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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Leading School Food Advocate Challenges Claim That Schools Need Time for Food Changes; Chef Ann Foundation Offers Solutions

With one in three school-age children considered obese, Chef Ann Cooper wants critics to stop delaying improvements to student health

BOULDER, Colo.— September 23, 2014 — Chef Ann Cooper, a leading national advocate for school food reform and childhood nutrition, is on a mission to ensure that every school child throughout the country has access to benefits of the 2012 USDA School Meal Nutrition Standards. Some critics have said the new standards are too much, too fast and that some schools are struggling financially to meet them. Cooper and her team decided to meet the challenge and introduced an updated version of The Lunch Box, a suite of free tools that can help schools meet the guidelines creatively and cost-effectively.

“We’re not waiting to see what Congress will do”

This past June, the House introduced the 2015 Agricultural Appropriations Bill, which allow schools an extra year to comply with the guidelines if they can show financial difficulty. The Bill, which was subsequently tabled, is still awaiting action despite the start of the school year.

“We’re not waiting to see what Congress will do,” says Cooper. “The one-year waiver they propose will only ensure that schools that need the most help will fall even further behind, and their students will suffer. We need to help struggling schools, not give them a reason to further delay healthy change.”

The Lunch Box is the cornerstone program of Cooper’s Chef Ann Foundation, which also offers grant programs to help schools defray costs. Cooper, a veteran school lunch chef known as the Renegade Lunch Lady, understands first-hand the challenges that the new requirements pose, but she also knows how effective changes can be made with the help of the right resources and tools. According to Cooper, the answer to school food challenges lies not in waivers or rollbacks to the new USDA guidelines, but in scratch cooking and helping schools transition away from processed food.

“School food programs have been required to make a lot of changes with very little financial or technical support,” explains Cooper. “The Lunch Box shows districts how to meet the guidelines outlined in the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act by reshaping their nutrition programs to include scratch-cooked and fresh food.”

To efficiently meet the new requirements, The Lunch Box offers schools step-by-step guides for food purchasing practices and policies and a management section that includes fiscal analysis tools, reorganization strategies, HR resources, and baseline assessment tools to guide strategic planning.

The most popular section of the site is the recipe and menu cycle database. The Lunch Box offers hundreds of school food recipes that meet USDA guidelines. The menu cycles offered include USDA certification documentation. The recipes can be sized up or down depending on how many students are served, and they include nutritional analysis. They’ve all been kid-tested, so school food staff can be confident that students will like them.

About The Chef Ann Foundation

The Chef Ann Foundation (formerly Food Family Farming Foundation) was founded in 2009 by Ann Cooper, an internationally recognized author, chef, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children. To-date the Foundation has reached over 1,792,080 children across the country and seeks to provide tools that help schools serve children healthy and delicious scratch-cooked meals made with fresh, whole food. As a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, the Chef Ann Foundation is grateful to their generous supporters and friends who help them carry out this mission.

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Family-to-Family Teams Up With Panera Bread For Hunger Action Month: “Let’s Do Dinner!”

Family-to-Family, a national non-profit hunger and poverty relief organization, has joined forces with Panera Bread for September’s Hunger Action Month, to bring “Let’s Do Dinner!” to Panera Bread Support Centers in Sunset Hills, Missouri and Needham, Massachusetts.

“Let’s Do Dinner!” is a unique food drive effort that asks volunteers to shop every month for all the groceries needed for an impoverished family of five to cook one full, healthy dinner, and bring the items, along with a corresponding recipe, to their workplace, social club or place of worship. A program coordinator then brings everyone’s donated groceries to a local food pantry.

In this case, Family-to-Family has identified two food pantries that will receive the Panera Bread employee donations: the Needham Community Council Food Pantry (Needham, MA) and the Faith Church Food Pantry (Sunset Hills, MO).

“We’re thrilled that Panera chose ‘Let’s Do Dinner!’ — not only because it helps us extend our reach to more struggling families, but also because it helps the community in a hyper-local and personal way,” says Family-to-Family Founder Pam Koner. “We love the idea that Panera employees will be providing bags of grocery ingredients to make a specific dinner meal, even including the recipe… It makes their donations more meaningful for the families picking them up at the pantry.”

