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Seventh Generation Introduces a New Disinfectant Spray

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 1:20pm

/Marketwired/ Seventh Generation, a leading household and personal care products company and pioneer in the environmentally conscious products space, today announced the launch of Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray. Seventh Generation's new Disinfectant Spray kills 99.99% of bacteria and viruses1 using CleanWell™ technology, a disinfectant formula based on thyme oil. 

The new products eliminate odors and feature scents made with essential oils and botanical extracts; available in three SKUs: Lavender Vanilla & Thyme Scent, Fresh Citrus & Thyme Scent, and Eucalyptus, Spearmint & Thyme Scent. With this product, there is no rinse required after use, even on food contact surfaces, a unique attribute in the category. The spray is also non-flammable and powered by compressed air, utilizing continuous 360° spray technology that won't lose pressure.

"Seventh Generation has always believed that every element of our products should keep the wellbeing of our customers in mind," said Joey Bergstein, COO of Seventh Generation. "Our new disinfectant sprays are no different; we went through extensive work to ensure we were putting together a botanically based spray we can feel good about people using in their homes." 

The new disinfectant is appropriate for use in homes and is effective at killing viruses specifically: Rhinovirus type 37 (the common cold virus) and Influenza A viruses, including H1N1. It's also effective at killing bacteria, specifically: Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli.

Seventh Generation has long believed that consumers have a right to know what is inside the cleaning products they use. While it is not required by U.S. law, Seventh Generation lists ingredients on all their cleaning product labels, including fragrance ingredients. Seventh Generation has extended this practice to the new line of Disinfectant Sprays. In addition to the disclosure of the active ingredient (as required by law) the formula's other ingredients, including fragrance ingredients, are voluntarily listed on the product labels.

The new disinfectant sprays are currently rolling out nationwide at CVS Pharmacy, Target, grocery and natural food stores. For more information about Seventh Generation, please visit www.seventhgeneration.com.

About Seventh Generation 
For over 20 years, it's been Seventh Generation's mission to help you protect your world with our environmentally conscious and effective household products. Our products are solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home -- and for the community and environment outside of it. Seventh Generation offers a full line of laundry, dish and household cleaners, baby products including Free & Clear diapers, training pants and baby wipes, plus recycled paper products and recycled plastic trash bags, and feminine care products including Organic certified tampons. The company derives its name from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy that states, "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." For information on Seventh Generation cleaning, paper, baby and feminine personal care products, to find store locations, and explore the company's website visit www.seventhgeneration.com. To read more about Seventh Generation's corporate responsibility, visit the Corporate Consciousness Report at: www.7genreport.com.

1 Kills over 99.99% of household germs, specifically: Influenza A virus, H1N1, Rhinovirus type 37, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli.

Sustainable Brands Reveals SB’17 Copenhagen Program

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 1:20pm

 Sustainable Brands® recently announced program details for the upcoming conference, SB’17 Copenhagen, running October 30th - November 1st at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. Over 450 brand and sustainability leaders are expected to gather and collaborate on how redefined societal aspirations are transforming the ways brands deliver value for their customers

Over 100 global thought leaders and cutting-edge practitioners of environmental and social innovation will present inspirational keynotes, host discussion sessions, provide content-rich resources for deep dive breakouts, and facilitate networking activities. Select program highlights include:

  • Kaj Török, CRO and CSO of Max Burgers will expand on the business case around healthy, sustainable products.

  • Aniela Unguresan, Co-Founder of Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) Certified Foundation, will share why gender equality is critical for a thriving business and methods for analyzing if your business is on bar.

  • Filip Engel, Director, Group Sustainability, Public Affairs & Branding at DONG Energy, will reveal how a leading brand can undergo organizational and brand reinvention.

  • Nour Tayara, Assistant Vice President of Marketing at L’Oreal, will reveal strategies for holistically reinventing supply chains.

  • Vanessa Rothschild, Sustainability Business Controller at H&M, will share the strategy that provided the backbone for H&M’s ClimatePositive initiative.

  • Chris Grantham, Circular Economy Portfolio Director at IDEO, will explain how to design in a way that regenerates and adds to Earth’s resources, rather than detracting from it.  

  • Loa Dalgaard Worm, Director of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Denmark, will share groundbreaking new research on successfully engaging consumers in SDG goals and key business metrics. 

  • Nikolaus Raupp, Global Sustainability Manager Dispersions & Pigments at BASF, will lead a deep dive studio on a scalable and holistic approach to changing product composition from the first instance of production.

  • Leith Sharp, Director of Executive Education for Sustainability at Harvard University, along with the London School of Economics and the World Bank, will explore the business imperative of purpose-driven leadership and organizational design.

“Today’s consumers are demanding more from the brands they support; they understand that what they buy matters, not just to themselves and their families, but to their communities, society and the planet,” states KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, Founder of Sustainable Brands. “For brands to remain competitive, they must evolve with this new generation of consumers. SB’17 Copenhagen is an opportunity for smart brands to find new frameworks, tools and partnerships to ensure purpose-driven brands outperform traditional brands in delivering tangible business results.”

Sustainable Brands is proud to recognize BASF and DONG Energy as a Major Sponsors for SB’17 Copenhagen. Supporting sponsors include Nature Bank, South Pole Group and Trucost. Additional sponsors and partners include: Ecosphere+, CSR.dk, SustMeme, D&AD, The Sustainability Consortium, SustainAbility, Terracycle, essensus, Forum for the Future, among others.

For further information on the conference program, a complete list of confirmed speakers and sponsors or available sponsorship opportunities, please visit the conference website at www.SB17Copenhagen.com. Sponsor and partner opportunities are still available for companies with breakthrough ideas, tools and technologies that support business success in sustainability. For more information, please email connect@sustainablebrands.com or call 415.626.2212.

About Sustainable Brands

Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is hosted by Sustainable Brands Worldwide, a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

Hudson Booksellers Selects New Book on Socially Conscious Business for National Airport Promotion

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 7:18am

Airport readers will soon be turning the pages of a new book charting a socially responsible revolution in business as Hudson Booksellers has selected Rise Up—How to Build a Socially Conscious Business for a nationwide promotion.

For the month of October, Rise Up—How to Build a Socially Conscious Business by Russ Stoddard will be a featured book on the business table in 80 Hudson Bookseller stores at airports across the country.

