SMC club hosts Zumbathon to help fight cancer

SMC club hosts Zumbathon to help fight cancer

first_imgSaint Mary’s will join the fight against cancer with this year’s Pink Party Zumbathon hosted by the College’s Stand Up to Cancer Club this Saturday. The fourth annual Zumbathon will take place in Angela Athletic Facility from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is open to the public. Tickets are available at the door — $5 for students and $15 for the general public. Proceeds will benefit the Kelly Cares Foundation. According to the Kelly Cares Foundation website, Paqui Kelly, wife of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and started the Kelly Cares Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to help support other organizations that share the same values as the Kelly family — health, education and community.This is the first year Saint Mary’s club will be working to benefit an organization in the South Bend community. In previous years, the Zumbathon proceeds have gone to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the national Stand Up to Cancer organization.The Zumbathon was first started by Saint Mary’s alumnae and physical fitness instructor Kimmi Troy in 2014.“I’ve seen the success of other Zumba parties, and I knew that the potential for it to be here could be very big,” she said. “Cancer touches everyone in some way. Everyone has been affected.”Club president Catherine Smith said many of the event’s participants are members of the South Bend community.“It’s interesting to see the students and community interacting,” Smith said. “It’s really cool to see everyone come together to make a difference.”Junior Claire Condon, a member of the club, said there is a heightened sense of community between students and the public at the event. “Everyone’s from a different background, but they all come together for this one cause,” Condon said.Troy said the event can inspire others, both in the local community and on a national scale.“It has the ability to make someone want to fight more — someone who’s fighting cancer or someone who’s never experienced it,” she said.Troy said Zumba will be led by a variety of experienced instructors, each with their own style. There will also be vendors, refreshments and a limited number of free t-shirts at the event. She said she hopes people realize the long-term effects this event can have on others.“I hope that they walk out of here knowing that they made a contribution,” she said. “Not only will they walk out of here sweating and smiling, but their money is going toward saving lives.”Tags: cancer, Kelly Cares Foundation, SMC Stand Up to Cancer Club, zumba, zumbathonlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Saint Mary’s program promotes entrepreneurship in South Bend

first_imgThis year marks the fifth year of the SPARK program, which is put on by the Saint Mary’s College Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) through the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership. The SPARK program is a training program in entrepreneurship for female entrepreneurs in the South Bend area with high potential but without the resources to start up their own business.“Deciding to take on your dream and create a business from your own vision is takes a lot of courage and can can be terrifying without the right support,” senior Emerald Blankenship  said. “SPARK is the first step in this process for a class of inspiring women each year.”Blankenship is an intern for the SPARK program, and first became involved last fall.“I want to go into philanthropy, so volunteering for a nonprofit designed to help women launch startup businesses was right up my alley,” Blankenship said. “I did not know it would end up being one of the most influential experiences of my college career.”As an intern, Blankenship said she has a variety of responsibilities.“Since I study marketing as one of my concentrations, I get to help with media plans, market research and just answering general questions about the business process,” Blankenship said. “I also facilitate one or two classes depending on where there is a need.”Last year, Blankenship taught classes titled “Sales Forecasting and Making Sales” and “Social Media and Marketing Plan.” This year, she taught a class about “defining your target market,” Blankenship said.“With the SPARK program, you basically get a crash course in business,” Blankenship said. “The women who participate, SPARKlers, go through an 11-week session that touches on everything I’ve taken four years to learn.”SPARK — which stands for “screening,” “pre-accelerated program,” and “re-kindling the flame” — accepts candidates who are ready to start their own businesses. Then, the women participate in the course, and learn how to take their business ideas and turn them into a business.“SPARK is important because it helps create a community of female entrepreneurs,” Blankenship said. “There is a special, unexplainable sisterhood which develops between the SPARKlers throughout the course. They become intertwined and committed to helping one another. … We have the capacity to accept 28 women per session, and the alumnae of the program provide consistent support and insight to new participants each year.”This growth that the program has seen is expected to continue into the future, Blankenship said.“As we tally more and more successful launches from graduates of the SPARK program, the potential to grow the program and educate more women is something I see on the horizon,” Blankenship said. “Greater success typically will signal greater support from our community, which is exactly what this program needs.”Blankenship sees this connection between graduates of the program as representative of the sisterhood many experience at Saint Mary’s. “The SPARK sisterhood is a lot like the Saint Mary’s sisterhood,” Blankenship said. “We are given opportunities to put ourselves out there, and are often, if not always, met with a supportive community who genuinely wants us to succeed. SPARKlers feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. They are paving the way for women entrepreneurs in this community and impacting their own lives in big ways.”Tags: CWIL, entrepreneurship, SPARK, WEIlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Students to receive additional Flex Points

