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Agility Newsroom features the latest news and announcements from Agility PR Solutions clients around the world. Agility’s global news site is a place for organizations to share original content and announcements with journalists and influencers, for greater visibility and broad distribution that extends reach from traditional media houses to local outlets, and beyond.

American Marketing Association and its Foundation Celebrate Marketing Scholars and Professionals Innovating Marketing's Future

Sat, Feb 24, 2024 12:30 EST

For Immediate Release: Saturday, February 24, 2024 Contact: Amy Gwiazdowski, agwiazdowski@ama.org American Marketing Association and its Foundation Celebrate Marketing Scholars and Professionals Innovating Marketing's Future Awardees to be honored at the 2024 AMA Winter Academic Conference in St. Pete Beach, FL Chicago, IL -The American Marketing Association (AMA) and the AMA Foundation are pleased to recognize this year's marketing award winners who will be celebrated at the 2024 Winter Academic Conference held in St. Pete Beach, Florida on February 24, 2024. "This extraordinary group of scholars and professionals are moving marketing forward, they are sharing new insights, and changing how marketing is not only viewed but interpreted. Congratulations to all of this year's award winners," said AMA CEO, Bennie F. Johnson . This year's winners are: Linda Price | AMA-Irwin-McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award Katherine White | William L. Wilkie Marketing for a Better World Award Alixandra Barasch | Erin Anderson Award for an Emerging Female Marketing Scholar and Mentor Laura Colm | The AMA Foundation Robert Lusch Early Career Research Award Ozge Demirci | John A. Howard/AMA Doctoral Dissertation Award Nancy Harhut | Leonard L. Berry Marketing Book Award Harald van Heerde , Ron Hill , Robert Leone , Lisa Scheer , Venkatesh Shankar , and Vanitha Swaminathan | AMA Fellows Linda L. Price Wins 2024 AMA-Irwin-McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award Linda L. Price is Professor of Marketing and Dick and Maggie Scarlett Chair of Business Administration at the University of Wyoming, her alma mater. She has been a participating member of AMA for over 40 years and currently serves on the AMA Foundation Board and was on the AMA Academic Council from 2012-2018, serving as President from 2016-2017. Her long history of AMA service includes an active role on numerous award committees, task forces, chairing conference tracks, and serving on Editorial Review Boards for AMA journals. Price is also the recipient of AMA awards including CBSIG Lifetime Achievement, AMA Fellow, and the V. Kumar Doctoral Student Mentorship award. Her theory and multimethod research is published in top marketing journals, and many of her articles are considered seminal, introducing new constructs to the field with applications for services marketing, brand relationships, customer experiences and sustainability. Price's record of service to the discipline extends beyond AMA. She also served on the Sheth Foundation Board from 2014-2020 and continues service on the advisory board. In addition, Price served as President of the Association for Consumer Research in 2014 and Editor of Journal of Consumer Research from 2018-2020. She has chaired several conferences for the Association for Consumer Research and Consumer Culture Theory Consortium and chaired several doctoral symposiums and consortiums. She also served on the Board of Governors for the Academy of Marketing Science. The AMA-Irwin-McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award honors living marketing educators for distinguished service and outstanding contributions in marketing education. Read more about Linda Price. Katherine White Named 2024 William L. Wilkie "Marketing for a Better World" Award Recipient Katherine White is the Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia. She is a research leader in societal issues, especially those related to prosocial marketing and sustainability. White has contributed over 50 peer-reviewed publications, with an h-index of 42, indicating her high impact on the development of this area. For example, her 2019 Journal of Marketing article, "How to SHIFT Consumer Behaviors to be more Sustainable: A Literature Review and Guiding Framework," has already has been cited over 1,200 times, and is the single most viewed and downloaded article from all Sage management journals in the last 30 years. Through her role as Academic Chair of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, she has been instrumental in fostering collaboration and dialogue between academia, industry, and government, and bridging the gap between research and practice. And, in addition to her academic editorial roles and visiting faculty positions globally, White has educated and inspired many students to use their research to shape a better world and has worked to facilitate opportunities for research in this domain. In 2014, White cofounded the Decision Insights for Business and Society (DIBS) research group, through which she has conducted many "behavior change for good" research projects with local government agencies and trained government and industry workers in the Behavioural Insights certificate program that she co-created. She has also created and organized the bi-annual Behavioural Insights into Business for Social Good (BIBSG) conference, the fourth instance of which will occur in 2024, bringing together academics and industry working on research for social good. The William L. Wilkie "Marketing for a Better World" honors marketing thinkers who have significantly contributed to our understanding and appreciation for marketing's potential to improve our world, and from whose work notable advances have ensued-in the mold of Bill Wilkie of the University of Notre Dame. Read more about Katherine White. Alixandra Barasch Receives the 2024 Erin Anderson Award for an Emerging Female Marketing Scholar and Mentor Alixandra Barasch earned her PhD in marketing from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor at New York University and a Visiting Associate Professor at INSEAD. She studies how new technologies are fundamentally reshaping consumer behavior and well-being. Her research has been published in a variety of top journals in marketing (Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing) and psychology (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science). She is currently an Associate Editor at the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing, and serves on the editorial review board at Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Before starting her graduate studies, Barasch worked at MDRC, a non-profit dedicated to education policy research. She was also selected as a Fulbright Scholar, and spent a year teaching at the University of Macau and doing research at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The Erin Anderson Award recognizes emerging female marketing scholars and mentors, while honoring and celebrating the life of Erin Anderson. Erin was a widely respected mentor and scholar whose research made significant contributions to the marketing discipline. To honor Erin and support her passion for encouraging women in academe, the Erin Anderson Award recognizes a female marketing scholar we anticipate becoming a leading marketing academic in the mold of Erin Anderson. Read more about Alixandra Barasch. Laura Colm Wins the 2024 Robert Lusch Career Research Award Laura Colm is Associate Professor of Practice in Marketing and Sales at SDA Bocconi, Bocconi University's School of Management, in Milan (Italy). Her research activities focus on B2B and industrial relationships marketing, services marketing, and service-based business models (e.g., solution selling, everything-as-a-service), as well as the interface of marketing and sales (e.g., e-commerce and sustainable omnichannel strategies). She is Head of Core Team of SDA Bocconi's Mobius Lab on future mobility, as well as a member of the Commercial Excellence Lab (CEL). She has authored articles, books, international book chapters, and teaching cases, and her work has been published in Journal of Marketing and Journal of Service Research, among others. The Robert Lusch Career Research Award aims to recognize a scholar who has published an article early in his/her career in an AMA Journal (Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of International Marketing, Journal of Interactive Marketing, or Journal of Public Policy & Marketing). The selected article pushes boundaries and introduces novel theories and/or conceptual frames to better understand consumers, markets, and marketing actions. Read more about Laura Colm. Ozge Demirci Wins the John A. Howard/AMA Doctoral Dissertation Award Ozge Demirci is the winner of the 2023 John A. Howard/AMA Doctoral Dissertation Award for her dissertation, "Can Gender-Blind Algorithmic Pricing Eliminate the Gender Gap?" Demirci is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Business School (HBS). Before joining HBS, she received her PhD in Economics at the University of Warwick. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from Bogazici University. Previously, she was a research analyst at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC. Her research focuses on quantitative marketing, and she is interested in digital technologies such as Generative AI and the ways they affect the behavior of consumers and firms. Some of her recent work investigates the impacts of regulations targeting algorithmic bias. Her research has been recognized by several awards, including the Best Dissertation Award by the American Statistical Association, the Emerging Scholar Award by the Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Research Network, and the CESifo Distinguished Affiliate Award, which is given to a promising young economist in the area of digitization and technology. The John A. Howard/AMA Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes excellent marketing doctoral dissertations. Read more about Ozge Demirici. Nancy Harhut Receives Leonard L. Berry Marketing Book Award Nancy Harhut is the Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at HBT Marketing and her winning book-"Using Behavioral Science in Marketing: Drive Customer Action and Loyalty by Prompting Instinctive Responses"-illustrates the application of behavioral principles to marketing. Her specialty is blending best-of-breed creative with behavioral science to prompt response. She and her teams have won over 200 international and national awards for marketing effectiveness. Along the way, she's helped generate $68 million in incremental revenue for Nationwide, establish seven controls for the GM Card, and create one of H&R Block's most successful campaigns. Recognized for her work in B2C, B2B, and nonprofit, Harhut's been named one of the 10 Most Fascinating People in B2B Marketing, a Social Top 50 Email Marketing Leader, and a Top 40 Digital Strategist. A frequent speaker at marketing conferences, she's shared her passion with audiences in London, Sydney, Moscow, Madrid, Stockholm, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Dubai, and all over the US, including several return engagements at SXSW. Prior to cofounding HBT Marketing, Harhut held senior creative management positions with agencies within the IPG and Publicis networks. The Leonard L. Berry Marketing Book Award recognizes books that have had a significant impact in marketing and related sub-fields. Read more about Nancy Harhut. Harald van Heerde, Ron Hill, Robert Leone, Lisa Scheer, Venkatesh Shankar, and Vanitha Swaminathan Named AMA Fellows The distinction of "AMA Fellow" is given to members in good standing of the AMA who have made significant contributions to the research, theory, and practice of marketing, and/or to the service and activities of the AMA over a prolonged period of time. The AMA Fellow designation is intended to recognize marketing academics' achievement, but it is also designed to create a space for fellowship, discussion, collaboration, and continued contributions to the discipline. Read more about the AMA Fellows. ###

