Meet the members: Baltimore Sun Hall of Fame 2024 | STAFF COMMENTARY

The Baltimore Sun is pleased to announce the 2024 class of inductees into our Business and Civic Hall of Fame, chosen for their leadership and community endeavors. We will honor these 11 accomplished individuals at an awards banquet to be held at The Center Club in Baltimore on June 6 and in a special section to be published shortly thereafter. This year’s honorees are:

James Britton

James Britton, who planted the seeds for what is now Class Act Catering in 1991, is one of Baltimore’s largest minority employers, offering job training and placement to more than 200 people each year. His company is the exclusive caterer for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture.

Patricia  M.C. “Patty” Brown

A health care regulatory lawyer and former chair of the United Way of Central Maryland, Patricia M.C. “Patty” Brown serves as vice president of payor strategy for the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She retired in 2019 from Johns Hopkins Medicine, where she worked for 25 years, most recently as senior vice president of managed care and population health.

John B. Chessare

John B. Chessare, a pediatrician, is the president and CEO of GBMC HealthCare. He has been recognized nationally for his operations management work improving patient flow and satisfaction in acute care hospitals, and for designing more secure and dependable medication delivery systems.

Amy Elias and Richard Pearlstone

Amy Elias and her husband Richard Pearlstone are well known for their philanthropic endeavors, including supporting the Baltimore Museum of Art, where Pearlstone was a national trustee for many years and Elias is a member of the board of directors and originator of the popular 2022 “Guarding the Art” exhibit, curated and interpreted by security guards. Elias is also the founder and CEO of Profiles, which develops communications and marketing strategies for clients including the National Aquarium. Pearlstone is president and founder of The Pearlstone Group real estate developers and is on the board of governors for the Jewish Agency of Israel. He also founded The Pearlstone, a retreat center in Reisterstown for immersive experiences around Jewish traditions and culture used as a model by others.

Donald Manekin

Donald Manekin’s career in real estate development began in 1975 at his father’s company, the Manekin Corp., where he pioneered a team-oriented approach. After retiring in 2000, he worked as chief operating officer of Baltimore City Schools, then co-founded Seawall Development Co. with his son in 2006, focusing on new uses for functionally obsolete, historic buildings.

William H. “Billy” Murphy Jr.

A former Baltimore Circuit Court judge, William H. “Billy” Murphy is often recognized as one of the country’s best defense attorneys. His most notable cases include a $54 million settlement from Constellation Energy for people whose well water was contaminated by coal ash and a $34 million judgment for Inner Harbor restaurant workers exposed to carbon monoxide.

Alethia B. Starke

A retired Baltimore City Public Schools counselor who helped secure millions in scholarships for her students, Alethia B. Starke currently serves as deacon of New Shiloh Baptist Church and executive director of its Carter School of Music, which provides classic music education to students of all ages at little to no cost.

Paul Tiburzi

Paul Tiburzi is a lawyer in the Litigation and Regulatory Practice group within DLA Piper’s Baltimore office. He is a former chair of the Greater Baltimore Committee, where he fought to keep The Preakness in Baltimore, and has worked on the transition teams for two Maryland governors and chaired multiple Maryland commissions and task forces.

William J. Watters

William J. Watters, a Jesuit priest, founded three tuition-free or very low-cost private schools in Baltimore City for under-resourced students, including the Loyola School, which opened in 2017 (and from which he retired as president in March); the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, which opened in 2007; and St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, which opened in 1993.

Arnold Williams

Arnold Williams is the managing director of Abrams, Foster, Nole and Williams, founded 40 years ago to provide African Americans with opportunities for growth and development in accounting. He is the immediate past chair of the Baltimore Development Corp. and a member of the Baltimore City Board of Finance and Greater Baltimore Committee.

Baltimore Sun editorial writers offer opinions and analysis on news and issues relevant to readers. They operate separately from the newsroom.

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