Personnel File
Personnel File

GANZ Wayne 


Chief Nursing Innovation Officer Laura Piazza Smith, RN, BSN, NHA, was recently appointed to Misericordia University's Health Care Advisory Board. The advisory board is composed of regional professionals in health care and higher education.

Smith will draw on 25 years of diverse nursing experience. As chief nursing innovation officer, Smith works closely with other members of the management team to advance the highest standards of care, and directs the development and implementation of new best practices and training, and innovative nursing initiatives across all levels of nursing throughout the Integrated Health System.


Laurie Burke has completed her certification as an AmaWaterways River Cruise Specialist. As a specialist, she has gained in-depth knowledge of AmaWaterways, including details on their award-winning ships, upscale amenities and one-of-a-kind destinations. River cruises are the fastest growing trend in the entire travel industry. Included in the fares of most river cruises are shore excursions in every port of call, all dining on board, internet access and Wi-Fi. She has been a travel professional for more than five years, planning her clients' vacations like she was planning her own.


President Marc Lucca has been elected to the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry's board of directors. Lucca was one of five newly elected directors selected to serve the board at the group's annual membership meeting.

The Pennsylvania Chamber is the largest broad-based business association in the state, with nearly 10,000 member businesses.

Lucca has served as president of Aqua Pennsylvania since 2016 and is responsible for the utility's overall operations, including distribution, production, water treatment and quality, water resources, and maintenance and construction throughout the commonwealth.



Chad DeBona joined the company as a member of the commercial sales team. As a licensed producer, DeBona will identify prospects for new business, service existing and new business and develop long-term relationships with clients, carriers and underwriters. He formerly worked as an underwriting analyst at Berkshire Hathaway GUARD. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in finance.

Classic Properties

Jared Ward, a resident of the Back Mountain, has joined the Kingston office. He was raised in the Kingston area and followed his grandfather, Jim Ward of WARD Radio, into a career in sales. Ward started as an automobile salesman and is currently a licensed auto, life and health insurance producer in Shavertown.


Kenneth Polacheck, shift coordinator at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, has been named 2018 Officer of the Year by DSI Security Services. Polacheck has 33 years of experience as a security officer at the hospital, including two years as shift supervisor. He was nominated for his hard work, attention to detail, organizational skills, professional demeanor and can-do attitude. In his role as shift coordinator, he oversees and ensures paperwork requirements and assigned training are completed accurately and timely for all three shifts.

Five primary care health care providers associated with Medical Associates of NEPA have joined the physician network. They will continue to see patients at 1789 N. Keyser Ave., Suite 8, Scranton, and are on the medical staffs of Commonwealth Health Regional Hospital of Scranton and Moses Taylor Hospital.

The group includes three physicians: Tracey Galardi, M.D., internal medicine; Michael G. Gilhooley, M.D., internal medicine, and Daniel Kazmierski, M.D., family medicine. Also practicing at the site are physician assistants Kristen Maritato, internal medicine, and Marisa Siekierka, internal medicine.

Galardi is a graduate of Hahnemann University Medical College and completed a residency at the Wright Center of Graduate Medical Education.

Gilhooley is a graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, and completed a residency at the Wright Center of Graduate Medical Education. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Kazmierski earned a medical degree from the Temple University School of Medicine and completed a residency at Williamsport Hospital and Medical Center. He is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Cardiologist Michael Rupp, M.D., has been selected to serve on the Community Health Systems Drug Eluting Stent Supply Chain Physician Advisory Committee.

Rupp is affiliated with the Physician Network, sees patients at 672 S. River St., Plains Twp. (in the Waterfront Complex), and is on the medical staff of Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. He earned a medical degree and completed a fellowship at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences and completed a residency at Robert Packer Hospital. He is board certified in cardiovascular disease.

Jill Monko of West Wyoming has been named Employee of the Year at Regional Hospital of Scranton.