Innovative leadership initiative creates the care industry's future changemakers

Fri, Feb 23, 2024 09:08 EST

One of the UK's leading care groups has launched an innovative initiative to help its colleagues develop exceptional leadership skills, business prowess and empower future changemakers. Aria Care Group has launched its 'Inspiring Leaders' development programme to support staff members committed to becoming high-impact leaders. The programme aims to foster engagement, build strong relationships and drive business success. Having launched earlier this month (February), 12 delegates - including home managers and regional directors - are already working towards improving their leadership qualities. Kelly Howell, chief people officer at Aria, said: "We are absolutely delighted to launch our very first 'Inspiring Leaders' programme. At Aria, we are committed to developing and nurturing our colleagues and such, we've launched this programme to inspire and enable our leaders of the future. "The programme covers a wide variety of topics which will enhance knowledge, build confidence and truly inspire our future leaders to be the best versions of themselves." Through a series of interactive workshops - a number of which are delivered by in-sector experts of their field - delegates will be given the opportunity to embark on a transformative journey and gain the skills for effective communication, strong business and commercial acumen as well as regulatory know-how. In addition to business knowledge, those taking part will learn how to reflect on their own practice, identifying factors like the strengths and challenges of their unique leadership style and the impact that they may have on others. Aria Care Group delivers high-quality care and support in the elderly social care sector, with welcoming communities that include residential homes and those offering nursing care as well as dementia care. To find out more about Aria Care, visit www.ariacare.co.uk ENDS Notes to editors: At Aria Care, our care is from the heart. It shows in all that we do. We provide the very best in residential care, nursing care and dementia care for those who need help and support, with 50 homes located in England, Scotland and Jersey. For further information about this press release, please contact Lizzie Grover-Hinds at Conteur by emailing lizzie@conteur.co.uk or calling 01905 670881.

SGS Summarizes Release of AFIRM 2024 Restricted Substances List (RSL) Guidance

Fri, Feb 23, 2024 05:26 EST

SGS, the world's leading testing, inspection and certification company, has published SafeGuardS 031.24 to provide stakeholders with an overview of the changes brought in by the publishing of the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) 2024 Restricted Substance List (RSL) Guidance. Published on February 1, 2024, this guidance provides the reader with: List of substance of concern CAS numbers Limits Test methods Legislated reporting limits Details on where substance are commonly used in the apparel and footwear industries Major chances introduced in the latest version of the AFIRM RSL Guidance include: Test methods and reporting limits added/updated New in 2024 additional notes and information List expanded with new substances SGS experts publish SafeGuardS to keep stakeholders informed about regulatory and market changes that may impact their business. SafeGuardS 031.24 contains details of the scope contained within the RSL Guidance along with details of the changes and its benefits for businesses operating in the apparel and footwear sector. Stakeholders are advised to review SGS' original SafeGuardS 031.24 for more information. SGS Softlines Services SGS has a worldwide network of over 40 state-of-the-art laboratories, including 10 in China, specializing in testing of apparel, footwear, and home textiles. Their committed team is drawn from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, allowing them to conduct a comprehensive range of physical, chemical, and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. SGS helps companies ensure quality, performance, and compliance with international, industrial, and regulatory standards worldwide. In the end, it's only trusted because it's tested. Learn more about SGS's Softlines Services. SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full AFIRM Releases 2024 Restricted Substances List (RSL) Guidance for Suppliers SafeGuardS. Subscribe here to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox. For further information contact: Dr. Min Zhu US & Canada Softlines Business Head - Softlines Tel: +19734611230 Email: cp.media@sgs.com Website: www.sgs.com/softlines LinkedIn: SGS Connectivity & Products

British Aviation Film Angel Fleet Selected for the Golden State Film Festival

Thu, Feb 22, 2024 12:44 EST

British aviation drama Angel Fleet, which charts the raw grief of a family struggling to come to terms with the loss of their father, will appear on the big screen at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood later this month as part of the Golden State Film Festival. The moving short, which was shot on location around West Sussex in the south of England and tells the story of a family struggling to come to terms with a tragic flying accident that killed their test pilot father. The cast is filled with star power - including a legendary aircraft known as Sally B, the last remaining Boeing B-17 bomber flying in Europe. Produced and directed by Tristan Loraine's company Fact Not Fiction Films, with Herb Jackson Jr. serving as Executive Producer , Angel Fleet also features the Academy Award contender, Darcy Jacobs. Darcy was previously the recipient of the Best Young Actress Award at the Birmingham Film Festival. Now in its seventh year, the Golden State Film Festival brings together audiences, judges, filmmakers, and industry professionals to showcase the talents of the world's best emerging independent filmmakers, with short form and feature length films screening. Each will play at the legendary TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Angel Fleet will screen on Wednesday February 28th in theater 6. Executive Producer, Herb Jackson Jr. said, "I was delighted when we received word that Angel Fleet had been selected to be screened at the Golden State Film Festival. To have our film playing on the big screen at such as iconic venue as the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood is pretty amazing. Tristan and I continue to be thrilled with the reception that Angel Fleet has received worldwide." Angel Fleet was previously screened at the Birmingham International Film Festival, Brazil International Film Festival, Australia Film Festival, and the Culver City Film Festival amongst others. It received an award of commendation at the Canada Shorts - Canadian and International Short Film Fest, was an award winner at the Touchstone Film Festival and received an Independent Shorts Award. To find out more about Angel Fleet, visit https://www.angelfleetfilm.com . To find out more about Herb Jackson Jr. and the projects he's currently working on, visit https://www.herbjacksonjr.com .

