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Devin D. Thorpe

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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Iconic Actress Goldie Hawn Helps Provide The Gift Of Hearing In India

On Monday, February 23, iconic actress Goldie Hawn joined Starkey Hearing Foundation (SHF) in India to help provide free hearing aids to people in need. Her work with the foundation comes just several weeks after her daughter Kate Hudson and grandson Ryder traveled with the foundation on a mission to Cabo. The foundation is spending three weeks in India and will fit more than 13,000 prescreened patients. Each hearing aid recipient will also be counseled as to how to use their new devices and provided information about follow-up care. The hearing mission in India is one of dozens conducted around the world each year by the foundation. As part of their partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, Starkey Hearing Foundation is committed to providing more than 1 million hearing aids to people in need between 2010-2020.

Goldie Hawn and Founder Bill Austin fit a young patient:

Photo Credit- Starkey Hearing Foundation

Photo Credit- Starkey Hearing Foundation

United Way Builds Coalition Behind Sen. Corker’s End Modern Slavery Initiative Act

Charities, Religious Groups, and Advocacy Orgs to Push for Historic Legislation to Human Trafficking

Alexandria, VA – Today, United Way Worldwide joins Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in an effort to combat modern day slavery. The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015, being introduced today, would authorize an historic increase in support for anti-human trafficking efforts. United Way is taking a leadership role to galvanize support from faith-based, nonprofit and advocacy groups to join the campaign.

This legislation, which would authorize $250 million in U.S. government funding to leverage a $1.5 billion international fund, calls for support from foreign nations, philanthropic organizations as well as the public and private sectors to focus resources toward combating this rampant global issue.

“With more than 21 million victims around the world, human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights atrocities of our time,” said Brian A. Gallagher, President and CEO, United Way Worldwide. “With forced labor, domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation around the world, this is an issue that requires a local, national and global response, and that is why United Way is working with Sen. Corker and Menendez on this legislation to scale sustainable solutions to tackle this problem.”

Due to the pandemic of human trafficking and modern slavery disrupting the well-being of communities, United Way Worldwide has made combatting human trafficking a top public policy priority for the 114th Congress and the passage of this bill a major focus this year.

The bill has bi-partisan support, and Sen. Corker aims to mark it up in the Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.

“We have to dramatically increase both public and private investments to scale all aspects of our response to human trafficking from increases in victim identification, to comprehensive services for survivors, examining supply chains and prevention strategies. We are proud to endorse the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act, a bold step toward breaking the back of modern slavery in our generation” said Gallagher.

The Wild Life Reserve Announces It Has Been Nominated For The Big Idea Pitch Competition During The 7th Annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

New Orleans, LA (February 24, 2015) — Today, The Wild Life Reserve, located at 111 St. Charles Avenue, announces that it has been nominated for The Big Idea Pitch Competition during the 7th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), the business festival celebrating New Orleans entrepreneurs and trailblazers, presented by IBERIABANK and produced by The Idea Village. The Wild Life Reserve, along with 21 other nominees, is currently featured on a special Big Idea voting platform on NOLA.com. The general public is invited to vote on their favorite(s) of the featured entrepreneurs once a day until Monday, March 23rd. The 12 community favorites, as determined by the gross number of votes received, will go on to participate in The Big Idea on Friday, March 27th at 5pm, where over $25,000 in seed funding is on the table.

The Wild Life Reserve has been selected to participate in two other notable competitions during NOEW 2015, The Downtown Development District’s Downtown NOLA Arts-Based Business Pitch and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans’ Women in Business Challenge.

A brand incubator with a focus on fashion and brand development, the aim of The Wild Life Reserve is to protect and promote brand growth under the principles of an actual wildlife reserve. The Wild Life Reserve Incubator brings creatives into the reserve providing them with education, exposure and the wherewithal to strive in the industry, “The Wild”.

“Protecting Fashion and Building Brands.” Creative Director Tabitha Bethune has made it their mission to preserve fashion through teaming up with like-minded creatives and providing them with services that include, but are not limited to brand outlook, marketing and product development. Tabitha Bethune, “We take pride in providing our services to creatives from concept to collection.”