Each hospital names an Employee of the Year, Clinical Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year. The Employee of the Year and a guest are honored at an awards celebration in Franklin, Tennessee.

Monko, a staffing coordinator in the hospital's nursing administration department, joined the staff in 2007.

In her role, she works with the director of nursing and nurse managers to schedule staff for all departments and shifts. Monko was singled out for her dedication to the staff and for her positive attitude even during challenging times.


Susanne Mullin was promoted to district manager of Luzerne County. She brings to the position more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry.

In her new role, Mullin will oversee six branches within Luzerne County, including Pittston, Back Mountain, Kingston, Edwardsville, and South Main Street and North Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre. She has been with the bank since 2004 when the bank merged with First Heritage and has served the Northeast Pennsylvania market since 1994.

During her time at the bank, Mullin has served as branch manager for the North Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, and Back Mountain locations.


Christie Bonnice CLU, agency owner, earned the Chartered Financial Consultant professional designation from the American College, Bryn Mawr.

Candidates for the designation must complete a minimum of eight courses and 16 hours of supervised examinations. They must also fulfill stringent experience and ethics requirements.

The professional designation acknowledges an adviser has a comprehensive education in financial planning, with an emphasis on modern, applications-based concepts.

Bonnice has owned and operated the Wilkes-Barre agency for three years. She resides in Dallas.


Attorney Peter J. Biscontini has been appointed by Luzerne County Council to the Luzerne County Convention Center Authority for a five-year term ending Dec. 31, 2023. The Luzerne County Convention Center Authority oversees the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

At the Wilkes-Barre personal injury law firm, Biscontini focuses on representing plaintiffs in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and workers' compensation. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Luzerne County Bar Association.


William P. McAndrew and Thomas G. Regenski, financial advisers at Fidelity Asset Management located at the bank, have been awarded the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies, the standards-setting body for Fi360.

McAndrew, a resident of Forest City, is senior vice president and LPL financial advisor. He has more than 30 years of experience in the wealth management industry specializing in retirement income planning, including 401(k)s and IRAs, liability-driven investing techniques, structuring tax-free income portfolios and developing integrated financial and estate plans.

Regenski, a resident of Hawley, is assistant vice president and LPL financial adviser. He has more than 20 years of wealth management experience specializing in exemplary customer service skills in the health care, technology and the hospitality industry as a small-business owner.

The bank honored three local bankers for their achievements at its gala on Feb. 9 at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple. Michelle McMaster was named Banker of the Year. Mary Blasi was awarded Outstanding Service Partner, and James Igoe was recognized for Excellence in Customer Service.

McMaster, a resident of Olyphant, is the branch manager of the financial center office in Scranton with 15 years of service to the bank community. Before her current position, she served as a customer service representative and assistant branch manager. She was named Banker of the Year in honor of her commitment to her teammates, clients, shareholders and community, and for her contributions in the areas of relationship, integrity, commitment, passion, innovation and success. Throughout her career, McMaster has gained vast knowledge of banking, and she is always willing to share her expertise. An active community volunteer, she is a member of the 2019 Leadership Lackawanna core class.

Blasi, a resident of Dunmore, is the deposit operations team lead for the bank. She was named Outstanding Service Partner for providing exceptional service to internal partners, delivering high-quality work in a collaborative way, assisting in meeting the needs of service partners to develop and build client relationships, and forging internal relationships that result in strong, passionate teams. Specializing in IRAs, Blasi continually updates her knowledge in this area, and in other financial matters. She has been a vital part of the bank's team for 14 years.

Igoe, a resident of Scranton, is the electronic banking specialist, with five years of service to the bank. He was recognized for Excellence in Customer Service for providing exceptional service to all banking clients, striving to deepen relationships through a professional, knowledgeable partnership, and bringing success to the bank through strong relationship management. Specializing in electronic banking processes, Igoe's colleagues and clients rely on his expertise in this area. He is also an active member of the community.



