Friday, December 30, 2005

New Report from WTRS Finds Uncertain Future for INSTEON Technology

New Report from WTRS Finds Uncertain Future for INSTEON Technology

WTRS reevaluates the future of INSTEON and compares it with competition from ZigBee, Z-Wave, X-10 and UPB, in new Report: "WTRS December 2007 INSTEON Emerging Technology Report."

Mountain View, CA (PRWEB) December 19, 2007

INSTEON Technology developed by SmartLabs Inc. has the potential to revolutionize the Home Control industry by providing solutions that address the large mid-range consumer market that is largely untapped due to a number of factors including a lack of consumer demand and understanding for the technology. Due to business decisions independent of the technology, the
Future of INSTEON faces much uncertainty.

WTRS has today released the "December 2007 INSTEON Emerging Technology Report." Our research shows that the INSTEON Technology enjoys a high level of interest in the broader electronics products industry," according to Kirsten West PhD, Principal Analyst with WTRS. "A lack of consistent investment in product and OEM support by SmartLabs places this momentum at risk."

Reflecting this risk the just completed report from WTRS examines the strategic options facing SmartLabs and other INSTEON adopters. The report includes market adoption forecasts that are based on the assumptions and potential outcomes of these strategies.

Report Findings:

. The report identifies the factors driving market growth including the recent turmoil in the US housing market.

. Provides an analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) of the INSTEON Alliance.

. Includes market forecasts for INSTEON in the home automation market, including segmentation in home control, landscaping, and healthcare.

. Analyzes the relative technical strengths and weaknesses of INSTEON as compared with ZigBee, Z-Wave, x-10, and UPB.

. Summarizes patent activity surrounding INSTEON technology.

. Offers an analysis of the INSTEON Alliance as well as other INSTEON adopters.

. Finally, the report provides an analysis of the market opportunity for INSTEON and other Home Control technologies in the US market.

The "WTRS December 2007 INSTEON Emerging Technology Report" is available directly from www. wtrs. net, or by calling 650 940-1196.

WTRS (West Technology Research Solutions) is a California based research, publishing and consulting company providing the leading viewpoint on emerging wireless technologies, markets and applications. With an eight-year record of successful growth, we're ready to help your company make market decisions and plan for the future. www. wtrs. net


Thursday, December 29, 2005

CMS to Present Surveillance Activities in Contract Year 2010 During the Connecture Sponsored Webinar on April 7

CMS to Present Surveillance Activities in Contract Year 2010 During the Connecture Sponsored Webinar on April 7

Complimentary webinar speaks to effectively marketing to seniors and identifies new CMS surveillance guidelines

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) April 6, 2010

Connecture, Inc., the leading provider of web-based sales, service, and process automation solutions to the health insurance industry, is sponsoring a complimentary webinar, Effectively Marketing to Seniors while Driving Administrative Cost Savings, Efficiencies, and Compliance, on April 7 at 1 p. m. EST. Michael Kavouras, National Medicare Advantage Compliance Lead at CMS, David Sockel, Senior Vice President at Connecture, and Joe Aggazio, Vice President at MedicareCRM, will present. The webinar will be hosted by Corporate Research Group.

During our April webinar, Michael Kavouras, National Medicare Advantage Compliance Lead at CMS, will discuss the latest information related to its marketing surveillance strategy for the 2010 contract year, including outcomes, trends, and best practices. Additionally, David Sockel, Senior Vice President at Connecture, and Joe Aggazio, Vice President at MedicareCRM, will discuss how health plans can leverage technology to identify, prioritize, and attract members in the senior market, all while being transparent about their compliance with CMS rules and regulations.

“The opportunity within the senior market is expected to explode with the baby boomers coming of age,” commented Sockel. “At the same time, deep reimbursement cuts, rising medical trends and increased CMS oversight require health plans offering Medicare Advantage plans to be efficient and transparent. Through this webinar, we hope to provide some strategies and tactics for organizing marketing operations and effectively managing sales distributions channels,” said Sockel.

Registration and more details about the April webinar can be found on the Connecture website at www. connecture. com/webinars. aspx (http://www. connecture. com/webinars. aspx).

About CMS
For more information on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, please visit their website at www. cms. hhs. gov.

About MedicareCRM
MedicareCRM is the most trusted solution among managed care organizations for compliant automation of marketing, sales and enrollment operations. Engineered by leading health insurers, in cooperation with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the MedicareCRM platform has proven to dramatically lower member acquisition costs while promoting compliance, enrollment growth, and member retention. MedicareCRM offers product platforms for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, S-CHIP, Medicare Supplements, as well as for commercial lines of business. MedicareCRM is currently in use by 25% of the fastest growing Medicare Advantage plans in the country according to Oppenheimer & Co. For more information, call Gene Devine at 954.691.2185 or visit the MedicareCRM Web site at www. medicarecrm. com. MedicareCRM has offices at 400 E Evergreen Blvd, Suite 101, Vancouver, WA 98660 and 1350 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, FL 33062.

About Connecture
Connecture is solely focused on delivering integrated web-based sales, service and process automation solutions to the health insurance industry. Connecture has automated elements of the insurance sales and service process for over 80 health plans and insurers, and its InsureConnect suite of solutions currently supports the sales and servicing of 11 of the 20 largest health plans and insurers in the country. Its industry-proven solutions encompass the entire spectrum of multi-channel insurance sales and services for small group, large group and individual markets. Connecture offers an end-to-end business process transaction platform consisting of focused modular applications that fully integrate with existing systems. Connecture’s solutions have proven to deliver increased sales, enhanced broker loyalty, improved back-office efficiencies, lower customer acquisition costs, and decrease overall operating expenses. For more information, call Meg Riddle at 262.408.3865 or visit the Connecture website at www. connecture. com. Connecture has offices at 101 Marietta Street, Suite 1600, Atlanta, GA, and at One Riverwood Place, N17W24222 Riverwood Drive, Suite 330, Waukesha, WI.

# # #

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Good Samaritan Hospital Receives Joint Commission Certification for the Care of Both Heart Attack and Stroke Patients

Good Samaritan Hospital Receives Joint Commission Certification for the Care of Both Heart Attack and Stroke Patients

Programs are accredited following rigorous JCAHO inspections.

Suffern, NY (PRWEB) January 22, 2007

Good Samaritan Hospital has again earned the Gold Seal of Approval for both the Management of Acute Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) and Management of Stroke from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

The certification was awarded following an extensive on-site review of the hospital's emergency medicine protocols, systems and procedures for heart attack and stroke patients by the prestigious health care rating body.

The Joint Commission's Disease Specific Care Certification is designed to evaluate disease management and chronic care services provided in health care settings. This certification acknowledges that Good Samaritan has met the highest quality national standards for the treatment of patients who visit the emergency department with a heart attack or stroke.

"Good Samaritan Hospital has shown its commitment to the constant improvement of cardiac and stroke care in the Lower Hudson Valley as seen through these JCAHO certifications, and the soon-to-open Active International Cardiovascular Institute," said Michael Schnieders, Executive Vice President and Administrator of Good Samaritan Hospital. "These designations uphold our promise of increased expertise in patient care."

The re-certification for acute myocardial infarction follows closely on the heels of the dedication of the hospital's Active International Cardiovascular Institute, a state-of-the-art comprehensive cardiac and vascular surgical and care center, and the first program of its kind in the Lower Hudson Valley. In January, 2005, Good Samaritan Hospital became the first hospital in the nation to earn Disease Specific Care Certification for the management of acute myocardial infarction.

The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association's statements/guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program -- the nation's first -- in 2003. The Stroke Center at Good Samaritan Hospital is also recognized as a Primary Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health. Good Samaritan Hospital was the first hospital in New York State to earn both JCAHO Primary Stroke Center certification, along with state designation as a Primary Stroke Center.

"This award highlights the rising quality of specialized healthcare services offered at Good Samaritan, and our Stroke Program serves as a primary example," said Stuart Lestch, M. D., a neurologist and director of the Stroke Program at Good Samaritan Hospital. "The dedication of our stroke team to provide patients with around-the-clock care and use of the most advanced therapies results in strong patient outcomes and warrants this acknowledgement from JCAHO."

Formed in 1951, JCAHO is dedicated to improving the quality of the nation's health care through voluntary accreditation of hospitals and other health care organizations. JCAHO develops state-of-the-art standards and evaluates the compliance of health care organizations to those standards.

JCAHO accreditation is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization's commitment to meeting the highest performance standards. To earn and maintain accreditation, an organization must undergo an extensive on-site survey by a JCAHO survey team.

Good Samaritan Hospital is a member of Bon Secours Health System Inc., one of the nation's leading Catholic healthcare systems. It is also part of the regional Bon Secours Charity Health System, which includes St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick, N. Y. and Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, N. Y. Additionally, Bon Secours Charity Health System provides the services of a Certified Home Health Agency, two long-term care facilities, an assisted living and adult home facility and several other medical programs. For more information about cardiac services, or any other program, contact Good Samaritan Hospital at 845-368-5000 or www. GoodSamHosp. org.

# # #

Monday, December 26, 2005

International Singers Forum

International Singers Forum

Opera Music Theater International, under the direction of James K. McCully, hosts the International Singers Forum in the Nation's Capital. The forum was sponsored by Musical America in honor of its Centennial Celebration, and included Metropolitan Opera stars Shirley Verrett, George Shirley, Carmen Balthrop, Dominic Cossa, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Evelyn Lear and Thomas Steward; as well as, Broadway Legends and Motion Picture Icons Marni Nixon and William Warfield. International artist manager Ann Summers moderates this distinguished panel of artists offering solid advice to young singers.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 25, 2004

The International Singers Forum, under the direction of James K. McCully, general director of Opera Music Theater International reflected the wisdom of the great stars of the Metropolitan, Broadway Legends, and Motion Picture Icons by offering positive guidance and advice to aspiring professional singers. In this forum, these new masters of the art of singing gleaned a little advice that planted a seed from which the artist could grow. The International Singers Forum enlightened the new masters with an opportunity to gain valuable insight from the old masters.

