newsmakers.people/SFV/d.taub/mike1st/mark2nd February Banking & Finance R. Hank Miller has been hired as an assistant vice president and business development officer at the Bank of Granada Hills. Miller was previously a commercial loan officer and assistant vice president at the Bank of Hollywood. Benjamin S. Wong has been named chairman of the board of SGV Bancorp Inc. and its subsidiary, First Federal Savings and Loan Association of San Gabriel Valley. Wong, a West Covina city councilman, replaces Royce A. Stutzman, who will remain with SGV Bancorp as director. Entertainment/Media Noreen Halpern has been promoted to vice president of creative affairs at Alliance Communications Corp. Halpern will be involved with new material, material follow-through, pitches and network meetings. Digital Theater Systems has named Rory Kaplan executive in charge of artist relations for the recently formed DTS Entertainment Division. Kaplan, who has worked with Jeff Beck, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole and Joe Cocker, will act as a liaison to the music industry, as well as solicit musicians to re-release or record new material using DTS Entertainment technology. The Motion Picture & Television Fund has named Johanna K. Lieblein vice president and chief information officer. Lieblein, who has 18 years experience in information systems in the health care industry, will be responsible for information systems planning, development and implementation. Al Kasha has been appointed to the newly created position of president of MTM Entertainment Inc.’s music division. Kasha, who joined MTM as a consultant a year ago, has created soundtracks for NBC’s “The Pretender,” UPN’s “Sparks” and the syndicated drama “The Cape” during his time with the company. Universal Music & Video Distribution has appointed Joyce Castagnola to the position of senior vice president of sales and distribution. Castagnola, who was previously at Virgin Records for 10 years, most recently as senior vice president of sales, will be responsible for overseeing sales operations at Universal Music & Video. Jon Gumpert has been appointed executive vice president of Universal Pictures. Gumpert, who has served as executive vice president of legal and business affairs for Universal since 1994, will be responsible for planning and coordinating business operations, including talent negotiations and third-party financing. High-Tech Charles C. Maynard has been appointed chief executive officer of Cybernetic Services Inc. Maynard was most recently chief executive officer of Progressive World Messaging. Prior to that, he was president of Cincinnati Bell Messaging Services Inc. Insurance Curt L. Biersch has been named executive vice president and branch manager of the Woodland Hills office of Sherwood Insurance Services. Biersch began his career with Sherwood 10 years ago as a property producer. Public Relations William J.P. Smith Jr. has been appointed senior vice president and director of public relations at Ahlman & Associates. Smith, who most recently spent three years as a professor at Emerson College in Boston and Los Angeles, will be responsible for strategic planning and program execution for the firm’s public relations clients. Real Estate Countrywide Home Loans Inc. has promoted Keith McLaughlin to the position of managing director of finance. McLaughlin, who has been with Countrywide for 10 years, will be responsible for Countrywide’s work in the areas of corporate accounting, corporate tax and financial reporting. Martha M. Belcher has been named vice president and regional counsel for the Fannie Mae Western Regional Office. Belcher, who was previously a partner at the Los Angeles office of Arnold & Porter, will have overall responsibility for legal activities within Fannie Mae’s western region, as well as serving as general counsel for the office. Retail Peter Boutros has been promoted to vice president of international marketing for Disney Consumer Products. Boutros, who has been with Disney since 1993, was previously director of international marketing. Security Pinkerton’s Inc. has appointed Jim R. Mellor to its board of directors. Mellor is currently chairman and chief executive officer of General Dynamics and previously served as president and chief operating officer of AM International Inc. Tourism Lana Dubovik was named “Young Hotelier of the Year” for 1996 by the International Hotel Association and Hotels magazine. Dubovik, a recent & #233;migr & #233; to the United States from the Ukraine, is director of sales at the Radisson Valley Center Hotel in Sherman Oaks.