NEWSMAKERS

Banking & Finance

Michael Banco has been named assistant vice president and store manager for Wells Fargo's Ocean Park banking office in Santa Monica. Previously, Banco served as store manager for the bank's Palos Verdes branch.

Bank of the West has hired Richard D. Byrd as senior executive vice president and head of its wealth, investments and insurance group. Byrd was previously executive vice president and director of wealth management services with City National Bank in Los Angeles.

Robert R. Flores has joined the Los Angeles office of City National Bank as senior vice president and manager of its government lending department. Flores was previously executive vice president at Temecula Valley Bank.

The Private Bank of California has named Kevin LaPorte vice president and relationship manager. LaPorte was previously relationship manager at First Regional Bank's Santa Monica office.

Comerica Bank has named Victor Barriga assistant vice president and banking center manager for the downtown branch, Ayman Obeid vice president and banking center manager for the City of Industry branch, and Maira Villafana assistant vice president and banking center manager at the Torrance banking center. Barriga was previously assistant vice president and banking center manager for Comerica's Garment District branch. Obeid was assistant vice president and banking center manager at Wells Fargo & Co. Villafana was an assistant banking center manger at Comerica.

Scott James has been named senior vice president and regional manager for the Brentwood office of Wells Fargo Private Bank. James was previously regional manager for the banking unit in San Jose.

Consulting

Strategic Counsel PLC, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm specializing in law and public policy, has named Angela J. Reddock of counsel. Reddock was previously a partner with Los Angeles-based law firm Carroll Burdick & McDonough LLP.



Entertainment

Janice Arouh has been promoted to executive vice president of network distribution and service for Crown Media Holdings Inc. Arouh was previously senior vice president of the same division.

The Recording Academy, an organization internationally known for the Grammy Awards, has appointed David Helfant, Mike Knobloch and Tom Sturges to its Los Angeles chapter board. Helfant is senior vice president of business affairs at Immergent Records. Knobloch is senior vice president of film music at Fox Music. Sturges is executive vice president of creative affairs with Universal Music Publishing Group.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. has appointed Dan Kolsrud executive vice president of worldwide theatrical physical production. Kolsrud was previously executive producer at Universal Pictures.

Matt Winslow has been promoted to senior vice president of branded entertainment in the Los Angeles office of Generate, an independent production and management studio. Winslow was previously vice president of marketing with the company.

Government

Alex Soteras has been appointed to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. Soteras is vice president in the Encino office of NAI Capital, a Southern California commercial real estate firm, and owner of Soteras Mortgage.

Marketing

AvatarLabs, a Hollywood-based online marketing agency, has hired Thorsten Kober as interactive developer. Previously, Kober was a Flash developer at Eclipse Advertising, an entertainment advertising agency.

Jennifer Beindorf has been named director of strategic development at Campos Creative Works, a Santa Monica-based business company specializing in events. Beindorf was previously senior vice president of automotive with Nielsen IAG Research Inc., a media research company.

Non-Profit

First Book, an international non-profit organization that helps children from low-income families with literacy, has appointed Kellie Cairns chairwoman of the local advisory board in South Bay. Cairns is program director for Book Buddies, a literacy program of the Molina Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on education and health issues.

Marian Duntley has been named executive vice president of the Foreign Trade Association of Southern California based in Sunland. Duntley was previously corporate customs director with Toyota Motor Sales.

Exceptional Children's Foundation, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization serving children and adults with developmental disabilities, has named Guy Shulman director of development. Shulman was previously chief development officer for the Children's Clinic in Long Beach.

Real Estate

Grubb & Ellis Co., a real estate services and investment firm, has promoted J.C. Casillas to associate vice president and client services manager for Los Angeles County. Casillas was previously Los Angeles client services manager.

Colliers International, a commercial real estate brokerage firm, has hired Phyllis Palin as vice president and Kathleen Silver as senior vice president in its West Los Angeles office. Palin was previously executive vice president with South Park Group Inc., a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate firm. Silver was senior vice president with Grubb & Ellis' West Los Angeles office.

Lowe Enterprises, a Los Angeles-based real estate development firm, has named Robert J. Lowe Jr. chief executive of Lowe Hospitality Group, the firm's hospitality and resort residential development and operating division. Lowe was previously president with the firm's hospitality division.

Wayne Brandt has joined the Los Angeles office of Buchanan Street Partners, a national real estate investment manager and adviser headquartered in Newport Beach, as managing director. Previously, Brandt served as managing director at RBS Greenwich Capital, an underwriter, trader and distributor of fixed-income investment products.

Technology

Andre Doumitt has been named chief executive of Geosemble, an Encino-based geospatial data integration company. Doumitt was previously president and chief operating officer with the company.

KUDOS

The real property section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association has honored Caroline Dreyfus, Diane J. Hvolka and Chris Safarian with Outstanding Young Lawyer awards. Dreyfus is a partner with the Los Angeles office of Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP, a real estate law firm. Hvolka is an associate with Gilchrist & Rutter, a Santa Monica-based law firm. Safarian serves as partner at the Los Angeles office of Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP.

Yoo Mi Chin

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