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AmeriLife Appoints Ford Stokes Senior Vice President, Annuity Marketing

AmeriLife

AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife”), a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing annuity, life, and health insurance solutions, today announced that it has hired Ford Stokes as senior vice president, Annuity Marketing. Stokes, reporting to AmeriLife Chief Marketing Officer Ovi Vitas, is charged with providing expert marketing strategies and implementation to AmeriLife affiliates, with the goal of helping financial advisors grow their advisory, insurance and annuities business. Most recently, Stokes served as an advisor to AmeriLife affiliate V2 Financial Group, where he implemented an aggressive, strategic marketing approach that helped grow V2’s profit 113.78% year over year in 2021. At AmeriLife, Stokes will, among other responsibilities, help define AmeriLife’s annuity marketing value proposition across its distribution network; help affiliates better activate cross-selling opportunities for annuities and retirement planning solutions; and drive third-party credibility of appointed advisors through exclusive thought leadership programs. "I can't wait to get started supporting AmeriLife’s affiliates and their advisors,” said Stokes. “Our affiliates work hard to protect and grow the hard-earned and hard-saved assets of their clients, while also ensuring they can help generate critical income for their clients’ retirement futures. We will work just as hard to help them help more Americans build a sound, successful retirement.” "Ford brings to AmeriLife a significant amount of consumer and financial industry expertise, business knowledge, and strategic acumen,” added Vitas. “I couldn’t be more excited to have Ford join the team, and I would encourage any financial advisor or insurance agent to get appointed with one of our affiliates to take advantage of the incredible expertise and qualified prospects that Ford and our team can provide.” Prior to joining AmeriLife, Stokes served as the chief marketing officer with a $2B independent marketing organization and was a former minority owner of a $3.4B registered investment advisor. He will continue to maintain his private wealth management practice based in Atlanta. Stokes earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Auburn University; holds a Series 65 Securities license; and is a licensed life and health insurance agent in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Texas and North Carolina. Stokes resides in Atlanta with his wife Diana and their twin girls, Grace and Madison. ### About AmeriLife AmeriLife’s strength is its mission: to offer insurance and retirement solutions to help people live longer, healthier lives. By putting its mission into practice, AmeriLife has become recognized as a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities and retirement planning solutions to enhance the lives of pre-retirees and retirees. For 50 years, AmeriLife has partnered with the nation’s leading insurance carriers to provide value and quality to customers served through a national distribution network of over 250,000 insurance agents and advisors, over 40 marketing organizations, and nearly 50 insurance agency locations. Visit www.AmeriLife.com and follow AmeriLife on Facebook and LinkedIn for more information. Contact Details Jeff Maldonado +1 321-297-1112 jmaldonado@amerilife.com Company Website https://amerilife.com/

October 22, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Tykes, Inc. Selects BEASY’s NFT Management Platform to Power New Tykeland Marketplace

