FAQ Contact Us

Welcome to Agility Newsroom

The Agility Newsroom is a news portal filled with original news and announcements from organizations around the world. Whether you’re an Agility PR Solutions’ client who needs a home for your original content or a journalist looking for a story – you can find what you’re looking for on the Agility Newsroom. Please contact us at support@agilitypr.com or 1 866 545 3745 if you have any questions or concerns about the content posted here.

thinkWhere Wins Contract to Open Up Access to European Mapping

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 18:21 EST

Stirling, Scotland, 25 February 2021 - thinkWhere has been awarded a major contract to develop a gateway that will provide easy online access to official maps from more than 40 European countries. The Scottish cloud IT company and specialist in geospatial data and open-source technology, will work alongside project lead EuroGeographics on the 'Open Maps for Europe' project which is designed to increase the use of open data to boost the development of innovative location-based services, driving economic growth and increasing competitiveness by reducing costs. As part of the Open Maps for Europe project, thinkWhere will design, develop and deliver an easy-to-use gateway to data including topographic maps, 3D height models, aerial photography and gazetteer data. thinkWhere was awarded the contract following its successful response to an open tender published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Open Maps for Europe is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union and is co-ordinated by EuroGeographics, an independent, not-for-profit organisation that represents Europe's National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities, in partnership with the National Geographic Institute (NGI) in Belgium. "As the official sources of map, land and property information our members' data is fundamental to the everyday lives of people across Europe. This information underpins the delivery of public services, provides certainty of property ownership and can help save precious time, potentially lives, when responding to emergencies," commented Angela Baker, Programme Manager, Data Access and Integration at EuroGeographics. "In an ever-connected world this data is also increasingly being used in a wide range of applications relied upon by both citizens, business and government. "However, Open Maps for Europe is not just about delivering data, it's about making that data easy to find, easy to access and easy to use," she continued. "thinkWhere's proven expertise in developing user-centric interfaces is critical to the success of the project, and indeed EuroGeographics' wider strategy for data access. We are delighted to be working with them and look forward to making the first datasets available this summer." Alan Moore, Chief Executive of thinkWhere added, "We are excited to continue our relationship with EuroGeographics, and the wider European geospatial community, having already completed projects using open-source technologies to remove barriers to use and promote the take-up of cross-border open data across Europe. "thinkWhere's overriding mission is to make geographic data accessible and usable," he added. "By harnessing the power of our cloud-based, geospatial data infrastructure we will drive the development of a user-centric portal that makes it easy to find, view, publish and share the rich suite of digital mapping supporting the primary objectives of The Open Maps for Europe project." Open Maps for Europe will signpost and provide easy access to pan European data created using official map, geospatial and land information and will run until 31 December 2022.

Tes Global expands its school software services portfolio with acquisition of SchoolCloud

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 18:08 EST

SchoolCloud's virtual parents' evening capability has been a lifeline for schools during COVID-19 pandemic Tes Global, an international provider of software services to make life easier for schools and teachers, today announced the purchase of Glasgow based SchoolCloud, the company behind the most popular online parents' evening software in the UK. This further widens the solutions Tes Global offers to schools, including timetabling, pupil management, wellbeing survey tools, recruitment, and online safeguarding and compliance training. The deal enables Tes Global to deepen its strategic focus on the provision of online and software-enabled products and services to schools and teachers. Building on its recent acquisitions of Edval and EduCare, and the sale of its Supply Agencies businesses to LDC, the addition of SchoolCloud accelerates Tes Global's transition to a leading provider of comprehensive software solutions for the education sector. SchoolCloud is used by over 6,000 schools to help them with their school events, room booking and parents' evenings. The software has facilitated a completely new way of managing what was previously a very administrative heavy task by enabling parents to book appointments using an algorithm that automatically determines the most efficient schedule. In 2020 SchoolCloud added video capability to the application, enabling remote parents' evenings to take place during the pandemic. Both primary and secondary schools are now seeing this as a way forward to more effectively managing parents' evenings, with a clear long-term change in approach now being evident across SchoolCloud's customers. Even without the challenges of COVID-19, SchoolCloud allows for parents juggling multiple children's schedules, childcare, work commitments and even separated parents, to be able to remotely participate in parents' evenings. SchoolCloud was founded in 2006 by two students who had been given a challenge by their IT teacher. Robbie Beattie and Marcus Fields were asked to solve a school-wide issue of room double bookings. The business quickly evolved to support a range of school events, most significantly parents' evenings. Rod Williams, Chief Executive of Tes Global, said: "As a leading provider of software solutions to schools, we have seen a growing adoption of technology by schools to help with all manner of tasks, from managing pupil behaviour, to planning class timetables, and monitoring staff wellbeing. However, this year, schools have understandably looked to adopt new technology with a greater sense of urgency. This is likely to leave a longstanding valuable legacy, given the clear benefits SchoolCloud has brought to schools. We're excited about this becoming part of Tes Global's school software services portfolio and being able to take it to a much wider global market." Robbie Beattie, Co-founder of SchoolCloud, said: "We've seen huge success as more schools adopt new technology. However, by being part of Tes Global, we are now part of a trusted partner for tens of thousands of schools worldwide. We know both schools and parents love how SchoolCloud can evolve parents' evenings and we're excited at the prospect of now being able to bring this technology to so many more over the world." Marcus Fields, Co-founder of SchoolCloud, said: "From a classroom project to a solution that can help teachers and parents across the globe, this has certainly been an incredible 16 years. The team around us care deeply about supporting schools and it is fantastic to become part of such an established brand that shares those values." SchoolCloud are twice recipients of 'Company of the Year' at the revered EdTech Bett Awards in 2014 & 2017, and is shortlisted for 'Innovator of the Year' and 'Company of the Year' in the upcoming Bett Awards 2021. Tes Global was advised by DLA Piper, KPMG, Cairneagle Associates and Crosslake Technologies. School Cloud was advised by GCA Altium and Addleshaw Goddard.