“This confirms there is significant interest in a new breed of businesses called social enterprises that create social impact, positive environmental outcomes, and financial profit as well,” said Stoddard.

Rise Up—How to Build a Socially Conscious Business is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released nationwide on September 19, 2017.

Rise Up, published by Elevate Publishing, serves as a guide for entrepreneurs who want to align their values with their careers by creating social enterprises that solve social and environmental problems. In the book, Stoddard shares insights and guidance for building a socially conscious business based on more than 25 years of experience starting and running social enterprises.

Acclaim for the book has come from all sectors in the business world. “Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, an employee, or a consumer (yup – basically anyone), this book is for you,” said Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet.

In his book review for Foreword Reviews, Barry Silverstein wrote, “Rise Up is essential reading for entrepreneurs who want to start their own purpose-driven businesses, as well as senior business executives who aspire to lead their organizations to become more socially conscious.”

About the Author

Russ Stoddard is regarded as a leader in the movement for socially conscious business. He is the owner and founder of Oliver Russell, a certified B corporation and legal public benefit corporation in Boise, Idaho. Oliver Russell builds brands for purpose-driven companies with a product, service, or business model that benefits society. More information about the author and the book can be found on his website.

# # #

Black & Veatch: Renewables, Distributed Energy Resources Driving Investments in Power Transmission Assets

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 4:18pm

The influx of renewables and evolving customer demand for green energy and reliability are driving the electric industry to make significant capital investments in power delivery assets. Global engineering and construction company Black & Veatch’s just-released 2017 Strategic Directions: Electric Industry Report explores how these transmission and distribution plays reflect the increasing roles of advanced technologies and distributed energy resources in pursuit of an uninterruptable power flow.

Among key findings, the report highlights how electric services providers are continuously adapting to evolving financial and political environments. Changing regulatory landscapes on the state and federal levels and rising consumer interest in green energy are tugging at industry leaders as they simultaneously navigate problems of aging infrastructure and security.

“The entire electric industry is adopting a more flexible approach to finance, strategy development and technology to meet demand and deliver a secure, reliable power supply,” said Ed Walsh, President of Black & Veatch’s power business. “Investments in transmission and distribution assets are rising sharply, while innovation that speeds the adoption and integration of renewable energy is at a premium.”

Changes within the power industry are forcing reconsiderations of conventional planning and delivery models. At the residential level, customer adoption of solar and other behind-the-meter options are challenging business plans of old, the report finds. Even long-held models for power flows to large business or industrial customers are shifting as brick and mortar retail increasingly cedes to online commerce and centralized distribution hubs.

“Innovation will become increasingly important as the industry continues to face seismic shifts that are reshaping the future of power services as we know them,” Walsh added.

The report also analyzes the role of integrated planning, and the importance of long-term, holistic strategies for managing new generation sources on the power grid. Utility master planning is essential to accommodating these changes, meeting local and national regulatory requirements and maintaining reliability.

“Change is accelerating across the industry at an unprecedented rate,” said John Chevrette, President of Black & Veatch’s management consulting business. “Adoption of distributed generation is a common challenge for virtually all utilities, but the tactical solutions will be unique for each. Holistic master planning will be a crucial component that will enable utility leaders to evolve their plans to meet future need.”

Other key findings include:

  • 60 percent of survey respondents named reliability and aging infrastructure as the top two major drivers of transmission investment.

  • Close to half of utilities plan to add a substantial amount of renewable energy (solar photovoltaic and/or wind turbine) generation to their systems in the next five years; only 2 percent plan to add coal-fired generation.

  • Cybersecurity (No. 2) and physical security (No. 8) continue to rank high among the industry’s top concerns. Technology has introduced vulnerabilities, but utilities are prioritizing risk and resilience mitigation to shore up security gaps.

  • More than 45 percent of respondents plan to invest $25+ million in Big Data analytics, smart grid improvements and/or system monitoring over the next two years.

  • Utilities are making strides in energy storage; 27 percent are either running or developing an energy storage pilot program, while almost half have it on their technology roadmaps.

Editor’s Notes:

  • Black & Veatch’s report is based on a survey of 533 participants across the utility, municipal, commercial and community sectors.

  • The full Black & Veatch report is available for free download at www.bv.com/reports.

                                                                                          ***

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2016 were US$3.2 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.

Media Contact Information:

MELINA VISSAT | +1 303-256-4065 P | +1 617-595-8009 M | VissatM@BV.com
24-HOUR MEDIA HOTLINE | +1 866-496-9149

Keep America Beautiful Announces Launch of 2017 Recycle-Bowl; Encourages Nation to #BeRecycled Ahead of America Recycles Day

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 4:18pm

As students begin to gather their notebooks, backpacks and pencils for the new school year, Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, plans to ignite a passion for recycling in schools across the country with the launch of its 7th Annual Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl. Registration is now open for the fall recycling competition at http://Recycle-Bowl.org/.

Recycle-Bowl, Keep America Beautiful’s national K-12 school-based recycling competition, begins on Oct. 16 and culminates on America Recycles Day, Nov. 15. Champions are crowned in five categories: School Division, Community Division, District Division, Waste Reduction and Food Scrap Collection. Through participation in Recycle-Bowl and America Recycles Day, the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States, Keep America Beautiful is helping communities spotlight recycling on a local level by educating students and community members on how and what to recycle, while providing an array of resources to improve recycling in America.

“Keep America Beautiful is determined to end littering, improve recycling, reduce waste and beautify America’s communities,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “Recycle-Bowl and America Recycles Day are key fall initiatives to educate, motivate and activate individuals and entire communities to better understand what to place in recycling bins and the many environmental, economic and social benefits of recycling.”

New this year, Recycle-Bowl is partnering with PepsiCo, a presenting sponsor, to offer participants the opportunity to concurrently sign up for PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally program. “Keep America Beautiful’s Recycle-Bowl is a great way to get schools and communities fired up about recycling, and we think Recycle Rally is a natural complement to extend that level of engagement throughout the rest of the school year,” said Tom Mooradian, PepsiCo Sustainability Manager. Recycle Rally rewards schools for recycling beverage containers and offers frequent promotions and access to free downloadable resources to help schools boost recycling .More information on this collaboration will be available in the coming weeks.

Registration for the fun and engaging four-week in-school competition is open to teachers, school administrators, school facility managers, PTA/PTO and other parent groups and local recycling advocates. Recycle-Bowl registration will remain open until Oct. 10, one week before the start of the competition. Nearly 700,000 students and teachers from more than 1,290 schools across the nation competed in the 2016 Recycle-Bowl.

