During his 18-year tenure with the Ravens, President Emeritus Dick Cass avoided the limelight, yet his distinguished career continues to be admired.
Cass is one of 14 honorees inducted into the 2023 Baltimore Sun Business and Civic Hall of Fame, the newspaper announced Sunday. A selection committee composed of the Sun's editorial board and area business and community leaders selected Cass for his many contributions to the Ravens and the community.
"I was very pleasantly surprised," said Cass, who did not know he was under consideration for the honor. "You get recognized because you work with a great organization with a lot of great people. That's really what it signifies to me. I'm proud of it for that reason."
Throughout his time as team president, the 77-year-old Cass was an omnipresent leader who guided the team's business interests with vision and integrity. When Steve Bisciotti became the Ravens' majority owner in 2004, his first hire was naming Cass as president, a position he held until he announced his retirement last year and was succeeded by current Ravens President Sashi Brown.
Cass was an invaluable resource to the entire organization, admired for his business acumen, legal expertise, calm demeanor and sound judgement. He was instrumental in establishing the franchise's organizational culture and planted deep roots in the Baltimore business community, trusted and respected by those who recognized his commitment to philanthropic efforts. His wisdom was obvious, but so was his compassion.
"I don't think he's made an enemy in his life. Just a kind soul," Bisciotti said last year after Cass announced his decision to retire.
Cass' contributions made a positive economic impact and helped boost civic pride. He spearheaded multiple upgrade projects at M&T Bank Stadium and the Under Armour Performance Center, understanding the value of creating a world-class gameday experience for Ravens fans, in addition to making the stadium an attractive destination for other entertainment events that benefit Baltimore.
Cass was a guiding presence on the board of the Ravens Foundation, Inc. and served on boards for the Greater Baltimore Committee, Kennedy Krieger Institute and Baltimore Community Foundation. Additionally, he worked at the forefront of the Ravens' social justice reform efforts, engaging local and federal legislators to enact policy change. He also led the organization through challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while actively supporting city and state residents and healthcare workers.
The Ravens have been a successful team during their history, but Cass is also proud of the franchise's involvement with so many civic efforts.
"I think we have a great reputation in our community, a reputation for professionalism," Cass said. "We're seen as an important contributor in terms of helping people in the community who need help. I think that's something we should all be proud of. We're important to this city. When the team is doing well, we're a source of pride, a unifying force."
During his final years as president, Cass played a major role in establishing the Baltimore Ravens Boys & Girls Club at Hilton Recreation Center, a project made possible by a $20 million commitment from the Ravens and The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation. The transformational donation will allow Boys & Girls Clubs to significantly expand services at the existing center in West Baltimore.
Cass will be officially honored with the other Hall of Fame inductees during a banquet in June.