Family-to-Family supplies a different shopping list and recipe on its website each month. The ingredients that Panera Bread employees are providing this month are for a meal of pasta with sauce, garlic and broccoli, and fresh bread.

“We are very excited to be collaborating with Family-to-Family on ‘Let’s Do Dinner!’,” says Kate McConnell, Director of Special Impact Initiatives at Panera Bread. “We have been looking for ways to engage our Support Center teams in our fight against hunger and ‘Let’s Do Dinner!’ is easy, fun and makes a big difference in the communities where our team members live and work. The beauty of this program is that our associates are already going grocery shopping so they love that they’re able to make a difference for a neighboring family by just grabbing a few additional items.”

To learn more about “Let’s Do Dinner!” and Family-to-Family, visit www.family-to-family.org.

About Family-to-Family

Family-to-Family, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit 501c3 hunger and poverty relief organization dedicated to providing food and other basic life essentials to American families struggling with the challenges of poverty. By connecting donors one-to-one with specific families in need, Family-to-Family brings a large and seemingly intractable problem – poverty – into personal focus, making proactive, attainable results possible…one family at a time.

About Panera Bread

As of July 30, 2014, there are 1,818 bakery-cafes in 45 states and in Ontario, Canada operating under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.® or Paradise Bakery & Cafe® names. We feature high quality, reasonably priced food in a warm, inviting and comfortable environment. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by chicken raised without antibiotics, whole grain bread, and select organic and all-natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans-fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. In neighborhoods across the United States and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy our warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor and free Internet access. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on our website, http://www.panerabread.com.

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U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee Listening Session Added to Reservation Economic Summit (RES) Wisconsin

Native American “40 under 40” award winners also announced; will be honored at gala during leading Native American business event

MILWAUKEE, WI – The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will host a Listening Session on Economic Development during the upcoming Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Wisconsin, hosted by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (the National Center). The session was recently added to the conference agenda, which can be found here. The Committee is sending its top economic development counsel to hear comments and collect recommendations to bring back to Committee members for further action. In addition to informative sessions and a business trade show, the National Center will host its annual INPRO awards gala on Thursday October 8th, which will honor the recently-announced Native American “40 under 40” and other business award recipients. The conference, which is taking place at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee, officially kicks off with a golf tournament on October 6th and ends on October 9th.

“We are very excited to offer Indian Country a chance to hear from, and provide input to, those who help craft policy important to Native Americans across the country,” said Gary Davis, President and CEO of the National Center. “This newly-added session complements an already strong agenda and schedule of speakers, and provides even more value-added benefit to event attendees. Along with our annual INPRO Awards gala honorees and another impressive list of Native American 40 under 40 award recipients, RES Wisconsin is shaping up to be one of our most powerful Regional RES events yet.”

The Forest County Potawatomi Tribe and the Forest County Potawatomi Foundation is the presenting partner for RES Wisconsin. RES brings together tribal leaders, elected officials, top CEOs, established or aspiring Native American business owners, and many more to learn, brainstorm, collaborate, and network in an innovative and motivational atmosphere. In addition to business development seminars and sessions, RES Wisconsin will also feature a Native American business trade show.

For more information or to register for RES Wisconsin, please visit http://res.ncaied.org.

About the National Center: The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.

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Modern Families Are the Next Frontier for Financial Professionals

Allianz LoveFamilyMoney Study reveals opportunities for financial professionals to help ease financial stress for today’s modern families

NEW YORK – September 22, 2014 – Despite the complex financial situations of today’s modern families, a surprising number have never used a financial professional (57%) and many are using non-professional resources, such as family members, significant others, friends, or colleagues to help them plan for their financial future, according to the new LoveFamilyMoney study* of 4,500 Americans conducted by Allianz.

While many American families are feeling financially strained, the unique dynamics of modern families have created particular challenges that could benefit from the assistance of a financial professional. Yet, Allianz found that only a small portion (25%) of modern families are currently working with a professional despite the fact that 73% report experiencing a financial hardship of some kind as an adult. Compared with traditional families, many more modern families report that they have:

  • unexpectedly lost a main source of income,
  • declared bankruptcy,
  • gone on short-term or needed long-term disability.