Recyclables recovered during the 2016 Recycle-Bowl competition totaled 3.2 million pounds across 47 U.S. states, with Bon Air Elementary of Kokomo, Indiana, crowned as the 2016 champion. Whether a school has an existing recycling program or is looking to launch one, Recycle-Bowl is an excellent way for teachers, students and facility managers to engage their entire school community in recycling.

AMERICA RECYCLES DAY: NOV. 15, 2017

America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful national initiative, takes place on and in the weeks leading into Nov. 15. Registration is open for businesses, community organizations, government entities, individuals and others planning to host an America Recycles Day-themed event. For recycling educators, the program provides an opportunity to improve recycling by reminding individuals what can be recycled.

Event organizers can access valuable resources to plan, promote and host an event on the America Recycles Day website where there are guides for hosting events, activity ideas, downloadable posters and banners, media outreach tools, sample proclamations and more. Events can be scheduled at any time during the fall leading into the official America Recycles Day celebration, Nov. 15. Learn more at AmericaRecyclesDay.org.

TAKE THE #BERECYCLED PLEDGE

For the second year, Keep America Beautiful is encouraging people to #BeRecycled in every aspect of their life. Available online at americarecyclesday.org/pledge/ and via paper pledges at events across the country, the #BeRecycled Pledge is a promise to actively choose to live a recycled lifestyle by committing to “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” in all aspects of daily life:

  • Recycling at home, work/school and on-the-go;
  • Buying products made with recycled content; and
  • Educating and encouraging friends, family and neighbors to take the #BeRecycled Pledge.

“America Recycles Day and Recycle-Bowl are moments in time that provide the inspiration and education to make recycling a common practice, every day of the year,” said Pulley. “We encourage everyone in communities across the country – including schools, business and organizations – to participate and to take the #BeRecycled Pledge in a national effort to improve recycling in America.”

Sponsors of this year’s initiative include American Chemistry Council, H&M, Keurig Green Mountain, and Waste Management.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, we strive to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, curricula, practical advice and other resources to deliver measurable environmental, economic and social benefits. The organization is driven by more than 600 state and local affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities and government officials. Join us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.

CONTACT

Emily White
+1 (203) 659-3004
ewhite@kab.org
Keep America Beautiful
http://www.kab.org
http://www.recycle-bowl.org
http://americarecyclesday.org
http://www.twitter.com/recyclesday
http://www.facebook.com/americarecyclesday  

Larry Kaufman
+1 (203) 659-3014
lkaufman@kab.org
Keep America Beautiful

New Grantmaking Guide Releases Tactics to Streamline Grants Management

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:18am

CyberGrants, corporate philanthropy software providers, announced the release of their latest resource, “8 Facets of a Seamless Grantmaking Process,” built to support and manage grantmaking processes from planning, to implementation, company engagement, goal tracking, and disbursement option management so giving programs never fall short.

The grantmaking process will always be full of challenges to overcome, but with these insights garnered from years of working with foundations of all sizes, an efficient grantmaking process is made possible. The new grantmaking guide provides tactics on:

  • Fostering collaboration across the grantmaking lifecycle

  • Investigating your grantmaking ROI to prove its worth

  • Making your grantmaking come full circle

  • Creating a more personalized follow-up plan

  • Setting realistic guidelines for everyone's best interests

  • Shaping your culture for increased participation

  • Reshaping the payment disbursements process for faster results

“In any project of scope, there’s a period of feeling completely overwhelmed, which is why we created this guide. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve performed the tasks, how many people are working alongside or ever how much motivation you begin with, simply starting can be an obstacle,” said Nita Kirby, Director, Client Strategy at CyberGrants.”

When it comes to grants management, an ideal situation is to both benefit a business’ bottom line and positively impact employees and the community. To achieve this, it’s time for foundations to think more holistically in terms of resources at their disposal and what they can provide to nonprofits. Writing a check and shipping a press release to the masses is not an effective partnership.

48% of nonprofits believe grantmakers don’t understand their needs. Perhaps this is due to the fact that only 3% of foundation programs assess formal needs when considering additional assistance to provide beyond grant money.

Many grantmakers have been relying on the internal process for grant payouts for years, but the grants field has changed dramatically since the turn of the century and it’s time companies reevaluate their processes.

Before companies can truly make a grantmaking process seamless, the current processes in place must be evaluated. Post-evaluation, follow the 8 steps outlined in the Grantmaking Guide to create a truly well-oiled grantmaking machine.

To learn more about CyberGrants and the services they provide, please visit the support center to speak with a representative: http://www.cybergrants.com/speak-with-an-expert/

About CyberGrants

CyberGrants is a leading provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for corporate social responsibility management. CyberGrants’ mission is to provide innovative software and services in the most secure and efficient way. With nearly 20 years experience, CyberGrants has delivered grants management software and corporate philanthropy program software to many of the largest companies and foundations in the world, including more than 50% of the Fortune 100. For additional information on CyberGrants, visit www.cybergrants.com.

Wayfair and Habitat for Humanity Renew Global Partnership

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 4:15pm

 Wayfair, provider of home furnishings and décor, and Habitat for Humanity today announced the renewal of their global partnership to help build and rehabilitate safe and affordable homes. Wayfair has contributed more than $1 million to Habitat for Humanity as it celebrates five years of partnership. Wayfair will continue to provide fundraising, product donations and volunteer mobilization to help families build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.

“Wayfair is rooted in the belief that everyone should live in a home they love, which is why we are so committed to Habitat’s mission to create safe, decent and affordable housing in partnership with individuals and families,” noted Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair. “Over the past five years of partnership, our customers have also shown tremendous support for this important cause, and we are delighted to see so many of them engaged in supporting Habitat’s mission with us. We look forward to building on our partnership with Habitat and providing more families the chance to own a home.”

Wayfair supports Habitat through a variety of fundraising initiatives as well as employee and customer engagement. More than 200,000 Wayfair.com customers have demonstrated their generosity and commitment to Habitat’s mission at checkout. In addition, Wayfair has donated thousands of pieces of furniture and décor to Habitat for Humanity ReStore resale outlets to help fund decent and affordable housing across the country.