first_imgAs students enter the last couple weeks of the fall semester at Notre Dame, many are starting to spend their last few Flex Points at the Huddle, Starbucks and other on-campus eateries. Chris Collins | The Observer A notice board in North Dining Hall displays renovation plans for the building. Due to the renovations closing off large portions of the building, students will receive $250 of additional Flex Points next semester.Next semester, however, they may not encounter the same problem. Each student living on campus will receive an additional $250 in Flex Points due to large-scale renovations to North Dining Hall (NDH).Chris Abayasinghe, director of Campus Dining, said since the seating at NDH will be compressed starting in January, he needed to find ways to give students alternative meal options during peak dining hours.“We wanted to be thoughtful in providing options,” he said. “Because we understand that North Dining Hall’s your dining hall.”After examining dining behavior in previous spring semesters, Abayasinghe said Campus Dining was able to predict the times when the renovation project will impact student life the most — around dinnertime on weekdays, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.“Students will probably dine the way they normally dine for breakfast,” he said. “I think they’ll dine the way they normally dine for lunch because some of it is based on proximity, and the other part of it is based on routine.”The change will probably affect dinner, Abayasinghe said, because students tend to eat at the dining hall closest to their residence halls in the evenings. So hopefully, he said, the additional Flex Points will allow students to dine at other on-campus locations if NDH is overcrowded.Other campus eateries — like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Subway, Smashburger, Reckers and Au Bon Pain — have the capacity to handle an influx of students during dinnertime, Abayasinghe said, for they already receive much more traffic during the lunch hours.“Based on this and based on our evaluation, we really feel that having these points will help shift some of that dinner traffic into the Huddle,” Abayasinghe said.Campus Dining also plans to introduce a “continuous dining” system in both dining halls, so students can eat at any point in the day — not just during specified meal times.“We understand that there is the potential for displacement,” Abayasinghe said. “But we anticipate that — especially at dinner, when the compression happens — that we have the capacity to handle it.”Right now, most on-campus students are registered for the Gold meal plan, which provides them with up to 14 meals in the dining hall each week and $410 Flex Points each semester. All students paying housing fees receive a meal plan through Campus Dining with no additional charges.Funding for the increase in Flex Points will be included in the multi-million dollar renovation project budget. Abayasinghe said Campus Dining decided not to reallocate the money for some of students’ weekly meal swipes to Flex Points because they didn’t want to limit dining options even more.Fifth-year Tom Nye, a member of the Executive Advisory Committee for the NDH renovation project, said he appreciates that — because he thinks the Notre Dame community places a value on eating together.“It’s so much a part of life on and off campus, but especially when it takes place in the dining hall,” he said. “I think that would be another driving factor of how seriously Campus Dining considered the potential crunch.”Students living off campus — even those with meal plans — will not receive extra Flex Points, Abayasinghe said.“Let’s say, for example, you have a block plan with certain points,” Abayasinghe said. “We’ve provided them as a convenience for students to dine while they’re on campus. But we acknowledge that students who are living off campus also eat off campus — have kitchen facilities and things like that.”“From that perspective, in the scope of this and based on the feedback through the committees, we really looked at focusing on the on campus students,” he added.Nye, a resident assistant in Dunne Hall, said he also thinks off-campus students frequent the dining halls for lunch more often than they do for dinner.“The crunch at dinner — I would add that that’s the time your residence hall plays the greatest role,” he said. “I live in Dunne, where I’m more likely to go to North at night. Where at lunch, I’m an archie, I’m more likely to go to south. The data sort of proved the anecdotal evidence that that would be the general trend.”Nye said providing students with a higher amount of Flex Points will allow them to dine at places they would now frequent if the dining hall is closed or too busy.“I think now with a smaller capacity at North, you’d more frequently go to these places anyway,” he said “And I think Campus Dining recognizing that is pretty thoughtful. It’s a way to alleviate any sort of impact that would affect the students due to this necessary construction.”And hopefully, the end result will be well worth the hassle, Abayasinghe said.“When that new dining hall opens — wow,” he said. “That’s all I can say.”Tags: flex points, North Dining Hall, renovationlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Bee bonanza

