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Flash Appoints Chris Donus as President

Flash Parking

Flash, the leading end-to-end parking technology platform, today announced that Chris Donus, the current CFO, has been appointed president of the organization. In the newly established role, Donus will expand his focus on day-to-day operations, working closely with the leadership team to execute transformative strategies that include the expansion of Flash’s burgeoning digital demand network, EV charging and parking platform scale, and driving the company’s regionalized branch organization to deliver unmatched partner experiences. Dan Sharplin will continue in his role as Chairman and CEO, focusing on international growth, strategic transactions, and ecosystem partnerships. “This promotion reflects Chris’s exceptional leadership and expertise at this time of tremendous momentum for Flash as we rapidly scale our industry-leading parking and EV charging digital ecosystem," said Flash CEO Dan Sharplin. “In the next 24 months, we anticipate more transformation in the parking industry than we’ve seen in several decades prior. Chris has the relevant experience to ensure we execute on our priorities that allow us to drive this industry transformation.” “We are building a parking and EV charging ecosystem where a seamless driver experience benefits everyone,” said Donus. “There is an incredible amount of innovation and hard work being done across Flash to build the platform and partnerships that further our position as the leader in parking and EV Charging technology. I look forward to ensuring the value we create is incomparable in my role as President of Flash.” Before Flash, Donus served as COO and CFO at Wheel Health, a venture-backed telehealth platform developer designed to connect companies and clinicians to deliver virtual care. He also served in senior leadership roles at Lyft as VP and Business Unit leader of Express Drive, the customer-facing fleet line of business, generating over $400 million in rental revenue and over $2 billion in Lyft rides. Prior to that, he was president of Silvercar from 2015 to 2018 alongside roles as COO, from 2017 to 2018, and CFO from 2012 to 2015. He has also served in leadership roles at Freescale Semiconductor, Hertz Global Holding, and Lucent Technologies. About Flash Flash is a pioneering technology company bringing seamless parking and EV charging experiences to drivers through a first-of-its-kind digital ecosystem. Flash’s platform connects reservable parking and charging in the apps drivers use every day with garage, surface lot, event, and valet parking locations—connected and controlled via a cloud-based operating system with unrivaled intelligence. Customer-obsessed brands partner with Flash to deliver digital, easy-to-use, reliable, and increasingly frictionless experiences to drivers eager to pay for a solution that eliminates wasted time, excess emissions, and stress. The solution has arrived. Contact Details Razor Sharp PR Ray Young +1 512-694-6097 ray@razorsharppr.com Company Website https://www.flashparking.com/

June 27, 2024 10:00 AM Central Daylight Time

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FeedSpot Recognizes Take Pride in Retirement Podcast as a Leading LGBTQ+ Voice for Pride Month 2024

