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VALLEY NEWSMAKERS

Larry R. Kidd, R.N., BSN, MPA, and soon to be Ph.D., has been named vice president of patient care services/chief nursing officer at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. Kidd brings more than 25 years of experience in acute care facilities to the executive team at Henry Mayo. “Larry is a tremendous asset and the perfect person to join our leadership team,” said Roger Seaver, president and CEO of the hospital. “His strong background and dynamic leadership skills will provide tremendous value as we continue to improve the patient experience and create the ideal healthcare environment four our community,” added Seaver. Kidd has previous been in the position of chief nurse executive and chief operating officer at other institutions. He received his bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Alabama, and a master of public administration from the University of San Francisco. In 1999 he completed a fellowship in nursing administration at the Wharton School of Business. He is also currently enrolled in a doctoral program for health administration and leadership at the Medical University if South Carolina. “Our emphasis will be on improving customer service and quality of care for patients,” wrote Kidd in an e-mail. “In addition, we’ll be focusing on initiatives to create and promote the type of work environment that will allow us to successfully recruit and retain nurses during this time of severe nurse shortage in the US and particularly in California,” Kidd’s new position is effective July 1st. Civics Belinda Barragan, 39, of San Fernando, has been appointed to the Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind. Since 2007, she has served as the regional director for the greater Los Angeles area for the non-profit Latino Issues Forum. Barragan previously was assistant director of state government relations for the University of California, Los Angeles from 2001 to 2007 and legislative consultant and district director for Assemblymember Tony Cardenas from 1996 to 2001. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Barragan is a Democrat. Entertainment Christian Mann has been appointed as general manager of Evil Angel, an adult entertainment production company in Van Nuys. Mann was most recently general manager of Metro Interactive and was founder and CEO of Video Team. Tony Medrano has joined DVD rental company SugarDVD as vice president of business development and sales. In that position, Medrano will handle business development, strategic development and revenue growth initiatives for SugarDVD, Sugar Video-on-Demand and SugarCash’s Automated Store Builder program for affiliates. He is a 10-year veteran of software and Internet companies in both Silicon Valley and Southern California. Finance Gary S. Berner has moved to the Westlake Village office of Merrill Lynch. Berner has been a financial adviser since 1996 and joined Merrill Lynch in 2004. He is already firmly entrenched in the Conejo Valley having lived there since 1993. The athletically inclined Berner is a longtime member of the Westlake Tennis and Swim Club, and has coached both his daughter’s softball team and his son’s basketball team. Ed Chavannes was promoted to principal in Ernst & Young’s Woodland Hills office. Chavannes is a frequent lecturer on issues regarding information technology effectiveness and governance. A certified information systems auditor and a certified information systems security professional, Chavannes holds a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge Healthcare Stewart M. Kiner has been named vice president and general manager of the senior market for Blue Shield of California. In this new role, Stewart is responsible for providing strategic direction, business planning and overall leadership for the senior market lines of business, including Medicare Advantage HMO, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Part D Drug Plans. Kiner will report to Karen Vigil, senior vice president of Blue Shield’s Individual, Small Group, and Government Business Unit. Prior to joining Blue Shield, Kiner served as vice president of product management for Healthways, where he played a key role in developing wellness, health products and business opportunities for consumers over 50. Kiner’s background also includes leadership positions at Secure Horizons and SCAN Health Plan. CIGNA HealthCare of California has named Eugene (Gene) Rapisardi vice president of sales and service for Southern California. Based in Glendale, Rapisardi will oversee CIGNA HealthCare’s sales operations in Los Angeles and will direct all activities associated with the growth and retention of its middle market health care business. With more than 25 years of experience in the Southern California market, Rapisardi brings a varied background in health care benefits sales, strategy and client service to CIGNA HealthCare of California. In addition to his tenure with PacifiCare, Rapisardi was the former vice president of sales with Health Net and worked in the group sales and service division of MetLife. Active in the community, Rapisardi serves a volunteer chaplain for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Lancaster and is an advisory board member of the Christian Okoye Foundation. He also participates in several professional organizations. Insurance Poms & Associates Insurance Brokers Inc. has added two new professionals to their Woodland Hills corporate headquarters. Seth Ford Gilman and Bryce W. Eddy have both been hired as senior vice presidents. Gilman is responsible for the development of new business and the management of client relationships in the corporate sector. Additionally, he is the division leader for the Preferred Client Group. Gilman was formerly with Kessler Risk and Insurance Services as a senior vice president. His past experience includes time with Marsh and KPMG. He received both an MBA and a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Southern California. Bryce Eddy will lead Poms’ Employee Benefits Consulting team. In addition to his focus on the development of middle to large market corporate clients, he has plans to expand the company’s Group Life and LTD Practice area. Eddy was also previously a Kessler employee, serving there as a senior vice president and sales leader. Past experience includes time with Peter Foy & Associates. He has 14 years experience in the insurance industry. Manufacturing Parveen Kakar has been appointed to the position of senior vice president, corporate engineering and product development at Superior Industries International Inc. in Van Nuys. In that position, Kakar will apply his management skills and operational know-how to further improve product engineering and development capabilities. Kakar joined Superior in 1989 and most recently served as Superior’s Vice President, Program Development. Media Thousand Oaks resident Amanda Covarrubias has been appointed to the morning-news position on the city desk at the Los Angeles Times. In that position Covarrubias will be the primary editor in the mornings, handling breaking news stories for the web and will also join our morning reporting team to help report stories as news dictates. She joined the Times in 1999 and has worked as an assistant city editor in the Valley edition and as a reporter in Ventura County and the Valley. CrowdGather, Inc. has added Zoe Myerson and Heather Schlegel to their executive team. Myerson will join the company as vice president of worldwide advertising sales with responsibility for helping define CrowdGather’s revenue and go-to market strategy and message board-based advertising. Myerson has an extensive background in advertising sales, with companies including Yahoo and Juno Online. Schlegel has been named director of community evangelism. Schlegel will assume responsibility for the CrowdGather user experience, as well as the coordination of member and moderation services across the entire network. Schelegel brings 12 years of extensive experience in technology product launches, and has worked for such companies as AOL’s AIM division. Staffing Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. has appointed David Vied as partner-in-charge of the El Segundo, Encino and Los Angeles offices. Vied reports to Ron Brown, sector leader for the U.S. Western region. Vied and 16 others were elevated to partners-in-charge positions to serve as local leadership in the firm’s offices in North America. Vied, 47, is the practice leader for Medical Technology and Devices for the U.S. He focuses on boards of directors and senior operating executive assignments for the medical devices and healthcare products industry. Before his career in executive search, Vied was in executive positions at Medical Graphics Corporation and St. Jude Medical, Inc. Vied received a bachelor’s degree in communication from California State University at Sacramento and a master’s degree in labor and industrial relations from the University of North Texas. Stephen Tapp has been appointed to the dual role of president and CEO of Psychological Services Inc. in Burbank. He joins PSI after spending over 12 years in various senior executive roles at educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. During that time, Stephen spent 9 years as a key executive for Promissor, the Houghton Mifflin Assessment business that was sold to Pearson in January 2006. Before taking the President’s position, he played a key leadership role in nearly every aspect of the company’s service delivery and financial operations, including terms as Vice President, Client Services and Vice President of Business Services. Tapp is replacing Doug Walner, who has left PSI to pursue other interests.

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