Welcome to the Maritime 21st Century and the New Quest for the Golden Fleece

first_imgI remember as a child being glued to the TV, watching famous oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau navigate his way under the sea. I found myself entering this magical world, where I could join endless varieties of fish in their natural habitat and wonder at the strange beauty of the marine landscape.The ocean’s potentialCousteau was a true pioneer, a visionary ahead of his time. Back in the 1970s, he spoke of the oceans’ potential, predicting a time when the world’s energy crisis would be solved by harnessing tidal and temperature changes in the sea; when metal ores would be mined from the ocean bed and when farmers in diving suits would gather food from marine plantations.Fast forward to today and I continue to be passionate about the ocean. As the Maritime Business Development Leader with Dell EMC OEM, it’s pretty exciting that the company I work for plays an important part in marine innovation.Revolutionising deep-sea explorationExactly why The Arggonauts from the Fraunhofer IOSB in Karlsruhe are using mobile robotics to revolutionise deep-sea exploration. The team is using customised Dell EMC workstation technology – the Dell EMC Precision  7910 – to power a cost-effective solution that maps the bottom of the ocean at a depth of several thousand metres.Powered by Intel® Xeon® processors, the Dell EMC workstations control remote operated vehicles from the shore as well as capturing subsea data camera images. HPC Datacentre compute renders the images and translates data into maps while Artificial Intelligence is used to quickly classify images from the unstructured data.Unmanned underwater technologies and advanced imaging systemsAs the only German group in the prestigious International Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition, the Arggonauts, under the leadership of Gunnar Brink, are ranked as just one of nine successful teams from around the world, who have made it through to the final round from the original line up back in 2016. With a prize fund of $7 million, this marine competition aims to discover the mysteries of the deep by combining the power of unmanned underwater technologies with mapping and advanced imaging systems.A modern day Jason, searching for the Golden FleeceFor me, this is Greek mythology reimagined – picture a modern day Jason on the Argo, travelling in unchartered waters, equipped with robotics in his quest for the Golden Fleece!In the final round, scheduled for this November, the Arggonauts will go head-to-head with the other finalists in a field test. The team’s specially designed, unmanned, underwater vehicles, called, “The Great Divers” will have to measure at least 250 square kilometres of the sea bed at a depth of 4,000 metres within 24 hours, find objects and take pictures that are worthy of an award. After completing this task, “The Great Divers” will be collected by autonomously-operated catamarans. The team then has 48 hours to convert the data into a map.The final frontierI believe that this work is critical for the future of our planet. Did you know that we currently have better maps of the moon and the surface of Mars than we do of the bottom of our oceans? It’s amazing to think that the final frontier may not actually be in space, but right here on Planet Earth. If you think about it, most intercontinental communications use deep-sea cables – you could say that the Internet practically comes from the sea! International trade is also linked to the marine world as import and export trade depend on container shipment.We need to accelerate innovationMost importantly, I am reminded of Cousteau’s predictions. With the development of deep-sea exploration coupled with the increasing growth in the world’s population, natural resources from the sea are set to become increasingly important. In my view, we need to urgently accelerate innovation in order to improve the speed, scale and image resolution that is necessary to truly understand the ocean.Protecting sustainable resourcesThe hope is that over the long-term this work will allow us to discover and protect new species and underwater life forms, along with safer methods of exploration. Of course, the kid in me also dreams that this work will shed new light on the ocean. As Cousteau said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”This project also demonstrates our commitment to Dell4Good, where we put our technology and expertise to work for the good of our planet.  I wish the Arggonauts every success in the upcoming finals and would love to hear your comments and questions.To learn more about Dell EMC OEM Marine Solutions, visit: https://www.dellemc.com/en-us/oem/maritime.htmTo learn more about The Arggonauts, visit: www.arggonauts.comKeep in touch. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/etienne_mary and @DellEMCOEM, and join our LinkedIn OEM & Iot Solutions Showcase page here.last_img read more

