NEWSMAKERS

Mellon Bolsters High Net Worth Practice

Eric Bell figures that bad corporate behavior makes his job all the more necessary.

Recently named vice president and senior sales officer for private wealth management at Mellon Financial Corp., Bell is responsible for business development, as well as serving the investment needs of the company's private clients.

Most of his clients are experienced investors who are used to the ups and downs of both the broader economy and of individual companies.

"I haven't seen (the Enron Bankruptcy) hurt business per se," he said. "There's a lot of hesitation, but I don't think anybody is giving up on the stock market altogether these people have been through recessions."

But Bell has noticed that many investors are concerned with wealth preservation as opposed to hastily growing mega-fortunes. "I think most everyone has taken a dip from where they were two years ago," he said. "Nobody is a short term investor anymore."

On the task of drumming up business for Mellon, Bell said the most important thing is looking at a client's total package, from stocks and real estate to corporate bonds. Bell also said many investors, scared straight by recent stock market woes, have become dissatisfied and are looking for new institutions to provide their wealth management services. "Money is moving," he said. "You just have to makes sure it moves to you."

After receiving his finance degree from the University of Phoenix in 1983, Bell started working as an investment advisor in Palo Alto. He became director of marketing at Soares Financial Group in Los Altos and began servicing high net worth individuals at his next job, working in the private client services division at Wells Fargo. Bell worked for Wells Fargo for 11 years and held a number of positions. Near the end of his tenure, he moved to Southern California and eventually took his most recent position as a principal at State Street Global Advisors.

He is single and lives in Dove Canyon.

Conor Dougherty

Advertising & P.R.

Team One Advertising in El Segundo has promoted Craig Crawford to senior copywriter. He joined the agency in 1999 as a copywriter.



Nina Gordon has joined the Lippin Group, a public relations firm in Los Angeles, as a vice president. She will focus on special events and clients in the areas of music, television, film and personalities. Gordon previously headed her own company, Nina Gordon Public Relations.

Architecture

Johnson Fain Partners, a Los Angeles architecture and planning firm, has promoted Julie Bandini to senior associate. She will continue to lead business development and marketing for the firm's primary design practices in architecture and planning. Bandini previously served as director of business development. Also, the firm hired Kristen Geraci as accounts manager for the interiors group. Geraci most recently worked as an interior designer with Gensler in New York.

Banking & Finance

Chanin Capital Partners, a national investment bank, has appointed John Garcia vice president. Garcia was formerly a senior associate and will continue to work on financial restructurings, reorganizations and valuations in addition to training and developing junior professionals.



Alvin D. Kang has been appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer at Broadway Federal Bank in Los Angeles. Kang is a retired audit partner with KPMG.



Union Bank of California N.A. has promoted Bruce F. Steckel to executive vice president for corporate deposit services. He is responsible for managing commercial accounts for California-based companies with sales above $5 million and national firms with sales above $100 million. Steckel, based in Los Angeles, replaces JoAnn Bourne who was named head of UBOC's commercial banking group.



Jerry Weisbecker has been named managing director in the Los Angeles office of Stone & Youngberg LLC, an underwriter of tax-exempt local government debt. He joined the firm in 1999.

Education

Adam Wergeles has been appointed vice president of operations at Concord University in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for overseeing growth and operations for Concord Law Center, in addition to overseeing the school's ongoing efforts to attract executive applicants. Wergeles most recently served as vice president and general counsel with Quisic Corp. And Cassandra Colchagoff has been named associate dean. She joined the school as an adjunct professor in 2000 and most recently served as associate dean of administration.

Entertainment

Darcie Denkert has been promoted to president of the newly formed MGM Entertainment Business Group, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Denkert, who most recently had responsibility for the company's worldwide entertainment and business affairs, will focus on leveraging the film and television library. She also will pursue licensing opportunities for moving MGM properties into theatrical stage productions. Also at MGM, MGM Pictures has promoted Jonathan Bader to executive vice president of business affairs. He will oversee theatrical business affairs and legal affairs for the film unit, as well as supervise negotiations, including all talent, production and rights issues. Bader previously served as senior vice president of business affairs, a position he held since 1999.



