MidAtlantic Farm Credit Announces Annual Results for 2016

Tom Truitt, President and CEO of MidAtlantic Farm Credit

Our cooperative structure is unique, just like our customers are. The over $30 million in cash to our members last year directly impacted our borrowers and local communities, and that’s something we are honored to have the ability to do.

MidAtlantic Farm Credit, a members-owned cooperative association and part of the national Farm Credit System, recently published their 2016 annual report. The association reported a net income of $57.3 million in 2016, up from $53.1 million in 2015. Their loan portfolio has also increased from $2.46 billion in 2015 to $2.6 billion, with acceptable credit quality increasing from 97.8 percent to 98.2 percent.

Over the course of 2016, MidAtlantic Farm Credit returned $31.5 million in cash through their patronage program. “Our patronage program is something we are extremely proud of, and something that sets us apart from other lenders,” says Tom Truitt, CEO of MidAtlantic Farm Credit. “Our cooperative structure is unique, just like our customers are. The over $30 million in cash to our members last year directly impacted our borrowers and local communities, and that’s something we are honored to have the ability to do.”

The Farm Credit System celebrated its centennial in 2016, and celebrated the many customers, supporters, and staff members that have helped the System succeed for 100 years. “Farm Credit really wouldn’t be here today without the support of our member-borrowers, community members, legislators, and employees – both past and present,” says Truitt. “We’re excited about the direction we are headed, and look forward to another successful year.”

To view MidAtlantic Farm Credit’s 2016 annual report, please visit mafc.com/about/financial-reports.

About MidAtlantic Farm Credit
MidAtlantic Farm Credit is an agricultural lending cooperative owned by its member‐borrowers. It provides farm loans for land, equipment, livestock and production; crop insurance; and rural home mortgages. The co-op has over 11,100 members and almost $2.6 billion in loans outstanding. MidAtlantic has branches serving Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. It is part of the national Farm Credit System, a network of financial cooperatives established in 1916 to provide a dependable source of credit to farmers and rural America.

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Bendheim Channel Glass Projects Win Top Architectural Honors

University of Iowa Visual Arts Building

University of Iowa – Visual Arts Building, Iowa City, IA by Steven Holl Architects. Photo ©2017 Bendheim.

Bendheim is proud to announce that two buildings featuring the company’s channel glass wall systems are winners of the 2017 American Architecture Awards. The prestigious awards honor the best new buildings in the USA. Bendheim’s channel glass is a key design element in both structures, contributing to their striking aesthetics and lighting strategies.

The University of Iowa New Visual Arts Building is a hallmark of contemporary glass architecture. Its channel glass walls provide high-quality natural light, creating an illuminating, inspiring educational environment. Designed by Steven Holl Architects, this structure illustrates how filtered daylight can enhance classrooms, art studios, and lounge spaces.

The new Blu Dot Showroom in West Hollywood, California, makes a design statement by revamping a 70-year-old façade with Bendheim’s channel glass rainscreen system. Standard Architecture selected channel glass for its refined aesthetic and ability to transform the light. During the daytime, the textured glass channels shimmer in reflected sunlight. Back-lit at night, they transform the building into a lantern.

Lighting – both natural and artificial – is a paramount element of both award-winning designs. Channel glass contributes to each building’s lighting strategy through its anti-glare, light-diffusing properties and exceptionally long spans.

Channel glass offers a stunning alternative to traditional wall systems, creating virtually seamless, luminous glass walls of unlimited lengths. The self-supporting glass channels can stand as tall as 23 feet, while requiring minimal framing. The end result is a uniform appearance with clean design lines.

Bendheim’s channel glass is available in eight decorative textures, in regular and low-iron glass, three thermal performance coatings, and hundreds of ceramic frit colors. The glass contains as much as 40% post-consumer recycled material. It is produced in a super-efficient glass furnace, powered by an ultra-clean mix of oxygen and natural gas.

Over the years, Bendheim channel glass has contributed to numerous award-winning projects, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO, Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, LA, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA. To learn more, please visit http://www.Bendheim.com.

