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WhatsApp customer engagement tool WATI.io raises $10m

WATI

WATI.io (WhatsApp Team Inbox), a comprehensive WhatsApp customer engagement tool for small businesses, has raised $8.3Mn in Series A led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from Surge, Base Partners and several prominent angels including Gokul Rajaram, a member of the DoorDash executive team and and board member at Coinbase and Pinterest. WATI.io has over 3,000 customers across 54 countries including India, Indonesia and Brazil. Over the last 6 months, WATI’s customer base has seen a 4x growth, revenue has grown 5x and 100 million messages have been processed. They are now a 41 member team across seven countries. With this fundraise, they have raised a total of $10M in the last six months. The funds raised will be used to bolster technology and product development by expanding product integrations. It will also be used to double the team size and improve their presence in Latin America. Messaging is the most pervasive way humans connect today. COVID-19 has shifted our lives online. Customers expect brands to serve them on channels they are most comfortable with. So, when customers are able to reach out to brands on platforms like WhatsApp that they are already familiar with, it builds a higher level of trust for the brand. While many solutions for enterprises to achieve this shift exist, tens of millions of SMBs globally are left underserved. To meet customer expectations, SMBs resort to using WhatsApp on their personal phones. This leads to bottlenecks with relevance of the support and the inability to scale. WATI.io, launched by Ken Yeung and Bianca Ho in late 2020, addresses this gap. Built on WhatsApp’s API, it helps small businesses personalize conversations with customers at scale. WATI.io helps ​​customer support, marketing and sales teams engage with customers using a single WhatsApp number. Since brands are able to get a holistic view of customer conversations across teams, they are also able to provide a better user experience. WATI.io solely focuses on building tailored experiences on WhatsApp enabling them to quickly iterate on new features on the platform as well. “WATI’s mission is to help businesses do more with less. Our one-click integration with the most commonly used tools like Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. enables businesses to provide holistic customer experience at scale. We look to use this funding to attract world class talent to help us build this.” Ken Yeung, CEO Businesses love WATI.io because it helps improve customer satisfaction without additional workforce and in turn helps improve revenue. This is possible with automation through WATI’s low-code workflow builder without being dependent on developers. Through WATI’s API, SMBs can send programmatic personalised notifications from their system. Especially in the case of ecommerce businesses, WATI’s one-click integrations with tools like Shopify, reduces abandoned cart rate and helps increase revenues. Marketers also rely heavily on sending targeted notifications to drive sales. High growth startups are able to derive value with WATI’s suite of tools which empower them to collaborate and move fast. In addition to thousands of SMBs, WATI’s clients include Dukaan, Oppo, VU TV, Gojek, Grab, Aerostreet. “WATI is on a mission to help hundreds of millions of SMBs across the world communicate more effectively with their customers on one of the most ubiquitous messaging platforms - WhatsApp. They’ve achieved terrific growth rates this past year while breaking even, but what is more exciting is the expansive set of product possibilities in front of the company as they capitalise on the market opportunity. Sequoia Capital India is excited to deepen the partnership with Ken and Bianca in the next stage of their journey of building WATI.” Abheek Anand, MD, Sequoia India About WATI Founded in 2020 in Hong Kong, WATI.io helps companies have personalised conversations with customers at scale. Built on WhatsApp’s Business API, it is an easy-to-use customer engagement software that focuses on automation and one-click integrations to help businesses do more with less. WATI.io has been an official partner of WhatsApp since 2019, and was part of Surge 05, Sequoia India’s rapid scale up program for early stage startups. Contact Details WATI Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://www.wati.io/

December 08, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Jock MKT User Turns $20 Into Over $110,000 Through the “Stock Market for Sports”

