GPS Based Social Networking App, Sober Grid, is Bringing the Sober and Recovery Community Together Digitally
New York, NY – July 9th 2015 – Seeing a gap in the sober lifestyle, Beau Mann created Sober Grid, a social networking app connecting people in the recovery and sober living communities through geosocial networking on The Grid. As technology and social media continues to infiltrate our day-to-day lives it’s no surprise that the notion of a support system is moving digital. Sober Grid stands in the middle of the digital and recovery intersection – the missing link for the sober community.
Beau Mann saw a need for a constant stream of support in the sober community. Much like a social media feed, Sober Grid allows people to connect, chat with each other and meet-up in person if desired, all you need is a smartphone. After seeing the successes of dating apps, especially in the LGBTQ community, Mann wanted to combine digital and the recovery process in a way that was never done before. With Sober Grid it is possible to connect with other sober people with a simple touch of a button.
There are several profile features that allow others on the app to see how you are doing, and what your needs are. The ‘Burning Desire’ feature puts a red box around your profile, indicating the need, or “burning desire” for a drink or to use drugs. A blue box on your profile indicates the need for a ride to a meeting; with a GPS feature this allows users to carpool together to meetings. Sober Grid also offers a sobriety calculator, and Sober News Feed. You can meet people in different cities while traveling, in an airport, chat with friends, or remain anonymous, depending on your needs. Users can enter the name of another uer and locate them by geographic location as well.
Mann feels strongly about the fact that Sober Grid is not a recovery program, rather an accessory or tool to a program. Not all users are focused on a 12-step program, though the majority are, it ranges from people in recovery, to people who just want to be in a sober atmosphere with like-minded people.
About the Founders:
Founders Beau Mann, Nick Krasucki, and Tavis Morello are professionals in the community and were inspired by the apps that connected the gay community. Nick Krasucki is located in Boston and serves as the COO and CFO. Krasucki received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and an MBA from Boston University, and has worked in start-ups in the bio-tech field. Tavis Morello is an attorney specializing in corporate mergers and acquisitions and attended the Wharton Business School and Boston College Law School. Beau Mann serves as Founder, President, and CEO of Sober Grid. A 33 year old entrepreneur in Boston, Mann has served as Vice President of Sales at Renaissance Art Associates in Houston, president and owner of Mann Fine Art Galleries in Houston and Vice President of Marketing for the Association of Talent Development in Boston. Mann served as Business Development Executive at Omniplex, a leading UK-based e-learning software firm where he drove their expansion into North American markets and achieved profitability in this expanding territory.
Top 10 States in Spotlight: CA, CO, GA, IN, MD, MI, NM, TX, UT and VA; With Solar Energy Jobs Leading the Way, Georgia and Virginia Join Top-10 List for the First Time
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report will show that solar installations and renewable energy manufacturing in multiple states helped to almost double the number of clean energy job announcements in Q1 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. The specific projects creating thousands of first quarter clean energy and transportation jobs in 19 states, along with a ranking of the top-10 states in Q1 2015 for clean job growth, will be announced tomorrow (June 30, 2015) by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).
In alphabetical order, the top 10 states for clean energy and clean transportation job announcements to be ranked for Q1 2015 are: California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
The latest E2 quarterly clean jobs report will be featured on the http://www.CleanEnergyWorksforUS.org Web site, which provides searchable details on growth in the renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart transportation sectors nationwide.
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors and others who promote smart environmental policies that drive economic growth. Our members, active in nearly every state in the country, have built or financed more than 1,700 companies that have created more than 570,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, go to http://www.e2.org/ or http://www.CleanEnergyWorksforUS.org.
Our Tomorrow Calls on LGBTQ People Across the Country to Share Their Voice and Help Shape Our Future
BOSTON, MA – After last Friday’s historic United States Supreme Court decision granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry, Our Tomorrow is calling on the LGBTQ community across the country to share their hopes, fears and ideas in their own words to help shape the future of the movement.
Launched last month by over 100 national, local and state-based LGBTQ organizations throughout the country, Our Tomorrow is a grassroots and digital campaign designed to engage LGBTQ people in a national conversation about their future.
“Already we’ve received over 5,000 hopes, fears and ideas shared by LGBTQ people across the country about what they’d like to see for the future of our movement,” said Lee Swislow, Our Tomorrow campaign manager. “Many people, organizations and political leaders are already asking ‘what’s next for the LGBTQ community’. We believe it is critical that LGBTQ people in every city and town across the country have a voice in helping shape the answer to that question.”
