The Washington Convention Center, well into its third year of operation, is no longer the new kid downtown.
General Manager George W. Demarest Jr. said the $98.7 million, 800,000-square-foot center has been maintaining a pace of 25 to 30 international and national conventions and trade shows a year, which he says is a full house all months except December and January, considered dead months in this area for conventions. There are major shows booked into 1994, Demarest said.
The Convention Center is run by a five-member board of directors whose members are appointed for three-year terms by the mayor, with confirmation by the City Council.
Following is a look at the high-powered D.C. residents who make up this low-key board: Kent Cushenberry
Board Chairman Kent Cushenberry has risen steadily through the ranks of IBM since 1967, when he was hired as a sales manager. Since 1976, he has been the company's corporate director for community relations and government programs, responsible for keeping in contact with community leaders and organizations.
And that he does. At last count, Cushenberry was a member of 15 boards and committees, including the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, Washington Performing Arts Society, National Symphony Orchestra, United Way, United Negro College Fund, Greater Washington Board of Trade, and Wolf Trap Foundation.
Cushenberry said he feels the Convention Center is important because of the jobs it produces and the development it fosters. It is "the key focal point for the economic development and revitalization of downtown Washington," he said.
Cushenberry grew up in Chicago, one of eight sons. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1967 from the University of Wisconsin in psychology and communications.
He and his wife LaCharion have two children -- Kent III, 15, a student at Bullis School in Potomac, and Gina Cherie, 10, who goes to McLean School in Potomac. Charlotte G. Chapman ----
Charlotte G. Chapman is the newest member of the Convention Center board, appointed in October 1984 to replace Julia Walsh.
Chapman has been involved in a long list of volunteer activities. The involvement that is taking the most time and energy these days is the Museum of the District of Columbia. She is a founder and a member of the board of directors for the project, which may open its doors at Fifth and K streets NW as early as September.
"It's been a fight for a long time to get it started," Chapman said. "We're one of the only big cities in the country that don't have a city museum."
Chapman was raised in Flint, Mich., where her family worked for General Motors. She graduated from Flint Junior College and attended American University and D.C. Teachers College.
She came to the District in the 1940s and worked for the federal government -- Civil Service Commission, Department of State, Walter Reed Hospital and the Smithsonian Institution -- until 1959, when she left to raise her children.
Chapman's husband, Clinton W. Chapman, is an attorney. They have three daughters -- Cheryl, an attorney, Clarissa, a technical writer, and Carolyn, a master's candidate in economics at the University of Maryland. Luther H. Hodges Jr.
One of the District's most influential bankers, Luther H. Hodges Jr., was appointed to the board in 1984.
Hodges is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of The National Bank of Washington and its parent corporation, Washington Bancorp. He took the position in 1980 at a time the bank was ridden with problems, including loan scandals and declines in both assets and deposits. In recent years the bank has turned around, and last year reported a 34 percent increase in profits to $8.2 million.
Hodges came to the bank from the Carter administration, where he was first undersecretary of the Department of Commerce and later the department's first deputy secretary.
He comes from a political family in North Carolina. His father was governor of the state in the 1950s and later served as secretary of commerce under President Kennedy. Hodges himself sought the Democratic nomination in 1978 to the U.S. Senate to oppose Republican Jesse Helms, but was upset in a primary runoff election.
He earned his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of North Carolina and a master's in business administration from Harvard University. He has written three books on banking and finance.
He has three children and two stepchildren, the youngest in college. Although he says "I mostly work," he enjoys tennis and reading. He and his wife, Cheray, are active in the District performing arts scene. Ann Kinney
Mayor Barry appointed Ann Kinney, one of his staunchest political supporters, to the Convention Center board in November 1982 to replace Marie C. Barksdale, a management consultant.
Kinney was treasurer of the mayor's reelection campaign in 1982 and from March 1979 to November 1981, she was executive assistant to the mayor for business and economic development.
In that position, she was responsible for the Economic Development Advisory Committee and the Committee to promote Washington, D.C. She was liaison to the Convention Center board and to the private business community. She calls the center the "single most important" factor in the city's economic development.
Kinney is currently a consultant for Capital City Associates Inc. She works with foreign companies and investors, mostly Japanese, that are planning to come to the District or to invest here. Kinney earned her master's and PhD in economics from Columbia University. Her bachelor's degree in international relations is from Vassar College.
Kinney is married to Gilbert H. Kinney, president of the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art. They have two daughters, Sarah, 21, a history major at Yale University, and Eleanor, 17, a student at Madeira School for Girls.
Kinney and her husband are art enthusiasts and own an extensive collection of contemporary American painting and sculpture. She heads the Convention Center's art committee, which is charged with acquiring art for the center. William Lucy
William Lucy, international secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was appointed by the mayor in November 1982 to replace John A. Boardman, business agent for the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union, Local 25.
The appointment generated a bit of criticism from Hotel and Restaurant Union officials, who claimed that politics was behind the mayor replacing Boardman because his union had endorsed Barry's opponent, the late Patricia Roberts Harris, in the 1982 mayoral primary.
Lucy, one of the highest-ranking black labor leaders in the country, has a long history of local, national and international political involvement.
Lucy was in Memphis in April 1968 when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. Lucy had been a negotiator in the sanitation workers strike that King and his Freedom Fighters came to Memphis to march in support of.
Lucy was raised in Richmond, Calif., and studied engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. He was elected to his present position in 1972, and as secretary-treasurer is chief financial officer of AFSCME.
Lucy has been active in District Democratic politics, and is on the steering committee of the Free South Africa Movement, which is organizing the daily protests at the South African embassy.
Lucy and his wife Dorotheria have two grown daughters, Benita and Phyllis. He says he is an "avid, rabid Redskin fan" and also enjoys sports of most kinds, especially boating and swimming.