Greenview's Agricultural Challenges and Advocacy Efforts

Thu, Feb 22, 2024 12:17 EST

Greenview's Agricultural Service Board and Council recognizes the importance of actively engaging in advocacy on behalf of Greenview's Agricultural producers to ensure the long-term viability and prosperity of its agricultural sector. We sat down with Greenview's Agricultural Service Board (ASB) Chair Warren Wohlgemuth, ASB Vice Chair, Deputy Reeve Bill Smith, and ASB Council Member Dave Berry to shed some light on what steps Greenview's ASB has taken to help agricultural producers in Greenview. "On August 23, 2023, Greenview's Agricultural Service Board took a significant step by urging Greenview Administration to delve into the possibility of declaring an Agricultural Disaster. The thorough investigation encompassed the review of crop reports spanning from May to September 2023, consultations with producers, and reaching out to the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC). While annual crops saw record yields, forages faced a challenging year. Despite these circumstances and as the criteria for declaration had not been met, on September 27, 2023, the board chose not to recommend a declaration to Council." This underscores the intricate decisions we face in navigating the dynamic realities of our agricultural landscape." - Warren Wohlgemuth, ASB Board Chair Criteria for a Declaration of Agricultural Disaster To meet the criteria for such a declaration, 25%-50% of hectares of crops and forages must be rated as "poor." This benchmark serves as a measure of the severity of agricultural challenges within a municipality. Exclusion from the Canada-Alberta Drought Livestock Assistance Program "Greenview's exclusion from the 2023 Canada-Alberta Drought Livestock Assistance initiative raised eyebrows. Despite lobbying efforts by the Province for the inclusion of all municipalities, the federal government declined the request. A closer examination revealed that the affected municipalities are primarily comprised of extensive forested crown lands with smaller zones of privately held agricultural lands. The Canadian Drought Monitor's aggregation of weather data failed to account for the nuanced differences in precipitation patterns between these areas, leading to an incomplete understanding of the challenges faced by local producers." - Bill Smith, ASB Vice Chair and Deputy Reeve. Advocacy Efforts by Greenview's Agricultural Service Board In response to the exclusion, Greenview's Agricultural Service Board, in collaboration with Brazeau County and the MD of Lesser Slave River, took a proactive stance. On February 2, 2024, they addressed their concerns in a letter to the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, expressing discontent with the decision and urging reconsideration. Empowering Local Producers to Advocate Dave Berry, ASB Council Member, underscores the need for advocacy, stating, "Local producers play a crucial role in amplifying the advocacy efforts. By contacting their respective Member of Parliament and Minister of the Legislative Assembly, they can contribute to the collective voice seeking fair representation and support for Greenview's agricultural sector. The call to action is clear: support the endeavors to secure assistance and recognition for the challenges faced by the local agricultural community." Concluding Thoughts Greenview's agricultural community is at the heart of a dynamic and challenging landscape. The ASB's tireless efforts mirror a deep dedication to understanding and tackling the complexities that define agriculture in our region. As we come together in these advocacy efforts, we envision a future where our farming community not only survives but truly thrives. We hope for policies that understand the distinct challenges and valuable contributions of Greenview. ASB Chair Warren Wohlgemuth stated, "Though the road ahead may be tough, with everyone pitching in and working together, we believe our agricultural sector in Greenview can not only weather the challenges but come out even more robust and resilient than before. I want to emphasize that Greenview Council recognizes the paramount importance of actively engaging in advocacy to safeguard the long-term viability and prosperity of our agricultural sector." -30- The Municipal District of Greenview No. 16 is the third-largest rural municipality in Alberta. Greenview includes the towns of Fox Creek and Valleyview, the hamlets of Little Smoky, Ridgevalley, DeBolt, Landry Heights, Grovedale, and Grande Cache. This big, beautiful piece of Alberta offers an array of rivers, lakes, mountain peaks of the majestic Rocky Mountains, and prairie meadows. Untamed wilderness promises an abundance of outdoor activities. Modern indoor recreation facilities provide sports and recreation activities year-round.

SGS Summarizes Danish Ban on PFAS in Firefighting Foams

Thu, Feb 22, 2024 11:04 EST

SGS, the world's leading testing, inspection and certification company, has published SafeGuardS 029.24 to provide stakeholders with an overview of Denmark's ban on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foam (FFF) concentrates. Executive Order No. 1360 of November 27, 2023, applies to the importation, sale and use of PFAS in FFF. It defines PFAS as any substance containing at least one fully fluorinated methyl (CF 3 ) or methylene (CF 2 ) carbon atom without any H/Cl/Br/I atoms attached to it. Denmark was the first country to prohibit PFAS in food contact paper and board materials and articles in 2020. The latest piece of legislation restricts PFAS to no more than 1 mg/kg in FFF concentrates used at fire training grounds. In addition to an exemption for FFF concentrates used in fixed firefighting systems at fire training grounds and offshore installation, there are also exemptions for PFAS regulated under: Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 (REACH) Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants (recast) (POP Recast) Stakeholders should be aware the European Union (EU) is also intending to regulate PFAS in FFF and has issued a separate proposal to restrict PFAS under REACH. The new rules came into effect on January 1, 2024. Use of non-compliant stocks of FFF concentrates at a training ground is permitted until July 1, 2024. SGS publishes SafeGuardS to keep stakeholders informed about regulatory and market changes that may impact their business. SGS Fire Technology Services SGS offers comprehensive and professional fire safety services for a wide range of products, including building materials, consumer products and fire products. They provide third-party solutions covering firefighting equipment testing, combustion testing of building materials, components and transportation equipment, fire safety consultancy and safety assessments and certification. In the end, it's only trusted because it's tested. Learn more about SGS's Fire Technology Services. SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full Denmark Bans PFAS in Firefighting Foams SafeGuardS. Subscribe here to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox. For further information contact: Dr. HingWo Tsang Global Information and Innovation Manager Tel: (+852) 2774 7420 Kay Huang BD Manager, Fire Technology Service Tel: +86 135 6044 1682 Email: cp.media@sgs.com Website: www.sgs.com/hardlines LinkedIn: SGS Connectivity & Products