Beasy, LLC

Blockchain Made Easy, LLC (dba BEASY) announced today it has signed a multi-year enterprise licensing agreement with Tykes, Inc., a leading provider of digital likeness artwork to professional and college athletes as well as university sports and recruiting programs. Through the licensing agreement, Tykes will adopt Blockchain Made Easy’s private-labelable core blockchain platform called BEASY Authentication ™ to NFT-enable Tykeland, Tykes soon-to-be released online marketplace. Using BEASY’s technology, Tykeland plans to offer limited edition Tykes designs for use by Tykes customers as NFTs, including sovereign digital names and identities for use on any blockchain-based marketplace. In addition to Tykes use of BEASY’s technology, BEASY is using Tykes designs as player avatars within BEASY’s flagship sports and entertainment application called AthleteChain™. “We’re thrilled to be working with Tykes,” says Bob Kramich, Founder and CEO of BEASY. “By transforming the Tykes they already trust and love into sovereign digital identity avatars, universities and athletes can jumpstart NFT collaboration and revenue generation with trust.” Designed specifically for the sports and entertainment industry, AthleteChain ™makes it easy for players, universities, teams, and sponsors to generate NFTs directly from their own computers, then sell and track them on any website or NFT marketplace. The first of its kind in sports, BEASY AthleteChain ™ is a multi-party consensus network (MPCN), designed to verify and maintain the true state of asset ownership across all permissioned users, while also enabling users to buy, sell, trade or transfer intellectual property rights for physical and digital goods directly with one another. “Through BEASY’s solution, our customers can use their existing Tykes to jumpstart new revenue streams while also learning about blockchain, NIL, and NFTs in a way that’s already aligned with how they recruit and operate today,” says Jason Woullard, CEO and Founder of Tykes, Inc. “Offering blockchain-authenticated Tykes to our valued customers is a natural extension of the work we are already doing for them,” Jason adds. # # # About BEASY ™ Blockchain Made Easy ™, LLC is a Massachusetts-based technology and professional services company empowering retail and business customers with the ability to deploy customized blockchain-based strategies through easy-to-use blockchain software products. The company’s core product, BEASY Authentication ™, is a permissioned blockchain platform and associated wallet solution allowing users to seamlessly create, sell, and track digital goods in addition to a broad range of other applications such as digital identity management, fractional and whole digital asset ownership, royalties management, contract-to-smart contract management and more. BEASY is committed to making blockchain adoption easy. For more information, go to www.BEASY1.com. About BEASY AthleteChain ™ BEASY AthleteChain ™ is a turnkey SaaS software product enabling users in sports to create and manage NFTs directly from their personal computers and sell on any NFT marketplace or Shopify-enabled website using both credit cards as well as cryptocurrencies. A comprehensive yet extremely easy-to-use blockchain enablement platform, AthleteChain™ benefits aspiring athlete entrepreneurs with business benefits such as personal brand trademarking and proof-of-use, quality-at-the-source contract-to-smart contract creation and control, business partner and friend network administration, perpetual revenue tracking, contract compliance verification, and more. For more information go to https://beasy1.com/athletechain About Tykes, Inc. Founded in 2014, Tykes is a design-centered messaging company which creates ‘art that articulates’ for professional and college athletes, universities and global brands. Tykes digital avatars and designs enable everyone from individuals and entrepreneurs, to Fortune 500 enterprises to break through marketing clutter and connect with target audiences in relevant, intelligent and timely ways. Tykes branded designs are proven to increase customer engagement, brand loyalty and revenues. Connect with Beasy Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeasyInc LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/beasy-blockchain-made-easy-llc/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beasy1859/ Connect with Tykes https://www.mytyke.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tykeland Twitter: https://twitter.com/tykeland Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mytyke/ Contact Details Beasy, LLC. David Kaupp info@beasy1.com Tykes Jason Woullard, CEO info@mytyke.com Company Website https://www.beasy1.com

October 21, 2021 04:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Hear the Sounds of the Holidays Again