first_imgFor pros and newbiesClasses are designed with both veteran beekeepers and the curiousin mind. Presentations are set in two tracks, one for experiencedbeekeepers and another for beginners.This year’s participants will learn the latest research-basedinformation on Africanized honeybees from David DeJong. Aresearcher at the University of San Paulo, Brazil, DeJong is anexpert on AHBs. He’s viewed as the world authority on them.Bob Danka of the U.S. Department of Agriculture bee lab in BatonRouge, La., will also be a guest lecturer. Danka studies AHBs,Russian bees, tracheal mites, bee breeding and pollination.Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine, UGA honeybee expertKeith Delaplane and an array of other experts will also leadworkshops. Best honey contestOne of the most popular aspects of the institute is the honeyshow. Besides a variety of honeys, the show will include beeswax,candles, photography, art and beekeeping gadgets. The show’swinners will get cash awards.The cost per person is $65 for one day or $105 for both days.Training and exams for certified or entry-level beekeepers are inthe beginners track on Friday and Saturday. Training and examsfor Certified, Journeyman, Master and Master Craftsman beekeepersand Welsh Honey Judges will be given before the institute on May18. Fees are charged for these exams.Due to space constraints, the institute is limited to 150participants. To register or learn more, call (706) 542-9035. Orgo to the institute Web site, www.ent.uga.edu/Brochure-06.pdf. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaThis year’s Beekeeping Institute will cover everything from honeyprocessing to bee breeding at Young Harris College May 19-20 inYoung Harris, Ga.In its 15th year, the institute is a joint venture between thecollege and the University of Georgia Department of Entomology.Over the years, it has become the most comprehensive beekeepingeducational event in the Southeast.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Europe’s green utilities outperforming competitors in current downturn

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Europe’s green energy companies are emerging as shelter for investors in market fallout from the coronavirus.Utilities in the region are holding up better than other industries in the health crisis. While the Stoxx 600 Index of European shares fell 21% since the start of the year, the utilities component of that measure has declined only 14%. Within that, renewable power producers are outperforming their less green rivals.The trend is most clear in Europe, where renewables developers rely on power purchase agreements and feed-in tariffs for the electricity they sell. Those deals have left the greener utilities insulated from the slump in power prices that followed lockdowns in major markets.The best performers are the greenest utilities including the Danish offshore wind developer Orsted A/S along with Italy’s Enel SpA and Energias de Portugal SA. Others more dependent on wholesale power prices include Centrica Plc, Engie SA and Electricite de France SA, each of which has scaled back dividends and withdrawing earnings guidance because of the jolt from the virus.“When we run scenarios around the impact of Covid-19, we find that networks and renewables segments are largely insulated,” Deepa Venkateswaran, a managing director at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. LLC. “We see the long-term renewables growth trends unchanged. For integrated and power price exposed companies, market reactions are in line with our deeply depressed worst-case estimates.”The pandemic and subsequent economic downturn “will marginally delay the renewable energy transition, but it will not be knocked off course,” analysts including John Musk at RBC Europe Ltd said. “Project delays may occur due to supply-chain disruption, but equally there could be positives as renewables operators may even see reduced competition in bids by more challenged and leveraged players.[Rachel Morison, Ronan Martin]More: Green utilities are proving a safe haven in market rout Europe’s green utilities outperforming competitors in current downturnlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Daily Dirt: World Record Base Jump, Upper Yough Paddling Season Begins, Columbia Acquires Prana