Retirement.Radio

Retirement.Radio, a premier network dedicated to providing essential retirement planning information, announced today that its Take Pride in Retirement podcast has been recognized as a must-follow Pride-related podcast by FeedSpot, one of the web’s foremost aggregators of the “best of” across the internet. This recognition not only underscores the podcast’s commitment to sharing diverse voices and stories from the LGBTQ+ community but also highlights the importance of empowering and representing this community as it navigates its unique challenges during the golden years of retirement. “I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition,” said Matt McClure, founder and host of Take Pride in Retirement. “I started Take Pride in Retirement because I saw a need in my community for retirement planning, education, and assistance. Knowing that the podcast is reaching its intended audience and making a difference in their lives is extremely fulfilling.” The Take Pride in Retirement Podcast, a one-of-a-kind platform, focuses on financial issues relevant to the LGBTQ+ community. It has had the privilege of hosting distinguished guests such as Gabrielle Claiborne, Co-Founder and CEO of Transformation Journeys Worldwide, who has shared invaluable insights on the unique challenges the trans community faces in retirement planning. The podcast has also featured Katie Leikam, a licensed therapist, who has underscored the importance of living wills and estate plans for the LGBTQ+ community. These unique and insightful perspectives testify to the podcast's importance and relevance. Matt reiterates in every episode that the Take Pride in Retirement Podcast remains steadfast in its mission that everyone, regardless of their background, identity, or who they love, deserves a retirement they can be proud of. This commitment to diversity and inclusivity is at the heart of our podcast. It is a testament to our dedication to ensuring that all voices are heard, and all needs are met, making our audience feel valued and included. “The Retirement.Radio team is deeply committed to amplifying these crucial conversations on our radio shows and affiliated podcasts,” said Sam Davis, executive producer for Retirement.Radio. “Our unwavering mission is to provide essential information, ensuring that every senior citizen and retiree, regardless of their background or identity, has the information they need to navigate retirement confidently and clearly. This recognition by FeedSpot is a testament to our dedication to inclusivity and our ongoing efforts to serve all communities.” FeedSpot’s ranking of the Best Pride Podcasts results from a rigorous evaluation considering podcast popularity, content quality, update frequency, and audience engagement. This recognition places the Take Pride in Retirement podcast in an exclusive league of content creators leading the way in celebrating and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and stories. Other podcasts are available through the Retirement.Radio Network, including the Peak Financial Freedom Hour, Retirement Results, Guaranteeing Your Retirement, and the Federal Retirement Show. For more information, visit TakePrideInRetirement.com and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcast. ### About Take Pride in Retirement Take Pride in Retirement is Retirement.Radio podcast dedicated to retirement planning solutions for the LGBTQ community. During uncertain economic times, the safety of your principal is critical to planning a successful retirement. Our goal is to help educate you about ways to protect your hard-earned money while experiencing market-like growth at the same time. LGBTQ people face unique challenges when planning for their retirement future. Everyone's situation differs from legal barriers to a potential lack of family support. Tune in each week as we explore these obstacles and give you tips on overcoming them so you can get on the road to success. For more information, visit TakePrideInRetirement.com and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts. About Retirement.Radio Retirement.Radio is dedicated to providing essential retirement planning information to listeners across the United States. Our licensed financial professionals and insurance agents host weekly radio shows and podcasts, offering expert advice on various topics, including smart tax planning, retirement income strategies, and health care planning. Retirement.Radio is powered by national insurance distribution and marketing leader AmeriLife and features wide-reaching and impactful broadcasts. Our commitment is to help listeners invest wisely, plan effectively, and achieve successful retirement outcomes. Contact Details Retirement.Radio Sam Davis sdavis@amerilife.com Company Website https://retirement.radio/

June 26, 2024 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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FIRST AND LAST PR SUPPORTS BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS BRANDS INTRODUCING NEW PR SERVICES AT BEAUTY INDEPENDENT’S UPLINK EXPO CONFERENCE

