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Velocity Global acquires Shield GEO in second growth transaction this year

Velocity Global

Company continues to scale leading global work platform Follows acquisition of iWorkGlobal in April Combined company serves more than 1,000 brands and over 7,000 supported employees this year DENVER, July 13, 2021 — Velocity Global continues to scale its leading global work platform with the acquisition of Shield GEO, an established global Employer of Record (EoR) provider. This is Velocity Global’s second acquisition this year, after it acquired iWorkGlobal in April. The company deployed capital from the $100 million growth investment from FFL Partners announced in April to complete the transaction. Terms of the deal were not announced. Velocity Global adds scale to its global work platform that simplifies the employer and employee experience. The platform combines the company’s cloud-based workforce management technology, personalized expertise, and unmatched global scale. Users access automated technology as well as partner with a dedicated experience team for individualized solutions and expertise. As the largest global EoR in 185 countries and all 50 United States, Velocity Global manages a client’s workforce by providing in-country and in-state compliance, payroll, and benefits for the supported employees. The company also offers Independent Contractor Compliance to assess a workforce and Agent of Record (AoR) to streamline payments to contractors globally. “For the last seven years we built our platform to support how and where work gets done. This now allows us the strategic position to scale up to meet the accelerated demand from the shifting workforce,” said Ben Wright, Velocity Global founder and CEO. “Both sides of the employment equation -- employers and employees -- fundamentally changed in the last 18 months. It’s not just about working from anywhere, it’s about how to recruit, how to retain employees, how to grow revenue, and how to manage a newly empowered work-life balance.” The “future of work” or gig economy is worth $4.5 trillion according to a 2020 report from Staffing Industry Analysts. “Velocity Global’s continued profitable organic growth sets the foundation for further scale through strategic acquisitions,” said Cas Schneller, FFL Managing Partner. “Both of the company’s recent acquisitions were of profitable, strong businesses at a time when scale is needed to match the market. Velocity Global strengthens its leadership position in the future of work.” The combined company serves more than 1,000 brands and over 7,000 supported employees this year. Velocity Global is registered in all 50 United States and continues to grow its footprint to include 50 wholly owned foreign legal entities in the most desired international markets by year’s end. “We share a proud history of organic growth, and now was the time to combine the global reach of Shield GEO with that of Velocity Global, and deliver an even greater experience that the market is demanding,” said Duncan Macintosh, Shield GEO co-founder. “This combination multiplies the growth opportunity for our team.” “We have known Ben and Velocity Global for a long time and we’ve always viewed our industry similarly, especially in terms of how we service our customers and the employees that we support for them,” said Tim Burgess, Shield GEO co-founder. “Delivering a great human-focused customer experience is important to all of us. We are excited by what our combined teams can do together.” Shield GEO is based in Hong Kong with entities in the U.K. and Australia, and a global remote team. The combined company welcomes all 75 Shield GEO employees and is led by Wright under the Velocity Global brand. Burgess and Macintosh will support the integration of Shield GEO into Velocity Global. ABOUT VELOCITY GLOBAL Velocity Global accelerates the future of work beyond borders. Its global work platform simplifies the employer and employee experience through cloud-based workforce management technology, personalized expertise, and unmatched scale. As the largest global Employer of Record (also known as International PEO) in 185 countries and all 50 United States, more than 1,000 brands rely on Velocity Global to build global teams without the cost or complexity of setting up foreign legal entities or state registrations. The company offers additional services including Independent Contractor Compliance to assess a workforce, and Agent of Record (AoR) to streamline payments to contractors. Velocity Global was named a “Leader” in Global Employer of Record services by prominent analyst firm NelsonHall. Founded in 2014, the company has hundreds of employees in 27 countries. For more information visit velocityglobal.com. Contact Details Velocity Global John Hall +1 720-650-4348 news@velocityglobal.com Company Website https://velocityglobal.com/

July 13, 2021 05:30 AM Mountain Daylight Time

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25-Year Independent Printing Business Custom Printing Converts to International Minute Press Franchise in Nampa, Idaho

