More updates from HR Tech Europe 2015

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Greek mine warfare drill Ariadne 17 concludes

first_img View post tag: Ariadne Greek mine warfare drill Ariadne 17 concludes Authorities View post tag: Hellenic Navy April 11, 2017 Back to overview,Home naval-today Greek mine warfare drill Ariadne 17 concludes Ships from eight countries have concluded their participation in the Hellenic Navy-led mine countermeasures (MCM) exercise Ariadne 17.The exercise took place between March 31 and April 7. The at-sea phase started April 3 in Greek territorial waters after a planning and harbour phase was conducted at Patras Naval Base in Greece.The core of the MCM forces was comprised of SNMCMG2 ships with the Polish command ship ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki in the lead. Overall, the participants included 14 ships of different classes from Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey as well as several explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams, a ship-based helicopter and Mirage 2000 fighter jets.The exercise Command Task Force was embarked on board the Greek frigate HS Navarinon.“The exercise was an ideal occasion to enhance our skills in MCM operations as a Group. The simulated hostile environment was very close to the one we could face in real life, thanks to which we were all able to tighten our bonds and multiply our experience to better contribute to our common task we are all currently fulfilling in the Standing NATO Group”, Commander Aleksander Urbanowicz, SNMCMG2 commander, said.During Ariadne 17, SNMCMG2 was represented by the flagship ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki, Spanish minehunter ESPS Tajo, Turkish minehunter TCG Alanya and the German minesweeper Rottweil. The Group was complemented with two additional ships, Spanish minehunter ESPS Duero and Romanian minesweeper ROS Axente. View post tag: MCM Share this articlelast_img read more

Naked Actress Parades the Streets of Oxford

first_imgA naked actress paraded through the streets of Oxford yesterday evening for the premiere of the new Lady Godiva film.Libby Jewson, who plays a principal part in the film, rode from the Old Parsonage hotel in Banbury road to the Odeon Cinema in Magdalen Street wearing nothing but a wig and a sash around her waist to protect her modesty.Libby Jewson admitted that she was cold but told the Oxford Mail that she was more than happy to brave the British winter for her sister Vicky Jewson, the director of the film.Vicky Jewson arrived at the premiere by more conventional means than her sister. She said that she had considered Leicester Square for the premiere, but having lived in Oxford all her life, felt that it would be a good thing for the city.Lady Godiva was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to protest about the oppressive toll her husband placed on his subjects. Lady Godiva is not played by Libby Jewson, but by Holby city star Phoebe Thomas. The film is released on Friday. By Sian Cox-Brookerlast_img read more


first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers We hope that today’s “READERS FORUM” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way? WHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays“Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that elected officials should be allowed to award no-bid contracts to people who give contributions to their political campaigns?If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us [email protected]: City-County Observer Comment Policy. Be kind to people. No personal attacks or harassment will not be tolerated and shall be removed from our site.We understand that sometimes people don’t always agree and discussions may become a little heated.  The use of offensive language, insults against commenters will not be tolerated and will be removed from our site.last_img read more

Americans set to Bake Off

first_imgAmerican television network CBS has confimed it will be making its own version of hit BBC Two bakery programme The Great British Bake Off.Due to air in the US next year, the BAFTA-award winning show, created by Love Productions, has already been sold to other countries such as Australia, France and most recently, Ireland.It has yet to be confirmed who will present the show and judge the amateur baker contestants, but Bake Off has been reported as a working title for the programme, as well as the TV network ordering eight episodes to be created for the show’s first series.Love Productions USA will be recreating the popular British format for American audiences under the control of executive producer Richard McKerrow.Series three of the UK version of the show came to an end this week, with around 6.5 million viewers – approximately 10% of the British population and a 25% audience share – tuning in and watching John Whaite take the winning accolade.last_img read more