To commemorate the company’s growing presence in Canada following the launch of Wayfair.ca in January 2016, Wayfair will participate in its first build project in the Greater Toronto area at a townhome community in Scarborough, the largest build site in the region. The company will join forces with local business partners and customers alongside a Habitat homeowner in October to help their family build a safe, decent and affordable place to call home in time for the holidays.

“We are grateful for the support Wayfair has provided Habitat for Humanity as we celebrate the five-year anniversary of our partnership,” said Colleen Finn Ridenhour, senior vice president of Development at Habitat for Humanity International. “It’s the generosity of organizations such as Wayfair that allows us to reach more individuals and families to ensure everyone has a decent place to live.”

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity has grown from a grassroots effort that began on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976 to a global nonprofit housing organization in more than 1,300 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries. People partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.

About Wayfair

Wayfair Inc. offers an extensive selection of home furnishings and décor across all styles and price points. The Wayfair family of sites includes:

  • Wayfair, an online destination for all things home

  • Joss & Main, where beautiful furniture and finds meet irresistible savings

  • AllModern, unbelievable prices on everything modern

  • DwellStudio, unexpected modern design for everyday life

  • Birch Lane, a collection of classic furnishings and timeless home décor

Wayfair generated $3.9 billion in net revenue for the twelve months ended June 30, 2017. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with operations throughout North America and Europe, the company employs more than 6,000 people.

4 Million Low-Income Americans Have Crossed the Digital Divide Through Internet Essentials

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 4:15pm

Today, Comcast Corporation announced that its acclaimed Internet Essentials program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program, has now connected more than four million low-income Americans, in one million households, to high-speed Internet service at home. The State of Florida is second to California with the most connected households in the country, having connected more than 120,000 low-income households benefitting nearly 500,000 Floridians.

The company also announced three key program enhancements:

  • For the fourth time in six years, Comcast will increase the program’s Internet service speeds, this time from 10/1 Mbps to up to 15/2 Mbps. More speed was the number one requested enhancement from Internet Essentials customers, and this latest increase will improve streaming quality in the home (15 Mbps is three times the speed necessary to view a high-definition video), especially when multiple devices are connected to the Internet at the same time.

  • To help family members connect to the Internet on the go and save money on their wireless bills, Internet Essentials customers will now enjoy 40 hours of free out-of-home WiFi access per month to the company’s growing network of 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots. This WiFi access is being offered in addition to the free in-home WiFi Internet Essentials customers currently enjoy.

  • Comcast is also expanding its pilot program for low-income senior citizens from five cities and metropolitan areas to 12, including today in Miami-Dade County.

David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation, made the announcements in Miami with six-time Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who will serve for the second year as Internet Essentials’ national spokesperson. Cohen also introduced Adamari López, host of Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Día, who will become the program’s first ever national Hispanic spokesperson. The three kicked off a multi-city tour, which will run through October.

"When we started this program six years ago, we never imagined four million low-income Americans would benefit from it," said Cohen. "We also never would have reached this milestone without our many dedicated nonprofit partners, elected officials, educators, employees, and advocates who were all united by the belief that the Internet is essential, not only to compete in the 21st century economy, but also to be connected to loved ones and the world. While this milestone is a wonderful moment to celebrate, it also inspires all of us to keep going to connect even more families to all that the Internet has to offer for education, jobs, healthcare, news, information, and entertainment."

Joyner-Kersee added, "I remain so honored that Comcast asked me to serve as the national spokesperson for Internet Essentials. In my post-Olympic career, I’ve tried to inspire students and athletes to reach their dreams. They can’t do that, however, if they don’t work hard or have the tools they need to succeed. The Internet Essentials program gives every child access to a level playing field so we don’t leave an entire generation behind."

López said, "I am thrilled to be joining the Internet Essentials program as the national Hispanic spokesperson. 55 percent of Internet Essentials customers are Hispanic, which shows how much they appreciate the value of the Internet because it is a connection to their families and their culture. They also value it because of what it means for education and employment opportunities. I look forward to helping to connect even more Spanish-speakers to the amazing resources this program offers."

Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design meant to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption – digital literacy, access to computer equipment, and affordable Internet service. The program is also structured as a partnership between Comcast and thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners.

Download the Internet Essentials Fact Sheet.

Visit the Internet Essentials website.

3Degrees Expands Partnership with CDP

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:15am

CDP and 3Degrees are pleased to announce that they have expanded their partnership. Building on the existing partnership around renewable energy, 3Degrees will now offer carbon reduction services to CDP responding companies worldwide.

For more than 10 years, 3Degrees has been working with Fortune 500® clients, developing strategies to help them meet their carbon reduction and renewable energy goals. In that time, we have built experience in over 50 countries, completed over 1400 MW of renewable energy transactions, developed more than 30 carbon projects and sold over 8.8 million verified carbon credits.

“3Degrees brings a strong track record in helping clients establish and meet sustainability goals using a variety of tools and approaches. We have been impressed by their commitment to their customers and to finding business solutions to climate change,” says Paul Robins, head of partnerships at CDP.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with CDP which has a strong reputation of helping investors, companies and cities focus on building a truly sustainable economy,” says Adam Capage, vice president of corporate and government affairs at 3Degrees.

With this expanded partnership, CDP and 3Degrees will be developing a series of educational opportunities aimed at developing the knowledge and skills of the CDP reporting companies, allowing them to more confidently take action on climate change, the most pressing need of our generation.

Texas Instruments Grants $6.2 Million in 2017 to Advance STEM Learning and Teaching

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:15am

Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) announced today that its corporate and foundation grants to improve kindergarten through 12th grade science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education will total $6.2 million in 2017.

TI and the Texas Instruments Foundation have committed grants to a variety of nonprofit partners and educators in targeted communities across the U.S. where the company has a major design or manufacturing presence, including California, Maine and Texas. Giving is focused on programs that enhance STEM effectiveness among teachers and improvement among students in STEM subjects. Emphasis is given on reaching under-resourced communities and under-represented minority students and girls.

“We are seeking to improve STEM education at its root by arming teachers with the tools they need to teach math and science more effectively,” said Andy Smith, executive director of the TI Foundation and TI director of corporate philanthropy. “By working together with partners who share our goals, TI aims to help bring STEM subjects to life in learning environments and to open the eyes of students to the potential of STEM careers. Our strategic investments include lasting relationships with educators and their organizations to support proven, scalable programs that can be replicated so that students are better prepared for future opportunities in STEM.”

