Portland police temporarily close Burnside Bridge after gun report

first_imgPORTLAND — Police in Portland, Ore., say they temporarily closed a downtown bridge and questioned 13 bearded men after receiving a report of someone with an assault rifle.The men told police and KATU-TV they were crossing the Burnside Bridge on Wednesday evening en route to a photo shoot to raise money for breast cancer research. They said the photo was going to be part of a “Beards for Breasts” calendar.Police Lt. Robert King says the 13 were wearing military-style clothing and all told the same story. The spokesman says two men carrying the unloaded assault rifle on the bridge were arrested for investigation of disorderly conduct. He says they’re accused of causing public alarm. The other 11 were interviewed and sent on their way.The men tell KATU they planned to have their photo taken under the “Portland, Oregon” sign near the bridge.The bridge was closed for about 45 minutes.last_img read more

Clark College programs return to campus

first_img Clark College will welcome basic education students back to its main campus when the winter quarter begins on Jan. 7.In the past, those programs were offered at Town Plaza in the Vancouver Heights. The college has closed its Town Plaza location and now will house the programs in the “T” Building on the west side of Fort Vancouver Way. Classes will be offered in the space which formerly held Clark’s Corporate & Continuing Education (CCE) department, which has been relocated in the West Coast Bank Building downtown at 500 Broadway.The Pathways and WorkFirst Services programs also will open at the T Building on Jan. 7.“This move will give our students more access to college resources and new pathways to success,” said Larry Ruddell, Clark College director of basic education.Basic education offerings target students who are not prepared to do college-level work. The department’s offerings include GED programs and classes for people from whom English is a second language.Nearly 1,400 students took basic education classes at Clark College during fall quarter. New basic education students should check in at the Welcome Center in the Penguin Union Building or call 360-992-2741. The department’s web page is at http://www.clark.edu/academics/basic_education/index.php. Click on image to enlarge.last_img read more

Dozens ill at assisted living community

first_imgMore than 60 residents and employees at a Vancouver assisted living community have come down with a gastrointestinal illness.In the past two weeks, 17 employees and 49 residents at Cascade Inn, 11613 S.E. Seventh St., have become ill. Cascade Inn has 178 residents and 105 employees, said Denny Kartchner, executive director of the community.“It’s not anything uncommon,” he said. “It happens in every community every few years.”Cascade Inn’s last illness outbreak was two years ago, Kartchner said.To prevent the spread of illness, Cascade Inn has canceled all group activities, is sanitizing touchable surfaces and isn’t allowing visitors. Kartchner said normal operations are likely to resume in a few days.“It’s been fairly short-lived,” he said.last_img read more

Clark County at Work Earthworks Excavating Services

first_imgBusiness name: Earthworks Excavating Services.Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.Owners: Matt Wiard.Address: 11000 N.E. 117th Ave.What the business does: Earthworks specializes in new and existing sewer and septic system construction and replacement. The company also does any work related to excavation, including all phases of residential, commercial and light industrial site development.Steps to build your business: Owner Matt Wiard said he is focusing on getting new customers through networking and word of mouth, which he thinks is the best way for him to build his business. He will maintain existing relationships with loyal clients. Wiard is expecting a fair volume of new customers in coming years as the economy continues to improve.Greatest challenge: Wiard said trying to keep ahead of a busy work schedule with a crew that focuses on safety, while staying in control of products and customers, is a challenge. Earthworks meets with each customer personally on site to make sure everyone gets what they are promised. When customers need emergency work, making time in an already busy schedule can be difficult.What’s ahead: Wiard wants the company to continue to stay diversified and not depend on one sector or field within the excavation industry. He said the business is holding steady for the immediate future.last_img read more