YourUpdateTV

HearingLife, a national hearing care company, recently commissioned The Harris Poll to conduct a survey* and found that 44% of Americans with hearing loss feel isolated during holiday gatherings because they struggle to hear their family and loved ones. HearingLife is helping to change that this holiday season through its “ Magic of Hearing Care ” campaign, giving back six free pairs of hearing aids to people in need. Recently, licensed psychotherapist and HearingLife spokesperson, Tom Kersting, as well as Chief Audiologist at HearingLife, Dr. Leslie Soiles teamed with YourUpdateTV on a satellite media tour to talk about the state of hearing loss in the U.S. and the available resources to better manage it. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/NfMOcbV6nTg The holiday season is a time for friends and family. It is a time to celebrate the magic of giving, receiving and the joy of spending time with loved ones. After a year of celebrating virtually, people will be cautiously and safely gathering with those they may have not seen in a year or more. Hearing loss can put a damper on those celebrations as individuals with hearing loss may experience feelings of embarrassment or frustration when they can’t hear or participate in conversations. Often, this can cause them to stop socializing or participating in events or activities that they used to enjoy. According to the latest HearingLife survey: 72% of Americans with hearing loss wish their hearing was better so they could enjoy holiday gatherings. And 43% would rather just stay home than attend large gatherings because they feel left out of conversation due to their hearing loss! Now is the time to learn more about hearing loss, its impact, and how to communicate and participate actively in life again. HearingLife provides the necessary resources for people with hearing loss to help them gain a renewed sense of self and revive relationships, especially during holiday gatherings or if you are joining events virtually this season. The holidays are a time to celebrate the magic of giving. Through the “Magic of Hearing Care” campaign, HearingLife is giving back 6 pairs of hearing aids for people in need with hearing loss. Submit your hearing loss story or your loved ones’ story at www.HearingLife.com/Magic by November 26 to participate. The hearing solutions that HearingLife offers not only benefit their customers, but their family and friends as well. With hearing aids, most people experiencing hearing loss can hear all the special moments and joyful music that they may have missed last year, like the sounds of bells ringing, glasses clinking, laughter and carolers. To learn more about hearing loss and the “Magic of Hearing Care” campaign go to: hearinglife.com/magic About Tom Kersting: Tom Kersting is a licensed psychotherapist, retired public school counselor and the author of Disconnected: How to protect your kids from the harmful effects of device dependency. He is a regular guest expert on many television news shows, including the TODAY Show, FOX & Friends, and more. Tom has also hosted various television series for A&E Network, Food Network, and the National Geographic Channel, offering insights and advice about parenting, relationships, and wellness. Because Tom is passionate about sharing his hearing experiences, he is working with HearingLife to spread awareness about #HearingGain. He lectures throughout the country and is the founder and owner of Valley Family Counseling Center in Ridgewood, NJ. About Dr. Leslie Soiles Au.D., Doctor of Audiology, Lic. #364: Dr. Leslie Soiles founded HearingLife's Shrewsbury's office (formerly New England Hearing Instruments) in 1996. As a Doctor of Audiology, she previously worked with Ear, Nose and Throat physicians for the first 20 years of her career. Dr. Soiles earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in 2006; her Master of Science degree in audiology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1985; and a Bachelor of Science degree in communication disorders from Worcester State University in 1982. Dr. Soiles was born with hearing loss and utilizes her first-hand experience in her practice. In 2018, Dr. Soiles received the distinguished honor with the appointed role as Chief Audiologist for both HearingLife and the National Campaign for Better Hearing program in the U.S. As Chief Audiologist, Dr. Soiles trains and mentors hearing care providers, staff and helps people with hearing loss across the United States. Survey Method: *This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of HearingLife from August 19-23, 2021 among 2,044 adults ages 18+, among whom 253 have hearing loss. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact hearinglife@kaplow.com. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

October 20, 2021 04:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Cheers to Saving Local Bars and Restaurants: 82% of independent restaurants and bars said that they were at risk of shuttering

YourUpdateTV

With the delta variant on one hand and the worker shortage on the other, the restaurant industry has been put back under acute pressure after a promising summer. Recently, Cointreau and Dominic Alling, national brand ambassador for Remy Cointreau, teamed up with YourUpdateTV on a satellite media tour to discuss how you can help your local bar or restaurant thrive during these very challenging times. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/mSYZtL0Ez6c Even as restrictions have eased and vaccinations being widely available, the hospitality industry continues to face a long road to recovery. The delta variant, the worker shortage, and the increase in the cost of goods makes it very challenging for bar and restaurant owners to make a profit. Nearly 1 million restaurant workers remain unemployed and 82% of independent restaurants and bars recently reported that they were at risk of shuttering. Local bars and restaurants make up the fabric of our beloved communities. After a year and a half of restrictions, closures, and continued recovery, now is the time to give back to your favorite places. To help, Cointreau, the premium French liqueur at the heart of over 500 of the world’s most celebrated cocktails, announces year two of Cosmos for a Cause program to support the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) and invites consumers to join the fight to save local restaurants and bars across the U.S. as the road to recovery continues. Now through December 31st, Cointreau will donate a portion of sales up to $100,000 to the IRC for every order of a Cosmopolitan at a participating bar or restaurant. Additionally, the Republic National Distributing Company will join as a partner and match the donation. To learn more about Cointreau’s Cosmos For a Cause program and find a participating bar or restaurant near you, visit CointreauCosmosForACause.com. You can also go to Cointreau.com for more cocktail tips and tricks, and recipes for every occasion. About Dominic Alling: Dominic Alling has been the National Brand Ambassador for Remy Cointreau’s crafted spirits for over 4 years. He comes into his current role with over 14 years of hospitality experience from some of the most respected bars in the bay area. Most notable was his time spent at Beretta where he made a name for himself as a bar manger serving some of the creative and innovative cocktails in San Francisco. Dominic is not only a seasoned mixologist but one of the most well-versed spirits ambassadors in the business. About the Independent Restaurant Coalition: The Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed by chefs and independent restaurant owners across the country who have built a grassroots movement to secure vital protections for the nation’s 500,000 independent restaurants and the more than 11 million restaurant and bar workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