Jock MKT

Jock MKT (Jock Market), the company turning sports into a stock exchange, announced one of its users has accumulated $113,420 in lifetime net winnings on its platform. Drew Heinl of Columbus, Ohio gradually accumulated his winnings since joining Jock MKT in October 2020. As of Dec. 7, 2021, he has executed over 15,000 trades in cash markets for the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and PGA Tour. “Netting six figures on Jock MKT has been a ride I could have never imagined,” said Heinl. “Unlike traditional sports betting where outcomes are binary, Jock MKT allows me to use my skill and knowledge of sports in a way where I’m growing my wealth gradually and limiting my risk with regular guaranteed payouts. This wasn’t an overnight instant success. I worked hard. But I’ve had an absolute blast doing it.” Heinl is not the only Jock MKT super-investor creating his own “bull market” on the platform. Five users have executed over $1 million worth of trades and several are close to joining Heinl in the $100,000+ Jock MKT club. “We love following the journey of Drew and so many of our other users who have seen incredible returns on Jock MKT,” said Tyler Carlin, CEO of Jock MKT. “We offer a platform where you can start with a small deposit and grow it into a significant amount of money over time.” Available in 35 U.S. states, Jock MKT’s main differentiator is its cash market format – this unique offering gives users more flexibility and optionality versus typical daily fantasy contests. Users can join at any time and for any dollar amount. They can buy and sell shares of athletes in real-time, cash out early by selling to another user in-game or hold to the end and receive fixed Jock MKT payouts tied to final player rankings based on overall fantasy scoring. Each cash market starts with an “Initial Player Offering,” or an IPO, where users have their first opportunity to bid on shares before any contest. About Jock MKT Headquartered in Boston and launched in 2020, Jock MKT ( JockMKT.com ) is a skill-based fantasy gaming platform where users can make real money – every minute, every second, of every game. Inspired by a traditional stock exchange, Jock MKT allows users to buy and sell shares of athletes in real-time. Jock MKT was co-founded by Tyler Carlin and investors include Left Lane Capital, Will Ventures, Ryan Moore, Brandon Adams, Benjie Cherniak, Tim McSweeney, and Alumni Ventures Group. Available in the U.S. in 35 states, Jock MKT offers gaming options for events tied to the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and PGA Tour. Contact Details Eric Nemeth nemeth@ericpr.com Company Website https://jockmkt.com/

December 07, 2021 08:09 AM Eastern Standard Time

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U.S. Sees Sharpest Rise in Independent Workforce in More Than 50 Years

MBO Partners

MBO Partners released its 11th Annual State of Independence in America report, the country’s longest-running end-to-end study of the American independent workforce. In the year of the Great Resignation, there was a record-breaking 34% surge in people choosing independent work. This segment jumped from 38.2 million in 2020 to a whopping 51.1 million in 2021. “This year may be remembered as the seminal moment when work forever changed,” said Miles Everson, CEO of MBO Partners. “An undercurrent that has been simmering reached a boiling point when people were forced out of the office and into alternative work arrangements. This is the largest shift we have seen in the workforce in decades.” Below are five trends revealed in this year’s data report. Workers cut the cord on fixed locations. Freed from the confines of working in a single onsite location, many took remote work on the road. The number of digital nomads rose from 10.9 million in 2020 to 15.5 million in 2021, a 42% increase. Most of the nomads were traditional workers, but the number of independent digital nomads rose 15%, from 4.6 million in 2020 to 5.3 million in 2021. Collaborators are the new colleagues. Independents refer work and share the load with other independents. Twenty-five percent find assignments through other independents. And in the past 12 months, 25% of full-time independents said they had teamed up with independent workers or microbusinesses in their work, up from 19% in 2020. Collaboration is even higher for independents in the creator economy with over half (55%) reporting that they are teaming up with other content creators on projects. Even independents are haunted by the 1%. The U.S. has long been seen as a two-tier economy, with those at the very top thriving while many at the bottom struggle. We see this effect replicated in the independent workforce with those having in-demand skills and credentials able to charge a premium for their work. Inflation drives moonlighting 2.0. The rising cost of living and the loss of payroll jobs is driving more people to supplement their income with independent work. Part-time and occasional independents are the fastest-growing portion of the independent workforce. For those who became part-time independents in the past year, 73% cited supplementing their income as the reason. Platforms become independent launching pad. As independent work has become more mainstream, we have seen a rise in businesses that facilitate this way of work. Online platforms and marketplaces are powerful facilitators that let independents find work, learn new skills, and explore new markets. The trajectory of these platforms has been one of the most powerful growth stories in this survey. In 2011, only 3% of independents reported using an online talent platform in the previous 12 months. But in 2021, an impressive 40% said they had done so in the past year. And an even higher number – 43% – said they planned to use an online talent platform in the coming 12 months. For more information or to obtain a copy of the 11th annual State of Independence report, please visit https://www.mbopartners.com/state-of-independence/​. About MBO Partners®​ MBO Partners is a deep job platform that connects and enables independent professionals and microbusiness owners to do business safely and effectively with enterprise organizations. Its unmatched experience and industry leadership enable it to operate on the forefront of the independent economy and consistently advance the next way of working. For more information, visit​ ​mbopartners.com​ Contact Details Karen Swim +1 586-461-2103 karen@wordsforhirellc.com Company Website https://mbopartners.com

December 07, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Chaparrals Defeat Nassau Community College 34-29 For NJCAA Division III Football Title