Two injured in I5 crash near Mill Plain

first_imgA traffic collision on southbound Interstate 5 early Saturday sent two people to the hospital and blocked the Mill Plain exit for about five hours, according to Washington State Patrol.Kelli Abrego, 41, of Centralia, and Sergio Vasquez, 33, of Sacramento, Calif., were transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Abrego remained at the hospital Saturday in satisfactory condition. Vasquez was treated and released.The collision happened around 1:10 a.m. A red 1997 Ford Explorer, driven by Abrego, and a silver 2001 Lexus IS3, driven by Chevin Lin, 18, of Lacey, were southbound on the interstate approaching the Mill Plain exit. The Lexus took the exit in the second lane when the Ford Explorer crossed a divided barrier at Mill Plain to exit, striking the Lexus, according to WSP. The Lexus went off the right side of the road and came to rest. The Ford Explorer rolled several times and landed also on the right side of the road. Abrego, the Ford Explorer’s driver, and Vasquez, a passenger in the Lexus, were injured.Chevin and two other passengers in the Lexus were not injured.Abrego will be charged with vehicular assault for crossing a divided barrier, according to WSP.last_img read more

Federal government to recognize Utahn samesex marriages

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. attorney general said Friday that the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages contracted in Utah, the latest significant show of support for gay marriage from the Obama administration.The action means that the more than 1,000 same-sex couples who were married in Utah in the last month can file federal taxes jointly, get Social Security benefits for spouses and request legal immigration status for partners, among other benefits.Attorney General Eric Holder’s declaration marked the latest chapter in the legal battle over same-sex marriage in Utah that has sent couples and state officials on a helter-skelter wave of emotions over the last three weeks.A federal judge overturned Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage on Dec. 20, and hundreds of couples got married. The U.S. Supreme Court intervened this week and put a halt to the weddings until the courts sort out the matter. Utah then declared it would not recognize the weddings, but would allow couples to continue to receive whatever benefits they had obtained before the high court ruling.The Mormon church weighed in again Friday, instructing local leaders that same-sex wedding ceremonies and receptions are prohibited in its churches and reiterating its belief that homosexuality is not condoned by God.last_img read more

Meeting slated May 15 on Willapa Hills elk herd plan

first_imgLONGVIEW — A public meeting on the draft Willapa Hills Elk Herd Plan will begin at 6 p.m. May 15 at the Cowlitz County PUD,961 12th Ave.The plan is available online at www.wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01592.Written comments can be submitted online to http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/elk/willapa_hills/comments.html or mailed to Willapa Hills Elk Herd Plan, Wildlife Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 98501.The Willapa herd is made up of an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 animals from Grays Harbor to the Columbia River and Interstate 5 west to the coast.The draft management plan calls for developing more precise information about the size and characteristics of the herd, along with maintaining its size, improving habitat, minimizing crop damage and addressing disease.The herd is one of two in Washington affected by hoof disease.A final version of the plan is expected this fall. It will mark completion of formal management plans for all 10 elk herds in Washington.last_img read more

Sega Sammy announces new group brand logo as Japan IR pursuit looms

first_imgJapan’s Sega Sammy Holdings Inc has unveiled a new group brand logo, described as an “initiative towards further growth of Sega Sammy Group going forward.”The new group logo, to be used from August 2018, is said to represent the creation of new business that accommodates social change and technological innovation, while working to strengthen and cultivate Sega Sammy’s pachislot and pachinko machines business, entertainment contents business and integrated resorts business under the unified effort of the entire group. The company, which owns 45% of Korea’s first integrated resort Paradise City Incheon, has stated its intention to pursue a Japan casino license. Load More Scott Winzeler appointed Chairman and CEO of Sega Sammy Creation’s US subsidiary Okada Manila ramp drives Universal to higher sales, narrowed loss in 2Q19 RelatedPosts Losses widen for Korea’s Paradise Co in 4Q18 as Incheon IR operating costs soar Following the creative concept of “Genuine Inspiring Moments”, the logo incorporates elements of SEGA blue and Sammy green with the group’s “strong unity expressed through the letters that are connected.” The company added that “edges angled at the earth’s axis implicit of upward movement as well as stability embody the group’s continuous growth towards the future while also symbolizing its will to maintain and further expand businesses. Connections among people and that between society and the Sega Sammy Group are also expressed in the design.”Further explaining the reasons for the new group brand logo, Sega Sammy said that it had come to recognize the need for a new brand symbol demonstrating a future direction of Sega Sammy Group, departing from the current logo which represents the integration of SEGA and Sammy.“We will aim for further growth of the group by implementing the thoughts we have put together in the new brand logo in actual business activities,” the company said.last_img read more