Of the total TI corporate and foundation grants, $5.3 million (85%) will go toward STEM teacher effectiveness, and includes a strategic mix of investments to recruit, develop and retain top teacher talent:

  • Funding for Urban Teachers to recruit and train STEM teachers to be placed in public and charter schools in the Dallas area.

  • National Math and Science Initiative to implement, expand or solidify the Advanced Placement® Strategies program to high schools in two districts in California’s Bay Area (East Side Union High School District and San Jose Unified School District), and in three north Texas independent school districts (Garland, Dallas and Lancaster).

  • The Lancaster Independent School District (LISD) to continue building on progress in transforming LISD into a STEM district.  The new grant will focus on teacher professional development and student college and career readiness.

  • The Dallas, Garland, Lancaster, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson school district foundations to honor outstanding STEM teachers with the annual TI Foundation Innovations in STEM Teaching Awards.

Additional grants will be allocated to:

North Texas

  • The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas STEM Center of Excellence, a 92-acre urban camp in southwest Dallas estimated for completion in the spring of 2018. The Center will offer STEM programs to 24,000 students in north Texas through volunteerism, immersive expert-led workshops, and exposure to STEM role models and career paths.  The grant will fund the new TI Innovation Center, which will be housed within the STEM Center of Excellence.

  • Teaching Trust, for a two-year principal effectiveness training program for Dallas ISD and Uplift Education. This includes a full year of coursework and a residency/internship in a school leadership positon, and culminates in a master’s degree and certification from Southern Methodist University.

  • Other supported STEM education initiatives include The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas; Girls Inc.; Real School Gardens; and support of middle school and high school robotics competitions -- a proven way to increase STEM engagement among participating students.

Bay Area, California

In addition to the NMSI AP grants for California’s Bay Area, grants will be made toward partnerships in the Santa Clara, San Jose and surrounding areas. Funding will include Somos Mayfair, to support parent engagement and leadership development; the California Teacher of the Year Foundation; and the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

South Portland Maine

Grants in Maine will support programs with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance and Learning Works to train K-12 science teachers on next generation science standards.

TI's commitment to education, which dates back to the company's inception, remains its highest priority for employee volunteerism, and corporate and foundation giving. For more information about TI's support of education please see www.ti.com/education. Read about TI’s approach to giving at www.ti.com/giving or in the Corporate Citizenship Report at www.ti.com/ccr.

About Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world's brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping approximately 100,000 customers transform the future, today. Learn more at www.ti.com.

About the Texas Instruments Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization solely funded by Texas Instruments providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where TI operates. Committed to supporting educational excellence, the foundation works to create measurable, replicable programs and initiatives. The focus is on providing knowledge, skills and programs to improve STEM education and increase the percentage of high school graduates who are math and science capable.  More information can be found at www.ti.com/education.

Advanced Placement® is a registered trademark of the College Board.

Corporate Responsibility Association Presents Innovation Events Series: ‘Giving Back, Getting Results,’ with Causecast COO Laura Plato, Sept 27

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 4:11pm

Creating an outstanding employee experience isn’t always easy, but it is central to the modern purpose-driven company seeking to create a workplace that’s considered best-in-class. And technology plays a greater role in that experience than ever before.

Join the Corporate Responsibility Association on September 27 at noon ET as its Innovation Events Series focuses on Causecast, a full service solutions provider powering corporate social impact programs, which include corporate volunteering, donations, matching, and cause campaigns.

REGISTER HERE

Laura Plato, Causecast president and COO, will lead a presentation on “Giving Back, Getting Results: How to Create an Outstanding Employee Experience for Millennials and More.”

A live question and answer session will follow the presentation, which will focus on ways to integrate purpose into companies and retain top talent of all ages and experience levels.

This webcast is free and open to corporate responsibility practitioners, HR managers, office culture mavens and their colleagues who evaluate tools used for employee engagement and volunteering/giving program management. Register here.

Why attend?

Nearly 60 percent of Millennials have switched careers at least once and most change jobs every three years or less. Connecting people through their workplace to causes they care about alongside their peers, and offering the opportunity to give their time, money, and skills in ways that feel meaningful, is fundamental to creating an irresistible place to work.  

About the Corporate Responsibility Association
Providing professional development and networking around vital topics, the CRA envisions a world where a thriving business community creates sustainable value for all stakeholders. The Innovation Event Series is provided as a free educational program for corporate responsibility professionals.  Other CRA resources include peer-led Thought Leadership Councils on issues including Responsible Supply Chain, Ratings and Rankings, and Professional Development. For information on joining the CRA, please visit corporateresponsibilityassociation.org

About Causecast 
Causecast is a full service SaaS solution provider powering corporate social impact programs. Causecast combines the world’s best giving and volunteering technology with unparalleled service and support to offer a compelling experience that helps employees develop autonomy, mastery and purpose at work. Connecting people through their workplace to causes they care about alongside their peers, and offering the opportunity to give their time, money, and skills in ways that feel meaningful, is fundamental to creating an irresistible place to work. Causecast’s solutions save time and ensure that nonprofits get the support they need quickly and accurately. Causecast provides the fastest implementation times, the best tools for capturing stories to win over key stakeholders, and the only real-time reporting platform with advanced analytics. Customers save 1.5 days a week on average and experience an uptick of at least 30% in their first year of participation. Causecast is a thought-leading B Corp with no hidden fees, operational integrity, transparency and deep expertise. See http://www.causecast.com for more information.

Contact: Margie Kuchinski of the Corporate Responsibility Association, (413) 320-4807 or mkuchinski@crboard.com

Final Days to Nominate Environmental Volunteers for Atlanta’s 2017 Cox Conserves Heroes Awards Program

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 4:11pm

 Channel 2 WSB-TV, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, is accepting nominations for Atlanta’s 2017 Cox Conserves Heroes program at CoxConservesHeroes.com through 5 p.m. EST on August 21.

Nominees are individuals who volunteer their time and resources to creating, preserving or enhancing outdoor spaces in their communities.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominee’s activity creates, protects and/or beautifies an outdoor community space; 

  • Nominee’s activity is done on a volunteer basis and is not part of his or her paid employment;

  • Nominee’s activity inspires others to engage in community conservation.

Local judging panels, comprised of civic and environmental leaders, will select three finalists who then compete to be named Atlanta’s 2017 Cox Conserves Hero. The winner, chosen through an online public vote, will receive $10,000 to donate to his or her selected nonprofit beneficiary. The two finalists each will receive $5,000 for their nonprofits of choice.