In addition, a common theme of not saving enough emerged among all of the modern families surveyed. Even though they report not using a financial professional, nearly a third (30%) of modern families would be interested in getting help from a financial professional to set up a plan for saving money.

“American family structures have evolved significantly in the past 40 years and the traditional family model – heterosexual couple living together with their children – represents less than 20% of households today versus more than 40% in 19701,” said John Carroll, head of U.S. Retail for Allianz Global Investors. “Financial professionals need to embrace this change and understand how the structure of modern families and the issues they face affect their relationship with money and prospects of meeting their financial goals.”

Seeking Financial Security

The unique challenges facing modern families have caused them to feel considerably less financially secure than traditional families. Less than a third (30%) of modern families said that they felt financially secure compared to 41% of traditional families. Further, more than a quarter (26%) said that they did not feel secure versus 21% of traditional families.

Open to Guidance, Solutions

According to Carroll, what’s encouraging is that modern families do see the value in seeking professional guidance and are open to working with a financial professional. In fact, more than three quarters (77%) of modern families agree that working with a financial professional would relieve the pressure of trying to plan for their family’s financial future, and an overwhelming majority (84%) agree that a financial professional can help them achieve their financial goals. Among those who have never worked with a financial professional, nearly a third (32%) of modern families would consider working with a financial professional versus only 26% of traditional families.

As modern family structures replace the traditional family model as the norm in America, it’s important for financial professionals to be aware of what motivates the different types of families** and how they can best engage with them to forge a successful relationship. Modern families are most likely to see the value of professional help with planning and managing a retirement account, but on average they have less in retirement savings ($196,800) than traditional families ($251,100). Financial professionals have an opportunity to engage with modern families and encourage them to save more and help them increase their financial security in retirement.

“It’s undeniable that the changing American family structure will create new opportunities and challenges for financial professionals,” said Carroll. “Those financial professionals who take the time to understand and address the differing needs of the modern family will be more successful at forging meaningful relationships. It’s clear that an empathetic approach and true partnership with modern families are critical to boosting their feelings of financial security and paving the way to a successful financial future.”

The Allianz LoveFamilyMoney Study was designed to seek insights into the unique financial needs of today’s families. The modern family types identified include same-sex couples, single-parent households, those with adult children returning home (boomerang families), multi-generational families, blended families, and families with older parents and young children. Survey participants were between 35 and 65 years old with household incomes of at least $50,000.

Financial professionals interested in learning more about the Allianz LoveFamilyMoney Study should visit www.LoveFamilyMoney.com.

About Allianz

Allianz has been providing financial services through its affiliates in the United States since 1896. We offer world-class expertise across a wide range of financial services, from active asset management to innovative solutions to help grow and protect income in retirement. As a leading global financial services company with more than 147,000 employees in 70 countries, we’re proud to make a difference in the lives of our more than 83 million clients worldwide each day. To learn more about Allianz, visit us online at http://www.allianzusa.com.

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USD 2 Trillion of Investors Back Green Bonds to Tap USD 100 Trillion Bond Market for Climate Solutions and Call On Corporate and Governments to Urgently Deliver Projects to Be Financed

Green Bond commitments announcement for next 12 months by issuers, banks and investors

New York, 23 Sept 2014: Investors representing over two trillion dollars of assets under management today issued an Investor Statement on Green Bonds and Climate Bonds, committing to grow a global market in the financing of climate change solutions. At the same a group of 13 development banks, investors and issuers committed themselves to further developing the Green Bonds market.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has convened the UN Climate Summit today because, as he says, “Greenhouse gas emissions are at record levels and the effects of climate change are already widespread, costly and consequential.”

The past year has seen the rapid growth of a Green Bonds and Climate Bonds market as a mechanism to tap the global bond market to finance solutions to climate change. Over USD 25 billion of Green Bonds have been issued this year. The Climate Bonds Initiative expects a total of over USD 40 billion for the year and USD 100 billion in 2015.

