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NAMEPA’s Maritime Sustainability Passport Awarded to MSC- Mediterranean Shipping Company

North American Marine Environment Protection Association

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) has awarded MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) the “Maritime Sustainability Passport” (MSP) Certificate and Seal. The MSP is awarded to companies, organizations and individuals who meet the requirements of the program which encompasses each of NAMEPA’s six Transparency Pillars in its Corporate Social Responsibility/Environmental, Social and Governance metrics. Stefania Lallai, Vice President Sustainability, MSC said: “We are proud to have received this important recognition from NAMEPA. As a global company led by strong values, MSC has a longstanding commitment to sustainability. For us at MSC, operating responsibly and supporting sustainable global trade is key. Through our business operations, we link global supply chains and facilitate access to markets. We continue investing in innovative, scalable solutions focused on creating positive impact on people, communities and environment.” MSC is the third company to be awarded the Maritime Sustainability Passport. Its global container shipping business qualified for NAMEPA’s MSP by completing all three phases of the program, including supplying supporting documentation for its claims. A team of assessors evaluated their submission to determine whether they meet the CSR/ESG program’s criteria, which upon approval, made them eligible to receive the MSP Certificate and Seal. The goal of NAMEPA’s CSR/ESG program is to evaluate an entity’s corporate governance, the environment and the human element activities. The program provides resources to the maritime industry as a whole and to specific companies and individuals who strive to engage in industry best practices and play a role in creating a sustainable global environment, society and economy. Its Six Transparency Pillars are used as a basis in which to assess the sustainable practices of an organization, company or business. “By qualifying for NAMEPA’s Maritime Sustainability Passport, MSC has demonstrated its commitment to stewardship of the environment, care for its employees, and responsible corporate governance,” stated NAMEPA’s Co-Founder/Executive Director Carleen Lyden Walker. “It comes as no surprise that MSC has qualified for our MSP, as they consistently project best practices in their operations and areas of engagement. We offer them our sincerest congratulations.” The MSP Seal is used to signify the participant met or exceeded the program’s benchmarks, which offer basic guidelines for the maritime industry along with a Tool Kit to help achieve them and develop best practices using CSR/ESG principles. Some of the program’s benefits include increased efficiency, stakeholder visibility and positive global impact and social license. MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is a global business engaged in the shipping and logistics sector. Present in 155 countries, MSC facilitates international trade between the world’s major economies, and among emerging markets across all continents. For more information about MSC’s approach to sustainability, visit msc.com/sustainability. The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is a marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. Visit us at: www.namepa.net Contact Details Carleen Lyden Walker +1 203-255-4686 executivedirector@namepa.net Company Website https://namepa.net/

January 20, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Juicy Juice Partners with Craft Expert Amber Kemp-Gerstel to Keep Kids Inspired At-Home

