As Jonathan Barzilay tells it, he's made the move from litigation to animation.

Once a lawyer with a private practice in New York, Barzilay has been the general manager of children's programming at ABC since 1997 and recently took on a couple of additional titles, senior vice president and general manager of Toon Disney, one of Walt Disney Co.'s cable television networks.

"There are people who would say that being a lawyer is perfect training for working with cartoons," Barzilay said. "The public image of lawyers is somewhat like a cartoon character."

Barzilay is the first general manager of Toon Disney, the all-animation network launched in April 1998, and will oversee operations at the network.

He joined the network in 1990 as the counsel at ABC's news division, later becoming vice president of the ABC Television Network Group.

"Jonathan's wide-ranging experience in television and his current focus on children's programming for ABC are ideal preparation to assume operational oversight of Toon Disney," said Anne Sweeney, president of ABC Cable Networks Group, in a statement.

"We're an emerging cable network," Barzilay said. "We're trying to raise the awareness of the channel and broaden its distribution."

Toon Disney is viewed in some 21 million homes throughout the United States and is adding about 800,000 subscribers a month, he said.

Helping Barzilay in his work are his two daughters, ages seven and 10.

"There's no question that having kids is absolutely the best preparation one can have for a job in kids' programming," he said.

Claudia Peschiutta

Accounting & Consulting

Wes Nutten and Walt Gorsey have joined Desmond, Marcello & Amster, a consulting firm in Los Angeles. Gorsey has been named chief operating officer. He has spent the last 10 years providing interim COO services to a variety of companies. Nutten, who has been appointed a principal, will head up the forensic accounting and class action claims administration practices. Prior to joining the firm, he was a director of litigation consulting services with BDO Seidman.

Advertising & P.R.

Scott Allison has been promoted to president at Connors Communications, a public relations firm in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for the overall organization of the company, including its management, expansion of client services, intra-office communication and staff development. Allison was most recently general manager of the company.


Scott Greenwood has been promoted to the position of president, Dole Fresh Flowers, at Dole Food Co. Inc. in Westlake Village. Greenwood has been with the company since 1989, most recently serving as vice president of sales and marketing for Dole Packaged Foods North America.

Banking & Finance

Takashi Fujishima and Ryoji Iwanaga have been appointed to positions at Manufacturers Bank in Los Angeles. Fujishima is the company's new chairman and chief executive. Most recently, he was executive vice president, international and corporate banking at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., the parent company of Manufacturers Bank. Iwanaga, who previously served as general manager of the private banking division at SMBC, will be serving as vice chairman. Also new at Manufacturers Bank are Shuji Hojo and Yaeko Lorimer, who have been hired to head up the company's 12th regional office in Torrance. Hojo, as manager of the new office, will be responsible for all areas of operation, including developing new commercial business, conducting market analyses and representing the bank in the South Bay community. Before joining the company he served as vice president at Sanwa Bank's Pacific Rim regional branch. Lorimer will be responsible for marketing at the Torrance office. She was previously assistant vice president and loan officer in the Japanese corporate department of the Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corp. in Los Angeles.

David Soleymani has been named managing director of First Capital Corp., a mortgage brokerage and banking firm that serves as the residential lending arm of Coldwell Banker. Based in Santa Monica, he will be responsible for training the company's 70-broker sales force. Soleymani was previously a senior vice president at the firm.


Ralph J. Capo has been appointed director of marketing for VTN West Inc., a consulting, land planning, civil engineering and surveying firm in Van Nuys. He will be responsible for client services, including marketing, business development and public relations.


Wayne Baruch, Susan Leary, Ron W. Roecker and Enrique Fernandez have been appointed to positions at the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Inc. in Santa Monica. Baruch has been named chief operating officer, responsible for the day-to-day management of the Recording Academy. Most recently, he produced "The Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame" for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Leary, who will be serving as chief financial officer, was formerly vice president and controller of Ryland Mortgage. Roecker, the former vice president of brand marketing and creative strategy for Ketchum Inc., will be the Academy's director of communications. Fernandez has been appointed senior vice president/executive director of the Latin Recording Academy. He was previously a columnist at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where he wrote on South Florida's multicultural scene.

Cindy Clark has been named vice president of production for Dick Clark Productions. Currently, she is co-producer of the prime-time series "Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction," for the Fox network. Most recently, Clark was director of development and a producer for the company.

Rick Hassen has joined Sea Level, a visual effects production boutique in Santa Monica, as executive producer. In this position, he will oversee production and other day-to-day activities for the company, as well as work with senior management to chart the future direction of the company and develop new markets for its services. Hassen was formerly senior vice president at Pacific Ocean Post.


Peter Ezzell has been named firmwide managing partner at Haight Brown & Bonesteel, a litigation firm in Los Angeles. Ezzell is a partner in the firm's product liability and tort litigation practice group, specializing in major disaster litigation, and will be responsible for implementing the firm's new strategic business plan. Ezzell has spent his 29-year career with the firm.

Peter M. Juzwiak has joined the corporate securities practice of Irell & Manella LLP, a full-service law firm in Los Angeles. Based in Century City, Juzwiak will cover a broad range of corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions and public and private financing transactions, specializing in legal matters pertaining to Internet and high-technology industries. Juzwiak was formerly vice president and general counsel at eToys Inc.

New Media

Ron Cushey and Kevin Gavin have joined Communications Inc., a networks and workflow applications provider in Manhattan Beach. Cushey, who will be serving as chief financial officer, was most recently CEO of the Hollywood Stock Exchange. Gavin will be serving as vice president of marketing. Previously, he was chief marketing officer for InternetConnect in Torrance.

Eric Marston has joined FirstLook, a streaming media and technology solutions provider in Sherman Oaks, as chief technology officer. He will oversee the company's Web site infrastructure, managing everything from hosting to the software and database design and development of FirstLook's client extranet application and encoding division. Marston was most recently a lead developer/architect for IBM Global Services.

Real Estate

Cyrano Adlawan has joined Stone Co., a commercial real estate company located in Los Angeles. As an associate, Adlawan will be specializing in representing tenants in commercial property renewals and relocations. Previously, he worked with Charles Dunn Co. as a sales and leasing associate in West Los Angeles.

Andrew Rifkin has been promoted to associate vice president in the West Los Angeles office of Grubb & Ellis Co., a commercial real estate services firm. He specializes in tenant representation and was most recently an office properties specialist with the company.

Greg Tylka has been appointed to the position of senior development manager at The Ratkovich Co., a real estate development company in Los Angeles. He will oversee and manage all aspects of the Alhambra, a 1 million-square-foot office project in Alhambra, including leasing, development, property management, and financing of both existing space and potential new space. Tylka was previously a vice president of finance with the Koll Development Co. in Newport Beach.


Barry Soosman has been promoted to the new position of chief strategic officer at Guitar Center Inc. in Agoura Hills. In his newly expanded role, Soosman will lead strategic growth initiatives as well as internal infrastructure developments, along with the integration of American Music Group as part of that company's recent acquisition by Guitar Center. He most recently served as executive vice president and general counsel.


Mia Falkenstein has been named director of client services at the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau. In this capacity, she will serve as the liaison between meeting professionals and the local visitor industry. Previously, Falkenstein was corporate group sales manager at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.


Wayne J. Lovett has been appointed executive vice president of Mercury Air Group Inc., a provider of petroleum products and air cargo services in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for administration as well as the legal risk and information technology departments. Prior to joining the company, Lovett was the presiding judge of Lakeway Municipal Court in Lakeway, Texas.

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