JP Kids, an independent production company, has named Rick Hawkins executive producer and senior vice president of television and film. He is based in Los Angeles and most recently served as an executive producer and writer for "Showstoppers," a CBS special.



Nate Whitman has been named director of business development and strategy at the Game Show Network in Culver City. His responsibilities include strategic development of new business initiatives, long-range financial planning and forecasting, as well as the implementation of industry partnerships. Prior to joining the network, Whitman was a member of the business development and strategy team at Liberty Digital Inc., which owns a 50 percent stake in the Game Show Network.

Health Care

Marc L. Hecksel has been appointed chief operating officer of Salick Health Care Inc. in Los Angeles. He is responsible for leading the overall operations of the cancer centers. Prior to joining the company, Hecksel served as vice president for the Industry Advantage Health System of the Motion Picture and Television Fund.



Marvin Rich has been named executive vice president of finance and operations at Health Net in Los Angeles. Most recently, he served as president of WebMD.

Hospitality

Kristy Gomes has joined the Wilshire Grand Hotel as marketing and promotions manager. She will be responsible for coordinating external and internal marketing activities aimed at business travelers, tour operators, meeting planners and guests, in addition to marketing the hotel's five restaurants and bars. Gomes previously worked at Anchor Audio in Torrance, where she was vice president of marketing.

Law

Silver & Freedman in Los Angeles has announced four internal promotions. Belle Mason has been elected the new chairperson for the employment and labor department and Beth Schroeder, former head of the group, has shifted to head client services, a new executive position in the firm. In the firm's transactional department, Mark Sieke has been added as a shareholder. Also, Gregory Weisman has been named senior counsel and will spearhead the firm's apparel industry group.



Michael Lubic, who was formerly head of the bankruptcy practice at the Los Angeles office of McCutchen Doyle Brown & Enersen LLP, has joined Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal as a partner in its Los Angeles office. He will head the firm's West Coast insolvency, bankruptcy and reorganization practice in addition to playing a major role in the expansion of the firm's national fraud investigation practice. Robert Johnson has also joined Sonnenschein's Los Angeles office as a partner. Johnson is a transactional attorney and concentrates in real estate and real estate finance projects. He previously worked in the Los Angeles office of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP.

Merchandise

The California Market Center named Jim Nahin as its new leasing director. He will handle all leasing inquiries as well as develop new niche areas of product focus. Nahin was most recently western sales manager for Pindar Systems Inc.

New Media

Hal Muchnick has been appointed executive vice president and general manager at LowerMyBills.com in Santa Monica. He has served on the company's advisory board for the past two years and will now manage day-to-day operations, including increasing retention marketing and product expansion. Most recently, Muchnick was chief marketing office at Autoland, an automotive software information company.

Real Estate

Center Trust, a Manhattan Beach-based REIT, announced that Daniel Millman is its new vice president of leasing and asset management. He oversees the redevelopment, leasing and asset management of both Media City in Burbank and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles. Millman joined Center Trust in 1994.



Andrew D. Ratner has been promoted to executive managing director and area leader for the California and Portland/Seattle regions at Cushman & Wakefield. Based in Los Angeles, he will provide operational guidance to the firm's three offices in the Pacific Northwest. Ratner was most recently executive vice president and national director at Cushman Realty and has been responsible for the implementation of a statewide strategic business plan for the California operation following the merger of Cushman & Wakefield and Cushman Realty in July 2001.

Retail

Jeff Stroud, Ed Hakari and Pat Difani have been promoted at Strouds, a privately held, 50-store retail chain based in City of Industry. Jeff Stroud has assumed the role of senior vice president of stores, Internet and marketing. He formerly served as vice president of store operations. Hakari was appointed creative director and will direct new signage and point-of-purchase merchandising programs. He was most recently the company's district visual merchandiser. Difani, now a regional manager for stores, will oversee 28 stores in Strouds' California market. Difani previously served as a district manager.

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