College of DuPage

A championship game figured to have a championship moment. And this one belonged to the College of DuPage Chaparrals, who are the inaugural National Junior College Athletic Association Division III football champions. Freshman wide receiver Matthew Brown broke free from his wide-out position with 21 seconds left in the game, and quarterback Brooks Blount connected on a 33-yard touchdown pass for a come-from-behind 34-29 title victory over Nassau (N.Y.) Community College before a crowd of 2,500 on a brisk December afternoon at COD’s Bjarne Ullsvik Stadium. “I guess it is the biggest play of my life,’’ said Brown, an Aurora native who earned the game’s most valuable player honors for his only catch of the day. “There was no way I wasn’t going to score. I even extended my hands to break the plane so it would count.’’ The Chaps survived against the visiting Lions, who overcame a 21-point deficit with 22 unanswered points in the second half, eventually grabbing the lead with 40 seconds left on Joshua Arevalo’s 28-yard field goal for a 29-28 lead. Chaps head coach and national coach of the year Matthew Rahn said that with 40 seconds left and one time out remaining, the game may have seemed dire, but his team was prepared for one last successful final drive. “In all probability, we’re looking to get in range for a field goal attempt,’’ he said. “We had the time and a time out to make something happen.’’ After Nassau’s successful field goal, the Chaps’ Jessi Plunkett took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 18 yards to the COD 44. On first down, Blount scrambled and went up the middle for an eight-yard gain. A personal foul was called on a late hit, and that moved the Chaps 15 yards closer to the Nassau 33. After an incomplete pass, the game-winning play called for a mesh pattern, where Brown lined up on the right side with teammate Chase Mendoza to his immediate left. “I thought Chase set a great pick, and I was able to run and get open on a seam route to the inside,’’ Brown said. “Matthew was the primary receiver on the play,’’ Blount said. “I saw that he had maybe a step-and-a-half on the d-back and that was enough to get the pass to him.’’ And just like that, the Chaps drove three plays in just 13 seconds and held on to secure the first national championship for the sport in school history. The Chaps (9-2 overall) were in command throughout the first half, leading 14-0 thanks to a one-yard touchdown from Tom Trieb in the opening quarter, and a 76-yard scamper from Darrell Smith with 48 seconds before halftime. The Chaps padded the lead to 21-0 on a Blount five-yard pass to tight end Jack Dorsey early in the third quarter. And after Nassau scored its first touchdown of the game, a 16-yard pass from Michael Batton to John Beaubrun, the Chaps regained momentum when sophomore Lazerick Eatman returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards and COD led 28-7 with 9:43 left in the third quarter. It seemed as if Green and Silver were in complete control. The Lions, however, scored three straight touchdowns — two from the arm and one on the ground from quarterback Michael Batton — to pull within two points at 28-26 when Ka’Shaun Parrish caught a 35-yard touchdown with 6:21 left in the game. Smith led the Chaps in rushing with 170 yards on 21 carries. Blount was 17-of-27 for 130 yards, two touchdowns and was sacked four times. Mendoza led in receiving with four receptions for 53 yards. Defensively, Chase Graham and Danarius Shaw led with eight tackles. Nicholas Wade had the Chaps’ only interception, a grab to conclude the final play of the game. That this championship marks COD’s first in the sport wasn’t lost on Rahn, who is an alum. “I talk with alumni who were here in the 90s, and those who played afterward,’’ he said. “And it really is a program built on giving kids a platform to perform, improve their skills and have success. “This is a title that can be shared with and for so many.’’ Nassau finished the season 6-4. Batton was 13 of 24 for 205 yards passing with three touchdowns, and rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries. The Chaps closed the season on a six-game winning streak, all coming after losing at Nassau 17-15 on Oct. 16. Chaps and Nassau This was the second time the two teams met in the postseason. Nassau defeated the Chaps 19-0 in the 1992 Midwest Bowl played in Naperville. COD National Championships The championship is COD’s 35 th in school history. The others are: men — basketball (2002), soccer (1993), golf (1996, 1997, 1998), hockey (1980, 1988, 1990), tennis (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005) and Track & Field (2002, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2021). Women’s title-winning teams are: basketball (2000, 2002), softball (1998, 2000, 2001, 2004), tennis (2007, 2008, 2010), track & field (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2021) and volleyball (1998, 1999). Contact Details College of DuPage Mark Reinhiller +1 630-942-3761 reinhillerm@cod.edu

December 06, 2021 06:38 AM Eastern Standard Time

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deTour 2021 details “Use(fu)less” design festival