October 20, 2021 03:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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What to Know About Planning a Wedding

YourUpdateTV

While the last year and the half has been difficult for those planning a wedding – with nearly half of 2020 engaged couples delaying their celebrations – the wedding industry has adapted and is embracing new trends to help people celebrate despite these mitigating circumstances. Recently, Wedding Expert with Shutterfly, Claire Roche, participated in a nationwide satellite media tour to discuss tips on planning a wedding, new trends, and what to expect moving forward. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/kZNOU5Yyoew Over the past year and a half, wedding celebrations have been impacted as the country grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as things return to normal, there is an emergence of thoughtful and unique personal touches added to the overall wedding design that truly celebrates a couple’s love story. The wedding industry has undergone big changes in the past year and a half and I’ve seen couples take a more simplified approach to their weddings. That doesn’t necessarily mean less expensive, but brides and grooms are really focusing on intimate ceremonies and celebrations that are unique to them. Finding those elements that are unique to a couple is something that has become even more important over the last year. Couples are diving deep into crafting their celebrations to look like them, feel like them, smell like them, and be full of their favorite things and people. With so many couples delaying their celebrations over the last 18 months, 2022 is already shaping up to be one of the busiest wedding years ever. One thing that all couples must do is to create a wedding day timeline. A detailed look at all of the things – setting a budget, finding a venue, booking vendors, finding a dress, etc – that couples will do before the big day. Shutterfly offers a breadth of customizable solutions to fit your personality and wedding style, no matter how you’re celebrating your nuptials. From cards to photobooks, from keepsakes to décor, Shutterfly offers everything you need to add your unique style to your wedding. Shutterfly offers a variety of styles to fit your wedding budget. For more information, visit Shutterfly.com/wedding About Claire Roche: As a Southern California wedding planner and owner of Grit and Grace Events, Claire is obsessed with the often forgotten and overlooked details of a wedding. She believes in the unique and customized elements that bring a wedding to life in a beautiful, yet attainable way. Claire has amassed nearly 1 million followers on TikTok and was recently named of one of the top people to follow if you’re planning a wedding. She’s an authentic voice in the wedding space and can speak to industry trends, products, and everything in between. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

October 20, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Comcast Business Provides Reef Industries With Advanced Security to Support Digital Operations