Swislow continued, “Now is the time for our community to share the one thing we all have – our voice. We’re calling on LGBTQ people across the country to go to www.shareourtomorrow.org today and ensure that your voice is heard and help shape our future.”
Our Tomorrow’s digital hub, www.shareourtomorrow.org, offers LGBTQ individuals and friends the opportunity to take part in an open-ended conversation about their future. In conjunction with the campaign’s launch, the Our Tomorrow campaign also released a video, “Share Your Voice, Shape Our Future”, featuring a diverse group of individuals sharing their hopes, fears and ideas for the future of the LGBTQ community.
Throughout the summer, the Our Tomorrow survey soliciting the hopes, fears and ideas of LGBTQ people has been a part of events in over 40 U.S. cities and towns across the country. From Santa Cruz, California to Tulsa, Oklahoma, LGBTQ people have been sharing hopes for the future in their own words and expressing what they’d like to see next for the movement.
Last Monday, before the landmark 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Our Tomorrow campaign released a set of word clouds showing the emergence of themes in the hopes, fears and ideas of the current survey respondents.
During the release of last week’s word clouds, Swislow remarked, ““What we are seeing from respondents is that even in the midst of historic advancements for the LGBTQ community, many in our community still live in fear of being open and honest about their lives.
“New rights and recognitions create new challenges and changing minds doesn’t always translate to changing hearts. The one central element that comes through loud and clear in the responses we’ve received so far is that LGBTQ people know this struggle is not anywhere close to being finished. A lot of work remains to be done.”
A full list of all Our Tomorrow partner organizations participating in today’s launch can be viewed here.
A Statement from Bishop Harry Jackson, Bishop T.D. Jakes and James Robison
We mourn with the families and friends of the Christian martyrs shot at the Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina. Yet though we mourn, we celebrate the bond of Christian love that transcends race. We also declare that evil will not triumph over love, justice, and mercy.
We rejoice because we see God at work against a backdrop of temporary darkness.
As some police officers in split-second decisions victimize black men, as an emotionally depraved white man disrupts a bible class to kill nine of the people who welcomed him in—names like Ferguson, Staten Island, Baltimore and now Charleston join the roll call of an issue impossible now to ignore or explain away or hush to silence.
In one significant way, however, Charleston is not Ferguson or Baltimore or Staten Island. In Charleston, on the heels of abject wrong came seeds of forgiveness, and instead of riots and looting, blacks and whites demonstrated pain-filled solidarity. It’s possible to avoid hate, and a Church is showing that. Not easily, not without pain, not without mistakes but with hope that transcends what we have now. Black, white, brown, yellow; here is the value of what the Church can bring.
Charleston becomes a call to all people of faith to leave our silos for a new brand of solidarity. With a comprehensive strategy of hope, we can serve the underserved and justice-deprived. On the side of righteousness, justice and freedom for all, it’s possible to turn the tides on declining economics, on deprived education. In love, we can work together to create a fair and equitable justice system in a country that stands for our highest and best ideals!
— THE RECONCILED CHURCH: Bishop Harry Jackson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, James Robison
Englewood, CO, June 26, 2015 – Bright colors, engaging characters and an inspirational theme combine for an instant classic in Guion the Lion: A Colorful World (Inspire On Purpose), by Rebecca Wilson Macsovits.
Guion (rhymes with “lion”) is a rainbow-colored lion who stands out in a world of black and white. He wants to find a way to bring back the color, but how? While on his quest, Guion encounters a variety of animals, each struggling with a unique problem. Always kind and friendly, he does his best to help.
To his delight, Guion eventually discovers that every time he helps someone, a little much-needed color comes back into the world.
Rebecca Wilson Macsovits approaches life with a sense of adventure and continually seeks out new people, information, and challenges to keep her invigorated. Although the majority of her career has been spent in marketing, her true creative spirit launched after the birth of her first child and continues to be cultivated by all three of her children, ages eight and under. To help balance her career and creativity, Rebecca runs marathons and also boxes.
Rebecca’s oldest son, Guion, who has Down syndrome, inspired her first children’s book. He brings a tremendous amount of joy to his family, and Rebecca regularly witnesses his siblings asking him for help because they know he is able to give it. She doesn’t want others to discount his abilities just because he’s different. Rebecca hopes her first book, Guion the Lion, will encourage young people to give and receive help from others who don’t look exactly like them – this is what makes our big world such a welcoming and colorful place.
