years to head the Maryland Bankers Association.

Ms. Murphy, who has been the ABA's top staff member on community banking since 1989, starts Oct. 4 and succeeds John B. Bowers Jr. Mr. Bowers ran the Maryland group for 13 years until June when he resigned to join Bank Compensation Strategies Group.

Ms. Murphy, a competitive sailor, lives in Annapolis, Md., and said she has always wanted to run a trade group.

"This was just something I couldn't pass up," she said. Still it was a tough decision. "What was tough was thinking about leaving all the people, not only the staff, but the bankers," she said. "But at least (Maryland Bankers) is part of the same family."

Ms. Murphy said she plans to help Maryland Bankers' 85 commercial banks and 34 thrifts get ready for the year-2000 rollover. While the institutions are technically ready, the public still needs to be reassured that the date change will not be a catastrophe, she said.

Her other immediate objective is preparing for the state legislature's 90-day session, which begins Jan. 12. Maryland lawmakers are expected to consider requiring banks to offer low-cost checking accounts as well as shielding banks and other businesses from year-2000-related lawsuits, according to Ms. Murphy.

Before joining the ABA, Ms. Murphy was director of communications at the Ohio Bankers Association.

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The ABA assembled its 400 employees at the Capital Hilton last week for a motivational session on improving service to members.

Guest speaker Chip Bell -- whose Dallas-based consulting firm Peformance Research Associates Inc. has advised Walt Disney Co., Microsoft Corp., and other corporate giants about improving their customer service -- urged frontline and back-office staff members to envision ways they could do their jobs differently and to focus on delivering topflight service to members.

"We want everybody to be thinking like that," said Donald G. Ogilvie, executive vice president at the ABA. "It's really important that processes of service work and meet the expectations of our members.''

Next year is the ABA's 125th anniversary, and the trade group is kicking off a yearlong celebration starting at next month's annual meeting in Phoenix and culminating in the 2000 annual meeting here. Mr. Ogilvie said the group's principal objectives for the next year are beefing up member services and being on the cutting edge of technology.

To go along with its new logo, the ABA is adopting a new slogan that it discussed with its staff last week: "world-class solutions, leadership, and advocacy."

Women in Housing and Finance will honor six members for their accomplishments and contributions in financial services at its 20th anniversary gala here on Sept. 24.

They include four current regulators: Donna A. Tanoue, the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; Ellen Seidman, the director of the Office of Thrift Supervision; Laura S. Unger, a Securities and Exchange Commission member; and Julie L. Williams, chief counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Also being honored are Ricki Helfer, a former FDIC chairman, and Christine A. Edwards, a legal and policy adviser for Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan may be an immortal in the eyes of Wall Street, but the secret to eternity still eludes him.

"Over the past quarter century I have appeared on many platforms with President Ford," Mr. Greenspan, 73, said before giving a speech in Michigan last week sponsored by the Gerald R. Ford Foundation and Grand Valley State University. "He never seems to change, but I keep losing my hair."

Michael J. McGarry recently left his job as director of corporate relations for Visa U.S.A. here to join Columbia Energy Group, a Herndon, Va.-based company that owns seven oil and gas companies that operate in 34 states and the District of Columbia. He became the company's director of corporate communications on Aug. 2. Visa has not yet named a successor.

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