31 are more concerned about their pension after Brexit vote

first_imgJust under a third (31%) of respondents are more concerned about their pension and retirement since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) in June’s referendum vote, according to research by Wealth Wizards.Its survey of 2,000 Brits also found that 31% of respondents feel it is their employers’ responsibility to provide them with access to advice about their pension following the leave result.The research also found:40% of respondents did not consider the implication to their pension when voting in the EU referendum.50% of respondents who voted to remain in the EU are more concerned about their pension and retirement following the outcome of the vote, compared to 15% of respondents who voted to leave the EU.38% of respondents do not know how well diversified their pensions are.11% of respondents say they would have voted differently if they had considered the implications to their pensions.Andrew Firth, chief executive officer at Wealth Wizards, said: “As we look towards a future of change, there has never been a more acute time for people to understand their pensions and the options available to them.“While there is still a great deal of uncertainty, it is encouraging that people are taking responsibility for their financial future and are realising that planning for their retirement is not an abstract idea to be dealt with in the future but something to be addressed in the here and now.”last_img read more

Rangers Football Club loses appeal in employee benefits trust tax case

first_imgThe Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Rangers Football Club (RFC) in a case regarding income tax and national insurance liabilities for the organisation’s employee benefits trust (EBT) scheme.The case relates to the assessment from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that the EBT arrangements and sub-trusts set up on behalf of RFC footballers and their families between 2001 and 2009 should be liable for class one national insurance contributions (NICs) and income tax.HMRC argued that the funds available from these trusts, which were used to enable RFC players quick access to tax-free loans, qualified as part of employees’ earnings and should therefore be taxable. This is despite the funds being paid to a third-party rather than to the employee directly.The tax-free loans were to be paid back over an extended term of 10 years on a discounted basis. Both RFC and the footballer expected that the loan would not be repaid at term, and would instead be renewed. This would mean that the loans would be repayable out of the footballer’s estate on death, reducing the value for inheritance tax purposes.The same trust mechanism, which paid individual sub-trusts that were in a footballer’s name from a principle trust paid in to by the organisation, was also used to make termination payments to players and pay bonuses, which were based on staff performance.RFC, which was owned by Murray Group Holdings during this time, appealed the HMRC’s assessment to take the case to the First-tier Tribunal Tax Chamber (FTT). The FTT ruled in favour of Murray Group Holdings in 2012. The Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery Chamber upheld this decision in 2014.The Advocate General for Scotland appealed this ruling to the Inner House of the Court of Session on behalf of HMRC, which found in its favour in 2015. The Court of Session held that the payments by the employer into the trust were derived from an employee’s work as an employee and therefore counted as emoluments or earnings, that the scheme amounted to a redirection of an employee’s earnings and that it did not remove the employer’s income tax liability. RFC appealed this decision.The Supreme Court dismissed RFC’s appeal, maintaining the Inner House of the Court of Session’s ruling that the money paid into the trust constituted a footballer’s earnings and was therefore subject to income tax.RFC is now owned by a different organisation. Murray Group is in liquidation.In the ruling, Lord Hodge said: “The scheme was designed to give each footballer access without delay to the money paid into the Principle Trust, if he so wished, and to provide that the money, if then extant, would ultimately pass to the member or members of his family whom he nominated. Having regard to the purpose of the relevant provisions, I consider the sums paid to the trustee of the Principle Trust for a footballer constituted the footballer’s emoluments or earnings.“For these reasons, which are essentially the same as those of the Inner House, I would dismiss the appeal.”David Richardson, director general, customer compliance group at HMRC, said: “The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court supports our view that employment benefit trust avoidance schemes simply do not work. This decision has wide-ranging implications for other avoidance cases and we encourage anyone who’s tried to avoid tax on their earnings to now agree with us the tax owed. HMRC will always challenge contrived arrangements that try to deliver tax advantages never intended by Parliament.”James Stephen, business restructuring partner at BDO, the liquidators for Murray Group, added: “Given the significance of the matter and the support and direction received from creditors and the liquidation committee, we believe taking the case to the Supreme Court has been the correct course of action. We will now engage with HMRC on adjudicating its claim. Further advice and guidance will be provided to creditors in due course.”Colin Ben-Nathan, chair of the employment taxes sub-committee at the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: “We understand that HMRC [has] a large number of enquiries ongoing into EBTs at the moment and [it] will therefore feel vindicated by this decision.“While many employers have already settled with HMRC, for those that have not it is likely that HMRC will now issue ‘follower notices’ where [it] consider[s] that the circumstances sit on all fours with Rangers. These notices will require employers to pay up the tax or face a penalty if they fight on but lose in the courts, neither of which choices will be particularly appealing after the Rangers decision.BESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswy“This judgement demonstrates that the courts are taking an increasingly tough line on tax avoidance, adopting a purposive approach and certainly not considering themselves hidebound by a literalist approach to the law. So taxpayers who cross the line on avoidance do so at their peril.”last_img read more