Climate Bonds CEO, Sean Kidney, said: “Enormous opportunity exists to develop green bond financing in the coming year, including working with organizations making commitments in other workstreams of the UN Summit – cities, low-carbon transport, clean energy. That applies to emerging as well as developed markets.”

He added “The response to climate change also requires substantial investments in areas such as water infrastructure; adaptation measures for communities; and the climate-proofing of existing infrastructure. It requires a rapid transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy. The scale of the task requires mobilizing trillions of dollars of private sector capital as well as public expenditure.”

Today, investors managing assets of over two trillion dollars in three continents have issued an ‘Investor Statement on Green Bonds and Climate Bonds’. The Statement says they understand that they have a responsibility to address threats to the future performance of their investments from climate change, as well as a responsibility to secure their clients’ savings through sustainable and responsible investments.

Erik Jan van Bergen, CIO, ACTIAM (formerly SNS AM), said: “Climate change is real. Mitigating and adapting to it are vital challenges for societies worldwide. Acting on clients’ behalf and as key economic players, investors do have a responsibility to take.

“Gigantic investments are needed. These amounts are investments yielding a return, they are not costs. To provide the necessary capital, we need to activate the world’s large debt capital markets. Green bonds and climate bonds are a means to do so.”

“We stand ready to invest. ACTIAM intends to further increase its climate bond holdings of EUR 500 million, subject to market conditions and client demand, to EUR 1 billion by the end of 2015 “

Tushar Morzaria, Group Finance Director, Barclays Bank, said: “Every so often, market innovation and social imperatives come together to create something exciting that has the potential to make a real difference. The Green Bond market is a fast-growing and powerful example of this synthesis.”

The signatories committed to working to “grow a large and robust market that makes a real contribution to addressing climate change”, and called on:

  • Climate science experts to develop clear standards for the climate change impacts and benefits of bond finance projects. 
  • Issuers to ensure transparency around the use of proceeds and their impact 
  • Governments to develop projects that can be financed by green and climate bonds.

As well, a broad range of issuers and investors have made specific announcements about green bond issuance and future plans:

REPRESENTATIVES FROM THESE ORGANIZATIONS WILL BE PRESENT AT THE 3PM MEDIA CONFERENCE IN THE UNITED NATIONS BUILDING

Agence France de Developpement (AfD) – Pierre Forestier, Head of Climate Division

The French development bank AfD has just issued its first EUR 1 billion Climate Bond, funding existing or future climate oriented projects in developing countries. AfD intends to be a regular issuer into this market.

Aviva Investors – Dr Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer

Aviva, with USD 401 billion of assets under management, are a major purchaser of green bonds and are committed to growing their portfolio in 2015. Dr Steve Waygood: “Investors and policy makers need to work on a capital raising plan so that global governments and central banks know how they are going to raise the clean trillion in an efficient and effective way.”

Barclays Bank – Jeremy Wilson, Vice Chairman, Corporate Banking

Barclays Treasury has current green bond holdings of USD 700 million. It announced this week that it plans to increase its holdings to USD 1.63 billion by November 2015 to form part of its liquid asset buffer. This will be by far the largest such investment by a bank.

GDF SUEZ – Mr Gérard Mestrallet, CEO

Global utility GDF SUEZ has issued the world’s largest single green bond to date, of USD 3.5 billion. It has announced that it plans further major issuance once the funds it has just raised are totally used. It should be rapid given GDF SUEZ growth strategy in renewables and energy efficiency .

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – Ms Elizabeth L. Littlefield, President and CEO

OPIC, the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution is this week announcing its first “Green Guaranties”, U.S. government-guaranteed certificates of participation that adhere to the Green Bond Principles. Proceeds of the $47 million raised under these first guaranties will go to the construction of the Luz del Norte solar project in Chile – which when completed will be the largest photovoltaic project in Latin America.

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS MAKING ANNOUNCEMENTS RELATING TO GREEN BONDS

ACTIAM (the former SNS AM)

Dutch institutional investor ACTIAM has climate bond holdings of EUR 500 million. It announces today that it plans to increase its holdings to at least EUR 1 billion by end of 2015, subject to market conditions.