Louisville to host Pride Festival in October

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 18:02 EST

The annual Kentuckiana Pride Festival and Parade will take place on Friday, October 8th, and Saturday, October 9th at the Big Four Lawn, Waterfront Park. The festival and parade are typically held on the third weekend of June each year. Moving the festival and parade dates to later in the year will allow for additional time to prep for additional safety protocols due to COVID-19. The Kentuckiana Pride Festival is working closely with city officials to strictly enforce and follow all CDC guidelines in place to plan and execute an event that is safe for all attendees. Kentuckiana Pride board President Rodney Coffman stated "Safety is top priority on the list when it comes to all involved who make Kentuckiana Pride possible. Without our staff, crew, and all of you, there is no Kentuckiana Pride Festival. We are optimistic and very excited to get back out there to celebrate Pride together, in a safe and vigilant manner." With National Coming Out Day falling on October 11th this year, the Kentuckiana Pride Board cannot think of a better way to celebrate this momentous day by having the Kentuckiana Pride Festival and Parade the weekend before by encouraging attendees to be themselves freely and celebrate in unity at the festival and parade. More information including a detailed safety plan will be released close to the event. The KPF mission is to promote social, economic, and health equity of Kentuckiana's sexual and gender minorities, we advocate pride, celebrate achievements, and educate leaders.

Ammunition Receives Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2021 Pacesetter Award

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 13:46 EST

Media Contact Alli Ehrhardt Ammunition alli@ammunition.agency 404) 267-1966 X 704 Feb. 26, 2021 AMMUNITION RECEIVES ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE'S 2021 PACESETTER AWARD Award showcases the top and fastest growing private companies in Atlanta ATLANTA - Ammunition has received a 2021 Pacesetter Award from the Atlanta Business Chronicle, it was announced yesterday. The award is reserved for the top and fastest growing privately held companies in Atlanta. "We're absolutely thrilled to be ranked among Atlanta's top and fastest growing privately held companies," said Jeremy Heilpern, founder and CEO of Ammunition. "It's a true testament to the work our team has been doing since our inception just three years ago, and I couldn't be more grateful to the team and the clients we support, that have made this a reality. Ammunition is on a mission to build the next great agency, and to me, this is a sign that's exactly what we're doing." The 26th Annual Pacesetter Awards recognize privately held companies in Atlanta that have shown significant fiscal growth over the past two years. Founded in November 2017, the full service advertising agency has seen revenue growth each year, as it has expanded its client roster to 14 current accounts. The agency works primarily in the construction and home building industry and offers marketing automation and CRM, website design and development, social media strategy, creative design, and more. On April 22, the Atlanta Business Chronicle will announce the order in which companies are ranked during a virtual award ceremony. For more information on Ammunition and its clients, please visit ammunition.agency. For more information on the 26th Annual Pacesetter Awards, the honorees, and to attend the virtual award ceremony, please visit www.bizjournals.com . ### About Ammunition Ammunition, a member of the global agency network Worldwide Partners, is an independent, full-service agency building brands that build the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Ammunition partners with brands to drive business with leading-edge digital strategy, personalized CRM, break-through creative, and everything in between. For more information, please visit www.ammunition.agency .

New apprenticeship scheme provides opportunities to combat youth unemployment

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 13:04 EST

Dagenham-based Paragon Customer Communications (PCC), the UK's leading provider of end-to-end omnichannel services for marketing, transactional, operational and workplace solutions, has bucked the trend by launching its flagship apprenticeship programme Ignite, amidst over 60% of English businesses abandoning on-the-job training schemes in the past year [1] . While thousands of young people in the region have been left facing uncertain futures as entry-level jobs have taken a hit in recent months, the Ignite scheme provides opportunities for talented individuals to forge a career in the communications industry. Apprentices are offered a unique opportunity to develop key skills in print, digital marketing, warehouse management, litho print, print finishing and engineering. Ignite apprentices undertake an initial 10-week rotation, working across the business production areas including digital print, goods in, machine enclosing and general admin roles, preparing participants for the evolving environment of the communications industry before embarking on the multi-year programme. Initially deployed at PCC's Dagenham site, the programme is designed to create pathways for young, talented individuals to further their education and grow with the business throughout the scheme. It is just one of the many creative initiatives coming out of PCC, a global organisation that has recently become The HomeServe Foundation's first strategic partner during national apprentice week . One individual who has enjoyed success through the programme is Mason Kane, of Upminster, who was one of the first six apprentices to be taken on as part of the company's innovative scheme. Local boy Mason Kane's story is one of perseverance, hard work and inspiration. At just 19 years of age he went from doing odd jobs during the pandemic, to becoming an integral member of the engineering department at PCC, the UK's leading end-to-end communications service provider. It was a chance encounter that would transform Kane's fortunes. Out of work and seeking manual labour jobs to pay the bills during the pandemic, he was unsure what the future held. Much like thousands of young people across the country to have their plans severely disrupted, he had to adapt to endure. And it was during one of his many odd jobs that he would meet Dave Reynolds, Chief Operating Officer, Transactional & Service Divisions at Paragon Customer Communications - a moment that would change his fortunes. Before Covid Mason had studied engineering and gained his NVQ Level 1 and 2 qualifications, but once the pandemic hit his employment opportunities were severely hampered. Commenting on how his fortunes changed, Mason Kane said: "My Dad is a painter by trade and he was painting the house of Dave Reynolds. After mentioning he needed some extra work done to jet wash his driveway, I was invited along to do the job. Once my Dad got chatting to Dave, the conversation turned to me and the fact that I was a trainee engineer. "It turned out Dave was Chief Operations Officer at Paragon Customer Communications, a company that was looking for young engineers to join its Ignite programme, so I sent him my CV and, as they say, the rest is history." Alison Jackson, Head of HR for PCC's Transactional & Service Divisions, added: "As a business we are extremely pleased to see apprentices are grabbing the opportunities presented to them with both hands, and enjoying considerable success by advancing along their career paths with extra training to get the certifications needed to progress within the last year." [1] https://bmmagazine.co.uk/news/apprentices-hit-hard-by-lockdown-as-businesses-axe-learning/

Two Endowed Scholarships Established by Hood Alumna, Board of Associates Member in Memory of Parents

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 12:16 EST

The Audrey Field Parrott Endowment for the Language Arts and the Benjamine Cawley Parrott Endowment for the Sciences have been established by alumna and member of the Board of Associates Cheryl D. Parrott, M.A.'06, H'09.