ANN SUMMERS, moderator
Ann Summers International 

Thank you Mr. McCully for organizing this International Singers Forum. I am very happy actually to participate in this panel, because I am becoming very frustrated because we all talk around the point instead of ever getting to the point in terms of career development. In this forum we will be discussing career development, professional management, and career longevity. I thought that we would allow each of our panelists to speak for a few minutes. I would like to start with Mattiwilda Dobbs.

The Metropolitan Opera  

I think that In the beginning, the first thing to ascertain, if you want to be a singer, is to get the opinion of someone who really knows as to your talent. That's a very difficult thing to find, because a lot of times a singing teacher perhaps doesn't want to tell you the truth. Or, the person might be young, and they would say, well there is potential maybe. I think the first thing to find out is, do you have the talent. Because after that will come all the hard work, and the contacts, and everything. But you have to have that in the beginning. If you don't have that, you are going to be wasting your time.

And I have always seen with students, that it is a pity for people to spend their lives on something, for which they really don't have the chance. Most young people really have no idea of what the requirements are. They don't know what it takes. How could they, they haven't ever met an opera singer, or come into contact with anyone. So, the thing to do is to try and find someone who could give you an honest opinion. That should be someone who really knows. And it is very difficult. I have had people ask me, and I don't really want to tell them, but I have to. Because you can hear right away if a person has no talent. All right, well the first thing is to establish if you've got talent.

And then if you are lucky enough to come from a family where your parents gave you music lessons, and where you heard classical music, and were brought up around that, well you've got a head start. But everyone hasn't been that fortunate. So, if you have not had that, I would say that the person should try and cultivate a general music knowledge on an instrument, a piano or some other instrument. Even before you start taking voice lessons. Don't start too soon. That's another thing. Some young people think that they can start taking voice lessons very early. And I don't think you should do that until you go through puberty. In the meantime, they could learn music. Then, I think that the next step would be, to try and find the best voice teacher you can. When your body is ready for that, study as much as possible. Then there will come a point when you go to a college, you will have people to advise you. There will come a point, as to whether or not you should continue after those preliminary years, and really go in for trying to be a singer. Now that is the crucial time, because that is when you almost sign away your life you know. You say I am going in for this. But that will be a time, when you really have to find out if you have the possibilities. And if you don't, just give it up no matter how much you want it.

Now then, when you feel that you are to a certain point, where you can start looking for engagements, then you have to get agents, try contests. Contests before the agents. I, myself, went to New York. Because that is where everything was. I went there to study, and everything was there. Auditions, agents, so forth. Then I finally went to Europe, where I was really more successful in getting started. I don't know whether you can do this from different parts of the United States. I think it is more spread out over the country now. You can live in other areas, or you can go to certain metropolitan areas, and do these contests and make contacts.

Motion Picture Icon

In the years that I have been teaching. I find it is very hard to define how to assess talent when someone comes to you. It seems to me that what I am interested in initially, is the process that these people go through. Obviously, if they come to you very young, they don't have a developed voice. But do they have a way to focus? Have they had a history of listening? Have they been steeped in music? Do they want to be a musician? Do they know how to listen? And sometimes, if it is just to assess talent, are they able to imitate. If you give them a phrase, and they imitate it. No doubt there is probably some talent there. If they can't do it, maybe that is something that can't be taught to them. They have to have rhythm. They have to have a pitch imitation. They have to have a way of being healthy. They have to know how to assess what is important, and to observe things that are going on around them. What is their background?

Some people come to me as a music theater person. I don't only teach music theater of course. But they have no idea about issuing sound. Voice! But they are actors, they have been trained as actors possibly. And that is a very important thing for music theater. That is very interesting, because then they can conceive of something, and just make it up in their mind, and then duplicate it. I think that to be an opera singer, one has to have a history of being a musician. Knowing how to be a musician. First of all. Have some stage deportment. As an opera singer, dancing is not that important, but I think some physical discipline is very important. They have to know that it is an ongoing focus. That it is a life devotion. That no matter what happens, they will find a way to make a living, at the same time while they are studying. And being able to put their life process together. Then to find people that demand the best of you. And by demanding the best of them, they respond with glory rather than, "Oh my, she is putting me down." So that it is an attitude. I think everyone else has said something to that nature too.

The Metropolitan Opera

Now this is the thing that bothers me a lot. The state of teaching in the whole world. And I think we have read this in all the old manuals. Oh, the state of teaching! I tell my students that the first thing is that you have to have a voice. And then after that, you polish the voice.

I like my students to watch the music theater people. Because to a lot of people, I say, I do not want to see you walking on the stage like an opera singer. Like most opera singers. The people on this forum are not included. And many of the young singers today are not included, because they have become more interested in the play. And the words. The meanings of words. And so forth, I stress that an awful lot. People want to know what you are saying. The voice, if it is beautiful, fine. Now what else have you got to offer me? That is the first thing on the list, to have a voice. To have it trained well. Then you've got the languages, the know how, the movement on stage. So I ask them to please go to as many performances as you can of the people on Broadway. They are really most of the time triple threats. They can act, they can sing, etc.

They may not sing as we sing as opera singers, but a lot of them have very wonderful voices. They never sing as if they have mush in there mouths. They sing as they speak. And that is the thing that I teach. You speak on pitch. So, there are a lot of things we have to undo before we get to the point of knowing what the voice is. At that point, I am very, very, very frank with my students. And I will tell them this. The voice is the first thing. All of the rest of these things you have to know, but one of the things in particular, is memory. If you cannot memorize, if someone has to open your head up, pour it in, and then close it back up. And you still cannot memorize. You are in the wrong business. I don't care if you have a voice of a Pavarotti, a Domingo, or a Carreras, or who ever. You must be able to memorize in this business. You cannot take a book on the opera stage. I am not asking you to be a genius at this. Just normal memory.
If you cannot do that, I don't care how great the instrument is, you are in the wrong business. And I hope that they don't feel that I am putting them down. But I am trying to give them really good advice, so that they save themselves from great misfortune, headaches, and disappointment in future life.

The Metropolitan Opera

I love teaching. I started off as a teacher, before I got the guts to become a professional singer. The thing I love about teaching, is I learn so much from the process. Those individual souls that come into my studio, are as varied as those individual souls, I was fortunate enough to touch as a professional singer on stage. Different levels of ability, different ways of looking at life.

The problem of assessment of talent, is a very difficult one, I think. In the profession, I have met singers who are having excellent careers, who have confided in me, at some point in life that are told to forget it. As a teacher, I witness students who come through the program, who show tremendous promise. They have the voice, the intelligence, and the hunger. They move on, and one never hears from them again. So I think, that it is extremely important to give an assessment, an honest assessment, to a student. I think that one has to recognize, that no one knows what's around the corner, for anyone.

Yes, I think if someone comes into the studio, and can't sing in tune, no matter what you do. That is a pretty strong indication that that person, is not going to have a career, even if the voice is excellent. I remember hearing a number of years ago, in New Jersey, a singer in recital. Beautiful voice. The voice moved with grace, and with tremendous facility. The singer was expressive, but everything was about a quarter tone flat. I thought, what a tragedy.

Boris Goldovsky's assessment of talent. I have always remembered, multiplication by one. If there are ten ingredients that are necessary to have a career, and one of those is absolutely missing. There will be no career. If there is a little bit of each one of those ten ingredients present. Then there is the possibility of a career. Why, because again, an operatic performance calls upon, performers who have different levels of gift.

The great voices, when attached to a sense of musical sensibility, and sensitivity, will probably do the leading roles. The voices that are less gifted, the singers that are less gifted vocally, but somehow have musicality, and probably more intelligence musically than some of the great voices, will do the secondary roles that are absolutely necessary, if you are going to produce the opera. And in the chorus, there will be the range of great voices, to voices that are less gifted, attached to intelligence, and a range of intelligence, that goes from one end of the spectrum to another, who will complete that picture. And without that component, you will not have the opera.

In assessing a talent, all of these things on the part of the assessor, have to be very much in the forefront of the assessors thinking. I would say for young singers who areassessed, I would say, that you would follow the same admonition that we hear in the medical profession. Avail yourself of a second opinion, possibly a third. But make sure, that when you do it, that you go to someone who appears to be as qualified as possible, to give you that opinion. 

I go back to the treatise of Garcia, when he listed those ingredients that were most important for a singer. And unlike my colleagues today, the first ingredient on his list, was not voice. It was mind. Mind. Again, all of us, are gifted vocally, at different levels. All we need to do is listen to a broadcast, or a performance of an opera. There will be the great voices, there will be the voices, that are less great. Sometimes there will be a voice, that is mediocre, but that person does something with what he or she has, that makes them stand out in that performance, in a positive way. Because the mind, is possibly at greater capacity, driving that voice, then the mind, that is driving the great instrument. We have all experienced great voices, that have never really had careers. If I have thought about the great voices, that I have heard in my life, that never sang professionally, I would have packed up my tent a long time ago, and done something else. But there are a number of ingredients that go into it.

Yes, a mind without a voice certainly, that would not work. But given the various levels of vocal gift. I would opt for the mind. Because, that is the driving force, behind a successful career. The mind is the thing, that attached to the soul, says, "Yes, I will put up with all of those things, that I have to put up with, to have this career." I am going to go into this rehearsal, and deal with whatever negative forces are there. And I am going to prevail. If the mind is not strong enough, then the talent will wither and die on the vine.

The Metropolitan Opera

George Shirley mentioned about the Goldovsky's multiplication factor. I feel this one is worth repetition. The Goldovsky idea, that anyone sitting here, if we were to come up with a list of factors, that would be necessary to make a career. The top five list. Top ten list. Whatever the list is, I think any group of people, any two people, could sit down, and do this. One person could sit down, and do this. Then to rate it numerically. Lets say, from one to five. Or one to ten. Then total those up, you might get some indication. It works like math. In math, no matter how large the number is, if you multiply by zero. You get a big zero for the whole thing. That is how this is.