African Development Bank

Green growth is a strategic objective of the African Development Bank. The bank has committed to invest USD 10 billion under its Climate Change Action Plan (2011-2015) to help Africa respond to the challenges of climate change and to promote low-carbon and climate-resilient development. A total of USD 700 million has been raised so far under its green bond framework, and substantial new green benchmark issuance is planned for next year.

California State Treasury

California this week is issuing a USD 200 million green bond. Last week it also announced a new investment in in USD 250 million of World Bank green bonds, taking its total purchases up to $ 1.1 billion. “We hope green bonds become an ongoing feature of the State’s infrastructure financing program,” said State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The EIB has been a pioneer of the green bond market, promoting transparent linkage of use of proceeds to climate action and issuing the first bond issue of its kind in 2007. The bond was branded a Climate Awareness Bond. In 2014 to date, according to Climate Bonds Initiative figures, EIB has been the world’s largest issuer of green bonds, for EUR 3.4 billion (USD 4.37bn), with USD 1 billion placed just this month. The EIB will maintain an active approach to issuance and engagement to support sustainable development and further growth of the green bond market.

KfW Bankengruppe

In July, German development bank KfW issued its first green bond, EUR 1.5 bn. KfW has announced it intends to issue green bonds regularly and bring liquidity into the market, and will issue a second large green bond in 2014.

International Finance Corporate (part of the World Bank Group)

IFC’s two 2013 USD 1 billion benchmark size bonds ignited the current green bonds market. IFC have committed to a program of green bond issuance in different emerging market currencies with the specific aim of encouraging the development of domestic green bond markets. They have also committed to making green bonds available to US retail investors twice a month under their retail program.

Zurich Insurance

Zurich has $214 billion assets under management. It’s announcement that it will be investing USD 2 billion in green bonds electrified the market and spurred activity. Zurich is looking for green bonds to invest across its range of portfolios.

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Pink Ribbon Bagel® Returns to Panera Bread, 100% of Sales on October 10th to Support Breast Cancer Research

Southern California Bakery-Cafes to Raise Funds for Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

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LOS ANGELES, September 23, 2014 – In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, Panera Bread’s signature Pink Ribbon Bagel® will return to bakery-cafes for a limited time to raise funds for breast cancer research.

On October 10th, 100% of net sales of the bagel at participating Southern California bakery-cafes will be donated to Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation for their groundbreaking research into the cause and prevention of breast cancer. Throughout the rest of the month, 10 cents from the sale of each bagel will be donated to the Foundation.

Baked fresh each morning and only available during the month of October, the Pink Ribbon Bagel is shaped in the form of the iconic pink ribbon and features cherry chips, dried cherries, cranberries, vanilla, honey, and brown sugar.

“The Pink Ribbon Bagel has become a company and fan favorite,” said Stephanie Wren, Senior Regional Marketing Manager at Panera Bread. “It’s incredibly encouraging and inspiring to know that even a small act like purchasing a bagel that raises funds for breast cancer research can help us move closer to finding the cause and eradicating the disease.”

The Pink Ribbon Bagel will be available at 65 participating bakery-cafes throughout Los Angeles, North Orange, Ventura, Riverside, Santa Barbara and San Bernardino counties. For a list of participating locations, click here.

While many breast cancer organizations focus on early detection and the cure, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is dedicated to achieving a future without breast cancer by identifying the cause of breast cancer and how to prevent and eradicate the disease. This October, the Foundation will launch a questionnaire through their online Health of Women (HOW) Study™ to document and report on the “Cost of the Cure,” the widespread collateral damage resulting from breast cancer treatment. The Foundation’s Health of Women Study is the largest breast cancer research study conducted completely online to help gather critical information and better understand the risk factors for breast cancer. The study is open to men and women over the age of 18, whether or not they have a history of breast cancer.

“Panera’s Pink Ribbon Bagel program offers a tangible and easy way for everyone to take action this Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Dr. Susan Love. “The donations we receive this month will help us accelerate critical research so we can move one step closer to achieving a future without breast cancer.”