Minuteman Press International Inc

Mike Cutler started selling print out of his garage in 1996. Over the next 25 years, Mike built a successful printing business that averaged over $1 million in gross sales over the past 5 years. Mike shares his experience in attempting to sell his independent printing company Custom Printing on his own for six to eight months and reveals how Minuteman Press International was able to step in to help him successfully sell the business. History of Custom Printing Mike says, “Custom Printing was a true family business I built from the ground up. I learned the printing trade through my father, who was a line and typesetter dating back to the 1950s. After starting the business in 1996, I quickly out-grew my garage and opened my first retail location in 1998. At the time, my specialties were thermography, offset printing, and stationery (envelopes and forms). By 2006, we out-grew the original location and expanded to a 6,000 sq. ft. facility. Between 2006 and 2014, I completed eight acquisitions to expand my business. The companies I acquired were in the areas of large format printing and signs, lithography, trophies, and reprographics.” Mike continues, “In 2015, we expanded even more, giving us 8,200 sq. ft. of space to work with. When the pandemic hit in 2020, we actually excelled and recorded our biggest sales year operating as an essential business. At the time of the sale, we had nine full-time employees and some part-time staff. Our 5-year average was $1.2 million in yearly sales.” Selling the Business By June 2020, Mike decided that it was time to sell Custom Printing. At first, he was asking different colleagues and people he knew. However, Mike quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be easy. He says, “I tried to sell the business that I worked so hard to build for six to eight months on my own. I was also preparing to let it go at a very undervalued price as I couldn’t find the right people to buy the business and I found many of them were time-wasters and tire-kickers. On top of that, when I consulted with a business broker, they were asking me for 10% off the top of the sale, and they also wanted a percentage of my lease agreement.” After experiencing these challenges on his own, Mike turned to Minuteman Press International to help sell his printing business. “One of the franchisees I knew locally in Idaho referred me to Chris Jutt, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President. After our first phone call, I felt confident that Chris had the ability, drive and connections to make this dream a reality for me. Our meetings were always super easy going and comfortable. Chris took all the pressure off of me and said to focus on my successful business and he would do the rest. That is just what he did.” Before meeting with Minuteman Press International, Mike even went as far as to get a professional valuation of his printing business. He shares, “When I knew I was going to be selling, I made sure to get the shop ready. I made sure my financials were in proper order, I kept up with equipment maintenance and repairs, and I kept running and growing my business. Just to get a valuation of my business, I spent $3,000 to get it done professionally. Minuteman Press International did this for free and came up with the same number. That really impressed me and reassured me that the sale of Custom Printing was in capable hands.” “We set a price for my independent printing business that was significantly higher than I anticipated, and Chris Jutt recommended some terms. Within one week, I had several very interested parties. Chris found the perfect people to purchase my business – James and Sheryl Wisler – that will continue what I started some 25 years ago. Minuteman Press International knew that the most important things to me were my long-term employees, my clients, and the reputation I had worked so hard to build. Chris found buyers that valued the same things. He and the entire team at Minuteman Press International delivered on all of my expectations and exceeded in most of them. Looking back, if I knew this was going to be this easy, I would have contacted him years ago.” -Mike Cutler, independent print operator, Custom Printing (now International Minute Press, Nampa, Idaho ) Transition to New Owners After the sale of his business, Mike quickly realized how beneficial it was to have the team at Minuteman Press International assist with all aspects of the transition to the new owners. He shares, “At first, I was apprehensive about how the transition would go. I was immediately relieved when I saw how Minuteman Press International took the reins to teach and train James and Sheryl. We are only two and a half weeks into the transition phase, and already I feel like I am not needed as much as I thought I would be. My employees are in great hands, my clients are being taken care of, and James and Sheryl are doing a fantastic job.” He adds, “The entire team both here locally and at their corporate headquarters has been phenomenal. No matter who I’ve talked to or worked with during this entire process, everyone has been professional as well as instrumental in making this happen. It’s a win-win situation all around.” “The smooth transition has reassured me that it was the right move to sell my business with Minuteman Press International. They have the right plan, the right experience, and everyone has been incredible to the very last detail. In my acquisition experience, nothing has ever been as easy as this. I had everything to gain and nothing to lose, and there were absolutely no hiccups along the way. I would easily rate my experience as 10/10.” -Mike Cutler Advice to Other Sellers When asked what advice he would give to other print shop owners looking to sell, Mike answers, “Don’t even waste your time trying to do this yourself. When you try to sell on your own, there are so many bottleneck issues and you will likely undervalue your business. I couldn’t find the right buyers on my own and I had to spend too much time to meet with people repeatedly while still running my own business.” Mike concludes, “Minuteman Press International alleviated the bottlenecks and came forward with qualified buyers who were ready to write the check for the right price. I am 100% satisfied beyond my expectations. This was a total team effort by everyone, and they all came through for me.” Contact Minuteman Press International today for a free valuation at no obligation and learn more about how we can help you sell your printing business at no cost to you. Call us at 1-800-645-3006 or visit https://bit.ly/minutemanpressconversions Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