Poll 46 believe Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders should be treated equally

first_imgEmployee Benefits poll: Under half (46%) of respondents feel that Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders should be treated equally in terms of access to employment rights, such as receiving holiday pay and the national minimum wage.A straw poll of www.employeebenefits.co.uk readers, which received 52 responses, also found that 31% are not sure whether Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders should be treated equally as more clarity on the issue is needed, compared to 23% who think that Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders do not need to be treated equally in terms of employment rights.Earlier this month, independent body The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled that motorbike and bicycle riders at online food ordering and delivery organisation Deliveroo are self-employed, and are therefore not entitled to be represented by a trade union, receive holiday pay, or be paid the national minimum wage.The case, which was brought by the trade union Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) against RooFoods, the owners of Deliveroo, involved assessing the employment status of riders who work for Deliveroo after the food delivery organisation refused IWGB’s request for recognition to represent riders.In comparison, The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the existing ruling against taxi organisation Uber in November 2017, confirming that its drivers are employed as workers rather than self-employed contractors and are entitled to employment rights.The long-standing case of Aslam and Farra v Uber, which was brought by the GMB trade union on behalf of 25 drivers, was originally heard in a preliminary hearing at the London Central Employment Tribunal in July 2016. The decision, which was published in October 2016, found that the drivers were employed as workers within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act, National Minimum Wage Act, and the working time regulations. The tribunal found that the claimants were engaged in unmeasured work for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Regulations, and that their working time should be calculated in accordance with the working time regulations.What are your views on collective defined contribution (DC) pension schemes? Do you feel this type of scheme could effectively replace defined benefit (DB) arrangements? Have your say in our poll.last_img read more

Barking and Dagenham Council signs domestic abuse charter

first_imgLocal authority Barking and Dagenham Council has signed the Work to Stop Domestic Abuse Charter, and has announced that it will be providing its 2,500 employees with up to 10 days of paid leave to seek help if they are experiencing domestic violence.The charter, operated by trade union GMB, aims to support employees experiencing domestic abuse, and to ensure that they are not disadvantaged at work.Organisations that sign pledge to help staff confidentially access support services and information, ensure that reasonable measures are taken to accommodate employees’ needs in the workplace, provide employment terms and conditions that do not disadvantage affected individuals, liaise with other organisations to facilitate the best support for staff and to make sure that employees, such as line managers and trade union representatives, are trained to support staff that may be experiencing domestic violence.Barking and Dagenham Council formally signed on Tuesday 18 June 2019 at a council meeting. As part of its commitment, the authority has introduced a new leave policy, enabling employees who are either facing domestic violence or displaying abusive behaviours to take up to 10 days of paid leave in order to seek appropriate help.Councillor Maureen Worby, cabinet member for social care and health integration at Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “This is an issue that is wider than just Barking and Dagenham, but we are pleased to be able to sign up to the GMB charter and be one of the leading authorities when it comes to showing a commitment to tackling domestic abuse.”Nell Andrew, national equality and inclusion officer at GMB, added: “We are pleased to see Barking and Dagenham Council lead the way in London, as the first local authority to sign the GMB’s Work to Stop Domestic Abuse Charter.“This commitment, including paid time off, is crucial to make the workplace is a safe environment for those fleeing domestic abuse and ensuring vital support is available whenever it is needed.“By signing the charter, as an employer, they are sending a strong message to Barking and Dagenham [employees]: if [they] experience domestic abuse, [they] will be believed, supported and, importantly, not discriminated against because of it in the workplace. We think this policy will save lives.”last_img read more