The Pink Ribbon Bagel originated in Oklahoma in 2001 in the kitchen of Sue Stees, a Panera Bread franchisee and breast cancer survivor herself. When Sue was diagnosed in 1984, breast cancer awareness was low and Sue struggled to find information and support on her diagnosis. The Pink Ribbon Bagel was born from her desire to increase awareness and help raise funds for others battling breast cancer. She sold 27,000 bagels in her bakery-cafes that year.

Over the course of 12 years, Panera has sold more than nine million bagels and donated over $2 million to breast cancer organizations across the country. This year is particularly meaningful because it marks Sue’s 30th anniversary as a breast cancer survivor.

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About Panera Bread

As of September 24, 2013, there are 1,736 bakery-cafes in 45 states and in Ontario, Canada operating under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.® or Paradise Bakery & Cafe® names. This includes 850 Company-owned bakery-cafes and 886 Franchise-operated bakery-cafes. We feature high quality, reasonably priced food in a warm, inviting and comfortable environment. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by chicken raised without antibiotics, whole grain bread, and select organic and all-natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans-fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. In neighborhoods across the United States and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy our warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor and free Internet access. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on our website, http://www.panerabread.com.

About the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was established in 2000 and is dedicated to achieving a future without breast cancer by engaging the public and the scientific communities in innovative research on cause and prevention. We do this through performing and facilitating innovative and collaborative research, translating science to engage the public as informed partners, and inspiring novel research. Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation has received a 4-star Charity Navigator rating for three consecutive years, putting it in the top 12% of rated charities in terms of fiscal performance, accountability and transparency. The Foundation is also a GuideStar Exchange Silver Level participant and a member of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, and its more than 376,000 volunteers nationwide, invite you become part of a movement to engage the public in breast cancer research with the goal of eradicating the disease once and for all. Visit us at www.drsusanloveresearch.org.

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App Puts Power to Help Save Lives in Hands of Blood Donors

New Blood Donor App offers features that make it simple, convenient and even more rewarding to give blood

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, September 9, 2014 — The American Red Cross is launching a first-of-its kind Blood Donor App that puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand.

The Blood Donor App allows users to schedule blood donations, track their total donations, earn rewards and invite friends to join them on a lifesaving team. The new app is free and available for download now in app stores.

“As the nation’s single largest supplier of blood and blood products, the Red Cross is uniquely positioned to bring this cutting edge technology to blood and platelet donors,” said Shaun Gilmore, president of Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and the Blood Donor App is a new way to help meet that constant need.”

Through the Blood Donor App, users can schedule and manage their donation appointments, track the lifetime impact of their donations and recruit friends and family to roll up a sleeve with them. Other features of the app include:

  • A blood drive or blood donation center locator;
  • The ability to sync a blood donation appointment with the user’s calendar;
  • Personalized “selfies” donors can use as they share their donation experience through social media;
  • Special badges donors can unlock as they interact with the app, make donations and spread the word;
  • A chance for donors to come together to form teams, track their cumulative impact and view standings on the Blood Donor Teams Leaderboard; and
  • Uplifting donor and blood recipient stories that show the power of rolling up a sleeve to help save lives.

Blood Donor App users will also get unique “thank yous” from the Red Cross and its partners – exclusive offers and discounts from some of America’s best brands.

“We have partnered with premier retailers to offer a variety of rewards through the app,” said Gilmore. “Shari’s Berries, ProFlowers, 1A Auto and Legal Sea Foods are just a few of the sponsors who have already signed on and new rewards will be added to the app regularly.”

The Red Cross has become a leader in putting vital safety information in the hands of people who need it during emergencies, with its award-winning disaster and preparedness apps downloaded more than 5 million times over the past two years. The new Blood Donor App takes it one step further by helping people save lives through blood donations.

The Blood Donor App, along with the others, can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross, visiting redcross.org/apps or redcrossblood.org/bloodapp, or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download. Message and data rates for texting may apply.

Eligible blood donors do not need a smart phone to schedule an appointment to give blood. Appointments can always be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting redcrossblood.org.

