Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Former Z-Tech CEO Zanders dies at 61

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Verl Zanders, who founded and was CEO of Z-Tech before selling the Rockville company last year, died of a heart attack Monday night, according to a chamber statement.

Zanders, a resident of Burtonsville and a former board member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, was 61.

A family member reached Tuesday confirmed his death, but would not provide details and said funeral arrangements would be announced later.

‘‘The Board of Directors and membership of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce express our deep sorrow at the sudden death of Verl Zanders,” the chamber announced.

‘‘Verl Zanders had a smile and a personality that lit up a room as soon as he walked in the door,” Georgette ‘‘Gigi” Godwin, chamber president and CEO, said in the statement. ‘‘He is a shining example of what is possible here in Montgomery County.”

The chamber statement also expressed condolences to Zanders’ wife, Brenda, his father, his children and grandchildren, and to his many friends.

‘‘Verl Zanders was a real leader in our community, acting as a mentor to many small business owners and supporting education through his work with the Montgomery College Foundation and The Universities at Shady Grove,” James S. Whang, chamber chairman and chairman and CEO of Germantown technology company AEPLOG, said in the statement.

‘‘First of all, he grew a wonderful company here,” said Sally Sternbach, executive director of Rockville Economic Development Inc., of which Zanders was also a board member. ‘‘He was one of the more generous people I’ve known, not only with financial resources, but with his time and expertise. A great person and a huge loss ... it hurts especially when the good ones go young.”

Zanders, a Florida native, launched Z-Tech, which specialized in federal information technology contracting, in 2000. He sold the company last year for $27 million to ICF International of Fairfax, Va. He then became the chamber’s director of business development before retiring this year.