First and Last PR

First and Last PR, a communications agency that specializes in public relations, influencer campaigns and social media marketing, renowned for an unparalleled delivery in serving communication solutions to legacy brands announces its two new public relations offerings, tailored specifically to meet the needs of indie and emerging beauty, wellness and lifestyle brands: PR Powerboost for emerging brands and Seasonal Spotlights that will focus on inclusion during key holiday times of the year. “With over 25 years of industry experience, the one thing that remains consistent is that emerging brands need support and should not have to choose between a great communications team and packaging,” said Stephanie Scott-Bradshaw, First and Last PR ’s CEO & Communicator-in-Chief. “When it comes to media relations and digital marketing, we are here to serve. We look forward to seeing more indie and emerging brands grow with our newest service offerings. Whether you're a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand with hopes of being in store or have recently landed at retail, we know that it's not enough to have shelf space. What you really need, is an experienced team with a strategic plan that will help push your brand’s visibility and awareness so that you remain on shelf. That's why we designed these programs for you.” First and Last PR has developed a proprietary communications formula for success that has been proven with a track record of long standing client relations and a range of case studies highlighting brands within beauty, wellness and lifestyle space and more. Recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities within the industry as of late, First and Last PR is leveraging their years of experience and deep understanding of the market by offering even more comprehensive solutions to new clients with two new offerings designed to cater to the distinct needs of brands: PR Powerboost Program: The new service tailors exclusively indie beauty, lifestyle and wellness brands looking to increase brand visibility and establish a strong presence in this saturated market. The PR Powerboost Program includes representation from First and Last PR’s experienced specialists who will actively craft press releases and media pitches, form media relations, create strategic PR plans including development into industry awards and more. With a focus on amplifying brand narratives and generating impactful media coverage, First and Last PR is committed to becoming a partner and empowering your brands to thrive in a competitive landscape. Seasonal Spotlights Pitch Program: As the holiday season quickly approaches, First and Last PR understands the importance of securing placements in top-tier gift guides, maximizing brand exposure and driving sales during the most important time of year. This exclusive new service offering is available to indie clients only, allowing them to stand out during three key holiday gifting times of the year. Each comprehensive four-month public relations campaign is available throughout key moments of the year such as Holiday season; Black History Month and Women’s History Month; Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Graduation time. This unique program will be highly focused and solely be dedicated to pitching beauty, lifestyle and wellness brands to the most top-tier holiday gift guides. With a strategic approach crafted from our seasoned publicists, this targeted outreach ensures your brands’ products will stand out as must-have gifts during the season. For more information on First and Last PR’s new and existing services, please visit FirstAndLastPR.com/Services. First and Last PR is looking forward to learning more about how they can partner with your brand to drive growth, build brand awareness and receive overall success together. About First and Last PR First and Last PR connects your company to the right people. Founded in 2012 by a frustrated beauty editor that wanted to change how brands were being represented in the market and the client experience, this highly regarded and influential public relations agency specializes in creating exceptional experiences and delivering unparalleled solutions to renowned public relations, social media marketing clients. The award-winning, results-focused and skilled at executing unique and purposeful messaging that leverages the power of connections, collaborations and conversations. Contact Details First and Last PR Camille Gordon hello@firstandlastpr.com Company Website https://firstandlastpr.com/

June 26, 2024 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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American Paper Plate Coalition Welcomes Preliminary Duties on Imports from China and Vietnam

American Paper Plate Coalition

Today, the U. S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced its preliminary determination that the governments of China and Vietnam unfairly subsidize their paper plate industries, and the resulting duties on imports from each country: up to 313.14 percent on imports from China and up to 237.65 percent on imports from Vietnam. The American Paper Plate Coalition ("APPC") representing the majority of imports of Amercan paper pllate production, welcomes the decision to impose duties. "The unlawful subsidies received by Chinese and Vietnamese producers have given them an unfair advantage in the U.S. market - this has haad a direct negative impact on American producerrs and employees," said William P. Biggens, Jr., President and Co-Owner of APPC member Aspen Products, Inc. "Imposing duties to offset unlawful subsidies is an important first step to ensuring the future health of our industry. We are encouraged that Commerce has taken prelininary action to restore a level playing field." Today’s announcements address petitions filed by the APPC in January, detailing unfair trade practices to sell unlawfully subsidized paper plates at less than fair value. Commerce began investigating the AD and CVD claims in February. The countervailing duty investigations concerning imports from China and Vietnam are ongoing and may lead to higher final CVD rates. Final determinations in the China and Vietnam CVD investigations are expected in early November 2024. Preliminary determinations in the companion AD investigations of imports from China, Vietnam, and Thailand are due August 22, 2024. “Today’s announcement and the high duties being imposed validate the analysis we presented when we filed these cases and the extent of the problem that drove us to file in the first place,” said Robert Epstein, President and CEO of APPC member AJM Packaging Corporation. “We appreciate the Commerce Department’s hard work and diligent efforts to administer our trade laws as Congress intended.” For more on the petitions, see the APPC’s press release. For more on the ITC’s investigation, see the Commission’s press release. For more on the DOC’s investigation, see the agency’s press release. About the American Paper Plate Coalition The American Paper Plate Coalition, representing the leading U.S. producers of paper plates, is comprised of AJM Packaging Corporation of Bloomfield Hills, MI; Aspen Products, Inc. of Kansas City, MO; Dart Container Corporation of Mason, MI; Hoffmaster Group, Inc. of Oshkosh, WI; Huhtamaki, Inc., of De Soto, KS; and Unique Industries, Inc. of Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit https://www.ajmpack.com/, https://www.aspenpro.com/, https://www.dartcontainer.com/, https://www.hoffmaster.com/, https://www.huhtamaki.com/en-us/north-america/, and https://www.favors.com/ The American Paper Plate Coalition is represented by Adam H. Gordon of The Bristol Group PLLC, a Washington, DC international trade law firm committed to defending American industry, agriculture, and manufacturing jobs. Contact Details Elizabeth Posthumus +1 202-445-9858 elizabeth@eahstrategiesllc.com

