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American Paper Plate Coalition Petitions for Relief from Unfairly Traded Imports from China, Thailand, and Vietnam

American Paper Plate Coalition

The American Paper Plate Coalition (“APPC”), representing the majority of American paper plate production, today petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) to investigate unfairly priced and subsidized paper plate imports from China, Thailand, and Vietnam. The antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions detail unfair trade practices to sell paper plates at less than fair value and allege dumping margins up to 279%, as well as numerous subsidies. The petitions detail the injury suffered by the U.S. industry and its workers, and request relief in the form of special duties on all associated imports to offset unfair pricing and unfair subsidies. “Imports from these countries have used dumped prices and subsidies to continue to grow in the U.S. market at the expense of American producers and workers,” said Bill Biggins, President and Co-owner of APPC member Aspen Products, Inc. “Over the past three years, unfairly priced and subsidized imports have harmed American producers and taken jobs away from hard-working Americans.” The cases filed today cover all types of plates produced from any type of paper, regardless of color, decoration, shape and size. “American producers can compete with anyone in the world, as long as we’re all playing by the same rules,” said Robert Epstein, President and CEO of APPC member AJM Packaging Corporation. “Fortunately, our country’s trade laws are set up to support fair trade. On behalf of our employees, customers, and colleagues, we look forward to seeing those laws enforced and those who violate our laws held accountable.” The next steps in these investigations will be the initiation of Commerce antidumping and countervailing duty investigations by February 14, 2024, and a preliminary ITC determination by March 11, 2024. 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 EAH Strategies Elizabeth Posthumus +1 202-445-9858 elizabeth@eahstrategiesllc.com

January 25, 2024 01:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

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The best generative AI solutions of 2024