first_imgWORLD RECORD BASE JUMP IN DUBAITalk about riding high. Two French skydivers set the world record for highest base jump last Monday in Dubai. Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet dove off of the Burj Khalifa building, which stands at 2,700 feet.Both men practiced jumping off the nearby Lauterbeunnen Mountain for several days, which is close to the same height at the Burj Khalifa. They also dove from several helicopters in preparation.While several have already jumped from the Burj, this is the highest yet. Check out the dizzying video here.UPPER YOUGH SEASON BEGINS MAY 3RDMaryland’s busy Upper Youghiogheny River opens for paddlers on May 3rd. The takeout town of Friendsville, Maryland doubles its population on release weekends, so the town is requesting paddlers do all they can to minimize their impact, including parking respectfully on Maple Avenue to avoid blocking traffic.  American Whitewater will maintain the put-in facility in Sang Run for the 11th consecutive year. They are encouraging paddlers to make donations towards upkeep expenses: a suggested $2 per visit or $20 for the season.Columbia Acquires PranaGlobal outdoor apparel, footwear and accessories company Columbia Sportswear announced it signed an agreement to acquire Prana — the active lifestyle brand that started in 1992 making yoga and rock climbing inspired apparel. Majority owner Steelpoint Capital Partners and all other minority stakeholders will sell to Columbia for $190 million in cash or roughly 13 times Prana’s projected 2014 EBITDA, according to sources.Columbia is a public company (NASDAQ: COLM) and Prana joins its portfolio of outdoor brands distributed globally: Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel and Montrail. Prana will remain headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., and Scott Kerslake will remain CEO of Prana, reporting to Columbia President and CEO Tim Boyle.last_img read more

Continue Reading

U.S. Navy Medical Team Begins Subject Matter Expert Exchanges in Honduras

first_imgBy By Petty Officer 3rd Class Katie Cox October 11, 2018 U.S. Navy medical professionals assigned to Southern Partnership Station’s (SPS) Fleet Health Engagement Team (FHET) arrived in Honduras September 14th to begin subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and partner capacity building engagements with Honduran medical and emergency management professionals in Tegucigalpa as part of SPS 2018. SPS’ FHET will conduct SMEEs with Honduran representatives focused on specific topics such as tactical combat casualty care (TCCC), preventative medicine, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) response procedures, and insect-borne disease prevention. “We have a set of experiences from Iraq and Afghanistan and our partner nations have a lot of their own experiences,” said Lt. Cmdr. Rachel Carter, an emergency and family medicine physician assigned to the FHET. “By sharing and discussing the evidence from these experiences, we come up with the best practices to prevent unnecessary loss of life in trauma and disaster situations.” Following productive visits to Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago, this stop marks the third FHET engagement during SPS. The FHET is scheduled to conduct their final mission stop of SPS in El Salvador to work alongside the nation’s military forces, security forces, and civilian health professionals. Engagements like these hone participants’ skills in a variety of knowledge and skills, including HADR. “When there are disasters and you need to rely on partner nations, you want to know their capabilities and capacity to respond,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stefanie Nochisaki, a public health nurse assigned to SPS’ FHET. “This helps us to better understand each other and how each other operates and functions in these situations.” Southern Partnership Station’s FHET medical exchanges will continue to lay the groundwork for future endeavors. “I feel the medical exchanges during Southern Partnership Station 2018 will lay a good framework and excellent foundation for future partnerships,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Osei Bonsu, an independent duty corpsman assigned to the FHET. “Practicing together as a team improves our relationships as ‘teammates’ for future missions.” Held on an annual basis by U.S. Southern Command and executed by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Southern Partnership Station is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on SMEEs with partner nation militaries and security forces in the Caribbean, Central and South America. Focused on enhancing cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services, SPS aims to improve operational readiness for all participants. Additionally, the mission will provide an opportunity for U.S. and partner nations to operate in a multinational environment, refine coordination, improve interoperability, and demonstrate flexibility. SPS is a demonstration of the strong U.S. commitment to partners in the Caribbean, Central and South America, fostering goodwill and enhancing our collective ability to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. SPS will conclude in October 2018. For more news about Southern Partnership Station 2018, visit https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/SouthernPartnershipStation2018, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SouthernPartnershipStation/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NavySPS/, or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/southernpartnershipstation/last_img read more