PMQ

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 6 December 2021 - deTour 2021, Hong Kong’s design festival, makes its annual returns to central PMQ from 26 November to 12 December. Organised at PMQ and sponsored by Create Hong Kong, the 2021 deTour festival is a collaborative effort between local creative Shin Wong with Trilingual Design’s Chris Tsui and Adonian Chan that links the virtual with the physical through interactive exhibitions, design seminars and workshops under the singular theme “Use(fu)less”. Though rudimentary concepts and thinking, the exhibition encourages audiences to actively rethink the very basic functions of design. deTour 2021 is divided into three main exhibitions presented via 37 workshops and 12 design lectures in both virtual and physical formats, available to the public for free: International Collaboration: Sputniko! “Red Silk of Fate – The Shrine” There’s a single common symbol that ties together Chinese, Japanese and Korean mythologies: the “Red Silk of Fate”. Believed to be tied by the gods to two people that are destined to be together. It is the common subject for Japanese-British artist Sputniko!, who has brought the symbol to life with biotech scientists from NIAS, spun by engineered silkworms and injected with the social-bonding love hormone, oxytocin. Featured through a selection of mediums, from costume design to Japanese short films, each offers an alternative possibility and potential to the red silk thread. For deTour 2021, especially Sputniko! has collaborated with local design firm, Napp Studio & Architects, for a brand-new reimagining of this mythical silk thread. Carefully ribboned through a piece of fabric, the piece is folded to replicate an ancient shrine that’s dedicated to love. It carries new meanings of beliefs and desires, emotions and purpose. Backed by diffused lighting to mimic the soft glow of moonlight, guests are encouraged to admire the ornate floral patterns, and with the ancient lore still fresh in mind, reflect on the meaning of emotion and connection during the time of social distancing, and how innovative biotechnology has granted new meanings to time-honoured tales. Curators’ Choice: Four design installations that present the power of collaboration Philosophy x Design: I know not what CAFÉ (Upper left) Your everyday coffee run is transformed as an experiment; a captivating performance. In “I know not what CAFÉ, designed by Dr Li Hong Ting from local initiative Corrupt The Youth and local designer Renatus Wu, the ordinary coffee-shop experience is completely renewed. Wherever your go-to spot may be, it is the cup of coffee that defines the experience –– design often relegated to a second after-thought. “I know not what CAFÉ” flips this traditional model and brings design to the forefront to demonstrate how the subtle function of spatial design can shape the coffee shop experience –– and personal perspectives –– as a whole. Sound x Design: The Interpreter (Upper right) Just like a piece of virtuosic music, language has its own rhythm and beat. Listen closely and you’ll notice a change in languages will show a change in prosodic patterns: English, for example, is stress-timed, meaning some syllables are longer; others shorter. Cantonese, on the other hand, is syllable-timed, with syllables all of equal lengths; introducing an unmistakable sense of rhythm in every conversation. “The Interpreter” explores the space between sound and music. Ideated by instrument designer Ng Chak Lam of Oblik Soundwork with Sociolinguist Dr Jackie Jia Lou, this sound installation records casual dialogue and transposes into a series of sounds and rhythms performed by a band of musical instruments that repositions everyday conversation into melodic musicals. Typography X Design: Type–11 (Lower left) Does typography matter? This three-part showcase from psychologist Dr Cheung Sing Hang, typographer Keith Tam and graphic designer Mak Kai Hang, is presented via Type-11, a convenience store that explores the presence of typography in our everyday lives. It introduces real-life decisions that typographers face when designing for various situations: How do minor design decisions influence particular perceptions for the efficiency of communication? Type-11 invites viewers to share their own preferences as readers and discuss common typeset issues when reading different circumstances, i.e traditional print from a screen. Sports x Design: Strong Hold Pavilion (Lower right) The growing popularity of bouldering has opened up new avenues for a deeper understanding of the sport. Indoor bouldering, for example, relies on more conversation and communication of discussions regarding climbing routes and techniques in comparison to outdoor climbing. More importantly, it allows encouragement that can effectively motivate climbers to push further. Hong Kong rock climbing athlete, Au Chi Fung, joins sustainable designer, Match Chen, in the creation of “Strong Hold Pavilion”, an experimental installation that explores the effectiveness of team camaraderie and verbal motivation. Can the presence of a full team push you further than an individual practice? Guided by a common training technique in sport climbing –– “hang-boarding” –– viewers are challenged to physically put this theory to the test and discover the “useful” and ‘uselessness” of team camaraderie and verbal motivation in the occasion of self-performance. Selected Entries: 10 locally sourced design groups share creative angles deTour has always operated as an inspiration space for creativity and open exchange between various design facets. This year’s open call entries were met with an enthusiastic response, receiving over 120 design proposals. Along with professional design teams, this year’s deTour 2021 extended to design students. 