About Bendheim:
Bendheim is one of the foremost resources for specialty architectural glass. Founded in New York City in 1927, the fourth-generation, family-owned company offers more than 2,000 architectural glass types in stock and unlimited custom design solutions. Bendheim develops, imports, and distributes its products worldwide. The company maintains production facilities in New Jersey and an extensive showroom in Tribeca, New York City. For additional information, please visit Bendheim.com

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4 Eco Services Announces Focus on Safety and Routine Maintenance in 2017

A majority of home emergencies can be avoided when routine preventative maintenance is performed. A few dollars in regular maintenance can prevent more expensive emergencies like floods or system breakdowns.

4 Eco Services is a local home services company providing eco-friendly cooling, heating, water filtration and plumbing solutions to area homeowners. They are known for energy-efficient system installations and preventative maintenance programs. 4 Eco Services is the go-to resource for Kansas City homeowners who are seeking a preventative maintenance service company.

“Many homeowners don’t pay proper attention to the recommended maintenance of their HVAC or plumbing system. 4 Eco Services offers a comprehensive preventative maintenance program that is conducted on a routine schedule. This helps improve the performance and safety of the systems while extending the lifespan of their home comfort equipment.” —Jeremy Prevost, CEO of 4 Eco Services

There are many benefits to routine preventative maintenance. The first is the reduced chance of emergency repairs or a complete system breakdown, which can lead to very costly repairs or complete HVAC system replacements. Maintaining a heating, cooling, plumbing or water filtration system is just like getting oil changes or tune-ups on your car. Routine scheduled maintenance keeps your HVAC systems running efficiently and lasting longer. It also ensures better safety for you and your family. Eco Club members receive a twice yearly scheduled maintenance inspection from 4 Eco Services on heating, cooling and plumbing systems. 4 Eco Services also provides a complimentary whole-home water analysis to its members. This ensures that household water used for drinking, bathing and cleaning is safe and healthy.

“A majority of home emergencies can be avoided when routine preventative maintenance is performed. A few dollars in regular maintenance can prevent more expensive emergencies like floods or system breakdowns, not to mention the inconvenience of dealing with such emergency repairs and clean up.” —Ian Williams, General Manager of 4 Eco Services

In most homes, heating and cooling generally accounts for more than half of all energy consumption, which is why it pays to make smart decisions about home energy usage. Because of this, 4 Eco Services developed the Eco Club program. Members receive proper routine maintenance, which can help decrease energy usage, lower utility bills, minimize the potential for system breakdowns and increase the lifespan of home comfort systems.

“At the very least, customers need a thorough inspection of the equipment. At 4 Eco Systems, we recommend these inspections twice a year,” says Williams. “Our Eco Club members can have peace of mind knowing we are maintaining their HVAC and plumbing systems properly to avoid bigger problems.”

As part of their “best value” promise, 4 Eco Services has negotiated excellent discounts with popular eco-friendly manufacturers. These savings are passed along directly to Eco Club members, who receive VIP status rewards, complimentary services, preferred appointment scheduling and seasonal inspections. The program is aimed at sustaining value for the customers and ensuring optimal performance of all home systems. It’s an innovative approach that continues to attract new Eco Club members every day.

“4 Eco Services is all about providing customers with more choices and eco-friendly solutions. We want to enhance their daily lives while also protecting the environment. Our green alternatives will make a lasting difference for our customers, their families, their home and the world around them.”

About 4 Eco Services
To learn more about 4 Eco Services or how to become an Eco Club member, visit http://www.4ecoservices.com

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Hot Fairy Tale Shifter Series Author Christina Bauer to Make Autographing Debut with IPG at BookCON and Book Expo America

The hot new fairy tale shifter series, WOLVES & ROSES by Christina bauer

The hot new fairy tale shifter series, WOLVES & ROSES by Christina bauer

Monster House Books LLC (MHB) today announced Christina Bauer’s debut signing at BookExpo America and BookCON in tandem with Distributor IPG and INscribe Digital as the pre-release review debut for Wolves And Roses, their first release for high-volume print distribution. MHB has a proven ebook track record with Bauer, who has sold more than a half-million YA books. With Wolves And Roses, MHB and Bauer launch a new young adult series that combines fairy tale characters, shifters, and mid-town Manhattan.