July 12, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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WellSaid Labs Announces $10M Round Led by Fuse to Build “Voices for Every Brand”

WellSaid

WellSaid Labs, the artificial intelligence text-to-speech technology company, announced a $10 million Series A round led by FUSE, with participation from previous investor Voyager, as well as Qualcomm Ventures LLC, and GoodFriends. The Series A was oversubscribed with interest from VCs given the record year-over-year growth in revenue and incredible customer demand. WellSaid Labs plans to use these funds to drive further AI and product innovation, scale go-to-market functions, and grow the team. With a mission to offer businesses and brands the highest quality Text-to-Speech (TTS) service imaginable, WellSaid Labs empowers content creators and product teams to create engaging voice content for infinite use-cases in streaming services, radio, programmatic advertising, digital marketing, and corporate training content. WellSaid Labs has rearchitected TTS to resolve business’ toughest content development problems and deliver an easy way for content creators — big or small — to develop all their desired content in one consistent voice that represents their brand. WellSaid Labs’ Voice Avatar library provides access to multiple read styles and tones anyone can use for their productions. In addition, brands can create their own AI Voice Avatars to spec — capturing the likeness, style, and uniqueness of the voice needed to tell their stories in exactly the right way. “Plain and simple, WellSaid is the future of content creation for voice," said Cameron Borumand, General Partner at FUSE. "This is why thousands of customers love using the product daily with off-the-charts bottom-up adoption. Matt and Michael have assembled a world-class team and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the WellSaid journey.” Creating natural-sounding speech from text is considered a “ grand challenge ” in the field of AI and has been a research goal for decades. Over the last three years, WellSaid Labs has consistently researched and developed tremendous breakthroughs in the quality, speed and reliability of neural text-to-speech systems. In June 2020, WellSaid Labs' TTS became the first to achieve human parity for naturalness on short audio clips across multiple voices. "We’ve added AI Voice to the toolkit of thousands of content creators and their teams," said Matt Hocking, CEO of WellSaid Labs. "Our human-parity AI voice can be produced faster than real-time, and updated on-demand. Opening up new and exciting opportunities to 'add voice' where never before perceived possible. AI voice easily ensures every production can be created and updated efficiently at scale." “Content creators or product experience designers were previously faced with difficult tradeoffs between quality and scalability when using TTS tools or human voiceover. WellSaid’s incredible voices, which are accessible through a studio application or a scalable API, removes the need to choose whether you want natural, lifelike speech or infinitely scalable and easily editable voice content. WellSaid provides both and delivers it however your team would like to consume it,” said James Newell, Partner at Voyager Capital. “Creative teams have found it to be extremely useful when they need to produce multiple pieces of high-quality content in a consistent voice in hours instead of weeks.” “Recent developments in TTS technology using generative AI have enabled synthetic voices to sound very human-like, finding exciting new applications for voice including e-learning, advertising and news readers," said Carlos Kokron, Vice President at Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and Managing Director at Qualcomm Ventures Americas. “WellSaid Labs provides an industry leading product that generates highly accurate human-like voices. We look forward to working with WellSaid Labs to help fuel the creator economy with human-parity AI voices across mobile and IoT.” "WellSaid's team has applied deep technical expertise to build a platform that enables easy creation and editing of incredibly life-like audio," said Dave Gilboa of Good Friends and co-CEO of Warby Parker. "We see meaningful growth potential in the use of high-quality audio in giving brands the ability to communicate with customers and creators the ability to engage with audiences." WellSaid Studio eliminates the complexities traditional text-to-speech technologies present to creatives — making the production, updating, and publishing of voiceovers extremely simple and cost effective. Product developers access WellSaid Labs’ core AI engine via real time APIs to power up digital experiences with a reliable and scalable voice infrastructure. About FUSE FUSE is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in Pacific Northwest-based companies that are reinventing the modern economy with software. FUSE is committed to supporting the next generation of B2B technology entrepreneurs building category-defining businesses of lasting value. General Partners Kellan Carter, Cameron Borumand and Brendan Wales are joined by Venture Partner and Seattle Seahawks captain Bobby Wagner, as well as Senior Operating Partners John Connors and Satbir Khanuja. Their strategic LP base includes current and former executives at the Pacific Northwest’s top companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Nike, Starbucks, Costco, T-Mobile, Boeing, Avalara, DocuSign, Smartsheet and many more. For more information about FUSE, please visit fuse.vc. About Voyager Capital Since 1997, Voyager Capital has focused on first-round venture investments to help entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest create winning businesses. Built on the team's extensive experience with startups and its exceptional network across the industry, the firm's entrepreneur-centric approach accelerates the pace at which companies can build, execute, pivot and scale. Voyager has $520M under management investing in B2B software, cloud infrastructure, and applications driven by AI and machine learning. With offices in Seattle, Wash., Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, BC, Voyager provides its portfolio the unwavering support and stage-appropriate connections needed to disrupt markets and create sustainable competitive advantage. About Qualcomm Ventures Qualcomm Ventures, acting through Qualcomm Ventures LLC or its affiliated entities, has been making strategic investments in technology companies that have the potential to dramatically transform our world since 2000. As a global investor, we look to help entrepreneurs build revolutionary businesses that reshape the world around us. For more information please visit: www.qualcommventures.com. About GoodFriends Good Friends is a venture capital firm that was started in 2019 by the founders of Warby Parker, Harry's, and Allbirds. Good Friends invests in early stage businesses with a consumer lens. About WellSaid Labs WellSaid Labs is the leading AI text-to-speech technology company and first synthetic media service to achieve human-parity in voice. Creators, product developers, and brands alike power up their stories and digital experiences with a wide variety of voice styles, accents and languages — at scale. For more information go to www.wellsaidlabs.com Contact Details Forrest Carman +1 206-859-3118 forrestc@owenmedia.com Company Website https://wellsaidlabs.com/