10 exhibitors were selected based on the 2021 “Use(fu)less” theme and covers an extensive range of concepts including living environment, technology, interpersonal relationship and spatial design. Two highlights include: “ELDER”, designed by JONO Craftspace (Left) - Inspired by the bones in our bodies, “ELDER” reimagines the basic framework of the human figure through the lens of precision manufacturing borne out of the Industrial Revolution. Wood scraps are ingeniously engineered with bionics to replicate the spine, with industry hardware posing as tendons and muscles. It presents a moving art installation that asks, “Can we replicate function shapes of bones in design?” Like those in the human body, the ‘bones’ are subjected to “evolution” overtime to learn new functions –– in this case, the adding of connecting parts impart new meaning and a structural purpose to defunct pieces of wood. “Work in the Woods” (Right) - Ideated by three architects, Anson Kwan, Jackie Cheung and Ryan Tung, who collectively graduated from the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University of London, “Work in the Woods” subjects its viewer to a futuristic look into a mixed work-life reality in Hong Kong’s micro apartments. Inspired by the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, changing realities have prompted us to reassess how we live in the future, with a growing desire to work from home. Redefining the meaning of a traditional workspace, “Work in the Woods” reimagines a space that is intuitive and physical to transform banal working routines. Special Exhibition: Sci-Fi artist Lucy McRae on the future of human existence To encourage further reflection on an item’s intrinsic Use(fu)less”, deTour 2021 invites world-renowned Sci-Fi artist and body architect, Lucy McRae. She is widely known for her thought-provoking pieces that comment on the future state of humankind through installations, photography, artificial intelligence, edible technology and film. At PMQ, McRae shares five of her most iconic pieces that reflect this subject through exploring various limits of the body, beauty, biotechnology and the self. It’s a continuation of her exploration of the cultural and emotional impact on science and technology in redesigning the body and the state of the “Future” viewed while questioning “Who am I?” A virtual exploration of exhibitions and design dialogues at deTour As exhibitions at deTour are available in both physical and virtual formats, it has allowed deTour to become a destination for design enthusiasts near and afar. The installations are all accessible online through the official website, which is dissected into a short explanation and an accompanying audio track. The track can be played and paused throughout for easy addition of noted connotations at points where the listener feels are useful or useless — fitting into the design festival overall theme “Use(fu)less”. For digital visitors, design dialogues are available online and easily accessed via YouTube. It is these interactive features that have allowed deTour to bring a successful, multi-faceted experience to a wider audience. For more information on virtual design festivals, please check back on social media. For more information on the deTour2021 Design Festival, please visit: http://detour.hk Opening Hours for deTour 2021 Design Festival: Date: 26 November 2021 - 12 December 2021 (Official showing of Sputniko! “Red Silk of Fate – The Shrine” on 27 November) Time: 11am to 8pm (11am to 4pm on 26 November) Address: PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong Price: Free Entry About deTour 2021 Virtual Festival: Date: From now till 31 Dec 2021 Link: https://detour.hk/2021/en/ About deTour Design Festival Organized by PMQ and sponsored by Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, deTour is an annual design festival in Hong Kong celebrating the works and ideas of local and overseas designers and creative talent. An event borne to connect the local and international design communities, deTour boosts a curated line-up of exhibitions, workshops, dialogues, debates, and networking events, invites both the public and design professionals to engage and experience design in various perspectives. Devoted to supporting local design talent, deTour stands as an unparalleled collaborative design festival for local and overseas designers through enabling the realisation of creative sparks to design solutions. At deTour, everyone is encouraged to witness and explore the unwavering role of design for a better tomorrow. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/detourhk Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/detourhk/ About PMQ Located in the heart of Hong Kong’s SoHo, PMQ is the landmark of creative industries in Asia’s World City. PMQ has been revived into a creative hub since 2014, housing over 100 Hong Kong Designers, showcasing workshops and studios featuring lifestyle, fashion and accessories, architecture, gifts & premium, homeware and a wide range of other designer goods. Today, PMQ has become the creative platform in supporting up and coming creative talent as well as fostering a community of patrons and lovers of creativity, design and heritage. It is also the hottest venue in town for international arts and cultural events from Hong Kong and all around the world. About Create Hong Kong Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated agency set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR Government) 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 foci 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 has been sponsoring PMQ to organize deTour and other projects to promote Hong Kong’s 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 Ivy Chau +852 9805 0437 ivy@sparkcode.com Jeff Man +852 9096 3411 jeff@sparkcode.com

