James F. Welch, senior vice president and general manager of American Express Traveler's Cheque Operations Center, has been named co-chairman of Utahns for Nonprofit Hospitals.

He succeeds the late Gov. Scott M. Matheson, who served in that position until his death Oct. 7.The other co-chairman is community leader Wendell J. Ashton.

A native of Cambridge, Mass., Welch is a graduate of Boston College. Under his guidance, the American Express Center in Salt Lake City employes 2,200 and processes 2 million checks daily. He has directed the operation since May 1983.

Welch is chairman of the board of Holy Cross Hospital, and is on the board of governors for the Showdown Classic at Jeremy Ranch. He is a member of the board of directors of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way of the Great Salt Lake area, Pioneer Theatre and Guadalupe School.