Previous recipients of Atlanta’s Cox Conserves Heroes award are Linda Cotton-Taylor, Tom Branch, Bob Scott, John Gordon, Donna Shearer, Na'Taki Osborne-Jelks, Angel Poventud and Don Wells.

Cox Conserves Heroes was created through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications, to honor local conservation volunteers. 

The national Cox Conserves Heroes program has donated nearly $800,000 to environmental nonprofits, and nearly 200 volunteers have been honored. Cox Conserves Heroes also takes place in California, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington and is part of the company’s national Cox Conserves sustainability program that is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

For more information, visit CoxConservesHeroes.com or Facebook.

Social Media: #CoxConservesHeroes and #CoxConservesHero

About Channel 2 WSB-TV:

The ABC Affiliate is part of Cox Media Group and ranks as Atlanta’s number one local television station. The station also operates its website, wsbtv.com, its mobile site, wap.wsbtv.com, and airs MeTV on its digital channel 2.2.

About The Trust for Public Land:

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.  Millions of people live within a one-half mile walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.  To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

About Cox Conserves:

Launched in 2007 by Chairman Jim Kennedy, Cox Conserves is Cox Enterprises' national sustainability program. Cox Conserves focuses on reducing waste and energy consumption, as well as conserving water. The program engages each of the company's major subsidiaries (Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group) and encourages Cox Enterprises' 60,000 employees and their families to engage in eco-friendly practices.

Media Contacts:

Nominations Sought for Corporate Responsibility Impact Awards Presented by Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 4:06pm

 Silicon Valley Community Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2017 Corporate Responsibility Impact Awards. The awards program will honor companies and individuals for their outstanding leadership and achievements in corporate responsibility.

The public is invited to submit nominations online for the awards by Aug. 23. The winners will be honored during a special recognition lunch at the Corporate Philanthropy Institute on Oct. 2, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, Calif.

Co-hosted by Northern California Grantmakers and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Corporate Philanthropy Institute will feature networking opportunities and industry leaders who will share best practices on a range of issues, including how companies can uphold their inherent values in a changing political climate. Corporate responsibility and social impact professionals are invited to attend. Register at www.ncg.org/csr. Early bird registration rates end Aug. 25.

Nominations will be accepted until Aug. 23 for the three CR Impact Awards described below.

  • Company of the Year: Recognizes a company that, through its activities and partnerships during the previous calendar year, clearly demonstrates its commitment to CR programs as part of its core business values.

  • Practitioner of the Year: Given to an individual who provides a gold-standard example for his/her efforts in corporate responsibility. This is a prestigious award that gives the CR community the chance to celebrate the work of a leading colleague in the field.

  • Emerging Practitioner of the Year: Awarded to an emerging change-maker who strives for excellence in the practice of corporate responsibility. This award is an opportunity to recognize the work of an emerging colleague in the field.

Event sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Sylvia Kim at skim@siliconvalleycf.org for more information.

For other inquiries related to the CR Impact Awards or Corporate Philanthropy Institute, please contact Michelle Lum at mlum@siliconvalleycf.org

New Analysis Shows Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards Enhance Auto Industry Financial Prospects

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 4:06pm

As disruption from new technologies, mobility models and global trends threaten financial prospects for legacy automakers, national fuel economy and emissions standards can help increase the viability and international competitiveness of domestic automakers and suppliers, according to a new analysis prepared by an independent automotive industry analyst and commissioned by the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres.

“Our analysis suggests that investors remain skeptical of automakers as sales decline from peak levels, as well as their ability to adapt to new options in personal mobility,” said Alan Baum, author of the analysis and founder and principal of Baum and Associates. “Innovation, especially in fuel efficiency and electric vehicles, will be key to thriving in this new world.”

The analysis, What’s Driving the U.S Auto Industry’s Financial Performance, finds that legacy automakers are experiencing low stock valuations and cutting jobs and expenses largely due to two factors:

  • Overall demand for passenger cars and trucks is declining modestly. That’s because the pent-up demand from the 2007-2009 Great Recession, and record 2015 and 2016 sales, has been largely satisfied. Even so, current auto sales and profits remain strong.

  • More importantly for the future, innovation and market disruption: New technology innovations and business models, namely from Tesla and Uber, as well as deep-pocketed competitors such as Google and Apple, are entering the automotive and emerging mobility markets. Given the importance of operating costs and the synergy between autonomous vehicles and electrification, fuel efficiency and electrification are key to succeeding in this fast-evolving marketplace.

Fuel economy standards can provide automakers and suppliers the regulatory certainty necessary to stimulate investment in advanced technologies, such as electric vehicles and fuel efficient vehicles, that are necessary for automakers’ long-term financial health.

“Fuel economy standards drive innovation in the advanced technologies that will enable the domestic industry to thrive in this era of disruption,” said Carol Lee Rawn, transportation program director at Ceres.  “The standards also act as an insurance policy, providing an incentive for the auto industry to produce a more advanced fleet.  A more efficient fleet reduces the risk of lost market share and profits in the event that fuel prices spike.”

In 1985, more than two-thirds of Detroit Three unit sales were in North America. By 2025, the analysis projects that only one-third will be sold in North America, while two-thirds of sales will be overseas. And in those markets, governments require — and consumers demand —more fuel-efficient vehicles. For example, China, the largest car market, recently announced a goal of 40 percent of sales in 2030 will be ”New Energy” vehicles.

“Given the major trends affecting the industry going forward, weakening the current fuel economy standards would in fact be detrimental to the future competitiveness of U.S. automakers and their suppliers,” said Baum.

Several dozen global Tier One suppliers (encompassing hundreds of facilities across the country) are reacting to automakers’ decisions to increase fuel economy by pouring resources into R&D, adding production capacity, and issuing purchase orders to hundreds of their suppliers. The analysis points out that increased demand for suppliers will lead to higher volumes and cost savings that will improve the financial performance of both automakers and their suppliers. 

“Since automotive suppliers, which employ two and a half times more Americans than auto manufacturers, have made the bulk of investments in research, development and production of fuel-saving technologies, regulatory certainty is extremely important for suppliers and the employees and communities that depend on them,” continued Baum. 

Over the 12-year period between 2014 and 2025, with the 2025 fuel economy and emissions standards in place, automakers (not just the Detroit Three) will spend well over $110 billion in fuel-saving technology, about $90 billion of which will be provided by suppliers.