For more information about The Wild Life Reserve visit thewildlifereserve.com or stop in to the flagship location at 111 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

For more information on New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, visit www.NOEW.org.

About The Wild Life Reserve

The Wild Life Reserve incubator program is a place for intensive, hands-on training, offering resourcing and brand development. WLR Incubator takes brands from “Dirt to Shirt”. Workshops, 3D measurement technology, pattern making, manufacturing, private showrooms and a prime New Orleans retail location for designers to grow their brands are offered. The Wild Life Reserve Brand Incubator is located at 111 St. Charles Avenue Downtown New Orleans.

International Franchise Association Educational Foundation Unveils Franchising Gives Back National Initiative

Franchising Gives Back Celebrates the Best, Most Innovative Community Leaders and Charitable Programs Nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Feb. 16, 2014) – The International Franchise Association (IFA) Educational Foundation today launched its Franchising Gives Back program at the IFA’s annual convention in Las Vegas. Franchising Gives Back salutes the best, most innovative community leaders and charitable programs nationwide.

“Franchising Gives Back is a year-long celebration of community leadership across the U.S. and around the world,” said John Reynolds, CFE, president of the IFA Educational Foundation. “Franchise businesses give back in countless ways each day, bringing people together in service to others and building strong communities. Franchising Gives Back shines a light on these exemplary leaders who are giving back and inspiring their peers to do the same.”

As part of the Franchising Gives Back national initiative, the IFA Educational Foundation has begun development of a national registry of the franchising industry’s charitable contributions and community support. Members of the IFA can contribute to the national registry by visiting www.franchisinggivesback.org to register and create a profile for their organization. Companies can submit details about their charitable activities — including hours volunteered and money donated — as well as upcoming events, news and blog posts.

Additionally, in early March, the IFA Educational Foundation will announce its call for nominations for the first Franchising Gives Back Annual Awards Program recognizing the significant contributions franchise businesses make to their communities. IFA members will have the opportunity to submit nominations in a number of categories to recognize their charitable initiatives that their businesses support in local communities throughout the year. Winners will be honored during a special event in September 2015.

Plans are being finalized to publish its first Franchising Gives Back Annual Report highlighting the industry’s contributions and a best practices guide for IFA members who want to develop their community support and charitable activities.

As part of the IFA Foundation’s “Shaping the Future of Franchising” fundraising campaign launched last year, the Roark Capital Group made a lead gift to the Foundation as the founding partner of Franchising Gives Back.

“The IFA often cites the economic impact franchise business owners have made, employing millions of Americans and creating new jobs each year, but the charitable work being done by small business owners is equally powerful,” said Steve Romaniello, CFE, Managing Director, Roark Capital Group. “We are honored to be the founding partner of Franchising Gives Back and celebrate the billions of volunteer hours and dollars franchise businesses donate each year.”

For more information on Franchising Gives Back and to submit details about charitable programs and community support initiatives, visit www.franchisinggivesback.org.

About the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation

Founded in 1983, the IFA Educational Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization and supported through the generous contributions of IFA members and others. The Foundation’s mission is to advance franchising and the free enterprise system by increasing the knowledge and professional standards of all members of the franchising community; educating the next generation of franchise practitioners; increasing recognition of franchising’s key role in the free enterprise system; and providing comprehensive information and research about important developments and trends in franchising.

About the International Franchise Association

Celebrating 55 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 780,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.9 million direct jobs, $890 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.

About Roark Capital Group

Roark Capital Group is an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in franchise, brand management, environmental services and marketing services companies with attractive growth prospects. Roark focuses on middle-market investment opportunities through family-owned business transfers, management and corporate buyouts, recapitalizations, going-private transactions and corporate divestitures. The firm has $3 billion of equity capital under management. For more information, visit www.roarkcapital.com.

