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    Every company—from the smallest start-up to the largest firm—needs to be agile in today's market to respond to changing dynamics and new competition. But these days it's often the smaller companies who are better positioned to adapt: as the barriers to entry have decreased, emerging companies now have access to data streams—and techniques for analyzing them—that used to be the exclusive province of the largest companies. At the same time, the CIOs of larger organizations now find themselves as much bound by their legacy systems and data as they are empowered by them. The costs of managing these legacy systems are getting in the way: too much of the budget goes to maintenance, and not enough is left over for new development and technologies.

    Nowhere is this dynamic more apparent than with Business Intelligence (BI). As BI once again rises to the top of priority and wish lists, CIOs are struggling with the costs of meeting internal demands while keeping within their budgets, and still finding time for innovation. The costs of proprietary servers and storage devices, as well as the space and energy to manage them, are off the charts and highly visible to every CFO, CTO and procurement professional. Proliferating copies of data into multiple one-off analytical systems—seemingly one for every question to be asked—only adds to the costs, and even new "data appliances" can cost in the tens of millions to scale up as requirements grow.

    Clearly, new approaches are needed to cost-effectively scale BI systems while meeting the demand for information on the front lines. Here are some examples of how forward-looking organizations are doing large-scale analytics in the cloud to break the logjam. (For more background on the cloud technology being discussed here, see's recent article, "Greenplum Spins 'Enterprise Data Cloud' Vision".)

    Click here to find out more!

    1. Hold the line with commodity hardware.

    Most new analytic data engines run on inexpensive commodity hardware, transforming IT cost models and conventional wisdom about the costs of new systems. As Mark Dunlap, a consultant with Evergreen Technologies and a veteran of massive data warehouse projects at Amazon and Fox Interactive, puts it, "If you're using proprietary hardware, you're in a losing battle. Sooner or later, whatever company's developing that technology will not be able to keep up. We've seen it over and over and over again—they won't keep pace with what commodity systems are doing."

    2. Buy capacity when you need it, not according to a closed appliance size

    Clint Johnson, VP of Business Intelligence at Zions Bancorporation, says he's avoiding locked-in purchase models as they tackle massive data challenges. "We like the ability to add hardware easily, incrementally," says Johnson. "Specialized appliances we looked at scaled in very specific size increments." Not only are those new purchases large, they may be substantially greater than near-term needs—but payment is not scaled to usage, it's by total capacity.

    3. Unused server power is a priceless resource -- use it.

    Typical capacity utilization rates on distributed servers used for BI applications or data marts are often at 20 percent or below, leaving substantial system power unused. Newer software can harness that power with effective provisioning strategies. Brian Dolan, Director of Research Analytics at the Fox Audience Network, says, "With my Greenplum [cloud-based] database, I get to share 40 nodes with the production system. I use them when I need them, and then I give them back." Building "sandboxes" as needed—mapping servers (or cores) and data stores into the form needed—addresses the task at hand efficiently. A well-designed server pool, with the right software for flexible provisioning, becomes your internal "cloud."

    4. Keep asking, keep changing -- and keep the data.

    New practices in BI are echoing the "agile" methodologies programmers are finding effective. Complex techniques, statistical analyses, and new analytical models emerge and disappear. For example, Ryan Hawk, T-Mobile Director of Information Management, and his analytics team needed to build models of telecom usage—propensity to churn, revenue generation, and more— but were challenged because "data is a business case—we have to decide what we can afford to store on our MPP systems," Hawk says. "The hardest thing is having to purge data every 60 days—you can't do much trending."

    By shifting their data warehouse into an agile, virtualized infrastructure, T-Mobile now has flexible access to more data and can analyze and rethink at will. Like Fox, they're able to build analytical "sandboxes" on-demand to discover new questions. Grab data to explore those questions. Tear it down, and do it again. Data is the other element of the "cloud;" keep it where you need it, and use as appropriate.

    5. Run programs "close to the data."

    Dolan's team at Fox might work with two weeks' worth of data: 100 billion lines, 10s of terabytes. Exporting, transforming, moving and distributing that data in chunks (extract, transform and load: ETL style), constrained by bandwidth and system load factors, used to take 3 to 4 days. Rebuilding all the joins, indexes and other structures within the data would consume another day or two. But with new in-database analytics technology, Fox can run programs directly in the database, eliminating the bottlenecks standing between his team and business insights. According to Dolan, "Inside our Greenplum database, setting up two weeks' worth of data takes us about 20 minutes."

    Exploiting information has become an imperative for all businesses, and this continues to become even more important as data growth accelerates and new streams of precious information emerge. Supporting the teams who will provide agile response is a competitive necessity.

    Merv Adrian is principal at consulting firm IT Market Strategy.


    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    Web-based applications are not uncommon any more. Due to its easy access, many people are now moving towards these applications. Doc Verse is such an easy web-based application that enables users to work on group power point presentations. The best thing about DocVerse is that this software would not create any problem with the existing software on your computer. The software developed by DocVerse is a plug-in software that syncs with your MS Office (any office version starting from 2003). You would not need to buy any extra-software. Though in the testing phase, the software is very easy to install and use. If you have a group power-point assignment and it is hard for group members to sit together to work on it, then download DocVerse, install it on your computers and start working immediately from your homes.

    I came to know about DocVerse from a report of Tech Crunch and then I became interested to do an interview. I contacted them by email and Shan Sinha (CEO/Founder) was kind enough to answer all my questions. Here is the interview for the readers:


    Razib Ahmed: The economic recession is going strong and all business organizations, big and small, are desperate to save money and cut-costs. Now, is the best time to start-up your own web-based applications because people would look into them. In such a situation, you went after developing plug-in for Microsoft. Why did you go for developing a plug-in application?


    Shan Sinha: To be clear, our product includes a plug-in as a means to an end. It’s important to realize that whether your application is a desktop application or a web-based application is less important than focusing on building a great product that people will use. In our particular case, the problem with most collaboration software is that they don’t adapt to how people work and instead ask people to adapt to the software. Most people start by creating documents on their desktop. As soon as they have to take an extra step to “put” the document somewhere else on the web, you’ve lost them.

    Integrating into Microsoft Office lets our users seamlessly take advantage of web-based functionality without having to change how they work.


    Razib Ahmed: Do you have any plans to start-up your own web-based application in near future?

    Shan Sinha: We already have a web-based tool that people can use to view, share and provide feedback on their documents. We view our product as harmonizing the benefits of web-based applications with software that 90% of people have on their desktop.

    Razib Ahmed: Some people are saying that online office suits would replace Microsoft office software. Is it possible? What do you think about it?

    Shan Sinha: I view web-based Office applications as a complement to desktop applications. People should be able to share, edit and access their documents however they like. If that means someone needs to share and edit their document on their desktop, they should be able to do that. If someone needs to share and edit their document through the browser, they should be able to do that. Regardless of where those edits are made or who makes those edits, they should be able to get the latest version of their document any time, by simply opening it.
    Think of it like email. Sometimes I access my email using Outlook or any other client on my desktop (for example, on a plane). Sometimes I access my email through a web browser. But I haven’t completely thrown away either one.. I use both, whenever it makes sense to do so.