Stretching a season: Maple Hill Farm taffy

first_imgThe marble slab sits quietly this year, but will likely be used again next year for cooling syrup into taffy.FARMINGTON – It’s been a couple of years since the Tracy family has made taffy. The process requires several pairs of hands, and shoulders that are up to speed for the task, not to mention specific weather conditions that can be hard to come by during mud season.“There can’t be too much moisture in the air. We couldn’t have done it today,” Bruce Tracy said, referencing the drizzly Friday of Maine Maple Sunday weekend.The Tracys have been making taffy using their maple syrup since the 1970s, though Bruce’s father Albion learned long before that from the former owners of Maple Hill Farm. They still use the same technique and tools that Albion and the Titcomb family used more than 50 years ago- a giant slab of marble and a steel hook for pulling. The process has stayed true to tradition too, and nobody knows the details other than Bruce, his brother, and his mother, Donna.The taffy pulling hook that has hung at Maple Hill Farm for more than 50 years.“The secret’s in myself,” Bruce said.Due to health issues, Donna hasn’t been able to participate in several years, another reason the Tracys haven’t made it for a while.Maple Hill Farm isn’t the only producer of taffy, but they’re the only ones in the state that use traditional methods, and the only ones that make real, bonafide taffy- stretched and pulled to that perfect taffy softness. Many producers simply offer “syrup on snow,” which is exactly what it sounds like. The warm syrup hardens as it hits the cold snow, making a lollipop-esque treat. But Maple Hill taffy is different.“The first run of sap is always the best for taffy. We heat it up to a certain degree, then pour it onto the cold marble. You wait til’ a certain point, when you can put a finger in it and it doesn’t fill in, then you put it on the hook,” Bruce explained.The taffy is pulled and stretched, then measured on a benchmark and cut and boxed.“A lot of people have had it. People used to come to me and say ‘Bruce, you got any candy today?’”Bruce said he isn’t concerned about the tradition fading. The family will likely get back to making it next year, when his shoulder has had time to heal and when his mother can participate again.Until then, the Tracys will continue to offer their syrup to the public and will be celebrating Maine Maple Sunday with an open sap house and a variety of maple treats.Maple Hill Farm can be followed on Facebook by clicking here.Bruce Tracy works in the sap house several years ago on Maine Maple Sunday.last_img read more

College to promote health and wellness through second annual fair

first_imgThe completion of the Saint Mary’s Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex has provided many opportunities for students to engage with athletics, health, counseling, events and more. The second annual Student Health and Wellness Fair will take place in Angela Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Student volunteers and the wellness committee are hosting the event, including assistant athletic trainer Katie Knisely, director of athletics Julie Schroeder-Biek and director of health and counseling Izzy Fourman. The fair began last year with the help of the Kristine Anderson Trustey Wellness Program. Knisely said she thought this was the perfect way to kick off the creation of the wellness program.“The goal of this fair is to promote health and wellness to the students of Saint Mary’s College to help foster lifelong habits of wellness,” Knisely said.Throughout the event, there will be breakout sessions with certified speakers giving talks on CPR, general safety and how to correctly use a foam roller. There will also be over 25 vendors, clubs and organizations with informational booths for students to visit. The vendors are different from last year’s contributors.“We invited clubs and organizations from around campus that we thought embodied our five pillars — mind, body, spirit, emotional and financial,” Knisely said.The Sisters of the Holy Cross will also have a table to emphasize one of their slogans: “Sound mind in a sound body.”Erin Maloney, a senior, is assisting with the Love your Melon booth, an organization whose profits go towards fighting pediatric cancer.“I decided to get involved because it’s important to promote being healthy, and there’s so many different ways to be healthy,” she said. “The Health and Wellness Fair is a great opportunity for people to see new ideas for how they can be healthy, and I want to be a part of that.”Knisely said students are encouraged to attend the fair to learn about healthy habits, but are also incentivized by the opportunity to win prizes through drawings every 30 minutes.“The prizes include fitness equipment, such as foam rollers and yoga mats along with munch money,” she said. “Different vendors are also bringing prizes.”Students can get tickets for the drawings by visiting and talking to different booths and tables or by attending breakout sessions, Knisely said. The more sessions and tables students visit, the more tickets they can earn.Sophomore Giavanna Paradiso said she attended this event as a freshman, but this year, she is helping to work the Student Activities Board booth. Paradiso said the booth is focusing on informing students about upcoming events along with tips on how to stay healthy in college.“[Knisely] and the rest of the wellness team at Saint Mary’s College have put in so much thought and work into this event that I think it will be fantastic and beneficial for the student body,” Paradiso said. “That is why I decided to get involved.”Tags: angela athletic and wellness complex, health, Student Health and Wellness Fair, wellnesslast_img read more