For more, please visit the website: www.Guionthelion.com
Guion the Lion: A Colorful World
Inspire On Purpose
PEARL RIVER, N.Y., June 26, 2015 – Hunter Douglas Inc., the leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window fashions in North America, announced that it has donated $300,000 to Habitat for Humanity International to aid the people of Nepal following the two catastrophic earthquakes on April 25 and May 12. According to USAID, the quakes left nearly 9,000 Nepalese people dead and 2.8 million displaced, with almost 800,000 homes destroyed or damaged.
Hunter Douglas matched donations from its employees on a two-for-one basis; for every dollar donated, the Company added another two dollars. In four weeks, the Company received $100,000 in contributions to its Hunter Douglas Nepal Relief Fund and added another $200,000 for a total of $300,000.
Marv Hopkins, Chairman & CEO, and Ron Kass, President & COO, presented the donation today at the Company’s Pearl River headquarters to Kim Svoboda, Corporate Development Officer for Habitat, which defines its vision as a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
“I’m very proud and most appreciative of my colleagues throughout Hunter Douglas North America for their extraordinary generosity and compassion in helping those who are suffering from the devastating earthquakes in Nepal,” said Hopkins. “Habitat, with whom we have enjoyed a 23-year partnership, has operated in Nepal for 18 years and has mobilized hundreds of volunteers and staff to remove earthquake debris, provide transitional shelters and begin building permanent housing.”
As a national partner of the nonprofit since 1992, Hunter Douglas has donated its custom window coverings to thousands of Habitat homes across the U.S. and Canada, while its employees have invested countless hours helping to build hundreds of these homes.
“We are grateful to Hunter Douglas and its caring employees for their compassion and generosity,” said Jonathan Reckford, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “Their contributions will directly benefit the people of Nepal and help Habitat move toward our goal of helping families affected by the earthquakes rebuild their homes and lives.”
About Hunter Douglas Inc.
Hunter Douglas Inc., headquartered in Pearl River, N.Y., is the leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window coverings in North America and a major manufacturer of architectural products with approximately 7,000 employees and 40 divisions. The Company is also a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home built in the U.S. and Canada. Its products include Duette® honeycomb shades, Silhouette® window shadings, Pirouette® window shadings, Vignette® Modern Roman Shades, Luminette® Privacy Sheers and Solera® Soft Shades.
All Hunter Douglas brand products are designed, developed and custom-crafted in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.hunterdouglas.com
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit habitat.org.
Beaches Resorts Teen Advisory Panel Review Brand and Are First to Experience #IslandImpact, a New Student Service Hours Program
MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – Members of the Beaches Resorts Teen Advisory Panel (TAP) gathered last week at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa for their first official meeting and comprehensive site inspection of facilities and exclusive Beaches Resorts brand offerings. TAP members were also the first to participate in Island Impact, a new program that allows students to earn community service hours while on vacation, an initiative inspired by the members.
According to Chief Teen Officer, Sabrina Stewart, teens are not passive guests but often have exacting opinions about the family vacation. “Ask us,” says Stewart. “We know what we like, what excites us and we want to be part of the planning process.”
Stewart played host to the teens, escorting them on a comprehensive visit at the resort that included a review of different room categories, restaurants, watersports and Beaches’ signature opportunities such as visits to the Xbox Play Lounge and Club Liquid. CTO Stewart also presided over a brainstorming meeting on ways that Beaches might address issues important to teens such as places to gather without set hours, different programming for tweens and older teens and new food trends. Teens also expressed an interest in the trend of voluntourism and were the first to experience Island Impact.
Created by Beaches Resorts in partnership with the non-profit Sandals Foundation and facilitated through Island Routes Caribbean Adventures, Island Impact gives full time students the opportunity to earn up to 10 community service hours while vacationing at any Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos. Opportunities to serve include: “Reading Road Trip,” a literacy outreach campaign in conjunction with locally supported schools; beach, park or community clean-up projects; computer skills tutoring and mentorship; assistance at special interest local youth camps and “Pack for a Purpose®,” an opportunity to collect and deliver five pounds of much-needed school and toiletry supplies. Five service hours are awarded per once weekly voluntourism excursion and five for Pack for a Purpose. Eligible students receive a certification of completion for their efforts, which can be applied to their school’s community service requirements.