YourUpdateTV

As we enter a new year, there’s one thing that remains the same, parents will continue looking for ways to keep their kids engaged and inspired at-home. From DIY crafts to games and virtual activities, parents have tried it all and are still left seeking more. Which is why this winter, Juicy Juice, the iconic kids’ juice, has partnered with Disney+ Host and crafting extraordinaire Amber Kemp-Gerstel to help parents foster creativity at home with the launch of the Happy Artist Contest. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/TK9gldE88ZI Everyone has been indoors more than usual, so parents need to find things to keep kids occupied and inspired. Arts and crafts are a great way to keep both kids and parents busy. No matter how old your kids are, there’s a craft, DIY activity or art project for everyone. Kemp-Gerstel recommends giving your child a choice of 2-3 drawing or craft activities to keep them engaged and excited. She believes that creativity is an essential part of a child’s emotional and intellectual development and will helps them in all aspects in life as they grow. Embracing your child’s creativity also gives them the confidence they need to feel good about their “outside of the box” thinking. As a way to foster creativity among kids at home, Juicy Juice launched the Happy Artist Contest, a nationwide contest where kids have the chance for their art to be featured on Juicy Juice packs and win money for art supplies. To participate, parents can submit their child’s drawing of what makes them 100% happy, like a favorite activity, a beloved pet or an element of nature. Entering is easy - through February 28, parents can upload an image of their little one’s artwork using the template and instructions on JuicyJuice.com/HappyArtist. Four grand prize winners have the chance to see their artwork featured on Juicy Juice packs and receive a $500 gift card for art supplies. Ten first prize winners will receive a $200 gift card to upgrade their at-home art set up. For more information, visit JuicyJuice.com/HappyArtist About Amber Kemp-Gerstel: Amber Kemp-Gerstel is the founder and creative director of Damask Love a creative lifestyle blog all about doable DIY. She has been featured on Huffington Post,Buzzfeed, Apartment Therapy and in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. Damask Love was named one of theTop 17 DIY Blogs by Domino Magazine and Top 10 DIY blogs by Better Homes and Garden's Magazine. Amber Kemp-Gerstel was a finalist in Season One of NBC’s Making It - a crafting competition show hosted by SNL’s Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Amber has been featured on the cover of Parents Magazine and you can find Amber on Disney+ as the host of their new, original family crafting show Disney Family Sundays. You can also find Damask Love products at Office Depot and JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores or take a dive on the creative side with her newest venture YayDay Paper Company - a digital subscription service offering delightfully designed stationery, craft projects and planner goodies that you can print from home. 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

January 19, 2021 02:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

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How To Create A Steady Retirement Paycheck That Withstands Any Stock Market Condition by Jennifer Lang Financial Services

Jennifer Lang Financial Services, LLC

Contact Details Jennifer Lang +1 877-487-8926 mail@jenniferlangfinancialservices.com Company Website https://www.jenniferlangfinancialservices.com

January 19, 2021 10:05 AM Eastern Standard Time

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CMMC Center of Excellence & CMMC COE EU Announce Memorandum of Understanding with Gerico Security SRL of Italy