“Nobody likes being told what to do,” added Baum. “But fuel economy standards establish a level playing field and encourage the kind of innovation necessary to survive in a changing world.  If the auto industry wants to stay on the leading edge, the standards should be left alone.”

Download the attached file(s): Ceres_Analysis_8_10.pdf Ceres_Analysis_Fact_sheet_8_10UPDATED.pdf

On National Safe Digging Day, Consumers Energy Reminds Public to Notify MISS DIG 8-1-1 Before Digging

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 4:06pm

Today is National Safe Digging 8-1-1 Day, and Consumers Energy is encouraging Michigan homeowners and business owners to call MISS DIG 8-1-1 before starting digging projects.

“The safety of our customers, the public and local communities is our No. 1 priority. Everyone is safer when anyone digging takes the time to call 8-1-1 to be sure they’re not digging near underground pipes,” said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy’s vice president of gas engineering and supply. “We are pleased to see progress in building public awareness of MISS DIG 8-1-1, and we want to help people avoid underground pipelines.”

Damages to Consumers Energy natural gas system because homeowners did not call MISS DIG 8-1-1 are down 21 percent in the first half of 2017 compared to same period in 2016. There were 104 reports of these damages in the six months of 2016, and 82 in 2017.

 MISS DIG 8-1-1 is a one-call service that alerts utilities to dispatch crews to mark underground utility lines with flags and/or paint in the area you plan to dig. The service is fast, free and required by law.

Typical homeowner projects that should prompt advance contact to MISS DIG 8-1-1 include landscaping and installation of decks, fences and sprinkler systems. Due to erosion and changes in soil grade, some utilities may be buried more closely to the surface than expected, and could be damaged when using a shovel or other hand equipment for projects like planting small shrubs and even flowers.

A free call to MISS DIG 8-1-1 at 8-1-1 or online at http://elocate.missdig811.org at least three business days before digging will help ensure the safety of those performing the work and the integrity of underground utilities such as natural gas, electric, cable and water.

Other safe digging tips for homeowners:

  • Plan your job. Confirm all underground facilities have been marked before you dig by calling 8-1-1 or visiting http://response.missdig811.org.
  • Once underground lines have been marked, dig with care -- using only hand tools if digging within 48 inches of the marks until the location and depth of the facility is determined.
  • If using power equipment to excavate within 48 inches of a marked area, state law requires that hand tools be used first to determine exact location and depth.
  • If you contact or damage a utility line, contact the utility owner immediately. If the damage results in a dangerous situation, call 9-1-1.
  • Teach children to leave the colored staking flags in the ground so safe digging can occur.

Consumers Energy also has joined MISS DIG and Gold Shovel Standard to provide resources to municipalities to highlight best-in-class performance by Michigan’s excavation community.

“Gold Shovel Standard certification helps municipalities increase control over the safety and integrity of their buried infrastructure, and allows them to identify contractors who exhibit a commitment to extreme caution and safety training,” said Bruce Campbell, CEO of MISS DIG System. “The Great Lakes Gold Shovel Foundation is ensuring program uniformity throughout the state to minimize the burden placed on Michigan contractors.”

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

Media Contacts
Brian Wheeler
517-788-2394
Debra Dodd
517-545-8711

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media

Facebook | Twitter YouTube

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com

Ten Steps To Improving Your Child's Academic Performance

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 1:02pm

In my book Leadership It’s Child’s Play: Ten Steps To Children’s Leadership, I focused on ten steps to improve children’s leadership abilities.  This is another list of ten steps, but these are focused on a strategy to improve your child’s academic  performance. The steps are important to think about before your child begins their first day of school this fall. 

Parents and teachers begin each school year looking forward to an exciting and exhilarating time of student learning. Whether the coursework is in math, science, languages, social sciences, art, or other subjects, parents and teachers are anxious to help students develop new skills and apply what they have learned to everyday life.  Of course, parents want their kids to get all “A’s” and stay out of trouble, and teachers want students to work to their full potential and master the curriculum.  On the other hand, students want to get the best grades possible and to have fun doing it.

While the student’s idea of having fun is often at odds with the goals of getting high grades and working to ones’ highest ability, it need not be.  If the school and home work together, the goals of all involved can be attained.  By establishing an environment of collaborative learning and ongoing support for the student, parents and teachers can create fun formal and informal learning experiences for students of any grade.

Research on child development and learning theory tell us there are a few simple things parents, teachers and students can do before school starts to insure academic success.  One important way to get ready for the school year is by reviewing the previous year’s school work (old tests, quizzes, notes, etc.) and recount the the things the student learned.   Also, it might be good to pull out some of the past assignments and go over them with the student.  Discuss the expectations for the new year and what the student would like to accomplish.   Talk about the classes the student will be taking and how those classes connect to what the student learned in previous years. 

Think about setting goals for the year for academic courses and in school activities such as sports, clubs and special school events.  Also, develop a list of of informal learning opportunities that coordinate with the courses the student will be taking. Try to find group and individual supplementary school activities that offer different ways of applying what the student is learning in their courses. Additionally, many parents find it helpful to create an academic and social ”success contract” between the student and parents with agreed upon goals, objectives, deliverables, timelines and specific times when you will work together. 

Importantly, parents and students can position themselves to be successful this school year by following these ten steps:

1.   Meet and greet your child’s teacher on the first day of school. Use the first day of class as an opportunity to establish a relationship between the teacher and the home. Ask the teacher for any materials that might be helpful in assisting your child in doing their homework or that a tutor might need while assisting your child during the school year. Gain as much knowledge as possible about how course work will be structured and what the academic expectations are for your child for the year. Also get a copy of the curriculum and a schedule of when major assignments will be due. Make sure you get a copy of the school calendar and place it somewhere in the home where everyone can see it. Then, post  important events on in a visible place in the home, such as the refrigerator, the student’s room or the family computer. 

2.   Make sure you child has all their books, notebooks and supplies before school. Before school starts create a list of everything needed for all of the classes your child will take during the year.  Then go shopping with your child, This helps to show your commitment to the the education process. Let them walk the aisles of the store and place things in the basket to give them a sense of ownership of the process.

3.   Take your child to school on the first day. While embarrassing to some middle schoolers, it is still a nice touch to show you are available for them.  Also, it displays to the teacher, counselor and administrators your commitment to being a partner with them in the learning process for your child.