Oomf: Innovative CBD Lubricant Enriched with Prebiotics Now Available in the USA

Thu, Feb 22, 2024 09:46 EST

Quanna, a leading self-care and sexual wellness brand, is proud to introduce Oomf, an award-winning, all-natural water-based lubricant enriched with premium-grade CBD and prebiotics, to the US market. Crafted under the discerning eye of expert gynecologists, Oomf boasts a unique formulation designed to support vaginal health, heighten pleasure, and alleviate any discomfort during intimate moments. Dr. Dmitry Loktionov, CEO and co-founder of Quanna, says, "As a gynecologist, I'm witnessing a surge in demand for diverse intimate solutions driven by a growing awareness of issues like menopause, hormonal imbalances, pH irregularities, and intimate sensitivities." CBD may seem a curious addition to lubricant, but it's what sets Oomf apart from any other product. As CBD is renowned for its ability to enhance blood flow circulation, it facilitates muscle relaxation, leading to a vast array of perks. The many effects of using Oomf include: Increased Sensitivity: Elevate pleasure with heightened sensitivity, promoting better orgasms. Performance Anxiety Relief : Oomf helps improve headspace, easing performance anxiety for a more relaxed experience. Pelvic Relaxation : CBD's vasodilatory effects enhance blood flow, promoting pelvic relaxation. Discomfort Alleviation : Oomf eases painful sex and vaginal dryness, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable encounter. No More Nasties : Say goodbye to parabens, glycerin, and alcohol - Oomf is a pure, premium indulgence. Additionally, prebiotics help maintain a healthy vaginal microbiome to prevent infections - one of the major concerns when using a lubricant that contains glycerin or is oil-based. It is not a baseless concern: a study conducted by UCLA in California has indicated that the use of certain lubes can be linked to an increased risk of developing a yeast infection. Oomf eliminates this risk. With prebiotics and a pH that closely matches that of a healthy vagina, it brings only pleasure and no nasty side effects. Speaking of side effects, no one enjoys getting oily stains off clothing and sheets. With Oomf, that will never be a problem: thanks to its water-based formula, it leaves no stains. It is also toy- and condom-safe. Kate Tik, Quanna co-founder, says, "Quanna stands for a world where sexual wellness is both a natural and celebrated part of life. We deliver premium, scientifically backed products free from stigma because everyone deserves to explore their wellness journey with confidence and peace of mind." Discover Oomf and Quanna's Intimate Revolution on www.byquanna.com , or on Amazon US.

Advyzon Announces New Custody and Retail Investment Infrastructure Integration with Apex Advisor Solutions

Thu, Feb 22, 2024 07:29 EST

Native integration pushes the boundaries of advisor and custodial technology Advyzon , a comprehensive service and technology platform and portfolio management solution for financial advisors and investment managers, today announced a new custody and retail investment infrastructure integration with Apex Advisor Solutions , a division of Apex Fintech Solutions Inc. (Apex) that empowers the future of wealth management with digital custody and clearing provided through Apex Clearing Corporation. The collaboration was announced during the inaugural Advyzon Conference , taking place February 20-22, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. Apex is also attending, sponsoring, and exhibiting at the conference, and will participate in a Custodial Technology Panel happening today at 8:55am PST. Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) use Apex's robust custody and clearing platform and capital structure to administer their client investment accounts, from real-time onboarding and account funding, to custody, trading, clearing, and cost basis and tax reporting. Now, they can harness the power of Advyzon's comprehensive, award-winning technology platform for advisors. The integration includes new account opening workflows, initial account funding, money movement, custodian fee file submission, and FIX trading. "At Apex, we're laser-focused on boosting RIA efficiency," explained Olivia Eisinger, GM of Advisory at Apex Fintech Solutions. "Our straight-through processing helps cut through the clutter by allowing operational processes like account opening and funding to be accomplished in a streamlined workflow. No more jumping through hoops and disparate steps - it's seamless and real-time. Secondly, advisors can initiate operational processes directly within Advyzon, a technology deeply integrated within the Apex Astra ecosystem, saving precious time and reducing frustrating system and context switching." Advyzon"s cloud-based platform for financial advisors combines portfolio management, customizable performance reporting, trading and rebalancing, client web portals, client relationship management (CRM), client billing, and document storage - plus a model marketplace with access to third party strategists and/or turnkey asset management via Advyzon Investment Management (AIM) . This comprehensive solution makes it easier for advisors to run their financial planning and investment advisory firms while managing their client accounts with efficiency. Advyzon is currently serving over 1,500 advisory firms. "We're very excited about our collaboration with Apex and have really enjoyed working with their team throughout the course of building out the integration," said John Mackowiak, Chief Revenue Officer at Advyzon. "We expect that a lot of what they're doing is going to be well received within the industry and is cutting edge from an integration perspective. I think some of the things that they're bringing to market are going to push custodial integrations to the next level."

Curious about the effects the BSR will have on your project?

Thu, Feb 22, 2024 06:09 EST

Written by: Ed Resek BSc (Hons) Associate Director ‑ Project Management Curious about the effects the BSR will have on your project? Supporting assets here The Building Safety Act has been described by government as the 'Biggest Changes to Building Safety for a Generation'. Arguably, the most impactful change at project level is the implementation of the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) as the building control authority for all Higher Risk Buildings. We have identified four key factors that project stakeholders need to understand about how the BSR will operate, and how it might impact on the delivery of projects under their remit. Note: the following information will be most relevant to projects in England. KEY PROJECT CONSIDERATIONS: 1.What is a Higher Risk Building (HRB)? Section 65 of the Building Safety Act 2022 states, with respect to buildings in design and construction: (1) In this Part "higher-risk building" means a building in England that - (a) is at least 18 metres in height or has at least 7 storeys, and (b) contains at least 2 residential units. Examples include residential buildings, mixed-use residential, care homes, hospitals, and student accommodation. Excluded are hotels, military barracks, prisons, and other secure residential institutions. Note: the criteria are slightly different for existing buildings. When establishing height, there are some parameters to consider: Measurement starts from ground level. If the building is on a slope, then measure from the lowest adjacent ground level. Measure to the proposed floor level of the top residential storey. Basements and below ground storeys are not counted. To qualify as a basement, all of the below ground storey's finished ceiling must be below ground. Non-residential parts situated above residential units i.e. plant levels are not counted, as per the diagram. The building only needs to meet one of the criteria, either over 18m or 7-storeys, to be considered an HRB. 2.Level of Scrutiny Although the BSR are focused on fire safety, which they define as spread of fire and structural failures posing a threat to life, they will have full responsibility over compliance with all parts of the building regulations, not just parts A and B. The BSR require several new documents at each of the 3 planning gateways, including construction control and phase plans, several other safety documents, and handover strategies. The BSR will essentially require a complete multi-disciplinary design, aiming for projects with no changes or variations. What this means for design and build contracts is not yet fully understood, but the type of documents the BSR requires will likely drive an increase in PCSAs being used to get to detailed designs. 3.Programme Implications It is clear that more time and effort will be required in the design stages to submit complete applications and secure the BSR's approval. The BSR will have a 12-week statutory period to review and respond to applications. This means they will operate like other statutory parties such as planning authorities and consultees, who cannot be consulted throughout the design process and will only provide feedback once their full review is concluded. Current understanding is that all applications, clarifications, and re-submissions to the BSR will be subject to the 12-week turnaround. For example, securing approval after one round of feedback and resubmission would take in excess of 24 weeks. It is imperative that project teams account for this lengthy engagement process, making allowance for the likelihood of rejected applications, within their pre-construction programmes. To mitigate this programme (and associated cost) risk, clients/project teams are advised to retain an approved inspector as part of the consultant team to assist the design and review it for compliance prior to submitting a BSR application. It is strongly recommended that only Class 3 registered approved inspectors are engaged, as the BSR has indicated its own inspectors will be Class 3. New guidelines here: Registered building inspectors - GOV.UK ( www.gov.uk ). 4.Cost Uncertainties Cost planning through the design stages is likely to be more uncertain because the scope, materiality, and methodology cannot be fully frozen until final approval by the BSR is secured. Typically, the design and costs would undergo an element of value engineering as a project progresses through the stages. Project teams will either need to allow for those exercises at design freeze, prior to BSR application; or run the risk of needing to re-submit and wait a further 12 weeks for subsequent approvals. This new protracted route to design approval, driven by the BSR's strict application and response process, will manifest a slower and more expensive pre-construction journey. Clients and project owners will need to account for this in business cases and project briefs; and may find that projects on the borderline of viability are harder to justify as a result. Finally, while only a small part of the overall costs of any significant project, there is also inherent uncertainty of the BSR's fees. There is an up-front £180 to be paid at the time of application, with BSR inspectors then charging £144 per hour spent reviewing applications. Forecasting these fees will be difficult, and only time will tell how the BSR will justify and seek to recover those fees. Watts are currently delivering projects that fall under the BSR's remit, and we have a good understanding of how to meet the BSR's needs so that you can plan accordingly. Please get in touch with our dedicated team at Watts should you need support navigating this new landscape.