Tanja Adonizio, M.D., and Michelle Schmude, Ed.D., recently delivered two presentations on the school's innovative approach to professional identity formation. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has identified professionalism as a core competency that must be demonstrated by doctors in training. Professional identity formation gives students the tools and skills necessary to master this competency.

Adonizio, associate dean for student affairs, and Schmude, the school's associate dean for admissions, enrollment management and financial aid and assistant professor, presented at the Philadelphia-area network meeting of the Northeast Association for Advisors for the Health Professions and at the Association of American Colleges and Universities annual meeting in Atlanta.

The presentations focused on ePortfolio, which GCSOM developed as a means to assess medical students' competency in the crucial area of professionalism.

Vicki T. Sapp, Ph.D., director of student engagement, diversity and inclusion and a faculty member, was named to the Geisinger Diversity and Inclusion Council. The council includes a cross section of representatives drawn from Geisinger's more than 33,000 employees.

Geisinger's Diversity and Inclusion Council is a new initiative just launched in January. Sapp said its purpose is to define what diversity and inclusion mean at Geisinger and then to examine the experiences of Geisinger patients, members, employees and students to be sure they correspond to the vision.

Two members of the leadership team at the school published an article in the November edition of the magazine of the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The co-authors are Michelle Schmude, Ed.D., and V. Scott Koerwer, Ed.D.

Schmude is associate dean for admissions, enrollment management and financial aid and assistant professor in the Medical Education Department. Koerwer is vice president for strategy, planning and communication and vice dean for the School of Graduate Studies, as well as professor of organizational systems and innovation.

The article, titled "Incorporating Appreciative Advising and Positive Psychology for Student Success," examines the school's experience in building positive psychology and appreciative advising into a course dedicated to professional development for the school's master of biomedical sciences students. Appreciative advising is an approach to academic advising that encourages students to examine their own strengths, skills and abilities and to visualize how they translate to a professional future.

Thomas Martin, M.D., long-time assistant chairman for pediatric education who played an integral role in the development and founding of the Geisinger Janet Weis Children's Hospital, will become professor emeritus. Ashley Shamansky, D.O., will assume the duties of assistant chair for pediatric education in the Department of Medical Education at the school. She will continue to hold the title of assistant professor of pediatrics.

In addition to his role at the medical school, Martin was also named professor emeritus in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at Hershey Medical Center. He practiced pediatrics and served as associate medical director of the Family Practice Residency at Williamsport Hospital. He is board-certified both in pediatrics and in the subspecialty of sports medicine. In addition to numerous clinical and academic appointments in pediatrics, Martin served as team physician for the Penn State University football and wrestling teams from 1997 to 2004.

Shamansky is a graduate of Bucknell University and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Additionally, she holds a master's degree in public health from the Ohio State University. She completed her residency in pediatrics, as well as an academic general pediatric fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians and the American Osteopathic Association.


Brady Panusky, Old Forge, was selected as Employee of the Month for February. He has been employed since 2012 in the lift chair division. The Employee Recognition Committee received compelling support for Panusky's selection, noting his professionalism, attention to detail and ability to work as a team player. Panusky was awarded a framed plaque, preferred parking for the month and a monetary gift.


Ten employees were recognized for five years of service at the bank's annual employee recognition dinner at Lukan's Farm Resort.

The employees received a special gift in recognition of their service. Those recognized were William Carmody, financial consultant, corporate center; Charlie Curtin, vice president, trust officer, corporate center; Nick D'Alberto, assistant vice president, branch manager, 733 Main Street Office; Ann Marie Grado, loan closing coordinator, mortgage center; Jennifer Jaycox, vice president, chief operations officer, corporate center; Kathryn Jonas, head teller/CSR, Forest City office; Lori Keller, mortgage underwriter, mortgage center; Jamie Shnipes, teller/CSR, Eynon office; Lisa Valentine, head teller/CSR, Clarks Summit office; and Judy Williams, loan closing coordinator, mortgage center.