Interoperability Clearinghouse

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Center of Excellence ( CMMC COE ), hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public-private partnership serving the public and private sectors for more than 15 years, in collaboration with the UK’s Parava Security Solutions representing the CMMC-COE in Europe, is excited to announce a partnership with Gerico Security SRL through a Memorandum of Understanding to expand presence across Italy and Europe. This unique partnership represents an agreement to jointly drive education, awareness, and adoption of the CMMC standard and other cybersecurity measures to improve protection and resilience of the global supply chain that supports the Defense Industrial Base network of contractors, partners, vendors, and suppliers around the world. Through this bold collaboration, the parties will pursue initiatives that are mutually beneficial and deemed critical to the broad adoption and embrace of the CMMC, NIST standards, and cybersecurity best practices including: Sourcing of Senior qualified CMMC/Cyber professionals (both DoD and industry) serving as distinguished guest lecturers in selected events and seminars. Co-sponsorship of selected/approved webinars to gain a prospective on technology and business trends and giving insight to help propagate innovation that leads to crafting better industry proposals in response to DoD requirements. Co-Developing CMMC/Cyber Training and Education programs that will accelerate CMMC certification AND improved cyber protection and resilience “This is exciting opportunity for us”, said Mr. John Weiler, Chairman of the Board at CMMC Center of Excellence, “This new partnership will further help advance the goals and objectives for improving the supply chain security and resilience of the US Department of Defense (DoD)”. “This is a great moment for the deployment of cyber security and CMMC for the European Defense Industry Base. said Andy Watkin-Child of Parava Security Solutions, who also leads the CMMC COE EU. Having Gerico as a Partner in Italy brings their unique cyber security skills to support companies within one of Europe’s Largest Defense Partners deploy CMMC and cyber Security”. “We are proud of the strategical and cultural relationship between our Countries within which this agreement can be considered to be a missing peace. In an era of asymmetric cyber warfare, cybersecurity is the primary defense tool of the western industrial systems and, we believe that the CMMMC model will be used within both the defense and civilian sectors”, said Mr. Giustino Fumagalli, CEO of Gerico Security. Gerico Security SRL is the CMMC’s reference point in Italy. Through the CMMC-COE and PARAVA agreement, Gerico is aimed at supporting the main defense parties on both sides of the Atlantic and is aimed at defining and achieving high levels of cybersecurity both on large and small Italian companies belonging to the DoD’s Defense Industrial Base. Gerico Security is an Italian center of excellence in advisory on information & cyber security, business continuity, internal and third-party audit and security inspection activities. Gerico supports private organizations in business process certifications through the provision of turn-key projects of Governance Risk & Compliance. For more information on the CMMC COE, please visit http://cmmc-coe.org email info@cmmc-coe.org or call 703-863-3766 For more information on the CMMC COE EU, please visit https://cmmc-eu.com/ For more information about Parava Security Solutions, please visit https://www.parava.org/ For further information about Gerico Security, please visit www.gerico-sec.it or send an email to info@gerico-sec.it About Us ---------- CMMC-COE.ORG is a unique non-profit public-private partnership, with a vision to accelerate Cybersecurity Maturity Model (CMM) adoption, and reduce time & cost for security compliance for our partners by leveraging commercial best practices, CMMC standards, and innovative solutions for a measurable success. Our mission, focused on DOD mission objectives, cost containment and expeditious CMMC compliance, is to help the DIB improve cyber posture and resilience, and simplify its acquisition. The CMMC-COE is hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public/private partnership (P3) chartered in 2007 as an honest broker to reach outside the confines of the Federal IT advisories that lack dynamic reach into the Global IT Market, and dedicated to the adoption of commercial IT management standards of practice and innovations emanating from the Global IT market. Team IT-AAC has already demonstrated the value of its decade long investment, and provides a unique value to agencies seeking to achieve accelerate the transformation of legacy processes and systems. Our Just-in-Time SMEs apply an innovative suite of Technology Business Management and Agile Acquisition Processes needed to assure the business value of commercial IT. The Interoperability Clearinghouse (ICH), is the managing partner that make up the 24 NGO/SDO organizations that make up the IT-AAC. ICH provides the contract vehicles, clearances, and critical resources proven to guide sustainable, measurable and repeatable processes needed to drive better investment decisions as the speed of mission need, while aligning existing processes, methods and workforce with IT reform mandates contained in Clinger Cohen Act, FITARA, IT MGT Act, EO13838. Contact Details Bob Dix +1 703-975-6633 bob.dix@it-aac.org Company Website https://cmmc-coe.org

January 19, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Loveland, Colorado Celebrates 75th Valentine Anniversary With Socially-Distanced Activities and Themed Local Beverages