Glee Club, Symphony Orchestra collaborate for Picnic and Pops Concert

first_imgCourtesy of Lauren Bakke The Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra gathers outdoors to rehearse for their upcoming performance in collaboration with the Notre Dame Glee Club. They are bouncing off the heat of last week’s Music Festival.The NDSO will kick off the performance at 2:15 p.m. with a repertoire of music, joined by NDGC at 3 p.m. Led by Daniel Stowe, the Director of both the Glee Club and Symphony Orchestra, the two groups have been practicing pieces that provide a change of pace from their usual collaborations.  “It’s kind of a lighter collection of pieces than we sometimes do at our formal concerts,” Stowe said. “With the Glee Club, we’re doing a mix of folk songs, spirituals and kind of Americana and Notre Dame songs.”After months of uncertainty surrounding the state of the performing arts amid the pandemic, the musicians and singers are ecstatic to share their talents with the campus community in a safe environment, senior NDGC president Philip Lally said. He hopes to bring the energy from last week’s music festival into this weekend. “Both groups did the Notre Dame Music Festival last week as well,” Lally said. “Bouncing off that, we’re excited to do a more expanded set in a performance that’s focused on just the two groups.”Rehearsals and performances have been operating under strict guidelines to protect the health and safety of the community. A large tent on the DPAC terrace, marked with social distancing reminders, is serving as the rehearsal area and stage for this weekend’s concert. Cold weather will pose a new challenge to performing during the pandemic, as it becomes more difficult to spend rehearsal times outdoors. Even as temperatures drop, spirits are high amongst the members of NDGC and NDSO. “The guys in our group were just so happy to be able to rehearse under the circumstances of COVID because during the summer, we had no idea if the group would even be able to meet,” Lally said. “Even if things are cold, I think guys will be happy to try to stick it out just because we love singing and we love what we do.” The NDSO, led by senior co-president Victoria Whitmore, shares this sentiment.“We’ve been able to play together before, usually Christmas music, so this will be a little bit different,” Whitmore said. “We’re just happy to be able to perform together and enjoy music.” There is no shortage of enthusiasm among the NDGC and NDSO leading into the Picnic and Pops Concert. While campus activities look much different this semester, the groups are proud to be providing a setting for students to continue to take in the arts. “It’s a chance to hear some great music performed by some of Notre Dame’s most talented students in a safe environment where you can reconnect with old friends and make new ones,” Stowe said. While some beloved traditions are looking much different this year, the semester’s timeline has not slowed down preparations for the NDGC and NDSO’s Christmas performances. They are looking to contribute their talents to this weekend’s fall festivities but will be shifting gears to virtually spread holiday cheer.“We know that the University community is kind of starved for events, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide that for them,” Stowe said. “We’re going to learn some Christmas music and probably make videos before the end of the term, and then we’ll release them around holiday time.”With a fall weekend ahead, Lally hopes that the concert will bring relief and joy to the campus community. “We hope that it’s a reminder that this too will pass, in terms of the pandemic,” he said. “We’ll do our best to make sure people can enjoy music in a semester when they haven’t really gotten that many opportunities to do so.” Tags: ND glee club, Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra, picnic and pops Students are invited to bring blankets to the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Irish Green for free burritos and live music as the Notre Dame Glee Club (NDGC) and Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra (NDSO) team up for a Saturday afternoon “Picnic and Pops Concert.” last_img read more

Broadway.com Readers Name the 10 Roles They Want to See Taylor Swift Play

first_img COSETTE (LES MISERABLES) ROXIE HART (CHICAGO) GLINDA (WICKED) LAUREN (KINKY BOOTS) SALLY BOWLES (CABARET) Grammy winner Taylor Swift has been popping up backstage at quite a few Broadway shows this season—most recently, she saw the hit musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and rubbed elbows backstage with the show’s headliner, Jessie Mueller. So just for fun, we asked you guys to rank the roles you’d like to see Taylor Swift play on Broadway—check out the results below! View Commentscenter_img EPONINE (LES MISERABLES) SIBELLA (GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE) BETSY (HONEYMOON IN VEGAS) SOPHIE SHERIDAN (MAMMA MIA!) CAROLE KING (BEAUTIFUL)last_img

LWCF: The Biggest Four Letters in Conservation

first_imgCircle your calendar. September 30, 2015. That date will be one of the most important days in conservation history.Six months from now, the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s authorization from the U.S. Congress will either expire or be re-authorized.That’s right. The 114th Congress must decide whether one of the most successful conservation and recreation programs in history will live or die.Fifty years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act. LWCF is the fund used to create, expand, and protect parks, forests, wildlife, recreation areas, and special places.Most people have probably never heard of the program, but nearly every American has benefited from it.If you have visited a national park, national forest, or one of the 41,000 state and local parks across the nation, you have benefited from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.LWCF is much like the Safe Drinking Water Act. It’s one of those little known successful federal laws that have made an enormous difference in everyone’s day to day lives. Because of the Safe Drinking Water Act, people drink water from the tap, take showers and baths and brush their teeth without having to think twice about getting sick. Unbeknownst to most Americans, because of LWCF, we have thousands of parks, trails, and special places to recreate and fall in love with outdoors.How important is LWCF? The Blue Ridge region is in the midst of a “Clean Water Economy” revolution. Kayaking, trout fishing, greenways, blueways, camping platforms and craft beers are just a few of the recreation industry engines driving this fast growing economy. One of the programs that taps into LWCF is called the Forest Legacy Program.Forest Legacy funds are leveraging private and state funding sources to secure protection of 8,000 acres along the East Fork of the French Broad River. This one project opens up a new portfolio of recreation opportunities and ensures clean water for the region’s craft breweries. Thousands of sustainable jobs are now a reality because we will be permanently protecting the French Broad’s headwaters.Other examples in the region include:Mountain biking—LWCF helped expand Lake James State Park, and in the process, created new areas for mountain bike trails.Hiking the Appalachian Trail—LWCF programs have acquired inholdings protecting the AT’s and the Parkway’s viewsheds.NEW OUTDOOR DESTINATIONS—LWCF funds have been used to help purchase Chimney Rock and save countless special places in the region such as Catawba Falls and the historically significant Overmountain Victory trail.So how do we save LWCF by September 30th?Several senators have championed the re-authorization and full funding of LWCF. Bill S. 338 has garnered widespread bi-partisan support. Support from the South is crucial. This is one piece of legislation the White House and Congress can agree on, but it will not happen if we do not get their attention.If you care about conservation, recreation, a clean water economy, and saving special places throughout the South, make sure your voice is heard. Tell your representatives to re-authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. One of the most successful conservation programs in our nation’s history must not lapse.Learn more about LWCF and how you can get involved at lwcfcoalition.orglast_img read more