I frequently hear from students, "What do I do?" "Where do I go from here?" "What's next?" "I have my Master's Degree, or I am going to get my Master's Degree in six months." "What do I do?" Well, there are a whole bunch of things, that were not available to us, when we were starting out. Those Apprentice Programs. Well, this will give you a pretty good idea, of how you rack up with the competition out there. So try out these Apprentice Programs. There are some very good ones, and some very not so well known. But they are all an experience.

The contests, are certainly an important way to go. To get your name before people. To get to sing for people, that might be in a position, that might be able to help you. A young tenor, who just six months ago, won a Richard Tucker Award, a scholarship award. One of the people there judging, who happened to be from the MET, invited him over to the MET for an audition. Now, this young man doesn't have his Master's yet. And he made his debut last week, in a small part in "Capriccio." But he is a kid. He is a young man, but, he did make a MET debut. I don't know what is going to happen now. In any event, so the contests, and the auditions, are very important.

Another factor, I don't think anyone has mentioned this. Creative Self Promotion. Let me give you a couple of vignettes. They happened to me. And I am not saying, you have to do this. But you have to find a way, to make you stand out from the crowd. Now, assuming that you sing well, and your technique is good. And all those other factors are in place. How to get this ball rolling. Many years ago, I had heard that this opera company out in the Midwest, was going to be doing a FAUST. The FAUST was going to occur, but we were just coming into a season. We were coming into VALENTINE time. And I searched all around the Westside of New York for this card, that said, "May I be your VALENTIN." And I scratched out the "E", and sent it on to the impresario, with a little note. And I got the job. He said, he was completely disarmed by that. He had heard me sing, and I knew I was in the running for it. But I got the job. So Creative Self Promotion.

I made my debut in San Francisco, in the Pearl Fishers. At the time, there were seven or eight newspapers reviewing out there. And I got some very nice reviews. And I spread them all out on the table, and they looked wonderful. And I said, I have got to find a piece of paper big enough. And I did, and I pasted them all, on a great big piece of paper. At the time, we didn't have photocopy machines any place. I am talking about 1960, I don't know. Kinkos wasn't there. So, I went to a blueprint place. And I said, "Could you make this up, not in blueprint, but in the white copy." Yeah. It wasn't cheap. I think it cost about $4 each, so I only had twenty made. I folded those things up, and they were really thick. I put them in an envelope, and sent them out, with a personal letter. I must have gotten five, or six jobs out of that thing. Creative Self Promotion.

The Metropolitan Opera

I remember the exact day that I decided I should be an opera singer. I was 8 years old. I was sitting on the steps of the basement in my family home. My father use to repair radios and televisions just as a part time job. He worked for the Justice Department. When you live in Washington, DC your parents work for the government. So I remember one Saturday, on the Texaco broadcast, Miss Price was singing. And I said, "Daddy, what's that?" "That's opera." And I said, "Who's singing?" And it was significant to me. He said, "Well that's Leontyne Price and she's a black woman."

I said, "Oh!" "Oh, okay, opera, sounds good to me." So I went upstairs and my mothers says, "Now vacuum the living room." So I turned on the vacuum cleaner, and started imitating what I heard. So it is interesting that you should mention imitation. Because imitation is what inspired me to reach down inside, and to discover that God had given me a voice.

I had a teacher who basically feed me proper repertoire. You have to sing what is correct for you at your age, and where you are. A voice that is going to sing, or become a performer, is going to reveal itself, as having a certain pull, in a certain area for lyric things, for things with rapid coloratura, or something. The voice is going to say, "I like doing this." "I like it. The home of the voice is going to speak to the ear of a good teacher. And basically, at that young age, I say between 17 and 19 or so. If you can just feed proper repertoire, that doesn't strain, or struggle, or cause the young singer to struggle. And while you are doing that, they are building their confidence, but also you can slowly begin to incorporate things that require a little bit more thought, and a little bit more difficulty physically, muscularly, and in the body.

At the time that I was an undergrad, there was no opera program. A total program per se. So this is what I did. I had electives. I took dance, in and of itself. So, I understood the discipline by itself. I took theater, in and of itself. And, of course voice. So, I was taking each discipline separately. So that I understood what my baby toe was doing in improvisational class for movement. I understood subtext. Now you know that I learned the term subtext in theater, not in opera. And that was a revelation, because that meant that doing those musical interludes, or doing even rests in music, I could fill it with text in my mind. And use it to motivate the voice line, what I would sing to the public. So, that was how I was trained, or how I was intuitively moved to be trained.

Now, about my parents, and the day I won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. Shirley Verrett handed me the prize the day I won the Met up in New York. And, my mother was in the audience, and she came backstage. I was crying. And she said, "Why are you crying?" I said, "Well, I won!" She says, "Yeah, but you could of used your hands a little more." Now, this is my mother. "Somehow when you use your hands you really look involved, and the audiences feels it." My father is one who would always say, "Yeah, that voice is getting stronger all the time. Yeah!"

"SHOWBOAT" motion picture icon

I would like to share an antidote. I thought of, that happened to me, when Carmen Balthrop was talking about using your hands. It was several years ago, and I was to do the solo work of Boris Godunov, with Robert Shaw, and the Atlanta Orchestra and chorus. Three weeks before, Bob Shaw called, and said, "Bill I will never get this choir to do the Russian correctly." Can we do this in English? I said, "Wow", very cavalierly. Oh, yes, sure that will be all right. I looked at the score, and as all of you know, in English translations, all of a sudden, the thought even was so freely translated. It was a matter of really learning, word for word, the English. And the Russian that I knew, didn't help me at all. I knew the Russian translation, but what they had translated, was just unbelievable. It was close, but not the thought itself. At the last minute, before I had to go on, there were certain phrases that I completely wasn't sure of. So, I took a pencil or tracer, and across my hand, I put certain English things, as cues on each finger, on both hands. When I got to those place where it was difficult, I would do like this. (raises hands) And I didn't think anything of it. But afterwards, a very close friend of mine came up, and said to me, "Bill, it was wonderful. I have never seen you use your hands so expressively." And I did like this, (shows us his hands) and he went into hysterics.

Now one other little thing, people do come to me for advice. I have a friend of mine who said, "Do you think I am good enough to have a career? Well, two things I tell them, if they are a tenor, I say, "Well, do you think you can give Domingo or Pavoratti competition?" And they look at me. And I tell them, "Well, that is the league you are talking about. That's what the standard is."A friend of mine use to say, I am tempted to tell them, "No, I don't think you should continue." Because the person that has the talent, who has the drive, is not going to pay one bit of attention to me if I tell them not to.
And that is the one that is going to succeed.

The Metropolitan Opera

For this is what one should say, or one should inquire of young people who aspires to be a singer. The key is, that person has to admit to himself, that if he doesn't sing, he will wither and die. That ultimately is the thing. Because what he has to go through, in order, to become a singer, whatever he wants to sing. Either it is to sing at the Metropolitan, or whether it is to sing on Broadway, or whatever it is. If he doesn't sing, then he is nothing. That is the key. And if he is not willing to sacrifice everything that is part of his life in order to sing, then he is not really committed. Because it is not an easy life. And all the technical aspects of what you tell a young person about where he should study, and what voice he should sing, and what repertoire he should sing.
These are all decisions that come after the commitment. COMMITMENT!

If the young person wants to be a singer ill regardless of what it takes. That to me is the essence of it. Now, we could go into all the things of what I went through as a young man, what determined me. I had to sing. I sang. When I became a professional, as my grandfather use to say to me, "Well, what are you doing?" "Well, I am a singer Grandpa." "I know you are a singer, but what do you do for a living?" I had been singing since I was three years of age. America is full of shower singers. There are millions of people who love to sing. Singing is something that we do, or we don't do. We love to do it, or we don't care whether we sing or not. Some people never sing a note. Fine. But, if you love to sing, then that is one thing. If you want to make a profession out of it, that is another thing. If you want to make a professional out of it, then you have to commit yourself, to offer yourself, to do whatever is necessary. Then you find people along the way. If you do have the talent, believe me, there are enough people out there when they hear you, they will say, "Oh, you should work at that. You have talent." Just sing at every opportunity, where ever you are, in a chorus, a high school glee club, or when you go to college. Just sing period. That way, you know whether you want to sing. Other people will hear you, and know whether you have anything worthwhile to offer them, or offer the world. But first of all, there has to be a commitment.

EVELYN LEAR, soprano
The Metropolitan Opera

As if you didn't know. I belong to this man right here next to me. For those of you who do not know, Thomas Stewart and Evelyn Lear, are husband and wife. Over forty years of a career, a joint career, a single career, his career, my career. Our career! Oh yeah, I said that. Didn't I say that? See that, we are still married after all this time because, I agree with him. Very smart!

Singing! Do you ever ask yourself, why do I want to be a singer? A professional singer. Because we all sing, in one degree, or another. In the shower, out of the shower, in the car, along with Rosa Ponselle records, Richard Tucker records, or Janet Baker records. (Even Evelyn Lear records comments
Thomas Stewart.) This is true! Young people today, who want to be singers. Are faced with an enormous problem. There are more young singers today, than there have ever been. We certainly have all experienced this in the competitions, and the classes that we've been involved in. And the goal has to be one of excellence.

First, you start with the premise, that you have a voice. We assume you have a voice. A professional singer. Everybody wants to sing. But how they deliver, and communicate what they have, to their audience, is what puts them apart from the shower singer. I don't know if the young singer, would be faced with, or would have the knowledge of, what is ahead of him if he were to venture upon his voyage of a career. You understand that you have the voice, and the talent, and the style, and the languages, and the musicianship. All of these are part and parcel, of what makes having a career, so essential.