Continue Reading

March 15, 2005 On the Move

first_imgOn the Move Michael Holt and Brian Baggot were recently named as partners with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell. Holt works in the Miami office and has been an associate with the firm since 2000. He practices in the areas of commercial and consumer litigation, general liability defense, and pest control litigation. Baggot works in the Tampa office and practices in the areas of civil trial defense, including commercial litigation, insurance defense, and pest control litigation. Before joining the firm, he served for six years as a United States Army judge advocate. (Editor’s Note: In the March 1 News , we mistakenly reported that Francis H. Sheppard had been named a partner with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, when in actuality he has been with the firm for 20 years, having joined the firm after graduating law school in 1984. He has served as managing partner with the firm since May 2004.) Andrew J. Fruit, Jennifer G. Roeper and Sally T. Woodward joined Fowler White Boggs Banker in Tampa as associates. Fruit practices in the firm’s corporate, securities, and finance practice group. Roeper concentrates on immigration and naturalization. Woodward concentrates in the area of general business, corporations, limited liability companies, and transactional work. R. Gene Aldridge also joined the firm in Jacksonville and concentrates in the area of real estate. Evan B. Plotka announces the formation of his firm with offices at 7771 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Atrium West, Suite 122, Sunrise 33351; phone (954) 334-7600; fax (954) 334-7755. The firm concentrates in the areas of construction litigation, commercial litigation, and probate and guardianships. William Banks and Astrid Guardado joined Becker & Poliakoff in Tampa Bay. Banks focuses on business immigration. Guardado focuses on multi-party civil litigation with an emphasis on construction, real estate, commercial and employment law litigation, and insurance defense. Additionally, Jennifer Perelman, Laurel Wiley, and Georg Ketelhohn joined the firm in Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Perelman joined the commercial litigation practice group; Wiley joined the commercial litigation and community association groups; Ketelhohn joined the construction law group. Gregory P. Borgognoni, Nicolas J. Gutierrez, Jr., and Hugo Arza announce the formation of Borgognoni, Gutierrez & Arza in Miami. The firm concentrates in the areas of complex commercial litigation, health care, intellectual property, government relations, real estate, and business. The office is located at 2665 S. Biscayne Dr., Suite 701, Miami 33133. Alan H. Baseman was named partner in the Palm Beach Gardens firm Comiter & Singer. Nancy S. Paikoff was named shareholder in Macfarlane, Ferguson & McMullen in Clearwater. Paikoff practices in the areas of health care, medical malpractice defense, and business and corporate. Luis Martinez-Monfort was elected shareholder of Mills Paskert Divers in Tampa. Martinez-Monfort is chair of the firm’s bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice group. David S. Johnson and Matthew J. Moore were made partners of Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Tampa. Johnson concentrates in defending errors and omissions claims against insurance and real estate agents and profession liability claims against attorneys. Moore is member of the pharmaceutical and medical device litigation group. Jonathan M. Streisfeld was named a partner in Brinkley, McNerney, Morgan, Solomon & Tatum in Ft. Lauderdale. Streisfeld concentrates in the area of business litigation. Thomas F. Asbury and Douglas E. Myers III joined Tritt & Franson in Jacksonville. Asbury concentrates on real estate law and Myers concentrates on commercial litigation. Julia M Cook joined the Law Offices of John C. Bovay in Gainesville. Stewart Fried joined Kilpatrick Stockton in Washington D.C. Fried concentrates in the areas litigation and dispute resolution