale Anthony general superintendent; Klaus R. Schmidt sales engineer; Thomas A. Ameel regional engineer, and Frank P. Salzano district engineer.

INSURANCE Tricor Title Insurance Co. promoted Mark C. Wanich III to southeastern regional manager of the company's national title service program.

NONPROFIT Marjorie K. Sheen has been appointed director of public affairs for the Coucil on Competitiveness, a nonprofit business organization.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Versar Inc., based in Springfield, appointed Gary R. Windolph a vice president. Windolph will also continue as president of ARIX Corp., which was acquired by Versar in July.

Charles Fentress, currently public relations director of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, is joining Wussow Consulting Group as a partner, effective in January.

National Management Associates Inc., a voter survey and direct mail firm based in Washington, appointed Dennis Huey to head the company's new direct mail creative, design and production department.

William F. Vosbeck was named head of Vosbeck Associates Inc., an Alexandria firm that evaluates building designs and construction processes.

Vivek R. Rao joined The Martin Agency as print production manager.

Ross A. Z. McCausland joined Browne, Worrall & Johnson Inc. Architects as construction coordinator in the firm's construction department.

Analysis Group Inc. of Washington named Mary B. Reaves director of the management and technical services division; Roger D. Mingo director of the transportation and engineering division; Ramon J. Hacker director of finance and administration; Joe J. Sconce assistant director for Latin America at the company's center for privatization, and Mona Bigelow manager of administrative services.

Gail Rubin and Cheryl J. Wait have been made senior account executives at Devillier Communications Inc. of Washington.

ATEC Associates of Virginia Inc. announced the following personnel changes in its Chantilly and Alexandria offices: Edward DeSantis has been promoted to assistant vice president and manager of geotechnical and enviormental services department; M. Suri Surendra has been promoted to manager of the engineering division; J. Michael Nickles has been named executive vice president and northeast regional manager; Paul A. Esposito has been named manager of the industrial hygiene division; Robert E. Hackman has been named assistant vice president; Thomas F. Farrell has been named senior project engineer; Bala Siva has been named staff engineer; Michael L. Goodis has been named assistant materials division manager, and Dana K. Eddy has been named project engineer.

USTravel Systems Inc. of Rockville appointed Stephen C. Robinson corporate controller.

George Stephens Associates of Richmond, an affiliate of Paciulli, Simmons & Associates Ltd. in Fairfax, appointed Jon Phillippe to head the firm's engineering and planning departments.

Robert E. Casey was promoted to vice president of Paul Temples/Associates, an architecture and interior design firm in Fairfax.

Thomas & Associates Inc., a consulting firm based in Herndon, named Carolyn Highley director of its technical staffing exposition division.

Brad German joined the public relations and advertising firm of Martin-Schaffer Inc. as a broadcast copywriter.

Barry G. Neiburger joined Michael Fox Co., an asset-recovery firm based in Baltimore, as the company's representative in New York City.

Maguire Group Inc., an architectural firm based in Falls Church, named Bryon G. McIntyre vice president and principal in charge of its mid-Atlantic regional architectural office.

The engineering firm of Bengsten, DeBell, Elkin & Titus Ltd. appointed Linda Green director of personnel.

Kamber Engineering Inc., a civil and environmental engineering and surveying firm based in Gaithersburg, appointed Ellen M. Molenda senior project engineer.

Callow Associates Inc., a consulting firm based in Reston, named Howard S. Stein an associate.

The Washington D.C. Convention and Visitors Association appointed Joseph McMahon national sales manager and Patricia M. Fisher sales manager.

REAL ESTATE West Group Inc. appointed Wayne C. Hallheimer director of leasing for Virgina.

Nancy K. Card joined The Mason Hirst Companies as vice president of the newly formed development department.

Foulger-Pratt Construction Inc., a general contracting firm based in Rockville, promoted Charles Gibson to project manager.

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. named Nancy K. Jarvis manager of its Upper Marlboro branch.

RETAIL, WHOLESALE Kitchen Bazaar of Rockville appointed John Wear II merchandise manager; Trixie Van Horn vice president of store operations; and Debbie Olin manager of the Montgomery Mall branch.

TRANSPORTATION The Anton Automotive Group of Rockville appointed A.Z. Claure director of marketing and customer relations.ENDQUA