AIport

January 25, 2024 — Ever since ChatGPT burst onto the scene in the fall of 2022, generative AI (GenAI) solutions have continued to disrupt industries with their surprising and never-before-seen features. Many of the generative AI solutions we hear about today are based on large language models (LLM), which allow them to successfully communicate with end users. Every such model has to be pre-trained on vast amounts of data and then fine-tuned using a variety of different methods. As we’re approaching the end of January, let’s look at the list of the most noteworthy of these models and explore the generative AI solutions they power. Compiled by the AIport newsletter team, this list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a review of what we believe are the LLM-based generative AI solutions and tools that are likely to make headlines this year. GPT (OpenAI and Microsoft) Expectedly, the first LLM on our list with some of the highest expectations this year is at the core of ChatGPT from OpenAI. GPT wasn’t the first LLM out there (there had been others like BERT ), but it was certainly the first one that resulted in a market-ready GenAI product. The original GPT model (Generative Pretrained Transformers) had 170 billion parameters, while the latest version, GPT-4, boasts over 1.75 trillion. The model’s applications are far and wide, being the basis not only for ChatGPT, but also Microsoft’s Bing Chat, which is now part of the Copilot infrastructure. While ChatGPT remains arguably the most impressive text-producing GenAI tool, Bing Chat (unlike ChatGPT) has internet access, making it ideal for web browsing. In addition, the same core GPT model is being utilized by other entities — from Panasonic Connect in Japan, OCBC Bank’s ChatGPT in Singapore, and KPMG’s KaiChat in Germany to the UK government’s upcoming GOV.UK chat. Notably, GPT is also a vital part of OpenAI’s DALL-E suite — a solution that generates images based on descriptions from text. PaLM and Gemini (Google) The next one on our list is Google’s PaLM (Pathways Language Model). The model, boasting 540 billion parameters, was first successfully tested in the spring of 2022. A year later, PaLM 2 was announced and subsequently integrated into Bard — Google’s GenAI chatbot — becoming available to test users around the world. Bard is considered among the finest solutions for productivity, having internet access like Bing Chat, but being less about navigating the web and more about answering burning questions. Bard was seriously bolstered at the end of last year with Google’s highly anticipated launch of the multimodal LLM, Gemini, which had been trained on images and audio/video files, not just text. The jury is still out on how far this update will take Bard, but the expectations are very high indeed. LLaMA (Meta, Microsoft, and Hugging Face) LLaMA (Large Language Model Meta AI) from Meta was released in February last year. However, the 65-billion-parameter model was leaked online as a downloadable torrent only a week later. While the model did not lead to any ChatGPT-like products at Meta, another AI company — Hugging Face — picked it up and released Hugging Chat. Offering internet access, this GenAI solution has been praised as “the first open source alternative to ChatGPT” with a snarky sense of humor. Not to be outdone, Meta partnered with Microsoft to produce LLaMA 2 in July of last year. Following that, the company announced a beta release of Meta AI at the end of September — a GenAI chatbot, currently available in the US, that can “provide real-time information and generate photorealistic images” from text prompts. This solution is expected to reach Meta users across the rest of the globe later in the year. Claude (Anthropic) Our next LLM is made by Anthropic, and it’s named Claude. Founded in 2021, the company along with its language model may be a less familiar name to most non-geeks. But this is likely to change in 2024. That’s the case not only because the latest version of the namesake GenAI chatbot released last year can now process long PDF files of up to 75,000 words, taking moments to summarize entire books. But also because this has already caught the attention of both Google and Amazon who are keen to invest $2 and $4 billion respectively. While Claude doesn’t offer internet access, its processing power, namely input character memory, outpowers every competitor by a wide margin, including ChatGPT. And the company is said to be working on yet more handy features as we speak. HyperCLOVA X (Naver) HyperCLOVA X is both the LLM and the namesake GenAI chatbot released by the South Korean search engine giant, Naver, last August. Boasting over 200 billion parameters, the LLM is being used mainly for AI-assisted web browsing, much like Bing Chat. While HyperCLOVA X doesn’t speak English, the chatbot’s proficiency in Korean is impressive, having learned 6,500 more Korean words than ChatGPT. In addition to answering user queries, HyperCLOVA X has been designed to offer AI assistance to businesses across numerous sectors — from finance to gaming. Naver is also presently working to make HyperCLOVA X multimodal, following in the footsteps of Google’s Gemini, so another big international headline is likely on the way. Pangu (Huawei) Last spring, Huawei, one of the global tech leaders, unveiled Pangu — an LLM with 1.085 trillion parameters in over 40 natural and programming languages. This LLM now powers the Chinese company’s GenAI assistant called Celia, which resides within Huawei’s HarmonyOS 4 operating system. Supposedly, Celia has already outperformed both Siri and Google Assistant as a phone-based virtual assistant in terms of prompt execution accuracy, such as finding specific photos and documents stored on a device. And as more Huawei smartphones are being churned out, Celia is expected to reach more global users this year with further refinements to the Pangu model. In addition, Pangu is available through Huawei Cloud for commercial use. According to a statement from the company’s leadership, the newest Pangu 3.0 utilizes hierarchical architecture, allowing it to be quickly fine-tuned for a wide range of downstream applications (including Huawei’s autonomous vehicle solutions ), which we’ll surely see more of in 2024. MiLM-6B (Xiaomi) Next up is another Chinese company, Xiaomi — one of the largest phone manufacturers in the world. The company made an entry into the LLM race last summer with its MiLM-6B, a lightweight model created for mobile devices. Boasting 6.4 billion parameters, MiLM-6B has reportedly outperformed rivals in its category and achieved notable scores from evaluation platforms like C-Eval and CMMLU. Xiaomi’s leadership has been vocal for some time about integrating LLMs into its smartphones. It appears that the company’s virtual assistant, Xiao AI, has now finally become a fully fledged GenAI chatbot, generating over 11 words per second. By this metric, despite operating locally on the phone, Xiao AI has matched the performance of some LLMs running on cloud computing services. It’ll be interesting to see whether Xiao AI gets assimilated into the company’s other products, as the rumors suggest, including the recently announced Xiaomi SU7, an autonomous-enabled electric sedan. YandexGPT (Yandex) The final entry on our list is an LLM named YandexGPT from the Russian search engine Yandex. The namesake GenAI solution with 100 billion parameters was beta-released in May last year. The more recent release of YandexGPT2 has demonstrated a 65% improvement in response quality, with a 1.5-fold increase in training data. Interestingly, this GenAI solution was tested and scored enough points to enter a Russian university. YandexGPT was also integrated into Yandex’s flagship virtual assistant named Alice, as well as the company’s smart speakers. Furthermore, the LLM has allowed the company’s e-shoppers to view summarized customer reviews in one place. With YandexGPT at the core, the company now also offers visual GenAI solutions, YandexART and Shedevrum, that can generate images from text, much like Open AI’s DALL-E. Currently, the LLM is also being merged with Yandex Search to offer the end user something similar to Bing Chat and HyperCLOVA X. It’s likely that we’ll see a new announcement pertaining to this development later in the year. New kids on the block Apart from the above entries on our list, several brand new LLMs along with their GenAI solutions are expected to arrive any day from other big players. Among them are Samsung from South Korea, Tencent from China, as well as Amazon and Apple. In fact, Apple already has an internal AI chatbot for employees, but its much-talked-about AppleGPT based on the company’s LLM, Ajax, is said to be around the corner. Amazon began to offer a service for building AI chatbots called Lex a while ago, but more notably, the company recently announced its upcoming GenAI solution tailored for commercial use. Japan doesn’t intend to be left behind either — at least three major LLM initiatives are currently being played out. Among them is a joint project between Fujitsu, RIKEN, Tokyo Tech, and Tohoku University who are developing a series of LLMs using one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, Fugaku. In addition, both NTT and SoftBank are reportedly in the final stages of developing their “homegrown” LLMs. While much remains unclear and covered in mist (or is it gray goo 😉), one thing is certain — 2024 is going to be the most AI-intense year we have seen yet! If you enjoyed this listicle, visit AIport for more exclusive insights into the latest tech trends, with a focus on the global ML landscape. All trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. Contact Details NettResults PR Nick Leighton +1 949-478-5880 nick.leighton@nettresultsllc.com Company Website https://aiport.substack.com/