July 07, 2021 09:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time

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Cyvatar Takes Home Top Prize in 2021 Fortress Awards

Cyvatar

Cyvatar today received more industry accolades as it was named a winner in network security by the Business Intelligence Group for its innovative Cybersecurity-as-a-Service (CSaaS) offering as part of the 2021 Fortress Cybersecurity Awards. The Fortress awards program identifies and rewards the world’s leading companies and products that are working to keep data and electronic assets safe among a growing threat from hackers. “2021 is rapidly becoming the toughest year for cybersecurity professionals and as our reliance on networks continues to accelerate, our identities and data have quickly become global currency, so security is more important than ever,” said Maria Jimenez, chief nominations officer at the Business Intelligence Group. “We are proud to recognize all of our winners and finalists who are on the frontlines of the effort to prepare, defend and respond to this growing threat.” Cyvatar’s proprietary ICARM method guarantees proper installation, configuration, assessment, remediation, and maintenance for every Cyvatar technology solution so that organizations actually achieve better protection and resilience from their investments And because Cyvatar’s method is continuous, it protects against attack vectors that haven’t even surfaced yet. “It’s continued validation of our unique CSaaS model that industry peers recognized Cyvatar again for exceptional leadership and innovation,” said Cyvatar Co-Founder and Chief Product and Strategy Officer Craig Goodwin. “As the first subscription-based CSaaS company to deliver effortless, affordable cybersecurity, we enable our members to protect confidential information with the people, processes, and technology essential to ensure they get value from their security tools, from conception and strategy to implementation and maintenance. No other provider delivers holistic security at price points that work for any size customer and guaranteed value that allows customers to cancel anytime.” Cyvatar CSaaS levels the playing field by democratizing cybersecurity and making the best protection accessible and affordable for every size organization, even if they have no cybersecurity expertise in-house. If your organization needs award-winning cybersecurity, Cyvatar can help. About Cyber Defense Magazine With over 5 Million monthly readers and growing, and thousands of pages of searchable online infosec content, Cyber Defense Magazine is the premier source of IT Security information for B2B and B2G with our sister magazine Cyber Security Magazine for B2C. We are managed and published by and for ethical, honest, passionate information security professionals. Our mission is to share cutting-edge knowledge, real-world stories and awards on the best ideas, products and services in the information technology industry. We deliver electronic magazines every month online for free, and special editions exclusively for the RSA Conferences. CDM is a proud member of the Cyber Defense Media Group. Learn more about us at https://www.cyberdefensemagazine.com and visit https://www.cyberdefensetv.com and https://www.cyberdefenseradio.com to see and hear some of the most informative interviews of many of these winning company executives. Join a webinar at https://www.cyberdefensewebinars.com and realize that infosec knowledge is power. About Cyvatar Cyvatar is committed to effortless cybersecurity for everyone. As the industry’s first subscription-based, cybersecurity-as-a-service (CSaaS) company, it’s our mission to transform the way the security industry builds, sells, and supports cyber solutions. We empower our members to achieve successful outcomes by providing expert advisors, proven technologies, and a strategic process roadmap to guarantee results that map to their business drivers. Our approach is rooted in proprietary ICARM (installation, configuration, assessment, remediation, maintenance) methodology that delivers smarter, measurable security solutions for superior compliance and cyber-attack protection faster and more efficiently, all at a fixed monthly price. And because we’re a subscription, members can cancel anytime. Cyvatar is headquartered in Irvine, California with locations around the world. Begin your journey to security confidence at CYVATAR.AI and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Contact Details Cyvatar KC Higgins +1 303-434-8163 kc@cyvatar.ai Cyber Defense Magazine April Palanca +18338449468 Company Website https://cyvatar.ai/