Yad Vashem Reacts to the Neo-Nazi Rally in front of Tennessee's Capitol, 18 February 2024

Thu, Feb 22, 2024 05:01 EST

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is deeply troubled by the images and hateful antisemitic rhetoric witnessed at yesterday's neo-Nazi rally in Nashville, Tennessee. The message must be unequivocally; there is no place in our society for intolerance, racism or antisemitism. The imagery from the march through Nashville's streets evokes painful memories for Jews worldwide. The anti-Jewish ideology espoused by the Nazis served as a chilling prelude to the systematic extermination of six million Jews. We urge American leadership to establish national standards for Holocaust education across the United States, ensuring that the messages and lessons of the Holocaust are engrained on the national agenda. Yad Vashem remains steadfast in its commitment to raising public awareness through extensive educational and commemorative initiatives.

Consumer Choice, Not Necessity, Driving 10.7% Increase in Household Spend

Thu, Feb 22, 2024 05:00 EST

The latest analysis by finance experts, RIFT , has revealed that while the cost of living remains high, an increase in household spend appears to be driven by consumer choice rather than necessity, with restaurants, clothing and recreation driving a return to pre-pandemic spend levels. The analysis of ONS data by RIFT shows that the average household spend had been in decline since the pandemic, initially falling by -0.7% in 2020 and then by a further, far more notable, -18.1% in 2021. As a result the average weekly expenditure of UK households sat at £482, down from £592 in 2019. However, this figure has been climbing, with the high cost of living and increasing interest rates no doubt being a factor. In fact, the average weekly household spend increased by 9.8% to £529 in 2022 and is estimated to have climbed by another 10.7% in 2023. As a result, the average household spend now sits at £586, close to the pre-pandemic benchmark. The analysis by RIFT also suggests that while the cost of living remains high and many products have seen an annual increase in price, it's consumer choice that is driving this increase in household spend rather than necessity. RIFT's analysis shows that of the key components used to compile household expenditure, it's the restaurant and hotel category that has seen the largest increase in spend, up 47.4% between 2022 and 2023. Spending on clothing and footwear is also up by 38.6%, while there has been a 37.1% increase in spending on recreation and culture and a 12.1% jump in spend on miscellaneous goods and services. Household goods and services also make the top five increase with spending up 17.6%. Of course, while households may be spending more on less essential items, it's important to note that the increased cost of goods will also be influencing the increase seen in household spending, as highlighted by further analysis from RIFT using additional data from the Office for National Statistics's consumer shopping basket For example, within the restaurants and hotel category, items such as whiskey (+15.5%), gin (+14.8%) and draught fizzy drinks (+12.3%) have seen a double digit jump in price in the last year alone. Kids clothing has seen some of the largest increases within the clothing and footwear category, with boy's t-shirts (+22.7%), childrens pyjamas (+18.8%), kids jumpers (+18%) and girl's trousers (+17.6%) all seeing notable increases. Within the recreation and culture category, dog food (+16%) and their annual booster injections (+14.3%) are driving up costs, along with theatre tickets (+11.8%). Fabric conditioner (+15.7%) and curtains (+15.6%) have seen the biggest cost increases when it comes to household goods and services, while sunscreen (+13.1%), liquid soap (+13%) and women's hair dye (+12.4%) have seen the largest increases within the miscellaneous goods and services category. Bradley Post, MD of RIFT , commented: "Household expenditure had been on the decline during a tough pandemic period but over the last two years, we've seen the average spend climb, returning almost to pre-pandemic levels. There's no doubt that the higher cost of living has contributed to this increased cost, as many items have seen an increase in price over the last year alone. However, as our analysis shows, the increase in household spending seen in 2023 has been largely driven by non-essential purchases within social and recreational spending categories. This suggests that, having weathered the storm of the pandemic and the resulting economic instability, many households are now breathing a little easier when it comes to their finances and have the security to make purchases based on choice, not just necessity." Data tables and sources Average weekly household expenditure by year and core category sourced from the Office for National Statistics: Family spending workbook 1: detailed expenditure and trends . Breakdown of shopping basket items to have seen the largest annual increase in cost sourced from Office for National Statistics: Shopping prices comparison tool . Data tables and sources can be viewed online, here. Notes to Editors: - Tax and accounting specialists RIFT Tax Refunds are specialists that help claim tax back when you travel for work. The rules for a UK tax rebate can be tough to understand, but our RIFT tax specialists are the best in the business at handling travel and vehicle tax refunds for workers like you. With RIFT, online tax refunds are simple and stress-free. RIFT has claimed back over almost £308m in tax rebates for 126,249 customers since 1999 In 2021, RIFT made 31,313 calls to HMRC, spending over 11,000 hours on the phone. Contact ProperPR Press Enquiries James Lockett M: 07584 248960 T: 0207 856 0185 E: james@properpr.co.uk ProperPR Data Enquiries Alex Pericli M: 07979 262393 T: 0207 856 0185 E: alex@properpr.co.uk ProperPR

Cassandra Moan Joins The Vered Senior Community as Executive Director

Wed, Feb 21, 2024 15:04 EST

USC graduate part of the new wave of young professionals advocating for California's growing aging population Cassandra Moan, an emerging leader in aging services and recent graduate of the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, is the new executive director of The Vered in Encino. The upscale senior living community, managed by Momentum Senior Living , is set to open in October off Ventura Boulevard, offering assisted living and memory care to San Fernando Valley area residents. Moan is part of a new wave of young professionals advocating for California's growing aging population while working to provide unique services and supportive housing, implement new techniques and promote independence. "Some people go into their field and transition from one job to the next, but there's no passion behind their work. You have to have heart to be in this industry," she said. "Many of the young individuals in our field have a story behind why we're doing this work. We want to do better, and we want to make changes in the world that impact others." Watching her parents struggle to find quality memory care for her grandma, who had dementia for nine years, inspired the Huntington Beach native to explore gerontology and healthcare. "It was a challenging experience for our family because she was the first loved one we had to care for in that way," Moan said. "That experience greatly influenced my college and career choices. It made me want to help cultivate environments where resident well-being and safety take precedence, giving families peace of mind." Before joining The Vered in December, she was memory care director for The Variel in Woodland Hills, another new senior living community managed by Momentum Senior Living. She started as an intern executive assistant, working alongside Momentum's COO Jim Biggs, whom she initially met at USC, where he and Momentum CEO Josh Johnson teach gerontology classes. Moan also volunteered and interned at an advocacy nonprofit focused on enhancing resident care standards in California's senior care sector through consumer education and industry oversight. To help prepare for her eventual executive director role at The Vered, Moan worked closely with Biggs for several months before The Variel opened. During that time, she worked hands-on with each department on memory care practices, streamlining operations, prioritizing safety, enhancing hospitality standards and integrating new technology to create resident-centered programs. "Working there really helped me get to know the San Fernando community well. I understand their needs and wants and the lifestyle they want to have as they move from their private homes," she said. "I want to make the transition smooth so residents can still have an upscale, active and one-of-a-kind living experience where there's always something new to enjoy and explore." Moan also highlighted the advantage of her youth compared to most executive directors in senior living communities, emphasizing how it offers her a chance to provide fresh perspectives and experiment with new ideas. "I'm not set in my ways and I'm open to evolving best practices," she said. "My age also brings a sense of passion and enthusiasm to my work. I'm fully invested in making positive changes and adapting to new challenges." While The Vered is under construction, Moan spends her time in the community's Discovery Center, monitoring the building's progress, working on hiring and operation policies and procedures, researching new technology, and meeting prospective residents and their families. "I'm excited about seeing everything come to life - getting to know the first set of residents, creating the culture of the community and collaborating with them on their ideas and wishes," she said. "Everything can be mapped out perfectly on paper, but seeing it all come together, especially after months of hard work, gives all of us a sense of pride." For more information about The Vered, call 747.237.3467 or visit https://the-vered.com/