    Razib Ahmed: Do you think that the high demand of web-based applications will only stay throughout the recession? Will the demand of web-based applications drop after the recession ends?

    Shan Sinha: I think you are creating a false choice between web-based applications and desktop applications. What people care about is whether a product solves their problems or not. What IT managers care about is reducing their cost and management overhead.
    The web is simply a software distribution mechanism. The applications that people demand are those that provide the maximal benefits by solving their problems in the best way possible while minimizing the difficulty and cost of using the application.
    As a thought experiment.. I assure you that a web based application that requires you to fill out 10 pages of forms to register will have worse usage than a product that requires a very light weight install and no registration process.
    People don’t care about whether something is coming from the web or is on the desktop. All they care about is whether it’s easy to use and does something that makes their lives better.

    Razib Ahmed: Currently, you are working on developing plug-in applications for MS Powerpoint. Do you have any plans extend the function of this plug in to support other MS office programs?

    Shan Sinha: We will be releasing support for the entire Office 2007 suite (Word & Excel) later this spring and will also be expanding support to Office 2003 soon after.

    Razib Ahmed: In third world countries, many people use the pirated version of MS office. If they install the DocVerse plug-in, will it create any problem for them?

    Shan Sinha: Our licensing agreements remain separate from the licensing agreements for Microsoft software. We are not sure if unlicensed Microsoft software supports our plug-in.

    Razib Ahmed: When are you going to release the fully developed DocVerse?

    Shan Sinha: As I mentioned, we will be releasing support for the rest of Office 2007 and Office 2003 in the coming months. We will make our product generally available when we feel that it is ready for general usage.

    Razib Ahmed: One of the major applicants and beneficiaries of such web-based applications are school and university level students? Do you have any plans to develop web-based software targeting the student community?

    Shan Sinha: Our product is very well suited to be used by students. We already have students in several campuses using our product. One great example includes how MBA students at HarvardBusiness School and University of Michigan School of Business have already begun using our product in a significant way.

    Razib Ahmed: Currently, Microsoft office is also used in mobile phones. Do you have any plans to develop a version of DocVerse for Office mobile?

    Shan Sinha: We have no immediate plans to support Windows Mobile but would be open to hearing customer demand for it, and if it is large enough, we will build it.

    Razib Ahmed: Can you tell us a bit about your background and about your company?

    Shan Sinha: My co-founder and I left Microsoft in October of 2007 to start DocVerse after recognizing an opportunity to change the way people work with each other. We ended up raising our first round of funding in the summer of 2008. We released our first product in Feb of 2009 and are now growing quickly.
    Before DocVerse, my co-founder and I were both at Microsoft, doing product strategy for SharePoint and SQL Server. Prior to Microsoft, I started a mobile enterprise applications company, which we successfully sold in 2001. And before that, I started my career at another health care, dot com start up. I did my undergrad and master’s degrees in Computer Science at MIT. I was born and raised in the US and currently live in San Francisco.


    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    That seems to be the question these days in the age of Twitter. Because Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet, it is a good idea to use an URL shortener to save as much space as possible.

    And there are a lot of good services out there that will not only allow you to shorten your URL, but even track how many clicks came through the shortened web address. TinyURL and are among the best URL shorteners. And if you really want to get fancy, you can use to customize your shortened URL, though it will set you back $99 a year.

    One important but often overlooked feature of these services is the type of redirect. The 301 redirect tells Google the page has moved permanently, which means Google will count the link as pointing to the actual destination. This is important if you are posting a link to an article as it effects search engine optimization (SEO).

    Perhaps the best question is whether or not you should be shortening the URL in the first place. Using one of these services is great for posting links on Twitter. After all, the standard URL will take up most of your message if not shortened. And they can be great for sending a link through email when the full URL might get cut off. They are perfect for Facebook updates and instant messages.

    But that's about where they should stop. Occassionally, I'll see a blog or an article use a shortened URL as a link rather than the full web address. Heck, I've even seen this done on the New York Times website.

    Here's the problem: there is no guarantee that a year from now that URL shortener is going to be around. Right now, they are all the rage with Twitter's popularity going through the roof, but don't expect all of them to be around for years and years. And what's going to happen to all of those links when the company is no longer around? Those 301 redirects turn into 404 page not founds.

    So if you are writing a tweet, go for it. But for blog posts, articles and basic web content, stick with the full web address.


    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    Yesterday's Buzz article featured the results of the survey by Fenwick & West entitled "Trends in Terms of Venture Financings In Silicon Valley (First Quarter 2009)" by Barry Kramer and Michael Patrick.  Today we are pleased to be joined by Michael Patrick, Partner at Fenwick & West.  Along with co-authoring his firm's quarterly survey, Michael focuses on venture capital financings representing both companies and venture capital firms, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate representation for a broad array of high technology companies in the information technology, life science and medical device industries. To view the entire Fenwick & West survey, or to sign up to receive the survey on a quarterly basis when published, please go to

    Michael, your recently released venture financings survey results offer both optimism and gloom. Will you give us your overall impression of the results of this survey?

    The first quarter of 2009 was probably the worst quarter for the VC environment in a long time. It's the first time since the fourth quarter of 2003 that we've seen down rounds exceed up rounds and the first time since we started tracking valuation change data in 2004 that we've seen a decrease in the average change in valuations for companies receiving financing compared to their prior financing round. Having said that, there were some rays of hope. We saw that the percentage of up rounds did increase month by month over the first quarter. But it's too early to tell if this will continue.

    The Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists Confidence Index reports the confidence level of Silicon Valley VCs at 3.03 on a 5 point scale, indicating an increase from 4Q08's reading of 2.77. As this is the first increase in the index in six quarters, should this number give us confidence that we are starting to see a turnaround in the VC industry?

    It's hard to tell. As I noted earlier, there have been a few rays of hope in the venture financing numbers. But the increase in confidence levels in the VC survey may primarily be a reaction to macroeconomic developments. Major banks appear to have stabilized and the Nasdaq seems to be improving. This increased confidence may be more the result of people concluding that the general economy has finally hit the bottom and won't get worse, rather than concluding that the recovery is imminent. It could still be quite some time before the economy starts to recover.

    We are hearing a lot these days about declining valuations, and your survey confirms this notion with down rounds exceeding up rounds 46% to 25%. This was the first time since 4Q03 that down rounds exceeded up rounds, and the largest amount by which down rounds exceeded up rounds since 1Q03. Do you feel that lower valuations are being driven by lack of competition among VCs, declining public company comparables, lack of an IPO exit option or all of the above?

