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CONNECTICUT

Marketing Drive/USA, Wilton, appointed former ProxyMed executive vice president and chief marketing officer Michael Bedell executive vice president.

Mercator Software, an e-business transformation company in Wilton, appointed Jonathan Cohen vice president of corporate communications. He was previously vice president of communications for Pipe9, an Internet company specializing in business transactions on the Web.

The New Power Company, a national residential and small-business energy provider in Greenwich, hired Nick Utton as managing director, chief marketing officer. Utton was previously chief marketing officer at MasterCard International. He takes over for James Badum, who assumes the role of managing director, strategic planning.

Catalyst Marketing Communications, Stamford, hired Tom Charla, formerly a marketing communications specialist for industrial materials supplier Unimin, as account executive. Charla will be responsible for account and project management, concept development and copywriting, and media selection and negotiation. He reports to Charles Wintrub, agency president.

MAINE

VIA, Portland, hired Karla McGowan as manager of corporate communications with responsibility for all internal and external communications, including media relations, the VIA Web site, the employee intranet and the firm's HR and recruiting efforts. The agency also appointed Ann Chalmer to the new position of media buyer/planner. Chalmer previously served as media director for Boston's BBL, with Fairchild Semiconductor as a key client.

MASSACHUSETTS

Maria Battaglia has been named chief marketing officer for Polaris Venture Partners, a Waltham venture capital group that invests in early stage information and medical technology companies. She is charged with brand building and awareness creation for Polaris and its 50-plus portfolio companies through corporate and brand positioning, media relations, crisis management, marketing events and corporate communications. Battaglia previously served as NBC's vice president of corporate communications and affairs.

Sharon Merrill Associates, Boston, promoted James Buckley and David Calusdian each to executive vice president. Both have served as vice presidents for the past two years.

Digitas, Boston, promoted Susan Boland, Annie Drapeau and Kathleen Sheridan each to senior vice president.

Arnold Worldwide, Boston, promoted Chris Kennard and Don Lane each to vice president, management supervisor; Linda Blandino, Ruthann Perry, Diego Vaccarezza and Mary Warren each to vice president, associate media director; Diane Garab to account supervisor; Leah Kenney to account executive; and Colleen McGee to assistant account executive. The agency also hired Colleen Burke as vice president, management supervisor; Courtney Salvaggi as account supervisor; George Rubsam as account executive; Christine Hauck as an assistant business manager; Richard Abbruzzese, Jessica Hindlian and Kristie Rogers each as assistant account executive; Ambereen Renfro as a planning coordinator for Arnold's consumer insight group; and Monica Camardese, Rebecca MacQuarrie, Kate Maloney and Catherine Powell each as account coordinator.

Greco Ethridge Group, Boston, named Charles Hively vice presi-dent/creative director. He previously held the same post at Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C., where he worked on the R.J. Reynolds, BellSouth Wireless and Sealy accounts. The agency also added John Hayden as vice presi-dent/client solutions, with responsibility for providing clients with strategic direction for brand definition, development and deployment. He was previously a founder of Hayden Consulting, a firm that provides marketing guidance and support to established and start-up companies.

The Weber Group, Cambridge, promoted Alana Gentle Suko from account director to vice president. She will oversee enterprise and emerging clients such as Avaya Communication, Dealtime.com and MarketSoft. The agency also appointed G. Allen LaPlant as vice president, information technology and promoted Amy Dall, Julie Mittelman and Joy Pedula each to account executive and Elisa Miller and Mark Dowd each to assistant account executive.

USPowerSolutions, Cambridge, ap-pointed Diana Bolick vice president of marketing, with responsibility for building and maintaining the company's brand identity with an integrated marketing communications strategy. She was previously director of market development for Excelergy Corp.

Rodrigo Monterrey joined Argus Communications, Boston, as new business development manager. He was previously with the Advertising Club of Greater Boston.