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CB Richard Ellis Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis has promoted Maggie Montez to the position of vice president. A 14-year veteran of the real estate industry, Montez opened the Coachella Valley office of CB Richard Ellis in December of 1995. She is currently responsible for the marketing and leasing of Desert Gateway, a 700,000-square-foot power center located in Palm Desert.

Neiman Marcus H. W. Mullins has resigned as chairman and CEO of Chestnut Hill, Mass.-based Neiman Marcus Group. President and COO Burton Tansky will fill the position on an interim basis while the company searches for a permanent replacement. Mullins had been with Neiman Marcus since 1991.

Franchise Concepts Houston-based Franchise Concepts has named Matthew Manis CFO. Previously, he was corporate comptroller for American Homestar Corporation. Franchise Concepts operates several chains, including The Great Frame Up.

Forest City Enterprises Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises has announced two new hires. Vince Crowley has been hired as Chief Technology Officer, and will help Forest City implement new technologies such as broadband Internet service. Mark C. Siegel has been named to the position of senior vice president for portfolio strategy, and will be responsible for ensuring that Forest City has the best possible mix of properties.

Ripco Real Estate Jeremy Fogel has been hired to serve as both CFO and COO for Conshohocken, Penn.-based Ripco Real Estate. Fogel was formerly vice president of The Goldenberg Group.

Value City Columbus, Ohio-based Value City Department Stores has appointed George Kolber to be vice chairman and CEO. Kolber has been CEO of American Eagle Outfitters for the past five years, and will continue to serve on their board of directors.

Kmart Kmart has announced two more hires as the company continues to revamp its front office. The Troy, Mich.-based retailer has hired Richard W. Blunck to the new position of chief technology and e-business officer. Blunck comes to Kmart from Deloitte Consulting. The company has also hired Brent Willis, formerly of Coca-Cola's Latin American division, to serve as Kmart's chief marketing officer.

Home Depot In a move that stunned some industry experts, Atlanta-based Home Depot has hired Robert Nardelli, former CEO of GE Power Systems, to serve as president and CEO of the home improvement retailer. Nardelli will also sit on the company's board of directors. The previous CEO, Arthur Blank, co-founded the company with Bernard Marcus in 1979, and many thought that he would stay in the job indefinitely. Blank will remain with the company as co-chairman. Marcus and Blank praised Nardelli's record at GE and expressed optimism that he could help the company reach new levels of success.

KNLB Thomas C. Martel has announced his retirement from the position of president and CEO of Towson, Md.-based real estate brokerage company KLNB. Martel will be succeeded by Thomas H. Maddux IV, currently a principal with the company. Martel will remain an active broker with the firm.

Cushman & Wakefield New York-based Cushman & Wakefield has promoted David Lawton to the position of chief administrative officer for U.S. operations. Lawton had previously served as the company's senior managing director of professional development. He started with the company in 1977 as an industrial broker.

JDN Lee S. Wielansky has been appointed president and CEO of Atlanta-based JDN Development Inc. Wielansky was a cofounder of St. Louis-based Midland Development Group, and was instrumental in making the company the largest developer of Kroger grocery stores in the U.S. He served as CEO of Midland until they were acquired by Regency Realty.

The Larson Co. Tuscon, Ariz.-based The Larson Co. has hired Andrew Messing as president and CEO. Larson is a specialty design and construction firm that has worked with clients such as Disney, Sony, and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

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