    I don't think there's a lack of competition among VCs. There are plenty of VCs in the market with money to invest in the right opportunities. But valuations have been driven down by macroeconomic concerns, reduced public company comparables and probably also by soft messages from limited partners to the VCs asking them not to be aggressive in making investments and capital calls right now. Certainly, a lack of liquidity events is an important factor in valuations. It means that VCs have to hold more of their funds in reserve for their companies that can't get liquid and because those companies can't get liquid the VC's have less time and resources to focus on earlier stage and new companies. Outside of life science companies, I think much of the focus right now has to do with who a company's customers are and whether, because of current economic conditions, the risks of those customers not buying a new company's products have gone up.

    The Fenwick & West Venture Capital Barometer showed an average price decrease of 3% for companies receiving venture capital in 1Q09 compared to such companies' prior financing round, the first decrease since you began reporting the Barometer in 1Q04. Do you feel that there is a lag between corrections in the economy and private company valuations?

    There probably is some lag. As the economy contracts, there are consequences that follow that take a bit of time to be felt, kind of like falling dominos. Banking crises trigger stock market drops, that affect consumer spending, that lead to reduced demand, that lead to layoffs, thus triggering further reductions in consumer spending, and so on. As I described earlier, venture valuations are influenced by these factors, albeit indirectly, and so it makes sense that there's a lag effect between general economic conditions and valuations.

    Do you believe your survey results confirm the theory that the current lack of competition among investors gives VCs the ability to demand more favorable terms on their investments?

    As I said before, I don't think there's a lack of competition. But it is true that VCs are being careful in how they invest their money right now. Their existing portfolio companies need more money to get through the bad times and the limited partners are likely encouraging the VCs to limit the size and frequency of capital calls right now. The bar has definitely been raised and it is certainly harder for companies to raise money. So it's not surprising that terms of investments are also getting a little more protective of the investors.

    Your prior surveys have indicated the significant quarterly losses and gains in particular industries. Such specific industry information is not mentioned in your latest survey results other than to say that "the decline in investment was across all industries." Can you shed any light on trends that you are seeing in specific industries?

    While the main trend was that all industries are down, it appears that in the last quarter cleantech companies were particularly hard hit, maybe because those companies are in a relatively new space where it's harder to predict future demand and there have already been significant amounts of investment in them. VCs may want to wait for awhile to see how economic conditions develop before investing significant additional amounts in cleantech. Life science companies seemed to be the least affected, which may be in part due to the fact that demand for their products, when they come to market, aren't as affected by gyrations in the overall economy. In addition, outside of life science companies, our anecdotal information suggests that those businesses that need less cash and are closer to break even have better chances of getting funded, presumably because they demand less of a VC's available funds and they represent less of a risk of needing more later.

    Your report reminds us that there were no IPOs of venture-backed companies in the U. S. in 1Q09 while there have been two venture-backed IPOs to date in 2Q09. Your survey also points out that Nasdaq was down 3% in 1Q09 but is up over 10% in 2Q09 through May 26, 2009. Can we read any kind of trend or indication of a turnaround in these numbers?

    Given the depth and breadth of the overall downturn in our economy, I think it's early to read too much into an upturn in Nasdaq and two IPOs. Solar Wind, one of the two companies that went public, is a 10-year-old company and profitable. Open Table, which was the other, is a relatively mature company that has been in business for eleven years and, although it had a loss in the fourth quarter, did report a swing to profitability in the first quarter. So it's not clear that the IPO market is likely to open to a broader array of companies. But these IPOs and the lift in the Nasdaq are positive signs and do make it easier for acquirers to consider increasing acquisition activities and for consumers to spend more.

    As has been noted in your previous survey results, the downturn in the economy has shaped venture financing terms. It is becoming more common to see downside protection such as multiple liquidation preference, redemption rights, more aggressive anti-dilution rights and 'pay-to-play' provisions. Will you comment on the trends you are seeing in this area and how it is affecting VCs as well as founders and management?

    Clearly, deal terms have gotten tougher in this downturn. But they aren't nearly as tough as the terms we saw after the dot. com bubble burst. After that bubble burst, lots of hard terms had to be imposed to correct for the excesses of the boom. The good news is that the VC and entrepreneur communities learned from that experience and so didn't repeat many of the excesses of the dot. com era. As a result, the corrections we're seeing now are much less dramatic. I don't think the downside protections we're now seeing dramatically change the risks and rewards for VCs, founders or management. The most important determinant of the outcomes of VC investments for all parties continues to be what the company achieves, not what downside protection terms are negotiated in the financing.

    Michael, we thank you for your time and for sharing your insight into the survey results.


    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 20, 2013 ) Dothan, AL -- Beyond Shelter is a non-profit organization that has been serving an increasing number of homeless families in the Los Angeles area since 1988. The mission of the agency is to combat poverty and homelessness by providing comprehensive services and programs that promote family economic security and well-being. Over the past twenty years, more than 4,300 homeless families have participated successfully in the Los Angeles program. Included below is a brief summary about the programs and services provided by Beyond Shelter.

    Housing First – Housing First serves as an answer to some of the shortcomings of emergency shelter/transitional housing systems as a solution to homelessness. Housing First is not only a rapid re-housing program that helps homeless families move quickly into affordable rental housing, but they also then provides those families six months to one full year of individualized case management support enabling them to attain improved social and economic well-being.

    Service-Enriched Housing –Beyond Shelter has promoted the term “service-enriched housing” to represent housing communities where an in-house service coordinator links residents to community programs and activities that could enhance their lives. Beyond Shelter has grown to have a total of eight of these service-enriched housing developments in Central and South Los Angeles and have seen great success with what they hoped to achieve. Each site has community rooms for classes and meetings and access to social services provided by the service coordinator who oversees the provision of crisis intervention and case management services. Many developments have children’s activity areas, libraries, computer laboratories and outdoor recreational spaces for games and sports.

    Welfare to Work – This initiative seeks to help families become self-sufficient and get off of government assistance programs like welfare. Each client will be assigned to a case manager and employment counselor who will work collaboratively on a client’s behalf. Welfare to Work case managers and employment counselors work hard to fight a variety of barriers to employment like lack of transportation or childcare and shortages in training. They also understand that clients may be struggling with psychological barriers such as anxiety, low self-esteem and patterns of domestic violence and/or drug use.

    For more information on the programs and services offered by Beyond Shelter or to find a location, interested persons may call (213) 252-0772 or visit their website

    About the Cochran Firm
    Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice or Social Security Disability lawyer. The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or visit their website at “Working for You.” Article by Ben Irwin, Esq.###

    Cochran Firm
    163 West Main Street
    Dothan, Alabama 36301
    1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476)

    Ben Irwin

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 21, 2013 ) Dothan, Al -- Madison Countians Allied Against Poverty (MadCAAP) has been devoted to assisting families living in poverty throughout Madison County, Mississippi since 1985. Services and programs available through MadCAAP to families and individuals in need include housing, emergency assistance and a food pantry. Listed below are brief descriptions of each program.

    Housing Repairs Program – Through the Housing Repairs program MadCAAP makes it possible for families and individuals to continue living in their homes by creating a safe and secure environment. Typical house repairs may include covering or repairing holes in the floor or ceiling, repairs to the bathroom or kitchen, repairing broken windows, installing a wheelchair ramp, floor or wall support installation and water supply reestablishment.