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How to donate blood:

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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Rock the Vote Celebrates National Voter Registration Day with Celebrity Activation and Voter Registration Rally

Rock the Vote serves as the official online voter registration tool of National Voter Registration Day to galvanize Millennials to register to vote online

September 23rd, 2014 (Washington, D.C.)Rock the Vote, the largest non-profit and non-partisan organization in the United States building the political power of young people, is taking action on National Voter Registration Day alongside celebrities, volunteers and partner organizations, such as Video Gamers Voting Network, Pandora and Participant Media.

National Voter Registration Day – Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 – is a national holiday observed by Secretaries of State from across the country and geared towards raising awareness about the importance of registering to vote. This year, Rock the Vote will serve as the official online registration tool of NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org and aims to mobilize numerous Millennials, first-time voters and young people of color to register to vote online or in person on the national holiday.

“This election cycle, Rock the Vote is leading the largest youth voter registration and mobilization effort in the country,” said Ashley Spillane, Rock the Vote president. “We’re proud to be a part of National Voter Registration Day and be the official online voter registration tool of NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org. This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of the importance of voter registration and the numerous opportunities for Millennials and first-time voters to get involved and make their voices heard.”

As the official online registration tool of www.NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org (NVRD), Rock the Vote’s system will be embedded on the NVRD website, as well as the websites of NVRD partner organizations. In addition, Rock the Vote has recruited first-time voter, Kendall Jenner, to register to vote using Rock the Vote’s acclaimed online registration tool on her mobile device.

Rock the Vote will be celebrating NVRD with a registration rally in North Carolina on September 23rd alongside the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and other partners. The rally, taking place at Appalachian State University, will feature a concert by Brooklyn-based band Les Racquet, an appearance by North Carolina-native Miss United States and a voter registration drive, as well as other creative activations fusing pop culture and politics.

Rock the Vote is part of a working group of organizations providing coordination and support to the National Voter Registration Day organization. Other partners include – Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, the Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit VOTE, and Voto Latino. The coalition of organizations is hosting more than 1,000 NVRD events across the country, including an event co-hosted by Rock the Vote and the League of Women Voters at City Hall Park in New York City. Now in its third year, more than 350,000 voters registered on NVRD in 2012 through the efforts of 2,100+ partners.

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A Higher Return on Equity: New Report Highlights Relationship between Business Leadership on Climate Action and Financial Profitability

NEW YORK CITY: A new report released by CDP today presents evidence that S&P 500 industry leaders that are actively managing and planning for climate-change:

  • Generate superior profitability: 18% higher ROE than peers and 67% higher than companies who do not disclose on climate change;
  • Ensure more stability: 50% lower volatility of earnings over the past decade than low-ranking peers; and
  • Grow dividends to shareholders: 21% stronger than low-ranking peers.

The report tracks industry-leaders over the last three years against their financial performance. The analysis revealed that those who lead on climate disclosure and performance have generated higher profitability (ROE).

The analysis demonstrates how these companies – some of the most profitable in the world – are planning for the future and protecting their profitability by taking action on climate change including:

  • Disclosing to CDP;
  • Setting ambitious GHG emissions reduction goals;
  • Putting in place strong governance and risk management of climate change; and
  • Using internal carbon pricing.

Each year CDP ranks companies based on their climate-related-disclosures to investors in two indices: the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) – a measure of a company’s transparency; and the Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) – a measure based on that transparency of the company’s actions to address climate change. This year’s report announces CDP’s 2014 CPLI and CDLI leaders from the S&P 500 (listed in full below).

As CDP CEO Paul Simpson put it: “With this comprehensive analysis of S&P 500 companies, the market has new, compelling evidence of the link between industry leadership on climate change and corporate profitability. There is only upside for corporations acting in a prudent way to address the challenges of climate change – for which disclosure through CDP lays the foundation.”

For now, the market has not put a price premium on these leaders indicating that an investment opportunity may exist.