Bacon Re-Joins Bipartisan For Country Caucus of U.S. Veterans

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 12:08 EST

The For Country Caucus , a non-partisan group of military veterans serving in Congress and dedicated to working together in a nonpartisan way to create a more productive government, announced new leadership and a growing caucus membership for the 117th Congress. A former Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02) will rejoin the Caucus for the 117th Congress. "The For Country Caucus has been a leader in advocating for bipartisan legislation among a sea of divisiveness," said Representative Don Bacon (R-NE-02). "I am thrilled to be a part of this consensus building group once again and look forward to accomplishing great things for Nebraska and out country. Our group of veterans want to make a difference for our country and cut through all the vitriol and hyper-partisanship." Congressmen Van Taylor (R-TX-03) and Jared Golden (D-ME-02) will lead the caucus as co-chairs through 2022 as its ranks swell to 25 members. Congressmen Jim Baird (R-IN-04) and Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24) will serve as vice-chairs. "Serving this country in the military gives you the skills to work as a team with Americans of different backgrounds and beliefs, for a cause greater than yourself," said co-chairs Van Taylor and Jared Golden. "As co-chairs of the For Country Caucus, we're honored to lead this bipartisan group of veterans as we continue to build on the foundation that's been laid over the past two years. The mission of this caucus - to set aside political differences in the pursuit of policies that will benefit the country - has never been more important, and together we can set that example in Congress." "Developed from the belief that military veterans in Congress should band together to make meaningful public policy change for our nation's heroes and that our shared experience servicing our nation could help break down debilitating partisan barriers currently engulfing Washington, Congressman Don Bacon took the reins and lead the For Country Caucus as our first Republican Co-Chair. As we begin the 117th Congress, the For Country Caucus is in strong position to continue building on this mission because of Congressman Bacon's stewardship. I look forward to continuing to learn from his leadership as we work together to advance commonsense legislation and civil discourse," added Republican Co-Chair of the For Country Caucus, Rep. Taylor. The For Country Caucus is a group of principled military veteran members who strive to create a Congress that is less polarized, more efficient, and is trusted by Americans. Together, they share a vision of a Congress that is strategic in purpose, focused on action, and where elected officials put our country first. Members of the For Country Caucus seek a Congress where members serve with integrity, civility, and courage. Members of the 117th Congress For Country Caucus include Representatives Jason Crow (D-CO-06), Don Bacon (R-NE-02), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06), Jack Bergman (R-MI-01), Scott Franklin (R-FL-15), Kai Kahele (D-HI-02), Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08), Mike Garcia (R-CA-25), Conor Lamb (D-PA-17), Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16), Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), Brian Mast (R-FL-18), Peter Meijer (R-MI-03), Seth Moulton (D-MA-06), Mariannette Miller Meeks (R-IA-02), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), August Pfluger (R-TX-11), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11), Greg Steube (R-FL-17), and Michael Waltz (R-FL-06). In the 116th Congress, the For Country Caucus built a strong track record and got results. The caucus and its members successfully worked to pass a number of national service-oriented provisions into law, including: Fallen Heroes Family Travel Act (H.R. 3065): Authorized reimbursement to Gold Star families for the costs of transporting fallen servicemembers' remains to a national cemetery (Became law in FY20 NDAA) Better Military Housing Act (H.R. 2811): Established a tenant "bill of rights" and sets minimum acceptable livability standards for military personnel and their families (Became law in FY20 NDAA) Widow's Tax Repeal (H.R. 553): Phased out the Widow's Tax (Became Law in FY20 NDAA) Afghan Allies Protection Act (H.R. 2796): Authorized 4,000 additional visas for Afghan allies and extended the application period to 2021 (Became law in FY20 NDAA) Full Military Honors Act (H.R. 1019): Authorized full military honors for veterans who were awarded the Medal of Honor or prisoner-of-war medal (Became law in FY20 NDAA) Childcare Resources for Surviving Family Members: Expanded financial assistance to civilian providers of childcare services for Gold Star families (Became law in FY20 NDAA) Meetings of Service Chiefs and Surviving Families: Enacted a requirement for senior military officials to meet with survivors of deceased service members to receive feedback on issues affecting survivors (Became law in FY20 NDAA) National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (H.R. 4194): Designated 9-8-8 as the universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline (Became Law) National Cyber Director Act (H.R. 7331): Established the office of the National Cyber Director within the Executive Office of the President (Became law in FY21 NDAA) Gold Star Families Park Pass Act (H.R. 5998): Made the National Parks and Federal Recreational Land Pass free to members of Gold Star families (Became law in FY21 NDAA) Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act (H.R. 3749): Established grants for entities that provide legal services for homeless veterans (Became law in H.R. 7105)

Calendar raises over £3,000 for Cornwall and Devon air ambulance charities

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 12:02 EST

The sale of RGB Building Supplies' 'Love where you live' 2021 calendar has raised £3,140.50 for Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust and Devon Air Ambulance. The calendar features photographs that celebrate the region. All the photos were taken by south west residents and everyone who had a photo chosen for inclusion received a £100 voucher to spend at their local RGB branch. Sherelle Puertas, Fundraising Officer at Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, commented: "We are delighted that RGB Building Supplies chose to support Cornwall Air Ambulance and our colleagues in Devon with this lovely calendar. It has raised a fantastic amount which will go towards lifesaving missions across the counties. Thanks to RGB and everyone who bought a calendar." Tracy Owen, Corporate Supporter Engagement Officer at Devon Air Ambulance, said: "We cannot thank RGB enough for the drive and commitment they have given to the design, production and sale of this amazing calendar - we are very lucky to have them on board as a great supporter of Devon Air Ambulance. We are also incredibly thankful to everyone who has purchased a calendar - this donation will make a real difference to our future patients." Kevin Fenlon, CEO of RGB , added: "We invited local people to submit photos that showcased the varied landscape of our region and it was a struggle to narrow down the 60 entries we received to a final 12. Thank you to everyone who showed their support for the two charities, which provide such a fantastic service across our area."