July 07, 2021 11:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Pension Protection Act Overlooked by Many Retirees.

Jennifer Lang Financial Services, LLC

Contact Details Jennifer Lang Financial Services, LLC. Jennifer Lang +1 651-314-4812 mail@jenniferlangfinancialservices.com Company Website https://www.annuityquoteadvisor.com/

July 06, 2021 10:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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‘Forge Ahead’ podcast provides inside look at future of work

Velocity Global

Hosted by Velocity Global founder and CEO Ben Wright Features conversations with forward-thinking business and tech leaders Debut episode with “Shark Tank’s” Robert Herjavec “ Forge Ahead,” a new podcast uniquely focused on the future of work through insights from forward-thinking business leaders, launched today. Hosted by Ben Wright, Velocity Global founder and CEO, “Forge Ahead” explores how the world embraces and overcomes challenges of new ways of working, from remote work to distributed teams. The debut episode is a conversation with Robert Herjavec, founder and CEO of global cybersecurity firm, Herjavec Group, and a lead investor on the Emmy Award-winning show, “Shark Tank.” “Now is the perfect time for these conversations about how people want to work, and how us as business leaders must blaze a new path,” said Herjavec. “My conversation with Ben allowed me to look inward at what I’ve learned. One topic we touched on was that the true driver of remote work is that customers now accept it like never before. Employees have proven able to embrace remote work, and the tech tools have been available, but now that the customer cadence is not disrupted, we’ll never look back.” “In ‘Forge Ahead’ we go beyond the buzzwords and get inside the heads of business leaders who shape the future of work,” said Wright. “Robert is the first of many leaders I am humbled to learn from as listeners get to hear his personal story and how he runs a business.” “Forge Ahead” will release a new episode every two weeks on leading podcast platforms. In subsequent episodes, Wright speaks with thought leaders such as USA Today’s “Gratitude Guru” Chris Schembra, and 6-time PGA TOUR champ Billy Horschel. Listeners will hear a mix of personal stories and actionable insights from successful leaders so they are prepared to embrace the future of work. Ben Wright founded Velocity Global in 2014 and applies two decades of experience supporting companies’ global business growth and remote teams. As the largest Employer of Record in 185 countries and all 50 United States, brands rely on Velocity Global’s expertise and global infrastructure to employ a compliant workforce without the cost or complexity of setting up their own foreign legal entities or state registrations. Listen and subscribe to the “Forge Ahead” podcast at forgeaheadpodcast.com, or search for it on leading podcast platforms including Spotify, Google Podcast, and Apple Podcast. ABOUT VELOCITY GLOBAL Velocity Global accelerates the future of work beyond borders. Its platform helps companies compliantly employ distributed teams and expand internationally through best-in-breed technology, global expertise, and scale. As the largest global Employer of Record (also known as International PEO) in 185 countries and all 50 United States, more than 700 brands rely on Velocity Global to build global teams without the cost or complexity of setting up foreign legal entities or state registrations. Named a "Leader" in Global Employer of Record services by prominent analyst firm NelsonHall, Velocity Global offers additional services including Immigration, Independent Contractor Compliance to assess a workforce, and Agent of Record (AoR) to streamline payments to contractors. Founded in 2014, Velocity Global has hundreds of employees in 16 countries. For more information visit velocityglobal.com. Contact Details Velocity Global Eli Rice +1 720-650-4348 news@velocityglobal.com Company Website https://velocityglobal.com/