Chilean President Offers Help to China’s Trapped Miners

first_imgBy Dialogo October 19, 2010 The Chilean people wait impatiently for president Sebastián Piñera to institute the labor reforms within the mining industry and to hurry up with the regulation of the San Esteban Mine…we count on his promise… Chilean President Sebastian Piñera offered to help China with its latest mining disaster as he began a trip to London on 16 October , saying his country had learnt lessons from its own mining crisis. “I hope that the Chinese workers that have suffered an accident, and also in Ecuador, will be able to come back to life,” Piñera told reporters outside his hotel in London, where he arrived earlier at the start of a European trip. “And if we can be of any help, they know that they can count on us.” Rescue attempts were underway Saturday in central China to free 16 miners trapped underground following a coal mine accident that killed 21 of their colleagues. Meanwhile in Ecuador, four men were trapped in a gold mine. Piñera said his country had learnt lessons from the disaster-turned-tragedy that occurred in the San Jose mine in far northern Chile, where 33 miners were trapped for two months before miraculously being pulled out alive this week. “We have a lot to learn from this accident and one of the lessons is that we have to be much more careful and committed with the safety, lives, and health of our workers,” he told reporters, flanked by his wife, Cecilia Morel. The president is due to meet with new British Prime Minister David Cameron — who he said was “very good for England” — and Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, and will present them with gifts including rocks from the San Jose mine. “Also we are bringing the gratitude of all the Chileans because we received a lot of help from our friends around the world,” he said. The president will also find time to do some sightseeing, and has planned a trip to the British Museum as well as to memorials of wartime premier Winston Churchill, who Piñera has said he greatly admires. The London visit is the start of a European trip that will also include stops in Paris, where Piñera will meet President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Berlin, where he will have talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.last_img read more

Hamptons Attempted Rape Suspect Charged

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An East Quogue man has been accused of trying to rape a 21-year-old woman who he pushed to the ground while she was leaving her job in Hampton Bays over the weekend.Southampton Town Police arrested Abner A. Ortiz-Tezen on charges of first-degree attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment, assault and criminal obstruction of airway.Police said the 21-year-old suspect wrestled the victim to the ground, covered her airway, and tried to sexually assault her as she left her job at a business on Montauk Highway East at 9:49 p.m. Saturday.The victim fought him off and screamed for help, causing the suspect to flee, police said.A Southampton Town Justice Court judge set bail for Ortiz-Tezen at $400,000.last_img read more

Learn something new during Hispanic Heritage Month

first_imgCelebrated from September 15 to October 15, this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, or El Mes de la Herencia Hispana, carries a theme that seems to speak directly to the credit union movement—“Honoring our Heritage. Building our Future.” It’s an ideal time to check in on your credit union’s own history of service to the increasingly influential Hispanic consumer segment, as well as your plans for evolving that service for a changing demographic.This month, make it a point to learn something new about the Hispanic members in your cooperative, as well as those who have not been exposed to the credit union difference. Here are a few questions you may consider asking on your quest to learn more. Is the immigration process part of your financial journey?Many people are surprised to learn that of the country’s more than 54 million Hispanics, most are native-born Americans, and nearly three in four are U.S. citizens. It’s important to acknowledge, however, the 19 million foreign-born Hispanics living and working in the U.S.Many foreign-born Hispanic individuals have gone through the immigration process to obtain U.S. citizenship, and many others are working on adjusting their status. Others may not be eligible for U.S. immigration status at this time. The immigration process is a time-intensive and costly one, as well as a major part of the lives of many Hispanic immigrants. Credit unions are in an ideal position to help members going through this process with both financial tools and education. In addition, simply understanding how complicated the process is and welcoming individuals of all backgrounds at your credit union can go a long way toward building lasting relationships, establishing trust and making people feel welcome and comfortable doing business with your cooperative.Which is your preferred language?Often, credit union leaders interested in adapting their programs for Hispanic consumers are overwhelmed by the misperception they have to begin by translating into Spanish every piece of communication, including websites and disclosures, in their credit union. Thankfully, this is not the case.It’s true many Hispanics, both U.S. and foreign born, prefer to speak Spanish. In fact, a record 35.8 million Hispanics speak Spanish at home. Yet, a strategic Hispanic growth plan begins by identifying the specific needs of the community and the particular target market a credit union is trying to reach. Initial Spanish-language materials (or better yet, bilingual materials) will only be required for those introductory products and services, and of course, member communications deemed essential to the strategic Hispanic member growth plan.Often, Spanish-speakers tend to be the foreign-born population, which is also the most untapped and unbanked group. There is a reason large financials like Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank offer Spanish-language services across all of their channels, and even why the government continues to introduce more Spanish-language services and materials. Everyone is trying to reach the most untapped groups because they present the greatest growth opportunity for the majority of businesses.How can our products improve your financial life?Product penetration is increasing at a faster rate among Hispanic members as compared to non-Hispanic members. A 2014 analysis of the median annualized product and service growth rates of Hispanic and non-Hispanic members for a group of nearly 30 Coopera credit union clients revealed:Checking penetration: The median Hispanic growth rate (5.5%) was more than three times the median growth rate (1.7%) for non-Hispanics.Loan penetration: The median growth rate for Hispanics was 4%, higher than the median growth rate for non-Hispanics of 3.4%.Services per member: The median growth rate was 1.5% for the Hispanic segment. This is almost twice the median growth rate (0.8%) of the non-Hispanic segment.This tells us that Hispanic credit union members are interested in ongoing relationships with their cooperatives. Understanding the needs—both today and in the future—of this loyal market can go a long way toward crafting an effective onboarding program. The key is to ensuring your products and services are culturally relevant and meet the needs of the community. If products aren’t adapted to the market, they will not resonate. The good news is you only have to repackage what you have instead of starting from scratch.To grow, credit unions must make a strategic effort to learn as much as possible about the youngest, fastest-growing and most untapped consumer segment in the U.S. The upcoming celebration of Hispanic heritage presents the perfect opportunity to do precisely that. 62SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Miriam De Dios Woodward Miriam De Dios Woodward is the CEO of PolicyWorks, LLC. She also serves as Senior Vice President of AMC, the holding company of the Iowa Credit Union League and parent … Web: https://www.policyworksllc.com Detailslast_img read more

