The Great Lakes Water Utility Energy Challenge’s Entry Deadline is February 18

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Water utilities from across the US and Canada are gearing up for Water Utility Energy Challenge. Don’t miss your opportunity to compete!

​The Water Utility Energy and Efficiency Challenge (WUEC) is an innovative program that engages water operators in a competition to reduce the emissions sourced in their energy generation. Funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund (GLPF), the competition aims to connect utilities with new innovative software while fostering an awareness of the associated emissions, particularly mercury.

“Our team is excited to have such a wide breadth of locations and utilities competing,” said Dr. Carol Miller, the technical lead for the competition and the Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Wayne State University. “The competition has registrations from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, New York and Wisconsin, as well as the province of Ontario.”

The technology is open source for utilities across the United States, but the inaugural challenge and prize dollars will be focused on the Great Lakes Basin. There is no cost to enter, and competing utilities will receive software and tools to assist in monitoring and reporting emissions as well as hands-on technical assistance. The competition will run through 2018 with $30,000 in prizes presented next spring.

“AWWA is eager to collaborate with the Great Lakes Protection Fund on this forward-looking work. With its cutting edge technology and training component, the partnership will help water utilities optimize their energy consumption, use cleaner energy sources and, importantly, help keep the Great Lakes clean,” said David LaFrance, AWWA Chief Executive Officer.

More information on the challenge can be found by visiting AWWA’s WUEC webpage.

WUEC Milestones & Key Dates

    February 28, 2017 – Applications Close (Visit AWWA’s eligibility & rules webpage)

    March 2017 – Finalists Announced

    April 2018 – Winners Announced

About the Water Utility Energy Challenge

The Water Utility Energy Challenge (WUEC) is a technology competition focused on water utilities in the Great Lakes Basin.  Offering two top cash prizes of $20,000 and $10,000, the Water Utility Energy Challenge is supported by the Great Lakes Protection Fund.  It is a collaborative effort of the American Water Works Association, CDM Smith, E2i, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Growth Capital Network, and Wayne State University.  For more information, visit

Follow WUEC on Twitter                          Like WUEC on Facebook

About the Great Lakes Protection Fund

The Great Lakes Protection Fund (GLPF) is a private, nonprofit corporation formed in 1989 by the governors of the Great Lakes states. It is a permanent environmental endowment that supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. To date, the Fund has made 265 grants and program-related investments representing over $75 million to support the creative work of collaborative teams that test new ideas, take risks, and share what they learn.

About the American Water Works Association

Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

Source: Great Lakes Protection Fund

Albright Institute At Wellesley College Assembles Experts For Public Dialogue On The Global Refugee Crisis

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WELLESLEY, Mass., Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On Sunday, February 26, the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College will convene two panels of international leaders and experts for a public forum on the global refugee crisis and its many sociopolitical and geopolitical ramifications. Beginning with a keynote from Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright ’59, the day-long dialogue will feature a variety of perspectives, including international reporters, nonprofit leaders, and academics. The Public Dialogue, “From Exodus to Action: Claiming our Common Humanity in the Refugee Crisis,” aims to tackle the demands of advancing beyond resettlement into rebuilding society.

Some of the many speakers who will attend include George Papandreou, president, Socialist International, and former Greek Prime Minister; Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; Manal Omar, Associate Vice President, Center for Middle East and Africa, United States Institute for Peace; and ten other renowned professionals.

Former Secretary Albright stated, “We are privileged to welcome 13 esteemed experts who each offer valuable insight on the refugee crisis facing our global community. Now is the time to engage in open discussion on how we as leaders and global citizens alike can join forces to best manage this international crisis. I am delighted that Wellesley College offers us an inclusive environment where we can have these important conversations.”

“History is watching our action (and inaction) as the displaced, the persecuted and those fleeing war and strife seek safety, new lives, new homes,” said Wellesley College President Paula A. Johnson. “We must not forget that women and girls are especially at risk. These same women and girls–as well as the millions fighting for their rights–will be the agents of change we need to create a way forward for everyone. Wellesley College is proud to be part of that movement, and this year’s Albright Institute Public Dialogue is evidence of our commitment.”

