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Business people / Hires, Promotions & Honors

First Niagara Financial Group appointed Oliver Sommer executive vice president, corporate development. Sommer previously served as a consultant to First Niagara as president of Aston Associates. A graduate of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, he has an MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

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Evans Bank promoted William R. Glass, Gary A. Kajtoch, Cynthia M. Rich and Robert G. Miller Jr. to executive vice president. Glass, who has served as chief lending officer at the bank for many years, is transitioning to executive vice president, business development. Kajtoch, chief financial officer, has been with the bank since 2007 and also serves as treasurer of Evans Bancorp. Rich assumes the commercial credit, operations, marketing and facilities functions of the organization. Miller, president of the Evans Agency, joined the bank when his agency was purchased by the organization in 2000.

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The Travel Team, a Buffalo-based travel management company and a subsidiary of Rich Products Corp., appointed Kristeen LaFornara director of global sales. Most recently, LaFornara was a marketing executive with IPLogic Inc., Amherst. She graduated from Brockport State College.

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M&T Bank announced Christopher D. Randall has been named senior vice president. He is also the acting president of M&T Securities and is responsible for administration within the M&T Investment Group. He is a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College and has an MBA from Canisius College.

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Sisters Hospital Foundation, whose mission is to raise and steward funds for projects and services that maintain and improve quality patient care at the hospital, elected Martha N. Lamparelli chairwoman. Lamparelli is with the Buffalo Public Schools. Other officers: Vice chairman, Daniel Cantara, First Niagara Financial Group; treasurer, David Simons, Dunn Tire; and secretary, David Murray, Phillips Lytle. Joseph Zdarsky, Zdarsky, Sawicki & Agostinelli, and John Wotojwicz, Crown Trophy, will continue to serve the board and executive committee as immediate past chairmen. New directors: Guy Agostinelli, Zdarsky, Sawicki & Agostinelli; Brian Beitz, M&T Bank; Shonda Brock, St. Jude Medical; Sherri Ciminelli; Eric Koessler, Canisius High School; Denise Rizzo, Pfizer Inc.

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Goldstein, Ackerhalt and Pletcher attorney Bruce A. Goldstein and James R. Sheldon of Neighborhood Legal Services spoke about "Trusts, Wills and Planning to Maintain SSI and Medicaid" at the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

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The Women's Council of REALTORS presented the Gold Chapter Excellence Award to Colleen Brennan, associate broker at Hunt Real Estate ERA, Orchard Park, and president of the Buffalo Niagara chapter of the WCR. The award is based on submission of an Annual Report/Business Plan designed to assist Women's Council leaders in positioning their chapters as a business resource in the Realtor community.

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Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel mailroom coordinator Craig Badowski will among those honored at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership's All-Star event taking place in Shea's Performing Arts Center on Tuesday. Co-presented with the Buffalo Bills, the Partnership's All-Star Affair is a celebration of the Buffalo Niagara region's workforce.

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Dr. Thomas Elmer, a board-certified ophthalmologist and partner with Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare in Amherst, has recently completed another voyage with Mercy Ships on a trip to Togo, Africa. Elmer spent two weeks in that country performing surgeries. He has now made eight missionary trips.

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Peace Bridge Duty Free, an independent, private retailer located on the Canadian side of the Peace Bridge, named Glenn J. Mills general manager. Mills served for 10 years in five senior executive positions with Golf Town, a golf equipment retailer. He attended Florida Atlantic University, York University for accounting and completed the Executive Development Program at Queen's University, Kingston, Ont.

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