Entertainment Larry Hariton has been promoted to senior vice president, direct account management for Universal Music & Video Distribution. Hariton be responsible for overseeing UMVD’s direct account management initiative with major accounts. Since 1996, he has served as vice president of direct retail planning and category management for UMVD. Alan Skinner has been promoted to senior vice president, creative services at Hollywood-based Another Large Production. He will be responsible for overseeing all of the company’s production staff and projects. Trent Farr will replace Skinner as vice president, creative services. He joins ALP from a Minneapolis-based advertising agency where he was a senior writer. Marilyn Higgins also has joined the company as a producer/writer working on syndicated weekly and strip programs. And Stephanie Rosato has been promoted to senior producer, supervising special long-form projects and launches. Stephen Pugh has been named general manager of Foundation Imaging, a Valencia-based digital visual effects company, which provides special effects to television shows, feature films, home-video projects and themed entertainment venues. Pugh joined the firm in 1993 as systems engineer and has overseen the expansion of the company’s internal technologies. In addition, Sherry Hitch has been promoted to visual effects supervisor. Most recently, she was a digital effects composite animator. And Emile Edwin Smith has been promoted to supervising visual effects animator. Francine Velarde has been named vice president, international, advertising/publicity servicing, for Warner Bros. international theatrical distribution. In her new position, she will oversee all aspects of ordering and distributing advertising and publicity for the studio’s international motion picture releases. Prior to the appointment, Velarde was manager of international ad/publicity servicing. Producer Phyllis Weisband has joined Hollywood-based 525 Post Production. She began her career in production as a staff supervising visual effects producer at Robert Abel & Associates and has several years of freelance experience. 525 Post Production specializes in editing, computer graphics and digital effects for the feature film, commercial and music video industries. Financial Services Richard “Hoppie” Hopp has been named president and CEO of Van Nuys-based America’s Best Credit Inc., a principal finance company with emphasis on 100 percent funding of personal and commercial insurance lines. He will be responsible for all aspects of underwriting policies, monetary affairs, accounting, and overseeing daily operations. Health Care Cynthia Scollins has been appointed vice president of medical operations for Woodland Hills-based Blue Cross of California. She will be responsible for the implementation, analysis and evaluation of utilization management programs, and for making sure these programs meet compliance standards of state regulators and accrediting agencies. Before joining Blue Cross, Scollins served as director of case management for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Quincy, Mass. Mario B. Soberal has been appointed vice president of corporate applications for WellPoint Health Networks Inc. His main responsibility will be to develop customized high-tech computer programs for the company. Soberal joined WellPoint in May, 1997 as director of corporate applications. High Tech Ake Almgren has been appointed president and chief executive of Tarzana-based Capstone Turbine Corporation, a developer of power-generating systems. Prior to his appointment, Almgren served as business area manager for distribution transformers at ABB. Michael Weiss has been appointed vice president of business development at Woodland Hills-based GEO Interactive. Weiss will be responsible for developing partnership, sales and channel opportunities for Emblaze Live, GEO’s family of video and audio products designed for real-time Web broadcasting. Weiss previously was vice president of entertainment and business development at Sirius Publishing Inc. Retail Cindy Chong has been promoted to a vice president position at Donahue Schriber, the developer/owner/manager of Glendale Galleria and other shopping centers. Chong will continue her duties as the general manager of Glendale Galleria, a position she has held that position since 1990. Marketing Dwight Gould has been named executive vice president, sales and marketing for the Van Nuys-based marketing firm RightSide Up. In addition, Candi Torrijos has accepted the position of director, sales and marketing. She will head the health-care division. Most recently, she was director of customer service for BPS Healthcare. Sales Chris DeMoulin has been promoted to senior vice president of global retail strategy and business development at Disney Consumer Products in Glendale. He will be responsible for developing strategies to increase global sales of Disney’s licensed merchandise. Previously, he was vice president of network licensing and retail development for Disney Licensing. Security James L. Fleshood has been named vice president of field operations, Western U.S. region, for Pinkerton’s Inc. He will be based in Burbank. Fleshood began his career with Pinkerton’s in 1987 when it acquired the Las Vegas-based security company which he had founded. Most recently, Fleshood was vice president of field operations of Pinkerton’s North-Central region.