TAP members who visited Turks and Caicos began their visit “Packing for a Purpose,” and each filled and traveled with a backpack full of school supplies such as pens, pencils and colored paper for Ianthe Pratt Primary, a local Providenciales school for children ages 5 to 12 years. The TAP members had the opportunity to deliver their supplies in person and visited the local students as part of “Reading Road Trip”, also an experience under the overall Island Impact voluntourism umbrella.
“We had an amazing week learning what makes Beaches Resorts such a great place for teens to vacation, and of all the things we did – Island Impact with the Sandals Foundation will always be one of my greatest memories,” said Beaches TAP member and star of ABC’s hit comedy Black-ish, Marcus Scribner.
Island Impact officially begins July 1, 2015. To participate and be eligible to earn community service hours, teens must be full-time students, registered guests of Beaches Resorts and at least 13 years of age. A parental waiver must be signed for students under 18 years. There is a non-refundable US$25 per person, per excursion fee which covers roundtrip transportation and material costs. For more information and to book an Island Impact experience, go to http://www.beaches.com starting July 1st.
Designed as a forum for influential teen members to provide real insight into making the Beaches Resorts Luxury Included® experience even better, the new Teen Advisory Panel met for the first time at Beaches Turks & Caicos earlier this week. Click here to see how TAP members spent their time.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 25, 2015) – The Space Foundation’s international Space Certification program has added a new technology. ORBITAL SYSTEMS’ “Shower of the Future” shares the same water purification technology that NASA uses in space. As one of many components in a larger closed loop system, ORBITAL SYSTEMS has modified and brought forward a new solution that makes the system commercially suitable for Earthly water applications for non-potable use. It is manufactured and supplied on demand to ORBITAL SYSTEMS made in the U.S.
What began as an academic joint project between Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, ORBITAL SYSTEMS’ CEO and Founder, and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston has since evolved into a young and growing company. The project was led by the Habitation and Exploration Missions and Systems Office at NASA/JSC, together with the School of Industrial Design at Lund University in Sweden, and was focused on bringing forward design concepts relevant for Mars missions.
With support from Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from Johnson Space Center, Argonide Corporation tested and developed its proprietary nanofiber filter media. Capable of removing more than 99.99 percent of dangerous particles, such as bacteria, viruses and parasites, the media was incorporated into the company’s commercial NanoCeram water filter and inducted into the 2005 Space Technology Hall of Fame.
Built on a unique approach to recycling water in domestic applications, ORBITAL SYSTEMS strives to set a new higher standard for domestic water consumption. The team is supported by an advisory board which includes current Systems Engineer at NASA, Larry Toups, designer and professor Claus-Christian Eckhardt and Skype founder Niklas Zennström, who is also an investor in the company.
About Space Certification
Products and services that display the Space Certification seal are guaranteed to have stemmed from, or been dramatically improved by, technologies originally developed for space exploration or to have significant impact in teaching people about the value of space utilization.
Developed and administered by the Space Foundation, the Space Certification program serves three purposes:
There are three classifications of Space Foundation Certified Products:
A global, nonprofit organization, the Space Foundation is a leader in space awareness activities, educational programs that bring space into the classroom, major space industry events and space research studies, analyses and publications, all in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” Headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation has an office in Washington, D.C., and a field office in Houston.
Australian researchers have discovered that men with incurable prostate cancer, but without symptoms, who received immediate hormone treatment on the TROG 03.06 (TOAD) clinical trial, had an increase in survival over those who delayed treatment – with 80% still alive after six years, compared to 65% of men for whom treatment was delayed until they showed further symptoms or signs of progression.
The randomised, phase III trial, which was coordinated by Cancer Council Victoria, in collaboration with TROG Cancer Research, with contributions from New Zealand and Canada, was conducted to determine if immediate intervention with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) would improve overall survival, compared with delayed ADT in prostate cancer patients with a rising prostate specific antigen (PSA).
Radiation Oncologist and Trial Chair, Professor Gillian Duchesne, presented the results of the TOAD trial during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, earlier this month.
“These are people who are no longer considered to be curable, but who may have a number of years ahead of them. It is therefore important to try to maintain quality of life for as long as possible, and avoid unnecessary treatment,” Professor Duchesne said.
“We were surprised to see that 80% of the patients in the immediate treatment arm were still alive at 6 years, and 65% in the delayed arm – emphasising how long men with prostate cancer live, even with incurable disease.
“Survival was 10% higher at 5 years, and 15% higher at 6 years for starting hormone therapy early. It seemed that there was also a benefit in the immediate arm to using an intermittent schedule, which allowed the men to have some time off from treatment.