January 25, 2024 09:53 AM Pacific Standard Time

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IMA Financial Group and Vouch Establish Strategic Partnership To Offer Specialized Insurance to Tech Enterprises at Every Growth Stage

IMA Financial

IMA Financial Group and Vouch, leaders in insurance for technology, life sciences and web3, have today announced the formation of a strategic alliance, merging IMA's brokerage expertise with Vouch's innovative coverage. The alliance disrupts the landscape for innovative tech companies underserved by legacy insurance products. Until now, Vouch has operated exclusively as a managing general agent (MGA), distinguished by its proprietary coverages and direct-to-startup distribution model. IMA is its first retail brokerage partner. To merge its expertise with Vouch’s proprietary insurance products, IMA launched IMA Next.Gen, a new program offering specialized insurance products crafted for venture-backed startups in technology, life sciences and web3. This program fills a crucial market gap, offering unique coverage enhancements and access to 10 exclusive Vouch coverages designed to meet these sectors' rapid innovation and growth needs. Through this partnership, IMA broadens its insurance solutions, providing comprehensive, tailored coverage for the specific challenges tech enterprises face. IMA clients gain exclusive access to Vouch's specialized tech industry products, with preferred pricing and custom coverage options combining standard and specialized insurance products. Mark Ware, EVP at IMA, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership: "Partnering with Vouch enables us to enhance our insurance offerings significantly, ensuring our clients, from startups to IPO-ready companies, have access to the best possible solutions." Sam Hodges, Co-Founder & CEO of Vouch, also remarked on the synergy: "IMA's recognized technology practice and track record with innovation economy clients make them an ideal partner. This collaboration is focused on delivering purpose-built insurance products and experiences for tech businesses." The IMA-Vouch partnership represents a holistic approach to insurance management, catering to companies across their development spectrum. It provides startups with essential insurance products at competitive rates and evolves with them to offer a more comprehensive suite of services as companies grow. The IMA Next.Gen program allows clients to leverage Vouch's proprietary insurance and benefits, including exclusive coverage enhancements developed by IMA, as well as the Vouch technology platform. This digital brokerage tool streamlines the insurance process, offering a seamless, user-friendly experience for managing coverage. As clients grow, the program supports their expanding risk management needs, ensuring continuous, tailored insurance support. "We aim to provide founders with products and services uniquely designed for their specific risks," said Hodges. "Our partnership with IMA is a testament to our commitment to serving technology businesses at every stage of their growth." About IMA Financial Group IMA Financial Group is an independent broker defining the future of insurance through comprehensive and consultative risk and wealth management services. A majority employee-owned and managed company, its 2,300-plus associates in offices across the country are empowered by a shared mission to manage risk, protect assets and make a difference. Learn more at https://www.imacorp.com. About Vouch Vouch is a US-based provider of business insurance to thousands of high-growth companies that has raised $160 million from top-tier Silicon Valley institutions and investors, including Ribbit Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Y Combinator and Index Ventures. Since its inception in 2018, the company has empowered clients to get risk management right through niche expertise, a proprietary approach to pricing and underwriting, fast, digital-first procurement and coverages that scale as the company grows. More information on Vouch can be found at https://www.vouch.us. Vouch Insurance Services, LLC (NPN # 19039391) and Vouch Specialty Insurance Services, LLC (NPN # 19926463) are licensed in the states in which they conduct business. Detailed license information is available at https://www.vouch.us/licenses. Contact Details IMA Financial Group Ruth Rohs +1 303-615-7513 ruth.rohs@imacorp.com Vouch Cassidy Clawson +1 831-247-3750 cassidy.clawson@vouch.us Center Reach Communications Alexandra Campbell alexandra@centerreachcommunication.com Company Website https://imacorp.com/