Missing elderly man with dementia found unharmed

first_imgDEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A 70-year-old elderly man with dementia was found, Wednesday morning, unharmed.Colise McNair went missing at around 9 a.m., Monday, police said, when he was last seen at 249 S.W. 3rd St.The Broward Sheriff’s Office said McNair was found unharmed. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Man dies after shooting in SW MiamiDade

first_imgSOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are searching for the person or people responsible for a shooting in Southwest Miami-Dade that claimed the life of a man.Miami-Dade Police and fire rescue units responded to the scene near Caribbean Boulevard and Southwest 117th Avenue, early Sunday morning.Officers arrived to find the victim suffering from a gunshot wound.Paramedics transported the patient to Jackson South Medical Center, where he later died.Detectives continue to investigate.If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

2 hospitalized following shooting in Miami

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Two people were rushed to the hospital after being shot in Miami.Miami Police and Fire Rescue responded to the scene of a double shooting in the area of Northwest 12th Street and First Place, just after 10 p.m., Thursday.Officials said two men were transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.It’s unclear what led to the shooting or if anybody was taken into custody.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Hilcorp Officially Opens Cook Inlet Undersea Pipeline

first_imgThe Pipeline and related facilities, located on the West Side of Cook Inlet, consist of 44 miles of onshore crude oil pipelines, dual 2.7 mile-long offshore crude oil pipelines, the Drift River tank farm, and the offshore Christy Lee loading platform. The $75 Million project includes construction of new onshore and offshore pipelines and the conversion of an existing cross inlet pipeline (CIGGS-A) from gas to oil, allowing oil to be transported from the east side of Cook Inlet to the Andeavor Refinery (previously Tesoro) via subsea pipeline. Sean P. Kolassa, President of Harvest Midstream: “This whole project was conceived locally by folks really trying to work with all the various agencies to come up with the right solution.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The undersea pipeline in the Cook Inlet operated by Hilcorp Alaska, LLC and Harvest Alaska, LLC has officially opened.center_img Harvest Alaska employs 28 people in Alaska who are currently responsible for operating and managing pipeline systems on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet. Kolassa: “This creates a much more cost effective solution for moving the oil and getting it over to the Kenai refinery. Really, this extends the life of all of the reserves.” last_img read more