There are other elements that a young singer must face. And that is the telling point. Not, do you have to sing, or you will die. We all have that quality. We all must sing, or our lives are over for us. Singing in one form or another. If you have that little something here, that puts you apart from someone who does not sing. But, it is more than that. It is the drive, the courage, the desire, to share what God has given you, with someone else. In the best way that you know possible. Singing is such a very, very, fragile thing, as we all know. You know the old business, if you are a singer, and you get up in the morning, and your voice is all there, then you are just thrilled, and wonderful. And you hear that your favorite dog got run over, or you lost the lottery, it doesn't matter! The voice is there, and if the voice is there, everything else is marvelous. Or, you wake up, and the voice is not there. You won a million dollars in the lottery, your best friend married the perfect man, your lover said you are fantastic. Doesn't matter. If you can't sing your "Costa Diva", the world stinks.

Unfortunately, we let this little thing here, rule and run your life. We have to understand, do we have the courage, the commitment, the nerves, to withstand conductors who can be.....Excuse me...any conductors here today? Yeah, all right. CONDUCTORS! Present company excluded please. Conductors who can be abusive. Critics who can tear you apart. Managers who abuse you. Directors who use you. These are all things that come into our lives, and into our careers.

We have to be able to withstand all of these things. In other words, have the skin of a crocodile or elephant, and the soul of a lily. Be sensitive in your art, but be able to have the guts to withstand the bad things. And there are plenty of them out there. Just want you to know this. This is real. This is life. It is not just singing a pretty tune. I would like to leave you with a thought. There are not that many positions in this world that are number one. You can't all be number one. Not everyone reaches the holy grail, the Metropolitan Opera, and not everybody can go to La Scala. But, if you give joy to the people you are performing for, then you are successful.

# # #
On the 13th of August 1991, James K. McCully founded Opera Music Theater International (OMTI) as a nonprofit organization to help international emerging singers bridge the opera and music theater gap through international competitions, international performances, international master classes, international conferences, international symposia, and international forums.

Opera Music Theater International (OMTI) positioned itself at the monumental International Trade Center at the prestigious address 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue across from "The Theatre of the Presidents", The National Theatre, on the "Avenue of the Presidents" at Federal Triangle, directly in the center of a triangle connecting The White House, The Capitol, and The Washington Monument.

Opera Music Theater International (OMTI) was the host of the 43rd National Opera Association Convention in Washington DC sponsored by Musical America with a Welcome by Placido Domingo at Kennedy Center; and the Marjorie Lawrence International Vocal Competition with International Honorary Chairs Maestro Richard Bonynge and Dame Joan Sutherland at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Grand ISS Collaborates with Ramora UK Ltd on Global Counterterrorism Program

Grand ISS Collaborates with Ramora UK Ltd on Global Counterterrorism Program

New program addresses critical aspects, communications, and challenges associated with explosives and related-emergency intervention activities in crisis situations.

St. Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) August 24, 2006

Grand ISS, a global provider of security, risk management and investigative solutions, in association with Ramora UK Ltd, today announced the launch of a 24/7 Incident Helpline program. Ramora UK Ltd, of Hampshire, England delivers a wide range of security training and consultancy solutions in such areas as explosives, maritime, Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), underwater searches, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), health and safety.

Designed as a channel to reach out around the world with explosive device intervention expertise, the program effectively responds to security, terrorist or safety-related risks. Dave Welch, Ramora’s Director and Member of the Institute of Explosive Engineers (MIExpE) explains, “When a crisis occurs, military, governmental and non-governmental organizations require a crisis management response team with the ability to immediately communicate, connect and react as a single virtual organization. Teaming with Grand ISS transforms us into a greater joint force with multinational operability.” Mr. Welch went on to report that this is the first-of-its-kind program in the international non-governmental private sector; and in the aftermath of recent events involving the British law enforcement’s thwarting a terrorist plot to blow-up airlines, he sees the program as an invaluable tool in the ongoing protection of innocent lives.

“We see the program as an inventive response strategy that empowers specialized industries operating in remote locations such as maritime, air transportation, oil and gas with the availability, resiliency and utilization of emergency help currently accessible in highly developed populated areas,” noted Steven C. Purl, COO of Grand ISS. “Our program is based on the experience of crisis response teams managing actual explosive device situations, identifying plans to mitigate exposure, and applying best of industry practices to safeguard ships, oil platforms, refineries, pipelines, aircraft, desolate land-based industries, and far-reaching construction sites vulnerable to terrorist attacks and other hostile or malicious acts.” In conjunction with this, Mr. Purl added another positive was the prospect that foreign governments, as well as military and law enforcement agencies with limited resources and budgets could utilize the program’s high level explosive expertise anytime, anywhere as necessary.

The partner program couples Ramora UK’s world leading land, sea and air explosive experts and advanced technologies with Grand ISS’ international special security operations (including anti-terrorism and combat units) and threat and actionable intelligence management services. “Security and safety should not have geographic, technical, political or cultural boundaries,” said Steve Purl. “Our partnering program enables us to respond across societal boundaries to explosive-related threats and emergencies with access to qualified experts at the time of contact regardless of global positioning.”

About Grand ISS

Grand ISS is an employee-owned, full service global provider of risk mitigation, security and investigative solutions. The company services commercial and government entities; and specializes in highly challenging protection assignments -- including counterterrorism operations -- around the world. Grand ISS assembles experienced professionals in every security and investigative niche, forensic experts, and state-of-the-art technologies for the primary purposes of reducing exposure to risk, and maximizing successful resolution of investigation and litigation matters. Additionally, the company maintains strategic relationships with a number of best of breed organizations operating internationally to maximize its service portfolio capabilities, multiply effectiveness, improve marketing efforts, and drive growth initiatives in public and private entities in diverse industries. Grand ISS is collocated in St. Petersburg, Florida and Swindon, England. For more information, call +(1) 727.797.6545 or visit online at www. grandiss. com

About Ramora UK Ltd

Ramora UK is a specialist company offering a wide range of explosive-related services to both commercial and law enforcement sectors. Capable of delivering highly skilled and credible consultants, trainers and operators worldwide, Ramora utilises the skills and experience of ex military and law enforcement personnel to achieve first class results every time. From the delivery of reactive 24-hour Bomb Disposal services through to high risk counter terrorist search and disposal techniques, Ramora has the capability of delivering solutions to complex and sensitive situations anywhere in the world. Ramora UK personnel each have in excess of 20 years experience in the planning and delivery of EOD and security-related services throughout the world. This includes areas ranging from the United States and Europe through North Africa the Middle East and Far East. Ramora UK Headquarters are located at 25 The Slipway, Port Solent, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 4TR United Kingdom. For further details, call +44 (0) 2392 380777 or visit online at www. ramorauk. com

# # #

To Halt Spreading Health Concern, Companies Need To Come Clean About Bed Bugs, South Carolina Attorney Says

To Halt Spreading Health Concern, Companies Need To Come Clean About Bed Bugs, South Carolina Attorney Says

Columbia, S. C., personal injury attorney Bert Louthian says the state's consumers, tenants and employees are finding themselves increasingly exposed to the risk of bed bug infestations.

Columbia, SC (PRWEB) August 29, 2010

A recently released survey shows that landlords, hotel owners and employers may be exacerbating the nation’s growing bed bug problem by refusing to be open and honest about infestations, Columbia, S. C., personal injury attorney Bert Louthian (http://www. louthianlaw. com/about. asp) says.

In July, the National Pest Management Association and University of Kentucky announced results of its nationwide survey of pest control companies. Ninety-five percent of the respondents reported an encounter with a bed bug infestation within the past year. Prior to 2000, only 25 percent of the respondents had seen such infestations.

According to the surveyed pest control professionals, a leading cause for the spread of infestations has been the reluctance of landlords, hotels, business management and universities to report bed bug problems, or their outright denial of any problems.

“Because there’s a certain stigma attached to it, no one wants to be known as the employer or landlord or business that has bed bugs,” says Louthian, a partner in The Louthian Law Firm, P. A., which represents personal injury victims (http://www. louthianlaw. com/injury. asp).

“Still, people need to be warned that there’s a problem so that they can protect themselves and help prevent these infestations from spreading. Silence is no solution.”

Bed bugs, or Cimex lectularius, are apple-seed-sized parasites that tend to hide in suitcases, boxes, shoes, mattresses, headboards, baseboards, electrical switch plates, wallpaper, upholstery and furniture crevices, the NPMA says.

At night, the bed bugs seek out sleeping humans and animals to sip drops of blood. The bites can trigger allergic reactions, including red skin lesions similar to those caused by mosquitoes and fleas, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Although these lesions can be itchy and irritating and lead to infections if scratched, bed bugs are not known to spread diseases.

“Having multiple bed bug bites can lead to much physical discomfort, pain and suffering,” Louthian says. “It can be a very horrifying experience.”

According to the NPMA, bed bugs have been increasingly infesting homes, apartments, hotels, retail stores, offices, churches, dorm rooms, hospitals, daycares, libraries, movie theaters, laundry facilities and “other places where humans live and gather.” The bugs reproduce rapidly.

Pest control firms have seen a 57 percent increase in bed bug-related calls in the last five years, the NPMA reports. Nearly 40 percent of all treatments have been in commercial buildings.

“Because these pests are hitchhikers, the concern is that a person may be exposed to bed bugs at work or at a hotel and then unknowingly carry them home,” Louthian says.

According to Louthian, landlords and hotel/motel owners have a legal duty to provide safe and habitable accommodations for tenants and guests, which includes providing apartments, homes and rooms that are bedbug-free.

Employers, he said, have a similar legal obligation to provide safe and healthy workplaces that do not expose their employees to bed bug infestations.

“If you encounter bed bugs in a rented space or at work, you should report it to the landlord, property owner or employer immediately, so they can contact a pest control professional and begin appropriate treatment right away,” Louthian says.