January 25, 2024 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Premier Design-Build Construction Firm Kingham Dalton Wilson (KDW) Announces Executive Leadership Changes

Kingham Dalton Wilson, Ltd.

Kingham Dalton Wilson, Ltd. ( KDW ), a renowned leader in the construction industry specializing in design-build industrial and commercial construction, has announced it will expand its executive leadership team to support a growing range of projects. The design-build firm will add two longtime team members to its C-suite. Effective Jan. 1, 2024, Jay Kingham, who joined KDW in 2006, will serve as President, a role formerly held by Keith Dalton, who will remain Chief Executive Officer. Eighteen-year veteran Rolf Scheffler has been named to the new role of Chief Operating Officer. Previously, Kingham was KDW Principal and Construction Manager, while Scheffler served as Director of Special Projects. “Clients rely on us as a single-source solution that excels in every stage of a commercial development,” said Scheffler. “As COO, I will work to optimize efficiency in processes, implement risk management practices and champion quality control initiatives to meet our 2024 operational excellence goals.” Former Project Manager Michael Mann replaces Scheffler as Director of Special Projects, and KDW’s Preconstruction Manager Mark Camilli has become Director of Preconstruction. With over 128 years of combined experience and a track record of more than 2,000 successful projects, KDW has an established reputation for providing the highest-quality construction services with a dedicated team of professionals who prioritize customer satisfaction and deliver projects within scope, within budget and on time. In 2023, the company launched nearly 40 projects, including Sovereign Flavors’ Kyle, Texas, headquarters, Balcones Resources’ San Antonio-based material recovery facility, Elin Energy’s Waller County, Texas, solar panel manufacturing facility and Newton Nursery’s Spring, Texas, nursery. The momentum continues into 2024, with additional projects slated for completion throughout the year. "As KDW expands in and beyond Texas, we need additional leaders to serve our growing client portfolio and employee base,” said Dalton. “The new structure recognizes and supports our employees’ dedication and professional development and provides a strong foundation for our future.” Kingham Dalton Wilson, Ltd. ( KDW ) is a full-service design-build firm specializing in customized industrial and commercial construction. With a team of more than 100 in-house designers, architects and multidisciplinary building professionals, the company is a single-source, one-contract solution for global and domestic companies, designing and building facilities that meet complex client specifications, often in niche industries such as cold storage, clean technology, food manufacturing and oil and gas. With headquarters in Houston and an office in Austin, KDW has completed more than 2,000 projects across Texas since its founding in 2004. For more information, visit www.kdw.com. Contact Details Jessica Poulalier jessica@centerreachcommunication.com Company Website https://www.kdwltd.com/

January 25, 2024 09:00 AM Central Standard Time

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Start the Year Investing in Yourself