June 26, 2024 12:25 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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U.S. Commerce Department Imposes Heavy Preliminary Duties on All Imports of Russian Ferrosilicon

U.S. Ferrosilicon Producers

The U.S. Commerce Department (“Commerce”) today announced preliminarily antidumping duties (“AD”) of 283.27 percent and countervailing duties (“CVD”) of 748.58 percent on all imports of ferrosilicon from Russia. Commerce’s determination is in response to petitions filed by U.S. ferrosilicon producers, CC Metals and Alloys, LLC (“CC Metals”) and Ferroglobe USA, Inc. (“Ferroglobe”), requesting eight AD and CVD investigations into unfairly priced and subsidized imports of ferrosilicon from Russia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Brazil. All eight investigations were initiated on April 17, 2024. The significant duties announced today on Russian ferrosilicon imports address unfair pricing of Russian imports and improper subsidies received by Russian producers and exporters. CC Metals and Ferroglobe welcomed Commerce’s announcement. “Today’s announcement confirms that Russian producers and exporters received massive government subsidies that have allowed them to flood the U.S. market with unfairly traded ferrosilicon imports. This allowed Russia to be the dominant import source, accounting for over 30% of all imports in 2023,” said Marco Levi, Chief Executive Officer of Ferroglobe PLC. “These preliminary duties begin the process of removing the market and price distortions caused by improper Russian government intervention and support.” “Commerce’s decision validates our analysis that Russian producers and exporters have not been playing by the rules of international trade that they agreed to follow,” said Chris Cobb, Plant Manager of CC Metals and Alloys, Inc. “We are grateful to Commerce staff for its hard work and commitment to enforcing U.S. trade laws and ensuring that everyone complies with their international obligations. We look forward to seeing a level playing field restored.” Once Commerce’s determination is published in the Federal Register in the coming days, all importers of Russian ferrosilicon will be required to post cash deposits or a bond to secure the significant potential duties they may owe. Commerce also is continuing its investigations of imports from Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Brazil. In those investigations, preliminary CVD determinations will be made no later than August 12, 2024, and AD determinations will be made no later than October 24, 2024. If the determinations in those cases are also affirmative, provisional duties on imports from Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Brazil will be collected based on the preliminary margins calculated by Commerce. About the CC Metals and Ferroglobe CC Metals traces its roots back to 1949, when it was founded as a producer of large-volume commodity ferroalloys for the steel industry in Calvert City, Kentucky. Today CC Metals is an ISO 9001 certified leading manufacturer of more than 40 different products including 18 different ferrosilicons and more than 20 different magnesium ferrosilicon inoculants, high purity, 3%-9% magnesium and proprietary alloys. CC Metals ships over 100,000 metric tons of finished product annually from its manufacturing facility in Calvert City, KY via barge, rail and truck. Ferroglobe USA, Inc. is a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Ferroglobe PLC, a world leading producer of silicon metal and ferroalloys, serving a customer base across the globe in dynamic and fast-growing end markets, such as solar, automotive, consumer products, construction and energy. Through its subsidiaries, Ferroglobe operates metallurgical manufacturing facilities and mining sites in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, and West Virginia. For more information, visit https://www.ccmetals.com/ and https://www.ferroglobe.com/. Contact Details Elizabeth Heaton +1 202-445-9858 elizabeth@eahstrategiesllc.com