Weather radio

first_imgThis summer, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency completed an expansion of NOAA weather radio coverage in Georgia.In 1998, the state’s Task Force on Warning and Communication was founded. At the time, more than 20 counties were without NOAA radio coverage. Many others had only partial coverage, said Jonna Wheeler, special assistant to the director at GEMA.Since then, GEMA has partnered with the National Weather Service and received a federal grant to raise the number of NOAA transmitters from 12 to 31. Now, 98 percent of Georgia can get NOAA weather radio broadcasts.The challenge nowThe challenge now is to get people to use weather radios as a fixture in their homes, like a smoke detector.David Stooksbury, the state climatologist at the University of Georgia, says using a weather radio to be prepared for severe weather is more important now than ever.”Because of cable TV and the number of channels offered now, the likelihood that you’re going to be watching a local station that carries local warnings when a tornado hits is not very high,” Stooksbury said.”Also, in Georgia, we have a large number of tornados at night when people are usually not watching TV or listening to their radio,” he said. “They’re asleep.”Weather warning alarmThe weather radios being sold today have an alarm you can set to go off when a weather warning is issued. You can program some radios, too, to pick up only warnings for your county and those nearby.Radios with these features are sold in electronics shops, department stores and fishing and outdoor outfitters shops. They normally cost $30 to $100.You may want to get a radio to keep with you when you’re working outside, too. “It’s important to have one out in the field or on the tractor to give you an extra heads-up,” Stooksbury said.”It’ll give you a little more time to react,” he said, “so you’re not caught in the middle of a field during a tornado or lightning storm. That’s one place you don’t want to be.”For more on buying and programming a NOAA weather radio, visit GEMA’s Web site at Or see the National Weather Service at read more

Credit unions sitting on mountains of big data gold

first_imgFinancial institutions (FIs) collect large amounts of data that often go unmined. When extracted, however, this golden information can be used to predict everything from borrower risk to consumer behavior.Unlike precious metals, data alone rarely has value. The extensive deposits of information are meaningless unless it can be converted into actionable insights. While transforming data into actual strategies with measurable impact is a multi-step process, it certainly can be done.A recent article takes a look at four steps to translating mined Big Data gold into valuable knowledge and meaningful insights:Retrieve data to convert it into serviceable information.Create innovative products and services to meet expectations and improve the consumer experience.Develop targeted marketing campaigns to successfully introduce these new products and services. continue reading » 43SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Why now is the time to build a long-term loan participation strategy