December 06, 2021 05:37 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Family Gift Guide for the 2021 Holiday Season

YourUpdateTV

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/HDSa4Jb_slc A new survey finds holiday shoppers are planning to spend upwards to $250 per family member this season. Lifestyle Expert, Bethany Braun-Silva has compiled a few family-focused gift ideas sure to satisfy those loved ones who’ve been on the good list this past year. GO BACK TO THE MOVIES: Reports indicate retailers are facing empty shelves this holiday season. Braun-Silva says there are ways around this problem for the average consumer, adding, “There is good news and the outlook for the holiday season is bright. First, families are looking to reunite and connect for the holidays. Second, they’re looking for fun things to do — together.” The lifestyle expert points to giving the gift of experiences as her first tip. “Who hasn’t missed going to the movies,” she asks while reflecting on the immersive, cinematic experience theatres provide with their big screens, booming surround sound and warm, irresistible movie theatre popcorn. “I recommend giving the gift of Cinemark Movie Club, a monthly in-theatre membership program that gets you free tickets, exclusive discounts, and more at all Cinemark theatres across the U.S.,” says Braun-Silva. She adds that holiday shoppers can easily buy a stress-free 12-month gift membership for $99 which comes with 12 movie tickets, 20% off concessions, waived online fees, and additional discounts! The average Movie Club member saves over $100 per year with a Movie Club membership. Braun-Silva says it’s the perfect gift for families because the whole family can benefit from the membership. As monthly ticket credits roll over to the next month if unused, members can save them up to take the whole family, waive the online ticketing fee when booking their tickets in advance and save 20% on everyone’s concessions. Moviegoers can experience all the fun with great family films coming to theatres, including Encanto, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Sing 2 and others. For more, go to cinemark.com/movieclubgift. Social media handles: @Cinemark FUN IN THE SUN: Braun-Silva says don’t be afraid to gift big, saying, “Just imagine the faces of your loved ones when they find out you’ve gifted them a trip to Florida.” VISIT FLORIDA is inviting travelers to gift a heartwarming trip to the Sunshine State — from relaxing beach getaways, family fun at iconic theme parks, to outdoor adventure and unique wildlife encounters. Giving a Florida vacation experience removes the stress of holiday shopping, and to make this even easier, Braun-Silver says VISIT FLORIDA has partnered with Expedia to offer up to 20% off overnight bookings at select hotels throughout the state. This includes the Melia Orlando Celebration - 30% off Family Suite, The Southernmost Beach Resort in Key West - 20% off all rooms, Legacy Hotel at IMG Academy in Bradenton, where the Golf Club features an 18-hole championship golf course, and many others. To give the ultimate Florida vacation experience this holiday season, head to Expedia.com/GiveFlorida. https://www.Expedia.com/GiveFlorida Social media handles: @VISITFLORIDA HOP ON THE WAGON: Families are planning to get out and about this holiday season and into the New Year. As a mom of two boys, Braun-Silva admits that she knows the ins and outs of traveling with children. Enjoying the journey as a family starts with the right transportation. The lifestyle expert recommends the Wonderfold W4 Elite, adding, “It’s the perfect carrier for kids. Babies and toddlers love strolling around in the WONDERFOLD Multi-Function Wagon. They’re secured in a 5-point harness and covered by a UV protected canopy. With high face to face seats with footrests, this stroller wagon makes it easy to take the entire family to the park, beach, campsite, and more!” The wagon’s user-friendly design is easily foldable with minimal assembly required. The one-step folding design allows you to fold and store it in seconds. Its adjustable push handle can be customized to accommodate different heights and needs. Another aspect that Braun-Silva loves is that it’s multifunctional, pointing out that after the kids have outgrown the stroller, the seats can be removed to transform it into a utility wagon — perfect for sports equipment, camping gear, luggage, and so much more! This brand is available on Wonderfoldwagon.com, Amazon, and other retailers. https://www.wonderfoldwagon.com/ Facebook: @ wonderfoldfam Instagram: @ wonderfoldwagon TikTok: @ wonderfoldwagon 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

December 03, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Holiday Hosting Made Simple