As part of its mission, the Albright Institute provides Wellesley students a transformative experience that allows them to apply their liberal arts education toward solving problems in the international arena. The students, known as Albright Fellows, spend three weeks in January learning about global affairs in intensive classes and panel discussions as well as working together in interdisciplinary groups to address pressing current issues.

The event begins at 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 26. Both panels are free and open to the public. For those that cannot attend, these events will be live-streamed on Wellesley’s website, and the Twitter hashtag #AlbrightDialogue will be used for social media posts related to the event, including live tweeting. For full details, see this public schedule.

About the Albright Institute

The Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College supports the College’s mission of educating students for leadership in an increasingly complex and interconnected global environment. The program combines the intellectual resources of faculty from Wellesley College, researchers from the Wellesley Centers for Women, and leading alumnae and other practitioners and policy makers in the fields of international relations and public policy.

About Wellesley College

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an outstanding liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to some 2,400 undergraduate students from 49 states and 58 countries.

About the Panelists

Secretary Madeleine K. Albright ’59, U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001)

Madeleine Albright is an American diplomat. Dr. Albright was the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. In 1997, she was named the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. She is a professor in the practice of diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Dr. Albright chairs the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She is also the president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. In 2012, she was chosen by President Obama to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of her contributions to international peace and democracy.

Deborah Amos, International Correspondent, NPR News

Deborah Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News and is reporting on refugee resettlement in the U.S. Her reports can be heard on NPR’s award-winning Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.

Haki Abazi, Director, Pivotal Place: Western Balkans, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Haki Abazi has over 15 years of experience in designing and managing development programs in Western Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, and Indonesia.

Asmaa Albukaie, Case Manager, Agency For New Americans

In 2014, Asmaa Albukaie became the first Syrian refugee in Idaho.

Helena de Bres, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Wellesley College

Helena de Bres researches and teaches political and moral philosophy, with a focus on questions of distributive justice in global politics.

Nadya Hajj, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College

Nadya Hajj’s teaching interests focus on comparative politics, comparative political economy, development and underdevelopment, qualitative methods, politics of the Middle East and North Africa, gender and Islam, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Joanna Kakissis, Reporter, NPR

Joanna Kakissis is a journalist based in Athens, Greece.

Gerald Knaus, European Stability Initiative; Mercator-IPC Senior Fellow

Gerald Knaus is ESI’s founding chairman.

Manal Omar, Associate Vice President, Center for Middle East and Africa, United States Institute for Peace

Manal Omar is the associate vice president for the Middle East and Africa Center. Previously, she was regional program manager for the Middle East for Oxfam-Great Britain, where she responded to humanitarian crises in Palestine and Lebanon.

George Papandreou, President, Socialist International; Greek Prime Minister (2009-2011)

George Papandreou is former prime minister of Greece, current president of Socialist International and co-chair of the Democratic Alignment, a coalition of the center-left parties in Greece, composed by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), the Democratic Left and the Movement of Socialists and Democrats.

Richard Parker, Senior Fellow and Lecturer, Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School

Richard Parker is a renowned author, scholar and former journalist.

Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration (2012-2017)

Anne C. Richard is a visiting fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

Inela Selimović, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Wellesley College

Inela Selimović’s research and teaching interests focus on the 20th and 21st century Latin American literature and film.


Christopher Hennessy, Associate Director of Media Relations, 781-283-3201,

Lauren Judge, Associate Vice President, Rasky Partners, 617-391-9625,

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more information, visit


SOURCE Wellesley College

Smart Card Alliance Reviews Payments, Transportation, and Mobile Councils Accomplishments, Announces New Council Leadership for 2017

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PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Smart Card Alliance Payments, Mobile and Transportation Councils had a successful year in 2016 with strong member participation, quality deliverables, and significant headway in promoting the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology in the payments space. To kick off 2017, the councils today announced the newly-elected chairs to lead activities through 2018.