The Northeast Pa. Chapter of the American Advertising Federation has announced its 2019 Silver Medal Winner as Peter Steve of the Wyoming business.

Before launching his marketing business in 1998, Steve enjoyed a 17-year career in the management services industry, serving as vice president of marketing for Sodexo.

He has authored a number of feature articles for industry trade publications, and is an accomplished speaker on branding and marketing strategy. His professional memberships include the American Marketing Association and the American Advertising Federation.


The college recognized employees for milestone years of service on Jan. 4. The employees and milestones are:

Five years: Nicole Fabricatore, academic coordinator for the physical therapist assistant program; Sean Ann Kelly, associate director of communications; and George Torda, maintenance staff.

10 years: Josue Hernandez, maintenance staff.

15 years: Michael Novak, chief administrative officer; Joseph Polinsky, department chair of computer information technology; Doug Hampton, department chair of biomedical equipment technology; and Shirley Helbing, institutional effectiveness analyst.

40 years: Joseph Musheno, '78, director of facilities.


Nicole Sowinski Hurchick has been hired as communications and program coordinator.

Born and raised in Pittston, she has recently returned to the area after spending three years in Central Pennsylvania, where she worked as a marketing specialist at an insurance brokerage firm.

She is a longtime volunteer with the Pittston Tomato Festival.


Kerimcan Ozcan, M.S., M.A., Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing, was recently notified that his paper, "Offerings as Digitalized Interactive Platforms: A Conceptual Framework and Implications," was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Shelby D. Hunt/Harold H. Maynard Award. This annual award recognizes the article published in the Journal of Marketing that made significant contributions to marketing theory in the year.

All Journal of Marketing Awards are presented annually at the Summer American Marketing Association Conference, which will take place in Chicago in August.


Founding partner Michael J. McDonald recently made two presentations at an auto injury seminar held by the National Business Institute. His presentations included "Detangling Uninsured/Underinsur­ed Motorist Coverage" and "Recognizing and Countering Insurance Defense Tactics."

McDonald has been certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in civil trial law since 1992 and currently represents victims of automobile accidents in claims against negligent drivers and insurance companies throughout Northeast Pennsylvania.


Denis Anson, M.S., O.T.R./L., director of research and development at the university's Assistive Technology Research Institute, recently presented his research at the 2019 Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Anson presented "3D Printing Tactile Graphics: It's Easier Than You think!'' during a 60-minute educational breakout session. He demonstrated how to use 3D printers to create accessible signage and tactile graphics using the same simple tools used to create lithophanes.

Anson, a resident of Noxen, has been actively involved in computer and assistive technology applications for rehabilitation for more than 38 years.


Attorney Melinda C. Ghilardi joined the firm Monday. Ghilardi worked as an assistant federal public defender for 33 years and served as first assistant federal public defender from 1988-2017.

In 2005, she received the Lynette Norton Award presented by the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession. The same year, she received the inaugural Athena Award presented by the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

She is past president of the Lackawanna Bar Association and is co-chairwoman of both Geisinger Health System's Women's Health Volunteer Leadership Council and of the Geisinger Northeast Advisory Council.


George R. Shadie has received the NAIFA Quality Award from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, the industry's leading professional association. Shadie has been an agent for 29 years. Associated with the Northeast Pennsylvania Scranton General Office, he resides in Drums with his son, Alex. He volunteers as chairman emeritus for Supporting Autism Families Everywhere.

The award recognizes advisors for their commitment to excellence in service to their clients and industry, their pursuit of education and training and their adherence to the association's code of ethics.


WBRE-TV, the media group's station in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania, has named Bryan Scofield as the co-host of "Pa Live!," a live entertainment and lifestyle show. Scofield previously worked in Las Vegas as the chief meteorologist for ABC affiliate KTNV-TV.

He joined the broadcast beginning March 4.