Marston Holdings Donates £10K To Radical Recruit Crowd Funding Campaign To Help The Homeless Back Into Work

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 11:55 EST

Marston Holdings, the UK's largest provider of transportation and enforcement services, has donated £10,000 to Radical Recruit's crowd funding campaign. This will enable Radical Recruit, a not-for-profit organisation which bridges the gap between disadvantaged job seekers and the business world, to support even more homeless people back into the workplace. Emma Freivogel, Founder of Radical Recruit, said: "We are delighted to receive this donation from Marston Holdings. It will enable us to further change negative misconceptions of people who experience homelessness and other barriers to work so that everyone has the opportunity to secure and sustain paid and meaningful employment. Ignoring people who are highly motivated and possess valuable skills that are in demand by employers is bad for business and detrimental to the UK economy." This donation will enable Radical Recruit to develop an online tool that will provide candidates with the best possible learning experience. Radical Recruit has already identified a supplier for this learning tool and will now be able to purchase the first year's licence and engage with an expert to assist with the uploading of existing collateral. Following the launch of Marston's partnership with Radical Recruit and St Mungo's last year, thirteen people that were sleeping rough before the pandemic have been supported to get work ready and secured jobs within the business. They are now working with frontline teams at NSL, a Marston Holdings company, on contracts within four London boroughs. Importantly, this initiative goes way beyond just helping people into employment. For the first twelve weeks after someone starts work, they continue to be housed free of charge by St Mungo's. After successfully completing their probation periods, key workers at St Mungo's help find them a permanent place to live, thus helping to deliver a long-term reduction in the number of homeless people on the streets. According to Deborah Cooper, Marston Holdings' People and Social Value Director: "Marston Holdings has a national footprint with diverse operations that are far reaching. We recognise that our workforce should truly represent all areas of society and are committed to supporting the communities in which we work through our Social Value activities. This has been a particularly successful initiative and I look forward to our continued collaboration with Radical Recruit to support the homeless back into the workplace."

NAPNAP Leaders Participate in Development of Core Competencies for Human Trafficking Response

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 11:42 EST

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) and NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth (Partners) are pleased to have been key collaborators in the development of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) resource titled, "Core Competencies for Human Trafficking Response in Health Care and Behavioral Health Systems." "In the face of rising awareness among health professionals of vulnerable, exploited and trafficked individuals, this practical guide provides actionable items spanning the care continuum. Crossing health disciplines, these inclusive core competencies inform, engage and equip individual care providers, health systems and organizations, as well as academic institutions, with invaluable guidance for action," said NAPNAP and Partners President, Jessica Peck, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, FAANP, FAAN. During three years of collaboration, experts representing general health care practice, psychiatry, pediatrics, emergency medicine, child protection, nursing, behavioral health, research, health science, administrators and trafficking survivors identified the need for a strategy to improve the response of health systems and providers to human trafficking. The resulting resource describes six core competencies and one universal competency to improve prevention, identification and response to human trafficking. In addition to the newly published core competencies resource, NAPNAP and Partners offer health care providers and other stakeholders additional human trafficking resources, including on-demand continuing education: 3-PARRT (Providers Assessing Risk and Responding To Trafficking) and Stop Child Trafficking In Your Community: Become An Act Advocate . To learn more and view the Core Competencies for Human Trafficking Response in Health Care and Behavioral Health Systems, visit our human trafficking prevention resource page.

Decade Leaders Announced at The 39th Annual Harry Jerome Awards Recipients Announcement; BBPA to Hold Virtual Harry Jerome Award Gala on April 17, 2021

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 10:58 EST

Media Contact : Audra Jacobs, Sr. Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Six Generation Marketing F (416) 415-1085 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Decade Leaders Announced at The 39th Annual Harry Jerome Awards Recipients Announcement; BBPA to Hold Virtual Harry Jerome Award Gala on April 17, 2021 TORONTO,ON, February 26, 2021 -- The Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) announces its first ever Virtual Gala to be held on Saturday April 17, 2021, in lieu of an in person event. The Virtual Gala will go live just before 5:30PM EST for a formal "cocktail hour" event. The Gala begins promptly at 6:00PM EST. Tune in to learn more about the work of the BBPA, the impact that the organization has in strengthening Black businesses and Black youth, while celebrating with the 2021 BBPA Harry Jerome Award honourees, the "Decade Leaders" who have demonstrated the "Art of Possible" in overcoming systemic barriers leading to their success. "We are thrilled that our Gala will move forward this year - online - so that we can continue this inspiring tradition," said Nadine Spencer, President of BBPA. "With the impact of COVID-19, now more than ever, we desperately need the financial support from donors to assist people facing barriers. The BBPA Harry Jerome Awards Gala is a huge fundraising community effort. We are truly grateful for the unwavering support from donors, corporate sponsors, and our many volunteers." The Harry Jerome Award acknowledges and celebrates the evolution, innovation and leadership of key individuals in the Black community. The recipients of this award have blazed the trail and shown a track record of immense support to the Black community. The announcement of the recipients on Thursday, February 25, 2021, is the first stage in celebrating their excellence. Through the Harry Jerome Gala, their work will be highlighted and through them, more individuals will be inspired to do even more for the advancement of the community. Established in 1983 in memory of the late Harry Jerome, a Canadian Olympian and Social Advocate, the BBPA Harry Jerome Awards recognizes and honors achievements within the Canadian Black Community. The ceremony is a fundraising event that supports the BBPA's work in promoting the professional and business advancement of African Canadians. The BBPA supports business and professional excellence, higher education, and economic development. The BBPA Harry Jerome Awards is recognized as one of the most prestigious national awards in Canada. The honorees receive awards in twelve categories: Athletics, Leadership, Business, Professional Excellence, Community Service, Lifetime Achievement, RBC Young Entrepreneur, Media, Technology, Decade Leader, and the President's Award. The BBPA is proud to honour and celebrate the following 2021 award winners ● Ken Jeffers (Lifetime Achievement Award) ● Taylor Lindsay-Noel (Youth Entrepreneur Award) ● Al Ramsay (Professional Excellence Award) ● Louis-Edgar Jean-Francois (Business Award) ● Ransford C. Jones (Leadership Award) ● Dennis Mitchell (President Award) ● Jamaal Magloire (Athletics Award) ● Patricia Bebia Mawa (Media Award) ● Dr. Joseph Smith (Decade Leader Award) ● Claudette McGowan (Technology Award) ● Velma Morgan (Community Service Award) ● Kathy McDonald (Diversity Award) Event Information: The 39th Annual BBPA Harry Jerome Awards, will be held on April 17th, 2021. Online Tickets for the Harry Jerome Awards are $250. To learn more about the virtual gala, visit: harryjeromeawards.com About the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA): Founded in 1983, the BBPA is a charitable organization whose mission is to advance Canada's Black Community, by facilitating the delivery of programs that support business and professional excellence, higher education, and economic development. Along with workshops and programs at the BBPA Centre of Excellence, the BBPA presents the Annual Harry Jerome Awards, the BBPA National Scholarships, and the National Black Business Convention (NBBPC), For more information, please visit the BBPA online at www.bbpa.org, Call 416-504-4097, or email pr@bbpa.org For interviews and further information, contact: Audra Jacobs, Sr. Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Six Generation Marketing F (416) 415-1085