“My concern is that these problems are being reported by tenants, guests and employees, and those who are in the best position to prevent these infestations are either denying there’s a problem or simply failing to act, which is completely inexcusable.”

About The Louthian Law Firm

The Louthian Law Firm, P. A. (http://www. louthianlaw. com/index. asp), of Columbia, S. C., has been obtaining fair compensation for personal injury victims since 1959. The firm was founded by Herbert Louthian, who has nearly 50 years of trial experience and is licensed to practice in all courts in South Carolina. The Louthian Law Firm focuses on personal injury cases involving medical malpractice; car, truck and motorcycle accidents; and other serious and catastrophic injuries throughout South Carolina. For a free, confidential case evaluation, contact the firm by phone at (866) 410-5656 or through its online form (http://www. louthianlaw. com/contact. asp).


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Unwired Appeal Provides Mobile Content Delivery Services to Jambo Mobile - Adaptive Content Server Technology On the Move

Unwired Appeal Provides Mobile Content Delivery Services to Jambo Mobile - Adaptive Content Server Technology On the Move

In an agreement signed with Jambo Mobile, Unwired Appeal will provide mobile content delivery services based on their proprietary Adaptive Content Server (ACS) technology. The business relationship was forged under a recent mobile content delivery project that will go live across the United States in June 2005.

Boston, MA (PRWEB) June 6, 2005

In an agreement signed with Jambo Mobile, Unwired Appeal will provide mobile content delivery services based on their proprietary Adaptive Content Server (ACS) technology. The business relationship was forged under a recent mobile content delivery project that will go live across the United States in June 2005.

Operating in a fully cross-carrier network environment, the ACS platform enables the seamless delivery of a wide-range of multimedia files (music, graphics, video, and applications) to cell phone subscribers. When a download is initiated, ACS automatically detects the individual cell phoneÂ’s capabilities then converts and optimizes content on-the-fly prior to delivery to the device.

”We look forward to working with Jambo Mobile on current and future mobile content delivery projects that take advantage of our back-end ACS technology”, commented Stephen Nye, VP of Sales at Unwired. ”ACS provides clear technological and operational advantages over traditional delivery systems and Jambo Mobile has the strategic know-how and market expertise to exploit its capabilities.”

The ACS platform derives its unique functionality from several underlying systems that enable it to operate as an “intelligent” delivery service. Key to the platform is Dynamic Device Recognition that allows the platform to automatically recognize the make, model, and operating system of connecting cell phones. This information is cross-referenced against the self-updating Dynamic Device Database to determine the precise device capabilities. The system then employs integrated conversion techniques to “adapt” and optimize the content to the target cell phone. The entire process is invisible to the cell phone subscriber who receives the optimized content in just seconds.

“We did a lot of due diligence in sourcing a provider that facilitates the intelligent delivery of content to mobile devices. The beauty of the ACS technology when integrated into Ignition, our content storefront engine, is in the ability to seamlessly deliver content to the end user with very little user intervention.”, commented Matthew Kim, Technology Lead at Jambo Mobile.

About Unwired Appeal

Unwired Appeal is a leading USA wireless technology firm specializing in wireless network connectivity, interactive SMS messaging, and mobile content delivery. UA employs proprietary real-time device detection software via Adaptive Content Server (ACS) technology to provide both ease-of-use to wireless subscribers and versatile solutions to clients. For more information, visit www. unwiredappeal. com.

About Jambo Mobile

Jambo Mobile www. jambomobile. com is an award winning innovator in wireless communications. Jambo MobileÂ’s solutions bridge the gap between content and mobility through the development of mobile-based technologies and strategies. ItÂ’s wholly owned carrier-grade Ignition technology leverages SMS, EMS, MMS & WAP protocols and has been built with flexibility and scalability in mind. Based in Toronto, Jambo Mobile is poised to work with North American partners and clients to develop and execute mobile applications that support the media, marketing, events, enterprise and healthcare industries.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

SharedHR Bulletin Says Employers Should Provide Incentives To Keep Colds and Flu Viruses at Home, Not at Work

SharedHR Bulletin Says Employers Should Provide Incentives To Keep Colds and Flu Viruses at Home, Not at Work

Bird flu is a threat, but today employers should be more concerned with sick employees showing up for work than abusing time off advises the latest edition of sharedHR’s new Monthly Bulletin.

San Rafael, CA (PRWEB) December 9, 2005

With the threat of a bird flu pandemic making headline news, employers should consider the impact on their employees if the virus strikes the United States. More importantly, employers should also consider the impact of sick employees routinely showing up for work rather than taking time off, advises the latest edition of sharedHR’s new Monthly Bulletin (www. sharedHR. com/news/ (http://www. sharedHR. com/news/)). SharedHR is a supplier of Web-based services to HR professionals working in small and medium-sized business.

The Bulletin’s lead report reveals that the percentage of sick employees showing up for work can be very high, largely due to perceived pressure from managers and peers – leaving workspaces vulnerable to infection.

“One recent survey found that 90 percent of workers admitted coming to work when sick,” says Paul Finkle, President and CEO at SharedHR, one of the co-authors of the report. “They said they came to work because they feared falling behind, or did not feel supported by their employer in taking time off to get better.”

“Employers should weigh the downside of sick employees on the job and the impact on business operations and the workforce during this, the traditional cold and flu season,” says Finkle. “Whether suffering from a serious flu virus or fighting off a simple cold, just one sick employee can infect an entire office and hamper productivity.”

Traditionally, employers have been more concerned about employees taking advantage of sick leave, says Finkle. But now, he says employers should be more concerned about encouraging employees to properly use their sick time and keep wintertime viruses out of the work place.

Finkle says employers should take the following reasonable steps to ensure a healthier work environment:

· Offer defined sick-leave benefits or paid time off for employees;

· Create policies urging contagious employees to stay home;

· Allow employees to telecommute so employees can contribute without spreading illnesses at work; and

· Offer wellness programs and annual flu shots—preventative measures that should translate into fewer sick employees.

“Progressive employers are looking at ways to encourage healthy behavior on the part of their workers,” concludes Finkle. “For example, some businesses offer incentives to use sick time appropriately and to encourage healthy behavior. This helps reduce overhead, and demonstrates that employers care about employees.”

About sharedHR (www. sharedhr. com)

Based in San Rafael, Calif., sharedHR is a Web-based Human Resources Management System (HRMS) that lightens the workload for HR professionals. SharedHR supplies a complete library of HR forms, documents and policies—each reviewed and updated as needed to ensure compliance with the latest court decisions and regulatory rulings. SharedHR is the only HRMS solution in the marketplace that helps reduce employment liability risks while manage the intricacies of running today's complex HR function. Visit sharedHR at www. sharedhr. com.

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: www. HRmarketer. com) on behalf of the company listed above.


Juice Inc. Offers Employers Tips for Avoiding ‘Communication Cancers’

Juice Inc. Offers Employers Tips for Avoiding ‘Communication Cancers’

Employee morale and performance depend on leaders’ use of the right medium for specific messages

Ontario, Canada (PRWEB) November 22, 2006

If a hall of shame for corporate communications (http://www. juiceinc. ca/section/view/index. php? section=3&page=29&) existed, the following true stories would be solid contenders for a display case:

At a national sales conference, a CEO unexpectedly and publicly dresses down his corporate sales team for not meeting its sales targets – figures that the CEO had previously devised and given to the sales force without their input.

Employees at a growing start-up firm enjoy an innovative work culture, filled with office friendships. . . but the atmosphere quickly devolves when candid feedback is suppressed in order to preserve friendships. It’s replaced by widespread complaining and discontent, done behind others’ backs.

A CEO sends out a holiday policy change that varies for each employee level of the organization. Senior executives get a specific holiday off with pay, while middle managers can take a day off in lieu; and administrative support will be docked the day's pay. The policy is communicated in a single e-mail sent to all of the organization’s 5,000 employees.

The above examples – combined with high-profile missteps such as Radio Shack’s recent e-mail layoff notices – illustrate how North American companies are suffering from “toxic communication,” say experts at Juice Inc., a consulting firm for leaders who want to boost their organizational energy levels (http://www. juiceinc. ca/section/view/index. php? section=2&page=2&) and employee engagement (http://www. juiceinc. ca/section/view/index. php? section=2&page=2&).

“Toxic communication is an organizational cancer that kills employees’ trust, respect, collaboration, and above all, performance,” explains Brady Wilson, co-founder of Juice and author of the recently released book, JUICE: Release Your Company's Intelligent Energy Through Powerful Conversations (http://www. juiceinc. ca/).

The four most common examples of poor leadership communication include:

Indirect Communication – the use of non-verbal messages, disapproving attitudes, critical humor or public teasing to send a veiled message to someone, instead of having a direct, face-to-face conversation. Character Assassination – is dishonoring someone when they are not there to speak for themselves by assigning malice to their actions, words or motives Public Re-dressing – is uncovering someone’s private issue in a public forum because it’s uncomfortable for you to go face to face with them. e-Stabbing – sending out a scathing email and CC’ing those you wish to ‘leak’ juicy information to. Or, sending an email to request someone’s assistance and CC’ing their supervisor so the person is forced to comply.

Leaders can also drain morale by offering too much or too little communication, by delivering it too late or distorting it, or by using the wrong vehicle to convey the message. In an age of virtual teams and intranets, email is a frequently-misused medium, Wilson adds.

“Being an effective communicator means knowing which medium is best to use for specific messages,” he notes. “Direct feedback is sometimes misinterpreted to have a negative connotation. . . yet a face-to-face conversation conveys the greatest amount of emotion, trust, and understanding.”

Juice recommends four ways to be a “toxin-free” communicator:

1. Use direct communication and avoid sending messages that may leave ambiguity in the mind of the receiver. Practice “XYZ” communication: “When you do X, it makes me feel Y. Could I ask you to do Z instead?”

