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Business people: New Era CEO Christopher Koch named 2013 Executive of the Year

New Era Cap Co. CEO Christopher H. Koch was named the 2013 Buffalo Niagara Executive of the Year by the University at Buffalo School of Management. Koch, a fourth generation CEO of the Buffalo-headquartered family-owned company, participates on a variety of boards, including the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York and the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation. Also, Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented to: Dottie E. Gallagher-Cohen, president and CEO, Buffalo Niagara Parnership; Richard R. Floersch, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, McDonald’s Corporation; School Service, Daniel P. Penberthy, executive vice president and CFO, Rand Capital Corporation; and Edward Tierney, partner, BlackDog Strategy and Brand. In addition, Alex B. Ampadu, associate professor of Accounting and Law, will be honored for his alumni engagement. The awards will be presented Nov. 6 at the 64th Annual School of Management Alumni Association Awards Banquet at Statler City, 107 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

Elderwood named Danelle Wotka chief nursing officer. Wotka served as director of nursing services at Our Lady of Peace nursing. She received her associate’s degree Niagara County Community College and is a registered professional nurse through the University at Buffalo. Also, the facility named Philip Quillard chief operating officer, overseeing management of 17 Elderwood facilities in New York. He was executive vice president at Elderwood since 2010. He graduated from Bates College and has a master’s degree from Framingham State College.

Nichols School named Bill Clough head of school. Clough was the associate head of school at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass. He holds two master’s degrees, one in education from Harvard University, and another in English from Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Colby College.

University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences appointed Dr. Leslie J. Bisson the inaugural June A. and Eugene R. Mindell MD professor and chair of Orthopaedic Surgery. Bisson also assumes the role of president for the clinical practice plan, UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. He earned his MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. and completed his internship in general surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Niagara University is named Katie Kocsis director of financial aid. Kocsis has served as assistant director in Niagara’s Office of Financial Aid since 2009. She earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Niagara University.

The John R. Oishei Foundation appointed Sally T. Crowley communications director. Crowley was owner of Sally Crowley Marketing. She is a University at Buffalo graduate.

Quinlan named Ben Kirst copywriter and content strategist. Kirst, former digital communications manager for The Buffalo News, graduated from Fredonia State College.

The University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences appointed Dr. Ping Li assistant professor of neurology. Li trained as a resident in adult neurology and as a fellow in clinical neurophysiology at UB. Li has a masters in neuroscience from the University of British Columbia and a medical degree from Beijing Medical University.

Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel named Diane M. Pietraszewski an associate. Pietraszewski served as an associate at Bond, Schoeneck & King and at the New York City-based firm of Clifton Budd & DeMaria. She graduated from Geneseo State College and holds a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.

United Way of Greater Niagara appointed Michael Oliver director of resource development. He will be responsible for all areas of development, including special events and fundraising.

The United Way of Buffalo and Erie County appointed Misty Heusinger account executive. Heusinger is a graduate of Arkansas State University. She most recently served as senior account executive at Tulsa Area United Way.