Attorney Kelly A. Bray Snyder of Wilkes-Barre was appointed to the board of directors. She is an annual giving leadership officer within the office for institutional advancement at King's College, Wilkes-Barre. Bray Snyder began her professional law career at Vinsko & Associates in Wilkes-Barre, went on to practice civil rights law at Dyller Law Firm in Wilkes-Barre, and then served as an administrative law judge in the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. She also practices residential and commercial real estate law.


Janelle Farkas joined as an industrial engineer. She will work closely with clients to improve the three "Ps" that apply to any organization: processes, people and products. Her specialties include Six Sigma, statistical analysis, continuous improvement strategy, data strategy, design and implementation of operational metrics and Lean Enterprise.

Farkas brings nearly 10 years of continuous improvement expertise to her client engagements. Her experiences range from localized to organization-wide change efforts.

Sheree Klemow joined in marketing and special events. She will be working with the team to help spread awareness of the center's services, educational trainings, consultations and innovative hands-on programs offered by a top-notch professional team.

Klemow brings more than 20 years of marketing, advertising, special events experience from various sectors and hopes to aid thought leaders in their service of enhancing the region's manufacturing footprint.

Before her work in business development, she served as WVIA Public Television and Radio's public information director.


The board of directors elected new officers in December. Susan Shoemaker was elected as chairwoman; Mary Sewatsky, M.D., vice chairwoman; the Rev. Herbert Keller, secretary; and Suzanne M. Fletcher, treasurer. In addition to the new officers, the board appointed Michael Greenberg, M.D., and Soumit Basu, M.D., Ph.D., to the board of directors.

Greenberg is a physician on the radiation oncology team at Geisinger. He attended Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed his residency from Harvard Medical School Joint Center for Radiation Medicine. He also completed a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is board certified in radiation oncology.

Basu has recently joined Geisinger as Northeast regional director of hematology/oncology and allogeneic blood and marrow transplantation director for the Geisinger Center for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. In his role, he will oversee the cancer programs at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp. Board certified in internal medicine and hematology, he is trained in blood/bone marrow transplantation and the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of cancers, focusing on leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood cancers as well as noncancerous blood disorders and blood stem cell disorders.

Both Greenberg and Basu see patients at the Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Cancer Center at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and Geisinger Community Medical Center Cancer Center.


Dana Fischer, a native of Madison Twp., joined the association as an auditor after several years working in the credit union movement. She formerly worked at Penn East FCU. She has also worked as an internal accountant and auditor for several non-credit union entities.

The Harrisburg-based trade association provides legislative, promotional, educational and operational support for credit unions in Pennsylvania.


Dr. Stephen Cheskiewicz, assistant professor of information technology from Harveys Lake, presented his research, "Learning Through Unlearning: What People Need to Re-learn about Using Digital Technologies," in Barcelona, Spain, on March 11. The research and paper, co-authored with Dr. Miquel Colobran of Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, was presented at the 15th annual International Technology, Knowledge and Society conference at Museo de CosmoCaixa in Barcelona. This is Cheskiewicz's third research project with Colobran. Previous projects were presented in Madrid and Seville, Spain, and the University of California at Berkeley.


Lori Mueller has been named vice president of customer services.

Mueller will oversee the company's efforts to strengthen customer experience. As a member of the senior leadership team, she will play a vital role in supporting the company's strategic priorities and commitment to deliver for its customers.

Mueller most recently served as vice president of operations and customer experience for Affinegy Inc. in Austin, Texas, where she oversaw customer operations, customer engagement and satisfaction, and product road maps to improve product success.


The representative's office welcomed Brian Stolarski, who will now serve as the American Legion veterans service representative in the 139th District, replacing Dominick Nati, who retired at the end of 2018.

Accredited American Legion service officers are specially trained to provide expert assistance, free of charge, to veterans and their families. While the majority of a service officer's work involves application for VA disability benefits, these compassionate professionals also provide information, referrals and resources on education, employment and business, death benefits and other important topics.