“When I started writing Wolves And Roses, I thought it would be a typical shifter story,” says Author Christina Bauer. “Suddenly, I’m writing about Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood and the Evil Queen from Snow White. They’re all teenagers in a therapy group for magical girls who fail at their fairy tale life template. Plus, Cinderella ended up being a jewel thief, Sleeping Beauty had a magical inhaler that kept her awake, and their group leader looked like someone who fell out an ad for electric ovens in 1953. I thought, ‘this is crazy, but it’s fun to write, so I’m going with it.’ I was delighted when my distributor got so excited.”

“It’s rare to find a fairy tale series where you ask ‘why hasn’t anyone done this before?’” says Kelly Peterson, Director, INscribe Digital, a division of Independent Publishers Group (IPG). “That’s exactly why we’re so enthusiastic about Wolves And Roses. There are so many great elements that are both familiar and fresh, all at the same time. That’s why we’re thrilled Christina will join BEA through our booth and participate in galley signings at BookCON. We feel confident this is a title to watch!”

Monster House Books will be attending BEA in tandem with Inscribe and IPG. A limited number of signed galley copies of Wolves And Roses will be available at the IPG Booth, along with downloadable copies of other titles from Monster House Books. In addition, Wolves And Roses author Christina Bauer will sign galley copies of Wolves And Roses at BookCON on Saturday, June 3rd at 3PM so that she can attend the YA panel with Holly Black, another author who writes strong women.

Wolves And Roses is set to release on October 31st, 2017, and qualified reviewers may request a pre-street copy by visiting the following page: http://monsterhousebooks.com/blog/wrgalley.

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

“Should” being the key word.

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that–if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BAs in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Monster House Books LLC publishes kick-ass fiction for sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance readers. Like strong heroines, diverse voices and unique storylines? Welcome home.

For more information, visit http://www.MonsterHouseBooks.com.

Established in 1971, IPG was the first organization specifically created for the purpose of marketing titles from independent presses to the book trade. With consistent growth year-over-year, IPG’s success has come from supporting and encouraging the growth of its client publishers in the United States and worldwide. In 2016, IPG purchased INscribe Digital, a leading edge publishing technology company, which is helping to position IPG as a best in class technology solution for publishers large and small.

Contact Information
Arely Zimmermann
Monster House Books LLC

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Things Mobile: the First Global Mobile Operator Dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT) is Born

MILAN, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

Things Mobile to connect millions of devices around the world  – even without Wi-Fi

Things Mobile, the Global Mobile Operator specialized in the Internet of Things, is the stroke of genius of Manuela Zanella who roots a decade-long experience in international roaming and in the TLC market with his companies Zeromobile and ChatSim, the SIM card designed to chat free of charge and without limits with WhatsApp and other Instant Messaging Apps. It is in this project that Zeromobile is the majority shareholders while Angelsim Sarl and Juan de la Coba – the former already investor in ChatSim and the second ChatSim co-founder- are the other main partners.

     (Logo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/513574/Things_Mobile_Logo.jpg )

     (Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/513575/Things_Mobile_SIM.jpg )

Things Mobile is the evolution in field of data exchange:Things Mobile was created with a crucial goal in mind: upgrading the technology of objects connected to the Internet making it more user-friendly, faster and more convenient. Since most devices exchange very few kilobytes, our rate guarantees very low connection costs and no management fees for devices, stresses Manuel Zanella.

The rate plus the unique technical features of the SIM card makes Things Mobile the most affordable, competitive and reliable IoT operator on global markets. It allows connecting and managing IoT products all over the world, with a very competitive rate starting from €0.10/MB in the worlds most important countries. The Things Mobile wireless connection works everywhere, even without Wi-Fi.

The Things Mobile SIM card ensures a data connection with over 50% in savings compared to conventional mobile operators thanks to deals with 250 accredited partners in over 165 countries around the world, providing the best connection, coverage and quality.

