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Business people / Hires/Promotions/Honors

Amberleigh Retirement Community, an Amherst senior living facility, appointed Margaret J. Kleinmann executive director. Previously, she served as associate director for Niagara Lutheran Health Care Systems. A graduate of St. John Fisher College, she has a master's degree from the University at Buffalo.

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Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner, an Amherst accounting firm, promoted Michael Schaffstall and Eric Colca to partners. Schaffstall, with the firm since January 2005, is a CPA and a University at Buffalo graduate. Colca, a CPA and CVA, has been with the firm since September 2003. He is a Rutgers University graduate with an MBA from the University of Georgia.

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Five Star Bank promoted William E. Bacon to vice president, commercial banker. Bacon joined the company in 2001 with the former Wyoming County Bank as assistant vice president and business development officer for Livingston and Wyoming Counties. He served as market manager at the Naples office since 2009.

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BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, a division of HealthNow New York, appointed Gretchen Fierle chief communications officer and Joanna Makomaski vice president and chief risk officer. Fierle previously served as president of Invisionit LLC, and as vice president, community relations and communications for Independent Health. She is a Bard College graduate. Makomaski, a University of Ottawa graduate, served as principal and senior ERM specialist for V3 Advisory Group. She was also manager, risk management, for Enbridge Gas Distribution.

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Hodgson Russ named John A. Alessi, Ronald J. Battaglia Jr., Elizabeth D. Carlson, Robert J. Fluskey Jr., John D. Lopinski, and Marla Waiss partners in the law firm's Buffalo office. Alessi, who joined the firm in 2003, graduated from Canisius College and received his J.D. from the University at Buffalo School of Law. Battaglia, who joined the firm in 2003, is a University of Rochester graduate and received his JD at Vermont Law School. Carlson joined the law firm in 2003. She graduated from Clemson University and obtained her JD from UB School of Law. Fluskey joined the firm in 2004. He is a University at Connecticut graduate and obtained his JD at the UB School of Law. Lopinski started with the firm in 2002. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. from UB and his JD from UB School of Law. Waiss, a UB graduate, obtained her JD from the UB School of Law. She joined the practice in 2002.

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Freed Maxick and Battaglia, certified public accountants, named Penny Sallome a full-time seasonal tax preparer in its Batavia office. Sallome previously was a financial services assistant/tax preparer at Farm Credit of WNY. She has nearly 10 years of experience as a bookkeeper. Also, the agency named Amy A. Thompson a senior manager, Jeremy John Olson a supervisor and Patrick Capella and Michael Moceri staff accountants in the Buffalo Tax Department. Thompson, a CPA, graduated from Daemen College. She served most recently as corporate tax manager with First Niagara Bank in Lockport. Olson, also a CPA, is a graduate of the University of Phoenix and holds a master's degree from Arizona State University. He previously was with Matson and Isom CPAs in Chico, Ca. Capella, a graduate from Fredonia State College with a master's degree from the University at Buffalo, previously was a tax intern for Lougen, Valenti, Bookbinder and Weintraub. Moceri, a graduate of Fredonia State College and UB previously was a secondary social studies teacher for Niagara Wheatfield High School.

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Northeastern Appraisal Associates Residential of Amherst named Joseph Whittington a senior appraiser. Whittington has been a New York State-certified appraiser, real estate trainer, real estate broker and home inspector for 35 years and is also a real estate appraiser educator. He is a contributing columnist for Buffalo News and has written articles for various trade publications. Previously, Whittington was president of Northeastern Inspection and president of Real Estate Appraisal and Related Services of New York.

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