Comcast Houston

Comcast Business today announced that it is supplying Reef Industries, a plastic film and laminate manufacturer, with Ethernet Dedicated Internet, unified communications (UC), and advanced security solutions enabling the company to deliver leading customer service and communicate effectively and efficiently. Reef Industries has more than 60 years of experience developing industrial plastic film and laminate products for customers. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the company has additional manufacturing facilities in both Houston and San Benito. These sites rely on internet and network dependent technologies to help keep digital operations running smoothly – and uptime and security solutions are key. “Prior to Comcast Business, we were using a router-based VPN and had limited visibility into when and why a site was down,” said Don Webb, IT Director of Reef Industries. “Today, we have the ability to receive real-time insights, which are especially important for peace of mind. Comcast Business has been the key to helping us stay connected and informed.” In addition to SD-WAN, Comcast Business now offers Unified Security, a new security solution powered by Versa Networks’ UTM that provides edge protection to block potential cyber intrusions and monitor potential threats. The advanced security capabilities provide an added layer of security against a constantly evolving threat landscape, helping to protect the network and data and providing notifications of potential threats in real-time. “As we moved toward more digital-friendly operations, it was critical to implement enhanced threat management solutions, especially when it comes to protecting sensitive data,” Webb explained. “With Comcast Business’ added security and managed solution, we feel confident we have a strong technology partner for our operations.” Reef Industries also leverages Comcast Business VoiceEdge® UC solution for communications and collaboration needs. With Comcast Business’ fast and reliable connectivity, Reef Industries employees are also able to communicate effectively to deliver premier customer service. “We understand that connectivity is critical in today’s competitive business environment, especially as the proliferation of smart machines and connected devices increases in the manufacturing industry,” said Vince Margiotta, Vice President of Comcast Business for the company’s Houston Region. “We’re pleased to work with Reef Industries to help keep its operations running quickly and more secure from potential threats.” About Comcast Business Comcast Business offers a suite of Connectivity, Communications, Networking, Cybersecurity, Wireless, and Managed Solutions to help organizations of different sizes prepare for what’s next. Powered by the nation’s largest Gig-speed broadband network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and one of the leading service providers to the Enterprise market. Comcast Business has been consistently recognized by industry analysts and associations as a leader and innovator, and one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services. For more information, call 866-429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at http://business.comcast.com/social. About Reef Industries Founded in 1957, the original division of Reef, the Griffolyn Company, introduced a newly patented process for the production of internally reinforced film laminates. The resulting high strength and light weight offered easily handled and ruggedly durable constructions never previously available that rapidly replaced heavier, bulkier and more expensive materials. Over the years, new technologies and innovations spawned a variety of new manufacturing techniques and a host of new product lines. The increasing scope and range of production steadily encompassed additional divisions and in 1976 the corporate identity of Reef Industries Inc. was adopted. Today, Reef operates six divisions, Griffolyn ®, Permalon ®, Armorlon ®, TerraTape ®, and Bannerguard ®. Each offers the finest products available. A state of the art manufacturing facility and two leading edge fabrication plants support world wide sales activities, headquartered in Houston, Texas. In-house technical service and research staffs, manned by highly knowledgeable engineers and chemists, work closely with the most experienced sales department in the industry. This outstanding team is uniquely able to provide Reef customers the service they require and deserve. Contact Details Finn Partners Chloe Huard chloe.huard@finnpartners.com Misha McClure Misha_McClure@cable.comcast.com Company Website https://business.comcast.com/

October 20, 2021 09:52 AM Central Daylight Time

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DFA Awards 2021 Winners Announcement