It is the new global IoT solution that ensures a wireless connection around the world without initial costs or fixed costs. It works with multi-network connectivity. This innovative SIM card for IoT devices supports customers on all networks: 2G, 3G and 4G LTE

All information on Things Mobile can be found at http://www.thingsmobile.com



#1 Network of Things

E-mail: press@thingsmobile.com

SOURCE Things Mobile

South African Value Retailer Ackermans Licenses APT’s Test & Learn® and Market Basket Analyzer Software to Optimise Strategic Initiatives Across the Business

APT Helps Ackermans Evaluate Key Programmes in Areas Including Merchandising and Expansion Strategy

JOHANNESBURG, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) today announced that South African value retailer Ackermans has signed an agreement to license APT’s Test & Learn® and Market Basket Analyzer software. Ackermans, with over 600 stores in six countries, will use APT’s software to analyse and refine key programmes across the business in areas including merchandising, pricing, real estate, capital expenditures, and marketing.

„As we continue to expand, APT’s software has enabled us to unlock maximum value from our data, quickly and accurately generating actionable insights to inform decision-making across many areas of our business,” said Marchie Malan, Finance Director, Ackermans. „Test & Learn® allows us to spur innovation, grow our top and bottom lines, and most importantly, identify key areas where we can offer greater value to stakeholders.”

During an initial engagement with APT, Ackermans used Test & Learn® and Market Basket Analyzer to address several critical business opportunities, identifying substantial return on investment improvement opportunities. Using Test & Learn®, Ackermans focused on optimising its merchandising strategy, conducting tests to determine how to most effectively allocate space to different categories of items, particularly for categories with higher space requirements, like homeware.

Test & Learn® also helped Ackermans continue to plan its network expansion strategy, identifying how best to add smaller format stores across the network. Additionally, Ackermans leveraged Test & Learn® and Market Basket Analyzer to identify how best to provide personalised offers to customers via SMS and other channels. Using Test & Learn®, Ackermans identified the effectiveness of different promotional offers, including a lay-by sweepstakes and other high-value offers for customers.

„We look forward to continued collaboration with an organisation dedicated to enhancing its analytics programme across its business,” said Anthony Bruce, CEO of APT. „As APT continues to grow its international footprint, we are thrilled to expand and partner with Ackermans, an organisation that is ahead of the curve and committed to adding value to the lives of its customers.”

About Ackermans 
The Ackermans story goes back as far as 1916, when Gus Ackerman opened the first store in Cape Town, South Africa. His vision for the store was to create a place where customers could find quality products at affordable prices, which is exactly what Ackermans became. Ackermans was, subsequently, bought by the Pepkor Group in 1986.

Today Ackermans has over 600 stores in six countries, making it a leading value retailer and stockist of affordable family clothing, footwear, homewear, financial services and cellular.

About APT 
APT, a Mastercard Company, is a leading analytics software company that enables organisations to rapidly and precisely measure cause-and-effect relationships between business initiatives and outcomes to generate economic value. Our intuitive and proprietary Test & Learn® software utilises sophisticated algorithms to analyse large amounts of data, enabling business leaders to conduct experiments and allowing them to make optimal decisions and implement business initiatives at scale. APT also offers products that support decision-making for specific business needs including transaction analysis, space planning, promotion design, category management, and location selection. Visit http://www.predictivetechnologies.com to learn more.

Media Contact
Carly Buchanan, Applied Predictive Technologies 
Email: cbuchanan@predictivetechnologies.com
Phone: (207) 332-2225

SOURCE Applied Predictive Technologies

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Telestax® Launches the RestcommONE Marketplace™

Quickly Launching Their Own CPaaS Offering and Gaining Access To New CPaaS-Enabled Applications Produces A Significant Revenue Opportunity For Service Providers

PALO ALTO, California and PRAGUE, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Telestax® the Restcomm company, today announced its RestcommONE Marketplace™ powered by their proven CPaaS (Communications Platform-as-a-Service) enablement platform, RestcommONE™. Service providers participating in the Marketplace are quickly CPaaS enabled and gain immediate access to available real-time messaging, voice and video applications to sell to their business customers. Service providers now become partners where they profit from a value-based revenue sharing business model that favors themselves, the application vendor and Telestax. Where CPaaS offerings have historically been a single vendor solution that locks partners into their platform, the Marketplace is open to any application and service provider to participate.