Angela Brigido, a first-grade teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, is one of only 4,446 teachers across the United States to renew their certification as a National Board Certified Teacher, seen as the profession's mark of accomplished teaching.

The National Board is at work across the county, helping set the expectation that all teachers should demonstrate accomplished teaching via National Board Certification and become leaders in their schools and communities, and that every child should have the opportunity to learn from an accomplished teacher. Currently, more than 20,000 teachers are pursuing National Board Certification.


Helen Allen has been appointed executive chef. With a culinary background that spans more than 15 years, she will assume immediate oversight of the resort's culinary operations, including Bogey's Grille, banquet, event cuisine and menu development.

She formerly worked at the University of Scranton as managing chef. A graduate of Lackawanna College's Culinary Arts program, she will receive her Bachelor of Science in food and restaurant management from Lackawanna College in May. She is also ServeSafe certified through the National Restaurant Association.


Lucas R. Carubia, DDS, MS, of Clarks Summit, and Alec C. Nguyen, DDS, MBA, of Clarks Summit, recently earned board certification status as pediatric dentists. They joined the practice in 2017.

A board-certified pediatric dentist has completed a graduate program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation in the specialty of pediatric dentistry. A dentist who graduates from a specialty program becomes a pediatric dentist and is eligible to become board certified through the voluntary examination process of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Carubia earned his doctor of dental surgery from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. He completed his pediatric dentistry residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he also earned a master's degree in oral sciences.

Nguyen earned a doctorate in dental surgery from Stony Brook University, N.Y., where he also earned an MBA in health system management.

Times-Shamrock Communications

Stephen Gacek was promoted to night shift production manager at the company's Scott Twp. printing facility.

Gacek began his employment with Times-Shamrock in July 2008 as a mailroom employee, inserting flyers into the daily papers. An opening arose in the pressroom, and Gacek was transferred and entered a training program. He quickly advanced through the ranks and became a journeyman in the pressroom. His new responsibilities include overseeing all pressroom and production scheduling, work assignment, deadlines and assuring the presses are in good operating order.


The Rev. Judy L. Walker was appointed superintendent of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre District effective July 1. She will succeed the Rev. Marian E. Hartman, who will retire at this year's annual conference.

Walker earned a Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary. She became a local pastor in 2006, was commissioned in 2010 and was ordained in 2012. She served for several years on the Bishop's Retreat Committee, including a time as co-chairwoman of the committee. She is presently a member of the Conference Nominations Committee.


The Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life Committee of the Local Development Committee welcomed Pastor Eugene Sperazza as the new chaplain for the Wesley Village Campus.

His office will be located within the Partridge-Tippett Nursing Facility. He will provide spiritual guidance and counseling to residents, staff and families, as well as enhancing the chaplaincy program and services on the campus.


Accounting professor Douglas M. Boyle, DBA, was profiled among six "Professors to Know in Business Programs Based in the Northeast," selected by, an online resource for entrepreneurs. The professors, who teach at business schools with online MBA programs, were selected based on their professional experience and knowledge. Boyle is chair of the university's accounting department, director of the DBA program and founder and director of the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program.

A certified public accountant as well as a certified management accountant, Boyle has more than 25 years of industry executive experience.


Julie Shenyo, a resident of Nanticoke, has joined the bank as a community office manager for the bank's new Hanover Twp. location, which is scheduled to open at 734 Sans Souci Parkway in mid-April. With 24 years of local banking experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge to the new office.


Samuel Ganz, D.O., physician of the health centers, is now officially board certified in internal medicine. The American Osteopathic Association certification was awarded by the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists. Ganz treats patients age 16 and older at the Carbondale Family Health Center and the McAndrew Family Health Center. He joined the organization in 2018.

Ganz received his doctorate from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York City. He completed his internal medicine residency with the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, Scranton.

SUBMIT PERSONNEL FILE items to business@timesshamro­ or The Times-Tribune, 149 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA 18503.

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