June 24, 2024 05:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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New Scholarship Examines How Changing Generations Affects U.S. Politics

University of Michigan Press

As we approach another presidential election, attention will return to polls and how we can expect voting to vary by generation. Already New York Times articles in 2024 have featured the headlines “Young Voters Have an Entirely Different Concept of Politics” and “Prospect of a Rematch of Biden-Trump Causes Young Voters to Retreat.” Our pop culture often assumes that different generations have different political leanings and beliefs—that the Silent Generation is all Republican, white, and conservative, or that Millennials are liberal and diverse—but are these assumptions true? The University of Michigan Press is publishing a book that explores this very question: Generational Politics in the United States: From the Silents to Gen Z and Beyond edited by Sally Friedman & David Schultz. Generational Politics in the United States From the Silents to Gen Z and Beyond Edited by Sally Friedman & David Schultz Publication Date: June 18, 2024 Cloth ISBN 978-0-472-07676-5 | $90.00 Paper ISBN 978-0-472-05676-7 | $44.95 Open Access ISBN 978-0-472-90444-0 454 pages, 62 figures, 38 tables, 6x9” Distributor: Chicago Distribution Center press.umich.edu/Books/G/Generational-Politics-in-the-United-States2 "What's in a generation? How do we know when a new one begins, while an old one ends? Going beyond public opinion to also explore how generations manifest themselves within elite behavior, this book is bound to be a cornerstone in the study of generational politics and political socialization, shaping the discourse for years to come." — Elias Dinas, European University Institute This is the first comprehensive book that examines the concept of generations from a political science perspective. It brings together chapters from an array of political science scholars that will give readers insight into the role of generations in American politics, how generations relate to other variables such as age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status, how politics in the United States are impacted by changes in generations, and how the passing of the Baby Boom generation and rise of the Millennials and Gen Z will change American politics. This book is part of the University of Michigan Press's "Dialogues in Democracy" collection, which invites all readers to find books that contextualize their experiences of voting in America. To make sure all interested readers have an opportunity to engage with this scholarship, the book will be published open access and will be immediately available free-to-read online. The University of Michigan Press is a vital component of UM Library's Publishing division, which is the primary academic publishing division of the University. In partnership with authors and series editors, they publish in a wide range of humanities and social science disciplines. They champion the library's dedication to helping all learners, researchers, and creators to succeed through global digital and print publishing and distribution programs. The Press, with a rich history of publishing expertise, continues to lead in the development of digital scholarship and to support the dissemination of quality knowledge as widely and freely as possible. Contact Details Press contact: Danielle Coty-Fattal - Publicity Manager dcoty@umich.edu Interview Contacts: David Schultz +1 612-396-8043 dschultz@hamline.edu Sally Friedman sfriedman2@albany.edu

June 17, 2024 11:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Hoffman Financial Group Joins Forces with AmeriLife’s Brookstone Capital Management