YourUpdateTV

Following a busy holiday season, now could be the time to shift from shopping and gift giving to setting the stage for a financially rewarding future. In the new year, you can reflect on how you have been managing your finances, set a strong tone for the year ahead, and even start investing as a first step towards your future goals. The team behind Plynk, an app designed to help people manage and grow their money through investing, spoke with customers about how to begin investing at their recent “Investing Dollar Store events in Austin and New Orleans. Maya Sudhakaran, Plynk’s Head of Growth and Acquisition, and the rest of the Plynk team were able to connect with customers on important strategies to manage financial stress from the start of the holidays through the new year– and highlight the tools that can help. An example of one of these tools is Plynk, which can help you kick off investing with just $1, and has tools like automatic contributions, a sign-up bonus*, and expert ratings to support your investing journey. Maya Sudhakaran conducted a media tour discussing why the new year could be a great time to start investing. She emphasized how a small investment (even a single dollar) can help prepare for a brighter financial future. Topics that Maya discussed during her media tour included: How you can start investing with as little as $1. First steps that someone could take if they are thinking about investing. How the Plynk app works. Ways that even small investments can help set you up for a successful financial future. For more information, visit plynkinvest.com Keep in mind that investing involves risk, including the risk of loss. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money. *Limited time offer. Terms and conditions apply. The Plynk® app provides access to two different types of accounts, brokerage and crypto. Brokerage accounts and related information and services are provided by Digital Brokerage Services LLC (DBS), member of FINRA, opens in new window and SIPC, opens in new window. 499 Washington Boulevard, Fidelity Internal Information Jersey City, NJ 07310. Crypto accounts and related information and services are provided by Paxos Trust Company (Paxos), a New York State-Chartered limited liability trust company (NMLS #1766787). The information herein is not intended to serve as a basis for any investment decision or recommendation. Digital Brokerage Services LLC does not provide financial or investment advice, and you should conduct your own due diligence and alaysis based on your specific needs. © 2024 FMR LLC. All rights reserved. #1128006.1.0 Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

January 23, 2024 02:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

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How Minuteman Press Franchise Owner Ray Ochoa Turned a First Order for Sales Flyers Into a Branded Building Project for SoCalGas