Hong Kong Design Centre

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 19 October 2021 - The DFA Awards is a flagship programme of the Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC). It is comprised of five major awards to acknowledge leaders for their outstanding contributions to the design industry and celebrate projects at the forefront of design excellence with Asian perspectives. Three trailblazers in the world of design have been awarded in 2021: Patrick Whitney, Professor in Residence of Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health - DFA Lifetime Achievement Award (DFA LAA), Min-Liang Tan, CEO & Co-founder of Razer Inc. - DFA Design Leadership Award (DFA DLA), and Freeman Lau, Founder of KL&K Creative Strategics - DFA World's Outstanding Chinese Designer (DFA WOCD). In addition, 180 awards were conferred under the DFA Design for Asia Awards (DFA DFAA). Organised by the Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) with Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government as the lead sponsor, the DFA Awards was launched in 2003 to underpin the role of designers within society, celebrate design excellence with positive influence and impacts in Asia. Upon reflection of this year's awards, Professor Eric Yim, Chairman of HKDC states: "Design is a vital part of Hong Kong, a city that brings people, culture and ideas together. This is especially critical at a time when the world has witnessed so much uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. This year, I am delighted to honour three exceptional leaders: Patrick Whitney, Min-Liang Tan, and Freeman Lau, all have shown through their work, dedication and leadership how design can be used to inspire communities, unite people from all walks of life through one singularity, and contribute to the betterment of society in Asia and beyond." DFA Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (DFA LAA) Patrick Whitney - Professor in Residence, Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health Patrick Whitney is the Professor in Residence of D-lab in the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, a leading laboratory that explores and demonstrates how design methods and frameworks can improve human well-being. He is widely regarded as a thought leader for pioneering the notions of human-centred design and strategic design. He is a highly esteemed speaker at multiple international design events, on topics such as innovation, sustainability and human well-being. Global Entrepreneur Magazine named him as one of 25 people worldwide contributing the most in bringing new ideas to businesses in China. DFA Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 honours Whitney's vast contribution to the design industry through design strategy development, education programmes, and his advisory work to governing design bodies, actively strengthening the relationship between design theory and practice. DFA Design Leadership Award 2021 (DFA DLA) Min-Liang Tan - CEO & Co-founder, Razer Inc. As the pioneer of e-sports hardware, former lawyer Min-Liang Tan is seen as a trailblazer for the younger generation, of someone following their dream and at the same time adding valuable contributions to society. As CEO, Co-founder and Creative Director of the world's leading lifestyle brand for gamers – Razer Inc., Tan has demonstrated how forward-thinking and innovative design can disrupt the gaming industry. DFA Design Leadership Award 2021 honours his leadership throughout the years in pushing the boundaries of the gaming industry and driving industry innovation through design. Under Tan's strategic and creative direction, Razer has gone from a two-man startup to a multinational market leader and Unicorn in the technology world. DFA World's Outstanding Chinese Designer 2021 (DFA WOCD) Freeman Lau - Founder, KL&L Creative Strategics Freeman Lau is a Hong Kong designer, renowned for his art and design innovations. He is the brains behind some of Hong Kong's most iconic designs such as the Watson Water bottle, which earned him multiple awards. The design aesthetics and its functionality has lauded a critical breakthrough in the history of bottled water. In addition, Lau has been tirelessly promoting the development of design in Hong Kong, Greater China and Asia. Lau's creative prowess spans across the entire design spectrum, from graphic design, packaging design, to fine arts. His contributions are widely recognised in society His creative contributions have a significant, cultural impact in Asia, which is best demonstrated by his 'Chairplay' series. The series includes a range of furniture and sculptures, which has been shown worldwide at different exhibitions. The notion of Chairplay is a metaphor for the exploration of different human centric issues and is one of Lau's signature works. DFA World's Outstanding Chinese Designer 2021 honours his devotion and contribution to promoting the design, creative industry and culture of Hong Kong and Asia. DFA Design for Asia Awards 2021 (DFA DFAA) Since its launch in 2003, the DFA Design for Asia Awards has served to celebrate design excellence and acknowledge outstanding designs with Asian perspectives. It has been a stage upon which design talents and corporations can showcase their design projects internationally. It consists of the Grand Award and Category Award. Category Award entries are recruited by open submission to one of 24 categories under four key design disciplines, namely Apparel & Accessory Design, Communication Design, Environmental Design, and Product & Industrial Design; Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit awards are presented to the outstanding projects. Gold award winners from the Category Award and other nominated design projects will be considered for the Grand Award. Dr Joseph Wong, Executive Director of Hong Kong Design Centre mentions that: "Amidst the pandemic, creativity and innovation proves to be the remedy for improving our quality of life. We are pleased to award projects that meaningfully address critical issues such as humanitarian needs, environmental, cultural and sustainable development, revitalisation through technological advancements, and marriage of functionality and aesthetics." The Awards' international judging panel comprises experienced design professionals and experts. Entries were judged and 180 winners through rounds of judging and deliberation were conferred. These awards include 12 Grand Awards, six Grand Award with Special Mention and 162 Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit under the Category Award. This year, companies from Mainland China and Japan are at the top of leaderboard with 52 awards, followed by Hong Kong awardees claiming 41 awards. For more information and the DFA Awards 2021 full list of awardees, please visit www.dfaawards.com. About DFA Awards ( www.dfaawards.com ) In 2003, the Hong Kong Design Centre launched the DFA Awards to underpin the role of designers in society, to celebrate design leadership and exemplary designs and projects with impact in Asia, as well as to recognise the rising force of emerging Hong Kong designers since 2005. The DFA Award, through its five major award programmes, has grown in its international influence in Asia. The five award programmes include DFA Lifetime Achievement Award, DFA Design Leadership Award, DFA World's Outstanding Chinese Designer, DFA Design for Asia Awards and DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award. #DFA About Hong Kong Design Centre ( www.hkdesigncentre.org ) Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) is a non-governmental organisation, and was founded in 2001 as a strategic partner of the HKSAR Government in establishing Hong Kong as an international centre of design excellence in Asia. Our public mission is to promote wider and strategic use of design and design thinking to create business value and improve societal well-being. HKDC's flagship programmes include Business of Design Week (BODW; since 2002) – Asia's leading annual event on design, innovation and brands; DFA Awards (since 2003) – a well-recognised annual awards that celebrate outstanding designs with Asian perspectives; and Knowledge of Design Week (KODW; since 2006) – an annual thematic programme that gathers the global design community to explore how design can solve complex challenges of our society. We also manage a Design Incubation Programme and Fashion Incubation Programme (since 2012 and 2016) – 2-year programmes to nurture future design and fashion entrepreneurs; and launched FASHION ASIA HONG KONG (since 2016) – an initiative combining conversations, interactions and cultural exchanges to position the city as an Asian hub for fashion trade and business development. #HongKongDesignCentre #HKDC About Create Hong Kong ( www.createhk.gov.hk ) Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated agency set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in June 2009. It is under the Communications and Creative Industries Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and dedicated to spearheading the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. Its strategic focuses are nurturing talent and facilitating start-ups, exploring markets, and promoting Hong Kong as Asia's creative capital and fostering a creative atmosphere in the community. CreateHK sponsors the Hong Kong Design Centre to organise the DFA Awards for years and other projects to promote Hong Kong design. Disclaimer: The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials/events (or by members of the project team) are those of the project organizers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Communications and Creative Industries Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee. Contact Details Keith Yip keith.yip@hkdesigncentre.org