AmeriLife

Brookstone Capital Management (“Brookstone”), a leading, SEC-Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm and affiliate of AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife”), announced today that it has partnered with Hoffman Financial Group, a nationally recognized financial planning firm based in Atlanta. Per the agreement, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We’re excited to partner with the Hoffman team. This collaboration will only strengthen both organizations and continue to provide best-in-class solutions for them and all the clients they serve,” said Dean Zayed, CEO of Brookstone Capital Management. “Additionally, this partnership underscores Brookstone’s ongoing investment and commitment to our advisors and our goal to be the leader at the intersection of insurance and securities.” “Hoffman Financial Group is a premier financial services firm – Chris and his team have created something special that we are excited to be a part of,” added Darryl Ronconi, president of Brookstone Capital Management. “With a broader relationship with Brookstone and AmeriLife, our goal is to help continue to accelerate their significant growth by providing them with even more resources and support.” Founded in 2011, Hoffman Financial Group is a comprehensive financial and retirement planning firm with one goal in mind: to be the go-to financial advisor for individuals wanting to retire. The firm offers a completely hands-on approach to retirement planning and a full suite of wealth management offerings, including investment management, 401(k) and IRA rollovers, tax planning, and more through its eight investment advisor representatives. Hoffman Financial Group has applied this high-touch approach to unique offerings such as Her Wealth Her Way ®, designed specifically to help women retire with comfort, confidence, and class. Hoffman Financial Group is also incredibly active in the media, bringing its expertise on money management to viewers of The Financial Edge on Atlanta’s CBS 46 and ABC’s Good Morning America Weekend every Sunday morning, and to listeners of Money Unleashed on Atlanta’s 95.5 WSB every Sunday afternoon. Additionally, the firm is an Official Partner of the University of Georgia Bulldogs ® and, most recently, was named Official Financial Advisor of former Bulldog and NFL player Brock Bowers, partnerships that have cemented Hoffman Financial Group as a leading financial services company alongside two distinguished names in collegiate sports. “I couldn’t be more excited to partner and expand our relationship with Brookstone,” said Chris Hoffman, founder of Hoffman Financial Group. “They are the best partner to take us to the next level. The entire team is thrilled about the opportunity of aligning Hoffman Financial Group with the extensive resources and talent that they offer.” Now, as part of the AmeriLife family of companies, Hoffman Financial Group will enjoy broad access to best-in-class platforms, tools, resources, and an expansive product portfolio to move quickly into new markets, accelerate production, and drive the firm’s growth for years to come. “Chris Hoffman has built a powerhouse brand and business that is reshaping retirement planning for America’s retirees,” said Mike Vietri, Chief Distribution Officer for AmeriLife Wealth Group. “We’re incredibly excited for Hoffman Financial Group to join forces with Brookstone as part of AmeriLife Wealth Group, and look forward to integrating their unique approach, expertise, and leadership into our fast-growing distribution platform.” ### About Hoffman Financial Group Hoffman Financial Group is a leading financial planning firm based in Atlanta, Ga. With a personalized approach coupled with highest standards of financial advisory services, the firm specializes in principal protection, income planning, wealth accumulation, legacy planning, and more. For more information, visit HoffmanCorporation.com. About Brookstone Capital Management Founded in 2006, Brookstone Capital Management (BCM) is an SEC-Registered Investment Advisory firm with over $9.5B in Assets Under Management (AUM), providing fee-based investment management services through its network of more than 750 financial advisors and firms. Brookstone is an innovator and industry leader and empowers independent financial advisors of all sizes to scale their business by providing access to a Turnkey Asset Management Platform (TAMP) along with a dedicated team to support every aspect of an advisor’s practice. Visit BrookstoneCM.com for more information. About AmeriLife AmeriLife’s strength is its mission: to provide insurance and retirement solutions to help people live longer, healthier lives. In doing so, AmeriLife has become recognized as a leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities and retirement planning solutions to enhance the lives of pre-retirees and retirees across the United States. For more than 50 years, AmeriLife has partnered with top insurance carriers to provide value and quality to customers served through a distribution network of over 300,000 insurance agents and advisors and 120 marketing organizations and insurance agency locations nationwide. For more information, visit AmeriLife.com, and follow AmeriLife on Facebook and LinkedIn. Contact Details Media Jeff Maldonado media@amerilife.com Partnership Inquiries Patrick Nichols corporatedevelopment@amerilife.com Company Website https://amerilife.com/

June 17, 2024 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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bluSPARC™ Expands Executive Team for Next Phase of Growth