Pioneering Prehistoric Landscape Reconstruction Reveals Early Dinosaurs Lived on Tropical Islands

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 09:19 EST

A new study using leading edge technology has shed surprising light on the ancient habitat where some of the first dinosaurs roamed in the UK around 200 million years ago. The research, led by the University of Bristol, examined hundreds of pieces of old and new data including historic literature vividly describing the landscape as a "landscape of limestone islands like the Florida Everglades" swept by storms powerful enough to "scatter pebbles, roll fragments of marl, break bones and teeth." The evidence was carefully compiled and digitised so it could be used to generate for the first time a 3D map showing the evolution of a Caribbean-style environment, which played host to small dinosaurs, lizard-like animals, and some of the first mammals. "No one has ever gathered all this data before. It was often thought that these small dinosaurs and lizard-like animals lived in a desert landscape, but this provides the first standardised evidence supporting the theory that they lived alongside each other on flooded tropical islands," said Jack Lovegrove, lead author of the study published today in Journal of the Geological Society. The study amassed all the data about the geological succession as measured all round Bristol through the last 200 years, from quarries, road sections, cliffs, and boreholes, and generated a 3D topographic model of the area to show the landscape before the Rhaetian flood, and through the next 5 million years as sea levels rose. At the end of the Triassic period the UK was close to the Equator and enjoyed a warm Mediterranean climate. Sea levels were high, as a great sea, the Rhaetian Ocean, flooded most of the land. The Atlantic Ocean began to open up between Europe and North America causing the land level to fall. In the Bristol Channel area, sea levels were 100 metres higher than today. High areas, such as the Mendip Hills, a ridge across the Clifton Downs in Bristol, and the hills of South Wales poked through the water, forming an archipelago of 20 to 30 islands. The islands were made from limestone which became fissured and cracked with rainfall, forming cave systems. "The process was more complicated than simply drawing the ancient coastlines around the present-day 100-metre contour line because as sea levels rose, there was all kinds of small-scale faulting. The coastlines dropped in many places as sea levels rose," said Jack, who is studying Palaeontology and Evolution. The findings have provided greater insight into the type of surroundings inhabited by the Thecodontosaurus, a small dinosaur the size of a medium-sized dog with a long tail also known as the Bristol dinosaur. Co-author Professor Michael Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Bristol, said: "I was keen we did this work to try to resolve just what the ancient landscape looked like in the Late Triassic. The Thecodontosaurus lived on several of these islands including the one that cut across the Clifton Downs, and we wanted to understand the world it occupied and why the dinosaurs on different islands show some differences. Perhaps they couldn't swim too well." "We also wanted to see whether these early island-dwellers showed any of the effects of island life," said co-author Dr David Whiteside, Research Associate at the University of Bristol. "On islands today, middle-sized animals are often dwarfed because there are fewer resources, and we found that in the case of the Bristol archipelago. Also, we found evidence that the small islands were occupied by small numbers of species, whereas larger islands, such as the Mendip Island, could support many more." The study, carried out with the British Geological Survey, demonstrates the level of detail that can be drawn from geological information using modern analytical tools. The new map even shows how the Mendip Island was flooded step-by-step, with sea level rising a few metres every million years, until it became nearly completely flooded 100 million years later, in the Cretaceous. Co-author Dr Andy Newell, of the British Geological Survey, said: "It was great working on this project because 3D models of the Earth's crust can help us understand so much about the history of the landscape, and also where to find water resources. In the UK we have this rich resource of historical data from mining and other development, and we now have the computational tools to make complex, but accurate, models."

Nissens to Acquire AVA Cooling France

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 08:38 EST

Nissens is pleased to announce the acquisition of AVA Cooling France from Enterex International Limited Group. With the acquisition of AVA Cooling France, Nissens completes the acquisition process involving AVA Cooling companies in Europe, since AVA Benelux, CEE, UK, Denmark and France are now all under the ownership of Nissens. With Nissens' acquisition of these AVA companies in Europe, Nissens enhances the position as the leading automotive aftermarket specialist within Engine Cooling (EC), Air-Conditioning (AC) and Efficiency & Emissions (EE) product categories. Executive Vice President of Nissens Automotive, Mr Klavs T. Pedersen, states: "In December, we announced the acquisition of AVA companies in Benelux, CEE, UK and Denmark, just as we revealed that a dialogue on the acquisition of AVA Cooling France was ongoing. Today, we are pleased that the dialogue with current AVA owner, Enterex, has successfully led to Nissens also gaining ownership of AVA Cooling in France. "We are delighted to welcome AVA Cooling France to the ongoing integration process between AVA and Nissens in Europe, and it fuels the active promotion of our dual brand strategy, where we build on the strengths of the AVA brand and the Nissens brand. "By joining forces with AVA Cooling, our ambition remains unchanged: We wish to continue to strengthen our service offers to the leading players in the independent aftermarket. Given the positive response provided by both AVA and Nissens customers following our acquisitions in December, we have high aspirations for the combined market opportunities ahead of us. The recent acquisition of AVA Cooling France just cements our commitment to the promising prospects of our integration". With immediate effect, the focus in AVA Cooling France and Nissens will centre around optimal service and support for the interesting French market to the benefit of the local customers.