/EIN News/ — “Over the past year we’ve seen some substantial developments in the payments space, from the progress in the migration to EMV to a myriad of new mobile payments solutions,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “In 2016, these payments-focused councils have provided a lot of education and guidance on how smart card technology can offer the necessary security for a variety of use cases across the payments, mobile and transportation ecosystems.”

Payments Council
The Payments Council focuses on facilitating the adoption of chip-enabled payments technologies and associated applications in the U.S., and works closely with U.S. Payments Forum to educate stakeholders on the security benefits of EMV chip technology.

The council’s 2016 projects focused on promoting contactless EMV payments for issuers and merchants, including the “Contactless EMV Payments: Benefits for Consumers, Merchants and Issuers” white paper; the Contactless EMV Payments webinar series, “Opportunities for Merchants” and “Opportunities for Issuers;” updated “Contactless Payment Security Q&A;” and “Contactless Payments in the U.S.: Guides for Merchants and Issuers” infographics. The council also hosted a pre-conference workshop at the Smart Card Alliance’s annual Payments Summit, “The Changing Payments Landscape in the U.S.: Strategic Considerations for Issuers and Merchants.”

The council plans to develop projects on other new technologies, such as tokenization and blockchain-based applications for 2017. With new cross-collaboration policies with the U.S. Payments Forum, the council hopes to attract contributions from an even broader set of industry participants for its projects next year.

To head the Payments Council activities in the coming year, the council has elected its 2017-2018 steering committee.  New officers are:

  • Co-chair: Jack Jania, Gemalto
  • Co-chair: Oliver Manahan, Infineon Technologies
  • Vice chair: Nick Pisarev, Giesecke & Devrient
  • Secretary: Jamie Topolski, Fiserv

Mobile Council
The Mobile Council, previously called the Mobile and NFC Council, developed a new charter in 2016 to take on projects covering all interface technologies and security approaches. In addition to providing resources and education on near field communications (NFC) technology, the council will also focus on mobile identity authentication, tokenization, credential provisioning, and the use of the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) as it moves into 2017.

In 2016, the council hosted a webinar “EMV Tokenization,” and has many activities in progress for 2017 on topics ranging from mobile identity authentication to a primer on TEE. The council also maintains relationships with other industry groups, including GlobalPlatform and the NFC Forum.

The Mobile Council has elected its 2017-2018 steering committee. New officers are:

  • Co-chair: Sadiq Mohammed, Mastercard
  • Co-chair: Sree Swaminathan, First Data
  • Vice chair: Damon Kachur, Giesecke & Devrient

Transportation Council
The Transportation Council works to accelerate the deployment of standards-based smart card payment programs within the transportation industry through promoting the adoption of interoperable contactless smart card payment systems for transit and other transportation services.

Council activities in 2016 included a “Reference Enterprise Architecture for Transit Open Payment System” white paper, which provides a model for implementing a seamless fare payment system that traverses transportation modes, jurisdictions, markets and technologies; and an update to the “EMV and Parking” white paper in collaboration with the International Parking Institute (IPI), which provides current information on EMV chip technology and refreshed scenarios covering the critical aspects of deploying EMV-compliant solutions within the parking infrastructure.

In 2017, the council will continue to focus on evolving payments architectures, including open payments, and the convergence of multimodal payments in transit.

