* Michael Abrahams has been elected a director of the boards of both Downey Financial Corp. and Downey Savings and Loan Assn. in Newport Beach, increasing both boards' memberships to eight. Most recently, Abrahams worked as a senior research analyst for Sutro & Co. Before that, he was a senior vice president with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. His experience includes working as policy analyst in the Office of Management and Budget in Washington from 1981 to 1986.
* Betty J. LaMarr has been appointed executive vice president in charge of business development for Information Management Resources Inc. in Costa Mesa. She has more than 20 years' experience in technology sales, marketing and management, and has worked at IBM and Digital Equipment Corp.
* James Spillane has joined Snapware, a maker of food storage products in Fullerton, as senior vice president of sales. He was formerly senior vice president of sales for Bell Sports, a manufacturer and distributor of bicycle safety helmets and accessories.
* James R. Kisel and Rick D'Amato have been named principals of LPA Inc. in Irvine, an architectural, planning, landscape and interior design firm. Kisel, who joined the firm in 1994, is director of school planning. D'Amato, who joined LPA in 1987, initiated the signage/graphics division.
* Cynthia A. Fox has been named account manager for Waters & Faubel, a Newport Beach public affairs and marketing communications firm. She has more than 10 years of experience in marketing and public relations for the real estate industry.
* Larry E. Moretti has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president and chief information officer for New Century Financial Corp. in Irvine. Moretti joined the company from TRW Space and Electronics Group, where he was senior information systems account manager. Prior to that, he had his own consulting firm, Telenet Solutions.
* Diane Turner has joined the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach in the newly created position of manager of public relations. She previously did marketing and publicity for several Walt Disney Co. properties, including Disneyland, Epcot Center and Disneyland Paris. In addition, Jennifer Oberti was appointed catering and meeting services manager. She was most recently catering sales manager for SMG Catering at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.