The RestcommONE Marketplace offers participating service providers a new business opportunity by providing in demand real-time applications and solutions that are certified and integrated into the RestcommONE Platform. This new CPaaS-enabled computing paradigm blends traditional telecommunications with new enterprise applications to create and deliver real-time communications business solutions that scale.

Today, through the RestcommONE Marketplace, service providers can select SMS-enabled business applications to offer a full choice of rich communications products and services to their existing business customers. Because the service provider becomes their own CPaaS, they benefit from increased margins and keep all traffic on their network. The initial large opportunity for service providers is to SMS enable all of the phone numbers on their network to provide SMS-based products and services. In addition to the available SMS-enabled applications, RestcommONE’s industry leading APIs and robust visual design tool help service providers create revenue generating applications in hours and days.  Telestax is quickly adding real-time voice and video-enabled applications to the Marketplace to offer rich WebRTC applications.

„The business models of the current CPaaS players can often be at odds with their service provider partners. Further, as their customers become successful, the costs associated with moving messages, voice and video traffic through these CPaaS platforms can often scale disproportionately,” said Michael Brandenburg of Frost and Sullivan. „The Telestax RestcommONE Marketplace offers a creative revenue sharing business model that provides high value to business customers while increasing revenue opportunities for application vendors and service providers alike.”

MetTel, Lumin, Ipitimi, Network Intelligence and TeleHealth are among those who are working with Telestax and excited about the prospects the RestcommONE Marketplace offers.

„We are excited to enhance our preeminent communications solutions with RestcommONE’s industry leading real-time communications technology,” said Ed Fox, Vice President of Network Services for MetTel. „As our business customers continue to look to us for over-the-top (OTT) SMS communications, apps and interactions with their end users fueled by artificial Intelligence and other bots, we look to the Telestax RestcommONE Marketplace to enable rapid deployment of these services.”

„We jumped on the SMS/texting movement early by reinventing the success of our popular call center, around SMS. It helps us reach entirely new audiences like the national teen bullying hotline. Teens prefer texting to talking anyway and as a result more victims are willing to reach out. Now we have moved our SMS-enabled call center application to the RestcommONE Marketplace. The process was painless and the opportunity for Service Providers to become distribution partners is incredible,” said Greg Nielsen, CEO of IPitimi.

„Our Marketplace is enabling service providers around the world to quickly offer their own branded CPaaS offering, along with high-value SMS-enabled business applications. It is in the cloud and on par with other CPaaS players. Within a month our service provider partners can be on level playing ground with other CPaaS players in the market and shortly after they can offer their business customers new products and services,” said Ivelin Ivanov, co-founder and CEO of Telestax.

About Telestax

Telestax is quickly becoming the catalyst for bringing real-time communications into the mainstream. Our RestcommONE platform is scalable, highly available and is the only WebRTC platform that supports cloud, on premise and hybrid deployment configurations. RestcommONE is fast becoming the platform of choice for rapidly building enterprise class real-time messaging, voice and video applications. RestcommONE Marketplace connects these new Omnichannel applications with RestcommONE CPaaS-enabled (Communications Platform as a Service) service providers and increases the revenue opportunity for both. The RestcommONE Marketplace is generating a positive disruption in the real-time communications market by changing the way organizations acquire and utilize their business software. Telestax is a privately held global company with headquarters in Palo Alto, CA.

Media Contact: JoAnn Yamani, 408-781-5719, telestax@luminapr.com

SOURCE Telestax

Building on its Record-Breaking Year, ObserveIT’s Business Success in the Insider Threat Industry Continues in Q1 2017

TEL AVIV, Israel, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

Company reaches new milestones in customer base, customer bookings in the Americas, wins seven industry awards and continues its leadership in helping companies eliminate Insider Threats 

ObserveIT, the leading insider threat monitoring and analytics solution provider, today announced its record-breaking business results achieved in 2016 have continued into Q1 2017.  Milestones reached in the first quarter of the year include surpassing the 1,500 customer mark, year-over-year growth in new bookings across the Americas and winning seven industry awards.