Loveland Chamber of Commerce

*Note to Media: Download additional photos and video here. For 75 years, Loveland the nation’s Sweetheart City has been spreading love and joy across the world by re-mailing valentines with a special stamp and poem. Today, Visit Loveland and partners celebrate the program’s diamond anniversary by unveiling details on reimagined sweetheart season activities in the city. “The Valentine Re-Mailing Program put Loveland on the map as the nation’s Sweetheart City 75 years ago and today, we take our role in sharing love very seriously with activities and more ways for visitors to celebrate,” said Cindy Mackin, visitors services manager for the City of Loveland. “From love lock sculptures and festive art and light displays to our socially-distanced group wedding, scavenger hunts, and more, we welcome everyone to Loveland to spread the love this valentine’s season.” Re-Imagined Sweetheart City Activities Experience any of the following socially-distanced activities across the city in February. Specific dates apply for each. Check out the most up-to-date details on all here. Valentine Group Wedding | Feb. 14 | $95 per couple: What could be more romantic than saying "I do" on Valentine's Day in the Sweetheart City? Now more than ever, celebrating love and connection is needed. Loveland, Colorado is known for being the best place in the country to celebrate Valentine's Day. To honor love, My Big Day hosts an annual wedding on Feb. 14 where couples get married or renew their vows with a special custom ceremony and romantic touches. Careful accommodations and adjustments are being made for the 2021 wedding which will be held at Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. Tickets and details are available at ValentinesDayInLoveland.com. Love Locks | Available year-round | Free; can purchase love lock for $20 at Visitors Center: Loveland is home to two of the largest love lock sculptures in the U.S. Love locks are a symbol of love and commitment that has been inspired by an ancient custom where lovers lock a padlock on a chain or gate and then throw away the key, symbolically locking their love forever. The love lock sculptures allow love locks to stay locked forever in the nation’s Sweetheart City on a beautiful piece of art. The Quest for Dan Cupid - A socially-distanced scavenger hunt | Feb. 1 - 15 | Free: What is Valentine’s Day without Dan Cupid? Join our quest during the first two weeks of February to find him and bring him back in time for Valentine’s Day so he can shoot his arrow of love to those across the world from the nation’s Sweetheart City. Participants will be entered to win the ultimate Loveland experience trip worth over $500 with hotel stay, food, shopping, and more. Free and open to the public. Lights and Art Installations | Various dates | Free Downtown: Valentine-themed lights can be found across Loveland to celebrate valentine's season. Head downtown for the “Something RED” art installations and community mural from the Creative District, the Tunnel of LOVE, and valentine displays in the Foundry Plaza. “Something RED” features local artist interpretations of the color RED - the color of action, violence, heat, luck, happiness, and passion. Installations include glowing symbols of love and luck, sailors’ valentine, and even a robot cheering up his broken-hearted friend. Windows will feature a speakeasy collage, video work, and even a pair of Firebirds from Feb. 12 - March 12. Participants can also help create the “Stamp” Your Love community mural that is on display at the corner of 4th Street and Lincoln Ave. Artist Scott Freeman is working with the Loveland Museum to set up a socially-distanced, safe experience for community members to create pieces for the mural. Time slots to paint are during specific times Jan. 27 - Feb. 10. Registration opens on Jan. 20 at lovelandmuseumgallery.org. Loveland Lights at Chapungu: Chapungu Sculpture Park in Centerra will be lit up with thousands of red and pink lights and sweetheart-themed decor backed by romantic music from Feb. 1 - 14. The lighting display is free and open to the public from 5-9 p.m. every evening. Sweetheart Classic Race | Feb. 13 | $30 for singles | $55 for couples: The 2021 Sweetheart Classic takes runners on a course with diverse terrain and views, from downtown out to River's Edge Natural Area. Socially-distance start times for waves, no in-person award ceremony, and other safety measures are in place to ensure safe, healthy fun. Runners can bring a sweetheart and participate together or single runners can be on the lookout for that future running partner. Be My Valentine - An Evening at the Rialto | Feb. 13 | free concert with a suggested donation of $40: Enjoy Valentine’s Day date night in the comfort of your own home with live concerts streamed from the Historic Rialto Theater in downtown Loveland. This is a fundraiser for Backstage Rialto. Lovely Valentine Libations Head to Loveland to taste delicious locally-produced beverages only found in the Sweetheart City during the first two weeks of February or until they sell out. 2021 Loveland Valentine Wine: Sweet Heart Winery in Loveland has produced the Loveland valentine wine - a Valentine’s Day 2021 special edition 2018 Malbec with a special label from Loveland artist Billie Colson. This medium-bodied Malbec is a delight with bright red berry aromas on the nose. This fruit-forward wine continues to entice with notes of sugarplum, red cherry, and black raspberry. With a hint of baking spice and sweet tobacco on the finish, this wine is a pleasure to drink - perfect for sharing with your valentine. There will be 400 bottles of this wine available on Feb. 2 at Sweet Heart Winery. 2021 Loveland Valentine Beer: The Bleeding Heart, the 2021 official Loveland valentine beer produced by Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, is a barrel-aged Baltic Porter brewed with vanilla and bourbon. 2021 Loveland Valentine Coffee: The Sweetheart Blend official coffee for 2021 is a Gingersnap flavor by Top of the Lakes that will be sold at the Loveland Visitors Center. About Visit Loveland The mission of Visit Loveland is to enthusiastically promote, market and sell Loveland, Colorado as a destination for meetings, conventions and individual travelers, fostering economic development and benefiting and supporting members and the overall business community. It is Visit Loveland’s goal to promote tourism, conventions and related activities within the city by marketing the city and sponsoring destination and community events. Learn more at VisitLovelandCO.com. Contact Details Nicole Yost +1 970-776-9980 Nicole@FynPR.com Cindy Mackin 970-290-8810 cindy.mackin@cityofloveland.org Company Website https://www.visitlovelandco.org/