YourUpdateTV

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/HPGLegjpG08 This year more than 53-million people are expected to head out and spend time with friends and family. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Mia Syn shares her tips for those taking on the hosting gig and setting the scene for all the fun, food, and festivities. PLAN THE MENU AHEAD OF TIME: As restrictions continue to lift, many Americans are catching up in person with extended family and friends. Syn admits hosting can feel stressful at times, especially after close to two years off, saying, “That’s why I recommend planning the menu ahead of time, including main dishes, drinks, desserts, and the overall presentation.” The Registered Dietician Nutritionist suggests kicking things off with an overflowing charcuterie board filled with a mixture of colors, textures, and flavors, including a variety of cheeses, meats, and lots of veggies. Syn says to make sure to include almonds, adding, “One of my favorites is Blue Diamond’s Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds. They have a kick and a salty, sweet finish. I also like the Honey Roasted Almonds for a sweet flavor with a hint of salt.” She also points to one holiday staple that helps make every gathering a success — eggnog. One brand she turns to is Almond Breeze Almondmilk Nog, calling it the perfect dairy-free version of the classic holiday beverage with the same creamy taste of traditional eggnog. “Having a few cartons of Almond Breeze Almondmilk Nog on hand will make holiday entertaining a breeze,” says Syn. These products are available at grocery stores nationwide. Consumers can also use Blue Diamond’s product locator tool to find a nearby store. https://www.bluediamond.com/ Facebook: @BlueDiamondAlmonds / @AlmondBreeze Instagram: @bluediamond / @almondbreeze Twitter: @bluediamond / @almondbreeze KEEP DESSERTS TOP OF MIND: A menu would not be complete without dessert. It may be a surprise, but Syn is a self-proclaimed “desserts girl,” saying, “They might show up last on the menu, but they’re always top of my mind.” Pies are synonymous with the holiday season, whether apple, pecan, or pumpkin, and she turns to one brand to top them with added flavor. “Reddi-wip is a delicious whipped topping to have on hand for all of your favorite desserts. What you might not know is that there are a variety of options for various tastes and dietary preferences, all with creamy, tasty flavor,” adds Syn. As a dietitian, she really likes Reddi-wip Zero Sugar. It’s a great option for anyone hosting keto-friendly guests or those wanting to cut back on added sugar. It’s made with real cream and has 0 grams of sugar per-serving. Syn also turns to the brands vegan or dairy-free options. Reddi-wip offers two non-dairy varieties in coconut and almond. Both have the creaminess without the added dairy. Shoppers can find Reddi-wip at retailers nationwide. https://www.reddiwip.com/ Facebook: @ReddiWip Instagram: @Reddiwip Twitter: @RealReddiWip STOP DOING DISHES: The Registered Dietician Nutritionist, says that planning the food, fun and festivities can be exciting, but the cleanup is often taxing and requires a lot of time. She says her final holiday hosting tip is sure to shock. “Stop doing dishes! No one likes it, and it takes time away from being with your family and friends. Instead enjoy the holiday experience,” she adds. This time of year is often busy and should be spent on special traditions, making new memories, and being with the ones you love. Syn says The Chinet® brand can help make cleanup easier so partygoers can spend more time with your family. The Chinet Classic® products are made for what’s on your menu — whether main dishes, like a roast turkey, prime rib roast, or an old-fashioned ham with brown sugar and mustard glaze, or the Chinet Crystal® products, that add a fancy touch to meals, perfect for a pork tenderloin, seared duck or scallops, or lamb with garlic and rosemary. The best part, adds Syn, “The Chinet brand helps remove all the hassle of cleanup. When you’re done eating dinner or dessert, you throw everything away and have all that extra time for family fun.” For more information, go to mychinet.com. Facebook: Facebook.com/mychinet Instagram: Instagram.com/mychinet Twitter: Twitter.com/mychinet 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

December 03, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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How to Figure Out Medicare and Choose the Right Plan

YourUpdateTV

Choosing a Medicare plan can feel overwhelming. Ten thousand baby boomers age into Medicare everyday with questions about getting the right, affordable healthcare coverage and finding a Medicare plan that fits their needs. Recently, Keira Krausz, the Chief Marketing Officer at ClearMatch™ Medicare, part of HealthPlanOne, teamed with YourUpdateTV on a satellite media tour to share tips on how to make this year’s Medicare enrollment less confusing. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/58vAvLAhVyIQ For nearly 63 million Medicare beneficiaries or individuals turning 65 who need affordable health plan coverage, Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is here, and it will end in December 7 th. Choosing a Medicare plan can feel overwhelming. According to a recent survey, 58 percent of Medicare members say they don’t look forward to reviewing their Medicare plan, with 23 percent of people sharing that reviewing their plan is as delightful as having a colonoscopy. In 2019, 71 percent of Medicare beneficiaries said they didn’t compare plans during the open enrollment period, according to a Kaiser study published last month. Not comparing plans is a missed opportunity – because each year plans and benefits change – it’s important for individuals to compare their options, and a broker like ClearMatch™ Medicare can easily provide you a simple comparison of best plans. ClearMatch™ Medicare is committed to “de-complexify” Medicare for customers across the country. They match each customer with the right plan at the right place to deliver better health and peace of mind. The company can support customers throughout their Medicare journey, with a focus on the long-term. ClearMatch agents guide customers at every step of the way, from identifying and enrolling in a plan to reviewing coverage each year to make sure customers get all the benefits they deserve. To learn more about this year’s Medicare’s Annual Enrollment period and ClearMatch™ Medicare, go to: clearmatchmedicare.com About Keira Krausz: An award-winning Direct-to-Consumer marketer, Krausz has spent her career focused on the melding of data-driven analytics and compelling creative. Krausz led the launch of the ClearMatch™ Medicare brand. The brand’s purpose is to match each customer with a Medicare plan that delivers the benefits the customer is entitled to, to support better health and deliver peace of mind. The company expects potential customers will benefit from its digital content and then leverage a hybrid approach – an ecommerce platform plus a licensed ClearMatch™ Medicare insurance agent – to gain a solid understanding of options and enroll in a plan. ClearMatch™ Medicare agents, supported by the company, then will build a long-term relationship with each customer to ensure satisfaction. From 2013-2018 Krausz was the CMO and EVP of Nutrisystem, Inc., where her team reversed a seven-year decline and returned the company to sustained growth, to nearly double revenue and quadruple EBITDA. Prior to Nutrisystem, Krausz held leadership positions at Time Inc. and the Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. Krausz attended Cornell University as an undergraduate and has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. 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

