November 7, 2008
John Morton III, a prominent national business and financial services director, has been selected by Governor Martin O’Malley to chair the Maryland Stadium Authority Board of Directors. Mr. Morton, a member of the board since July, 2008, succeeds Frederick W. Puddester, who has been chairman since July, 2007. Mr. Puddester, who will remain on the Stadium Authority’s seven person board, resigned as Chairman in a letter to Governor O’Malley dated November 4th.
In his eighteen months as Chairman, Mr. Puddester, a one-time state budget director who is currently Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, initiated a number of improvements to the facilities managed by the agency, including a new state of the art audio visual system for Oriole Park and a five year capital plan for further upgrades of the Camden Yards complex. During his tenure, he also implemented a number of policy and management changes, such as the adoption of the “living wage” standard for day workers employed at the complex, and the development of a statewide sports marking initiative in conjunction with the Department of Business and Economic Development.
In his letter to the Governor, Mr. Puddester indicated his appreciation for the “phenomenal group” of MSA board members, as well as his commitment to continuing his service on the volunteer commission.
In selecting John Morton, III to succeed him, Governor O’Malley turned to a longtime activist with an extensive background in financial management. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a director of the USNA Athletic and Scholarship Programs, Mr. Morton has been CEO and President of three major financial institutions, is currently a board member on four corporations, and a leader in business, professional, educational and civic organizations.
From 1996 to 2006, Mr. Morton served in various capacities with the Bank of America/NationsBank, including his role as President of the Mid-Atlantic Region from 1997 to 2001, and as President of Premier Bank from 2001 to 2005.
Prior to his service with Bank of America, Mr. Morton was Chairman, CEO and President of the Boatmen's National Bank of St. Louis, Missouri, the Farm and Home Financial Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri and with the Perpetual Financial Corporation of McLean, Virginia.
Mr. Morton also has served as Chairman of the Greater Baltimore Committee, as Director of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, and as Committee Chairman of the effort to bring the 2012 Olympics to the Washington/Baltimore region.
Now retired and living in Annapolis, Mr. Morton looks forward to playing an active role as chairman of the agency in the management of the facilities and development of future projects.
“I deeply appreciate the opportunity Governor O’Malley is giving me to serve the citizens of Maryland at the Stadium Authority,” Mr. Morton said upon his appointment. “I am honored to follow Fred Puddester, who set a high bar as Chairman.”
In outlining his vision for the agency’s future, Mr. Morton cited his commitment to maintain the high standards of the internationally recognized “crown jewels” – the Camden Yards sports complex. He also intends to continue the agency’s practice of assisting local governments throughout the state evaluate potential projects, and to increase the use of existing facilities for events and activities enjoyed by all Marylanders.
“Nothing brings people together with a sense of pride and community like sports events,” he noted. “I want to continue to support the teams and events we already enjoy here, and explore additional ways for our citizens to experience the wonderful facilities in our region and our state.”
In making the announcements, Governor O’Malley said “I want to thank Fred Puddester for serving as Chair of the Maryland Stadium Authority Board.”
“Fred did a great job on behalf of the people of Maryland, “ he continued. “Fred worked to resolve some long-standing issues at MSA, including providing a living wage to the day workers at Maryland stadiums and working with the Baltimore Orioles to deliver a new state of the art scoreboard and information system at Camden Yards in time for the 2007 season.”
On the recommendation of both Chairman Puddester and incoming Chairman Morton, Governor O’Malley also announced the appointment of a new Executive Director.
Michael J. Frenz, Chief Operating Officer of the federally owned insurer Ginnie Mae. Mr. Frenz, a graduate of Yale University with an MBA from Syracuse University, and is the holder of a CFA charter. Responsible for the first strategic plan in the history of Ginnie Mae, Mr. Frenz has held senior positions with the government insurer since 2002. Prior to joining the agency in Washington, he held a community housing position at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Salt Lake City, where he worked on media housing for the 2002 Winter Olympics, and redeveloping a Brownsfield site at the city’s gateway into $300 million mixed use development. Before joining HUD, Mr. Frenz worked for a real estate developer and as a portfolio manager in his hometown of Syracuse, New York.
“I am very pleased to have been chosen to work with the MSA board and its dedicated employees,” Mr. Frenz stated. “I look forward to serving the citizens of Maryland in safeguarding and maximizing the value of the state’s athletic and entertainment facilities.”
Regarding the new appointments, Governor O’Malley said “I look forward to continuing to work with Fred on the Board, and incoming Chair, John Morton. Mr. Morton has an extensive background in financial management and will continue to move the Stadium Authority forward.”
“I also want to welcome incoming Executive Director Michael Frenz to the Maryland Stadium Authority,” the Governor added.
In a related development, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon appointed her Chief of Staff, Demaune Millard, as the City’s representative on the Maryland Stadium Authority Board.
Mr. Millard will fill the unexpired term of Thomas Corey, who recently left the city government to return to the private sector.