The Transportation Council has elected its 2017-2018 steering committee. New officers are:

  • Chair:  Jerry Kane, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
  • Vice chair – transit: Tina Morch-Pierre, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
  • Vice chair – parking: Michael Hughes, Vantiv
  • Vice chair – tolling: Carol Kuester, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA)

Looking to 2017, the Payments, Mobile and Transportation Councils will be participating in the 2017 Payments Summit, being held March 27-30 in Orlando, Florida. Registration, exhibition, agenda and other details can be found at

To learn more about the Smart Card Alliance councils, the newly-elected officers and steering committees and resources available, visit
About the Smart Card Alliance
The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit

                    Megan Shamas
                    Montner Tech PR

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Madame Tussauds And Legendary Pictures Announce An Epic Kong Experience, Times Square Attraction Receives Huge Delivery From Skull Island

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NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Madame Tussauds have partnered with Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures to bring a larger than life KONG: Skull Island experience to the iconic wax attractions in New York and London, complete with an 18-foot high interactive animatronic head of the mythical monster.

Coinciding with the announcement of Kong’s return, ginormous rumbling crates were spotted at iconic locations in both cities. In New York, a rumbling wooden shipping container caused a sensation among Midtown’s morning commuters spotted being driven around Times Square on a flat-bed truck before making its way to Madame Tussauds on 42nd Street for delivery. 

The all new, multi-sensory environment, including the breathing, blinking and roaring, made-to-scale Kong head, will open March 2017, to celebrate the launch of the soon-to-be classic reboot; KONG: Skull Island.  

Visitors will embark on an adventure deep into the tropics of Skull Island. Once inside, they will be joined by a new figure of Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) as they journey through the secluded bamboo jungle. Trekking along, avoiding traps of massive spiders and uncovering various artifacts, guests will ultimately come to face the dominating robotic head of Kong himself: watching, snarling, and roaring at those who dare pass.

The enormous animatronic Kong head, made from over 350 square feet of specialist faux hair, took a team of 33 artists 72 days to build. Each movement of the head uses state-of-the-art pneumatic controls, designed specifically for Kong. The system precisely controls the pressure and flow of air to recreate lifelike facial movements, grunts, snorts and roars made by the ferocious beast.

“Creating such a large and lifelike animatronic is a first for Madame Tussauds – the sheer size of this project is staggering,” said Anna Domingo, General Manager of Madame Tussauds New York. “We’re thrilled to be working closely with Legendary Pictures to ensure our animatronic head is made to the exact film-scale, so visitors really will come face-to-face and feel the power and scale of the Kong depicted on the big screen.”

The KONG: Skull Island experience will open to the public exclusively at Madame Tussauds New York and London in March 2017.

Kong: Skull Island will be in theaters from March 10, 2017.

Madame Tussauds New York, prominently located in the heart of Times Square, is more than just a wax museum; it is an iconic “must do” New York experience and home of the Ghostbusters Experience. There are no velvet ropes or obtrusive barriers to keep guests from interacting with over 200 of the world’s most recognizable and influential icons. The fully immersive, one-of-a-kind attraction is great for families and visitors of any age. With particular dedication to regional visitors, local admissions offers are available. Visit or call (866) 841-3505 for more information.

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin operates over 110 attractions, 12 hotels/4 holiday villages in 23 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 63 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 26,000 employees. 

Kong: Skull Island
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Kong: Skull Island” reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“The Kings of Summer”). In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific – as beautiful as it is treacherous – unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong. 
“Kong: Skull Island” stars Tom Hiddleston (“The Avengers,” “Thor: The Dark World”), Samuel L. Jackson (“The Hateful Eight,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Oscar winner Brie Larson (“Room,” “Trainwreck”), John Goodman (“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Argo”) and John C. Reilly (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Step Brothers”).  The international ensemble cast also includes Tian Jing (“Police Story: Lockdown”), Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Compton”), Jason Mitchell (“Straight Outta Compton”), John Ortiz (“Steve Jobs“), Thomas Mann (“Beautiful Creatures”), Shea Whigham (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Toby Kebbell (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) and Eugene Cordero (“The Kings of Summer”).
Vogt-Roberts is directing the film from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy and Derek Connolly.  “Kong: Skull Island” is produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni with Mary Parent.  The executive producers are Eric McLeod and Alex Garcia
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, “Kong: Skull Island.”  The film will be released worldwide in 2D, 3D in select theatres, and IMAX beginning March 10, 2017, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.  