Respectfully. Yours.

first_imgFor Seven Seventeen Credit Union, the data – and listening to members – affirmed that a brand refresh was the right strategy.As Seven Seventeen Credit Union mapped a strategy for growth – encompassing new markets and a new banking generation – it deliberated whether a new name or brand would better reflect its mission and be a catalyst for growth. Focusing on a strategic approach reliant on data and research, the CU selected Strum Agency (formerly Weber Marketing Group) to manage this name evaluation and brand assessment project and craft a new brand essence.SITUATION ANALYSISHeadquartered in Warren, Ohio, Seven Seventeen Credit Union is a $1 billion financial institution with 13 branches, 300 employees and more than 86,000 members spread across six counties. It serves markets in Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage, Summit and Central Stark counties, including the metro areas of Youngstown, Warren, Kent, Ravenna and Canton.Traditions run deep. Seven Seventeen CU was founded in 1957 by members of IUE Local 717 at Packard Electric which (through various name changes and ownership structures) currently builds electrical systems for the automotive industry. The union, its members and leaders have enjoyed a strong, long-standing relationship with the CU which continues today. Conservative midwestern origins, combined with a working- class environment, have also fostered relationships between the union, its workers, and the CU since its inception. In fact, the credit union staff itself is unionized.Financial services are a commoditized product. The CU’s main product line is financial services, perceived to be a commoditized product by the public, with only minor differences in features and pricing. Market share growth and visibility is reliant upon reputation, branding and staff expertise and all shape the member experience. Delivery channels – including physical branches and financial technologies – also impact the experience. Large com- munity and regional banks are the CU’s primary competition, many similar in asset size and technological capabilities, although national players like Amazon are increasingly rising challenges.Its value proposition focuses on people, relationships and trust.A member-driven organization, the CU is dedicated to the communities it serves. Also essential to its value proposition are the employees who deliver diverse financial solutions to members, in a convenient, technology-forward manner. Staff turnover has trended low, with many employees retained 20 years or more. Net member attrition is also low, with the CU losing only 3.3% members annually, (based on a 5-year average). That number is particularly low given the strong population decline in Seven Seventeen’s primary markets, creating unique challenges to future growth. The CU’s long-term strategy for growth focuses on building and enhancing these relationships and special connections.“We have great respect for our members and work hard to support their financial goals and to advocate for their financial health. In turn, we earn their respect,” explains Eric Lanham, SVP/marketing for the CU. Throughout the process, this principle of mutual respect surfaced as a clear brand differentiator and eventually become a part of the heart of the CU’s brand essence.SCOPE OF PROJECT The CU wanted a brand that would showcase its culture and grow with it. “Crafting a brand is an expensive and resource-intensive process,” says Lanham, “not only in converting marketing materials but the process of communicating and ensuring support from stakeholders. Regardless, we needed to craft a unique image distinct from the competition, create employee passion for living out and delivering our brand, all while delivering a consistent member experience to ensure results.”The brand team at Strum wondered at the onset if the name, Seven Seventeen, might be problematic. “The credit union was well respected but misunderstood at various levels,” says John Mathes, director of brand strategy for the agency. “The name was long and old-fashioned, and we questioned if it projected an air of exclusivity – that an individual had to work at the plant to become a member.” A cultural evaluation was the first phase of the brand project, designed to: Garner senior management and BOD commitment and alignmentMeasure brand influence and equityObtain feedback from stakeholdersHelp hone the CU’s value proposition and brand promiseIlluminating the need for building a new brand with the CU’s executive team, and why a thorough analysis was necessary, was the first step. “We knew the process would be data-driven,” stresses Lanham. “But it was critical to get the executive team on board first to ensure a smooth and transparent process – and to flesh out any underlying assumptions or misconceptions before we started the discussion with other stakeholders around our name and brand. Change can cause uncertainty and fear, and we wanted to address this right at the beginning.”Strum reaffirmed the benefits of a strong and inviting brand: in- creased market share and loyalty; leverage to move into new markets; heighten the value of membership; provide clarity of vision; and the ability to expand into new markets and attract new members.Strum also helped the credit union design a branding committee, 16 individuals representing all departments, marketing, sales, HR, IT, branch operations and senior management. The team’s role was to communicate, incorporate feedback from all levels and help shape a future direction. Lanham notes that “we decided to keep the committee on the larger size, and for us, it was the right choice.”Measuring brand influence and name equity was the next step. Research was the driving force behind all aspects of the project, and to understand how individuals perceived the CU, Strum examined five key groups: 1) management, 2) staff, 3) BOD, 4) current members, and 5) potential members in primary and secondary markets.Research encompassed:Discovery and Assessment: A strategic planning review and leadership interviews.  