December 03, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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DOGTV Launches First Original Program for Pet Owners, “Paws for Love”

DOGTV

DOGTV is premiering its first programming geared toward pet owners with a new docuseries that begins December 9. “Paws for Love” is a show that follows Nashville couple Sean and Christina Conlon — and their golden retriever therapy dog Nash — who sold 90 percent of their possessions to begin a quest to travel around America helping others through therapy dogs. In the Fall of 2019, they went through training and certifying Nash as a therapy dog. Immediately, they started serving around the Nashville area in schools, fire stations, and police stations. They saw people light up around Nash in a genuine and unique way, and knew therapy work was exactly what they were meant to be doing as a family. But once COVID hit, everything came to a screeching halt. Sean and Christina couldn’t serve with Nash any longer, but they knew they had to do something. So they launched Nashies, a single ingredient dog treat company that financially supports therapy dog organizations across the United States. However, they realized it wasn’t just a financial problem these organizations were facing in the pandemic, it was an awareness problem. And in a time where the world needed therapy dogs more than ever, they felt called to do something bigger and more hands-on. In late 2020, they sold 90 percent of their stuff, got an RV, and started traveling the U.S. on the @PawsForLove Tour, volunteering with Nash and creating positive, encouraging content to share on their social media that brings a smile to people’s faces. “We heard very clearly that we needed to shine a bright spotlight on the incredible work that these therapy dog organizations do day in and day out for our communities,” said Sean Conlon. “The reality is that every single one of us needs more love and compassion than we ever have before, and there’s a lot we can learn a lot from our canine companions. And we reacted by doing the only thing we could think to do because of how strongly we felt about this calling. “We sold 90 percent of our worldly possessions because we knew it would take money to accomplish this mission, and we knew it couldn’t wait, so we just started selling our stuff. What we began to realize is the stuff in our life was simply a weight that was holding us back, and was just sitting there idle. But we knew if we could turn that stuff into something that could impact others, we would happily part with it,” he said. The couple embarked on a 15-city tour starting in January 2021. “Paws for Love” tracks their journey through 10 weekly 30-minute shows starting on December 9, with new episodes every Thursday. Beke Lubeach, General Manager and Chief Marketing Officer of DOGTV, said the show is an ideal and entertaining foray into new territory for the network. “This is an incredible series that tells a wonderful story about the dedication of Christina and Sean to improving people’s lives,” she said. “We thought this was the perfect opportunity to expand the impact of DOGTV by telling their story as the first programming we have provided for pet owners. We look forward to sharing ‘Paws for Love’ with the DOGTV family over the coming months.” DOGTV will donate $1 per view of Episode 1 of “Paws For Love” up to $5,000 to the Alliance of Therapy Dogs Junior Handler Program. The program is aimed at educating the younger generations on the benefits of volunteering with their dogs so that they can learn early and have a life of service. Alliance of Therapy Dogs provides testing, certification, registration, support, and insurance for members who volunteer with dogs to visit hospitals, special needs centers, schools, nursing homes, and other facilities and events in their communities. Alliance of Therapy Dogs is a network of caring volunteers who are willing to share our special canines to bring smiles and joy to people, young and old alike across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. DOGTV is planning on rolling out new series for pet parents to watch on a quarterly basis over the next year — marking the first time the channel has aired television format shows for people. DOGTV is now available in the US, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal and S. Korea via cable and satellite providers and Direct To Consumer through their app available on Roku, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, iOS and Android devices everywhere. The channel also has a robust online and social media presence as well. DOGTV’s approach toward pet enrichment is based on more than 60 scientific studies. The channel’s content is focused on behavior and how visual stimuli can impact it, ways to help dogs counter anxiety and stimulation and enrichment through music and sound. About DOGTV DOGTV is a 24/7 channel with programs scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone. Through years of research by some of the world’s top pet experts, special content was created to meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behavior patterns. The result: a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems. To learn more about DOGTV or follow us on social media, please visit: Website: www.dogtv.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dogtv Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dogtv/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DOGTVWORLD NOTE: Interviews available with the Conlons — please contact Tom Evans to schedule Contact Details Tom Evans +1 602-448-5483 tevans@onadvertising.com

December 03, 2021 11:46 AM Eastern Standard Time

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