July 06, 2021 07:02 AM Mountain Daylight Time

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Comcast Establishes 50 WiFi-Connected Lift Zones in Houston and Surrounding Areas

Comcast Houston

As part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy, Comcast today announced it has equipped 50 locations in Houston and surrounding areas with free WiFi enabled Lift Zones. Working with its network of nonprofit partners, Comcast is providing robust WiFi hotspots in safe spaces designed to help students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework. This initiative provides free connectivity inside partner community centers for the next three years. “We are proud to partner with community organizations across Houston and surrounding areas and equip them with free internet service to provide safe, fast, and reliable connectivity,” said Ralph Martinez, regional senior vice president, Comcast Houston. “The COVID-19 crisis put many at risk of being left behind, accelerating the need for comprehensive digital equity and Internet adoption programs to support them. We hope these Lift Zones will help those who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to connect to effective distance learning at home.” Each Lift Zone location will be outfitted with a robust WiFi solution, powered by Comcast Business, at no cost. The sites are equipped with a combination of Comcast Business’ award-winning Business Internet, WiFi Pro and SecurityEdge solutions; customized based on the size and unique connectivity needs of each location. Some of the Houston and surrounding area community organizations that have established Lift Zones in their respective facilities include Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, the City of Houston, and the City of Galveston. A full list of Comcast Lift Zones in Houston and surrounding areas, can be found here. Earlier this year, Comcast announced a $1 billion commitment over ten years in continued support of digital equity, including its Lift Zones initiative, which aims to establish WiFi-connected safe spaces in 1,000+ community centers nationwide for students and adults by the end of 2021. Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has helped connect approximately 10 million low-income people to the Internet at home since 2011, including almost one million Texans. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. Contact Details Comcast Misha McClure +1 832-547-6783 Misha_McClure@cable.comcast.com Company Website https://houston.comcast.com/

July 06, 2021 05:00 AM Central Daylight Time

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PCMA v. WEHBI AMICUS BRIEF ADVOCATES FOR STATE REGULATION OF PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGER INDUSTRY