January 14, 2021 08:06 AM Eastern Standard Time

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CMMC Center of Excellence Announces Memorandum of Understanding with Women in Cybersecurity Mid Atlantic

Interoperability Clearinghouse

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Center of Excellence ( CMMC COE ), hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public-private partnership serving the public and private sectors for more than 15 years, is proud to announce a Memorandum of Understanding with the Women in Cybersecurity Mid Atlantic affiliate. This unique partnership will extend efforts to advance the goals and objectives for improving the cyber and supply chain security and resilience of the US Department of Defense (DoD) global Defense Industrial Base (DIB) network of contractors, suppliers, and vendors. The executed MOU establishes a cooperative agreement between the Women in Cyber Security Mid Atlantic and CMMC COE to partner in the furthering of their respective and complementary missions and objectives regarding the adoption, use, and expansion of CMMC based cybersecurity practices for the DIB contractor community and the information and communication technology community creating a broader CMMC ecosystem to improve security and resilience. Specific actions will include: The co-development of CMMC advisory services, cyber training and education programs to accelerate CMMC certification, increase cyber adoption and improve cyber protection & resilience. Expand and drive diversity across the cybersecurity workforce Co-sponsor symposiums, training programs and podcasts leveraging their combined cyber and IT expertise. Host regular working groups, with other partners, to enable collaboration and communications. Establish an independent Industry Cyber Security Advisory Council with peer organizations to advise and educate leaders across government and industry on the continued evolution and effectiveness of CMMC Through this exciting partnership, the CMMC-COE ( www.cmmc-coe.org ) will also focus on bringing together the many disparate cyber and national security communities of interest to reduce complexity, improve awareness, and accelerate industry effort to become more cyber resilient against the growing threats from nation states and criminal enterprises. The CMMC-COE establishes both a Market Place and Knowledge Clearinghouse that will include resources that support the overall effort, including white papers; tutorials; recorded webcasts; presentations; and more that will help reduce the cost and burden on small/medium size contractors already struggling from the impact of COVID. The CMMC-COE partner network will be sharing a wide range of capabilities from member organizations, including; cyber standards frameworks, education, solution architectures, cyber mentoring, workforce, and other elements needed to scale to the demands of the entire DIB market place in the US and abroad (400,000+ contractors). “This is exciting opportunity for us”, said Mr. John Weiler, Chairman of the Board at CMMC Center of Excellence, “This new partnership will further help advance the goals and objectives for improving the supply chain security and resilience of the US Department of Defense (DoD)”. “The WiCyS Mid-Atlantic is excited to team with the CMMC COE in efforts to enhance the overall security of the defense industrial base supply chain. This partnership clearly demonstrates the CMMC COE’s commitment to a diverse cybersecurity workforce, which is key to defending the nation’s cyber critical infrastructure. Creative and inclusive teaming is essential to the CMMC’s success!”, said Ms. Diane M Janosek, Founder and Senior Advisor, Women in Cybersecurity Mid-Atlantic. WiCyS is a non-profit membership organization with national reach that is dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry to share knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring. The initiative was created through an NSF grant (Award # 1303441 ) by Dr. Ambareen Siraj at Tennessee Tech University in 2012, and has grown into a wonderful alliance among academia, government and industry. WiCyS offers mentoring, learning, networking and career development to women at all stages of their cybersecurity careers. Whether you are a student just considering a career in cybersecurity or an experienced leader in the cybersecurity workforce, WiCyS provides tangible benefits and a supportive community. The Women in Cybersecurity Mid-Atlantic Affiliate (WiCyS MAA) is a regional affiliate that covers the geographic areas: South New Jersey, South-East Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia, and will continue to undertake activities to promote recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in cybersecurity. For more information on the CMMC COE, please visit http://cmmc-coe.org email info@cmmc-coe.org or call 703-863-3766 For more information on the Women in Cybersecurity Mid Atlantic, please visit https://www.wicysmidatlantic.org/ About Us ---------- CMMC-COE.ORG is a unique non-profit public-private partnership, with a vision to accelerate Cybersecurity Maturity Model (CMM) adoption, and reduce time & cost for security compliance for our partners by leveraging commercial best practices, CMMC standards, and innovative solutions for a measurable success. Our mission, focused on DOD mission objectives, cost containment and expeditious CMMC compliance, is to help the DIB improve cyber posture and resilience, and simplify its acquisition. The CMMC-COE is hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public/private partnership (P3) chartered in 2007 as an honest broker to reach outside the confines of the Federal IT advisories that lack dynamic reach into the Global IT Market, and dedicated to the adoption of commercial IT management standards of practice and innovations emanating from the Global IT market. Team IT-AAC has already demonstrated the value of its decade long investment, and provides a unique value to agencies seeking to achieve accelerate the transformation of legacy processes and systems. Our Just-in-Time SMEs apply an innovative suite of Technology Business Management and Agile Acquisition Processes needed to assure the business value of commercial IT. The Interoperability Clearinghouse (ICH), is the managing partner that make up the 24 NGO/SDO organizations that make up the IT-AAC. ICH provides the contract vehicles, clearances, and critical resources proven to guide sustainable, measurable and repeatable processes needed to drive better investment decisions as the speed of mission need, while aligning existing processes, methods and workforce with IT reform mandates contained in Clinger Cohen Act, FITARA, IT MGT Act, EO13838. Contact Details Bob Dix +1 703-975-6633 bob.dix@it-aac.org Company Website https://cmmc-coe.org