Minuteman Press International Inc

Ray Ochoa has owned the Minuteman Press franchise in Torrance, CA since November of 2016. Before buying the business, Ray was no stranger to the printing industry. Ray shares, “I’ve been in printing all my life. I graduated from Don Bosco Technical Institute located in Rosemead, California, which was part of five-year program combined with high school. We spent half of each day on academics and the other half on vocational training. After completion of the program, I went straight into the workforce.” Throughout the course of his career prior to Minuteman Press, Ray worked all over Los Angeles, Texas, and Atlanta for large printing companies that worked with big businesses. Ray says, I worked my way up from press operator to sales to several levels of management. One of my jobs was doing sales for an entertainment print company doing theatrical printing, banners, posters, and printing for home entertainment. We had clients like Sony, Warner, and Paramount.” First Order Leads to Bigger Business Ray’s hard work in his previous career paid off when out of the blue, one of his clients from the entertainment industry called with a rush project for a friend of his. They hadn’t talked in years but they remembered Ray from his outstanding service. Ray says, “I get a call from my contact to see if I could help with a rush printing job for SoCalGas. They needed super-fast turnaround for sales sheets. I didn’t hesitate and fulfilled the order that same day.” Turning around that small print project of 2,500 sales flyers same day lead to the larger month-long project which included painting and large format graphics for the SoCalGas ERC (Energy Resource Center). SoCalGas happens to be the nation’s largest gas distribution utility. They service 21.1 million consumers for the past 150 years and are a subsidiary of SEMPRA Energy. Ray says, “You never know where that next big client will come from. The client was impressed with our quickness and efficiency, and this kick-started everything that was to come between the partnership of Minuteman Press and SoCalGas.” As the business relationship grew, so did the scope of the orders. Ray says, “The team at SoCalGas is so busy and they come to me to turn printing around on a dime. I was used to working with entertainment companies and ad agencies with short timeframes, and so I carried that with me to Minuteman Press. We have fast service, quick turnaround, and can handle high-level commercial printing.” Today, in order to service the SoCalGas marketing division with top quality, fast turnarounds and very competitive pricing, Ray and his team consider themselves an extension of the marketing team. He says, “When we hear of a potential project coming our way we purchase the paper right away and communicate with SoCalGas that we are ready to, willing and able to jump!” Ray continues, “We have delivered through so-called client emergencies, dilemmas, and timeframe issues, even if it means stepping out of our comfort zone. When SoCalGas needed a shipping container to be painted and have vinyl graphics added and installed, I managed the whole project including lining up the painters. They have come to trust me to get the job done, and it is very gratifying to keep delivering for their team.” 30-Day Project Sparks Record Sales Month It is no surprise that when SoCalGas needed to complete a 30-day project in lightning fast time, they turned to Ray Ochoa and Minuteman Press in Torrance. Ray shares, “They came to me with a huge project. There’s a push here in California for companies like SoCalGas to be carbon free by 2030, creating a big push for electric energy. SoCalGas has initiated a process where they add hydrogen to natural has, which is an intermediate step before going green.” Ray continues, “With that said, SoCalGas has its headquarters in downtown Los Angeles but has facilities all over Southern California, including their Energy Resource Center (ERC). As a result, they built a carbon-free hydrogen home – otherwise known as H2 Home – and they tasked me with doing all of the prep work, painting, and graphics installations.” For this project, Ray acted as the project manager in addition to handling all of the printing later on. He says, “I was there every morning at 7:30 am for their construction meetings, listening to everything that was happening. We went in there and prepped/painted all of the equipment and even the rooftops. We carefully measured each piece of equipment and then had graphics installed on every single piece that was built to those measurements.” The completion of this project not only helped Ray achieve a record sales month, it also has created even more business afterwards. Ray explains, “This initial project was 30 days and we had tight deadlines so they could hold their grand opening for the facility. Since then, we have also printed a lot of collateral materials for SoCalGas. They had a special request to have their marketing materials printed on FSC paper that is 100% recyclable, and we got it done. We’ve also done graphics for their trucks as well as a 200-ft. banner.” When asked for the keys to his relationships with clients like SoCalGas, Ray says, “It’s all about customer service… understanding what is needed, when it’s needed and delivering it to them without exception! You are that problem-solver and you need to build that reputation as a trusted business partner.” “When it comes to doing business, there are three keys: 1. We are in the happy customer business; 2. We need to make a profit; 3. We want to have fun doing it!” -Ray Ochoa, owner, Minuteman Press, Torrance, CA Additional Quick Questions and Answers On doing business in Torrance, CA: “Torrance is a big city with a rather large footprint. We are a beach city with restaurants, manufacturing, and attorneys, etc. The three primary ways I’ve grown my business are through marketing, building my reputation, and cultivating personal relationships.” On products and services: “High-demand products are all of the different kinds of signage – pullup banners, vinyl banners, window clings, large format, and stickers.” On support from Minuteman Press: “I graduated from that five-year program in 1985 and have been in printing since that time. What I liked about Minuteman Press the most was FLEX – from order entry to reports, it’s such a valuable tool. I also liked the capped royalties and the local support. If I need help, my RVP Dan Byers or anyone on the team at World HQ is there.” Advice for Others: “1. Customer service – this is the most important. 2. Follow the Minuteman Press system. Also, maximize the capabilities of FLEX. 3. You are there to serve and to help. Buyers are trusting you. If they pick the wrong vendor, they can lose their jobs. Mistakes happen, so make up for them, and say ‘this is what I’ll do for you.’ Clients may sign off on the proof but you have to look beyond that and make things right when needed.” For more information on Ray Ochoa’s Minuteman Press franchise in Torrance, CA, visit https://www.minutemantorrance.com. Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and read Minuteman Press franchise reviews at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com. Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

January 22, 2024 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Lotis Blue Consulting Releases Future of Retail Workforce Study: New Research Predicts Associate Stay/Leave Decisions with 87 Percent Accuracy

