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Niagara Honor Roll / Achievers and achievements

*Jennifer Starkey, communications manager with the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp., has successfully completed the examination for accreditation in public relations.

The program aims to improve the practice of public relations by assessing competence in 60 areas of knowledge, skills and abilities associated with the profession, including theory and application, communication law, and advanced skills in research, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation.

Starkey completed a rigorous process, including an oral presentation of her portfolio to a readiness review panel and a computer-based examination.

"Practitioners who achieve the designation are demonstrating their commitment to not only our profession, but also to a strong code of ethics and to the betterment of their organization and clients," said Felicia Blow, 2009 chairwoman of the Universal Accreditation Board.

Starkey joined the NTCC in 2009 and was recently promoted to communications manager. She's responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive print and online marketing communications strategy, including external promotion, content creation and social media outreach.

"Jennifer has been instrumental in the development of many marketing communications projects," said Melissa Morinello, the NTCC's director of marketing and communications, "and we know her skills will be beneficial in marketing the Niagara USA destination."

Starkey is currently pursuing her master's degree in integrated marketing communications from St. Bonaventure University, and holds a bachelor's degree in communications studies from Buffalo State College.

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*Anna Bruno and Don King, children of the late Polly King, a well-known Niagara Falls artist, recently visited Niagara Hospice House and donated artworks by their mother.

"These beautiful pieces are a wonderful addition to our Hospice House decor that will be enjoyed by our residents and visitors," said Niagara Hospice President and CEO John Lomeo. "It is especially meaningful that the work was done by a renowned Niagara County artist."

Paulin (Polly) Kirtz King was born in 1901 in Wheeling, W.Va., and lived in Niagara Falls from 1927 until her death in 1993. She painted extensively in France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Israel, Canada and throughout the United States. Her works are currently represented in over 500 private collections.

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*Jeffrey A. Kaszubski, a North Tonawanda resident, has been named to the North Tonawanda History Museum board of trustees.

Kaszubski, a retired certified heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technician, has been a museum volunteer since the group took occupancy of the 54 Webster St. building two years ago.

He serves as volunteer maintenance coordinator for the 41,500-square-foot facility, assisted by volunteers Benton Hiltz II, William Bauza, Alberto Perez, and others from time to time.

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*The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors held elections to fulfill open board positions at its November meeting.

Elected to serve three-year terms were: Jeff Deming, Debra C. Rougeux, Margaret M. Toohey, Gloria Baker, Robert Emerson and Jeff Stolar.

Michael Dowd was elected to a two-year term and Jamie Symmonds to a one-year term.

Reappointed positions included: George Osborne, Michael Rhoney, Rick Haight, Ken Greulich, the Rev. Joseph Levesque and Jeff Baker. The board also voted Earl W. Brydges Jr. as director emeritus.

Re-elected to serve as officers on the Executive Board were: Osborne as chairman; Haight as first vice chairman; Baker as treasurer; and Trunzo as secretary. Board member Ken Scibetta was elected to serve as second vice chairman.

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*The Niagara Frontier Chapter, New York State Women Inc. honored North Tonawanda resident Nancy E. Dietrich as its 2010 Club Woman of the Year at the November meeting at Pane's Restaurant.

Dietrich, an insurance broker with Burke & Byrne & Associates, joined the women's organization in 1988 and has served in several capacities as an officer, including president.

In 1965, the club recognized that there were members who went above and beyond the call of duty, and who excelled far beyond the duties of an officer. It was decided at that time to have a "Club Woman of the Year" to pay special tribute to such members.

Alice Ellman was event chairwoman and her committee members were Diane Illig and Phyllis Phillips.

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*Niagara University's College of Education has received unconditional continuing accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The college first received NCATE accreditation in 1984 and has continued to expand the quality of its programs and partnerships with local P-12 schools and community agencies over the past 26 years.

NCATE's continuing accreditation includes Niagara University's teacher education programs in early childhood and childhood education; middle and secondary education programs in all subject areas; teaching English to speakers of other languages; special education; literacy; and Math, Science and Technology. It also includes NU's programs in educational leadership (building and district level), school counseling and school psychology.

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