matters. Jon L. Mills joined Upchurch, Watson, White & Max in Daytona Beach as a mediator. Richard Kuper joined the Miami-Dade League of Cities as executive director. The Merlin Law Group was recently formed and will concentrate on representing insurance claimants with insurance disputes and claims. Formerly Gunn-Merlin, The Merlin Law group will continue to maintain its offices on Harbour Island in Tampa. Andrea J. Christle joined Jupiter Law Center in Jupiter. Christle handles matters including wills and estates, real estate, divorce, bankruptcy, personal injury, criminal law, and litigation. Kenneth J. McKenna and William E. Ruffier were made partners in Dellecker, Wilson & King in Orlando. David Bond was made a partner in White & Case in Miami. Bond heads the firm’s international trade practice group. John J. Fumero of Lewis, Longman & Walker was made a shareholder in the firm. Fumero practices in the areas of environmental, land use, and governmental law. Won-Young Jung joined Akerman Senterfitt in Ft. Lauderdale as a legal consultant in the corporate practice group. Additionally, Vitauts Gulbis joined the firm in Tampa as of counsel in the tax group. David E. Menet was named a partner in Salter, Feiber, Murphy, Hutson & Menet in Gainesville. Menet focuses on real estate and business law. Monique Edwards was appointed to serve as executive counsel to the secretary of the Department of Natural Resources by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco. Alan S. Grunspan, Niall T. McLachlan, David J. Smith, and Jason R. Alderman joined Carlton Fields in Miami. Richard Celler announces the opening of The Celler Legal Group. The firm concentrates in helping employees recover unpaid overtime, final paychecks, and other wages. The firm can be reached at (954) 243-4295 or www.floridaovertimelawyer.com. Jackson & Hardwick and Morris & Schneider announced a merger and will be called Morris Hardwick Schneider. Michael Keller joined Lott & Friedland in Ft. Lauderdale and will head the firm’s chemical, pharmaceutical, biomedical, and medical devices patent practice group. Natalie J. Carlos was named a partner of Adorno & Yoss. Carlos concentrates in the areas of commercial litigation and appellate practice. Elizabeth A. Martialay joined Shutts & Bowen in Miami as a partner in the firm’s financial services industry practice group. Mark Casteel, Jack B. Tuter, Jr., and Bill Wichmann were made partners in Conrad & Scherer. The firm has opened a new office in Tallahassee and concentrates in malpractice defense and corporate law. Additionally, David E. Irwin, Sara Walters, Albert “Chip” Hutzler, and Jacqueline A. Taylor joined the firm as associates. Carlos Fernandez joined Abadin, Jaramillo, Cook & Heffernan in Miami. Fernandez focuses in complex commercial litigation, professional liability litigation, medical negligence, and insurance defense. Jeanne A. Liebegott has joined Katz Barron in Miami as an associate. Liebegott practices in the areas of land use and zoning, real estate, and business and corporate matters. Craig V. Rasile of Hunton & Williams in Miami was chosen to lead the bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice group. Carrie Freeman Weintraub joined the Professional Recruiting Division of Sterling Management Resources, Inc. Weintraub recruits attorneys at all levels for law firms and corporations in Florida. Mary Lou Powell joined Investors Title Insurance Company in South Carolina as vice president of underwriting operations and marketing. Brian H. Pollock opened the Law Office of Brian H. Pollock at 3550 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 400, Miami 33139. The firm practices civil litigation, and provides personalized legal representation, advice and counseling to individuals and growing businesses. Pollock can be reached by phone (305) 807-5377, and by fax (605) 675-8260. Brett J. Schneider joined Akerman Senterfitt in Ft. Lauderdale as a labor and employment associate in the litigation department. March 15, 2005 On the Move March 15, 2005 On the Movelast_img read more