Lotis Blue Consulting

Lotis Blue Consulting, a corporate advisory and business transformation firm, releases the third edition of its comprehensive research study, Lotis Blue Future of Retail Workforce Study, analyzing the current state of the retail workforce. The study investigates ways the current macroeconomic environment has influenced retention trends for the retail workforce; factors that are becoming more important to employee retention and loyalty; how motivations for leaving or staying in a job are changing over time; and, new to this edition, how factors driving quit and stay decisions differ by workforce characteristics and retail segment. Research for the Lotis Blue Future of Retail Workforce Study was conducted during the lead-up to the 2023 holiday season and is based on comprehensive, objective feedback from 1,000 retail associates. The report uses the lens of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP)—including 7 dimensions and 30 underlying factors—to evaluate retail employees’ decisions to stay, consider leaving or leave an employer. “Labor dynamics in retail have changed dramatically in the last 12 months with a tightening of the job market and stabilizing sales, coinciding with major attitude shifts toward work and employers,” noted Lotis Blue Consulting partner and study author Aaron Sorensen, adding, “Even with changing labor conditions and issues, the data is comprehensive enough to predict an employee’s decision to stay or leave an employer with 87 percent accuracy. And in order to hold onto valued employees, we’ve observed that retailers must simultaneously provide an environment where there are more factors that make workers want to stay, and fewer that make them want to quit.” The study found that recent changes in labor market dynamics resulted in a decrease in turnover but a 7% increase in retail associates who are considering leaving their jobs, suggesting an underlying dissatisfaction with their current work situation. “Changes to the reasons that associates are staying or leaving an employer suggest that factors such as schedule flexibility serve a triggering role to job dissatisfaction,” noted study co-author and Lotis Blue Consulting partner Erica Grant. “While some decision drivers such as enjoyable work consistently influence staying decisions across workforce segments, other factors vary significantly in their importance by retail segment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for retailers." The study findings in this most recent edition include: Talent strategies for the retail workforce have a short shelf-life, due to changes in labor and market conditions Stay and leave decisions have changed significantly in the last 12 months, differing across retailer types and workforce characteristics Job factors create magnetism that uniquely attracts or repels retail associates More associates are staying, but there are also more with one foot out the door Some factors matter more than others: 60% of all stay-or-leave decisions currently relate to Job & Work Environment, Company, and Leadership Culture Pay and Health & Safety have made significant jumps as turnover/retention drivers this year, and Scheduling triggers a cascade of turnover intentions For more information or to see the newest edition of the Lotis Blue Future of Retail Workforce Study, please visit: https://www.lotisblueconsulting.com/insights/2024-the-future-of-retail-workforce-study/ Study Methodology The ongoing Lotis Blue Future of Retail Workforce Study, now in its third iteration, has cumulatively surveyed over 3,000 employees across 700 retailers in the apparel, big box, apparel & luxury, grocery & convenience, home goods & electronics, specialty, fast casual and other sectors, deriving comprehensive, objective feedback. Research for the first study was conducted in summer 2022, for the second, in the lead-up to the of 2022 Holiday season, and for this current edition, in the lead-up to the 2023 Holiday season. At the intersection of growth and transformation, you’ll find Lotis Blue Consulting. We help businesses improve the performance of their workforce, leadership teams, and organizations through evidence-based strategies grounded in leading-edge analytics and behavioral science. Contact Details Meir Kahtan +1 917-864-0800 mkahtan@rcn.com Company Website https://www.lotisblueconsulting.com

January 17, 2024 10:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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JustiFi Unveils 11 New Web Components for its Fintech Platform for Platforms