October 19, 2021 11:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Agora Data to Present at 2021 NIADA/NABD Convention

Agora

Agora Data’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Chris Barry, is slated to speak at the 2021 NIADA/NABD Automotive Finance & BHPH Expo. Barry will present “Groundbreaking Changes in Auto Financing to Fuel Growth” at 2:15 p.m. on November 2 in Orlando, Florida. Barry will share how new and revolutionary ways of accessing capital can help dealers compete with online retailers and large used-car superstores. Agora is pioneering change in the auto finance industry by completing the first-ever crowdsourced subprime securitizations in December 2020 and May 2021. Agora plans to execute these transactions regularly thereby permitting more and more dealers to tap into the capital markets. “Unlike any other time in history, independent and Buy Here Pay Here dealers are competing with mega-sized auto retailers who have the advantage of abundant capital with low rates and attractive terms. They may not know they have access to their competitors’ “secret sauce,” said Barry, who has more than 30 years of experience in auto lending, servicing, and ancillary products. “That’s why I’m excited to present at this year’s NIADA/NABD convention. I plan to spell out the most beneficial funding opportunities for independent and Buy Here Pay Here dealers, along with some bonus tips on leveraging robust data to improve loan portfolio performance.” At the convention, Barry will also participate in the BHPH Contract Purchasers Capital Panel, moderated by Ken Shilson. During this panel discussion, Barry and other industry experts will reveal the pros and cons of obtaining funding via securitization, bulk purchase or point of sale. Afterward, dealers can talk directly with Barry and the Agora team at the convention’s Finance Fair. “It’s extremely rewarding to see the looks on dealers’ faces when they find out they can now enjoy the same financial advantages typically reserved for big retail operations,” Barry said. “Much like their customers, Buy Here Pay Here dealers are underserved and underbanked. But Agora is here to change that.” Dealers are invited to drop by Agora’s booth #423 any day during the show to discuss the company’s groundbreaking capital solutions and learn how to access Agora’s completely free-of-charge, comprehensive portfolio analytics. About Agora Data, Inc: Founded in 2017, Agora Data’s platform delivers a suite of tools to empower Buy Here Pay Here dealers and finance companies to maximize their success. Agora is disrupting and influencing the industry by connecting its dealers and finance company members to Wall Street and other capital resources previously only available to large dealer groups. Agora Data’s family of auto finance products provides a wide range of critical funding paths so originators can obtain the cash they need to fuel growth. Powered by Agora’s proprietary, radical, AI-infused technology platform, originators now have access to robust data analytics and planning resources to help optimize the performance of their portfolio. Agora Data made history by closing the first-ever Crowdsourced Subprime Auto Securitization in 2020 and followed that up with its second transaction in early 2021. For more information, visit agoradata.com or contact us at 877-592-4672. Contact Details Shelly Vandeven +1 682-282-4130 media@agoradata.com Company Website https://agoradata.com/

October 19, 2021 09:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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B Code Releases New Report, Examines Black Audiences Expectations from Digital Advertising Following a Tumultuous Year

