2008-01-02 / Business

Williamsville resident named deputy county executive

Mark Davis, former executive vice president and chief executive officer of the Talking Phone Book, has been named deputy Erie County executive.

It was one of five major appointments made on Dec. 21 by then County Executive-elect Chris Collins, who has since been sworn into office.

Like Collins, Davis will limit his salary to $1 per month until New York State removes the hard control board currently managing Erie County's finances.

Davis is mandated to accept his entire salary, however, and like Collins, he will pay taxes on the total amount of his paycheck, keep one dollar, and return the rest to the community. That money will be directed to economic development programs to help create opportunity and growth in Erie County.

"The position of deputy county executive is a challenge I look forward to tackling after 30 years in the private sector," said Davis. "Chris has a clear vision of what our community can become as we reform county government and rebuild our economy. I am excited to have the opportunity to help Chris and the taxpayers of Erie County realize that vision."

As chief executive officer and vice president at the Talking Phone Book, Davis developed company strategies and directed the management team. He joined the Talking Phone Book in 1986 and left earlier this year.

Davis is a Williamsville resident.

Collins named Alfred Hammonds Jr. of East Amherst as director of Six Sigma, which is an integrated, disciplined approach for improving business performance. It is a consulting and certification firm supporting companies implementing the Six Sigma process by offering Six Sigma training and Six Sigma certification.

Hammonds is currently the senior project director at The Center for Industrial Effectiveness at the University at Buffalo. He holds an industrial management degree from Purdue University and is certified as a Six Sigma black belt practitioner.

In his current position, Hammonds works with companies to improve their administrative efficiency performance.

The position of director of Six Sigma and the Six Sigma implementation effort will be funded through a New York State efficiency grant awarded by the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority, and the Erie County Legislature will have to accept these funds.

The position will not be funded through Erie County tax dollars, but Hammonds will report directly to the county executive and will be responsible for implementing Six Sigma throughout Erie County government.

Collins also has named Gregory W. Skibitsky as commissioner of emergency services

Skibitsky, of East Amherst, is currently the acting commissioner of emergency services, a position he has held since 2006. He has worked in the Department of Emergency Services since 1979, holding the titles of first deputy commissioner and coordinator of EMS.

As acting commissioner, Skibitsky responds and directs emergency response personnel to actual and potential disasters, prepares local emergency response plans and activates the County Emergency Operation Center.

Skibitsky was an emergency medical technician with LaSalle Ambulance Service. An active member and past chief of the East Amherst Volunteer Fire Department, Skibitsky holds a degree from the University at Buffalo and four emergency service certifications.

"Protecting and communicating with the public during an emergency is one of the most critical functions of government," Skibitsky said. "As a department veteran, I fully understand how emergency services works and how our department's resources can be better used to prepare for possible disasters and respond to current emergencies."

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