    Krista Cottage Program –Through the Krista Cottage program, MadCAAP builds homes for low-income families with children. Modest in design, a typical newly built MadCAAP home consist of approximately 1200sf and have 1 large combined family, kitchen and dining room, three bedrooms and two baths. All homes are outfitted with central heat/air, ceiling fans and kitchen appliances.

    Clothes and Needs Closet –Through this program clothing and household items are offered to those in need at no charge.

    Food Pantry – Boxes of groceries are distributed to families in need through the food pantry program at no charge. Recipients are additionally able to get fresh produce, when seasonally available, through MadCAAP’s Helping Hands Community Garden.

    Emergency Assistance – Families and individuals are offered assistance with utilities, prescription medications, rent and groceries. Assistance is offered on a once a year basis and clients must present proof of income along with monthly bills for review by a MadCAAP representative.

    New Attitudes Classes – Designed to assist clients in moving their family out of poverty, MadCAAP offers a series of classes that cover a wide range of topics. By attending the New Attitudes classes, both women and men with children are provided with the tools they need to enhance their parenting and budgeting skills as well as health and nutrition tips.

    More information about the programs and services of MadCAAP can be obtained by calling (601) 421-6729 or (601) 407-1404 or visiting their website at

    About the Cochran Firm
    Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice or Social Security Disability lawyer. The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or visit their website at “Working for You.” Article by Ben Irwin, Esq.###

    Cochran Firm
    163 West Main Street
    Dothan, Alabama 36301
    1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476)

    Ben Irwin

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    ( -- February 20, 2013) Milton Keynes, UK -- Employment compromise agreements are in the main legal documents for the benefit of the employer since they serve as a safeguard that the employee will not sue the employer at the end of the contract.

    That being the case, it is in the employees interest to ensure that they negotiate a decent settlement since they will be giving up certain employment rights by entering into an employment compromise agreement.

    With that in mind here are some of cogent factors that may be used when coming up with persuasive arguments to negotiate a better severance deal.

    Is There a Dismissal Without Notice?

    An employer may dismiss an employee without notice if there are strong grounds to do so, such as in circumstances of gross misconduct.

    An employer may also bring a contract to an end where the contract of employment expressly permits a termination of the contract without notice, allowing the employer instead to pay a sum in lieu of the notice period.

    If the contract of employment is silent on the point, an employer that seeks to dismiss without notice will in effect be in breach of contract. However, since the loss to the employee is the salary that they would have earned during the notice period, the employer may simply remedy this breach by paying the employer for the notice period.

    The end result is the same for the employer, however from a tax point of view the payment in the latter case is defined as a "compensation payment" from a HM Revenue & Customs perspective on compromise agreements and is subject to the £30,000 tax exemption.

    Are There Restrictive Covenants?

    Many employment compromise agreements contain post termination restrictions such as a non-competition clause to prevent an employee from directly or indirectly setting up business in competition with the employer. Or to prevent an employee from working directly with a competitor, whether in an employed or self-employed capacity.

    If the restrictive covenant simply restates what is already contained in the employee's contract of employment, then there is little leverage that can be used here for negotiating better terms.

    If however, the employer is seeking to either extend the restriction in some way beyond what is currently in the employment contract or to include a restriction that is not covered by the contract of employment, an employee will have a good case to argue for an increase to the severance package on offer.

    For more senior employees, such restrictions may present more of a restraint on that employee's ability to find alternative employment and with that being the case have more room to argue for a higher level of compensation.

    Agreeing a Written Employment Reference

    There is no legal requirement for an employer to give a reference and if one is provided it need only be factual in nature.

    In circumstances where the relationship between the employer and employee are not at their best or where the employee has some concern, either that the employer won't give a good reference, or refuse it give any reference at all, it would be sensible for the employee to request that the wording of a written reference be agreed as part of the terms of the compromise agreement.

    Often overlooked in compromise agreements, written references can be the difference between getting selected for that next employment opportunity or not. So if an employees has any concerns about this, then its best to err on the side of caution and include it within the terms of the compromise agreement.

    Dismissal without notice, adding restrictive covenants beyond current employment contract terms and obtaining an agreeable reference are three of the most common negotiating terms in compromise agreements.

    If you are interested in finding out some more persuasive arguments to negotiating better terms of compromise agreement, you can read our editorial entitled Compromise Agreement Legal Advice - 3 More Persuasive Arguments.

    For more on compromise agreement legal advice, including answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on employment compromise agreements, you can go over to or contact the writer using the contact details below.


    Organisation: Cardona & Co Solicitors


    39 King Edward
    New Bradwell
    Milton keynes
    MK13 0BG

    Tel:01908 225672

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    ( -- February 20, 2013) Milton Keynes, UK -- In the previous part 2 to this Compromise Agreement Legal Advice editorial series, we revealed three common factors and arguments that are frequently used to negotiate more favourable terms to a compromise agreement.

    In this final editorial we take a look at 3 more highly persuasive factors that can assist employees to negotiate better compromise agreement terms.

    Employee's Existing Contractual Benefits

    Employees that have generous employment benefits tied into their contracts of employment, will want to receive fair compensation for the loss of these benefits on the termination of contract.

    Employees will want to ensure that they are at least receiving fair monetary compensation for these additional fringe benefits up to the date of termination and covering the notice period.

    And if the employment is being terminated under dubious circumstances, for example, the employer has tenuous grounds for dismissal, then an employee should certainly factor into the negotiations, not just compensation for loss of future earnings while they look for a replacement job, but also the loss of contractual fringe benefits, as these can quickly add up, not least of which are contractual bonus payments.

    Also consider whether the employer is prepared to offer outplacement support which are specialist support services designed to help you move from your existing role into finding a new job role. This can certainly be helpful in speeding up the processing in finding a new position as these support services tend to be tailored around an individual employee's specific needs.

    The Existence of a Potential Employment Claim

    For a dismissal to be lawful the dismiss must be for one of 6 "fair reasons" as specified in section 98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

    Where an employer seeks to terminate an employment contract in breach of UK employment laws and regulations, or where a compromise agreement is being used by an employer to settle an ongoing dispute with an employee, an employee will often find that there is more room for negotiation to obtain better terms of severance.

    Many employees will often allow for some flexibility in their negotiations on the severance package offered if only to path the way for a smoother exist of that employee.

    Tax Liability

    Severance packages up to £30,000 are potentially exempt from income tax.

    However, only payments that relate to "compensation for loss of employment" are included within this tax exemption.

    Any payments made by an employer to comply with an employee's contractual entitlements such as notice pay, bonus pay, monies for accrued holiday, are not "compensatory" in nature and are therefore treated by HM Revenue & Customs as income subject to tax.

    If the circumstances allow it, an employee may seek to bundle more of the severance pay as "compensation" in order to use up more of the tax exemption. In a previous editorial we looked in detail at compromise agreement tax liability, which would be a good place to start if you need more information on this.