Cornerstone Capital Issues A Call to University Students Offering a $25,000 Prize to Launch the “Business of the Future’

“Sustainable Games: The Business Model Challenge” seeks fresh ideas that combine profit with purpose

NEW YORK, February, 24 2015 – Cornerstone Capital Inc., together with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), RobecoSAM and the UN Principles for Responsible Management in Education (PRME), today announced a call for university students to participate in “Sustainable Games: The Business Model Challenge.” Applicants are invited to submit business plans for new companies that can help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges in scalable and profitable ways – “Social Enterprises.”

The grand prize, to be awarded in 2015, is $25,000 along with mentorship opportunities and tools to help launch the winning business.

“Our hope is that Sustainable Games will ignite the imagination and entrepreneurial spirit of thousands of students around the world to collaborate towards a better future for capitalism,” said Erika Karp, Founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital Inc. “Our goal is to energize students, tomorrow’s leaders, to make an impact on the health of our planet, our society and our future as we work to better finance global prosperity.”

“We are extremely excited to see the competition go live,” said Michael Baldinger, CEO of RobecoSAM, one of the world’s largest asset management firms focusing on Sustainability Investing, whose data powers the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. “As a sponsor, we are convinced that the brightest talents around the world will generate new business models that create shared value. Let the Games begin!”

The competition was declared as a Cornerstone “Commitment to Action” at the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2014 Annual Meeting. “CGI is happy to support this Commitment to ‘Sustainable Games’ and encourage investment in new enterprises helping to shape the future of capitalism,” said Bulbul Gupta, Head of Market-Based Approaches at Clinton Global Initiative.

“Sustainable Games: The Business Model Challenge” aims to accelerate market-ready solutions that reflect a value inherent in the systematic understanding of today’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) imperatives.

Students are asked to form teams of 3-5 members to be eligible to compete. All teams must select a Domain from Cornerstone Capital’s “Sustainable Domain Bank” designated for use in this contest. The domain will be the basis for developing the business models, which must align with Cornerstone Capital’s vision for a more regenerative and inclusive form of capitalism.

In launching the competition, Cornerstone is working with PRME Chapters from across the globe to support the Challenge by reaching out to students on more than 600 university campuses in 12 regions. “We are excited to partner with Cornerstone Capital in the first edition of Sustainable Games,” said Jonas Haertle, Head PRME Secretariat. “This Business Model Challenge is a great way for students in business schools around the world to put theoretical knowledge into practice and develop a business model which creates sustainable value — that is value for multiple stakeholders. We are encouraging PRME Chapters worldwide to promote this Challenge.”

Beginning in June, contest judges will select the top concepts from among all entries and match those teams with a mentor chosen from Cornerstone’s global network of industry and financial executives as well as sponsor representatives. Finalists will spend the next two months refining their proposals, and in Fall 2015 compete for a chance at the $25,000 grand prize before a judging panel and potential investors.

Registration for the Challenge is now open, and all entries must be received by May 18, 2015. For more information visit: www.sustainablegames.com and follow competition updates on Twitter at @SustyGames and on Facebook.

More About Cornerstone Capital Group

Founded in 2013, Cornerstone Capital Inc. is a woman-owned financial services firm based in New York offering investment banking and strategic consulting and, in the near future, investment management capabilities. The mission of the firm is to bring the discipline of sustainable finance to the mainstream of the capital markets. With the systematic analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the investment process, the Cornerstone Capital Group advises both investors and corporations on how to optimize their financial and business decision-making processes. Cornerstone’s Board of Directors, Global Advisory Council and Staff partner with organizations including the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and the Principles for Responsible Investment to work towards collaboration and transparency in the global capital markets.

More About Our Sponsors

Founded in 1995, RobecoSAM is an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing. It offers asset management, indices, engagement, voting, impact analysis, sustainability assessments, and benchmarking services. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM publishes the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). Approximately 130 professionals work for RobecoSAM, which is headquartered in Zurich.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,100 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) is a United Nations Global Compact sponsored initiative with the mission to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally. The Six Principles of PRME are inspired by internationally accepted values and provide an engagement structure for academic institutions to incorporate sustainability into curricula and research. Beyond the Principles, this “network of networks” is a vibrant learning community that supports continuous improvement at the global and local level. At the regional level, the PRME Chapters are platforms that advance the Six Principles of PRME within a particular geographic context, performing an important role in rooting PRME within different national, regional, cultural and linguistic contexts, and facilitating the growth and engagement of PRME with respect to implementing the Six Principles.