Legendary Entertainment 
Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to worldwide audiences. Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world’s most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $13 billion worldwide at the box office. To learn more visit:

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures has been at the forefront of the motion picture industry since its inception and continues to be a leading creative force in the industry. 

Warner Bros. Pictures produces and distributes a wide-ranging slate of some 18-22 films each year, employing a business paradigm that mitigates risk while maximizing productivity and capital. Warner Bros. Pictures either fully finances or co-finances the films it produces and maintains worldwide distribution rights. It further monetizes its distribution and marketing operations by distributing films that are totally financed and produced by others. Current multi-faceted co-financing joint ventures include those with Village Roadshow Pictures and RatPac-Dune Entertainment. Warner Bros. Pictures also has a distribution, co-financing deal with Alcon Entertainment.

2016 marked the 10th consecutive year Warner Bros. Pictures crossed the $3 billion mark at the global box office with $4.93 billion in worldwide receipts ($1.90 billion domestic, $3.03 billion international). The year was also 16th consecutive frame that both the domestic and international divisions crossed the billion-dollar mark—a milestone no other studio has achieved.

Among the films on Warner Bros. Pictures’ 2017 slate are The LEGO Batman MovieKong: Skull IslandKing Arthur: Legend of the SwordWonder WomanDunkirkAnnabelle 2 (from New Line Cinema), It (New Line Cinema), The LEGO NINJAGO Movie and Justice League.

SOURCE Madame Tussauds

5 Remarkable New Heart Health Innovations Made Possible by Plastics

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TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – February 21, 2017) – Did you know that February is Heart Health Month? Given that we rely on a healthy heart regardless of the month, it’s fortunate that innovations in heart care advance year round, year after year.

Of course, good heart health relies on many factors, such as diet and physical activity. But when our hearts need extra help, medical advances made possible by plastics can help deliver the often lifesaving medical care our loved ones and we need. Here are five remarkable new heart health innovations made possible by plastics.

Plastic Patch

Healing a broken heart (at least the literal kind) may get a bit easier. Researchers are developing a flexible plastic patch that can help repair the damaged tissue caused by heart attacks. Since the patch doesn’t require stitches, it’s less invasive and potentially less damaging to the heart than other surgical methods. The patch is still undergoing testing, but researchers predict that it may one day help prevent arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) and even aid in regenerating damaged heart tissue.

Dissolving Stent

Heart surgeons have long treated blockages by implanting a stent — a device that expands a coronary artery and restores blood flow. But … either the patient has to go through another surgery to remove the stent, or the artery remains expanded permanently, which may not be ideal for a patient long-term. But thanks to medical plastics that dissolve over time, recently FDA-approved advanced stents do their job and then are adsorbed into the body — potentially improving quality of life for heart patients.

Heart in a Box

The primary method for transporting donor hearts is pretty simple: the organ is put on ice in an insulated container. The longer it remains outside a human body, the increased likelihood the tissue will become damaged. But a new plastic-based device known as “heart in a box” may change all that. This technology lets a donor heart continue beating, essentially keeping it “alive” from the time it’s removed from the donor to the time it’s transplanted. Researchers say the “heart in a box” could dramatically increase the availability of donor hearts.

3-D Printing

Why is 3-D printing with plastics so revolutionary? In large part because it enables technicians in a range of industries to quickly and easily create fully customizable 3-D models. What if technicians could apply that technology to create an intricate plastic replica of a patient’s heart that surgeons could study in advance of an operation? It’s already happening. Surgeons today can use the plastic model to plan out details of the procedure before it even begins, reducing risk for the patient.

Inflatable Implant

Heart surgeons often face a frustrating irony: sometimes the sickest patients — who need surgery the most — have been so weakened by their condition that surgery becomes too risky. But a new inflatable, balloon-like device made with plastics is helping improve the odds. After the device is implanted, doctors can inflate or deflate it as needed to control excess blood flow and relieve pressure on the heart. This technique can give a heart the chance to recover enough to withstand surgery.