The Range of INA Auxiliary Belt System Products Grows Further With New Holland and CASE Additions

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 08:33 EST

New kits offer complete repair solution OE quality at competitive prices Growing range provides even greater coverage Schaeffler, the Original equipment (OE) component and system manufacturer, has further improved its range of INA Front End Auxiliary Drive system (FEAD) products, as it adds more belts, tensioners, idlers and complete kits to suit multiple New Holland and CASE applications. Although the belts, tensioners and idlers can be purchased separately, the most cost-effective solution is to purchase all parts as a kit in just one box, which makes the best practice principle of replacing all elements within the system at the same time a straightforward and logical step. The new components and kits cover various New Holland TM, TS, T6, T6000, T7, T7000, 40 and 60 series applications, as well as CASE IH MXM, MAXXUM, MXU and PUMA models. However, the range is continuously expanding, making the choice of installing an OE solution, at a competitive price, a reality for the agricultural community. Full details of the new additions are available on the accompanying factsheet. As Schaeffler always emphasises, it is essential for those responsible for the upkeep of costly agricultural equipment to not only comply with the manufacturer's service schedule, but to frequently check the belt and pulley system to try and identify any signs of wear. This will help ensure the ongoing reliability of the machinery and reduce the likelihood of unproductive downtime caused by a failure in the system. INA belt drive components are manufactured to exacting OE specifications, which means that engineers can fit them with confidence in the knowledge that they will maintain the same performance and reliability as the original parts, as well as providing a cost-effective and long-lasting repair solution. Information on Schaeffler agricultural products and systems, including the most accurate and up-to-date application information, can be found at https://aftermarket.schaeffler.co.uk

Chancellor Must Not Ignore the Property Industry in the Budget

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 08:25 EST

The property industry provides the infrastructure from which all UK businesses operate. The Chancellor must use his 2021 budget to support the only industry that has been forced to support other businesses in 2020" say leading tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg. Heather Powell, a partner at the firm, said "All sectors of the industry have been battered since March 2020, but the biggest impact has been felt by investors in commercial property. "Landlords have been unable to enforce collection of rents since March 2020". "Many of their tenants have been able to adapt to the new world, and have made profits despite the challenges. These businesses should be required to pay their rent arrears and start paying rent from April 2021, so their landlords can bring repayments due on bank loans up to date and recommence investment in maintaining and improving their investment properties." She added: "We all know that retail and leisure and hospitality businesses need to get back on their feet and deserve future targeted support, but landlords who own the properties these businesses operate from also need support. "They cannot be forced to operate with no income in 2021. A High Street in which every other property is boarded up for several years while liquidators try and realise some money to repay creditors is not going to encourage people out to use the shops that do remain. The Chancellor needs to provide grants to landlords in these sectors so that they can continue to provide the resource their tenants need to get back on their feet." Heather said: "Rates reform is essential for the recovery of our Retail industry. It is disappointing that this major issue has been pushed back again. Reshuffling the allocation of liabilities to sectors such as logistics is not going to generate enough money, instead the Chancellor needs to be courageous and collect taxes from another source. 2% on VAT would allow the tax collection from rates to be reduced to a level that that retail can afford, as well as level the playing field with online sales. These are immediate issues. " She added: " The Chancellor should also be doing everything he can to ensure that the redevelopment of empty commercial properties is undertaken as soon as possible, and that the new buildings are carbon efficient. He should introduce tax reliefs to reward the use of green construction materials and designs. " The Chancellor can do this by substantially increasing the structural buildings allowance for green buildings, giving enhanced capital allowances for green plant and machinery and reducing the VAT payable on "green" materials." Heather said "The UK property industry is an essential cog in the UK economy which has been asked to support other businesses over the last year. This contribution has to be recognised, and the Chancellor must support, not penalise, this industry in 2021."

Budget Should Be Used to Avoid a Business Cashflow Crisis

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 08:20 EST

The Chancellor must use his Budget to help businesses avoid a cashflow crisis as lock down eases, says Blick Rothenberg. Richard Churchill, a partner at the firm said "The Chancellor must continue to support the cashflow of businesses by extending and enhancing the basket of measures so far introduced. Critical to this is allowing the same options to those businesses who borrowed under the CBIL scheme as currently exist for bounce back loans. This would provide businesses with more time to get back on their feet as starting repayments can be delayed, be interest only for a period and spread over a longer timeframe. He added: "The repayment period should be 10 years not the current five. The economic impact of the pandemic has gone on for much longer than initially envisaged and the Chancellor needs to reflect this in his budget by giving businesses more time. Richard said, "The Chancellor is clearly aware that more time is needed by businesses to repay the support measures and has demonstrated this by rightly allowing businesses twelve months to repay deferred VAT as well as permitting other time to pay arrangements. "Providing flexibility in the repayment of CBIL loans will greatly assist those businesses struggling with cashflow as lockdown eases. Additionally, the window to make applications for both CBIL and bounce back loans should be extended to 30 June as businesses can now plan for 2021 with greater clarity, given the Prime Ministers announcement, and better understand their cash requirements." He added: "The Chancellor should also be considering additional measures to support business cashflows. He should allow businesses to either surrender their tax losses incurred during the pandemic for a cash receipt or allow businesses to carry back losses for an extended period of up to 3 years to recoup previously paid corporation tax. "This would allow businesses that have been viable and previously paid tax to enjoy a cashflow advantage now which is critical to them but then also as soon as profits are made in the future pay corporation tax on them and so repay these monies to the Chancellor. A genuine pay as you grow scheme." Richard said: "Many companies have taken on large levels of debt and there is a risk of a swathe of zombie companies forming which would be bad for the economy as business would only exist to service debt as opposed to grow and invest in new ideas or products. "Hopefully the Chancellor has a creative solution for these businesses which could be to allow the debt to be converted into equity held by Government or a specially created fund for private investment. " He added: "Reducing the debt levels would allow businesses to grow and flourish and the equity stake held by Government increase in value. This would allow businesses that benefited from the support measures to pay the money back and provide an equitable split between the Government, business owners and potentially private investors. Richard said: "Perhaps the answer will be is the Successor Loan Scheme, which was announced in November, but no details provided which we hope to hear more about in the budget."

