Phyllis Dubinsky-Klein has joined Perkins & Will in Los Angeles as a principal. She will focus on strategic planning and marketing, emphasizing health care, science, technology and higher-education sectors. Dubinsky-Klein was most recently a vice president at HOK in Santa Monica.

Banking & Finance

Betsy Backman has joined Comerica Bank-California as vice president of the middle market group in Long Beach. She will be responsible for commercial lending. Backman was most recently vice president and commercial banking officer at Bank of America.

Steve Curtis was named senior vice president and regional manager of Capital Business Credit in Los Angeles. He is responsible for overseeing the marketing, underwriting, audit, credit and operations departments. Curtis was formerly senior vice president of the commercial finance division of Wells Fargo.

Kent Fisher was named vice president and senior portfolio manager for Payden & Rygel in Los Angeles. He will work with institutional clients, ranging from pension funds to corporations and foundations. Fisher was previously a vice president at Montrusco Associates in Montreal.

Dan Frink and Don Salka have been named vice presidents of income property lending at First Federal Bank of California in Santa Monica. They will be responsible for all aspects of income property lending, including new loan production for retail, office, industrial and multi-family properties. Frink was most recently with Southern Pacific Bank. Salka was formerly with Home Savings of America.


Seth Chasin was named vice president of business planning and analysis for Playboy Entertainment Group in Beverly Hills. He will oversee financial analysis and review of operating results while identifying profit opportunities. Chasin was most recently director of corporate planning for Universal Studios.

Dexter Fedor has been promoted to senior vice president of global creative development for Disney Consumer Products in Burbank. Fedor was most recently vice president of the division. Also, Salil Mehta was promoted to senior vice president of strategic planning and development for Walt Disney Co. He will be responsible for developing new online businesses. Mehta has been with the company since 1994. Also, Laurie Beja Miller was named senior vice president and merchandise manager of The Disney Store North America in Glendale. Miller was previously vice president of product development for attractions and merchandise for Walt Disney World. In addition, Steve Winslow was named senior vice president of finance and business development for The Disney Store Worldwide in Glendale. Winslow was previously chief financial officer for Star Markets Inc. in Boston.

Linda Ross was promoted to senior vice president of finance and administration for Hamdon Entertainment in Studio City. Ross was most recently vice president of finance.


Sharon Morris was named general manager of the Los Angeles city Department on Disabilities. She will be responsible for overseeing the budget and staff while implementing policies and services. Morris was most recently interim director of animal regulation. Also, George Rakis has been appointed general manager for the Los Angeles Convention Center Department. He will be responsible for management and operation of the center. Rakis has been interim general manager since October 1997.

Health Care

Bill Crowe was named executive director of the Hemophilia Foundation of Southern California in Pasadena. Crowe was previously executive director of the Red Ribbon Foundation.

Pamela Steckroat has been named chief marketing officer at Health Net in Woodland Hills. She will be responsible for marketing, advertising and new product development. Steckroat was most recently a principal at the Bond Group. Also, Stephen Puente was named vice president of human resources. He previously owned his own business, Puente HR Consulting.

James Yoshioka was named executive vice president of health care delivery for Citrus Valley Health Partners in Covina. He is responsible for operations at all facilities. Yoshioka was most recently president of UniHealth in Burbank.

High Tech

Steffen Land has been appointed manager of the new office of Complete Business Solutions in Los Angeles. He will oversee the effort to increase market presence and client-support capabilities. Land was previously with MCI Systemhouse Corp.


Laura Paschen Hontas has been appointed director of sales and marketing for the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. She will oversee the sales staff, revenue management, and advertising and public relations functions. Hontas was previously with the Doubletree Hotel in Marina del Rey.

Sandra Paniagua was named director of marketing for the Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills. She was most recently director of sales and marketing at Sheraton Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.


Thomas Carpenter joined Carroll, Burdick & McDonough in Los Angeles as partner. His practice will focus on product liability and aviation claims. Carpenter was formerly partner and head of the product liability group at Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon.

Nancy Newhouse Porter has joined McClintock, Weston, Benshoof, Rochefort, Rubalcava & MacCuish in Los Angeles as partner. She will head the transactional entertainment practice group. She was previously with Crosby, Heafy, Roach & May.

Frank Vram Zerunyan was promoted to partner at Sulmeyer, Kupetz, Baumann & Rothman in Los Angeles. He specializes in business and real estate litigation. Zerunyan was formerly of counsel.

Marketing & P.R.

Karen Ford has joined the Donahue Group in Beverly Hills as director of retail marketing. Ford was previously director of U.S. marketing for Penhaligon's.

Judy Johnson was promoted to executive vice president of Golin/Harris International in Los Angeles. She will oversee the consumer marketing practice and media department. Johnson had been a vice president at Fleishman-Hillard Los Angeles.

Joel Maliniak has been promoted to executive vice president and creative director at Goddard Claussen/Porter Novelli in Malibu. The firm specializes in public affairs, public relations, media relations and issue advocacy advertising. Maliniak had been senior vice president and creative director.

New Media

Alex Ben Block was named vice president and editor-in-chief of eStar Inc. in Los Angeles. He will oversee all editorial activities and write columns for the Web site. Block was previously editor of the Hollywood Reporter.

Real Estate

Bill Brown has been appointed chief operating officer of in Thousand Oaks. Brown was formerly global director of business information development at Kellogg Co.

Lawrence Krasner has joined Insignia/ESG Capital Advisors in Los Angeles as a senior managing director. He will work to expand capabilities in the areas of investment sales, joint ventures and mortgage finance. Krasner was formerly managing director of Greenwich Group International.

Dwight Merriman was named a managing director for CarrAmerica Realty Corp. in Los Angeles. He is responsible for Southern California and Salt Lake City portfolios and will serve on the company operating committee. Merriman was previously vice president for Capital Pacific Industrial Trust in Irvine.

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