CEO Still Mum on Plans for e5 Media Brands

first_imgA number of “smaller” media companies like e5 are picking up print magazine brands that have either been shut down or run into the ground financially by their former big conglomerate trade publishing owners. But how do they expect to succeed where the publishing behemoths failed? How will they compete with their online-only rivals?Not much has been reported about what’s in store for the e5 brands, other than reports indicating plans to transition The Hollywood Reporter from a weekday paper into a glossy weekly. So, I attempted to interview Beckman for a story on this topic. I wanted to find out what changes/innovations he is making to help turn the brands around. How much of an additional investment will be required? How will those changes equal financial success? Beckman politely declined to participate in my interviews, indicating that he’d have “plenty” of details in a couple months. To be fair, I’m not sure that many of these new owners have real concrete courses for growth—at least not yet.Beckman however did recently do a Q+A with Daily Front Row executive editor and former Radar writer Chris Tennant. While he didn’t get into any business-side specifics, Beckman did offer some interesting sound bites on the future of THR. Here’s a sampling:“If I’m setting the bar at where Variety is—and this is going to sound really caustic—I’m setting the bar too low.”“The good part is you get to look around and see people who ­clearly aren’t doing their jobs so ­terrifically—that haven’t had good leadership, that are unimaginative, that have had a parent company that hasn’t invested or believed in the business…”“But in terms of the Reporter, I sort of agree with you that it’s tough to be contemporary with a daily print product when you’re working on a five-minute-refresh cycle. It’s not the best way of serving media content, but you can’t have one without the other.”“It’s about becoming B2I—business to influencer—as opposed to B2B. That’s where the real resonance will be created. B2I trades aren’t just for the industry; they’re for the people that shape behaviors, the tastemakers that set the trends in motion.” UPDATE: Hollywood Reporter Becomes Glossy WeeklyWhat exactly is going on at e5 Global Media? That’s the question that’s been at the top of certain people’s minds since the private equity-backed media startup acquired Nielsen Business Media’s eight media/entertainment industry brands late last year.The new group—formed by Pluribus Capital Management and financial services firm Guggenheim Partners—poached Condé Nast’s Fairchild Fashion Group CEO Richard Beckman [pictured] to lead the group as chief executive. When he took the new gig Beckman, who is known as “Mad Dog” among many of his colleagues, said it would be his job at e5 to build those acquired brands—including The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard—into “successful multiplatform properties with global footprints.” Click here to read the entire interview.last_img read more

People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly Begin Merging Staffs

first_img​It comes as no surprise that People and Entertainment Weekly are reportedly in the beginning stages of merging the two staffs after months of speculation. The trend of celebrity magazines combining staffs is not a new one, and Time Inc. is amidst a series of staff reconstructions since the Time Warner spinoff.  According to the New York Daily News, a Time Inc. internal memo dated February 5th confirmed the internal buzz regarding a merge. The memo stated that while both of the brands will remain distinct, they will “share more resources,” according to CEO Joe Ripp. This notion of sharing resources while still remaining separate entities was also reinforced by Jess Cagle, editorial director for both People and EW. In an email statement, Cagle commented that he had been looking for ways to share more resources and work more closely together, “But make no mistake; they will always remain two distinct brands with two distinct audiences.” Since Cagle assumed the role of editorial director for People and EW, there have been plenty of staff shakeups. According to the NY Daily News, it remains unclear whether this latest change will result in staff layoffs but it is expected to affect both print and online properties. Layoffs, however, may be an inevitable outcome for some staffers as the digital and print teams are being combined at the two magazines. The two offices will begin the physical merge within the coming weeks.center_img This staff merge is just the latest ripple in the recent series of changes over at Time Inc. Less than a month ago Matt Bean, now-former Entertainment Weekly editor-in-chief, was ousted after less than a year on the job. Matt joined the Entertainment Weekly team from Sports Illustrated and several reports suggested that he clashed with Cagle. The rift between the two may have been the fuel behind Bean’s move from EW into a corporate role as senior VP of editorial innovation. EW veteran Henry Goldblatt has since returned as deputy editor to replace Bean, with Cagle overseeing the magazine’s editorial direction.last_img read more