    Use as many of the 6 factors that are relevant and that we outlined in this compromise agreement legal advice editorial series to negotiate with your employer an improvement in the financial terms of severance.

    If you're looking for more on compromise agreement legal advice, including answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on employment compromise agreements, you can go over to the writer's website at or you can contact the writer, who is a specialist employment compromise agreement solicitor, by using the contact information below.


    Organisation: Cardona & Co Solicitors


    39 King Edward
    New Bradwell
    Milton keynes
    MK13 0BG

    Tel:01908 225672

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 21, 2013 ) Detroit, MI – The Better Detroit Youth Movement (BDYM) is calling for young artists ages 13-19 to submit their logo ideas to promote the organization's Options and Opportunities, or “O&O,” slogan.

    The winning submission will have the chance to have their logo featured on multiple accessories and clothing. The artist will also receive media exposure with BDYM, a gift card to the retailer of their choice, and has the potential to make a percentage-based profit on the amount of goods sold using his/her logo.

    O&O is a slogan to encourage youth to embrace new beginnings with every option and opportunity they are offered. The purpose of O&O is to provide youth with resources from organizations around their city to advance themselves in all areas of life. Resources include jobs, programs, clubs, and organizations - anything that potentially provides someone with a new chance to pursue something that they're interested in. The end result of O&O is for those who have been impacted by the slogan to inspire others to find their new beginning through the options and opportunities offered around them.

    To be eligible, artists must reside in Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb counties. If selected, artists must be able to provide proof for their date of birth. Files can be submitted in JPEG, EPS, PNG and GIF. Sketchings will also be accepted as long as they are in PDF form.

    Entries should include the following:
    • Full name
    • Mailing address
    • Best phone number to be contacted
    • Date of Birth
    • Email address

    All submissions should be sent to For more information contact Cedric Brown at (313) 313-3199 or


    The Better Detroit Youth Movement (BDYM) is a non-profit coalition of positive-minded individuals and groups who are committed to working together with communities, parents, schools and students to improve the quality of life and learning for our city's children.

    Citizen volunteerism, youth engagement and participation are key components of the BDYM. We believe by fostering higher levels of communication, cooperation and collaboration among our citizens and communities, while seeking out areas where we can better work together, we will achieve greater success with and for our young generation.

    Cedric Brown
    (313) 313-3199

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 23, 2013 ) San Francisco, CA -- The American Cancer Society has had trouble recruiting volunteers for the nationwide cancer prevention study, and has turned toward local businesses to cultivate interests among employees.

    The third major cancer prevention study was announced in 2008, and had over a half-million participants expected to be signed by 2015.

    The study's organizers have now lowered to total of participants to 300,000 individuals and are less than halfway to even that goal. Recruitment drives were held at fundraisers and events, which proved to not be the strongest area for garnering interest.

    In an expansion effort to reach more people, Monsanto, Center Corporation, Edward Jones, UMB Bank, Maritz, KPMG, and Siteman Cancer Center will all be hosting recruitment drives for the employees and the public from late April to the start of May.

    The study is open for all individuals between 30 and 65 years of age who have not been diagnosed with cancer.

    Participants will have a waist measurement, as well as a blood sample taken. Over the next 20 years, they will be asked to complete bi-annual surveys that will take 45 minutes to complete.

    Previous surveys for the national cancer studies have found that smoking is the root cause of many lung cancers, and that hormones are linked to breast cancer. This study aims to find environmental factors. It will also note genetic and lifestyle factors that may cause cancer as well.

    The study needs as large a scope as possible in order to remove the many variables than can affect the overall study, including socioeconomic, racial, common-hereditary, and like-environment factors.

    About Ecoteer Responsible Travel:

    Ecoteer Responsible Travel ( provides information to visitors on how they can volunteer to help in fun an exciting ways around the globe. Enjoy what the world has to offer while you assist those communities in need, and truly give to the world.

    Benjamin Wrights

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 23, 2013 ) San Francisco, CA -- Over 1,200 warm meals are delivered to homes in the Pinellas County area every day, thanks to the Neighborly Care Network's Meals on Wheels program.

    Sandra Narron, who works with the Neighborly Care Network, stated that they will put out a call to help to the entire community. They have at least 500 individuals on a waiting list to receive meals, and the group is looking for a way to make up the quarter of their volunteers they are to lose in the next couple of months. On top of that, Narron states that they are already short on drivers.

    "Probably five, six years ago we had 1,000 volunteers. Now we have 800 throughout Neighborly Care Network," she said.

    Narron stated that 25% of the Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers have started to head up North in April, and while people registered into the program, many are not receiving their hot meals. Narron pointed out that it is simply difficult to get volunteers on a consistent basis.

    "85% to 90% of our volunteers are seniors," she said.

    Another way people can help if they can't deliver meals is to donate cash or gas cards for drivers.

    "Every little bit helps. This program provides more than a meal. It's somebody to check on them everyday," she said.

    There are more than a handful of sites across the Pinellas County area, and officials state that they could use more volunteers at any of the locations. Anyone interested in volunteering at least once per week for two hours can contact the Neighborly Care Network. Those unable to work can make a donation to the company in order to help funding for the meals for those needy individuals.

    About Ecoteer Responsible Travel:

    Ecoteer Responsible Travel ( provides information to visitors on how they can volunteer to help in fun an exciting ways around the globe. Enjoy what the world has to offer while you assist those communities in need, and truly give to the world.

    Benjamin Wrights

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 23, 2013 ) San Francisco, CA -- The local police at Champaign, along with community organizations and student volunteers are doing their very best to teach university students regarding the dangers of alcohol abuse in advance of Unofficial St. Patrick's Day on March 1.

    Over 30 student volunteers have spent Monday afternoon at the Office of the Dean of Students stuffing 2,900 bags with brochures, various letters and literature, all of which promote the the understanding of alcohol abuse prevention and other safety concepts.

    There are another 175 volunteers that are scheduled to walk the campus on Wednesday, even knocking on doors to over 3,000 apartments and residences in the area in order to connect with individuals within the community regarding the issues.

    The effort is all part of the “Walk as One,” a co-op effort between the Community Coalition, Champaign and UI police, as well as the Office of the Dean of Students, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Alcohol and Other Drug Office, and the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.

    Lt. Jim Clark of the Champaign police stated that the purpose of the “Walk as One” movement is to teach students about the dangers of alcohol abuse in advance of Unofficial.

    The brochures include information on alcohol safety, city ordinances we’ll be enforcing on Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day, balcony safety, alcohol poisoning and other useful information,” Clark said. “The purpose is to distribute information to reduce binge drinking, the number of injuries and the number of people transported to the hospital on Unofficial.”

    Clark said the effort is intended to reach people who may not be reached by the traditional media.

    “We have put out a lot of this stuff before in press releases, but some of the students probably don’t follow the mainstream media and aren’t reading the newspaper day in and day out,” he said. “This is another way to get this information to them.”

    About Ecoteer Responsible Travel:

    Ecoteer Responsible Travel ( provides information to visitors on how they can volunteer to help in fun an exciting ways around the globe. Enjoy what the world has to offer while you assist those communities in need, and truly give to the world.