Alliance for Transparent & Affordable Prescriptions

The Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP), a coalition of physician and patient advocacy organizations dedicated to exposing the role the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry has on rising prescription drug costs was joined by the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and American Pharmacies in filing an amicus brief in PCMA v. Wehbi. The case, currently being argued in the 8 th Circuit, Court of Appeals is a challenge to a North Dakota law designed to regulate abusive practices by the PBM industry. The brief prepared by Daniel Geyser of Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP on behalf of ATAP, COA and American Pharmacies may be found here. Following a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association ( where ATAP also filed an amicus brief ), many states have begun to explore regulating the PBM industry to lower costs and increase access to therapies. That case resulted in a unanimous 8-0 decision where the Justices agreed that states have the right to impose regulations on PBMs. Despite setbacks in legislatures and the courts, the PBM industry continues to raise challenges to state regulation of their practices and seeks to avoid accountability. ATAP has been an active advocate for patients in a variety of federal and state battles to amplify the voices of patients and physicians – especially as it relates to exposing PBM abuses and their impact on patients’ access to therapies (medications) needed in their treatment. Dr. Robert Levin, ATAP’s President stated, “We see first-hand how the PBM industry drives up costs and interferes with medical care. Doctors, patients, legislators and regulators are all saying, ‘enough is enough’ and fighting back. We appreciate the opportunity to argue on behalf of patients and defend our obligation to them as the Courts once again weigh in on regulating this rogue industry.” “Oncologists remain troubled by the negative impact PBMs have on patient care and role they play in driving up costs,” said Kashyap Patel, MD, president of COA and a practicing medical oncologist at Carolina Blood and Cancer Care Associates in Rock Hill, South Carolina “PBMs are directly responsible for the loss of patient access to affordable, potentially life-saving medications for cancer and other serious diseases. COA is proud to share our voice and support to effort in North Dakota and nationwide to stop PBM abuses.” “PBMs have used their outsized market power to raise community pharmacies costs of operation,” explained Miguel S. Rodriguez, General Counsel at American Pharmacies. “PBMs operate in secrecy and routinely fail to pass along any savings to patients. It is time to shine a light on and regulate this industry.” American Pharmacies is a nation-wide independent pharmacy cooperative that routinely advocates on behalf of independent pharmacies and the patients they serve. ATAP, COA, and American Pharmacies argue in the brief that: “…PBMs engage in harmful practices that impair optimal patient care, distort the free market, and impose serious costs on every major stakeholder in 5 the healthcare industry. States are ideally positioned to attack PBM misconduct; the regulation of healthcare is a traditional state function, and States routinely address market inefficiency and abuse, just as North Dakota did…” “We are optimistic that the Courts will see through the previously hidden profit motives of the PBM industry,” said Dr. Angus Worthing of the American College of Rheumatology, an ATAP member organization. “With each new state law combined with other actions at the federal level, patients, physicians, and policy makers now have the power to effect meaningful change.” “The Courts will surely see, like we all do, that patients are suffering under a system preventing them from obtaining medicine they need – at prices they can afford,” said Dr. Michael Schweitz of the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations, an ATAP member organization. “The PBM industry profits significantly off rebates and other schemes while interrupting the provider-patient relationship. It is time to do what is right and allow policymakers to stand up and do the right thing.” “The profit motivations from the PBM industry impact real people in dangerous ways,” Dr. Levin continued. “ATAP members are on the front lines of medical care. We see the struggles and confusion that patients are put through by this completely unnecessary middleman industry. They deserve better – they deserve the truth – not dangerous interference from policies motivated only by profit.” ATAP is working in many states to force the PBM industry to disclose rebate data and encourage transparency and reporting requirements for all entities involved in the prescription drug supply chain – PBMs, insurers, and manufacturers. ### For more information, or to schedule an interview with an ATAP spokesperson please contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357. Please visit http://www.atapadvocates.com ATAP's mission is to address prescription drugs costs and patient access to affordable treatment by regulating PBM practices and reforming the drug industry through educational outreach and grassroots advocacy initiatives at both the state and federal level. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 daniel.rene@kglobal.com Company Website http://www.atapadvocates.com

July 02, 2021 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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DoorDash and Albertsons Partner for On-Demand Delivery

YourUpdateTV

DoorDash, the nation’s leading last-mile logistics platform and Albertsons, one of the nation’s top grocers, announced a national partnership to offer on-demand grocery delivery across nearly 2,000 of their banner brand stores nationwide through DoorDash including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Acme and more. Consumers can now order groceries and essentials on-demand for delivery within an hour through DoorDash's top-rated marketplace with no time slot, queues or minimum order size required. Albertsons will offer more than 40,000 grocery items from stores for delivery via DoorDash, including fresh and prepared food, core grocery, floral and convenience items at select stores. Whether shopping for a week's worth of groceries, including dairy, eggs, bread, local produce, fresh meat and seafood, or grabbing a few fresh ingredients for the perfect weeknight meal, consumers can shop right on the DoorDash app to fulfill all of their grocery needs conveniently, quickly and affordably. All Albertsons stores are also available on DashPass, DoorDash’s membership service that offers members unlimited $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees from thousands of restaurants, grocery, and convenience stores nationwide. DashPass members can enjoy these benefits on all eligible orders of $25 or more from Albertsons. Download the DoorDash app to your mobile device or visit DoorDash.com to get started. 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

June 30, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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