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Honor Roll / Recognizing the accomplishments of Western New Yorkers

Air Force Capt. Jennifer R. Curtis, daughter of Susan Jaworski of Buffalo, has been awarded the Bronze Star for her valorous efforts as a family nurse practitioner while serving in Afghanistan in 2011.

As an officer in charge, she was cited for providing medical training to local villagers, including ultrasound training for midwives, and for treating more than 50 soldiers wounded in battle while embedded with Special Forces. She also is the first Air Force family nurse practitioner to receive the Combat Medic Award.

Curtis, currently stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, is completing her 20th year of military service. The former Jennifer Saddleson grew up in Riverside and is a graduate of the Buffalo Academy of Science and Math.

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United Way of Buffalo and Erie County elected officers and new members to its board of directors at its annual meeting last month in Hyatt Regency Buffalo. The board members will serve three-year terms.

New officers for 2012-2013 are: chairman, Steve Finch, plant manager, GM Powertrain-Tonawanda Engine Plant; vice chairman and treasurer, Jay McWatters, partner, Dopkins & Co.; vice chairman, Rich McCarthy, senior vice president, M&T Bank; and secretary, LuAnne Kingston, senior vice president, HSBC Bank USA.

Incoming board members are: Gretchen Fierle, chief communications officer, BlueCross BlueShield; Brian Gwitt, senior partner, Damon Morey; Roderick Hennings, pastor, Zion Dominion Global Ministries; Evelyn Hidalgo, delegate of Buffalo AFL-CIO Labor Council, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; David McNamara, managing partner, Phillips Lytle; Dr. Khalid Qazi, professor of medicine and program partner, Catholic Health System; Hon. Robert Russell, acting Erie County Court judge, Buffalo City Court; and A. Scott Weber, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, University at Buffalo.

Incoming members of a new advisory committee are: Kathy Lawley Best, director of organizational development & communications, Lawley Insurance; Donald K. Boswell, president and CEO, WNED; Roger Cominsky, partner, Hiscock & Barclay; Anne Glose, learning and development manager, Space and Defense Group & Corporate Group, Moog; Rich Gold, executive vice president, mortgage and consumer lending, M&T Bank; Pam Heilman, counsel, Hodgson Russ; Kirsti Hunt, vice president of human resources, LP Ciminelli; Maureen Hurley, executive vice president/chief administrative officer, Rich Products; Jeremy Jacobs Jr., principal, Delaware North Cos.; Mike Keating, senior vice president, Wegmans Food Markets; Hon. E. Jeannette Ogden, Erie County Criminal and Family Court judge, New York State Office of Court Administration; Don Ogilvie, district superintendent and CEO, Erie 1 BOCES; Jim Tilley, former bank executive; John Walsh III, chairman and CEO, Walsh Insurance Group; and Robert Zak, president and CEO, Merchants Insurance Group.

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State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, presented Liberty Medals in Limestone recently to three men credited with saving two men trapped in an accident on Interstate 86 near the Allegany Casino in Salamanca on Oct. 11, 2011.

Jeremy Ellis and Josh Rhow, both employees of CATCO, and Limestone Volunteer Fire Company Chief and EMT Michael Soper were praised for their quick actions that resulted in the rescue after the fiery crash of a pickup and an SUV.

The New York State Senate Liberty Medal was created in 2000 to recognize exceptional, heroic or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of fellow New Yorkers.

Carol G. Houwaart-Diez, president of the United Way of Greater Niagara, has been named a Woman of Distinction by the State Senate. Each senator was allowed to choose a woman from his or her district for the honor.

"Carol's commitment and dedication to the Niagara region does not go unnoticed," said Sen. George D. Maziarz, who selected her. "She has worked tirelessly to make this community a better place, which is demonstrated in everything that she does."

Houwaart-Diez, a Ransomville resident, joined the former United Way of Niagara in 1987 and became president in 2004. She remained in charge after it merged with the Eastern Niagara United Way in 2010 to form the United Way of Greater Niagara.

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Dr. James C. Dunn, an Arizona surgeon and Lackawanna native, has been inducted into the Lackawanna High School Wall of Fame.

Dunn was the valedictorian of the Class of 1945 and went on to receive a full-tuition, four-year scholarship to the University at Buffalo. He graduated from UB's School of Medicine at the age of 21.

Dunn taught at UB's School of Medicine and had a general surgery/primary care practice in the area. He then relocated to Tucson, Ariz., where he taught as an adjunct professor in cell biology at the University of Arizona and opened his own practice. Arizona's College of Medicine recently honored Dunn as a contemporary academic surgeon, one of many awards he's won throughout this career.

Dr. Brian Reed, class of 1980, and 1964 alumnus James Anticola also were inducted.

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The following military personnel have graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

Army National Guard Pvt. Kayleigh M. Morenzoni is the daughter of Anthony Morenzoni of Chicago. She is a 2008 graduate of Olean High School.

Army National Guard Pfc. Alison J. Hymers is the daughter of Katherine Hymers of Buffalo. She is a 2011 graduate of McKinley High School.

Army Pfc. David Jimenez is the son of Tracy Jimenez of Dunkirk. He is a 2009 graduate of Dunkirk High School.

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Army Pvt. Ryan M. Nervo has graduated from the Basic Field Artillery Cannon Crewmember Advanced Individual Training course at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla.

Nervo is the son of Ann Sebastian and Gary Nervo, both of Lancaster. He is a 2009 graduate of Lancaster High School.

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The Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation honored individuals for their dedication to the field of criminal justice and service to the community at its 21st Community Service Awards Dinner last month at Salvatore's Italian Gardens in Depew. Samuel Palmiere, chairman of the foundation presided over the ceremonies.

Honorees were: Arthur F. Musarra, Grover Cleveland Award; Capt. Jon Scott, Town of Tonawanda Police Department, M&T Bank Community Service Award; and Dale Kasprzyk, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mike Lex, Erie County probation supervisor; Kevin Kendall, New York State senior investigator; Detective Captain Kevin Trask, Town of Hamburg; Detective Scott Kashino, Town of Hamburg; Detective Todd Ehret, Town of Hamburg; Detective Brian Ross, Buffalo Police Police Department; Sean Simet, Erie County Sheriff's captain; and Chris Chiodo, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

The Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation, is a not-for-profit corporation that assists law enforcement agencies and their officers by providing funding for equipment, seminars and training that is not funded through their own department budgets.