2. Shut down character assassinations. To avoid becoming a character assassin, use this simple rule: While speaking about someone to others, picture them beside you and only say the things you would say if they were present. If you are a victim of toxic communication, you will have to invest in direct, face-to-face conversations with the person who started the toxic message and those infected.

3. Interrupt public re-dressings. If you are a manager, don’t discipline people in front of their peers unless the issue absolutely must be addressed publicly, in the moment, to avert a greater disaster

4. Go face-to-face with e-Stabbers. Help them understand the implications of using technology as a fault-broadcaster, a power-lever or a rear-covering device. One or two face-to-face conversations with a person like that will provide a healthy disincentive.

The new “JUICE” book offers tips for leaders on the use of “Pull Conversations” to develop a high-performing culture and explains the value of intelligent energy. Copies can be purchased by visiting www. juiceinc. ca or by calling 519-822-5479. An additional resource at the site is the Juice Resource Centre, which offers information on related workshops, speaking engagements, articles and excerpts.

About Juice Inc.

Since 1998, Juice Inc. has been working with organizations to create better business outcomes and improve business performance (http://www. juiceinc. ca/) by releasing Intelligent Energy. Juice Inc. has seen a significant return on investment for the companies it has worked for. Juice’s client list includes Amex, AstraZeneca Canada, Botsford Hospital, CIBC, Deutsche Bank, Kellogg, Canadian Tire Financial Services, Cooper-Standard, Kraft Foods, Linamar Manufacturing, Manulife Financial, NestlePurina, Raytheon, Saint Elizabeth Health Care and UNICEF.

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: www. HRmarketer. com) on behalf of the company listed above.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Gables Residential Receives 2009 Environmental Award

Gables Residential Receives 2009 Environmental Award

Gables Takoma Park honored for outstanding sustainable development

Atlanta (Vocus) November 6, 2009

Gables Residential (www. gables. com]) was recently awarded the 2009 Environmental Award for Green Building in the multifamily category by the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA). The award recognized Gables Residential’s exemplary environmental stewardship in developing Gables Takoma Park, a 145-unit infill development in the environmentally conscious Takoma Park community in Washington, DC.

“We are honored to have Gables Takoma Park recognized by MNCBIA for our environmental efforts,” said Jorgen Punda, Regional Vice President, Investments of Gables Residential. “Careful attention and planning went into developing this project, which allowed us to achieve a LEED NC Silver Certification. Our team of consultants and subcontractors helped to make this project a success.”

According to the MNCBIA, the judges awarded Gables Residential and Gables Takoma Park the 2009 Environmental Award because of its progressive example of environmentally-friendly living and the number of green features. More than 30 percent of the project’s materials were extracted, processed and manufactured locally and regionally. The project also uses building products that included recycled content. The landscaping consists of native plants and a drip irrigation system that minimizes water use. The building itself has a solar reflective roof, energy-efficient lighting and Energy Star appliances, low-flow fixtures and three separate recycling chutes in the trash room. The environmental consulting engineer was GreenShape, LLC.

The MNCBIA Environmental Awards showcases builders and developers throughout Maryland and Washington D. C. who comply with a broad range of environmental regulations dealing with open space, water runoff, tree protection, sediment control and storm water management at the local, state and federal levels. Many members of the industry go to extra lengths to preserve, enhance and protect the environment and the MNCBIA Environmental Awards recognize and honor this outstanding commitment.

About Gables Residential

Gables Residential is a privately held REIT owned by a closed-end fund managed by a joint venture between ING Clarion and Lehman Brothers. With a mission of Taking Care of the Way People Live, Gables Residential has received national recognition for excellence in the management, development, acquisition and construction of luxury multi-family communities in high job growth markets. Gables residential owns, develops and manages multi-family communities and mixed-use developments in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, South Florida, Southern California, and metropolitan Washington, D. C. Additionally, it has third-party management operations in the Chicago, New York, Phoenix, Central and North Florida, and Washington State markets. Gables Residential enjoys a healthy portfolio with nearly 35,000 (please update per previous press release) apartment homes under management, including a corporate-owned portfolio of 64 communities comprising more than 16,000 apartment homes. An additional 10 communities are under construction, comprising more than 2,000 apartment homes. Gables also has the ability to develop another 5,000 apartment homes through its shadow pipeline of undeveloped land owned. For more information please visit www. gables. com.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

National Academy of Engineering Announces Winners of $1 Million Challenge to Provide Safe Drinking Water

National Academy of Engineering Announces Winners of $1 Million Challenge to Provide Safe Drinking Water

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today the winners of the 2007 Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability. The contest sought innovative solutions for removing arsenic from drinking water that is slowly poisoning tens of millions of people in developing countries.

Washington, D. C. (Vocus) February 2, 2007

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today the winners of the 2007 Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability. The contest sought innovative solutions for removing arsenic from drinking water that is slowly poisoning tens of millions of people in developing countries. Three prizes will be awarded from a field of more than 70 entries.

The prize winners are recognized for the development, in-field verification, and dissemination of effective techniques for reducing arsenic levels in water. The systems must be affordable, reliable, easy to maintain, socially acceptable, and environmentally friendly. All of the winning systems meet or exceed the local government guidelines for arsenic removal and require no electricity.

The prizes will be presented at a gala dinner in Washington, D. C., on Feb. 20, 2007.

Abul Hussam, an associate professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., will receive the Grainger Challenge Gold Award of $1 million for his SONO filter, a household water treatment system.

Arup K. SenGupta, John E. Greenleaf, Lee M. Blaney, Owen E. Boyd, Arun K. Deb, and the nonprofit organization Water For People will share the Grainger Challenge Silver Award of $200,000 for their community water treatment system. SenGupta is P. C. Rossin Senior Professor and a professor of chemical engineering and of civil and environmental engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. Boyd is chief executive officer of SolmeteX Co. in Northborough, Mass. Deb is a retired vice president of Roy F. Weston Inc. (now Weston Solutions Inc.) in West Chester, Pa. Greenleaf is a Ph. D. candidate in civil and environmental engineering, and Blaney recently earned a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering; they performed laboratory research under SenGupta at Lehigh University.

The Children's Safe Drinking Water Program at Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G), Cincinnati, will receive the Grainger Challenge Bronze Award of $100,000 for the PUR™ Purifier of Water coagulation and flocculation water treatment system. Greg Allgood, director of the Children's Safe Drinking Water Program, will accept the prize for P&G.

The Gold Award-winning SONO filter is a point-of-use method for removing arsenic from drinking water. A top bucket is filled with locally available coarse river sand and a composite iron matrix (CIM). The sand filters coarse particles and imparts mechanical stability, while the CIM removes inorganic arsenic. The water then flows into a second bucket where it again filters through coarse river sand, then wood charcoal to remove organics, and finally through fine river sand and wet brick chips to remove fine particles and stabilize water flow. The SONO filter is now manufactured and used in Bangladesh.

The system developed by the Silver Award-winning team is applied at a community's well head. Each arsenic removal unit serves about 300 households. Water is hand-pumped into a fixed-bed column, where it passes through activated alumina or hybrid anion exchanger (HAIX) to remove the arsenic. After passing through a chamber of graded gravel to remove particulates, the water is ready to drink. This system has been used in 160 locations in West Bengal, India. The water treatment units, including the activated alumina sorbent, are being manufactured in India, and villagers are responsible for their upkeep and day-to-day operation. The active media are regenerated for re-use, and arsenic-laden sludge is contained in an environmentally safe manner with minimum leaching.

The PUR™ purifier of water technology that won the Bronze Award combines chemicals for disinfection, coagulation, and flocculation in a sachet that can treat small batches of water in the home. It is simple, portable, and treats water from any source. First, the sachet contents are stirred into a 10 liter bucket of water for five minutes. As the water rests for another five minutes, arsenic and other contaminants separate out. The water is then poured through a clean cloth to filter out the contaminants. After another 20 minutes to complete the disinfection process, the water is safe to drink. As part of P&G's focal philanthropy program, the Children's Safe Water Drinking Program has worked with partners to provide 57 million sachets in more than 30 countries over the past three years, enough to purify more than 570 million liters of safe drinking water. Each sachet is about the cost of an egg.

The National Academy of Engineering (www. nae. edu) is an independent, nonprofit institution. Its members consist of the nation's premier engineers, who are elected by their peers for seminal contributions to engineering. The academy provides leadership and guidance to government on the application of engineering resources to social, economic, and security problems. Established in 1964, NAE operates under the congressional charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences in 1863.

The Grainger Foundation, of Lake Forest, Ill., was established in 1949 by Mr. & Mrs. William Wallace Grainger. It has provided substantive support over the years to a broad range of organizations including educational institutions, museums, and healthcare and human services providers. Mr. Grainger, an electrical engineer, established W. W. Grainger Inc., a national leader in the distribution of maintenance, repair, and operating supplies and components.

A significant aspect of reviewing the finalists for the Grainger Challenge Prize was physical testing of the candidate systems. NAE and The Grainger Foundation wish to express deep appreciation to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development for hosting the testing at its National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, as well as to the facility's contractor, Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Inc., for conducting the tests under contract with the NAE.

For additional information about the Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability or background information on the global problem of arsenic contamination, visit www. graingerchallenge. org or contact Randy Atkins, NAE senior media relations officer, at 202-334-1508.

# # #

Henry Oh From Pima Medical Institute in Albuquerque Named to Who's Who

Henry Oh From Pima Medical Institute in Albuquerque Named to Who's Who

Henry Oh, Program Director for the Respiratory Therapy program at Pima Medical Institute, 2201 San Pedro NE, Building 3, Suite 100 in Albuquerque has been named to the International Who’s Who of Professional Educators.

Albuquerque, NM (PRWEB) August 9, 2006

Henry Oh, Program Director for the Respiratory Therapy program at Pima Medical Institute, 2201 San Pedro NE, Building 3, Suite 100 in Albuquerque has been named to the International Who’s Who of Professional Educators.

