Advertising & P.R.

Jim DiBiasi has been appointed to the newly created position of chief operations officer/chief financial officer at Jeff McClusky & Associates, an entertainment promotion company in Los Angeles. He will oversee the financial matters of the core business as well as the further expansion of JMA's interests through mergers and acquisitions. Most recently, DiBiasi served as director of commercial development for Foster Wheeler.

Ryan Knoll has joined the Los Angeles office of Nichols Dezenhall, a crisis communications firm, as vice president. He will lead the L.A.-based crisis management and marketplace defense group, which includes a new service to help companies fight Internet-based attacks on brands and reputation. Knoll was a senior counselor with the company's Washington, D.C., office prior to accepting his new position.

Lawrence Lokman has been hired as a vice president at Rogers & Associates, an independent public relations firm in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for overseeing the agency's communications on behalf of the California Children and Families Commission. Previously, Lokman was vice president of the Century Council, a $100 million national initiative of the U.S. distilled spirits industry to combat alcohol abuse.

Kristi VandenBosch has joined Direct Partners as executive vice president. She is based in Marina del Rey and will handle strategic planning and account management for key clients. Prior to joining the company, VandenBosch was executive vice president, managing director at Draft Worldwide in Chicago.

Banking & Finance

Keith Matthews has been promoted to senior vice president at Bank of America. He will serve as small-business market manager, responsible for managing the bank's small-business efforts in downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Commerce and parts of South Los Angeles. Prior to his promotion, Matthews was a vice president at the company.

Tonya Page has been named vice president of member services and business development at Tiger Federal Credit Union in Culver City. In this position, she will lead branch and member services as well as marketing and business development. Most recently, Page was vice president, branch operations for First Entertainment Credit Union.

Education

Margaret Klee has been named to serve as chief information officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District. In her new position, she will plan, direct and manage all technology endeavors for the country's second-largest school system, including all internal information and communications systems, and the use of technology in the classroom. Klee joins the LAUSD after 22 years in the Navy.

Entertainment

Harry Donenfeld has been named vice president of marketing and new business development at Station X Entertainment, a computer graphics company in Santa Monica. He will be responsible for securing new business opportunities in film, television, the Internet, video games and industrial markets while helping Station X capture a larger share of the 3D animation market. Donenfeld was vice president of U.S. markets for broadcast and distribution at Alice Entertainment Inc., prior to accepting his new position.

Justin Pierce has been promoted to executive vice president at Columbia TriStar Television. In his new position, Pierce will be helping to develop and implement business strategies for a broad range of television operations, including TriStar's network television unit, Sony Pictures Entertainment's family entertainment division, and the studio's Game Show Network. He has been with the company since 1992, most recently serving as executive vice president of media relations for the Columbia TriStar Television Group.

Jill Proctor Ramirez has been named to the new position of vice president of business development at Unbound Studios, an animation and interactive entertainment company in Los Angeles. She is responsible for developing projects for interactive television, broadband entertainment and hand-held wireless devices. Prior to joining the company, Proctor Ramirez was an independent producer for The Nosotros Foundation.

Health Care

Charles E. Payton has been appointed chief medical officer as QueensCare, a public charity providing health care services to low-income, uninsured working individuals and families in Los Angeles County. He will oversee all of QueensCare's direct health care services. Most recently, Payton served as chief executive and medical director of Huntington Medical Foundation in Pasadena.

High Tech

Susan Clayton-Nakashima has joined Metro Information Services, an information technology consulting company, as director of the Los Angeles division. She will manage recruitment, sales and administration at the El Segundo-based office. Previously, Clayton-Nakashima was director of business services at Transamerica Business Technologies Corp.

Insurance

Peter Arkley has been appointed head of the Southern California region for Aon Risk Services, an insurance brokerage firm in Los Angeles. In addition to his duties in managing the Southern California region, he will continue in his current role as managing director of Aon's construction practice for North America.

Law

Edward Poplawski has joined the Los Angeles-based law firm Sidley & Austin as head of the intellectual property practice group. His practice includes negotiating and preparing licensing agreements, counseling clients on the interplay between intellectual matters and the business aspects of transactions, and providing entrepreneurial intellectual property advice to startup and emerging growth companies. Previously, Poplawski was a partner at the Los Angeles law firm of Pretty Schroeder & Poplawski.

Marketing

Sharon Markowitz Bennett has been promoted to senior vice president of licensing at Saban Consumer Products in Los Angeles. She oversees all licensing matters for the growing organization, which serves as the domestic licensing agent for Fox Kids Network and Fox Family Channel. Previously, she was vice president of licensing.

New Media

Chris Howe has joined Fandom Inc. as chief technology officer, and Tom Watkin has been named senior vice president of auctions. Both are based in Santa Monica. Howe will direct day-to-day technology operations for all of Fandom's properties in addition to setting the company's technology direction and overseeing new application development. He joins Fandom from Deloitte Consulting, where he was a senior manager. Watkin will be focusing his efforts on expanding Fandom's repertoire of services to include a live, online auction program. Previously, he was a co-founder of BoxLot.com, an online auction site.

Peter Howe has been appointed president of the image group at Los Angeles-based RightSpring, an online marketplace for searching, licensing and digital delivery of creative assets to professional users. He is responsible for development and operations of all client-partner relationships within the image group and oversees its marketing and sales departments. Howe was previously a vice president at Corbis.

Real Estate

Duane B. Cody and Ronnie D. Wade have both been promoted to directors at the north Los Angeles office of Cushman & Wakefield, a worldwide real estate services firm. Cody specializes in the leasing and sales of commercial office buildings throughout the San Fernando Valley. Prior to the promotions, both were brokers within the firm.

Jim Schulte has been hired as project manager for the Southern California region of Boeing Realty Corp. He is based in Long Beach and will be involved in the corporation's development projects, working as a financial analyst. Previously, he served as acquisitions associate for Archstone Communities.

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