    Benjamin Wrights

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 26, 2013 ) Dothan, AL -- VIA Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center is a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive community care center for mature adults. The mission of VIA is to offer to its participants a collection of wellness programs, family and individual support services, and bevies of solutions to make the aging process go as smoothly as possible. They are advocates for mature adults, but also care a great deal about improving the lives of all community members in the Greater Mobile area. To serve their cause, VIA provides to its members and nonmembers services in the areas of fitness, recreation & enrichment, health & wellness, outreach, and respite care.

    Fitness - VIA boasts a state-of-the art fitness center and gymnasium with aerobics rooms and Pickle-ball, Badminton and Basketball courts. Certified instructors lead a variety of classes in Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga, weightlifting and endurance training.

    Recreation and Enrichment – VIA offers a variety of leisure programs that encourage socialization. These include card games, bingo, billiards, dancing, woodshop and many other special events. With a campus housing a computer lab, card rooms, woodshop, ceramics and art studios, a billiards room and an auditorium with stage, there’s more than enough space to enjoy activities.

    To help keep participant’s minds sharp, VIA offers computer training classes, foreign language classes, dance instruction, classes in art and ceramics, instruction in card games (Canasta, Bridge, Poker, etc.), and craft and sewing workshops.

    Many of these recreation and enrichment activities are free to VIA members, but all are open to the public for a small fee. New classes and recreational opportunities are always being offered.

    Health & Wellness – VIA strives to provide the community with healthy living information and education. They routinely offer Health & Wellness screenings where blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol are monitored. Other screenings are held throughout the year and include eye exams, hearing tests, skin screenings, and bone and joint health.

    Throughout the year, local health experts come speak at VIA for seminars and educational opportunities. Past topics have included skin cancer, dementia, diabetes, eye care, arthritis and nutrition. Area health organizations also provide yearly flu shot and pneumonia vaccine clinics.

    Outreach – Mobile is such a tight-knit and generous community. VIA exemplifies these characteristics by offering outreach programs. They offer information and referral services in house to people needing support from community assistance groups. In addition to operating an emergency food pantry, VIA houses a restaurant, Dauphin Street Café, which offers nutritious and low-cost, hot meals.

    VIA’s Home Care program provides one hour of light housekeeping and social support per week to homebound older adults and adults with disabilities. This program is free to those who participate, but a small donation is appreciated. VIA also provides emergency financial assistance, hurricane preparedness materials, and utility assistance when funds are available.

    Respite Care – VIA’s program, GrandFriends, combines structured, supervised activities with a safe, affordable and comfortable environment for elderly adults with dementia or special physical needs. The program is available 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Breakfast, a hot lunch and an afternoon snack are provided daily.

    The program is dedicated to providing care-givers with much needed respite. Family members and friends are able to continue their daily routines knowing that their loved one is in a caring environment that fosters safety and activity.

    More information about VIA Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center can be obtained by calling (251) 478-3311 or visiting their website at

    About the Cochran Firm
    Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice or Social Security Disability lawyer. The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or visit their website at “Working for You.” Article by Ben Irwin, Esq.###
    Cochran Firm
    163 West Main Street
    Dothan, Alabama 36301
    1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476)

    Ben Irwin

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 27, 2013 ) Dothan, AL -- Michigan Family Support Initiative (MFSI) functions to reunite, preserve, strengthen, and maintain families of individuals with developmental disabilities. In keeping with this mission, the staff MFSI will work earnestly to link those having developmental disabilities to ample support providers and community opportunities so they can exercise true choice and self-determination in their home communities in Michigan.

    Michigan is known for being a leader in offering community-focused programs that build and foster growth within the family unit. However, this wasn’t always the case for those struggling with disabilities lacking options to be housed anywhere but private institutions and congregate housing facilities. The Michigan Family Support Initiative (MFSI) is a grant-funded, statewide initiative created to address this discrepancy between the number of developmentally disabled individuals and families searching for support versus the number of individuals and families that had already tapped into beneficial community resources in Michigan.

    MFSI community liaisons address the needs of their participants through thorough navigation, training, and monitoring of family needs and desires for services. Barriers that families in need face are assessed and combated through intense individualized planning, individual and family monitoring, technical support, and consistent evaluation of progress. Specifically, MFSI hopes to provide referral services to at least 100 families per year. Of these families in Michigan, MFSI hopes to serve annually about 50 qualifying families or individuals.

    Participation in the initiative is free. All costs are covered by a grant from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University. A child or an adult with a developmental disability, who lives in Michigan with five or more other people with disabilities, is eligible to participate in the MFSI project. This could include youth living in a privately licensed facility or Adults living in a licensed or unlicensed group living arrangement who wish to find a home living arrangement that provides more choice and control.

    For more information regarding MFSI, contact information, a calendar of upcoming events, or to learn more about who the MFSI serves, contact (313) 577-2654 or check out their website at

    About the Cochran Firm
    Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice or Social Security Disability lawyer. The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or visit their website at “Working for You.” Article by Ben Irwin, Esq.###
    Cochran Firm
    163 West Main Street
    Dothan, Alabama 36301
    1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476)

    Ben Irwin

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 28, 2013 ) Dothan, AL – The Golden Buckeye card provides for discounts from thousands of merchants and service companies in Ohio. Although the card is provided automatically to residents after their sixtieth birthday, it is also available for disabled residents over the age of 18.

    The Golden Buckeye program allows for residents who have been declared to have a disability as defined by the Social Security Administration to be eligible to receive a free card. Eligible residents must apply in person at participating public libraries and senior centers. Online or phone applications are not allowed due to ID, age and disability verification requirements.

    Merchants who voluntarily participate in this program provide discounts to card holders. These merchants are not reimbursed by the State of Ohio and have provided an estimated $2 billion in savings for Ohio residents since 1976. Most participating merchants will advertise their acceptance of the card, or one can search for a provider online at

    In addition to savings from merchants, the card also provides prescription drug discounts through Ohio’s Best Rx program (which, incidentally, is also available to all Ohio residents without restriction). The discount drug program is accepted at over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide and Ohio residents may be eligible for even greater discounts based on age or income status.

    There are over 16,000 merchants and service providers who either offer a discount on their products or services or may offer special deals. There is no fee to join as a merchant and the amount or type of offer is decided by the discount provider. The Golden Buckeye Program is always looking for additional merchants.

    More information about the Golden Buckeye Program can be found at

    About the Cochran Firm
    Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Attorney, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice or Social Security Disability lawyer. The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or visit their website at “Working for You.” Article by Ben Irwin, Esq.###
    Cochran Firm
    163 West Main Street
    Dothan, Alabama 36301
    1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476)

    Ben Irwin

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    ( via -- February 22, 2013) Las Vegas, NV -- Pain management physicians take care of people that are in acute or chronic pain.

