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Bristol-based United Co. has named a new president and other top officers.

Lois A. Clarke has been promoted to president of The United Company.  She has been with United since its start in 1970, serving in a variety of positions including chief financial officer.

As well as being president, she also is chief investment officer and treasurer.  She holds the same titles for United Management Co. LLC, a company subsidiary.

J. Thomas Fowlkes has been named general counsel. He began his career with United in 1977 and held various positions with the company,  including president from 1994-98. He then worked at Emory & Henry College before returning to the company this year.

Barbara Bjerke has been promoted to chief financial officer of United Management Co.  Bjerke has been with United since 1986., holding a variety of positions over the years, including vice president of tax for the parent company, a post she still holds.

Steven Layfield has been promoted to senior vice president of operations of United Management.  He began his career at United in 1995. In addition to assuming his new post, he will continue as portfolio manager of fixed-income investments for United Management.

Martha McGlothlin Gayle has been promoted to senior vice president of public relations of The United Co. Gayle, who has been with the company since 2001, will continue to serve as president of The United Company Charitable Foundation.

United is a diversified investment company with investments in oil and gas, golf courses, real estate, certain minority passive investments and marketable securities.

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