Global Sustainable Investment Alliance Issues Second International Assessment of The Sustainable Investment Landscape

Global sustainable investing assets grew 61% from 2012 to 2014 to reach $21.4 trillion

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 24, 2015 —The global sustainable investment market has grown substantially in both absolute and relative terms, according to The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014, a report released today by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA).

  • The  report reveals that global sustainable investing assets have risen 61%, from US $13.3 trillion at the outset of 2012 to US $21.4 trillion at the start of 2014, and
  • As a result, the assets employing sustainable investing strategies have risen from 21.5 percent to 30.2 percent of the professionally management assets across the regions covered.

The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014 is a collaboration between members of the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance and the Japan Social Investment Forum.

This is the second report to collate the results from the market studies by regional sustainable investment forums from Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Asia (ex Japan) and Japan after the inaugural 2012 review was published in early 2013.

Sustainable investing, also known as responsible investing, is an investment approach that considers environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in portfolio selection and management. The 2014 review, like its predecessor, measures sustainable investments in all asset classes, from public equities and fixed income to hedge funds, microfinance and impact investments.

The majority of the identified global sustainable investment assets discussed in the Review— 64% —are in Europe. Together, Europe, the United States and Canada account for 99% of global sustainable investing assets identified in the Review.

Other key findings include:

  • The most common sustainable investing strategy used globally is negative/exclusionary screening, affecting US$ 14.4 trillion in assets.
  • ESG integration, the systematic and explicit inclusion by investment managers of ESG factors into traditional financial analysis, is the second most prominent strategy in asset terms, affecting US$12.9 trillion.
  • Corporate engagement and shareholder actions, the use of shareholder power to influence corporate behavior, including through communicating with senior management and filing shareholder proposals, is the third most prominent strategy, affecting US$7.0 trillion.
  • Negative screening is the largest strategy in Europe, while ESG integration now dominates in the United States, Australia/New Zealand and Asia in asset-weighted terms.  Corporate engagement and shareholder action is the dominant strategy in Canada.
  • Impact investing is a small but vibrant segment of the broader sustainable investing universe in all the markets studied.  GSIA defines impact investing as targeted investments, typically made in private markets, aimed at solving social or environmental problems.
  • Sustainable investing represents a significant share of the market not only in Europe, where more than half of professionally managed assets practice an ESG strategy, but also in Australia, the United States and Canada, where its share of the market ranges from 17 to 31 percent.
  • Although sustainable investing is not practiced on the same scale in Asia, the growth of interest in investment products that address sustainability challenges such as climate change and resource efficiency is likely to continue.
  • In many of these markets, public policy and regulatory changes are underway that could increase the level of corporate disclosure on various environmental, social and governance factors and support shareholder engagement.

“The Review demonstrates that sustainable investing is an increasingly common investment strategy worldwide,” said Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. “In the U.S. alone, SRI assets rose 76% over the last two years, according to our data. The global findings show that sustainable investment strategies are being applied across asset classes to promote corporate social responsibility, build long-term value for companies and their stakeholders, and foster businesses that will yield community and environmental benefits. We are heartened that many of our GSIA colleagues are also able to engage, as US SIF does, in working towards legislative and regulatory changes that allow for more equitable and transparent financial markets.”

About the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance

To learn more about the GSIA, visit our website at www.gsi-alliance.org.

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance is comprised of the seven largest sustainable investment membership organizations in the world: Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA ), Eurosif (European Sustainable Investment Forum), Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), Responsible Investment Association (RIA) Canada, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, and Vereniging van Beleggers voor Duurzame Ontwikkeling (VBDO) in the Netherlands.

