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HSBC Bank USA named Paulette M. Crooke executive vice president of operations. She joined the bank as a summer teller in Syracuse in 1973, and most recently served as the district executive for the Downtown Manhattan District, overseeing all retail and commercial activities for HSBC branches in that market.

The SKM Group, a Williamsville marketing communications firm, promoted Barbara Harmel to vice president of account service and Robert Jorden to vice president of media. Harmel is a 23-year employee of the Schutte Group, which merged with SKM Group in October 2003. With more than 32 years of media planning experience, Jorden joined the agency in 2002 as media director. Previously, he was the media director for Eric Mower and Associates. Also, the agency named Cyndi McCarthy senior account executive and Kimberly Geis public relations assistant. The SKM Group is a certified Woman-Owned Business. Previously, McCarthy worked in sales and marketing at Euro RSCG Devon Direct and most recently DMW, marketing agencies in the Philadelphia area. A graduate from Fredonia State College, Geis previously was an administrative assistant for the American Lung Association and the Asthma Coalition of Western New York.

The Hamister Group of Companies appointed Rod Layton executive vice president and chief financial officer. Most recently, Layton, a CPA, was vice president and CFO for The Buffalo News and formerly worked with its parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, in Omaha, Neb.

Alfred University named Jay Haberland and Lance Shaner to its board of trustees. Haberland, a 1972 graduate of the university, is vice president of business controls for United Technologies Corp. in Hartford, Conn. Shaner, who graduated from the university in 1975, is chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Shaner Hotel Group, based in State College, Penn. and chairman of Shaner Energy and Douglas Oil and Gas.

Artpark and Co. elected these directors for the 2500 season: Vincent Agnello, assistant law professor at Niagara University; Philip Stocklen Faust, Buffalo's Main Summer Corp.; David Rosenwasser, president Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp.; Carl Montante Jr., vice president, Uniland Development Co. and Wendy L. Montante, co-owner of J.W. Daigler.

EM Risk Management, a subsidiary of POMCO, a professional benefits administrator, appointed John Sereno director of claims administration and Karen Conklin client service coordinator at the Buffalo office. Sereno, previously vice president with Marsh Consultants, is a certified workers' compensation specialist and a licensed New York insurance broker. Previously with Coca-Cola Bottling, Conklin will serve as the liaison between key agency personnel at its multiple office locations and oversee business development efforts throughout New York state.

Blue Seal Feeds promoted Don Worthington to fleet maintenance supervisor; Mark Claus to third shift foreman; Andy Ploetz to production scheduler and Chauncey Brace to second shift foreman at the Arcade manufacturing facility.

Ciminelli Development Co., a Williamsville commercial real estate, development and investment company, promoted Anne Duggan to director of business operations for third party, and Kip Kubiak manager of real estate investment and sales. A graduate of Canisius College, Duggan joined the company 10 years ago and has since served as senior marketing manager and asset performance manager. Kubiak, a Canisius College graduate, joined the company in 2002. The company also appointed Kevin Greiner senior project manager. A graduate of the University at Buffalo, Greiner most recently was CEO and founding principal of Renewable Technologies LOC in Buffalo. The company also named Carla Mangone executive assistant; Oscar Ferrufino, maintenance and landscaping technician, and Michael Napieralski and Donald Stoklosa, maintenance technicians.

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