[caption id="attachment_62193" align="alignleft" width="162"] Merlin Hanauer[/caption]

Sonoma State University Assistant Professor of Economics Merlin Hanauer was awarded the Cozzarelli Prize. It's an annual award that acknowledges papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that "reflect scientific excellence and originality." The article was one of six chosen for the award out of 3,500 articles published last year. The article demonstrated how protected regions -- areas that have been closed off to protect the environment -- have affected both poverty and deforestation in Costa Rica and Thailand.Health Care

James Minnis joined the Prima Medical Group after completing fellowship training in critical care at Stanford University. He did his surgical residency at Southern Illinois University and earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College. Dr. Minnis also has a master's degree in public health from University of Southern California.Hospitality & Tourism

AvroKO Hospitality Group for its new Napa restaurant, The Thomas, appointed Jason Kupper chef de cuisine, Cory Colton pastry chef overseeing dessert and the daily bread program, and Napa Valley resident Bradley Wasserman sommelier. Mr. Kupper joins The Thomas after seven years as a lead instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas. Before that, Mr. Kupper served as executive sous chef at Charlie Palmer Steak at Four Seasons Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas. His credits also include Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg and Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Yountville. Mr. Colton joins The Thomas after serving as the executive pastry chef at the steakhouse Quality Meats in New York City and chef de partie at Lespinasse restaurant in The St. Regis Hotel in New York. He's also worked at notable establishments such as Todd English's Olives Restaurant at The St. Regis in Aspen, Colo., and The Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Va. Prior to The Thomas, Mr. Wasserman was sommelier and beverage manager at Solbar Restaurant at Solage Calistoga, and before that as the assistant food and beverage manager at Auberge du Soleil.Manufacturing

Santa Rosa-based Tonnellerie Radoux USA, Inc. hired Greg Sitton as the newest member of its sales team. Mr. Sitton comes to Radoux with more than 14 years sales experience and more than four years in the wine industry, having worked in both the production and supplier side of the business. As regional sales manager, Mr. Sitton will cover Napa County, north Central Valley and Sierra Foothills.Residential Real Estate

[caption id="attachment_62194" align="alignleft" width="162"] Daniel Casabonne[/caption]

Frank Howard Allen Realtors announced that Sonoma County real estate agent Daniel Casabonne ranks among the top 1 percent of all real estate agents nationwide for 2011 closed transaction volume, according to The Thousand, an annual ranking completed by the Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends, Inc., a Denver-based real estate-focused communications and consulting company. Earlier this year, Mr. Casabonne was honored by Frank Howard Allen as the 2011 top producer for dollar volume and units sold.Technology

[caption id="attachment_62195" align="alignleft" width="180"] J. Roy Martinez[/caption]

Rohnert Park-based Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster, host of the North Bay iHub, named J. Roy Martinez as interim executive director. [See "Incubator executive leaves for tech job," Sept. 24.] Mr. Martinez previously volunteered for the SMBC on the mentor advisory board and as the co-chair of the 2010 North Bay Investor Summit. He was most recently the interim chief financial officer and vice president of finance at Napa-based WineDirect. Last semester, he guest-taught an MBA course on financial statement analysis at Sonoma State University.