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Send People items to the North Bay Business Journal, Attn: Business Register, 427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401; fax 707-521-5292; or e-mail news@busjrnl.com.

Wine

Rich Frank, co-owner of Napa Valley winery Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga, received an honorary doctorate of communication arts at the 2011 American Film Institute  commencement, which took place June 8. Mr. Frank shared the podium with doctorate of fine arts recipients Spike Lee and Helen Mirren. In addition to his role as a vintner, Mr. Frank is a prominent studio executive and, more recently, an independent television producer.

Susie Bynum, national sales and marketing director for Ehret Family Winery, was elected chairman of The Meritage Alliance. The group also elected Bill Smart, communications director at Dry Creek Vineyard, as secretary. Outgoing chairman Kim Stare Wallace, vice president of Dry Creek Vineyard, was named treasurer. More than 280 wineries in 25 states and six countries are members of alliance.

The Stags Leap District Winegrowers in Napa Valley recently announced its newly elected board of directors. The new officers named for the 2011--2012 term are: Russ Weis of Silverado Vineyards as president, Elizabeth Vianna of Chimney Rock Winery, vice president; and Tracey Mason of Clos Du Val; secretary-treasurer.  New directors named for the 2011 term include Jack Bittner of Cliff Lede Vineyards, Susie Robinson-Jinks of Robinson Family Vineyards and Patricia Taylor of Taylor Family Vineyards.

Health Care

Barbara Tracy, RN, has been named the first honoree to receive the Jackie Jewell Excellence in Nursing Award at Marin General Hospital, recognizing her service of more than three decades providing exceptional patient care. The annual award was established in 2011 to recognize a nurse who has significantly contributed to the overarching Marin General Hospital “Pillars of Excellence,” including “People, Service, Growth, Quality, Finance, Infrastructure and Community.”

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Sutter Medical Group announced that Ricardo DeNapoli, D.O., board certified family medicine physician, will now be seeing patients at its Vacaville Care Center. Dr. DeNapoli has over 35 years experience in family medicine. For 22 of those years he practiced with Sutter Medical Group (formerly Solano Regional Medical Group) before deciding to join the Solano County Department of Public Health in 2006.

Hospitality and Tourism

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The Meritage Resort and Spa hired Michael Collins as executive chef. Mr. Collins began at the end of May and is in charge of all hotel food operations, including the Siena restaurant and banquets. He will also develop menus and themes for its new Crush Ultra-Lounge and Cafe. Most recently, he was executive chef at the historic Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. He was tasked with reopening all culinary operations at the hotel after Hurricane Katrina and revamp the menu for its restaurant, The New Orleans Grill.

Human Resources and Consulting

Diana Laczkowski

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The Personnel Perspective announced two new associates.  Teresa Pollock, a senior recruiter, has managed her own executive recruitment firm, placing candidates for GE Financial Services, Le Cordon Bleu, California Culinary Academy and several nonprofits, including the Tides Center and Marin Institute. Diana Laczkowski, a human resources consultant, has more than 30 years experience serving in various capacities including startup HR departments, operations for multiple sites and participation on both senior management teams and cross-functional teams.  Her expertise includes conflict resolution and mediation, group facilitation, contract negotiations, employee investigations and employee relations.