first_imgOffset RiskAnother highly attractive benefit of loan participation programs is the fact that credit risk is shared with the primary lender originating the loans, and other participants within a given pool of loans. While originating lenders can benefit by serving more borrowers, expanding direct lending, and managing liquidity without exceeding their desired lending thresholds, participating financial institutions benefit by diversifying their portfolio and sourcing lending opportunities unavailable on a direct basis, while participating only in a portion of the risk. Buying and selling loan participations across multiple asset types offers the following benefits related to risk mitigation:Sharing credit risks with a set of geographically and structurally diverse lendersMitigating exposure from short-term and long-term interest rate risksCapitalizing on opportunities to mitigate losses by leveraging larger scale underwriters and servicers managing portfolios offered to the secondary marketThe diverse origination channels and innovative fulfillment platforms delivering loan participation opportunities to credit unions today present one of the most effective strategies to manage liquidity concerns, generate interest and non-interest income, and diversify the risk profile of their portfolios. “The appeal is simple,” reports Marc Rapport in a recent article on “Participation loans allow lenders to partner with other lenders to reduce risk exposure and increase profits.”3Reach out to your Allied Solutions sales representative or contact us through our website to learn more about Allied Solutions’ loan participation programs, which offer a diverse mix of options to help you meet your growth goals.Click here to join our monthly e-newsletter mailing list and receive exclusive access to educational resources, such as our latest whitepaper: Credit Union Growth Strategies to Remain Competitive Beyond the Pandemic. According to the NCUA, “A properly managed and risk-focused loan participation program can increase asset yields, improve earnings, generate additional loan growth, reduce risk by diversifying the loan portfolio and assist with balance sheet management.”1 Historically, loan participation has been a growth strategy reserved for larger financial institutions with elaborate loan origination channels and staff with capital markets expertise. Luckily for credit unions, those days and barriers to entry are finally coming to an end. Due to the emergence of fintech origination channels and intuitive technology platforms, credit unions of all shapes and sizes now have the opportunity to supplement their organic growth and more effectively manage their balance sheets by incorporating loan participations into their long-term growth strategy.Loan Participation Strategy, Then and NowAs defined by the FDIC: A loan participation is an arrangement under which a lender originates a loan to a borrower and then sells a portion of that loan to one or more other financial institutions. The originating lender retains a partial interest in the loan, holds all loan documentation in its own name, services the loan, and deals directly with the consumer for the benefit of all participants.2 Historically, most participation transactions completed by credit unions were just that – one-time transactions. A typical deal involved a localized commercial loan, a few local participants, and limited third-party assistance. While still beneficial if done correctly, the process of completing these transactions is long, manual, and cumbersome. They also add an element of risk and complexity for inexperienced participants. In recent years, due to the new origination channels and technology mentioned above, credit union loan participations have made a shift from localized commercial loans to more geographically diverse commercial and consumer loans, offered through digital platforms and third-party programs. This shift allows credit unions to build a more comprehensive, long-term strategy that considers access to recurring volume, asset diversification, and streamlined transactions. Examples of these programs include:Student loan participation programs: A customizable education lending platform that offers the opportunity to build lifetime relationships with young consumers.Home improvement participation loans: Digital loan offers that capitalize on market trends to drive recurring, low-risk loan volume.Home equity participation lending: Piggyback loans offered to super-prime borrowers as an alternative to jumbo mortgage financing to pull in above-average yields with low credit risk.Personal unsecured participation loans: A fintech platform that drives creditworthy consumers to shorter-term, personal loan options. Benefits of Loan ParticipationAs credit unions experience decreased loan production in the wake of an economy attempting to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, there is a pressing need to implement more dynamic, flexible lending strategies that are outside of a credit union’s traditional business model. As the pandemic has rapidly accelerated the digitization of financial services, an increasing number of borrowers are shopping outside of their primary financial institutions to find the loans that fit their specific needs (i.e. loan amount, type, and terms). Expand LendingToday, incorporating loan participations into the credit union’s growth strategy is as important as ever, as they offer an opportunity to re-capture a share of lost loan production, now and beyond the pandemic, while not compounding already-heightened risk concerns that may be associated with the credit union’s field of membership or geographical region.Diversifying and expanding lending through participations can result in the following value-adds:Gaining access to an alternative lender’s unique credit appetite and consumer base, while keeping your lending criteria in placeInvesting in pools of loans without taking on servicing burdens and origination overheadEnhancing your traditional asset strategies to attract a wider range of borrowers and asset typesAddressing the lending needs of more diverse consumers outside of your core consumer base Testing unfamiliar loan and borrower types to evaluate performance before offering directlyCapitalizing on opportunities beyond the geographical limitations of your field of membershipResponding to COVID-19 consumer trends and needs with more dynamic, flexible loan growth options  Elevating your brand visibility and digital footprint by accessing lead lenders’ top-notch technology and service solutionsReducing overhead costs associated with direct lending, i.e. personnel, office space, and technology 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jarrett Settles Jarrett brings expertise in Technology-Driven Loan and Deposit Growth Strategies, Digital Transformation, and Data Strategy for Financial Institutions.Consumer lending/deposit, UX / Digital Efficiency, Fintech/Insurtech/innovation, Generational divides in … Web: Detailslast_img read more