Quantitative Research: A series of written surveys, including a member and non- member survey and BOD/manager/staff survey. October 1 – brand reveal to employeesJanuary 1 – soft launch to membersApril 1 – the brand is official, offices reflect new branding and signage Qualitative Research: Member and non-member focus groups discussed brand identity and what appealed by segment; mid-management and staff focus groups brought to light difficulties of the current brand and potential needs.Brand Workshop: This day of discovery and vision building featured an organizational cross-section of individuals, with additional brand goals realized and a bold new focus articulated.“We wanted to determine the perception of the current brand with staff, members and potential members, and the feelings surrounding the Seven Seventeen name,” adds Mathes. Questions related to relevancy and delivery to delve further into the opinions of stakeholders: He notes that 82% of staff, management and BOD participated in the name and brand review process, and their comments reflected the need for a new brand essence and distinction:“We have no real consistent brand, message or story.” -Staff focus group “Not having a unique brand makes it impossible to promote who we are.”-Senior leadership interviewMembers and non-members had strong opinions, too. Asked about the current brand, non-members felt significant confusion; for example, the usage of different logo fonts and bolding of some text and how the word “union” seemed to separate itself. Members felt the logo was non-communicative, non-specific to the business focus of the organization. No one said that the logo was helpful to the organization and the majority felt the logo likely hindered growth.The data collected guided the comprehensive name and brand assessment prepared by Strum and was presented to the executive team and board of directors prior to the brand refresh. It was also the beginning of the reveal for what would become the CU’s true brand essence.“The theme of mutual respect shaped, then solidified the new brand promise: Building your financial strength through our common bond.” – John Mathes, StrumRESPECT: A PRIMARY DECISION FILTER It is one of the most basic of all human emotions and serves as an individual’s moral compass. Respect also embodies wisdom, esteem and encouragement.Amidst hours of discussion and review of hundreds of written responses, this concept of respect was not only prevalent but emerged as the strongest common denominator among all stakeholders. “We realized that respect was our eminent core value and a foundation from which we could build,” reflected Lanham. “The vision for our brand and our culture were also one and the same, with mutual respect evolving into a new brand essence; members expressed feelings of esteem while employees shared it was gratifying to work for a respectful organization that treated them well, too.”How stakeholders viewed respect:“I am thankful to be a member because they respect me and care for me like family.”– Member focus group “Our employees serving our members have the understanding, the rapport, the compassion and the respect to relate to them.”– Staff survey respondent“I never realized how important the concept of family, community and caring for each other plays in our day-to- day roles as an organization. We’re all on the same page sharing common goals.”– Brand workshop participantIt was apparent that the new brand must evolve to showcase and lever- age this differentiation – the CU’s respectful and empathetic approach to service, something the existing brand wasn’t doing effectively.“While the CU’s reputation was stellar and service impeccable, staff just didn’t have the tools in their arsenal to communicate a brand promise. Nor had it yet been defined,” submits Mathes. “But as the research revealed, we realized a new brand could better articulate the credit union’s mission and take the embodiment of service to the next level.”OTHER SUPRISING FINDINGS There were some key brand and name equity findings:The CU had an excellent reputation with respect held in the highest regard;The Seven Seventeen name was not necessarily a hindrance: it was well-established in the minds of current stakeholders as well as those living in existing and adjacent markets. But it lacked a consistent and clear message for staff to convey and members to embrace.“We discovered the name was not only recognized and respected but even cherished, evoking a sense of local pride,” says Mathes. “But the big discovery was that members had already acknowledged a cumbersome name and were replacing it with the shorthand: 7 17. We listened, observed and adopted stakeholder reflections, and from a thorough and thoughtful process, the 7 17 brand was manifested and crystallized.”While respect was an epiphany moment, the name evaluation process helped the Board and senior team agree that the research did not justify the need to change names to cultivate its new brand essence. Instead, the CU opted for a modern, more relevant connecting brand, one that would tap into the consciousness and emotional connection of new people and prospect targets. “We wanted to overcome outdated perceptions of the credit union being in a time warp,” offers Mathes, “that it was available only to