Movers & Shakers

The University of Akron

President Bush has appointed University of Akron President Luis Proenza to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Proenza was one of 22 leaders in education and industry named to the council, which will advise President Bush on matters involving science and technology.

FirstMerit Corp.

James T. Verlinde was promoted to vice president, commercial banking. His primary responsibilities include managing and growing a portfolio of middle-market commercial clients with Summit and Portage counties.

Environmental Design Group

Robert Black has been hired as project manager of the Development Practice Group. Black is a registered landscape architect and moved to the firm’s Akron office from Pittsburgh.

Catherine Bedell has been hired as project engineer for the firm’s Infrastructure Practice Group. Bedell is responsible for coordinating and overseeing engineering projects related to stormwater management.

Jeannette Wierzbicki has been hired as project manager for the firm’s Infrastructure Practice Group. She will be in charge of overseeing projects, proposals, client relations and directing budgets.


Todd Hays has been named senior vice president for the Akron, Canton and Youngstown markets of KeyBank. Hays is responsible for overall sales and service management of the 37 retail banking offices in the three-city area. Previously, he was a vice president with KeyBank in Columbus.

Albrecht Inc.

Karen Eilers Lahey has been elected to the board of directors of Albrecht Inc., a retail and industrial real estate management company based in Akron. Lahey is a professor of real estate for the department of finance at the University of Akron.


Steve Kieke has been promoted to director of grocery category management for the Acme grocery store chain. A CPA, Kieke joined the Fred W. Albrecht Grocery Co. in 1996 as a project manager.

Rick Perren has been promoted to director of general merchandise category management for the Acme grocery store chain. Perren joined the company in 1967 as a packer and stocker, and has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the Kent State University.

McCoy Associates

John W. Fly has been named director or operations of the Akron-based civil engineering firm. Prior to his appointment, Fly was service director for the city of Aurora.

Sequoia Financial Group

Gerry Knotek has been promoted to director of financial planning. Knotek has been with the firm as a senior financial planner since 2000.


Richard B. Hite has been appointed chief operations officer of the Akron-based insurance agency. Prior to that, he was in charge of Seibert-Keck’s new business growth and acquisitions.