     (Logo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/465294/Observe_IT_Logo.jpg )

„At the conclusion of our record year in 2016 we promised to double-down on our success in 2017, and we are doing just that,” said ObserveIT CEO Mike McKee. „We had a fantastic Q1 in customer expansion, market traction and industry recognition.  The demand for our Insider Threat Monitoring and Analytics solution continues to be at an all-time high, and our team is laser-focused not just on meeting and expanding that demand, but also delivering more innovation and capabilities in the months ahead to help our customers eliminate insider threats.”

Milestones achieved in Q1 2017 by ObserveIT include: 

ObserveIT’s Q1 2017 milestones are being announced following the company’s April release of ObserveIT 7.0 that now provides security and IT teams with new actionable analytics, the ability to proactively block risky, out-of-policy activities by insiders, new keylogging alerts and an enhanced user experience.

For more information and a demo of how ObserveIT 7.0 helps organizations become more secure and eliminate Insider Threats visit here.

About ObserveIT 

ObserveIT is the leading Insider Threat Monitoring and Analytics solution with more than 1,500 customers across 87 countries. ObserveIT identifies and eliminates insider threats by continuously monitoring user behavior and alerting security and IT teams about activities that put organizations at risk.

For more information visit: http://www.observeit.com.

ObserveIT Media Contact:
Kim Haimovic


Young African leaders pitch innovative solutions to businesses to shape the future of Africa

Youth gather to collaborate and tackle change in their communities across East Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — More than 100 young African leaders met in Nairobi, Kenya from May 19 –20 to collaborate for promoting positive change in communities throughout Africa by harnessing youth innovation and leadership.

Young African leaders from 13 countries, including Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda attended the East Africa Regional Conference as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

During the conference, Fellows showcased their projects and ideas to potential business partners like GE Africa, @ibizafrica, Rendeavour, Nairobi Garage, M-Kopa and Novel Technologies E.A. Ltd. Fellows also presented what they are doing to tackle community problems related to peace and security, agriculture and development, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

„The conference and the Fellowship have provided me with a platform to share my work, networking and form potential partnerships. Winning the pitch competition in particular has provided me with courage to continue to expand my work with Apps and Girls, to ensure that a generation of girls in Tanzania pursue STEM,” said Carolyne Ekyarisiima, a Mandela Washington Fellow from Tanzania.

Funded by the United States government, the Mandela Washington Fellowship has brought 2,000 young African professionals from across the continent to U.S. universities for six weeks of leadership training since 2014. An additional 1,000 Fellows will be traveling to the United States in 2017. The Fellows are competitively selected and represent the continent’s emerging generation of entrepreneurs, community leaders, and public officials working to shape the future of Africa.

At the conference, these young leaders shared solutions for deepening engagement with youth and communities to improve government services, strengthen civil society, and build businesses in Africa. Discussions incorporated ideas for increasing youth employment, promoting transparency and civic engagement, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, and advancing sustainable energy solutions. Fellows also engaged with industry experts, and youth activists to learn more about how to tackle sustainable development in their communities.

Keynote speaker Victor Ochen, the youngest African to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the African Youth Initiative network, challenged Fellows „to be a generation of peace, and serve as a bridge to a great and prosperous African society.”

Fellows were also invited to a partner reception hosted by Rendeavour, featuring a keynote from Ambassador Robert F. Godec who encouraged Fellows „to bring back what you learn in the United States, and serve as an example” to others.

The U.S. government supports the initial fellowship as well as follow-on activities. USAID, with its partner IREX, assists with continuing professional development opportunities, mentoring, networking, and training to advance these young leaders along their professional endeavors as they build a brighter future for Africa and forge deeper bonds with counterparts in the United States.

„The fellowship program is creating an enduring network of leaders committed to transforming their own societies,” said Kristin Lord, President and CEO of IREX. „Not only is that beneficial to communities on the continent, but it’s an investment in future business relationships and long-term people-to-people and government-to-government relationships that will benefit both the US and Africa.”  

Photos and video from the conference are available online.