people who worked at the Delphi Electric Plant.”Lanham adds everyone was pleased and gratified that the heart of the credit union’s brand identity, its name, didn’t change. “We didn’t need to change who or what we are – just how we articulated and presented our value proposition and brand essence to stakeholders.”THE RISE OF SIMPLICITY: 7 17 Capturing the essence of a shorter new version of the 7 17 brand, the CU now needed to make an emotional connection to current and potential members as well as stakeholders – and generate brand equity for future growth. Led by the Strum design team, the creative process focused on a new identity package, brand articulation and repositioning strategy, which included:Blending all nuances for a cohesive brand story: The CU’s culture steered the brand narrative and connected all the dots for clear and succinct storytelling.Designing a new identity package: While not a new name, the package involved a multitude of components, including a new logo, tagline, color palette and brand story.Incorporating the short name, 7 17 CU: It was integral in the formation of a new logo and connecting members and prospects to the brand.Crafting a tagline that would resonate with stakeholders: Respectfully. Yours. A derivative of the brand essence while reflecting the core value of mutual respect, it became the CU’s “signature” and tagline.IDENTITY AND MESSAGING The goal was to create an intimate, more vibrant vision of the brand, framed by a fresh, modern look with consistent messaging to support. “To articulate the credit union’s mission and values more clearly to its market segments, we focused on the members: what makes them unique; and how they’re part of a larger community that is 7 17 Credit Union and Northeastern Ohio,” explains Jeremy Charbonneau, Senior Graphic Designer for the project.To represent these ideas, Strum used full color patterned squares to overlay and contrast against black and white photography of individuals. Photos were chosen to project an intimate “camera-roll” feel, capturing real life moments in members’ lives, candid and sincere. Design elements also focused on the subject along with color swatches that harmonized geometrically all blended to create a bigger and more relatable picture.The typography was chosen to reflect the uniqueness of 7 17 CU members – from the geometric and rounded shape of the fonts to the logo itself – exemplifying elements of the CU. Fonts included Banda Regular for headlines, Myriad Pro for subheads and body copy, and Klavika Regular for callouts. “We intentionally had parts of the typography intertwine for a rugged, yet approachable and friendly feel,” continues Charbonneau. “The fonts reflected the his- tory of the region as well, rooted in hard working manufacturing and electrical engineering.”THE BRAND REVEAL Transparency with stakeholders was integral to success. Communicating the brand vision at every stage – before, during and after development – was one of the most critical aspects of the process. Following Strum’s best practices, a robust communications schedule was crafted for transparency to staff and members, which included:Ongoing team updates on brand developmentThe brand reveal for staff and announcement to membersContinuing (often daily) communication to staff to engrain the brandReiterations to employees and members before the final roll-outFinal roll-out to membersTo introduce employees to the newly minted brand, the CU planned a company-wide evening event, dubbed the “Brand Extravaganza.” The night featured a formal dinner for staff, with the CU’s CEO, board chair and Strum’s Mathes, highlighting facets of the brand and how it evolved, inspiring enthusiasm. “Gifts” were also distributed featuring the new logo, but only of the edible kind (cookies), to ensure the brand would remain confidential until the full member launch.“Brand Camp” training followed, with Strum brand trainers leading six sessions so all employees could learn how to live the new brand. During the session, staff explored the how, what and why of the brand. “They learned to speak the same language as the brand, with our goal of making everyone a brand ambassador,” notes Mathes. “The sessions enabled staff to fully understand how the new brand delivers on the credit union’s brand promise in consistent actions, behaviors and commitments.”It takes time to engrain a new brand. The goal was to ensconce the brand with staff and to point out possible implications for new conversations and opportunities to improve experiences with members. The CU provided consistent brand updates, often daily, so that over time each employee wouldn’t have to think about the new brand anymore; it would simply be second-nature.Following the brand reveal and up until the formal member launch date, a stream of communication occurred. “We maintained an on- going dialogue with staff until the soft launch to members in January,” explains Lanham. “Member and staff promotion continued for another 90 days, mostly through electronic channels but traditional newsletters, too. The week before the official member launch, staff received daily emails highlighting various facets of the brand.”center_img “Our website is our largest ‘branch’ and therefore, the largest visualization of our brand.”