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BUSINESS PEOPLE

The Schutte Group, a Buffalo advertising and public relations firm, has announced a major management realignment. Alden F. Schutte, who has served as president and chief executive officer since the firm was founded in 1974, is relinquishing the president's title and will now be chairman and chief executive officer. He will continue to function as the company's executive creative director and focus on expanding consulting services and seeking out acquisition opportunities. Susan J. Schutte will replace him as president. Currently the company's chief operating officer, Mrs. Schutte is responsible for the agency's day-to-day operations, including account management services, financial operations and the research department. And, Frank Moricca has been named a vice president with responsibility for strategic accounting planning, including management of the company's media research resources and personnel. He also was named president of Schutte Group Interactive, which does business as Hangar 18. He has been with the firm for 10 years, most recently as an account supervisor.

The law firm of Gross Shuman Brizdle & Gilfillan has appointed George A. Rusk as special counsel to the firm for the practice of environmental law. For the past 17 years, he has been in-house, senior attorney for Ecology and Environmental Inc. Rusk is a graduate of Yale University and from the University at Buffalo School of Law.

The Western New York Nursery & Landscape Association has named Gary Leising of Woodstream Nurseries Inc. its 1997 Man of the Year. He is past president of the Western New York State Nursery and Landscape Association Inc. and of the Western New York Nurserymen's Association Foundation Inc., and is Arbor Day chairman for the NYS Nursery/Landscape Association Inc. The association's contest winners are: specialty gardens -- first place, Kathy Sokolowski, Menne Nursery Corp.; second, John Mallia Jr., J&L Premier Landscape; established plantings -- first, Benjamin Hirsch, Beautiful River Enterprises; second, Lincoln Park Nursery; design only -- Bryan Young, Seasonal Landscaping and Nursery Inc.; second, Scott Banning/Sharon Howarth, Menne; front yard planting, first, Colleen and Kevin Gaskill, Artistic Landscape & Decor; second, Bryan Young; rear yard planting -- first, Eric Page, Woodstream; Benjamin Hirsch, Beautiful River Enterprises.

Toastmasters International, District 65, has named Carol Jasen winner of its 1997 Communication and Leadership Award. Co-anchor of WIVB-TV, she was cited for using her popularity and communication skills to make Western New York a better place to live.

James P. Ball of of GMC-Buick Inc. in Orchard Park, a has been named a Leader of Distinction by the Pontiac-GMC Division of General Motors. He was cited for outstanding dealer performance in critical business areas.

The Northern Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce has elected John Monaco president. Others elected are: president-elect; Joseph Budzinski; vice-president, James H. Mintun Jr.; treasurer, Samuel Ark; and directors, James Austen, Michael Boismenu, Susan Marsh, Gayle Ramsdell, John Reed and Michael Roberts. New presidents of local chambers who will service on the Northern Chamber board of directors are James Webb of Mayville, Robert Powell of Silver Creek and Gary Damico of Dunkirk.

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