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Amherst Systems Inc. has announced that its president, Charles E. Dowdell, has received the "Gold Certificate of Merit" award from the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the Association of Old Crows. The organization is a national group of scientists, engineers, educators and military personnel dedicated to the science of electronic warfare. Dowdell helped found the association's Niagara Frontier chapter and has served on its board of directors since its inception in 1983. He received the award for "demonstrating outstanding technical and managerial capabilities in organizing and directing electronic warfare programs."

Pieper Travel Bureau Inc., located in the Brisbane Building, has announced that William G. Palmer has acquired an equity interest in the firm and will serve as its executive vice president. He formerly was a vice president with Citibank. The Pieper Agency was founded in 1947 by Emil A. Pieper. His son, Peter J. Pieper, currently serves as its president. The company also elected sales coordinator Christel Blohm to its board of directors.

Executive Women International, Buffalo Chapter, has elected Loretto Thompson president. She is an account executive for WBEN-AM Radio. Other officers are: vice president, Myra Dunn; secretary, Sharon Herrmann; treasurer and financial adviser, Sandra Marcin; sergeant-at-arms, Chris Pilozzi; membership director, Rene Ganje; program director, Bonnie Roesch; ways and means director, Pam Kerrins; publications director, Lorraine Verano, and orientation and retention director, Carrol Wolter.

Fisher-Price of East Aurora has promoted Strawn Cathcart to vice president of U.S. marketing. He joined the company in 1979 as a marketing assistant and most recently served as director of marketing for the infant products group. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Denver. He lives in Orchard Park.

Ian Sole will succeed Cathcart as director of marketing for infant products. He had been senior marketing manager for preschool toys. Sole joined the company's United Kingdom division in 1978 as a marketing trainee and held various marketing posts there until joining the U.S. marketing department in 1986. He is a graduate of the University of Wales.

W. & W. H. Zacher Health Related Services has named Diane M. Barrett health service adviser. She will have responsibility for the company's five facilities, Manhattan Manor Nursing Home, Williamsville Suburban Nursing Home, Williamsville View Health Related Facility, Sheridan Manor Nursing Home, Ridge View Manor Nursing Home and The Courtyards. Ms. Barrett is a registered nurse and has been in the health care-related field for the past eight years.

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