    In a recent interview, Dr. Alain Coppel, MD, chairman of the Nevada Comprehensive Pain Center in Las Vegas, explained the difference between them this way:

    “Acute pain may be anything from post-surgical pain to an acute injury on a soccer field, at work or with a motor vehicle accident. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts several months or more. It may crop up as persistent pain after an injury heals, or arise as a debilitating symptom of long-term diseases like arthritis, diabetes or cancer”.

    Often, Dr. Coppel said, primary care physicians can prescribe medications but when it gets to a certain dose or a certain frequency they may leave it up to pain management physicians to actually incorporate the medication management. The reason for this is that high dose medication management or frequent medication management can lead to significant side effects as well as to the potential for addiction and dependence on the medications. "We as pain management physicians are better trained to be able to manage the medications and to be able to look for somebody with risk factors or the red flags that may be associated with a dependency on the medications or an addiction to the medications".

     According to statistics there are 116 million U.S. chronic pain sufferers.

    Pain specialists have traditionally treated symptoms as individual units that are not talking to each other.

    "We look at the whole person because there are a lot of the things that sometimes can prevent someone from getting better. Those things could be poor muscle strength posture, for instance smoking, uncontrolled diabetes that can lead to less than optimal outcomes in terms of pain management. So we just don't address the specific thing that may be causing the pain but other factors that may be contributing to the sensation of pain and the sensation of suffering as well", said Dr. Coppell.

    He continued saying: "I think the comprehensive approach comes from being trained at a large University like Johns Hopkins. At Johns Hopkins we incorporated psychological care, surgical care, medication management with pharmacists, social workers and things like that and we noticed that the best outcomes in every patient were when this whole comprehensive model was actually utilized".

    Dr. Coppel also noted that physical therapy can help pain because oftentimes the pain itself can lead to range of motion abnormalities and that can also translate into more pain and more suffering and more limitations in the things that patients may want to be able to do. "By incorporating physical therapy we are able to bring in some of the range of motion we are able to re-program the spinal cord we are also able to program the muscles to be able to function better", said Dr. Coppel.

    You can see the full interview segments here:

    You can visit Dr. Coppel on the web at:

    Nevada Comprehensive Pain Center has the following Pain management clinics in Las Vegas, NV

    Nevada Comprehensive Pain Center, Las Vegas
    2809 W. Charleston Blvd
    Las Vegas

    Nevada Comprehensive Pain Center, Henderson
    1070 Wigmam Pkwy
    Suite 120 Henderson

    Nevada Comprehensive Pain Center, Summerlin
    3430 N. Buffalo.
    Suite 120 Las Vegas

    Phone (702) 476-9999
    Fax     (702) 946-1343

    Article posted by Sergio Chavez

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    Free Event Ypsilanti MI: Using LinkedIn for More Than Just Resumes

    Mareketing Tip: Improve Business: LinkedIn Recommendations

    4 Tips for Writing a Blog - The Ultimate Analyst
    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 25, 2013 ) Ypsilanti, Mich. – LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly popular online resource for many professionals, yet many people only know it as a way of making “Connections” and using it as an online resume. However, LinkedIn is much more powerful for those who know how to use it. Chris Wechner of The Ultimate Analyst online marketing company will be presenting how to use LinkedIn more productively at 215 W. Michigan (the SPARK East facility) on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Wechner commented, “While I’ve had a LinkedIn account for years, I only started really using it about a little over a year ago. Once I dove into it more, I realized that LinkedIn is a great resource for information. However, I think LinkedIn is a really amazing networking tool. Most people just don’t realize it.”

    Chris Wechner shares a disclaimer, “I realize that some people listening to me are thinking some variation of, ‘Oh, no! Not another social media things to eat up my time.’ I have the same concerns about social media, and I think most of us online marketers have a hard time with that. However, like any other tool, if it’s used correctly, it helps leverage your time, meaning it returns more to you than it requires you to put into it—when done correctly.”

    This presentation will show attendees different ways to use LinkedIn more productivity—for more than just online resumes. Chris Wechner will also provide a live demonstration to emphasize or clarify some portions of his presentation.

    Event: Community Media Lab Workshop
    Speaker: Chris Wechner
    Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
    Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
    Topic: Using LinkedIn for More Than Just Resumes
    Location: SPARK East
    Address: 215 W. Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 (Click HERE for Directions)
    Cost: No Charge
    Registration: Not Required

    This event is being sponsored by the Heritage Community Media Lab ( The Community Media Lab attempts to remove the barriers between the various Heritage Media newspapers and the people they serve by providing the public with free training. Heritage Media wants to publish the best, most relevant local news, and they realize that people reading their papers are living news every day. The vision is for people living this news to be able to feel comfortable providing the newspaper with news that should be shared.

    The Community Media Lab offers special event workshops addressing different topics throughout the year. Additionally, staffed by members of Heritage Media-West journalists and editors, the Community Media Lab offers free individual instruction to help people learn specific skills, giving hands-on training. They offer help with writing, different software and websites on the Internet, and even handling camera and video recording camcorder equipment.

    To learn more about this free workshop event or others, you can contact Michelle Rogers at (267) 229-6037.

    About Chris Wechner: Chris Wechner is the Director of Marketing for The Ultimate Analyst, and he helps businesses get found on Google and generate publicity. The Ultimate Analyst helps market small startup businesses and nationwide franchises.

    Chris gives talks about online marketing throughout Southeast Michigan and leads the Internet Marketing Roundtable Early Bird Sessions at the Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD). He has a serious appetite for learning but a light hearted approach to his presentations. He is known to be a thorough teacher and an engaging speaker.

    For more information about how Chris Wechner might be able to help promote your business or speak at an event, call (248) 905-1290 or visit

    Chris Wechner
    (248) 905-1290

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, February 27, 2013 ) Riverside, CA -- It may sound like an impossibly ambitious task, but an equally ambitious company has gone into business with an unusual, person-centered rather than profit-centered model of trading. Soteria offers a wide range of iPhone cases in a variety of colors and styles, but all with Christian ethics and slogans to promote the word of Christ in a fresh and modern context. But actions speak louder than words, and so the company is also donating four meals for starving children for every phone case purchased from the online store.

    Soteria currently sells four unique and distinct Christian iPhone 4 cases with a range of quotes and colors to suit any user. The cases come in under twenty dollars, so they’re already great value for consumers, as well as contributing money to charity. Soteria supports Rice Bowls, a charity that distributes meals to the neediest people all over the world, in countries such as India, Africa and Nicaragua. The religious iPhone 4 cases thereby make a direct impact on individuals dying needlessly from micronutrient malnutrition, making a Christian act out of customizing your phone.

    The company has seen a great deal of initial success and is looking to add more phone cases in the near future, including cases for the iPhone 5.

    A spokesperson for Soteria explained, “We hope that more businesses will realize that blindly chasing profit maximization at the expense of basic principles like morality and human dignity will lead us nowhere in the long term. We started our business with the intention to change the way we do business for life, and that’s why our priority is giving as much as we can from each sale to support charities doing great works overseas. We pray that individuals will be touched by our approach to the world of commerce and find satisfaction in helping others by helping themselves.”