Henry has a series of accomplishments including being a member of the Registry of Heritage Who’s Who in New York, Associate Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, Fellow of the American Academy of Project Management, member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, and as well as the Lambda Beta Honor Society in Respiratory Care. He is also certified as a Medical Technologist, and as a Technical Consultant in clinical laboratory science.

In addition to his achievements as an educator and honor student, Oh is an accomplished, self-taught pianist. His unique style consists of performing three different versions of any song to make it sound like jazz, classical or modern. He was discovered in 1998 and was contracted to perform at the Chateau Whistler Resort in British Columbia, Canada. The resort is listed as one of the top 100 hotels in the world and Vancouver/Whistler will be the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. 

“One of the signs of a great program is having knowledgeable and dedicated staff and instructors,” said Holly Woelber, campus director for the career college. “Henry’s vast knowledge, accomplishments, as well as his passion for education and healthcare are some of the things that make our Respiratory Therapy program one of the best in the state. He is a great asset and we are pleased to have him at our Albuquerque campus.” Henry is also certified as a medical laboratory technologist.

Graduates of the 88 credit-hour Respiratory Therapy program receive an Associate of Occupational Science degree. Respiratory Therapy is one of the fastest growing occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS also states the Respiratory Therapy profession is expected to add some 37,837 new jobs between now and 2012, an increase of 35 percent. Entry-level employment opportunities are available in hospitals, medical centers, medical equipment companies, home health agencies, sub-acute, and extended care facilities.

PMI is one of the premier medical career colleges in the western United States. The privately owned, accredited school provides students with a well-rounded education embracing theoretical classroom studies, as well as on-site training at medical facilities that mirror the working environment they will pursue after graduation.

PMI has been serving students since 1972, with campuses in: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Mesa and Tucson, AZ; Denver and Colorado Springs, CO; Seattle and Renton, WA; Las Vegas, NV and Chula Vista, CA.

Additional information is available at http://www. pmi. edu (http://www. pmi. edu) or by calling 1-888-442-5998.

# # #

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Newly Revamped Agenda Offers Senior Citizens the Retirement Cruise of their Lives Without Having to Set Sail

Newly Revamped Agenda Offers Senior Citizens the Retirement Cruise of their Lives Without Having to Set Sail

The recently bolstered activity schedule at the Chateau Senior Living Community proves that life's Golden Years really do happen in retirement. With new activities like art, dance and tai chi classes, retirees can experience life aboard an exciting and luxurious cruise ship, and all while on land.

Pleasant Hill, CA (PRWEB) November 10, 2008

Designed to give seniors the ultimate luxury retirement experience, Chateau Senior Community (http://seniorlivingsolutions. com/) has added an array of new classes and activities to its active cruise ship-like events lineup. The unique retirement community prides itself in offering an opulent, entertaining atmosphere as found on-board a Royal Caribbean Cruise, but tailored specifically for retired seniors. "I never would have imagined that Senior Assisted Living could have been this much fun!" says four year resident, Jenny Murphy.

In the midst of their gourmet food menus, fun activities, spa services, shows and cocktail hours, the Chateau Senior Community (http://seniorlivingsolutions. com/) found a way to give their residents even more to celebrate. Original and new events, meant to inspire exuberance, have been introduced to an already diverse regiment. Senior tai chi classes, chair dancing, live theater (music and dance troops), art classes, cruises on the San Francisco Bay, senior dances, monthly gourmet fine dining brunches, a New Life Senior Forum, and much more are now available to community residents. Seniors can even take part in the new Conductorcise classes, where members get to exercise while simulating conducting a large symphony orchestra.

Assisted living for seniors doesn't have to be monotonous or dull; in addition to the new listing of activity options, each of the Chateau Senior Living Communities (http://seniorlivingsolutions. com/), the managers individually teach a special interest class every week in order to bond with residents on a deeper, more personal level. Seniors are welcome to join their friends and peers in scrapbooking class, news and politics forums, old stories group, The Sunshine Gang which visits residents in the hospital, the Good Cooks network, hymn sing, Bible study, computer skills, balance and fitness class.

Created more than 20 years ago by owner Tom MacDonald, the unique Pleasant Hill, California-based Chateau Senior Community (http://seniorlivingsolutions. com/) was born out of a desire to make the "sunset years" of our lives memorable and fun.

"I was looking at possible Assisted Living Communities for my mother," MacDonald says. "Developing a cruise boat-like experience on land was my goal, but what was more important was pairing the fun of cruise boat living with reliable senior care services that my mother and other aging adults would need."

The result became today's fun-filled and trustworthy Chateau Senior Community (http://seniorlivingsolutions. com/), a place that MacDonald is confident when he leaves for the night, his residents are well taken care of. "Not just three meals a day," he says, "but housekeeping, laundry, doctor, shuttles, and even medication management if needed."

With all the new and exciting courses and activities on-board at the Chateau Senior Community, it's no wonder some residents have chosen to stay for more than 19 years. "If there's a time to get pampered, it is when you've become a senior," MacDonald says. "When you're done working hard and raising a family and are finally ready to take care of yourself, we are here to serve you."

For more information on the Chateau Senior Community, please visit www. TheInsideReality. com or call 877-468-9773.

About the Chateau Senior Community:
Since Chateau Senior Community was founded in 1986, Tom MacDonald has become a true pioneer in the senior assisted living cruise boat concept. "The Fall Prevention Program," "Diabetes Management Program" and other community award winning programs promote wellness and prevention awareness about senior citizens. MacDonald says that he and his team are always striving for the next thing, the new approach to living longer and living healthier.

Media contact:
Francesca MacDonald
Phone: 877-468-9773


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Iceland Spring Adopts New Brand Positioning and Launches Concerted Marketing Campaign for 2009

Iceland Spring Adopts New Brand Positioning and Launches Concerted Marketing Campaign for 2009

Iceland Spring, the premium natural Icelandic spring water, is adopting a new positioning for its brand combined with its launch of an aggressive marketing campaign for 2009. With a steadily increasing following and growing national distribution, the Company felt it was time to rebrand and strategize a new marketing campaign to position Iceland Spring as the leading health water. From its identity and logo to a newly designed and interactive Website, Iceland Spring will be executing a comprehensive rebranding of the company.

Pompano, FL (PRWEB) November 25, 2008

Iceland Spring, the premium natural Icelandic spring water, is adopting a new positioning for its brand combined with its launch of an aggressive marketing campaign for 2009. With a steadily increasing following and growing national distribution, the Company felt it was time to rebrand and strategize a new marketing campaign to position Iceland Spring as the leading health water. 

From its identity and logo to a newly designed and interactive Website, Iceland Spring will be executing a comprehensive rebranding of the company. To help transition the Company into its next phase, Iceland Spring engaged Boca Raton-based marketing and advertising agency, PBMAI, for all branding efforts; among them Iceland Spring's new tagline: Live Longer; which echoes the statistics of Icelanders living longer than other nationalities due to their pristine drinking water.

"This is a very exciting time for Iceland Spring as we try to educate the consumer on better choices of water, which is reflected in our new positioning as the leading health water. We feel confident that our concerted marketing efforts will increase our sales and customer base, as we grow our distribution of Iceland Spring across the U. S.," said David Lomnitz, president of Iceland Spring.

Iceland Spring is a premium, alkaline water with a natural pH level of 8.88 and, due to the remoteness of Iceland and lack of industrialization; it has one of the lowest levels of undesirable chemicals ever recorded. One of the first and major lines of defenses against sickness is a balanced pH. Foods and water with a high pH can help neutralize the body's acidity, which may, in turn, help protect against a variety of health problems.

Iceland Spring and PBMAI will use their combined expertise to successfully launch Iceland Spring on its path to a reinvigorated brand personality and a comprehensive marketing campaign in 2009.

About Iceland Spring
Imported from the pristine mountains of Iceland, Iceland Spring water is the result of arctic rain and snow that fell centuries ago. Filtered through lava rock before resurfacing in intermittent springs, Iceland Spring water boasts a naturally high pH level of 8.88. A high pH is a major line of defense against sickness and has numerous health benefits. The comparative remoteness of Iceland, its lack of intensive agriculture and heavy industry, and its system of tides and winds that protect it from weather borne pollutants result in a fresh and pure water that cannot be found anywhere else. For more information, visit: www. icelandspring. com.


The World's First Multi-Sport Drinking Plus Mist-Spray Bottle & Reverse Profile Cage For the New Millennium

The World's First Multi-Sport Drinking Plus Mist-Spray Bottle & Reverse Profile Cage For the New Millennium

An Illinois company has introduced a new Multi-Sport Hydration Bottle that allows users to maintain complete forward sight without head tilting when cycling, skating, walking, running or driving a motor vehicle.

IL (PRWEB) January 3, 2005

Tazi International, Inc. has announced the introduction of the first upside down sport bottle bicycle cage specifically for use with the Tazi Ultimate Mult-Sport Hydration bottle.

Tazi, an Illinois company, introduced a new Multi-Sport Hydration Bottle that allows users to maintain complete forward sight without head tilting when cycling, skating, walking, running or driving a motor vehicle. In addition, the Tazi Ultimate Sport Bottle has recently been featured in Windy City Sports, Adventure Sports, 90 Minute Soccer, and USA Roller Sports Magazines.

Tazi International, Inc. a woman-owned small business headquartered in Elgin, reports that its new sport bottle is the only bottle capable of misting (with just a squeeze) and can be filled to capacity at low jet fountains at health clubs or on bike paths. Tazi reports the unique angled-neck design facilitates these features, while producing the "ultimate ergonomic and aerodynamic experience" for multi-sport and casual users who have safety in mind when hydrating.

The Tazi Ultimate Sport Bottle uses a no-leak one-way valve requiring no pulling before drinking. Tazi says the new sport bottle is being sold in specialty cycling and sporting goods stores and on selected premium Internet cycling web sites such as Nashbar. com.