– Eric Lanham, SVP/Marketing, 7 17 CUUNIQUE BRAND EXPERIENCE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES  Coinciding with the brand refresh was a complete website redesign.A responsive web design was an urgent priority, but the project was delayed to link with the brand refresh. “Our website is our largest ‘branch’ and therefore, the largest visualization of our brand,” ex- plains Lanham. “We knew that regardless of whether we changed our name or not, it made sense to wait to launch a new site. This added another and more complicated piece to the brand refresh and new experiences.”Another vendor handled the website redesign; and while a lot of work, all went smoothly. Lanham believes this was due in large part to the branding guidelines manual prepared by Strum – intended so that any partner can pick it up and deliver on the CU’s look. “We had step-by-step instructions for the vendor to follow,” continues Lanham, “so matching the look of our brand was an incredibly consistent and logical process to follow.”“Still, rolling out the brand plus a new website required an intense amount of collaboration among multiple departments,” adds Lanham.“We spent a significant amount of time analyzing and prioritizing what needed changing beforehand and made assignments accordingly. The brand committee was essential to this process.”IMPORTANT NEXT STEPS New personas and segmentation opportunities followed the brand refresh.A chief benefit of crafting a new brand identity can include the insights gained from data analytics. Examining the various audi- ences, Strum determined which segments were providing the most value to the membership – including those maintaining the current book of business and those offering the most potential for lifestyle segmentation strategy and persona development.Looking at P$YCLE segmentation data, Strum and the CU developed insights around the psychographics that rose to the top, coalescing everything into five personas. Lanham points to a focus on Gen Y and Gen Z, especially for future growth, that led to the honing of the audiences the CU viewed as most important to target. “The development of personas and enhanced segmentation needed to happen alongside the brand refresh,” he says. “And sharpening our lifestyle segmentation strate- gies enabled us to develop more consistent and effective personal messaging to support a new brand promise and engage these newly defined personas.”RESULTS THAT MATTER TO GROWTH Historically, the CU has used traditional growth benchmarks in terms of measuring member growth, product penetration and assets, and other KPIs, including the net promoter score (NPS) to assess brand effectiveness. Twelve months before the rebrand, April 2018, the CU’s average NPS score was 72, compared to an industry average of 60.“We anticipated that our NPS score could decrease following the brand refresh, simply because change can be unsettling for people,” explains Lanham. “To monitor member reaction, we set a goal of not allowing our NPS score to drop below 69 and were pleased to see NPS scores didn’t decrease through the brand refresh. Ten months later, February 2018, it has increased to 73.”And, Lanham reports that this past year, 2018, has been one of the CU’s most successful years, encompassing strong member and as- set growth as well as an increase in product penetration levels. 7 17 hit a milestone by growing assets to more than $1 billion. Deposits were up 15%. Overall membership grew 5.7%, but more importantly, members between 20 and 44 years of age grew by 8.5%. Related, the 7 17 mobile app usage increased 9%. The Credit Union’s Net Worth, a key measure of safety and strength, increased to 15.2 percent, more than double the seven percent defined as “well-capitalized” under federal law.AN EXTRAORDINARILY POSITIVE OUTCOME Lanham advises CUs considering a new name or brand not to assume too much and be open to where the data leads.“Examine the organization from the top down and bottom up and keep the process data driven. Survey your members or customers, and survey staff at all levels as well as your board of directors. Gather as much empirical data as possible, so your decision is not emotive. And be sure to mine and interpret the wealth of data within your organization to focus your insights.” Also, stay organized.“During the brand refresh, the marketing team and brand committee worked diligently with each department to develop a comprehensive needs list and to prioritize assignments – what needed to be in place on day one, and all subsequent items ranked accordingly,” Lanham continues. “The information was captured on an excel spreadsheet to ensure no one wondered who was responsible for what.” Finally, select the right partner to assist if you want to achieve real transformation.“We selected Strum (formerly Weber Marketing Group) because of their expertise with credit union rebranding and belief that data- led processes and strategy can help determine the appropriate outcome.” Our expectations were wholly exceeded, with Lanham adding: “I can’t say enough about Strum’s attention to detail, their understanding of the data and how it relates to the people we serve – and their overall aptitude exhibited throughout the process. Strum helped us to learn more about ourselves and discover new ways to operationalize our brand and share our vision with members. Now Strum is helping us with the retail translation of our brand into new and differentiating experiences where our members can interact with us in exciting new ways.”7 17 CU didn’t require a new name or to change who it was. Instead, using a research-based, objective analysis, a unique brand essence was uncovered and articulated, making the brand promise relevant for many years to come. 22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Charlotte Boutz-Connell Charlotte brings over 12 years of experience in account management, brand strategy, and consumer insights development to guide positive outcomes for clients. She is passionate about storytelling to connect brands … Web: https://www.strumagency.com Detailslast_img read more