We all know someone who’s been impacted by heart-related health problems, so it’s great to know that these and other cutting-edge medical innovations — many made possible by plastics — are helping our loved ones live longer, healthier lives. During Heart Health Month and beyond.

Today’s intelligent plastics are vital to the modern world. These materials enhance our lifestyles, our economy and the environment. For more information visit

Columbia Business School Convenes Industry Brand Leaders for 10th Annual BRITE Conference

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NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On March 6-7, 2017, Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership will host BRITE ’17 its annual conference that focuses on emerging trends in technology, innovation, culture and branding. Celebrating its 10th year, this two-day conference fosters stimulating conversations with executives from top Fortune 500 companies including Google, FedEx, and Hyatt among others. Presentation topics consist of: how realistic is artificial intelligence represented in Hollywood, the future of luxury brands in a digital age, the future of agency-client relationships, innovation in health care, and creating great brands.

Additionally, BRITE founder, David Rogers will take attendees on a trip down memory lane to look at the lessons learned and the predictions that have been made, as well as share a look at the future and where digital transformation is taking business in the next 10 years.

A full agenda for the event can be found here:

The conference will be livestreamed at:

This year’s featured speakers include:

Monday, March 6, 2017, 8:45 am7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 8:20 am1:00 pm

Roone Arledge Auditorium, 1st Floor, Alfred Lerner Hall
Columbia University
116th Street and Broadway
New York City

About the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School
The Center on Global Brand Leadership creates, gathers, and shares insights on how to build and manage strong brands. Combining the research and intellectual capital of academia’s foremost thinkers on branding with real world business cases, the Center shows how all elements of an organization – from marketing and communications to supply chain and operations – can affect brands and their relationships with stakeholders. The Center fosters a community of researchers, alumni, students, and business leaders from global corporations, agencies, and consulting firms to advance new knowledge, promote widespread learning, and serve as a forum to address the many challenges of brand building, brand management, and strategic marketing. For more information, visit

About Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School is the only world-class, Ivy League business school that delivers a learning experience where academic excellence meets with real-time exposure to the pulse of global business. Led by Dean Glenn Hubbard, the School’s transformative curriculum bridges academic theory with unparalleled exposure to real-world business practice, equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset that allows them to recognize, capture, and create opportunity in any business environment. The thought leadership of the School’s faculty and staff, combined with the accomplishments of its distinguished alumni and position in the center of global business, means that the School’s efforts have an immediate, measurable impact on the forces shaping business every day. To learn more about Columbia Business School’s position at the very center of business, please visit   

SOURCE Columbia Business School

APCOR Launches New Integrated Communications Campaign to Promote and Advocate for Natural Cork

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The Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) has announced the start of a new educational communications program to reach the wine industry, wine drinkers and the American public. Portugal-based APCOR has named wine industry specialists Colangelo & Partners as its agency of record in the United States.

“We are excited to promote the use of natural cork in the United States as the most sustainable and technologically advanced wine closure,” says João Rui Ferreira, President of APCOR. “The campaign components include a strong educational component supported by public relations, creative development, advertising, social media, events, digital marketing and relationship marketing.”

In the last 15 years, APCOR has been at the forefront of promotional efforts behind natural cork closures and cork usage overall. APCOR also provides expertise to members on subjects such as quality, industrial licensing, occupational health and safety, innovation, standardization and more.

Cork closures has seen significant growth in terms of overall sales and of market share overall. Natural cork has continued to be the most popular and highest quality wine closure, now with almost seven in every ten bottles worldwide being finished with cork.

Natural cork wine closures both preserve the quality and character of the wine while saving old-growth cork oak forests and a centuries-old way of life. By means of sustainable harvesting, the cork industry has directly helped climate change initiatives by saving Europe’s largest oak forests from deforestation, which naturally absorb greenhouse gases.