Why Diablo Publications Sold…To Itself

first_img Diablo established an Employee Stock Ownership Plan in late 2014 that effectively handed control of the company over to its 43 employees. Barney Fonzi, formerly group publisher, was promoted to president as part of the changeover. And though similar programs might not be the right fit everywhere, Diablo’s long-tenured management and staff meant that it made sense in this case. The company went 100 percent ESOP—its common for companies using ESOPs to only apportion a percentage of ownership to employees rather than the whole thing—with all staffers participating. But rather than seek out a private equity investor or a strategic partner willing to absorb his company’s business—a sizeable one with a handful of owned titles and around 40 custom clients, including the MLB’s San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics—Rivera looked inward. After leading Diablo Publications for 35 years, founder Steven Rivera was looking for an exit strategy that would leave his company in tact for years to come. “We have a lot of people who had been here 15, 20 years and were really connected with the community,” Fonzi says. “So often you see a sale to an outside company and they come in and change the way of doing things and change people. [A traditional sale] was considered as one of the potential options, but the company was never on the market to be sold.” While the move is somewhat unique to the magazine industry, its more common in the Bay Area of California where Diablo is based, Fonzi says. There are about 9,000 ESOP-owned companies nationwide, representing more than 3.5 million workers, according to data provided by the company. “It’s nice to put a well-established employee base in control of their own future, as opposed to having another corporation taking that role,” Fonzi says. “We’ve had the same management team in place for about 10 years now, so it’s not management by committee—none of that changes—but the employees have a vested interest. It’s only four months old, but there’s been a real sense of excitement so far.”last_img read more

ABM Rebrands as Connectiv

first_img A new “Best Practices Roadshow” will kick off in 2016 and feature a case-study-oriented program that will travel around the country.  Membership is on the rise, making the new mission even more critical. Manoni and Marchesano say that 60 new members have been added, bringing total membership to more than 200. “The new organization is strongly committed to helping our membership understand a business model that’s complicated by new and changing technologies,” says Manoni. “We’ve seen dramatic shifts in how our member companies are making money. New technology has changed every aspect of our companies. Every one of our member companies is conducting business differently than they did just five years ago.” In 2013 ABM was absorbed into the Software & Information Industry Association and then merged early this year with the Content and Information Services Division, giving it the awkward name of ABM/CISD. At the time, the SIIA merger was a move for survival. Membership was running dry and existing members were becoming frustrated that the association’s mix of services and representation wasn’t matching or keeping up with the pace of change in the industry.  The new name is symbolic of the connective economy, say Marchesano and Manoni, and the positioning of the association as a connector, bringing members together.  Manoni and Marchesano say the committee structure will also change. Out is the Publishers Committee and in is a CRO Committee—an acknowledgment that members are not just publishers. And with a more organized base of Millennials, Connective may introduce new committees that address that community as well. In a sense, the new name reflects the association’s change of focus from the media that once characterized its member base to a service-oriented mission to connect a more diverse mix of company types, from publishers to data and information to technology. Much of that frustration came from the understanding that the B2B media industry’s evolution was throwing strategic and tactical assumptions way out of alignment.  “The level of change with technology and its acceleration in markets and audience is what’s keeping them up at night,” adds Mike Marchesano, managing director of Connectiv. “They needed an association that would give them the direction to lead them through the evolving set of challenges and opportunities.” In terms of services, Manoni says the fundamental components won’t change, but new products and resources will be rolled out. “The association will operate very much the same way it did historically, but it will be more focused on preparing companies on what’s coming next and helping them to move forward with confidence.” New services include an annual Innovation Index which will monitor the impact of innovation, show the industry’s progress with it and how member companies can do more of it in their own organizations.  The second phase of the association’s change involves the younger community. “The Millennials are taking on increasingly important roles,” says Manoni. “They consume and use information differently, so we recognize that we have to think about the role we serve and how we serve them very differently. Otherwise, the Millennials will go somewhere else.” ABM is set to announce this morning at its Business Information & Media Summit that as part of an initiative to realign its member mission, it’s rebranding as Connectiv. The association that once served a tightly defined market of B2B publishing companies has been faced with unprecedented change and evolution in the media industry and the rebranding is an attempt to show that its mission matches it membership. Accordingly, Connectiv is launching an Emerging Leaders Collective—an online community and learning resource where younger professionals will be able to share ideas. The association is also planning to leverage that community into in-person events.  “The vision behind the merger was to serve the industry more broadly,” Connectiv board chairman Doug Manoni tells Folio:. “What’s even more important than the new name is the refinement of the new mission. We want to be more forward looking, more involved in the demands of our members’ business.” last_img read more