4.   Meet and greet the administrators and counselors during the first week of school. While the teacher is the primary individual who will come in contact with your child, the school has a number of other individuals who will impact your child's education.  Meet them all. Let them know your name and give them a way to contact you, if ever there is ever a need to do so. Find out whether there are any mandatory meetings during the school year you are expected to attend and place them on your calendar.

5.   Prepare a quiet place for your child to do their homework and set a weekly calendar to track assignments, homework, quizzes and tests. Children have their own ideas of how to do homework and when they will get it done. Identify a place within the home where they can have their books, papers, computer and any other technology devices easily accessible to them. Try to arrange a space that is quiet and without distraction, but public enough where you can keep an eye on them. Have your child create a study log in order to track when they are going to study, what has been completed and how much time was spent on each course task. Remember to continually offer suggestions on how your child can improve study habits.

6.   Review your child’s homework each night. It only takes a few minutes, but this is one step that is very helpful. If your child gets used to you wanting to review their work on a daily basis, they will spend additional time preparing neat and legible work for you to read and prior to turning it in at school. Some of their work might be new to you as a parent, or completed in a different way from how you would do it; remember schools have changed. It doesn't matter, it is the time and commitment from you that is important.

7.   Identify where to get additional academic assistance for your child. Some subjects are more difficult for your child than others. And for some cases, you might not be able to help your child in getting a better understanding of the work they have to do. When this happens, ask the teacher or the school administration, if there is a school tutoring service, or somewhere to get extra help for your child. If not, look for outside assistance from a tutor with a track record of working with students from your child's school.   Don't wait until you child asks you for additional help, check on them while they are studying, review their quizzes and tests, talk to their teacher. The earlier students get needed assistance, the more successful they will become. 

8.   Communicate with your child’s teacher monthly about your child's progress. By phone call, by email, by text or personal visit, communicate with your child’s teacher(s) to continue the dialog about how you might be helpful in the education process.  By establishing a timely, consistent pattern of communication, you will head off any school problems that could occur later in the year. It also makes difficult conversations, with the school about academics or discipline, easier.

9.   Attend open houses and other school events. Go to as many school events as possible, whether the event is a play, an open house or curriculum night. Stay engaged with the school and knowledgeable about what your child is doing. If possible, attend school events that celebrate the entire school not just the events in which your child is involved.

10. Let your child know you love and support them daily.  Celebrate their accomplishments whether they be big or small and take the time to reward them regularly.

These ten simple steps, if followed, can lead to student success and improve the communication between the home and the school.  Together, the steps will lead to a more productive, happier and successful student.

Taylor Thompson is author of Leadership: It’s Child’s Play.  Ten Steps to Children’s Leadership Development. She is also, founder of the Taylor Wilson Thompson Family Foundation. Taylor is a second year student attending Barnard College at Columbia University, New York, N.Y.

The 2017 Corporate Philanthropic Practice Conference

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:01am

This day and a half conference will address new ways of organizing the function of corporate philanthropy professionals and how they are being impacted by new types of skills needed to interact and support nonprofit partners. We will discuss where the corporate philanthropic sector has been, is now, and where it is headed.

As an attendee, you will learn:

• The pros and cons of using an intermediary organization for help with grantmaking
• How to deal with today’s challenging political and social environment
• Innovative best practices for better relationships, strategies and results
• Insights to manage internal and external expectations

Save $200, when you register with code: CSR200

KeyBank Provides $8.7 Million in Total Financing for Affordable Housing in Portland, OR

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 7:00pm

KeyBank Community Development Lending & Investment (CDLI) has provided $8.7 million in total financing to support the non-profit Central City Concern in constructing 51 new units of affordable workforce housing that will serve individuals making between 30-60% AMI in Portland, OR. Specifically, KeyBank financed a $3.6 million 4% LIHTC equity investment and a $5.1 million construction loan for the project.              

“We at KeyBank are dedicated to making quality affordable housing available to the hardworking individuals and families that call the communities we serve home,” said Rob Likes, national manager of KeyBank’s CDLI team. “Our collaboration with Central City Concern on Interstate Apartments demonstrates how, together, we will help this community thrive.”

Interstate Apartments will set aside 51 units for tenants with incomes at 30%, 50% and 60% AMI. Of these units, three will be income restricted at 30%, 28 will be restricted at 50% and 20 units will be restricted at 60% AMI. Central City Concern will self-manage.

“We are dedicated to helping end homelessness by providing solutions that empower self-sufficiency,” said Rachel Solotaroff, MD, interim president and CEO at Central City Concern. “KeyBank’s support allows us to further this mission in Portland, OR.”

Interstate Apartments is located near critical community services and facilities, including fire stations, hospitals, police stations, parks and schools. The Legacy Emanuel Medical Center is approximately three miles southeast of the property, and public transportation is available throughout the area.

“We are proud to leverage our flexible CDLI platform and help Central City Concern with the financing it needs to complete the construction of Interstate Apartments,” said Beth Palmer, who worked with Aubre Dickson of KeyBank’s Community Development Lending & Investment team to arrange the financing.

About Key Community Development Lending and Investment

KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI) helps fulfill Key’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive by financing projects that stabilize and revitalize communities. Experts in complex tax credit lending and investing, Key is one of a handful of affordable housing lenders in the country with a platform that brings together balance sheet, equity, and permanent loan offerings. CDLI has a substantial investment and loan portfolio worth more than $2 billion, 90% of which is Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects. For its ability to lend to, invest in, and serve its communities –especially low-to-moderate income communities – KeyBank has earned eight consecutive “Outstanding” ratings on the Community Reinvestment Act exam, from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

About Central City Concern (CCC):

CCC is one of the oldest and largest non-profit housing providers in Portland.  Founded in 1979, its mission is to provide comprehensive solutions to ending homelessness and achieving self-sufficiency.  CCC’s service strategy includes the following: direct access to housing supportive of lifestyle change, provision of integrated healthcare services effective in engaging people who are often alienated from mainstream systems, the development of peer relationships which nurture and support personal transformation, and the attainment of income through employment or benefit acquisition. CCC is an experienced developer and operator of affordable housing, with communities ranging from four to more than 190 units.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $135.8 billion at June 30, 2017. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, insurance, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of more than 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

Newsroom contact:  Laura Mimura 216.471.2883  laura.mimura@key.com

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