Continue Reading

You can’t shake hands in cyberspace

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joe Winn What do you get when you mix auto loan programs with a desire to help others? Well, approaches that make a difference, of course. So what do you get when … Web: credituniongeek.com Details Sometimes, audio is enough. Just because you can use video doesn’t mean you must. Recognize the potential for personal intrusion it has over audio-only. Help equip your team with good cameras, lighting, and mounts/stands for their cameras (Trust me, being well-angled and lit makes such a difference both for you and other’s confidence) Make it ok to mute or turn off video during conversations. It’s like casually looking away in-person; not a bad thing. If someone stares you in the eyes constantly in-person, it’s uncomfortable. Don’t force video chats to be “casual”. It feels weird. Empower your team to set up one-on-one or group conversations in the same vein as they would just meet up in the kitchen or hallway. Business meetings match your culture now as before. Of course, also … use it like kids in remote schooling; to let your team express themselves and show off (if they want) part of what makes them happy. (Every kid wants to share their toys, bedroom, and walk the class through their house.) Recognize that you can’t look people in the eye while looking them in the eye (even if it looks that way) The bottom line on keeping team engagement going is to help it be as close to organic as it would be in an office. And you can carry this over to members as well!For member interactions which previously happened in-person, provide the option for them to use a video chat. Offer a simple video guide on your app or website to get them going. Sure, this is a rip-off of your ITM video tellers, but members don’t have to go somewhere.See? That you already have or are considering them means you’re on your digital transformation journey! We’ll make it all as good as in-person, you just watch!Except for that shaking hands thing. You’re expecting another, “back in the days before COVID-19” reminiscing post. Too bad. This topic came to me years ago. You know, BC…Before Coronavirus. Yes, that time really did exist. It’s not just a dream.Why mention the time frame?Because it helps you understand that some of today’s challenges aren’t new. For many, remote work is our normal. In fact, getting to meet people IRL (in real life) was a special treat! In case it’s not obvious, the “our” here is me. I work remotely.Take a look at some of my event posts to feel the excitement of being around other people. Yes, even for this introvert.What’s Changed?Ha! What hasn’t changed? Amirite? There’s no minimizing the enormous impact that-virus-which-shall-not-be-named has on society and business. Many, if not all of us, had to adapt to rapidly-changing norms and precautions.When in-person became “no way”, those who could and weren’t already took shelter online. You joined us on Zoom, a platform we’ve been accustomed to for years. It’s like we’re innovators. Ok, not the way to blaze new paths. You’re welcome here as long as you need.What Hasn’t Changed?People want to interact with other people.In fact, maybe that’s changed too, because in our physical isolation, the desire to connect is even higher. Either way, for some things, there’s no replacement for an in-person experience.At the same time, the concepts of digital transformation charge onward. Sure, it meant moving faster than you ever thought possible, but you did that because you’re awesome. Now, it’s time to think about the why. “Why did we need to implement these digital solutions?”Yes, an unprecedented global event happened. I suppose we can’t really ignore it. At the same time, it forced an acceptance of where things are moving. Tasks which can be made easier and more convenient by using an app or website … should.This is a golden time to look at what parts of your operation should be driven by human interactions and which can improve with digital ones. Naturally, there will be overlap, but that awareness can help guide your planning strategy, no matter what crazy events transpire.Digital transformation doesn’t mean making everything digital. It means evolving to provide the best service, experience, and human connection with the right tools in the right ways. At your core, you’re a bunch of people working to help lots more people.How to Adapt?To be honest, the hardest part is the human element. Sharing data or other forms of information (interactive charts, whiteboard, etc.) is actually easiest on a platform like Zoom. Cue that time your whole team struggled to load a file off a USB drive for the meeting.Digital stuff works great on these services. Cloud-based sharing makes secure and simple transfers possible. No more wondering if that computer’s USB ports are disabled, or if this browser is allowed to load Dropbox. Or if your emails went to spam.Where we struggle most, and I bet you also, are the casual interactions. For all the love I have for great Zoom happy hours, you know it’s not the same as actually meeting up. As of now, no tech can replace that experience (I’m looking at you, future Apple AR Glasses).There’s real value to meeting in person, even if we’re wearing masks. Since that’s not a feasible or potentially safe option for many people, here’s some suggestions on comfortably embracing video chat (with qualifications):last_img read more