Alex Cole, Director of Strategic Communications, IREX

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/150532/irex_mandela_washington_fellowship_logo.jpg


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Traditional Carmakers Beat Silicon Valley In Race For Consumers’ Trust

According to new INRIX research, traditional carmakers are most trusted to build autonomous vehicles and to protect drivers’ connected car data

– INRIX surveyed 5,054 consumers in five countries, including 1,013 in the UK, to understand driver perceptions of connected and autonomous vehicles

– Nearly a third of UK drivers (31%) trust traditional carmakers to build autonomous vehicles, whereas less than one in five (18%) would trust established tech giants and only 3% trust ridesharing companies

– When asked who they trust to secure their connected car data and safeguard their privacy, a third of UK drivers responded nobody, followed closely by a quarter trusting traditional carmakers (27%) but only 18% said Silicon Valley’s tech titans

– The majority of UK drivers (61%) expect autonomous vehicles to be as safe or safer than current cars, yet fewer than one in five (17%) would actually buy one

– Over half of UK drivers (53%) believe autonomous vehicles will be widely available within a decade

LONDON, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — INRIX, Inc., the world leader in connected car services and location analytics, today published the results of its Connected & Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Consumer Survey, revealing insight into drivers’ concerns about this emerging multi-trillion pound market.

Connected cars have more in common with smartphones than they do with cars of the past. However, UK drivers surveyed by INRIX were uncertain who to trust with their in-car data. A third of UK drivers do not trust anybody to secure connected car data, and among those who expressed a preference, 27% trusted traditional car makers with their data compared to only 18% who picked Silicon Valley’s tech giants.

The sentiment in the UK is echoed in Germany and France where only 8% and 13% of drivers, respectively, trust technology giants to secure in-car data. In contrast, 30% of US and 31% of Italian drivers have confidence in Silicon Valley.

„The UK is charging towards a transport revolution and time is ticking for Silicon Valley’s tech giants to address data security and privacy concerns,” said Dr Graham Cookson, Chief Economist & Head of Research, INRIX. „Consumers are more aware than ever of keeping their data safe, and the fact that they trust traditional carmakers over tech giants with their in-car data sends a powerful message.

„While UK drivers are more sceptical of today’s tech titans, traditional carmakers still need to do more to show consumers the benefits of their connected, and in the future, autonomous, vehicles to secure a concrete foothold in this highly lucrative market. As connected and autonomous vehicles become an essential part of brands’ business model, the stakes have never been higher.”

UK drivers can see the benefits of connected and autonomous vehicles. The most valued benefits are improved disabled and elderly access, increase in free time, and better safety (80%, 68% and 58% respectively). In fact, three in five drivers (61%) believe autonomous cars will be as safe or safer than cars today.

This could explain why over half of UK drivers (54%) believe that in-car technology is more important than the brand of the car when making a purchasing decision and 48% feel the technology is more significant than the car’s performance.

Over half of UK drivers (53%) believe autonomous vehicles will be widely available within a decade, rising to 61% among men, 64% of under-40s and 79% of under-21s. However, only 18% of UK consumers think autonomous vehicles will be available in the next five years.

Despite this, less than one in five UK drivers (17%) would be likely to purchase an autonomous vehicle and nearly seven in ten consumers (69%) think automakers are not doing a good job of explaining the benefits of connected cars.

For detailed findings of the INRIX Connected & Autonomous Vehicle Consumer Survey, including the complete report, please visit: http://inrix.com/research.

About INRIX Research
INRIX Research leverages over 500 Terabytes of INRIX data from 300 million different sources covering over five million miles of road, and combining it with our other data sources including global parking, origin and destination trip data, fuel, point of interest, public transport, and road weather information. Together, our data provide a rich and fertile picture of urban mobility that enable us to produce valuable and actionable insights for policy makers, transport professionals, automakers and drivers. The INRIX Research team has researchers in Europe and North America and is comprised of economists, transportation policy specialists and data scientists with a mix of research backgrounds from academia, think tanks and commercial research and development groups.

INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics, a new approach that leverages big data and the cloud to help manage urban mobility. By aggregating a variety of sources and applying intelligence, INRIX delivers comprehensive data and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small.

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