James Smith has just taken on one of the toughest jobs in town making sure 3.6 million people and 100,000 businesses receive 900,000 daily postal deliveries.

Smith, the new Postmaster of Los Angeles, spent the last 10 months in Oakland as manger of post office operations before returning to L.A. to manage 68 postal stations covering a 460-square-mile area with an annual budget of $260 million.

"Oakland was a wonderful experience, it allowed me to make a difference in a group that was just becoming excellent," Smith said. "But to come back (to L.A.) to be the Postmaster, the leader of the second largest postal office in the country it's just a great opportunity."

Smith said his priorities revolve around enhancing customer service, with one of his goals having customers in and out of the post office within five minutes. He said the organization is in the process of adjusting staff and training employees in an effort to meet that goal.

At the core of each of Smith's goals is a desire to have post office employees accessible to customers. The office is even conducting town hall meetings in select communities around town to allow customers to share suggestions and concerns. Smith plans to extend such meetings to all communities in Los Angeles.

A postal employee since 1965, Smith said his recent appointment is testament to the post office's willingness to allow employees to grow within the organization. He started as a 30-day temporary employee and then began working part-time. After serving in the Army from 1968 to 1970, Smith came back as a part-time employee while pursuing his degree in sociology from Cal State L.A. He has a lifetime teaching credential and is a member of the executive management program at USC.

Conor Dougherty

Advertising & P.R.

Kim Franklin has joined Riester-Robb, an advertising agency in Santa Monica, as a senior account manager. She will be responsible for administering the California Department of Conservation account.

David A. Herbst has been appointed senior vice president in the Los Angeles office of the MWW Group, a public relations firm. He will specialize in crisis communications, land use planning and real estate development. Herbst most recently served as executive vice president of American Standard Development Co.

Aerospace

Sandra Wright has been named corporate controller at Northrop Grumman Corp. in Los Angeles. She will be responsible for financial reporting, financial planning, benefit analysis and corporate accounting functions, including developing and administering all corporate policies relating to these areas. Wright was previously vice president and controller at Aerojet, a GenCorp company.

Architecture

David Keiser and Bernard Kummer have been named associates at SmithGroup in Los Angeles, an international architecture, planning, interior architecture and engineering firm. Keiser has been a senior medical planner with the firm since 1999. Kummer also joined the firm in 1999 and has experience in all areas of architectural assignments.

James George Matson has joined Cannon Dworsky, an architectural, engineering and planning firm in Los Angeles, as associate vice president. He specializes in the design and planning of arenas and mixed-use projects. Prior to joining the firm, Matson served as project manager and collegiate sports market leader for NBBJ Sports and Entertainment.

Automotive

Xavier Dominicis is the new national manager for corporate contributions at Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. and the Toyota USA Foundation in Torrance. He is responsible for the administration of Toyota Motor Sales' $10.6 million national corporate contributions program, including community relations and corporate volunteer activities, as well as overseeing the day-to-day activities of the Toyota USA Foundation. Most recently, Dominicis served as TMS Southeast public affairs manager, where he managed media communications with local area print and broadcast journalists.

Engineering

Kelly Lowell has joined Leighton and Associates' Santa Clarita and Westlake Village offices as manager of business development. Previously, Lowell worked as manager of business development for RNL Design, a firm specializing in architectural and interior design.

Entertainment

Anita Frazier has been appointed vice president of kids' sales at Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing North America in Los Angeles. She will be responsible for developing and overseeing sales strategies for the company's kids' software titles for the PC Platform, in addition to leading retail sales and channel marketing for the kids' software category. Frazier was most recently an independent consultant working with start-up clients.

Jason Gallien has been appointed vice president of finance, U.S. operations, at Universal Music Publishing Group in Los Angeles. He will manage the company's U.S. finance activities for both UMPG and Rondor Music, including planning, reporting, budgeting, internal controls and forecasting. Prior to his appointment, Gallien was director of finance for Universal Music Group.

Jon Krobot has been promoted to sales manager, midwestern region, at Tribune Entertainment Co. in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for representing all Tribune Entertainment programming, including "Mutant X," "Talk or Walk," "City Guys" and "Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century." Krobot has been with the company since 1997.

Kevin MacLellan has been named senior vice president, international at E Networks in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for E's international channel development, program sales and distribution, business operations and administration. He will also work in conjunction with E and Style's original programming division to develop international productions for E's channels and partners outside the United States. MacLellan previously served as vice president, international television networks at Columbia Tri-Star International Television.

Mark Wurtzel has been promoted to vice president, Western Region, at Columbia Tri-Star Television Distribution in Culver City. He will be responsible for managing the company's Los Angeles office. Previously, he served as a regional manager for the company.

Government

William Almaraz has been appointed district manager of customer service and sales for the United States Postal Service in Los Angeles. He is responsible for the processing and distribution of nearly 10 million pieces of mail each day, as well as the delivery of mail to 3.6 million residents and 100,000 business establishments in Los Angeles.

Chet Yoshizaki has been appointed manager of the city of Long Beach's Economic Development Bureau. He had served as the city of Riverside's development director since 1998.

Health Care

Mary Jo Gorman has been named vice president of medical affairs for IPC the Hospitalist Co., a health care provider in North Hollywood. She will be responsible for developing strategies that enhance clinical performance and will be involved in all of the company's leadership council's activities as well as recruitment and retention programs. She previously served as IPC's regional medical director, based in St. Louis.

John A. Raycraft has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president of sales and marketing at Medical Eye Services, a third-party administrator for vision plans in Long Beach. He will oversee the development and expansion of the company's sales and marketing operations. Raycraft previously served as president of Eye Care Plan of America.

Law

Amy E. Freilich has joined Gilchrist & Rutter PC as partner in the firm's Santa Monica office. In her practice, Freilich represents both public-sector clients and private developers in the structuring and negotiation of complex public/private development projects. Prior to joining the firm, she was a founding partner at Brand Farrar Dziubla Freilich & Kolstand and Brand Farrar & Buxbaum LLP, where she served as lead counsel to the Pasadena Metro Blue Line Construction Authority in the development of its joint development policy and joint development of key station sites along its initial 13-mile route.

Media

Kim Booth has returned to Palisades Media Group in Santa Monica as senior vice president, broadcast director. She will be responsible for PMG's entertainment buying group. After spending two years at PMG as vice president, associate media director, Booth left in 1998 to join WWOR-TV, New York as an account executive.

Personnel

Michael Hughes has been promoted to Los Angeles County regional vice president at Robert Half International in Glendale, a staffing service that specializes in the accounting, finance and information technology fields. He will oversee operations in Glendale, downtown Los Angeles, Westwood, City of Industry and Torrance. Hughes has been with the firm since last year, most recently serving as branch manager in Irvine.

Tourism

Ann Wubbena has been appointed director, northeast region sales at the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau. She will be responsible for managing corporate and association sales activities in the Northeastern territory, including Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and New York. Previously, Wubbena was director of sales for the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau. Jeffrey Poole has been named director, regional sales at the bureau. He will be responsible for managing corporate, labor market and association sales activities for Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Most recently, Poole was national sales director for Rosen Hotels & Resorts.

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