Missouri’s first Black congresswoman gives a speech for the ages

first_imgBush went on to talk about representing the people in the America we all share, “not Trump’s America” or the America led by “the small-mindedness of a powerful few, but the imagination of a mass movement that includes all of us.” She talked about how she will be carrying her constituents with her everywhere she goes and to every room she works in. She gave this very moving reminder of what leadership and representative democracy can promise to be.BUSH: St. Louis, if you know nothing else, you remember this: Your congresswoman-elect, soon-to-be congresswoman loves you. Your congresswoman-elect, soon-to-be congresswoman loves you; and I need you to get that. Because if I love you, I care that you eat. If I love you, I care that you have shelter and adequate safe housing. If I love you, I care that you have clean water and clean air, and you have a livable wage. If I love you, I care that the police don’t murder you. If I love you, I care that you make it home safely. If I love you, I care that you are able to have a dignity, and have a quality of life the same as the next person, the same as those that don’t look like you. That didn’t grow up the same way you did. Those that don’t have the same socioeconomic status as you. I care.Bush finished by raising her fist in the sky, along with the family and friends that stood on stage with her, and made the pledge to walk “arm in arm, with our fists in the air, ready to serve each other until every single one of us is free.” – Advertisement – CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT CORI BUSH: So, I was running. I was that person running for my life, across a parking lot. Running from an abuser. I remember one day hearing bullets whiz past my head, and at that moment I wondered, How do I make it out of this life?  I was uninsured. I’ve been that uninsured person, hoping my healthcare provider wouldn’t embarrass me by asking if I had insurance. I wondered, how will I bear this?I was a single parent. I’ve been that single parent, struggling paycheck to paycheck. Sitting outside the payday loan office wondering, how much more will I have to sacrifice?I was that COVID-19 patient. I’ve been that COVID-19 patient, gasping for breath, wondering how long will it be before I can breathe again? I’m still that person. I’m proud to stand before you today knowing it was this person, with these experiences, that moved the voters of St. Louis to do something historic. St. Louis, my city. My home, my community. We have been surviving and grinding, and just scraping by for so long and now this is our moment to finally start living. Let’s finally start living. Let’s finally start growing. Let’s finally start thriving.So, as the first Black woman, and also the first nurse, and single mother to have the honor to represent Missouri in the United States Congress let me say this: To the Black women, the Black girls, the nurses, the essential workers, the single mothers—this is our moment.  center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Glaxo to give 50 million doses of H5N1 vaccine to WHO

first_imgJun 13, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) promised today to give 50 million doses of its H5N1 “prepandemic” influenza vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) for distribution to poor countries.The vaccine will be delivered over 3 years and be enough to vaccinate 25 million people at two doses each, the United Kingdom–based drug company said in a news release.The announcement marks the first tangible step toward the creation of a world stockpile of H5N1 vaccines, a goal endorsed by WHO member countries at the World Health Assembly in May.Following GSK’s announcement today, US-based Baxter International and the French vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur both announced their intention to donate H5N1 vaccines to the WHO stockpile, but neither company specified how many doses it would contribute.The idea of a global stockpile emerged after complaints by Indonesia and other developing countries about lack of access to commercial H5N1 vaccines. Indonesia, the country hit hardest by H5N1, withheld samples of the virus from the WHO from last December until May on grounds that drug companies use the samples to make vaccines priced out of Indonesia’s reach.The WHO welcomed GSK’s announcement today. “This is another significant step towards creating a global resource to help the world and especially to help develping countries in case of a major outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a news release.The WHO said it needs to do “detailed operational planning for the stockpile, including how and under which conditions it will be deployed, as well as regulatory aspects of the vaccine.”After an international meeting of vaccine producers and government officials in late April, the WHO said it appeared that a global H5N1 vaccine stockpile might be feasible. Later, at the WHO’s annual meeting in May, members passed a resolution calling for the creation of a stockpile of vaccines for H5N1 and other viruses of pandemic potential. The resolution also called on the agency to set up mechanisms for the “fair and equitable distribution” of pandemic flu vaccines at “affordable prices.”Dr. John Oxford, a virologist at London’s Queen Mary School of Medicine, called GSK’s announcement “excellent news,” according to the Associated Press. “It’s just what we need to reassure countries like Indonesia that they will get something in return from the viruses they provide, which will form the basis of these vaccines,” he said.GSK’s vaccine includes a proprietary adjuvant (immune-stimulating chemical) and in clinical trials has induced a strong immune response at low doses, according to previous company announcements. Last July the company said 80% of volunteers showed a good immune response after receiving two 3.8-microgram doses. A typical dose of seasonal flu vaccine contains 15 micrograms of antigen for each of three flu strains.In March GSK said its vaccine might protect people against more than one strain of H5N1. The vaccine is based on a 2004 strain from Vietnam, but in a clinical trial it elicited an immune response (neutralizing antibodies) to an H5N1 strain from Indonesia. However, the company has not yet published a detailed report of its clinical trial results.The WHO noted that three other vaccine producers—Baxter, Sanofi Pasteur, and Omnivest of Hungary—also have expressed a willingness to provide some doses of H5N1 vaccine to the global stockpile.Baxter’s announcement today said the company intends to provide a “multiyear donation” of its candidate pandemic flu vaccine to the WHO. Sanofi Pasteur, meanwhile, said it was ready to give a “significant number of doses” of H5N1 vaccine, some of which could be supplied immediately in bulk form.GSK promised that, in addition to its donation, it would provide some of its H5N1 vaccine to the WHO at “preferential” prices for use by countries eligible for assistance from GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), a public-private program that provides vaccines for children in poor countries.The company noted that a precisely matched vaccine won’t become available until 4 to 6 months after a pandemic strain emerges. Experts hope that if the next pandemic strain is an H5N1 variant, existing H5N1 vaccines will provide some protection, though supplies are likely to be very short.See also:Jun 13 WHO statementMay 23 CIDRAP News story “WHO adopts resolution on flu virus sharing”Apr 26 CIDRAP News story “WHO: Global H5N1 vaccine stockpile may be feasible”Mar 6 CIDRAP News story “Glaxo H5N1 vaccine may work against multiple strains”last_img read more