Auto Royale Celebrates Women in Classic Motoring With New Award

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 08:17 EST

Britain's newest contributor to the high-end concours d'elegance scene, Auto Royale , has formally announced the first special class in its inaugural British International Concours d'Elegance. The Dorothy Levitt Award is believed to be the first award at a British concours to recognise the achievements of women in classic motoring and will be presented in a special class to the best car entered by a female collector. It is anticipated that at least ten entries will hotly contest the award, with their pristine automobiles ranging in style from a 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Tourer to a 1968 Ferrari 330 GTC. "The Dorothy Levitt Award is completely in keeping with Auto Royale's positioning as a motoring event, to champion inclusion and diversity in a beautiful, international setting. Dorothy Levitt was one of many exceptional women who pioneered motoring around the world, and her legacy continues today," said Event Director, Paul Mathers. "The depth of the field already entered in this class demonstrates that the role of women in classic motoring today is more important than it has ever been, and probably overdue for acknowledgement. Auto Royale is just proud to play a small part." Dorothy Levitt, was Britain's original female racing driver, racing both cars and boats between 1903 and 1908. Perhaps her finest hour was in 1905 when she beat out the men to win the Daily Mail Sweepstake at Brighton Speed Trials and set a women's land speed record of 92mph. Driving a Napier, she was victorious in the Southport and Blackpool Speed Trials and slashed minutes off the ladies' record at the Shelsey Walsh hill climb. For a time, she was celebrated widely as "the fastest girl on Earth" The Dorothy Levitt Award is sponsored by The Driven Collective , who will be joined on the day by none other than Gina Campbell , daughter of Donald Campbell, granddaughter of Sir Malcom Campbell, and Women's World Speed Record holder in her own right. The Driven Collective is a rising voice in the classic motoring movement and the talent within it has some roll call. Founder, Leah Guilliard-Watts runs an Oxfordshire-based Jensen workshop and is about to embark on restoring her own classic car. Charlotte Vowden is an automotive journalist and Historic Motoring Awards winner, while Amy Shore is one of the most in-demand automotive photographers in the world. "We are super-excited about partnering with Auto Royale to present the Dorothy Levitt Award in what will be the Collective's first major sponsorship of a concours d'elegance", said Guilliard-Watts. "Women play such an important part in the historic motoring movement, and the Driven Collective is a space where all people can learn, develop and build their skills. By assisting the next generation, it is not only continuing to promote equality and inclusive diversity in the sector, it is propelling a level playing field without the rhetoric. It's genuinely refreshing that a major event has chosen not only to support us but encourage our automotive passions. After all, we are all in this together". The inaugural Auto Royale will take place at Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th July 2021. More than 100 rare and collectable cars will grace the lawns of the former Rothschild pile, complemented by a motoring expo with more than 70 exhibitors, award-winning street food concessions, three bars, live entertainment and VIP hospitality. Tickets are now on sale, starting at £48 for general admission, and VIP experiences starting at £336.

Manchester Mayor Urged to Intervene to Protect Community Health as Go North West Bus Strike Is Due to Begin

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 06:58 EST

Unite, the UK's leading union, which represents over 400 bus drivers at Go North West, has written to the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham urging him to intervene, having becoming increasingly alarmed at the company's plans to continue to run services when strikes begin. The bus drivers will begin continuous (all out strike action) from this Sunday (28 February) in a dispute over the company's plans to fire and rehire its workforce. This will amount to a £2,500 cut for workers and slashed conditions including sick pay. Rather than seek a negotiated settlement to avoid the strike, Unite has learned that Go North West is instead seeking to run an alternative service. Unite understands that Go North West is subcontracting its routes to other smaller bus companies, including Selwyn's and Belle Vue coaches. It is also understood that as part of the 'alternative bus service' drivers will be brought in from beyond the Greater Manchester area, including from Wales. Unite has urged the Mayor Andy Burnham to intervene as the buses which are set to be used do not have the Covid-19 shields that protect the drivers from potential Covid exposure from passengers. There are also concerns that an 'alternative service' could result in overcrowding and increase exposure risks. Additionally, bringing in drivers from beyond the northern Greater Manchester area will increase the risk of the virus being transmitted inside and outside the area. Unite understands that Go North West's 'alternative service' will require the approval of the Greater Manchester Transport Committee in order to operate, as it amounts to sub-contracting Go North West's routes. Unite has also raised serious concerns with the Welsh government, which has effectively closed the border between England and Wales, as it believes that this is not essential travel. Unite North West regional secretary Ritchie James said: "Rather than seek a solution to the dispute, Go North West is instead intent on creating a health crisis. "Rates of Covid-19 infections remain far too high and Go North West's 'alternative service' lack the essential protections that Unite has ensured are in place on its normal fleet of buses. "During a lockdown it is simply reckless to be unnecessarily bringing workers in and out of the area, as it will inevitably result in an increase in infections. "It is imperative that Andy Burnham intervenes and makes it clear that this 'alternative service' does not have his blessing or support. "My message to passengers thinking about using the 'alternative service' is to consider if this is the safest way of making your journey. "The forthcoming strike action is being taken reluctantly by our members, especially during the pandemic. However, they feel they have no other option after Go North West introduced its brutal fire and rehire plans. "Even at this eleventh hour strikes can still be averted by Go North West withdrawing its fire and rehire plans and entering into meaningful negotiations." When the all-out strike action begins on Sunday 28 February Unite will be mounting strictly socially distanced, Covid secure picket lines at the company's Queens Road depot (Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 8UT). Go North West operates 130 buses on 30 routes in Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Trafford and Warrington. Notes: If Go North West's fire and rehire proposals are implemented it will result in:A 10 per cent cut in bus drivers Workers, who earn an average of £24,000 per annum, forced to work longer for no additional pay, resulting in them being £2,500 a year worse off Tearing up the existing sick pay policy, which will force workers to work when they are sick or should be self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic. Big brother fears as Go North West embarks on CCTV frenzy as bus strikes loom During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

