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People in Business

January 28, 2002

* Neil Alper has been promoted to vice president and principal of Los Angeles-based insurance brokerage Speare & Co.

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Marshal Backlar has been appointed senior vice president of TTG Consultants/Lincolnshire, a Los Angeles-based human resources consulting firm. A former media/entertainment industry producer, Backlar will be involved in the firm's executive coaching and career transition management programs, among others.

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Mike Caren has been promoted to senior vice president of AOL Time Warner's Atlantic Records artist and repertoire division. Caren, who joined the company in 1996, is responsible for signing a number of Atlantic's hit acts, including rap artist Trick Daddy and R&B singer Sunshine Anderson.

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Bruce Berman has signed a contract extension to remain as chairman and chief executive of Village Roadshow Pictures until 2007. The company, which is in a partnership with Warner Bros., co-financed and co-produced such hits as "The Matrix."

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Aaron Cohen, a former member of Israel's undercover counter-terrorism unit, will serve as president of Israeli Military Specialists, a security company and bodyguard service based in Beverly Hills that touts the use of Israeli military techniques.

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Kerry Donovan has been named director of marketing of real estate brokerage Coldwell Banker. Donovan, a former Los Angeles Times marketing director, will be responsible for the strategic development, creation and production of all marketing communication programs.

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Steve Elzer has joined Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group as senior vice president, media relations. He formerly was senior vice president of corporate communications at New Line Cinema.

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Joseph P. Gieson has joined Pasadena-based United Agencies Insurance as an associate. He is formerly of Golden Eagle/CGU Insurance.

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Dan Kempka has joined Los Angeles-based Internet development and consulting services firm Genex in the newly created position of vice president of business development. He is formerly with StartUpStream.

* Steven Minkow has been promoted to vice president of the Western region of Alexandria, Va.-based Metrocall, a wireless data and messaging company. He will manage Metrocall staff in California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico and be based in L.A.

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David Powell has been appointed chief executive of Metapa, a Santa Monica-based developer of enterprise infrastructure software. Powell is a former vice president and general manager of FileNet.

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Scott S. Thompson has been named general counsel at RealEnergy, a Woodland Hills-based on-site power-generation company. He is formerly of National Golf Properties Inc.

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James L. Williams has been named managing director of public relations firm Ruder Finn's L.A. office. He is a former managing director at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide's Los Angeles office.

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Marcie Rohach has been named director of apparel at Easton Sports, a developer of baseball and softball equipment based in Van Nuys. She is a former marketing director at Rawlings.

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