January 14, 2021 06:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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COVID-19 Creating Retirement Related Risks by Jennifer Lang Financial Services.

Jennifer Lang Financial Services, LLC

Contact Details Jennifer Lang +1 877-487-8926 mail@jenniferlangfinancialservices.com Company Website https://www.jenniferlangfinancialservices.com

January 12, 2021 10:05 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Say 'Cheers!' to Dry January: Athletic Brewing Company offers a 'Dry January" without Compromise

YourUpdateTV

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/Q9AdRSlIG-M Dry January — kicking off the new year by cutting out alcohol for an entire month — is a health trend more people are trying each year. The 12-months of 2020 have been 365 days to forget. While 2021 couldn’t have arrived soon enough, flipping the calendar often means renewing an annual commitment to pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle. For some, this means beginning the New Year with a Dry January and for others, it means elevating their inner athlete to a new level. Regardless of the motive, January is viewed as the month of giving things up – going on diets, cutting back on socializing, and reducing or eliminating alcoholic beverages. Too often Dry January is viewed as full of compromise and for many hard to sustain. Athletic Brewing Company, America’s first brewery dedicated solely to brewing nonalcoholic beers, is changing that thinking with “athletic” beers that are great tasting, low in calories, all-natural, refreshing, and just happen to be nonalcoholic. During a nationwide media tour in conjunction with D S Simon Media and YourUpdate TV, Bill Shufelt Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Company’s” Honoree, 2020 and Co-Founder, Athletic Brewing Company discussed: What “Dry January” is and why it has become such a large trend What’s behind the surge in popularity of the nonalcoholic beer market in the U.S. Ways someone can enjoy a “Dry January” without drinking alcohol What the backstory is of Athletic Brewing Company and why Fast Company named them a “Most Innovative Company” honoree “Athletic Brewing is focused on reminding beer lovers that being dry doesn’t have to be about giving something up and doesn’t have to end in January. It’s about living life to the fullest and above all, living without compromise to the best of your ability each and every day of the year,” said Athletic Brewing Co-founder Bill Shufelt 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