The report is available at: https://www.cdp.net/CDPResults/CDP-SP500-leaders-report-2014.pdf

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Saxon/Hart Launches National Cause Campaign, ______:CANCER!SM

Kicks off with two days of fitness fundraising events in New York City

NEW YORKSaxon/Hart – a unique, inspirational cause marketing company that re-invests its net profits into direct impact, giving forward initiatives – is excited to launch ______:CANCER!SM, a new, national cause campaign, with two days of fitness fundraising events on October 7th and 8th in New York City. The events aim to raise money and bring awareness to ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer, particularly among adults 50 and under where incidence rates have been on the rise. The ______:CANCER!SM campaign hopes to engage individuals that have been touched in some way by colorectal cancer and encourages them to be their own voice against cancer by filling in the blank.

Hosted by Saxon/Hart and Dane Professional Consulting Group, a leading New York City affordable housing brokerage firm, along with premier sponsor Stonehenge Partners, a fully-integrated owner, operator and developer of premier residential and commercial real estate, events will raise funds to offset hospital expenses for Will Lanier, a young, prominent figure in the NYC fitness community recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Will is currently the General Manager of top area gym, Brick New York, and is also a contributor to many national men’s lifestyle, fashion and fitness magazines.

“After a long history of IBD and ulcerative colitis, I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in July 2014, and it has been a whirlwind ever since,” says Lanier. “I’m honored to help launch the ______:CANCER!SM campaign and in the process, raise awareness for this disease and cancer in general. I am so proud to have New York’s thriving fitness community standing alongside me in support of the cause.”

The two days of events will feature complimentary fitness classes (donations will be accepted) taught by an all-star line-up of instructors from popular gyms around the city, including Jenn Seracuse of FLEX Studios and female impersonator, Destiny Devine, who will teach a Beyoncé-inspired dance class. A private VIP event on the morning of October 7th will be hosted at Facebook’s NYC offices, and a public event on October 8th will include a full-day of fitness sessions at 555 Sixth Avenue.

Echoing Lanier’s remarks, Heidi Burkhart, founder of Saxon/Hart and President of Dane Professional Consulting Group, says, “We have been overwhelmed by the response from the community thus far, with support from the likes of the Facebook community, Lululemon and Stonehenge. We are looking for more to join our ______:CANCER!SM initiative and are excited for all to put their own voice to the fight against cancer. The October 7th and 8th events are sure to be a success, positively impacting this great cause, with Will as our spokesman, and showcasing Saxon/Hart as a new cause-marketing firm looking to be a leader in direct impact giving cause events for our sponsors.”

For additional information and event schedules, please visit https://www.facebook.com/blankcancer.

To learn more or to RSVP for an event, please contact: Shannon Burton, 646.517.2384 or sburton@fwv-us.com.

About Saxon/Hart

Founded in 2013 by Heidi Burkhart, Saxon/Hart is a unique, inspirational cause marketing company that re-invests its net profits into direct impact, giving forward initiatives. Saxon/Hart seeks to lift up remarkable individuals who are faced with adversity and challenges, through the support of altruistic health, fitness and beauty professionals united around the motto “give to live, live to give.” Visit http://www.saxon-hart.com for more information.

About Stonehenge Partners

Stonehenge Partners is a fully-integrated owner and operator of premier residential and commercial real estate, with a focus on value-add residential rental properties in New York City. Led by Co-Chairman and CEO Ofer Yardeni, Stonehenge today owns and manages a portfolio recently appraised at $2.73 billion which is comprised of 27 properties with more than 3,100 residential apartment units. Recognized for its above-and-beyond customer service platform and five-star lifestyle programming, Stonehenge provides a residential experience that is second to none. For more information about Stonehenge Partners, visit www.stonehengenyc.com or call 646-878-2004.

About Will Lanier

Will Lanier is an avid CrossFitter and the General Manager at Brick New York where he not only runs the famed gym’s operations, but is also one of the most desired coaches and trainers in the city. Born and raised in Dallas, Will knew he was meant to live in NYC. Lanier is a strong believer in setting goals, and more specifically deadlines to reach those goals, which is why he said at a young age that he’d be in New York by the time he was 22 – spoiler alert: he did just that! Will utilizes this philosophy in life, in coaching and in dealing with his most recent challenge: being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Will Lanier exudes a positive attitude and undeniable strength in all he does and his energy is contagious, just ask anyone of the thousands of people that follow him on social media.

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