Canisius High School named Robert J. Schoellkopf chief financial officer. A 2000 graduate of Canisius, Schoellkopf, a CPA, most recently served as retail controller for Noco Energy Corp. in the Town of Tonawanda. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Loyola College in Maryland.

Synacor Inc. named Tim Fitzgerald an architect. Fitzgerald previously worked as a lead architect at InfoWorks Inc. He earned dual bachelors’ degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from UB.

McGuire Development Co., a local commercial development, brokerage and property management firm, appointed Caroline Kane Lacy director of marketing and public relations. Lacy is a graduate of Fredonia State College and received her master’s degree from Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Buffalo Medical Group appointed Dr. Octavia F. Balan a hospitalist physician in the internal medicine – hospitalist division. Balan provides care for Buffalo Medical Group patients at Buffalo General Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban and Sisters of Charity hospitals. She previously was a hospitalist physician in a local private practice. Balan is a graduate of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Alexandria, Romania, and received her doctor of medicine from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania.

Sargent & Collins appointed Niki Bechakas a senior associate in the firm’s Residential Real Estate Group. Bechakas received her JD from the University at Buffalo School of Law.

The Buffalo law firm of Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak named Melissa Poliseno Burke, Alan J. DePeters, and Nancy A. Long partners. Burke, who was hired as an associate in 2007, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Mercyhurst College and holds a J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. DePeters, an associate with the firm since 2007, earned a bachelor’s degree in from Loyola University, Md., and a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law. Long, who joined the law firm in 2010 as an associate, graduated from Canisius College and holds a J.D. from the University at Buffalo School of Law.

Independent Health promoted Eric Bennett to director, business process services. Bennett has worked at the company since 2009 as a senior business process partner. He is a University at Buffalo graduate. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Blue Belt and a certified project management professional.

Buffalo Medical Group named Dr. Julia D. Melanson to the obstetrics and gynecology division. Melanson was in private practice at the Crist Clinic for Women and a staff physician at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, N.C. She is a graduate of Oneonta State College and holds her Doctor of Osteopathy from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Biddeford, Maine.

Cohen & Lombardo, a Buffalo law firm, appointed Christopher R. Poole and Andres D. Ortiz associates at the firm. Poole is a graduate of Syracuse University and completed his law degree at the University at Buffalo School of Law while interning for the State Supreme Court. He previously practiced at two law firms and provided legal representation in the areas of civil litigation, plaintiff personal injury litigation and corporate and real estate law. He now concentrates on insurance defense. Ortiz attended the University of Florida on a full academic scholarship as a National Merit Scholar and also received his law degree from UB School of Law. He previously was a solo practitioner with a general practice. Ortiz will concentrate his practice in the areas of real estate, corporate law, estates, estate planning law and litigation.