bluSPARC

bluSPARC, an innovator in connecting leadership development to organizational performance, announces two new members of its executive leadership team: Chief Growth Officer Michael Hubert and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Lori Bradley. Both professionals will impact client engagement with Hubert overseeing the growth strategy and Bradley managing interactions with clients and the delivery of bluSPARC’s high-touch approach. Since launching in 2019, bluSPARC has worked with organizations from start-ups to Fortune 100 firms including Amazon, Chewy, Simple Tire, and 5.11. In the past year, the company has increased the number of leaders in its development programs by nearly 300%. Grounded in evidence-based leadership theories and shaped by its founders’ decades of practical experience, bluSPARC’s approach delivers measurable results for individual and organizational growth. “With the addition of Lori and promotion of Michael to the executive team, we will be more strategic about innovation and expansion. As experts in organizational growth and performance, we knew the time was right to change the management structure and bring more expertise to the executive level,” said Co-Founder Kim Villeneuve, Ed.D. “Lori’s deep background in engagement management and talent development combined with Michael’s proven proficiency in client-centric growth strategies and data analytics will drive smart, sustainable growth.” Bradley is a prominent leadership icon and influencer in talent management having held senior talent roles at a range of companies including Chewy, Amazon, United Airlines, and PVH, one of the world’s largest global apparel companies that includes iconic brands Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. She comes to bluSPARC as a former client which gives her a unique understanding of the organization’s approach to development and succession planning. In addition, she has served as Executive Chair of the bluSPARC Elite program since January 2024. “bluSPARC’s focus on addressing the individual needs and leadership pain points of each client with its three-part approach of proprietary assessments, cohort learning for teams, and executive leadership coaching really sets it apart,” said Dr. Bradley. “After experiencing the program for myself and my work with companies through the bluSPARC Elite program, I know the changes this approach can make for executives and organizations. I am thrilled to be part of this next phase of the company.” As CGO, Hubert will lead the strategic alignment of bluSPARC’s services to customize them for each client’s specific goals. He has been serving as bluSPARC’s Vice President of Finance, Technology, and Operations for more than two years and has a deep understanding of the company’s strengths and areas for growth. Hubert’s deep background includes work in investment banking at Meridian Capital, experience leading Analytics Strategy at Starbucks, and a Master of Information and Data Science from UC Berkeley. “Michael’s talents add so much value for both bluSPARC and our clients,” said Co-Founder Andrew Rahaman, Ed.D. “His analytical background is essential for improving how we manage and implement our assessment frameworks to help organizations drive performance and growth. After working with us as a vice president, he knows the company and the best ways to optimize and expand so much of what bluSPARC does internally around technology, customer service, marketing, and financial functions.” “It is rare for an executive coaching company to have the ability to connect data to behavior change. By providing these metrics, our clients can clearly see the return on investment of the bluSPARC approach. I am looking forward to increasing the use bluSPARC’s science-based methodology to do even more to improve leaders and help organizations thrive,” said Michael Hubert. “Despite our recent growth, I’ve identified a lot of untapped potential within the organization that we can leverage by using technology in more ways and establishing systems to support consistency and efficiency.” For more information or to schedule a personal consultation, visit www.bluSPARC.com. About bluSPARC™ bluSPARC develops leadership programs tailored to the unique needs of professionals at every level of an organization. Its integrated three-part approach incorporates executive coaching, cohort learning, and competency-based assessments that align with current and future goals of both individual participants and their companies. Founded by scholars of leadership principles and honed through years of industry experience, bluSPARC’s team of diverse organizational behavior experts is committed to the science of metrics-driven leadership to create transformational change. When bluSPARC ignites leaders, the enterprise thrives. Contact Details Catbear Communications for bluSPARC Melissa Arnoff Melissa.Arnoff@catbearcomms.com Company Website https://www.blusparc.com

June 12, 2024 09:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Yandex develops and open-sources an LLM training tool that saves up to 20% of GPU resources