    About Soteria: Soteria is a website that is based on helping change the lives of children all over the world by providing meals for children in need. They sell Christian iPhone cases and have been in business for over a year, going from strength to strength as their product and message touch the lives of many new customers. For more information, please visit:

    Steven Miller

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    ( -- February, 27  2013) Milton Keynes, UK -- Employees facing the prospect of an uncertain period of unemployment when presented with an employment compromise agreement will frequently have one core concern, how much?

    However, from this 3 questions frequently emerge:

    1. How much am I entitled to?
    2. How much will it cost to obtain legal advice?
    3. How much tax will I need to pay on the severance package?

    We'll take a look at each of these in turn so that an employee faced with impending loss of employment may have a better understanding of where he or she stands financially.

    1. Compromise Agreement - How Much Am I Entitled To?

    How much an employee is financially entitled to depends on the circumstances and reasons for the proposed termination of the employment contract.

    As with many employment law related issues, there is no one answer fits all and this editorial is intended to simply give some guidance on the potential values of severance pay.

    Broadly speaking, the amount that an employee may be legally entitled to depends on 2 broad factors regarding the termination.

    i. Was the dismissal for a "fair reason", or
    ii. Was the dismissal for an "unfair reason"

    Examples of fair reasons are redundancy, a lack of capability to do one's job, serious misconduct or an accumulation of instances of bad behaviour, organisational restructuring, a fundamental breach of an employer's terms and conditions of employment such as criminal activity and many more.

    Unfair reason include such things as selecting a person for redundancy using unfair or subjective selection criteria; deciding to end a person's contract in breach of discrimination laws; ending a contract for conduct or capability without any formal disciplinary procedures excluding acts that may amount to gross misconduct; and many other situations.

    The distinction is important from a negotiating perspective since an employee facing loss of employment for unfair reasons, will have a stronger negotiating position than an employee who is dismissed for a fair reason, for example redundancy.

    Generally, employees being dismissed for a fair reason will only be entitled to pay and other contractual benefits up to the end of their notice period. How much notice will vary from employee to employee.

    The law prescribes a minimum amount of notice of 1 week if the employee has been employed for at least 4 weeks and an additional week's notice for each year after the second year of employment, with a maximum of 12 weeks notice for employment of 12 years or more.

    However, employees should review their own contractual terms as these may provide a more generous period of notice than the statutory minimum prescribed by law.

    There are however, two exceptions to the general rule that employees dismissed for a fair reason are only entitled to notice and pay (plus any other contractual entitlements) during the notice period.

    1. Gross Misconduct

    In circumstances of dismissal for gross misconduct an employee is not entitled to any notice as he is deemed to be in serious breach of contract.

    2. Redundancy

    The second exception relates to redundancy, which whilst a fair reason for dismissal, the law provides additional protection by prescribing a minimum amount of redundancy pay in addition to notice and pay during notice.

    To calculate statutory redundancy pay, rather than set out here the mathematical formula for working out basic redundancy pay, since it will depend on a number of employee specific factors, simply head over to the Government's website, where you will find a simple 4-step process for calculating statutory minimum redundancy pay.

    However, an employee should check with the employee to see if it operates its own contractual redundancy scheme. Company redundancy schemes tend to be more generous than the statutory redundancy and in such circumstances, the employee would be entitled to the enhanced benefit of a company run redundancy scheme.

    Compromise Agreement Pay & Unfair Reasons for Dismissal

    As a general rule, if an employee suspects that the reason for dismissal are not fair and there is strong documentary evidence to support a potential claim for unfair dismissal, in these circumstances an employee is more likely to have a stronger negotiating hand.

    Potential Value in Instances of Unfair Reasons for Dismissal?

    To assess the potential value, a solicitor will treat the case similar to a claim for damages for unfair dismissal, which is made up of a basic award and a compensatory award.

    The basic award is simply the equivalent of basic statutory redundancy pay.

    The compensatory award is an approximation of actual loss and future loss of income of the employee caused by the unfair termination of employment. And as a general rule compensation equivalent to 4-6 months pay is considered a decent settlement for loss of employment.

    In addition to this an employee will also be entitled to notice pay and all other contractual entitlements to the end of the notice period.

    In part 2, we take a look at 2 more frequently asked questions:

    1. How much will it cost to get legal help with a compromise agreement; and

    2. How much tax is due on a compromise agreement settlement?

    In the meantime, you can find more information and answers to frequently asked question on employment compromise agreements at


    Graham Cardona
    Cardona & Co Solicitors

    39 King Edward Street

    Milton Keynes , Buckinghamshire , MK13 0BG United Kingdom

    01908 225672

    This hCard created with the hCard creator.

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, March 07, 2013 ) Dothan, AL -- Open Door Community House, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that serves Columbus area residents by offering a variety of programs with the single purpose of empowering underprivileged people so they can achieve their full potential.

    Open Door Community Center has opened its heart and its doors to help women, families and children in need by providing outlets for them to connect with area service agencies, obtain basic necessities, gain beneficial skills, and grow spiritually. Some of the many programs and services offered by Open Door Community Center include the following:

    Open Door Institute – The Open Door Institute is an exciting new initiative, which offers POWER classes focused on the subjects of self, career and spiritual development. The Open Door Institute hosts basic computer classes, stress management classes and GED prep. They also present a fourteen week program for homeless or impoverished men and women that teach them culinary arts and life skills.

    The Showering Program – Probably the most expansive outreach ministry offered by The Open Door Community House, The Showering Program for the Homeless serves up to 600 different participants each year. This program is a unique ministry where unsheltered homeless individuals are offered a place to shower, a change of clothing, a nutritious breakfast, hygiene items, barber services and a place to do laundry. In addition to fulfilling those basic needs, participants can elect to participate in job search seminars, basic computer classes and health related education opportunities.

    Community Case Management Program – The Community Case Management Program tackles issues to help their clients receive assistance with rental deposits, first month’s rent, household necessities, counseling through the Pastoral Institute, job search, medical services and assistance with the cost of childcare and education.

    Open Door’s Transition Home for Women – Open Door's Transition Home for Women in Crisis is the oldest transitional housing program the Columbus area. A structured and safe environment is provided to adult homeless women for up to two years if they maintain employment, are looking for employment, attend school or are participating in the Community Case Management Program.

    Golden Agers – Golden Agers is a popular weekly program for senior citizens to come eat, fellowship, and have fun--all while nourishing their spirit. Held typically on Mondays, Golden Agers offers those participating in the program not only food and entertainment, but also preventative health screening and advocacy services. Transportation is available to those who need it.

    Information about Open Door Community House may be obtained by calling 706-323-5518 or visiting their website,

    About the Cochran Firm
    Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice or Social Security Disability lawyer. The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or visit their website at “Working for You.” Article by Ben Irwin, Esq.###

    Cochran Firm
    163 West Main Street
    Dothan, Alabama 36301
    1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476)

    Ben Irwin

    Source: EmailWire.Com

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