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BOARD ELECTS VILLARI HEAD OF BLUE CROSS

Richard A. Villari was elected president of Blue Cross of Western New York Inc. during a meeting of the board of directors Thursday.

Villari, 42, will be responsible for the overall direction and coordination of the health insurer's activities. He has held several senior-level positions during his 19-year career at Blue Cross, most recently vice president in charge of Community Blue, the health maintenance organization of Blue Cross.

Villari succeeds Charles E. Rath, who stepped down in November after 17 years as president. Francis E. Hayes, an executive vice president of Blue Cross, had been acting president.

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