The Tazi Ultimate Sport Bottle offers additional functionality, including:
Patented design Dishwasher safe, Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) high grade plastic Fits in all bicycle cages 21 oz. capacity FDA approved at 70 grams (industry standard-55 grams) Nine colors from which to choose Hanging clip and cage accessory available in 2004

Manufactured and distributed in the USA, "This bottle has received extremely positive feedback from professional cyclists, triathletes, fitness and health club users, and the general media, " President Mike Vinarsky says. "The initial response to the bottle has prompted us to create additional accessories, products that allow the Tazi bottle to function as an entire system. The result is even more value for our customers. The Cage is here. This is a reverse profile cage that holds the bottle upside down allowing the cyclist to move it from the storage to the drinking position in one easy motion without breaking stride or looking down. Cyclists appreciate the safety concern that the Tazi sport bottle mitigates."

"Once they familiarize themselves with an optimal drinking position that works best for them, the sports enthusiast and anyone who carries a water bottle are immediately impressed by the functionality and ease of use of the Tazi Ultimate Sport Bottle", Vinarsky says.

For more information, contact Tazi International, Inc., 728 Red Barn Lane, Elgin, IL 60123 or visit them at www. tazi. com; Phone (224) 402-2181

Contact Info:
Tazi International, Inc.
Mike Vinarsky
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 224-402-2181
Fax: 847-697-1407
Mikev @ tazi. com
Www. tazi. com


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Lotto Millionaire Returns to Limerick

Lotto Millionaire Returns to Limerick

LimerickÂ’s newest millionairess held her second press conference at the Track Bar last week.

Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) September 4, 2005

Organised by local press agent, Tim OÂ’Brien and solicitor, David Sweeney, the press conference was called only to announce Dolores McNamaraÂ’s return to her single-storey St PatrickÂ’s Road home.

She refused to answer any of the questions posed by the gaggle of media, including if she intended giving anything back to the area. She responded to each one only resolutely sealed lips.

In a prepared statement, Mr Sweeney said that how she intended to spend her 115 million Euromillions win, was "not a priority at present” and that Dolores was concentrating on getting her and her family’s life back to normal following their Spanish celebratory holiday.

The press conference was a brief, quiet affair. Representatives from both local and national newspapers were there, hungry for some good photos and a rare quote from the Limerick housewife who has so unexpectedly joined IrelandÂ’s rich list.

There were cheers from the packed bar as Dolores emerged from a private room at the rear of the building,. She glanced around her coyly from beneath her fringe and quickly sank into her seat, apparently thankful for the protective bulk of her solicitor and the barÂ’s landlord at either side of her.

Behind her sat a group of approximately 20 of her friends, enjoying complimentary drinks.

Dolores herself looked the picture of health.

Sitting to her left, her solicitor said, to cheers from her friends, that Dolores and her family were "very proud of their city and especially the St Patrick’s Road area”.

"This area is a neighbourhood where neighbours always help and support each other and it is Dolores’ strong desire to continue to reside among her friends and neighbours in this area. If at some future date, she has to leave this area, it will not be because she wants to but because she would be left with no alternative.”

Asking the media to give Dolores, her family and her neighbours "space to get on with their lives and to do the routine things that we all enjoy”

In the meantime, her solicitor denied rumours that Dolores was buying Michael Owen’s villa in Spain or indeed a pub in Turkey. "She doesn’t know yet what she’s going to do, but she does want to stay in Limerick.”

About 150 friends and neighbours stayed for the evening, sharing in DoloresÂ’ good fortune through a complimentary bar, which a source at the bar confirmed, was paid for out of DoloresÂ’ now very, very healthy bank account. http://www. limerick. com (http://www. limerick. com)

# # #

Friday, December 9, 2005

Relaxation is the Key to Success at The Art of Rest Retreats for Busy Women

Relaxation is the Key to Success at The Art of Rest Retreats for Busy Women

The Art of Rest is a unique company that provides weekend retreats for busy women who need to unwind, decompress and reconnect with the deeper rhythms of life.

Lakewood, CA (PRWEB) August 2, 2004

Imagine a weekend with nothing to do, except to relax, or take an early morning walk, or an afternoon nap, or a refreshing swim. Picture a place where you can explore your creative side and delight in delicious mealsÂ… that you donÂ’t have to prepare.

The Art of Rest™ is a unique company that provides weekend retreats for busy women who need to unwind, decompress and reconnect with the deeper rhythms of life.

Each Art of Rest retreat is hosted at a gorgeous destination that is carefully selected to satisfy all the senses by weaving beautiful surroundings with creative activities, captivating music, and delicious food. Past retreats have found guests taking in the sunrise at a retreat center located in the high desert, or indulging in spa treatments, and steaming saunas at an exclusive beach resort. The retreats are much more than a weekend vacation or a day at the spa. They are transformative experiences designed to uplift the mind, spirit, and body. ItÂ’s what happens on the inside that really sets the Art of Rest experience apart.

The next scheduled event will be held on October 1-3 and is entitled “The Art of Rest-What Turns You On!” This rejuvenating retreat is all about reconnecting with your passion and living the life that you’ve always wanted to live. It will be held at the beautiful Temecula Creek Inn. Author of There is No Them, Dawn Holman, will speak on igniting your passion, and Gail Samuelson, Life Coach and Owner of Spa for the Spirit will lead the group through passion arousing exercises, sure to bring clarity and vision to those looking for a ways to create a more satisfying life by connecting with their passion.

Company founder, Jordan Mercedes says that the idea to give women a well-deserved break from the stress of everyday life was prompted by her own experience. “I was working sixty-hours a week planning and marketing promotional events for the book publishing and music industries. At the same time, I was writing a column for a music magazine and volunteering for a non-profit organization. I loved my work, but I was exhausted most of the time. I didn’t know how to schedule time to relax. As a result, I was literally working myself to death – and I didn’t know how to stop.”

Ms. Mercedes realized that she was not alone. Many of her friends and colleagues were also working long hours and not taking enough time to replenish “the well.” That’s when she made the decision to use her experience as an event planner to create restful weekend retreats that would show other women how to relax and take some much-needed time for themselves.

Activities at past retreats have included yoga, aerobics, digital photography, art and an evening concert. Throughout the weekend, guests have the opportunity to attend useful “rest-stop” gatherings where featured speakers encourage them to adopt a more restful lifestyle. By taking the time to stop and smell the flowers, guest will discover that life can be more meaningful, enjoyable, and even more productive.

At The Art of Rest, each woman is on her own journey to rest and rejuvenation. Some women participate in all the activities; others simply find a private spot to stretch out by the pool. The important thing is to make the weekend entirely yours. This is your chance to relax, have fun, and tune out the world.

The schedule includes a custom designed five star, gourmet menu of five meals, an art class, a session on healthy skin care by Pure and Simple Inc., aerobics a digital camera lesson, and wine tasting. The registration fee, which includes lodging (double occupancy) all meals, complete use of the facility, workshops, speakers, wine tasting and special music is $455.00. Space is limited to 30 guests.

The Art of Rest has just launched its new website, www. theartofrest. com. Here, guests will find information on upcoming retreats, recommendations on restful places and things, book and music reviews, and interviews and articles. The Art of Rest website is dedicated to building a community of support for busy women. The company, with roots in Southern California will be expanding nationally hosting the first out of state retreat near Atlanta, Georgia in the spring.

# # #


Jordan Mercedes   

The Art of Rest

P. O. Box 3144

Lakewood, CA 90711 

(562) 920-0017

(562) 881-4024 

Info@theartofrest. com

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Organic Baby Clothing Website Celebrates Four Year Anniversary; Launches New Blog

Organic Baby Clothing Website Celebrates Four Year Anniversary; Launches New Blog

For over four years ComfortCotton. com has established itself as one of the online leaders in unique and safe organic baby gift items. Recently, the site has added several new products, as well as a new educational blog

Calgary, Canada (PRWEB) June 26, 2009

In the last decade or two, parents have become more aware of the chemicals that treat textiles in their children's clothing, bedding and assorted other products. While some people may simply brush this off, the fact of the matter is that the proliferation of toxic children's products has resulted in eczema, allergies or, as in the case the massive recall of toys made in China, death.

"Products have these harsh, and possibly deadly, chemicals and toxins in them and now people are starting to realize that it's not a good idea to buy these items and support these companies," said Alma Newton.

Above all else, Newton is a dedicated mother and grandparent. Her current web venture is www. ComfortCotton. com, an e-store that specializes in organic baby gifts, ranging from organic baby clothes to organic baby bedding.

"My interest in organic material is life long," she said. "I like to think that my carbon footprint on the Earth is very light."

Launching back in the spring of 2005, Comfort Cotton celebrates its four year anniversary this year, a major milemarker for many websites, but particularly a site that favors health and functionality over trends and buzzwords.

This year alone, Newton has continued to increase her catalog to include a number of safe, and chic, gifts.

"Gosh, I've been redoing the entire product line," she explained. "I've added colorful new sheets and bedding, Marino wool blanks, baby kimonos, bibs and hats, and a host of other items."

Unlike many sites, Newton also publishes articles on the web store regarding the dangers of commercial material (such as the case with her page on the organic cotton and wool mattresses she sells versus the chemically-treated ones available at most retail stores).

Some of this knowledge translates to Newton's latest project, a coordinating blog, www. ComfortCottonBlog. com.

The blog expands on some of the information on the website and goes into detail on how organic living can have a positive effect on a family's life.

This kind of blanketing concern is how Comfort Cotton is able to stand out amongst the bevy of retailers out there.

"My customer service is the best that I can give," Newton said. "I never keep people waiting for answers and I make sure that the material on my store is not only made from the best, but also safe for all children and family members."

About the Company:
ComfortCotton. com is a part of Newton Enterprises, LLC, which is owned and operated by Alma Newton. The web store also has a gift registry page.

Contact Information:

Alma Newton
Www. ComfortCotton. com
(403) 285-4853

IePlexus, Inc.
Www. iePlexus. com