Yandex

Yandex introduces YaFSDP, a method for faster and more efficient large language model (LLM) training. Potentially saving users hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. Available free. Yandex, a global tech company, recently introduced YaFSDP, an open-source method for training large language models (LLMs). YaFSDP is currently the most effective publicly available tool for enhancing GPU communication and reducing memory usage in LLM training, offering a speedup of up to 26% compared to FSDP, depending on the architecture and number of parameters. Reducing the training time for LLMs through the use of YaFSDP can result in savings of up to 20% in GPU resources. “Currently, we're actively experimenting with various model architectures and parameter sizes to expand YaFSDP’s versatility,” noted Mikhail Khruschev, a senior developer at Yandex and part of the team behind YaFSDP. “We are thrilled to share our developments in LLM training with the global ML community, contributing to increased accessibility and efficiency for researchers and developers worldwide.” The case for YaFSDP LLM training is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. Machine learning engineers and companies that develop their own LLMs invest significant time and GPU resources — which equals money — in training these models. The larger the model, the greater the time and expenses associated with its training. Yandex’s YaFSDP works by eliminating GPU communication inefficiencies, ensuring that training requires only necessary processor memory and making GPU interactions uninterrupted. YaFSDP optimizes learning speed and performance, enabling AI developers worldwide to use less computing power and GPU resources when training their models. For instance, in a pre-training scenario involving a model with 70 billion parameters, using YaFSDP can save the resources of approximately 150 GPUs, which translates to roughly $0.5 to $1.5 million (depending on the virtual GPU provider or platform) in potential monthly savings. YaFSDP’s training efficiency YaFSDP, an enhanced version of FSDP, outperforms the FSDP method in the most communication-heavy stages of LLM training like pre-training, alignment, and fine-tuning. The final speedup shown by YaFSDP on Llama 2 and Llama 3 demonstrates significant improvements in training speed, reaching 21% and 26% on Llama 2 70B and Llama 3 70B respectively. “YaFSDP has shown impressive results on models ranging from 13 to 70 billion parameters, with particularly strong performance in the 30 to 70 billion range,” said Mikhail Khruschev. “Currently, YaFSDP is best suited for widely-used open-source models based on the LLaMA architecture.” YaFSDP isn’t Yandex’s first open-source tool. The company has previously shared several other tools that have become popular with the ML community, including: CatBoost, a high-performance library for gradient boosting on decision trees. YTsaurus, a big data platform for distributed storage and processing. AQLM, one of the most advanced quantization algorithms for extreme compression of large language models, developed jointly by Yandex Research, HSE University, IST Austria, and NeuralMagic. Petals, a library designed to simplify the process of training and fine-tuning LLMs, developed in a collaboration involving Yandex Research, HSE University, University of Washington, Hugging Face, ENS Paris-Saclay, and Yandex School of Data Analysis. Accessing YaFSDP YaFSDP is freely available on Github. – – – – – For Reference During large language model (LLM) training, developers have to efficiently manage three primary resources: computing power, processor memory, and processor communications. YaFSDP conserves the first two, which helps to accelerate the LLM training process. LLM training relies on numerous GPUs organized into clusters — arrays of interconnected graphics processors that can perform the vast number of calculations necessary to train models with billions of parameters. Distributing computations among processors within a cluster requires constant communication, which often becomes a "bottleneck", slowing the training process and resulting in inefficient use of computing power. To overcome this bottleneck, Yandex developers created YaFSDP, a method that improves GPU communication and optimizes learning speed and performance. When combined with Yandex’s other performance-enhancing solutions, the method accelerated the training process by up to 45% for some of its models. YaFSDP works by eliminating GPU communication inefficiencies, which leads to optimized network usage and reduced memory load. It ensures that training requires only necessary processor memory and makes GPU interactions uninterrupted, facilitating further optimizations like minimizing processor communication time. This leads to a significant enhancement in both performance and memory efficiency. The YaFSDP method can be used effectively in transformer-based text generative models with multiple layers (multilayer perceptrons), mostly represented by LLaMA-like models. In a pre-training scenario involving a model with 70 billion parameters, using YaFSDP can save the resources of approximately 150 GPUs. When compared to FSDP, the final speedup shown by YaFSDP on Llama 2 and Llama 3 demonstrates significant improvements in training efficiency. About Yandex Yandex is a global technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning. The company’s goal is to help consumers and businesses better navigate the online and offline world. Since 1997, Yandex has been delivering world-class, locally relevant search and information services and has also developed market-leading on-demand transportation services, navigation products, and other mobile applications for millions of consumers across the globe. Contact Details NettResults Media Team media@nettresults.com

June 12, 2024 08:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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