Reginald L. Dunn, 58, a business consultant and Maryland State Board of Education vice president who died of a heart attack Feb. 21, headed numerous efforts to expand educational and economic development opportunities in Prince George's County. He died at Prince George's Hospital Center after collapsing at a restaurant near his Mitchellville home.
President for 10 years of DDL Inc., a communications consulting firm, Mr. Dunn's background was in teaching and in business and community development. He often spoke of the importance education plays in improving a region's economy.
Mr. Dunn was appointed to the state education board in 1999, after he chaired a task force on educational funding that made recommendations for improving Prince George's schools. He was head of a county panel that studied educational opportunities for African American male students, and he served on a court-ordered committee that monitored school desegregation efforts in Prince George's and elsewhere in Maryland.
A former president of the Eleanor Roosevelt High School PTA, Mr. Dunn led a 1996 effort to repeal the voter-imposed property tax cap known as TRIM (Tax Reform Initiative by Marylanders). He argued that the county school system, whose test scores ranked second-lowest in the state, could not succeed with such a funding restriction. He said TRIM, approved in 1978, should be scrapped.
Mr. Dunn chaired the County Redevelopment Authority and was vice chairman of the county Economic Development Corp. He was a member of the Maryland Governor's Workforce Investment Board.
He ran unsuccessfully last year for a County Council seat in a field of six candidates in the Democratic primary. The theme of his campaign was that economic prosperity and revitalization has its roots in a school system that can produce a well-prepared workforce.
Mr. Dunn, a native of Detroit, worked on a car assembly line during summer vacations to earn his college tuition. He graduated from Tennessee State University and received a master's degree in political science and urban planning at the University of Tennessee.
He taught history and civics in Detroit high schools before he moved to Dayton, Ohio, in the late 1960s to be director of community services for the city's housing and urban development effort. He went on to be chief administrative officer of Dayton's Model Cities Planning Council.
Mr. Dunn moved to the Washington area in 1974 to work as program manager at the Booker T. Washington Foundation and later was its senior vice president for corporate development.
He joined the OAO Inc. high-tech management and development company in 1989 and went into business with his wife, Dr. Lucenia Williams Dunn, three years later. Their work included setting up business networks in Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the United States. Mr. Dunn also helped recruit and fund students from the Caribbean for historically black colleges in the United States.
Mr. Dunn chaired the male mentoring program at Woodmore Elementary School and the community and business advisory committee at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. He was president of the Capitol Hill Kiwanis Club, a founder of the Kiwanis in Mitchellville and president of the Woodmore Homeowners Association. He was a member of the vestry at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Washington and the Episcopal archbishop's finance and strategic planning committees. He was an usher at Washington National Cathedral.
He belonged to Alpha Phi Alpha social fraternity, the board of the Metropolitan YMCA, Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce and the Tennessee State University Alumni Association. He chaired Prince George's sister cities friendship committee with Befoking, South Africa.
His first wife, Marie Alyonette Dunn, died in 1981.
In addition to his wife, of Mitchellville and Tuskegee, Ala., where she has been mayor since 2000, survivors include a daughter from his first marriage, Ayanna Dunn of Mitchellville; his father, Enoch Dunn of Detroit; and a brother.