B Code

B Code, a digital media company focused on helping brands and advertisers connect with Black audiences at scale across the digital landscape, today released the Black Attitudes Towards Digital Advertising report, which examines Black consumers’ thoughts towards digital advertising, including preferred channels, content, ad types and more. Over the past year, concerns surrounding underrepresentation and lack of diversity in media were brought front and center alongside the demand for Black voices to be heard and amplified. Since then advertisers have been reassessing how their efforts resonate with and support the Black community. This spurred the development of this B Code study which can be used as a resource to help advertisers understand how Black audiences are responding to different channels, content and ad formats. The Black and African-American population stays connected, is innovative and brand loyal, making them a highly valued audience to brands within the digital landscape. This community accounts for 13% of all U.S. population and 88% of African Americans age 25 and older hold a high school diploma or higher as recorded in 2019. Their spending power is also incredibly strong at $1.4T as of 2019, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, and projected to grow to $1.8T by 2024. “To help close the gap between Black consumers and brands, advertisers must work from the ground up to tailor genuine and respectful messaging that effectively reaches and connects with Black audiences,” says Damian Benders, General Manager of B Code. “With B Code’s new study, we aim to help marketing professionals supplement the work they are doing with relevant creative with information on how to effectively push their messages across digital formats. We need to take advantage of these insights in every step of executing media strategies.” The Black Attitudes Towards Digital Advertising report uses proprietary data collected from the B Code Intelligence Center, which routinely surveys a large panel of Black consumers across target demographics. 568 Black respondents were surveyed from March 17 through March 22, 2021, and they are representative of all main geographical areas of the United States. The report is the second major study released by B Code following the announcement of its inception in June, 2021. Topline insights from the report include the following: Digital Ad Formats & Preferences The Black community is an evolving audience that is eager to stay up-to-date in the tech and the advertising world. While 54% of respondents say they are already likely to click on a digital ad, they are interested in seeing advancements in the ad space, with 45% demonstrating their interest in wanting to see more interactive video ads and other innovative models. Additionally, based on their personal digital behavior, Black audiences are most likely to see an ad on digital apps (72%) and social media (70%). Ad Effectiveness For advertising to connect effectively with the Black consumer, the content must not only be relevant to the reader, but it must also be relevant to the content they often find themselves around. 43% of respondents mentioned that a culturally relevant ad will be most effective in a culturally relevant website, rather than a general one, signaling the need for dedicated spaces in advertising. Also, 53% say an ad that is relevant to them personally will make them more likely to engage which is an indication that there is tolerance for even more personalization. In order for ads to be relevant to consumers, appropriate targeting must be a priority for advertisers. Black audiences are sensitive to their online privacy, with 54% stating that their identity should be protected online at all times and 49% support limiting or eliminating cookies as it will prevent personal information from being shared. Consistent with established best practices, survey respondents mostly prefer ads positioned at the beginning (42%) and at the middle (43%) of the content they are experiencing. Culture & Representation When targeting Black audiences, advertisers must ensure they are considering the ad content decisions that resonate most. Leveraging talent that reflects the diversity of the Black community and leaning into this audience’s desire to see their real stories highlighted will reap rewards be most impactful. Respondents said that an ad would grab their attention if it represented people like them (76%), featured stories of real people that are from the same ethnic/racial group (64%), and included music or other art that related to their ethnic/racial group (50%). Brand endorsements must also include culturally representative elements, with respondents saying they are more likely to pay attention to an ad if it features a Celebrity (67%) or influencer (65%) from their ethnic/racial group. To download the B Code Black Attitudes Towards Digital Advertising report, visit: https://www.bcodemedia.com/black-attitudes-towards-digital-ads About B Code B Code is a data-backed digital media entity focused on understanding Black audiences in order to authentically reach, inform and connect with them in the digital spaces they embrace most. At B Code, our mission is to empower brands with the right tools and resources to deliver meaningful and culturally-nuanced messaging for Black audiences, backed by proprietary data intelligence. Our marketing expertise, innovation, and resources make B Code one of few digital media agencies that can provide it all: Media, Creative, and Data Sourcing. Through the B Code publisher network, we aim to provide digital publishers with growth opportunities and access to increased ad revenue in order to dismantle investment disparities. Our overall insights-driven approach provides a constant pulse on ever-changing Black American sentiments, preferences, and habits. Contact Details North 6th Agency for B Code Paolo Ramos hcode@n6a.com Company Website https://www.bcodemedia.com/

October 19, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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