5 Ways to Overcome Depression and Anxiety During the Pandemic

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 06:33 EST

BX Plans looks at 5 ways to overcome depression and anxiety and discusses positive ways to help our mental health during the pandemic. After a year of Covid and living under lockdown measures there is one thing we can all agree on, the pandemic has been bad for our mental health. Mental Health Awareness Week Runs from the 10th - 16th May 2021 and gives us a chance to openly discuss mental health issues. Let's face it we're all tired of lockdown living. The ONS (Office for National Statistics) recently reported that optimism about when life will return to normal was very low at the beginning of 2021.There are some things we can do to take control and defeat negative feelings of hopelessness. Here are a few suggestions. 1. One of the Best Ways to Battle Depression and Anxiety is Through Exercise Exercise is by far one of the best morale boosters. Current guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 to 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. One of the best fitness plans for lockdown living is BX Plans and it was first created over 70 years ago. BX Plans, was used by the Royal Canadian Airforce, and has become the fitness guru for celebs and members of the Royal family for decades. The secret to its popularity is due to its easy to use, no fuss approach to exercise. There's no gym equipment needed, and no expensive gym fees to worry about. BX Plans was made for air force pilots who were stationed in remote locations. Their isolated lifestyle prompted the development of an exercise plan that could be done each day for 11 to 12 minutes and create optimal fitness. If you would like to give it a try BX Plans has an 11-minue workout plan for men, a 12-minute workout plan for women and a plan for children aged 7-17. The 12-minute workout app for women is available to download for FREE for a limited time. If you would like to learn more visit website: bxplans-uk.com 2. Going for Walks and Getting Fresh Air Getting outside for fresh air is one of the best things for your mental Health. Regular walks in fresh air can help alleviate depression and anxiety. Due to Covid many people have avoided leaving their homes. But getting fresh air is essential. Studies show that fresh air helps to send oxygen through the blood and allows your lungs to work at full capacity. This in turn creates brain- power and feel good vibes. 3. Are you Getting Enough Vitamin D? Public Health England have advised that children and adults should be taking a Vitamin D supplement. This is because Vitamin D is needed for healthy bones and muscles. Most people get sufficient levels of Vitamin D from the sun when they are outside but with lockdown keeping us indoors, we are more at risk of becoming vitamin D deficient. When we are deficient in Vitamin D we can feel depressed and lethargic. So make sure you are adding the required amount of Vitamin D into your diet. The recommended dose is between 10 - 25 micrograms, or 400 - 1000 International Units (IU) daily. 4. The Power of Positive Thinking Positive thinking, or an optimistic attitude, is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. It can have a big impact on your physical and mental health. Setting goals for yourself can really help to direct the mind and to focus on something positive in the future. A goal could be painting the bedroom, cleaning out the closet or starting a new business. It's up to you what you choose but the important thing to remember is to focus on what you can achieve and try and stick to the goal. 5. Sometimes We Need to Ask for Help Quite simply sometimes depression and anxiety completely takes over an individual's emotional well-being. Although we may think we can talk ourselves into getting better sometimes we need to ask for professional help. A recent study has discovered that due to Covid PTSD Post-traumatic stress disorde r is prevalent in the general public. Healthcare workers, sufferers of Covid, young people and children, and people in general have all been struggling with the weight of Covid. Reach out and speak to a professional if you are having difficulty with your mental health. To learn more about BX Plans visit www.bxplans-uk.com

ECOBAT's Steve Sheppard Retires

Fri, Feb 26, 2021 06:23 EST

The European battery distributor's 'quiet man' ends his illustrious career on a positive note After more than 20 years with ECOBAT Battery Technologies (ECOBAT), Managing Director (MD), Steve Sheppard, has stepped down from his position, six years after his Parkinson's diagnosis. Steve joined the business - which was then Manbat - in 1999, as the company's sales director, overseeing the opening of the Bristol branch and going on to help Roger and Mike Pemberton to transform the business from a regional distributor, into a major player in the battery distribution sector. In 2009, the business was sold to industrial lead giant, ECOBAT Technologies and Steve was appointed MD of ECOBAT Battery Technologies UK and Ireland, the name of the ECOBAT Group's new, battery distribution division. Over the last decade, Steve has been at the helm as the company has grown, both organically and through several acquisitions, and expanded into other complementary battery sectors, but always pursuing the original Manbat ethos of providing expert knowledge and work with its customers to grow their battery business. Under his direction, the business has grown from 4 to 14 branches, including specialist industrial sites and a main UK distribution hub, based in Shrewsbury. "My greatest achievement," Steve explains, "has been to install a belief in the people, at all levels of the business, that we could become a major player, so they have shared in the ownership of the vision. This is what has made ECOBAT into a £70 million plus business that distributes in excess of 1.6 million batteries annually. "Operating with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic during my last year with the company, will naturally stay with me. I have obviously been less involved as the transition to the new management has taken place, but I have watched the employees pull together in a fantastic manner to ensure that the company continues to provide a high level of service and performance, whilst having to adapt to new working practices, in order to keep each other safe. "The Manbat/ECOBAT community has always been a close one, and I will be recollecting experiences and smiling to myself for many years to come." It is obvious from the compliments made by so many of his colleagues, with 'level headed, quick thinking, and calm under pressure' stated again and again as being among his many attributes, that Steve has had a tremendous impact, not only on the business, but with its personnel - the people that ultimately make the company. Commending Steve for his dedication and professionalism, Divisional Managing Director, Russell McBurnie, who takes over as MD said: "Steve knows everyone within our business and will afford time to anyone who needs it. A great people person, he has formed strong and lasting relationships, engaging staff, customers and suppliers alike. Steve's contribution and dedication to ECOBAT has made it what it is today." General Manager, Kevin Wood, who has worked with Steve for more than 20 years added: "Steve has a great ability to make a connection with anyone he meets. His belief in our offering, service and staff have driven ECOBAT to be a national distributor and a major player within the industry". "Steve has been a great asset to ECOBAT over the years; he is the epitome of professionalism, honesty and integrity," say Commercial Director Paul Payne and ECOBAT Industrial & Specialist MD Andy Cooper. However, 'a genuinely nice guy, that deserves the very best in his retirement' perhaps best sums up the man's incredible contribution to, not only ECOBAT, but the aftermarket and battery industry.