Banking & Finance

Gary Meek has been appointed chief financial officer at the Los Angeles headquarters of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin. He will be responsible for financial oversight of the firm, its subsidiaries and affiliated entities. Previously, Meek was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Metrociti Mortgage Corp. In addition, Patrick Russo has joined as vice president and his responsibilities will include originating and managing financial advisory, corporate finance and investment banking projects in the firm's entertainment and media services group. Russo previously was a vice president at SG Cowen Securities Corp.

Entertainment

Kim Ashton has been named project manager at Burbank-based Dick Clark Communications Inc. She will be responsible for various functions, including supervising communications between clients and the company. Ashton previously was in advertising. Also, Chris Ryall was named project director and will design creative concepts for clients, along with implementing marketing efforts. Previously, Ryall was executive speechwriter and marketing specialist at American Honda Motor Corp.

Timur Baysal has joined the Santa Monica office of Computer Caf & #233; as animation director. Previously, Baysal was with Station X Studios.

Maria Higgins has been named controller at Burbank-based Dick Clark Productions. She will oversee all financial reporting functions for television production, business communications and administration. Most recently, Higgins served as chief financial officer at S.L. Fusco Inc.

Health Care

Leanne Spaide was appointed executive director for strategic planning and business development at Adventist Health in Glendale. Among other things, she will oversee marketing, sales and communications. Previously, Spaide was a senior manager with KPMG.

Law

Patrick McDonough has joined the Los Angeles firm of Troop Steuber Pasich Reddick & Tobey as a lateral partner. He will work closely with the groups handling insurance, corporate, and emerging growth and technology matters. McDonough was previously senior vice president and general counsel of Johnson & Higgens of California.

Manufacturing

John Anderson has been appointed managing director of the San Fernando/San Gabriel Valley Manufacturing Technology Center. He will be responsible for the administration of the center and will lead a team of consultants in providing contracted services to small and mid-size manufacturers. Prior to his appointment, Anderson served as a California Manufacturing Technology Center project manager.

Joel Bennett has been promoted to executive vice president at the Malibu office of Jakks Pacific Inc. He also holds the position of chief financial officer. Also, Michael Bianco has been promoted to executive vice president of Flying Colors, the company's crafts, activities and stationery division. He was formerly senior vice president of sales and development of Flying Colors.

New Media

Suzanne Brown has been appointed vice president of finance for Burbank-based B3 Corp. She will be responsible for all financial functions within the firm, including accounting, cash management, budgeting and planning. Prior to joining, Brown was vice president of strategic planning for Warner/Elektra/Atlantic Inc. Also, David Melnick has been promoted to vice president and chief technologist. He will be involved in developing new e-commerce technology and overseeing the network operations department. Prior to joining, Melnick helped build an e-commerce practice at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

Ronald Cushey has been appointed chief financial officer and executive vice president of Santa Monica-based Hollywood Stock Exchange. He will participate in all aspects of the firm's financial and strategic management. Previously, Cushey was executive vice president and chief financial officer at Harvey Entertainment Co. Also, Steven Lehroff has been named senior vice president and general counsel. He will focus on coordinating and supervising business and legal affairs, including new business initiatives and financing activities. Prior to joining, Lehroff served as senior vice president of business affairs at Ignite Entertainment.

Lew Harris has been appointed editor-in-chief of Hollywood-based IFILM. He will be responsible for overseeing and packaging all editorial content for the firm's portal and directory. Previously, Harris was editor-in-chief of E! Online. Also, Andrew Hindes has been promoted to executive producer. He will oversee development of products designed for entertainment industry professionals. Prior to joining, Hindes was film editor of Variety and Daily Variety.

Nancy Harris has joined Los Angeles-based mysmart.com as senior vice president of marketing. She will be responsible for management of the marketing department and will oversee brand development and maintenance, along with advertising, promotions and other areas. Most recently, Harris was senior vice president of worldwide marketing at the Columbia Motion Picture Group.