Continue Reading

2015: So Much TV, So Little Time

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Every time I think back to the past year in television, I’m reminded of Andy Samberg’s clever introduction to the 2015 Emmy Awards: he suddenly escapes to an underground bunker and resurfaces a year later after finally watching the top shows of the year.Never have I’ve been so exhausted sitting on the couch than I was this year. Binge watching has become the norm in our household because we can hardly keep up with our favorite shows. Combine our maxed-out DVR with the ever-growing stack of newspapers and magazines under the coffee table, and it’s a shock we even make it out of the house!I’m not here to tell you which show was better than the rest. How could I? From cable, to network television and Netflix to Amazon, the deluge of content makes it nearly impossible to name a top show. If this so-called Golden Age of television has done anything, it has made it easier to weed out all the bad stuff on the tube—and they are legion.Here’s a brief recap of my favorites from this past year:Keri Russell and Matthew Rys play KGB spies in FX’s “The Americans.” (Photo credit: The Americans/Facebook)The AmericansDuring each awards season I mine the list of nominated shows carefully to see if The Americans has finally received its just due. Alas, FX’s incredible Cold War spy drama has been left out in the cold once again. You’d think those people responsible for nominating the top shows are still suffering from Cold War-fatigue. Their failure to give a nod to The Americans is proof that the award season is a bunch of corporate-manifested garbage designed to drive viewers to a supreme state of anxiousness so they fly to their TV screens and consume everything their advertisers so badly want them to watch. But I digress. For the uninitiated, The Americans follows Russian KGB spies Elizabeth and Philip in 1981 as they deftly balance their perceived ho-hum suburban life with their responsibilities to the Soviet Mother Land. Instinctively you want to hate the couple for their murderous misdeeds, but we’re left to root for them, if not for their sake, but for their two innocent children, one of whom has already been partly sucked in to their life of lies.(Photo: HBO/Game of Thrones)Game of Thrones[SPOILERS!!] After four long seasons we finally got to see what winter looks like, and it’s a hell of lot scarier than we ever imagined. The destruction heaped on the Wilding enclave of Hardhome by the White Walkers was nothing compared to season five’s final scene in which a know-nothing Jon Snow is lured into a trap and stabbed repeatedly by fellow members of the Night’s Watch because they think he’s committed treason. The season was not without controversy, as it again featured brutal rapes of women and went too far, even by GOT standards, when a poor child was burned at the stake. We can’t wait to see where we go from here. Will Jon Snow return? Probably. What will come of Daenerys? And what does the return of Bran Stark mean for Westeros?Rami Malek (R) and Christian Slater (L) play skilled hackers in USA Network’s “Mr. Robot.” (Photo credit: USA Network/Mr. Robot)Mr. RobotAfter the show’s premiere, we wrote that Mr. Robot would save our summer. The USA series more than lived up to the hype. The show was so dark at times that the week in between episodes served as a much-needed reprieve. Mr. Robot went where no show has gone before it by ushering into the mainstream the shadowy world where hacktivists—digitally savy Robin Hood types—who use their talents to upend the status quo and seek to expose our corporate overlords with the hope of spawning a long-delayed, but much-needed revolution.‘Breaking Bad’ creator Vince Gilligan hit a homerun with spinoff sequel ‘Better Call Saul,’ starring Bob Odenkirk.Better Call SaulNo show had more pressure to succeed then AMC’s Better Call Saul, the much-hyped Breaking Bad spinoff written by Vince Gilligan himself. Bob Odenkirk’s depiction of lowlife attorney Saul Goodman, Albuquerque’s slimiest criminal defense lawyer, was so masterful that AMC knew fans demanded more. Now we get the back-story of how Jimmy McGill, a career con man turned struggling lawyer, becomes Saul Goodman. McGill’s early pitfalls explain a lot about Breaking Bad’s Goodman, and now it’s easy to see why he and Walter White, although sometimes hostile toward one another, were a perfect match. Both yearn for greatness. Each probably has the talent to break the bonds of mediocrity, but instead chooses the easy way out. Sometimes a person can only take so much.Peter Quinn has had a tough go at it this season. First he was enlisted to kill Carrie and then he was shot and poisoned with sarin gas. (Photo credit: Homeland)HomelandThe CIA thriller became such a disappointment after its first season that even I couldn’t justify hanging on for another year. I was so down on the show that I didn’t even know the season 5 premiere had aired until a colleague reminded me that Carrie and her quivering lip had returned to Showtime. Give it a shot, she told me. And so I did. Three weeks ago we documented why we fell back in love with the show, so I won’t be long-winded. Taking Carrie out of the CIA and placing her in Germany to work as a civilian was exactly what Homeland needed. The season felt more like a reboot than a continuation of season 4, which was marred by uninspired writing and unnecessary rage-inducing scenes, Carrie’s near-drowning of her baby daughter chief among them. But this time we had three strong women who took it upon themselves, it seemed, to save the series. The showrunner’s ability to navigate modern day politics also moved the show back on track. Let’s hope it doesn’t careen into TV oblivion once again in season 6.Master of NoneAziz Ansari is well on his way to cultural iconic status. The Parks and Recreation star has been busy since NBC’s hit show completed its 7th and final season last February. He navigated a comedy tour and had his first book published, which turned into a best seller. Ansari has not grown complacent. Master of None, released on Netflix in November, follows Ansari’s character, Dev, as he contemplates important societal and cultural issues from one episode to the next.The Man in the High CastleLet the streaming wars begin! Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle is the latest binge-worthy show to hit our digital library, and it may very well be one of the best. The show, based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, documents an alternate history in which the United States and its allies lose World War II and is subsequently conquered by the Nazis. The Nazis share the US with Imperial Japan, and as the show moves we see tension arise as the Japanese suspect that Germany may soon renege on the agreement. A small but persistent band of resistance fighters eager to see America rise once again are in pursuit of explosive propaganda videos created by the so-called “Man in the High Castle,” that if viewed by the general public could incite mayhem.last_img read more

Continue Reading