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Compiled by Michael J. O'Brien

Sunday, September 2, 2012
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Philadelphia-based Comcast Cable promoted Melanie Penna to senior vice president of human resources service delivery.

Penna joined Comcast in 1995 and was promoted to vice president of human resources in 1999. Over the years, she assumed increased responsibilities, including partnering with senior leadership to ensure that the HR function aligns with and supports company business objectives by overseeing due diligence, transition strategy, communications, and the implementation of mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to joining Comcast, she was responsible for employee-relations issues at Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation and handled compensation issues at Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania. Before her career in human resources, she was a member of the litigation team at Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis and a member of the labor and employment team at Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen.

Penna is a member of Women in Cable and Telecommunications Inc., where she served on the executive committee and on the national board as chair. In 2004, she was an inaugural recipient of the WICT -- Philadelphia Liberty Award, and in 2005, received the Young Executive of Distinction Award from the Pyramid Club Young Executives Committee.

Penna received a master's degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh, where she also specialized in labor relations and personnel management, and she holds a bachelor's degree from Saint Mary's College at Notre Dame.

Harris Corp., an international- communications and information- technology company headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., named Robert Duffy senior vice president of human resources and administration, reporting to Harris President and CEO Bill Brown. He succeeds Jeff Shuman, who is leaving Harris to pursue other opportunities.

Duffy joined Harris from United Technologies Corp., where he held domestic and international leadership positions of increasing responsibility since joining the company in 1998. He most recently served as vice president of human resources for the company's Sikorsky aircraft division. Previously, he served in similar roles within UTC's Fire and Security, Carrier, Hamilton Sundstrand and Pratt & Whitney divisions. Prior to joining UTC, Duffy held human resource management positions with Royal Dutch Shell and the James River Corp. He holds a master's degree in management and technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor's degree in human resource management from Muhlenberg College.

CIT Group Inc., a New York-based provider of financing to small businesses and middle-market companies, appointed Bryan Allen its executive vice president and global head of human resources.

Prior to CIT, Allen served as chief human resource officer at Hanover Insurance Group. Before Hanover, he was managing director and head of human resources at U.S. Trust. Earlier in his career, Allen held a number of business-management positions at Morgan Stanley, most recently serving as global chief of staff for human resources.

He received an MBA from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.

Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., the parent company of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, appointed Ginger Gregory as senior vice president and chief human resource officer. She joins the Dunkin' Brands executive leadership team and reports directly to Dunkin' Brands' Chief Executive Officer Nigel Travis.

Gregory joins Dunkin' Brands from Novartis International AG, a multibillion-dollar healthcare-solutions company, where she led the global HR team and served as a member of the company's vaccines and diagnostics executive committee. Prior to Novartis, Gregory held leadership positions at Novo Nordisk, where she served as senior vice president of corporate people and organization at the company's global headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. Earlier in her career, she held a variety of HR generalist and specialist positions at Bristol Myers Squibb and served as a consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton.

Gregory received a doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology from George Washington University, where she also served as a lecturer in psychology, a research assistant and graduate teaching fellow.

Robin Eletto was named executive vice president of worldwide human resources at Los Angeles-based Paramount Pictures.

Most recently, she served as senior vice president of HR in the consumer products division at the Walt Disney Co. Prior to that, she served as vice president of global human resources for the company's worldwide publishing division. She has also served as senior vice president of human resources for the company's global retail division. Before joining Disney, she was an executive at Netscape/AOL, and spent 16 years at the telecom giant known through a series of mergers as NYNEX, Bell Atlantic and, finally, Verizon.

She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

Abt Associates of Bethesda, Md., named Clarissa A. Peterson its chief human resources officer.

Peterson comes to Abt from DLA Piper, where she spent seven years as chief people officer for the Americas. Prior to DLA Piper, Peterson served as vice president for human resources at Abt Associates from 2000 through 2005. From 1996 through 2000, she led human resources departments at several large global telecommunications firms.

She is currently vice chair and chair-elect of the board of directors of the Human Resource Certification Institute.

Peterson holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, where she is currently obtaining her M.B.A.

Mount Airy, N.C.-based construction firm John S. Clark Co. promoted Julie Perkins to vice president of human resources.

Perkins joined the company in November 2010 as a human resource manager after holding long-term HR-related positions in the technology and apparel sectors, including human resources director at SouthData and employee relations manager at Cross Creek Apparel.

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She earned her bachelor's degree from Gardner-Webb University and she maintains her certification as a professional in human resources.

Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., a New York-based professional-services firm, appointed Laurie Ledford as senior vice president and chief HR officer. She reports directly to Brian Duperreault, president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Cos., and serves as a member of the company's executive committee.

Ledford most recently served as CHRO at Marsh. Prior to attaining that position in 2006, she was senior HR director for Marsh's international specialty operations, which comprised the firm's operations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia/Pacific and Africa. Ledford, who joined Marsh in 2000, has also held several other HR leadership positions within the organization.

Prior to joining Marsh, Ledford spent six years at Citibank, ultimately serving as senior human resources officer for the firm's U.S. branch network. She began her career with NationsBank (now Bank of America), holding a variety of positions over a 15-year period, culminating with vice president of human resources staffing and management development.

She earned a bachelor's in business administration from Florida Atlantic University.

San Francisco-based Union Bank hired Annemieke van der Werff as chief human resources officer. She reports to Union Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Masashi Oka. Van der Werff is a member of the bank's policy-making executive committee and collaborates on global and regional human resource initiatives.

Van der Werff most recently served as head of human resources for global functions and the global retail bank for HSBC Holdings. Prior to HSBC, Van der Werff spent 27 years with ABN AMRO Bank, the Dutch global bank headquartered in Amsterdam. She advanced through a series of increasingly responsible positions in human resources around the world, ultimately serving as corporate executive vice president and head of human resources for ABN AMRO's North America Division.

She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Amsterdam-Haarlem Business School in The Netherlands. In 2000, she completed the certified human resources executive program at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Marquette University in Milwaukee promoted Octavio "Cas" Castro to vice president of human resources for the university.

Castro joined Marquette in 2009, as assistant vice president and director of human resources.

Previously, Castro served in benefits, compensation, information system and regional-management leadership roles during an 11-year tenure at Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago Inc.

He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and received his senior professional in human resource certification in 2004. He is a current Board of Directors member and past president of the Society of Human Resource Professionals, and an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management.

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