SGS Summarizes Proposal to Ban PFOA and PFOA-related Compounds in Japan

Wed, Feb 21, 2024 11:30 EST

SGS, the world's leading testing, inspection and certification company, has published SafeGuardS 028.24 to provide stakeholders with an overview of Japan's proposal to ban perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) isomers, their salts and PFOA-related substances. The proposal was announced by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and other competent authorities on February 1, 2024. Important provisions within the proposal include: Designating PFOA isomers, their salts and PFOA-related compounds, including perfluorooctyl iodide and 8:2 fluorotelomer, as Class 1 Specified Chemical Substances under the nation's 'Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of their Manufacture, etc.' (also known as the Chemical Substances Control Law, CSCL) Prohibiting the manufacture and import of PFOA isomers, their salts and PFOA-related compounds from the winter of 2024 Prohibiting the import of designated products containing PFOA isomers, their salts and PFOA-related compounds Prohibiting the use of PFOA isomers, their salts and PFOA-related compounds for applications other than approved (essential) uses Establishing technical standards for the handling of specified products that use these Class I Specified Chemical Substances (point 4 to proposal) SGS publishes SafeGuardS to keep stakeholders informed about regulatory and market changes that may impact their business. SafeGuardS 028.24 covers Japan's proposal and includes a table with highlights of the products being banned. Stakeholders are advised to review SGS's original SafeGuardS 028.24 for more information. According to the announcement, comments on the proposal will be accepted until March 1, 2024, when the one-month consultation ends. SGS Chemical Testing SGS offers a comprehensive range of testing services to help manufacturers and suppliers ensure their products are safe and comply with national and international regulations concerning harmful chemicals. In the end, it's only trusted because it's tested. Learn more about SGS Chemical Testing Services . SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full Japan Intends to Ban PFOA and PFOA-related Compounds SafeGuardS. Subscribe here to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox. For further information contact: Dr. HingWo Tsang Global Information and Innovation Manager Tel: (+852) 2774 7420 Email: cp.media@sgs.com Website: www.sgs.com/cp LinkedIn: SGS Connectivity & Products

Scott Andrews Joins Steptoe & Johnson's Huntington Office

Wed, Feb 21, 2024 09:36 EST

Scott W. Andrews has joined the Huntington office of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC as Of Counsel. His practice will focus on medical professional liability matters, including nursing home and long-term care facility defense. "I'm honored to be joining a firm as well respected as Steptoe & Johnson," said Andrews. "I look forward to working with the firm's strong litigation team and collaborating with other attorneys across the firm's footprint." Andrews brings 30 years of litigation experience, including the successful defense of cases involving medical negligence, abuse, wrongful death, malpractice, and general liability. He provides trusted legal counsel to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long-term care providers. Andrews has secured numerous victories for his clients in trials and appeals across state and federal courts. "We're pleased to welcome Scott to our Huntington office," said Steptoe & Johnson's CEO, Christopher L. Slaughter. "His knowledge and experience in nursing home defense will be a great addition to our well-established professional liability team." Andrews earned his law degree from the University of Louisville's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law and his bachelor's degree from Marshall University.

The 3rd Global MARCO New Consumer Report 2024

Wed, Feb 21, 2024 09:24 EST

American AI concerns unveiled: 74% fear job loss, 59% perceive threat 71% of Americans express worries about AI's creating potential biases. 64% of American consumers recognize AI's pivotal role in writing texts and creating/editing images but lack awareness of other uses. In a groundbreaking survey conducted by the leading communication agency MARCO in partnership with the pioneer in Research Technology Cint , the intricate landscape of opinions and emotions surrounding AI comes to light. The 3rd Global MARCO New Consumer Report 2024 reveals a striking contrast: in American attitudes-74% fear job loss due to AI, yet 58% anticipate easier lives, underscoring the complex tapestry of sentiments generated by artificial intelligence. The survey was carried out from December 2023 to January 2024, engaging a diverse sample of 7,300 consumers across 11 countries (Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, UK, and USA), with Cint playing a pivotal role in both reaching research audiences and collecting comprehensive data. This edition marks a significant shift, introducing comprehensive AI inquiries unlike the previous year's survey. The findings uncover ongoing worries among Americans, with 59% perceiving AI as a threat to humanity. Notably, 71% express concerns about AI contributing to biases and undesirable behaviors. Even with the majority of Americans believing AI can simplify their lives (58%), this figure is the lowest amongst all 11 countries surveyed, underscoring the negative American sentiments generated by this rapidly advancing technology. Moreover, trends conclude that American women are more apprehensive of AI than American men, with more American women (64%) believing AI is a threat to humanity compared to American men (55%). Additionally, among female American respondents, only 52% believe that AI will contribute to making their lives easier, as opposed to 64% among their male counterparts. "While AI might seem daunting, the key lies in education and awareness. Understanding the technology and its implications empowers individuals and helps demystify the fear surrounding AI. As we move forward, fostering a culture of education will be instrumental in embracing the opportunities AI presents to enhance our lives." emphases Didier Lagae founder of MARCO. As industries undergo digital transformation, understanding and addressing these concerns will be crucial for fostering a positive relationship between technology and the workforce. Regarding the most widely recognized AI applications, the majority of American consumers (64%) acknowledge its involvement in text writing and image creation/editing. Awareness levels drop for AI applications in education (47%), autonomous cars (46%), the medical field (40%), agriculture and livestock (22%). These statistics reflect a contradiction between familiarity and comfortability with AI's role in various aspects of daily life in America. Methodology: The survey aimed to explore and analyze consumer attitudes and awareness regarding artificial intelligence (AI) across 11 key markets. The research period spanned from December 2023 to January 2024, providing a comprehensive snapshot of contemporary views on global topics. The survey engaged a diverse sample of over 7,300 participants, representing countries with distinct cultural, economic, and technological landscapes. The included markets were Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, the UK, and the USA. This diverse selection aimed to capture a holistic understanding of global consumer behaviour. A structured questionnaire was designed to cover various aspects of media consumption, brand commitment, AI applications, sustainability and work culture. Participants were asked to respond to both closed and open-ended questions, allowing for quantitative and qualitative analysis. Full reporting of the survey carried out by the research department of MARCO in collaboration with Cint can be consulted on http://themarcosurvey.com/ .