The mission of GSIA is to deepen the impact and visibility of sustainable investment membership organizations at the global level. Our vision is a world where sustainable investment is integrated into financial systems and the investment chain and where all regions of the world have coverage by vigorous membership based institutions that represent and advance the sustainable investment community. The GSIA has its current Secretariat office at Eurosif in Brussels.

Lemur Conservation Network Unites Over 40 Organizations to Implement $7 Million Lemur Action Plan

New initiative to streamline the global effort to protect the world’s most endangered group of mammals

Washington, D.C. – One year ago, primatologists from the Bristol Zoological Society, Conservation International, and the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Species Survival Commission announced a three-year action plan for lemurs. Organized by hundreds of primatologists from across the world, the plan targets 30 priority sites across Madagascar with urgent conservation strategies.

One year later, more than 40 organizations unite to form the Lemur Conservation Network (www.lemurconservationnetwork.org)—streamlining conservation in Madagascar and urging donors to support this $7 million lemur action plan. This online funding guide makes it easy for donors to find lemur conservation organizations to support, and engages the public with content from researchers and conservation leaders. The Network includes well-known organizations like Conservation International, WWF Madagascar, and Centre ValBio, alongside organizations of all sizes from the United States, France, Germany, the UK and Madagascar, including community-run Malagasy conservation groups, such as Association Mitsinjo and the ONG Reniala Lemur Rescue Center.

To create the Lemur Conservation Network, the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group partnered with Lynne Venart of Washington, D.C. design firm The Art Monkey LLC (www.theartmonkey.com). As a web designer and lemur enthusiast, Venart recognized that the lemur action plan needed an accompanying online funding guide, so she and advisors from the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group set out to create a platform to unite Madagascar’s lemur groups and promote lemur conservation to a worldwide audience.

Bristol Zoological Society’s Dr. Christoph Schwitzer, an author of the lemur action plan and advisor to the Lemur Conservation Network states, “The IUCN lemur action plan gives us the toolset to fight lemur extinctions. The fact is that if we don’t act now, we risk losing a lemur species for the first time in two centuries. The importance of the projects we’ve outlined in the IUCN lemur action plan simply cannot be overstated.”

With over 90 percent of lemur species threatened with extinction, urgent conservation measures are critical. Over 80 percent of Madagascar’s forests have been lost, and lemurs are in danger from hunting and the illegal pet trade, which threatens over 28,000 lemurs per year.

Dr. Russ Mittermeier, Chairman of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group and the Executive Vice-Chair of Conservation International, says that “Lemurs are without a doubt the country’s most distinctive brand in the global arena, and a major asset in scientific, cultural, and economic terms. Their conservation should be a very high priority focus for government and civil society at all levels.”

“Lemurs are the goose laying the golden eggs for Madagascar; tourists are not going to come and see empty forests without lemurs. Thousands of families depend on them for their livelihoods,” says Dr. Jonah Ratsimbazafy, Co-Vice Chair of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group and Secretary General of GERP, an association which connects Malagasy scientists with the international community to build in-country capacity for lemur conservation.

Dr. Steig Johnson, an advisor to the Lemur Conservation Network, echoes this, stating “Lemurs play crucial roles in the growth and spread of forests, and without them we might lose these natural areas that provide clean water, food and shelter to so many people in rural Madagascar. Saving lemurs means saving people’s livelihoods.”

The Lemur Conservation Network website launches February 25 at www.lemurconservationnetwork.org. On March 19, the network will host a launch party at the Right Proper Brewing Company in Washington, D.C.

The press kit for the Lemur Conservation Network can be found at www.lemurconservationnetwork.org/presskit. The network can also be found on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lemurconservationnetwork) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/LemurNetwork).

7th New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Lineup Released Registration for All NOEW 2015 Events Opens Today

New Orleans, LA (February 23, 2015) – Today, the full calendar of over 100 events for the 7th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by IBERIABANK, was released via www.NOEW.org. Produced by The Idea Village, NOEW will be headquartered on Fulton Street in downtown New Orleans from March 20-27, 2015.