January 12, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Pencil doubles returns for brands with next generation ads created by AI

Stockwood Strategy

Online video ads can now be generated by artificial intelligence (AI), while learning what resonates with audiences, in order to deliver better results for brands. This innovation is being pioneered by Pencil, the Creative AI company, with the launch of its Machine Generated Creative (MGC) platform. US online sales reached almost $800 billion in 2020, up by 32% year-over-year fuelled by the pandemic*. Over ten million advertisers bought over $80 billion of Facebook ads last year, and research consultancy Nielsen has estimated that creative design can drive almost half of campaign performance. Learning Pencil’s MGC video ads, which are each unique and can be generated in 1 minute, have dozens of creative parameters which can be tracked and analysed through the Pencil platform. Using historic ad performance data, Pencil is able to understand what in the ad is resonating with customers. It can then generate new batches of ad ideas which are new and distinct, but which share winning characteristics with past winners. In this way Pencil learns what works while continuously exploring new ideas that might resonate with audiences. For example, a flashlight brand using Pencil may generate a first batch of ads and find that those pitching battery life outperform those pitching brightness. The brand may then generate more ads exploring how battery life is important when keeping a flashlight in the car for emergencies. Performance Pencil analysed over 100 campaigns that used MGC video ads over the past 6 months and found the best MGC ads delivered an average return on ad spend (ROAS) 2x that of other ads the brands were running. One brand’s MGC campaign delivered 7x higher ROAS. Will Hanschell, CEO and co-founder of Pencil commented: “Great ad campaigns are born from many creative ideas that are distilled down to a few. We are doing exactly this, extremely quickly, using AI. In launching MGC, we want to bring speed, insights and new ideas to marketing teams who care about both the creativity and the results of their ads - that means all marketing teams. Our platform uses the same brainstorm and refine process that creative teams have always used, which means creative teams can collaborate with the platform or use it to automate their day-to-day experimentation.” “Video ads have been dominating marketing campaigns around the world, even more so in 2020 as businesses have pivoted to ecommerce and social channels to engage new customers. The Pencil platform allows brands affordable access to the most powerful AI technology available today to deliver badly needed growth for their businesses, from day one.” Technology Pencil leverages proprietary technology to generate ad video, derive insights and make predictions, as well as integrating the OpenAI API to generate ad copy. The OpenAI API provides access to GPT-3, one of the world’s most powerful language models. Pencil is among the first companies approved to use it commercially. This approval requires strict criteria in AI safety and ethics. GPT-3 allows Pencil to go beyond generating product descriptions, and begin to generate entirely new narratives around a brand or product. For example, pitching a flashlight in an ad by first establishing that working in the dark can be dangerous. This makes Pencil’s ads more compelling to potential customers, and therefore more effective for brands. “Our ads are able to learn from what works for the people - like you or me - who see them and click on them. Our platform gives brands a tool to build a deep understanding of what’s working, what isn’t and what they should try next. We are generating ideas and campaigns that self-learn, providing brands with new insights and a way forward to grow their businesses. With the 2x better results we’ve already achieved at 10x less time and cost, we believe AI will be as fundamental to creativity in the future as the pencil was in the past.” adds Will Hanschell Ends *eMarketer, US Ecommerce Growth Jumps to More than 30% About Pencil Pencil is a Creative AI company on a mission to generate unexpected ideas that get results. Pencil generates ads that learn to perform, delivering the return on ad spend that helps brands scale their businesses. Pencil invented Machine Generated Creative (MGC), a new way of making ads that algorithmically optimises for creative novelty, brand relevance and return on advertising spend. It always starts from a human brief and it always involves total human editorial control. Pencil’s MGC platform generates ads in minutes and has been shown to generate ads that double returns for brands. Pencil was founded in 2018 with a team from Google, Facebook and Uber and is backed by Sequoia, Wavemaker Partners, Singapore Innovate and Entrepreneur First. Contact Details Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://www.trypencil.com/

January 12, 2021 06:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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