The cork oak is the only tree whose bark grows back with a smoother texture, and each oak can live 200 years or longer. The initial harvest takes place when the cork oaks are about 25 years old and are harvested roughly every decade thereafter. The cork oaks are never cut down in the process.

Cork harvesting also provides economic benefits. Cork extractors are among the highest-paid agricultural workers in the world and more than 100,000 people in the Mediterranean Basin directly or indirectly rely on cork forests for their livelihoods.

Founded in 2006, Colangelo & Partners is the nation’s leading wine and spirits communications agency offering a variety of services including strategic communications, public relations, social media, creative services, media planning, events, digital marketing and more. The year-long campaign will include public relations, direct marketing, advertising, trade relations, digital and event marketing.

“As a fine wine agency, we at Colangelo & Partners are thrilled to promote the usage of natural cork,” says Gino Colangelo President of Colangelo & Partners. “Cork is better for the environment and more versatile, unique and 100 percent recyclable. On top of that, what wine lover doesn’t get excited by the sound of a cork popping?”

For more information about APCOR, visit You can follow the campaign on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube For questions about APCOR, please contact Stephen Schmitz or Zach Groth of Colangelo & Partners.

Associação Portuguesa da Cortiça (APCOR) exist to promote natural cork and its products. APCOR is the employers’ association of the cork sector that represents, promotes and carries out research in the Portuguese cork industry. It was created in 1956 and is based in Santa Maria de Lamas, in the council of Santa Maria da Feira, at the heart of the cork industry around 30 kilometers from Porto, Portugal’s second largest city. Membership of the association is open to all companies operating in the fields of production, marketing or export of cork products. The organization advocates on behalf of the Portuguese cork industry worldwide and is the driving force of an industry based on tradition, innovation and sustainability.

About Colangelo & Partners
Founded in 2006, Colangelo & Partners specializes in premium food, wine, spirits and lifestyle brands, and has long established relationships with key press and trade that drive these business categories and help determine the industry leaders. Agency principals have years of experience in retail and distribution as well as communications, a rare combination that gives Colangelo & Partners invaluable insights into consumer purchasing behavior. The agency focuses on ‘closing the loop’ between creative communications programs, distribution, promotion, publicity and the consumer in order to maximize the efficiency of its communications programs and deliver measurable results. For more information about Colangelo & Partners, please visit

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Full-Service Logistics Company, BGI Wordwide Logistics, Inc. Is Pleased to Announce Their 18th Anniversary

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SIGNAL HILL, Calif., Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — This month marks the 18th anniversary of BGI Worldwide Logistics, a domestic and international freight forwarding company. Founded in 1999 as a two-person operation, the company has grown to more than 30 employees with operations in New York, Houston, Portland, Palm Desert, and Signal Hill. Still in growth-mode, BGI recently opened a new branch office in Houston, Texas and added in-house Customs Brokerage to its menu of services in order to better serve its import clients. BGI is a full-service logistics company that provides ocean and air import and export, and domestic less-than-truckload (LTL), full truckload, and rail.

Gabriel Shweiri, BGI co-founder, and CEO stated, “We are proud to have reached this milestone in our ongoing history. We have had 18 years of hard work and growth and we are thankful for our experienced staff, customers, repeat clients, suppliers, and colleagues for their part in our successful business operations. “BGI is committed to providing clients with an unparalleled freight transportation and logistics experience”.

Established in 1999, BGI Worldwide Logistics, Inc. is the on-demand freight transportation and logistics specialist providing domestic and international third-party logistics services to commercial customers. BGI specializes in delivering unique solutions to complex shipping problems. Our customers rely on us as their expert resource in an increasingly complex domestic and international transportation environment.

BGI is a certified, licensed and bonded expert in freight transportation and logistics: Licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC), Ocean Transportation Intermediary (OTI), Ocean Freight Forwarder, Licensed by the Department of Transportation (DOT), Licensed Property Broker. BGI is a Certified Member of International Air Transportation Association (IATA), and Cargo Network Services (CNS).