JustiFi

Today, Justifi is announcing the release of 11 cutting-edge web components for its Fintech Platform for Platforms. Web components promote a modular approach, turning each segment of an application into a reusable building block. This accelerates development and boosts application performance. In the context of embedded finance, web components offer the easiest and most customizable path to fintech monetization for platform companies. In a world where fintech integration is increasingly becoming a strategic imperative for platforms, the launch of these web components signifies a significant leap forward for JustiFi and its commitment to accelerate the potential of platform companies. These components enable platforms to seamlessly embed revenue-generating fintech products, such as embedded payments, lending, and insurance, into their existing ecosystems, faster than ever before. According to Nick Halm, VP of Product & Engineering at JustiFi, "Our Web Component Library is designed to support our commitment to delivering the easiest fintech implementation on the market. Each component enables rapid deployment and cuts months of development time, allowing you to stay focused on your product and customers." Built with speed, simplicity, and customization in mind, JustiFi's web components represent a major differentiator in the fintech infrastructure landscape. Here's why: Fastest time to market: JustiFi's web components empower platforms to launch revenue-generating fintech products in a single sprint or less. Unlike traditional solutions that demand extensive development timelines, these modular components allow platform companies to activate fintech capabilities in a matter of days, instead of months or even years. 100% White-label solution: Web components eliminate the need for a separate, third-party dashboard or complex in-house development. Platform companies can seamlessly embed fintech components into their existing platforms, preserving the familiarity and trust their customers already associate with their brand. Enhanced customer experience: The web component based Fintech Dashboard consolidates transaction data, including both card-present and card-not-present transactions, customer onboarding, and fintech revenue data. This unified view not only streamlines operations but also provides an unparalleled customer experience. "The integration was smooth, and the JustiFi team provided excellent support throughout the process. We highly recommend the JustiFi team to any business looking to switch payment processors and potentially introduce embedded fintech products in the future," said Sam McElhinney former CEO of Weven – acquired by The Knot, Inc. (NASDAQ: KNOT). With the integration of these 11 innovative web components, JustiFi's Fintech Platform offers platform companies an accelerated path to world class customer experiences and transformational fintech revenue. For more information about the JustiFi platform, please visit www.justifi.tech. About JustiFi: JustiFi, the fintech platform for platforms, enables software companies to monetize white-label fintech products like embedded payments, Buy Now, Pay Later, lending, and insurance faster than ever before. As a registered payment facilitator, JustiFi provides world-class customer support and helps platforms deliver seamless fintech experiences to their end users. Contact Details JustiFi Cory Ploessl +1 612-281-8966 cory.ploessl@justifi.tech Company Website https://justifi.tech/

January 17, 2024 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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PRESTIGEPEO NAMED 2023 WINNER IN THE BIG AWARDS FOR BUSINESS PROGRAM

PrestigePEO

PrestigePEO, one of the nation’s leading professional employer organizations (PEOs), announced today it received Business Intelligence Group’s BIG Awards for Business. The Company was named a winner in the Small Business of the Year category. Business Intelligence Group’s BIG Awards for Business program rewards companies, products, and people who are leaders in their respective industries. PrestigePEO, which provides a broad range of human resources outsourcing services, was recognized for its customer-focused service model, strategic human resources consultation, diverse employee benefits service offerings and outstanding 2023 performance. “In 2023, we improved our technological infrastructure and extended the range of HR services we offer clients. These advancements were primarily driven by the valuable feedback our clients provide, which enables us to better cater to their needs and facilitate the growth of their businesses. We appreciate the recognition PrestigePEO received from Business Intelligence Group and are honored the judges took note of both the efforts put forth and dedication exhibited by our entire team,” said Robyn Rusignuolo, chief operating officer. Andrew Lubash, PrestigePEO founder and chief executive officer, added: “For more than two decades, PrestigePEO has remained dedicated to delivering immense value to our small and medium-sized business clients via our hands-on service approach. Our team members build strong connections with the brokers with whom we work and the clients we serve, along with our clients' employees. This longstanding personal bond results in ongoing referrals, which significantly contributes to our continued growth, and is among the key reasons for PrestigePEO earning this prestigious award from Business Intelligence Group.” "In the spirit of achievement and excellence, we congratulate PrestigePEO on their outstanding success in 2023. Their victory exemplifies the highest standards of innovation and business acumen,” said Maria Jimenez, chief nominations officer. “Kudos to all the winners who have demonstrated unparalleled excellence, collectively shaping the future of business. May this recognition inspire continued greatness in the years to come." About Business Intelligence Group The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, business executives—those with experience and knowledge—judge the programs. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers. About PrestigePEO Melville, N.Y.-based PrestigePEO provides integrated, end-to-end human resources (HR) solutions to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) for managing all essential human resources operations. This includes support for employee benefits management, payroll administration, compliance, and HR guidance, among others. PrestigePEO’s full spectrum of HR services and solutions helps SMBs lower employee benefit costs, reduce administrative workloads, and manage critical HR functions. PrestigePEO is among only one percent of PEOs accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), certified (CI) through Workers Comp Risk Management, and classified as a Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) by the IRS – demonstrating financial stability and strict adherence with a diverse range of regulatory and security standards. To learn more, visit www.prestigepeo.com and follow PrestigePEO on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Contact Details PAIRELATIONS Susan Turkell +1 303-766-4343 sturkell@pairelations.com Company Website https://www.prestigepeo.com/

January 17, 2024 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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