Stacy Kreisberg has been named vice president of business and legal affairs at Universal Music Group's Farmclub.com. Prior to joining, Kreisberg was vice president of business and legal affairs at A & M; Records. Also, Larry Linietsky has been named vice president of business development. He will be responsible for negotiations involving strategic alliances, partnerships, content acquisition and distribution.

Tom Meredith has been appointed vice president of research at Culver City-based Intertainer Inc. He will be responsible for researching, analyzing and identifying consumer trends in the interactive television sector. Most recently, Meredith was director of market research at Warner Music Group.

Steve Parr has been promoted to president of emap petersen active. His duties include completing the company business plan, concluding several key acquisitions, assisting in a systems review, and improving revenue and profits. Prior to joining, Parr was with Pearson PLC. In addition, Jacqueline Blum has been named president of licensing, sales and marketing. She will oversee the worldwide licensing and marketing of emap USA titles. Prior to joining, Blum served as senior vice president of entertainment, licensing and sales for Big Dog Sportswear. Also, Liberta Abbondante has been promoted to president of consumer marketing, and will oversee that functional area. Prior to joining, Abbondante was with Smithsonian magazine.

Mark Saylor has been named senior vice president of Internet operations for Key3Media Group Inc. He will develop and oversee all editorial Web content for the Key3Media Group of companies. Previously, Saylor was technology editor of the Los Angeles Times.

Michael Snyder has been named chief operating officer of Los Angeles-based TrafficStation Inc. He will help drive and manage company growth. Prior to joining, Snyder served as senior vice president of industry marketing and operations at SmartShip.com.

Bret Undem has been named vice president of corporate finance and investor relations at Pasadena-based Acacia Research Corp. He will be responsible for building awareness of the firm and its partner companies. Undem was previously vice president of Canterbury Consulting.

Real Estate

Clifford Smith has been named senior vice president of Kennedy-Wilson Inc.'s West Coast commercial investment sales group. Most recently, he was a vice president at ING Barings Bank.

Retail

Howard Kaminsky has been promoted to executive vice president of finance at Sport Chalet Inc. in La Canada Flintridge. He will be responsible for the day-to-day financial management. Also, Jeff Lichtenstein has been promoted to vice president of loss prevention/risk management. Among other areas, he will be responsible for inventory control, collections, safety in stores and internal audits.

David Prosser has been named president of Westfall Interior Resources. He will assume responsibility for four sales offices located throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as the business services division. Previously, Prosser served as a dealer principal of Westfall Interior Systems.

Pant Applying Tech Savvy to Big Picture at eCompanies

As a technology officer for various companies, Sangham Pant has spent much of his career developing a nuts-and-bolts understanding of the Internet.

Now, he'll be looking at the bigger picture.

As the new general manager and executive vice president of Santa Monica-based Web incubator eCompanies, Pant will oversee the creative, technology and business development departments.

He will also be directly involved in outlining long-term strategy, together with co-founders Sky Dayton and Jake Winebaum.

As manager of three key departments, Pant will be working closely with the entrepreneurs whose start-up companies are housed at the eCompanies campus.

"We have found that creative, technology and business development are the three areas that require the largest lead time to get a company ready for the market," Pant said. "I'll be working with the companies on the execution of their business plan, developing a strategy for what products and services they should focus on, and creating partnerships between companies in order to leverage their resources."

Before joining eCompanies, Pant was vice president of integration and operations with Lycos Network.

Because of his experience in the technical workings of the Internet, Pant is expected to play an important role in eCompanies' future involvement with startups that work on the infrastructure side of the industry.

"We work on roadmaps for various segments of the industry," said Pant. "These include business and consumer Internet services, but also infrastructure for broadband and wireless services. We look at where value can be created by us in those segments."

Pant's background is in both engineering and business. A native of India, he studied electrical engineering in that country. He has a master of science degree from the University of Florida and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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