For More information on BGI Worldwide Logistics: or email to

SOURCE BGI Worldwide Logistics, Inc.

Sunshine Capital, Inc. Announces the Cancellation Of 77% or 56,303,003 Shares of its Common Stock

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HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Sunshine Capital, Inc. (Pink Sheets: SCNP) Today announced major changes to the Company corporate share structure. These changes include:

Once DIBCOIN is trading, the reflection on the company’s balance sheet will provide an alternative source of capital, thus making future loans or share issuance unnecessary. The company further states that it never intends to issue another share of stock, which guarantees the shareholder’s ownership in the Company will never be diluted.

“The controlling shareholder has canceled their shares to guarantee the success of this Company and to increase the book value of all remaining shares outstanding,” Stated, Adam Petty, President and CEO of Sunshine Capital, Inc. “With the cancellation of these shares, every penny ($.01) DIBCOIN trades at, once trading commences in the near future, will instantly provide Sunshine Capital, Inc. access to nearly $40,000,000 in capital and results in a net asset value, of Sunshine Capital, Inc., stock by approximately two dollars and thirty-five cents ($2.35) per share.”

“Our next step is the listing of DIBCOIN on a global exchange,” stated Honson Luma, Vice President of Sunshine Capital, Inc. “By the end of this quarter, March 31, 2017, I believe that all our shareholders, who have stayed with us through our developmental stage, will be extremely happy when the Company reports a dramatic increase in assets due to the launch and subsequent trading of DIBCOIN.”

In addition, Sunshine Capital, Inc. announces that all the DIBCOIN transfers have been completed to all shareholders of record as of October 10, 2016, which was part of the special opportunity to the shareholders of Sunshine Capital, Inc.

The private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking information made on the company’s behalf. All statements, other than statements of historical facts which address the company’s expectations of sources of capital or which express the company’s expectation for the future with respect to financial performance or operating strategies, can be identified as forward-looking statements. Such statements made by the company are based on knowledge of the environment in which it operates, but because of the factors previously listed, as well as other factors beyond control of the company, actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements.

MEDIA CONTACT: Adam Petty Sunshine Capital, Inc. (954) 703-2538

SOURCE Sunshine Capital, Inc.

SPEC FEST 2017 Slated For May 20

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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — SPECTRUM LABORATORY (Spec Labs), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create original works of film and music within the autism and special needs community announces that their Virtual Reality piece “Use Your Imagination”, a musical journey through autism, is an official selection for South By Southwest Film Festival.

Recently, Spec Labs was selected as one of 10 charities to receive funding from Facebook’s non-profit division who teamed up with Oculus. Spec Labs was the only autism/special needs charity to be chosen. “Use Your Imagination” premiered at the Oculus House during the Sundance Film Festival, January 2017.

Spec Labs brings together artists with autism and special needs to create original full length records and professional quality music videos and film shorts. The work premieres at SPEC FEST, LA’s only film and music festival for performers with developmental challenges.  This festival is a one-of-a-kind experience, giving a voice to those who would otherwise be unheard. SPEC FEST will be held May 20, 2017 and will include the Los Angeles premiere of the virtual reality piece “Use Your Imagination.”  Atticus Baldwin (nephew of Alec Baldwin and son of Daniel Baldwin) stars with Dominique Brown (grandnephew of Marvin Gaye) and many other talented special needs artists.


Founders Jason Weissbrod, a filmmaker and Garth Herberg, a music composer, formed Spectrum Laboratory to create a place for special needs talent to grow and thrive.  Spec Labs empowers special needs artists while encouraging a creative environment that educates and entertains. 

For more information on Spec Lab:

For more information on South By Southwest:

For more information on Oculus:

Press Contact: Christine Romeo / 818-606-6901


SOURCE Spectrum Laboratory