New Orleans has one of the most unique and dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystems in the country and NOEW is its premier showcase event, linking over 40 organizations to engage entrepreneurs, techies, innovators, dealmakers, thought leaders, investors, and community members for eight straight days of discussion, debate, education, competition, and celebration designed to support new ideas, share best practices, and elevate entrepreneurial thinking. Over 10,000 attendees are expected to participate in NOEW 2015 over the eight days.

Registration is now open at www.NOEW.org and the entire community is invited to attend. Everyone who pre-registers will have access to special deals throughout the week as well as the ability to build a personal NOEW calendar.

“NOEW is the platform to experience the entrepreneurial movement in New Orleans,” said Tim Williamson, Co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village. “In addition to providing direct resources to support the efforts of leading entrepreneurs in our region, this year, we focused on developing useful programming for everyone in the community who is interested in innovation, entrepreneurship, and new thinking.”

Key NOEW 2015 events include:

  • 30 pitch competitions and demos showcasing over 100 entrepreneurs that will award prizes collectively valued at over $275,000 in cash and resources. Events include focused efforts on innovation in water, education, and arts.
  • Over 70 workshops, panel discussions, and networking events focused on marketing/branding, technology, and raising capital/scaling. Specific sessions include “Haters Gonna Hate: Branding, Marketing, and Addressing Good and Bad Reviews on Social Media,” “Create a Million Dollar Digital Presence with 1 Hour and $25,” and “Take Your Pitch from Sucky to Successful: The Top 6 Pitch Mistakes and How to Fix Them.”
  • Strategic initiatives that will launch efforts to encourage innovation in the healthcare, energy, new media, and food industries.

The 2015 headliners include Beth Comstock, President and CEO of GE Business Innovations and Chief Marketing Officer of GE; Jim Coulter, Founding Partner of TPG Capital; Ross Kimbel, Global Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for The Coca-Cola Company; Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of The Aspen Institute; John Briggs, East Coast Editor at TechCrunch.com; Gabie Boko, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Sage North America; Chef Donald Link, Executive Chef and CEO of Link Restaurant Group; Rhonda Abrams, Bestselling Author and Columnist at USA Today; Kris Frieswick, Senior Editor at Inc.com; Derek Thompson, Senior Editor at The Atlantic; Jordan Weissman, Senior Business Editor and Economics Correspondent at Slate; Rob Reily, Chief Marketing Officer of GE Healthcare; Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business; and Charif Souki, CEO of Cheniere.

Additionally, the following national investors have confirmed participation in NOEW 2015: Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, Bernhard Capital Partners, Calvert Funds, Denham Capital Partners, Draper Associates ,First Round Capital, Fulcrum Equity Partners, General Atlantic, Granite Ventures, Indicator Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Maven Ventures, Plum Capital, Revolution Ventures, Silicon Valley Growth Syndicate, Simon School Venture Capital Fund, SSM Partners, TD Ventures, TPG Capital, and UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund.

NOEW officially kicks off at 8pm on Friday, March 20th with an Opening Celebration anchored at Fulton Alley on Fulton Street. This block-party will feature live music, free bowling, and free Bacardi cocktails. NOEW closes on Friday March 27th at 8pm with the entire entrepreneurial community convening for The Big Idea. The Big Idea is a unique New Orleans-style pitch extravaganza, featuring 12 of New Orleans’ most promising startup ventures and a local, celebrity judging panel, complete with over 10 bars and entertainment.

ABOUT NEW ORLEANS ENTREPRENEUR WEEK:

New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by IBERIABANK, is the annual festival celebrating business, innovation, and advanced thinking in New Orleans. Produced by The Idea Village, NOEW engages a dynamic global to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial successes through eight days of discussion, debate, education, competition, and celebration. This year, NOEW 2015 will take place March 20-27, 2015. For more information: www.NOEW.org

ABOUT THE IDEA VILLAGE:

The Idea Village was formed in 2000 by a group of New Orleans citizens who believed entrepreneurship is a catalyst for positive change. The Idea Village is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to identify, support, and retain entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans by providing direct service to high impact entrepreneurs, educating the broader community, and supporting initiatives that strengthen our entrepreneurial infrastructure. From 2009-2014, The Idea Village has provided direct support to over 3,411 New Orleans entrepreneurs by engaging over 2,600 professionals to allocate 68,543 consulting hours and $2.5 million in seed capital. The Idea Village Gold Excellence award from the International Economic Development Council for our Entrepreneur Season model in 2012 and were recognized as a top-three entrepreneurship ecosystem developer in 2014 by the Global Innovation Summit. For more information: www.ideavillage.org

The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare Partners with Hearst Foundations to Expand Support of Nurse Leaders

Hearst-Jonas Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholars anticipated to impact the lives of 100,000 patients over course of their careers

NEW YORK, February 23, 2015The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare today announced an expansion of its partnership with the Hearst Foundations to provide scholarships to 20 nurses pursing their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), an advanced-level practice degree that focuses on the clinical aspects of nursing, leadership and application of clinical research.

Supported by a $200,000 grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation – monies that will be matched by partnering academic institutions – the Scholars will:

  • Increase the number of primary care advanced practice nurses, particularly in underserved areas;
  • Fill vacant clinical faculty positions at schools of nursing across the country, addressing the dire shortage of nursing faculty; and
  • Promote nursing leadership across clinical, policy and academic settings.

According to the Jonas Center, the impact of DNP nurses cannot be overstated. It estimates that each Hearst-Jonas DNP Scholar nurse will see an average of 20 patients per day, or roughly 5,000 patients per year. Over 20 years of practice – likely a low estimate – these nurses will complete nearly 100,000 patient visits in their careers. This number comprises 15,000 unique patients, estimates the Center.

“Our nation’s health will be in crisis unless we take action to ensure nurses receive the most education possible,” said Darlene Curley, MS, RN, FAAN, Executive Director of the Jonas Center. “We have an aging, chronically ill population with complex medical needs; increasingly sophisticated medical technologies in every care setting; demand for access to quality care at lower cost; and an escalating shortage of primary care physicians. In partnership with Hearst, we are helping prepare nurses to meet these challenges.”

This effort builds on a partnership established among the two organizations in 2012 and the ongoing Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program. The Jonas Center and the Hearst Foundations share a common goal to improve the healthcare of our country by addressing the shortage of specially trained health workers, especially nurses who are often the first point of care and those with the most patient interaction.

The 20 scholars will pursue their DNP in historically underfunded and underserved states: Idaho, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. Funding will support the scholars through 2016.

Since its founding in 2006 the Jonas Center has supported 600 Scholars at 125 schools in all 50 states. Of these, 30 are Hearst-Jonas DNP Scholars. The Jonas Center aims to fund 1,000 doctoral nursing Scholars by 2016.

“Our partnership with the Jonas Center helps further our mission to improve health and quality of life in the U.S. Supporting nurses is a natural extension of this vision,” said Paul Dinovitz, Executive Director, Hearst Foundations. “It is our goal to support these future nurse leaders as they enhance access to better primary care.”

Freebirds World Burrito Announces 2015 Line-Up for Annual Four Day Event at St. Vincent de Paul March 18-21

Freebirds Continues Mission to Feed the Body and Soul with Sixth Annual Celebration of Music, Food and Fundraising on South Congress

Austin, TX — Freebirds World Burrito announced today its talent line-up for their Sixth Annual “Freebirds Stage at St. Vinney’s,” a four day celebration of live music, fresh food, and fundraising for the community outreach programs at St. Vincent de Paul. For the sixth year in a row, Freebirds (through its charitable arm, World Works) and St. Vinney’s are partnering with music industry veteran Shilah Morrow to produce the show, which never disappoints. Packed with powerhouse entertainers, and led by an Americana vibe, this year’s lineup includes recognizable acts and newcomers alike.

This year’s mix of talent reverberating live from the Vintage & Thrift Store’s parking lot on South Congress, represents a variety of genres with Texas rebel, singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard; Whiskey Shivers; Austin’s native soulful rocker Ian Moore; Americana duo The Mastersons, Hard Chargin’ Honky Tonkin’ Jesse Dayton, and Soul shaking sets from Roxy Roca & T Bird & The Breaks round out an impressive schedule featuring more than 40 performers over four days.”

