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Business People / Hires, promotions and honors

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York appointed Cathy Aquino director of operations, individual markets. Aquino, a 19-year veteran of the health care industry, was previously director, servicing at Independent Health. She received a bachelor's degree from Buffalo State College.

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The Bank of Akron promoted Peter Noreika to vice president. Noreika, with the bank for more than eight years, previously was assistant vice president.

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J. Fitzgerald Group, a Lockport-based marketing technology company, appointed Carol Doggett senior account executive. Doggett most recently owned and operated a video/multimedia production company. She is a graduate of Ashland University.

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M&T Bank promoted Lynn M. O'Connor to group vice president. O'Connor joined the bank in 1998. She holds a bachelor's degree and an MBA from Canisius College. She is also an adjunct professor at Hilbert College. The bank also named Christopher A. Marra the new branch manager at the M&T Bank Lockport branch at 118 Walnut Street. Marra, a vice president, has more than 20 years of banking industry experience.

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The Labor and Employment Relations Association of Western New York will honor David A. Palmer with its 2012 Charles E. Leonard Citizen of the Year award. Palmer was appointed Commissioner of Labor Relations for Erie County in January 2012 by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. For more than 37 years Palmer has served in the Communications Workers of America in various capacities, most recently as area director for the CWA Upstate NY/NE for 17 years. Palmer will receive the award at the association's dinner meeting on Wednesday.

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M&T Bank promoted Jill M. Rank and Stephen P. Toole and to administrative vice presidents. Rank began as a loan officer in the bank's Mortgage Division in 1998. She is the sales manager for its Mortgage Telesales Department. Toole joined the bank in 1994.A Buffalo State College graduate, he obtained an MBA from the University at Buffalo. M&T Bank named Jillian Shank branch manager of the Riverside branch at 788 Tonawanda Street and Rene'A.Rebmann branch manager at the bank's South Transit Road branch. Shank joined the bank in 2008 and previously served as the assistant branch manager of the Seneca Cazenovia Branch. Rebmann was manager of M&T's Clarence branch.

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The Food Bank of Western New York promoted Christine Rivera to agency services director and Justin Guerin to supply chain and project manager. Rivera earned dual bachelor's degrees from South Dakota State University. Guerin, with the Food Bank since 2002, previously was the food sourcing manager/ operations support coordinator at the agency.

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The 6th annual Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Awards were presented to three businesses last week. The 2012 award recipients were: CorteseConstruction Services in the small business category; Mollenberg-Betz; Allpro Parking in the large business category. The awards were in partnership with Lawley Insurance, Canisius College Richard J. Wehle School of Business and Brock, Schechter&Polakoff, LLP.

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The Niagara Frontier Subcontractors Association honored Rocco Termini with its 2012 Industry Leader of the Year award recently. The award is presented annually to recognize an individual whose achievements have had a positive impact on the Western New York construction industry and community. Termini recently restored the Lafayette Hotel, maintaining its historical character while providing spaces and amenities to serve the Buffalo.

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Housh Law Offices principal Frank Housh was named to the Host Committee for the American Constitutional Society's 2012 National Convention June 14-16 in Washington D.C. The keynote address will be delivered by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.