Reigniting the Spark for Reading: Six Easy Ideas for National Reading Month & Read Across America Day in March

Wed, Feb 21, 2024 09:02 EST

As National Reading Month approaches in March and with Read Across America Day kicking off on the 2 nd , it's the perfect time to focus on rekindling the love for reading among students. Developing a student's passion for reading is more essential than ever, as it not only enhances literacy skills but also fosters creativity, critical thinking, and empathy. Here are six ideas to reignite a student's spark for reading this March: Reading Challenges and Rewards: Create or participate in a reading challenge tailored for National Reading Month. Whether it's a sticker chart, a reading bingo-style game, or a points system, challenges can motivate your child to read more. Set milestones and celebrate reading accomplishments with certificates, book vouchers, or even a special reading-themed outing. Author Visits and Book Clubs: Look for free author and book events at your local library or bookstore, or online. Having authors engage with learners can be an incredibly inspiring experience. Additionally, forming or participating in book clubs or reading groups can provide a sense of community and encourage discussions about books. Incorporate Technology: Embrace technology to celebrate! Use e-readers or audiobooks to accommodate various learning styles and preferences. Many educational apps and websites offer interactive reading experiences, quizzes, and discussions that can make reading more engaging. Create a Reading-Friendly Environment: Transform your learning space into an inviting reading environment. Decorate with cozy reading chairs or bean bags and baskets or shelves filled with diverse and exciting books. Encourage your child to contribute to the space by sharing their favorite literary quotes or book recommendations. Have a Book-to-Movie Night: Family movie nights are a great way to bring books to life. Discuss the similarities and differences between the book and its adaptation. You could start with standalone books like Jumanji , Alice in Wonderland , Bridge to Terabithia , or Charlotte's Web . Dive into a series like The Chronicles of Narnia , Percy Jackson & The Olympians , or The Maze Runner . Discuss the similarities and differences between the book and the movie. This practice engages the imagination and helps with cognitive development. Diverse Reading Lists: Introduce students to diverse and inclusive reading lists. Incorporate books that represent various cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. This not only helps students see themselves in literature but also fosters empathy by sharing different life experiences. Nurturing a love for reading is a fundamental aspect of education that goes beyond the classroom and academic achievement. It's a collective responsibility shared by parents, guardians, and educators to instill a lifelong passion for reading in children, helping them become not just better learners but also more empathetic and informed individuals. Remember, reading is not just a skill; it's a passport to countless worlds, a source of endless knowledge, and a bridge to empathy and understanding. So, embrace the joy of reading, and together, let's kindle the flames of curiosity, one page at a time. Happy reading during National Reading Month and Read Across America Day! About Insight PA's Reading Interventionists Title - Mrs. Ali Shaltes, Middle School Reading Interventionist (Photo HERE ) Years at Insight PA - 3 years Ali is passionate about getting her students excited about reading, and National Reading Month is one of her favorite times of the year. Many students come to her having had negative experiences with reading in the past, so she makes it her mission to expose them to a variety of genres and build their reading confidence to change their attitudes towards books. Each year she helps get library cards into the hands of students that didn't previously have them in hopes that they'll continue reaching for books once they move beyond her classroom. Suggested Resource - Power Library: Find a PA Library : Find a PA Library (you can type in your address, and it gives you a list of the 5 libraries closest to your house along with links to their websites for info on special events & driving/walking directions to each) Title - Ms. Shelly Wild, K-12 Special Education Reading Specialist (Photo HERE ) Years at Insight PA - 4th year As a K-12 Special Education Reading Specialist at Insight PA, Shelly is dedicated to celebrating the diversity of readers during National Reading Month. Using instruction rooted in the Science of Reading (SoR), she provides struggling readers with the foundational "building blocks" to help them become empowered, thoughtful readers. To learn more about Insight PA Cyber Charter School, an online public charter school that serves Pennsylvania students in grades K through 12 at no cost for families, or to enroll, visit https://insightpaschool.org/ or call 1.844.269.9230 for additional information. Suggested Resource - Resources for Parents: How Can I Help My Reader at Home?

Hiland Dairy Unveils Thrilling New Ice Cream Flavor Inspired by Silver Dollar City's New Indoor Roller Coaster Fire in The Hole

Wed, Feb 21, 2024 08:45 EST

Hiland Dairy, a household name for producing exceptional dairy products, is thrilled to announce its newest ice cream flavor, Fire in The Hole. This ice cream is sparked by the adrenaline-pumping excitement around Silver Dollar City's new indoor roller coaster opening this spring. Fire in The Hole ice cream is a delectable creation that pays homage to the rich history of the Ozarks. This thrilling new treat features creamy marshmallow-flavored ice cream, luxurious chocolate ribbons, and crunchy graham cracker pieces reminiscent of a classic s'more. Inspired by the legendary night when Baldknobbers lit up the mining town of Marmaros, Fire in The Hole ice cream captures the essence of that historical event. Just as the roller coaster puts riders in the shoes of the heroic townsfolk battling the blaze, this indulgent ice cream takes taste buds on a journey through time. It blends nostalgia with irresistible flavors, celebrating the spirit of the Ozarks. "We are thrilled to partner with Silver Dollar City to bring the magic of the Fire in The Hole roller coaster to our customers through our Fire in The Hole ice cream. Everyone loves the classic taste of s'mores, and this ice cream captures that flavor perfectly," said Sarah Carey, marketing manager of Hiland Dairy. The partnership between Hiland Dairy and Silver Dollar City has created three memorable ice cream flavors. It is a testament to their commitment to delighting customers with unique and memorable experiences. Hiland's Fire in The Hole ice cream is set to debut at retailers in April, with exclusive tastings at the theme park's Hannah's Ice Cream Shop on opening day, March 9. Opening in the spring of 2024, the custom-designed Fire in The Hole makes history as the Heartland's largest indoor coaster. The coaster will be located at Silver Dollar City's Fire District and will be the anchor attraction.

Valuxxo Pushes the Boundaries of Male Skincare with Innovative New Ingredients

Wed, Feb 21, 2024 06:19 EST

Pioneering make skincare brand Valuxxo is known for pushing the boundaries with its innovative formulas but has now taken its mission one step further with the addition of a powerful duo of ingredients which promise smoother skin after just one drop. Valuxxo's Regenesis Eye Contour Ampoule is a cutting-edge eye contour treatment, formulated with Syn-Ake and Haloxyl™. Together, they're an age-defying powerhouse, scientifically proven to visibly reduce the signs of aging skin. Created in the lab to mimic the magic of Mother Nature, Syn-Ake harnesses the power of synthetic biology to replicate the muscle-relaxing effect that snake venom has on the skin. This innovative approach to anti-ageing skincare provides targeted action against the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. A biomimetic peptide, Syn-Ake reduces the appearance of expression lines with targeted action against wrinkles. Used regularly, it also refines the skin's texture, for a smoother under-eye area and boost radiance, giving male skin a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance. Valuxxo has paired Syn-Ake with Haloxyl™, which works to reduce bags, ease puffiness and smooth away dark circles. Haloxyl™ gives the skin a tighter more toned appearance by stimulating the natural elimination of blood-originated pigments responsible for dark circles. It also improves lymphatic drainage, so the skin appears less puffy, boosts collagen which naturally depletes as the male body ages and strengthens delicate skin so it's more resilient to daily stressors which can lead to premature aging. Brought together in the Regenesis Eye Contour Ampoule, the dynamic duo works to target multiple skin concerns, offering users a comprehensive solution to under-eye skincare. The product is suitable for all skin types and results are visible within a few weeks of regular use. Valuxxo founder Valentino La Ciura said, "As a premium skincare collection, we invest heavily in ingredient research to uncover the most cutting-edge innovations and most powerful formulas. Syn-Ake and Haloxyl™ are game-changers for male skin care, effectively addressing dark circles and fine lines to plump up skin, refine and rejuvenate tired eyes." The Regenesis Eye Contour Ampoule is available now. RRP £32.90. To find out more about the Regenesis Eye Contour Ampoule, Syn-Ake and Haloxyl™ visit: https://valuxxo.com

