PANAM, A company specializing in the development and marketing of Business Process Management programs, applications and services, has announced the appointment of Ron Vardinon, 33, as chief architect of its professional service group. Vardinon is a graduate of Ben-Gurion University with degrees in industrial engineering and management. He was promoted to his new position after proving his capabilities in several important Panam projects. Rosh Ha'ayin-headquartered Ligad Technical Data has named Roy Hanan, 32 as its accounts manager. Ligad provides solutions in a variety of computer-related fields such as servers, computer communication networks and applications. Hanan, who has had more than seven years experience in various sales positions including insurance, will be responsible for the sale of computer solutions to large- and medium-sized companies that are part of Ligad's customer base. He also will recruit new customers. DIRECT INVESTMENT House has appointed Perla Sharon as its Vice President for Operations. Sharon previously worked for Gaon Investment House where she was a director in charge of trust funds and confidential accounts and also was operations manager. Before that, she worked for Ilanot Discount. Direct Investment House is part of the Direct Insurance Investment and Finances Group. FOR THE first time in its history, the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University has one of its own alumni in the position of dean. Prof. Yosef Makori, who served as deputy dean for three years, recently was promoted to head his alma mater. An internationally acclaimed immunologist, Makori, after specializing in internal medicine at the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, went to the US for post graduate studies in immunology at the Colorado Medical Center and at Harvard. He later returned to the Meir Hospital where he introduced an allergy and clinical immunology laboratory. He subsequently served as head of the Felstein Medical Research Center, as Chief Scientist for Clalit Health Services and as a consultant to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. SHOES ARE featured in a relatively small way in Castro stores, but co-directors Ettie and Gabi Rotter believe the time has come to put greater focus on footwear and accessories and are in the process of completing renovations on Castro's new shoes and bags store in Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall on the site of what used to be the veteran Chic Paris clothing store that closed down earlier this year. It will be the third Castro store in downtown Jerusalem - all are within a less than 100-meter radius of each other. Castro stores can be found in most Jerusalem malls. KADIMA, ISRAEL and McLean, Virginia-headquartered SuperCom, one of the world's leading security industry companies, has announced that Neil C. Livingstone, one of America's prominent authorities on security issues, was appointed to the company's newly created advisory board. Livingstone is the CEO of GlobalOptions Inc., a Washington-based international risk management and business solutions company. The advisory board was established to enhance SuperCom's presence in the US and other countries, and to help identify new applications for the company's technologies in homeland security, defense and document authentication markets. Livingstone joins recently appointed advisory board chairman, former CIA director R. James Woolsey. Names of additional board members will be announced in the near future. SuperCom CEO Eyal Tuchman said the company was very excited to have Livingstone on the team. "Neil has spent more than two decades as an advisor, commentator and author on terrorism, security issues and foreign policy. Right now, SuperCom is entering into a new phase with its Incident Response Management System and Real Time Location Systems and we look forward to working with Neil, Jim and the other board members in an effort to implement our security initiatives and future operations." SuperCom, Ltd. provides innovative solutions in smart-card and e-ID technologies to the commercial and government sectors. The company offers a wide range of standard and customized smart-card-based solutions for physical and logical security, education, corrections facilities and air & seaports. WHEN HE announced his resignation as CEO of Africa Israel, Pini Cohen hinted that he would be pursuing new challenges. After working for several years with multi-faceted businessman Lev Leviev, Cohen has switched allegiance and has been appointed chairman designate of Tshuva Holdings, a new company being set up by Itzhak Tshuva that will focus primarily on European real estate. The new company will run parallel to Elad, the company that handles Tshuva's real estate dealings in the US and Canada. Elad is named for Tshuva's 26 year old son Elad who was recently named vice chairman of the Delek Group controlled by his father. THE INTERNATIONAL Banking Group has announced two new appointments. Israel Trau, a veteran member of Bank Otzar HaHayal, has been promoted to general manager. Trau 50, moved up through the ranks; at age 29, he was appointed manager of the Ben Yehuda branch in Tel Aviv, and later was put in charge of the Yarkon District. In 2002, he was appointed manager of the bank's main branch in Tel Aviv and in April 2004 he joined the bank's executive board as head of the banking division. His promotion still requires the approval of the board of directors, but this is expected to be a mere formality. Trau will have to deal with more difficult challenges than in the past due to labor disputes within the bank. Meanwhile,Trau's contemporary Irit Shlomi, also 50, has become a member of the bank's executive board, succeeding Trau as head of the banking division. She embarked on her career with the bank in the northern part of the country and in 1988 was appointed manager of the Romema branch. She subsequently managed the Check Post branch and then the main branch in Haifa. In 2002, she was promoted to head of the northern district, and last year was made deputy manager of the department of business administration in the commercial credit division. Trau has been with the bank for 25 years and Shlomi for 26 years. RELATIONS BETWEEN the governments of Israel and the nation's farming community have not been easy in recent years, especially when the government failed to give sufficient support to those farmers whose farms were sinking into an economic morass. More recently, those farmers who are partners with the government in Agrexco, the company established in 1957 to export Israeli agricultural produce around the world, have been incensed by the government's announcement that it wants to privatize Agrexco. The farmers contend that they are the ones responsible for both the successes and failures of Agrexco throughout the years. They put money and effort into the company and they don't see why the government should reap the profits of privatization - even if it is technically a partner. They are urging Shalom Simhon, the Minister for Agriculture who was previously a leading activist in the Moshav Movement, to set in motion a process whereby the government would withdraw from Agrexco and transfer total ownership to the farmers. JOHN BRYCE, a company specializing in training business people in the use of computers, has appointed Irit Agmon, 31, as head of its Jerusalem branch. Agmon will be responsible for the Matrix training program, as well as running a variety of computer-oriented courses, and promoting sales to the capital's business sector. Prior to joining John Bryce, Agmon spent 10 years with Pelephone, most recently as head of its Jerusalem branch. A Hebrew University alumnus, Agmon has a first degree in business administration, communications and journalism as well as an MBA. BEECONTACT, WHICH has been listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange since May, has appointed Yoni Akbali, 31, as its chief financial officer. BeeContact's primary purpose is to provide real-time cellular solutions for organizational applications. A Hebrew University graduate, Akbali has a first degree in economics and accounting, and an MBA with specialization in financing.