As is custom, the Freebirds’ Tribe (how they affectionately refer to their staff) will be there serving Freebirds fare and beverages, and Rodney ”the Pie Man” Henry will be returning to serve “Dangerously Delicious Pies”, while local artisans sell their wares during the event. The team from St. Vinney’s will decorate the stage and a few of the performers will don selections from the thrift store during their performance. Tired festivalgoers can take comfort in couches and chairs provided by St. Vincent de Paul.

“The Freebirds stage represents everything we love about Austin: Great food and drinks, a fantastic music line-up, and coming together as a community for a great cause, “ comments Freebirds Chief Operating Officer Bobby Shaw. “The experience at our stage blends culture and fun in a way that is accessible to all ages, and we’re excited it has grown into a tradition during this time of year.”

The Freebirds stage at St. Vinney’s began in 2010 as a way for the Austin-based “burrito joint” to assist St. Vinney’s in raising awareness and funds towards their many community-based programs while celebrating what is now their hometown. Funds from donations, food and beverage sales at this year’s showcase will go towards a new a mobile store/distribution center that will supply clothing, personal hygiene items and household necessities to underserved parts of Austin.

“Our relationship with the Freebirds Tribe, along with Producer, Shilah Morrow, has not only grown into a fun event, but has expanded the visibility of our mission of meeting families in need where they live and work,” said Paul Kleypas, general manager of St. Vinney’s.

Below is a Current List of 2015 Performers (subject to change):

Ray Wylie Hubbard
Ian Moore
Jonathan Tyler
American Aquarium
The Mastersons
Kevin Kinney & Friends (from Drivin’ N Cryin’)
T Bird & The Breaks
Jesse Dayton
Rosie Flores
Two Tons of Steel
Deadman
The Berkshire Hounds
Roxy Roca
Buggaboo
John Evans Band
Shurman
JP Harris & The Tough Choices
Ronnie Fauss
John Arthur Martinez
Annie Marie Lewis & Danny B Harvey
The Memphis Dawls
Mark Edgar Stuart
Nocona
Kristin Diable
The Seratones
Josh Buckley
Rodney “The Pie Man” Henry
Middle Class Murder
Paul Renna
The Bar Brawl III
Jake LaBotz
Sol Driven Train
Charlie Overbey & The Broken Arrows
Chris Porter
Luke Bell
Brian Whelan (from Dwight Yoakam’s band)
The O’s
Lucette

About Freebirds World Burrito

Freebirds World Burrito is the fast casual burrito joint with an unapologetically independent approach to serving burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, bowls and salads that feed both the belly and the soul. We provide great food and engaging service in a high-energy atmosphere, standing for freedom of choice both in expression and at mealtime. Through our charitable arm, Freebirds World Works, we’re also here to help the communities in which we serve and encourage others to lend a hand, too. Freebirds World Burrito is owned and operated by Tavistock Group. For more information on Freebirds World

Burrito, please visit www.freebirds.com.

St. Vincent de Paul

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVDP), Diocesan Council of Austin, a ministry that serves the poor, in partnership with the Ladies of Charity of Austin, have operated a thrift store in Austin Texas since 1961. The SVdP Store (Vinney’s) has been serving the needs of the community with material, financial, as well as spiritual support for over 50 years. The need for the programs that the store offers has grown over the years and the current location is unable to adequately provide necessary services due to size limitations and parking issues. The store will be relocating in the near future and with that expansion, many exciting opportunities await.

Funds generated through special projects, like Freebirds Stage at St. Vinney’s, will allow us to make a substantial financial impact on our growth. Funds collected at this year’s event will be used to help expand the program with satellite stores, mobile clothes closets, food pantry services, along with other social service programs all housed in one convenient location. Donations at the gate, as well as funds collected from vendors and store sales, will be used to establish extended services for those within our community who are the most vulnerable.

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