Western Specialty Contractors Promotes David Grandbois to Manager of its Minneapolis Branch

Tue, Feb 20, 2024 13:24 EST

Western Specialty Contractors announces the promotion of David Grandbois to Manager of its Minneapolis, MN Branch. Grandbois has been the Assistant Branch Manager for the past four years. As Branch Manager, Grandbois is responsible for managing sales, daily operations and field personnel at the branch, plus developing new projects within the branch's territory. The Minneapolis Branch opened in 1960 and specializes in waterproofing and concrete and façade restoration. In 2019, the Minneapolis office expanded with the acquisition of a Duluth, MN-based restoration contractor and opened a satellite office there. Along with Minnesota, the branch also provides services to North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Northern Iowa. "I am excited for this amazing opportunity given to me by the Western team and the Bishop family. I look forward to carrying on the legacy created by those who came before me. The Minneapolis branch is a great team that I am happy to be a part of," said Grandbois. Grandbois joined Western Specialty Contractors' Minneapolis Branch as a Project Manager in 2015 where he held the position for nearly five years before being promoted to Assistant Branch Manager in February 2020. His construction career started in 2013 as a Civil Construction Management Engineer for Kiewit in Omaha, NE before accepting a Project Manager position with Hans Hagen Homes in Fridley, MN. Grandbois has a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. He is also a certified Concrete Surface Repair Technician - Tiers 1 and 2 through the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) and an Associate Constructor through the American Institute of Constructors. He has also achieved OSHA 30 certified training. Grandbois has been a member of the ICRI chapter since 2015, having previously served on the chapter's Education Committee, then as its Vice President, and its President in 2019. In 2024, he was elected to serve on the ICRI National Board of Directors as a Board-Member-at-Large for a three-year term.

Lawrence Group-Designed Springfield Clinic Offers Elements of Discovery, Positive Distraction to Ease Children's Fears of Visiting the Pediatrician

Tue, Feb 20, 2024 13:05 EST

For many children, a trip to the doctor can be anxiety-inducing or even downright scary. Pediatricians' offices have long tried to combat that fear by creating a softer and more child-friendly environment with toys, games and colorful décor, but what if the building itself was designed from the ground-up to directly address and distract from children's anxiety -- starting from the moment they pull into the parking lot? This was the concept behind Lawrence Group's design of the new $23 million Springfield Clinic pediatric center in Springfield, IL - a 41,500-square-foot facility consolidating multiple pediatric practices across Springfield under one roof, including general pediatrics, dermatology, lab and radiology services. The facility officially welcomed its first patients on Oct. 16, 2023. The general contractor on the project was O'Shea Builders of Springfield, IL. The project came to the design team through a longstanding relationship between one of Lawrence Group's business development professionals and the Vice President of Facilities, Real Estate and Construction at Springfield Clinic. "They were looking for something unique and different that still supported their brand but had a new approach, and it had to appeal to a wide range of ages from newborns to young adults in their early twenties, so that's where our expertise in ground-up construction and healthcare and hospitality design came into play," said Lawrence Group Director of Interiors Julie Steffens, NCIDQ. The building was designed inside out with pediatric patients and their caregivers in mind, employing an 'on stage' (patients) and 'off stage' (staff and providers) model that provides complete separation between these two groups for a seamless patient experience. "It's a trend in healthcare design that a lot of organizations are moving to from that experiential standpoint," Steffens said. The model was one that Springfield Clinic already had in the works at another facility under construction in Jackson, IL. Clinic administrators wanted to bring that same methodology and branding to all its clinics. With four pediatric practices across Springfield merging into one space under this new concept, the biggest question was whether it would work for all of them. "From a culture standpoint and operational flow, there's a lot of change that they are going to be going through for the good of the organization itself as well as the patient experience," said Steffens. Once there was buy-in from the various stakeholders, Lawrence Group proceeded to focus on creating a unique healthcare experience through interior and exterior design with a guiding principle of creating elements of distraction and discovery around every corner to reduce the stress of visiting patients. "The whole idea of this project is about a journey starting with that ride to the doctor's office and that connection between a parent and child or a caregiver and a child," said Steffens. "Those elements of distraction start when they arrive on site with strategically placed walking paths for safety that have these moments of discovery embedded with footprints and leaves, and exterior sculptures even before they get into the interior." Lawrence Group Design Architect Kevin Le used multi-hued terracotta baguettes across the building's façade, strategically placed to create an immediate visual impression as visitors pull up to and enter the building. The baguettes rise above the roofline on a slope, allowing the sky to peek through. "They wanted to be different and bring the future to this area as opposed to blending with what is there, furthering their mission and their brand identity," said Lawrence Group Architect and Project Manager Ganesh Sathyan. "We wanted to continue that feeling going inside, one surprise after another." Those surprises include large fish tanks, a slide that goes from the second floor to the first and a significant amount of artwork throughout the spaces, both on-stage and off-stage. Lawrence Group worked with St. Louis art consultancy TOC Artwork to curate a variety of both limited-edition and commissioned pieces, including two kinetic art sculptures installed on the exterior. "TOC really listened and tailored the artwork selections to the providers' vision. It's pretty unique to Springfield and they did tap into some local artists in the community for a few pieces," said Steffens. "The providers were so heavily invested in the art and that was the one piece where they could really personalize their spaces. Many of them use the artwork as a point of conversation to engage the patient and get them talking about something that's familiar to them." The artwork was carefully selected to tie into the color story created by the interior design team, with six colors used as a means of wayfinding. Each clinic corridor is identified by a unique color, thoughtfully applied so as to not be overwhelming when entering the space. More neutral fixed elements are brightened with pops of color in the artwork, furniture and accents. The design concept also had to support Springfield Clinic's brand, so the interior design team worked closely with the clinic's marketing and brand experience team to ensure proper execution. No project is without its challenges, and the biggest one for Springfield Clinic was its mid-pandemic timeline. With work starting early in 2020, the subsequent shutdowns caused substantial schedule shifts. Delays and shortages of materials also required advanced planning. The project's general contractor guided the Lawrence Group team on acquiring certain materials, like metal decking, long before they were needed in order to ensure procurement. Other materials had to be fully substituted due to extensive delays. "The pandemic taught us a lot and we experienced a lot of circumstances that forced us to think differently about how a project gets put together and gets built," Sathyan said. "In healthcare, very little for us has been cookie cutter. Every client is different and every solution is different. What we pride ourselves on is the fact that we're able to translate the dreams of our clients into reality. The client came to us with a vision to be a premier pediatric facility, and this is the end product." Throughout the entire design/build process, the Lawrence Group team kept the patient experience as its guiding principles for all decisions and solutions, knowing the profound impact the completed facility would have on the community's youngest members. "From the beginning, the entire team from the design team to the client side really came together and worked transparently and creatively. The final product is the result of trust, respect and team collaboration," said Steffens.