“The trial found that more men on the immediate arm had side effects: 75% vs 50%, which was not surprising. The rate of cancer complications was the same, but they occurred later in the immediate group.”
Professor Duchesne said the results from the trial will have an impact on future treatments for men with incurable prostate cancer, giving them more options.
“Clinicians now have some evidence to offer to these men, for them to be able to make an informed decision about when they want to start treatment – earlier with the chance of living longer but with increased risk of side effects, or delaying treatment. We were unable to give them any figures before,” she said.
The trial was the first of its kind to tackle this question in the PSA area. Trial data will be combined with the results of a similar Canadian study, for a secondary analysis. A quality of life analysis is also being analysed, to assess the relative impact of immediate treatment on quality as well as quantity of life.
Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Introduce First Benchmark to Provide Financial Performance Data on Private Investment Funds in Growing Impact Investing Industry
BOSTON and NEW YORK (June 25, 2015) – Private impact investment funds – specifically private equity and venture capital funds – that pursue social impact objectives have recorded financial returns in line with a comparative universe of funds that only pursue financial returns.
That’s according to the first comprehensive analysis of the financial performance of private investment funds that have both social impact and financial objectives. The Cambridge Associates Impact Investing Benchmark is developed and compiled by global investment advisor Cambridge Associates in a partnership with the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), an organization that seeks to increase the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. The Impact Investing Benchmark will provide performance data on a quarterly basis.
“There’s a view among some investors that impact investing necessarily entails a sacrifice in financial return. However, this data helps to show that is more perception than reality. This Impact Investing Benchmark has exhibited market rate returns – and stronger performance in a number of vintage years, sizes and geographies of focus,” says Cambridge Associates Managing Director Jessica Matthews, who heads the firm’s Mission-Related Investing Group.
“This benchmark lays the groundwork to generate critical financial performance data for the impact investment industry,” said Amit Bouri, CEO of the GIIN. “This demonstrates that market rates of return are achievable through impact investing. We hope this will strengthen the credibility of impact investing for a broader set of investors.”
Key takeaways include:
Together the diverse array of funds in the Impact Investing Benchmark posted an IRR of 6.9% as of June 30, 2014. A comparative universe of private investment funds with no social impact objectives and with the same vintage years returned 8.1%, according to Cambridge Associates data.
The Cambridge Associates Impact Investing Benchmark includes 51 private investment funds of vintage years 1998 to 2010 that have the specific objective to create positive, measurable social impact and to produce risk-adjusted, market-rate financial returns. The funds included focus on social impact objectives such as financial inclusion, economic development, and education. For perspective, Cambridge Associates measured the Impact Investing Benchmark against a comparative universe of 705 funds with no social impact objective in the same industries, geographies and asset classes and of the same vintage years.
“We are encouraged that impact investing funds have performed so closely with peer funds in the comparative universe. It’s also important to note that, beyond the financial performance the Benchmark accounts for, these funds are also generating a positive social impact,” says Amit Bouri of the GIIN. “We hope that additional funds will submit their data so that the benchmark will become more robust with time.”
Says Ms. Matthews of Cambridge Associates, “An important thing to note is that the keys to success in social impact private investing are the same as in private investing in general – smart manager selection and due diligence are critical. There are funds within the Impact Investing Benchmark that have performed in line with the top quartile funds in the comparative universe; this underscores the notion that market-rate returns are possible, but that it really depends on manager skill.”
For a copy of the report, “Introducing the Impact Investing Benchmark,” please visit http://www.thegiin.org/cgi-bin/iowa/resources/research/674.html.
About Cambridge Associates
Founded in 1973, Cambridge Associates is a provider of independent investment advice and research to institutional investors and private clients worldwide. Today the firm serves over 1,000 global investors and delivers a range of services, including investment advisory, outsourced investment solutions, research and tools (Research Navigator and Benchmark Calculator), and performance monitoring, across asset classes. Cambridge Associates has more than 1,100 employees serving its client base globally and maintains offices in Arlington, VA; Boston; Dallas; Menlo Park, CA; London; Singapore; Sydney; and Beijing. Cambridge Associates consists of five global investment consulting affiliates that are all under common ownership and control. For more information about Cambridge Associates, please visit www.cambridgeassociates.com.
About the GIIN
The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances. The GIIN builds critical infrastructure and supports activities, education, and research that help accelerate the development of a coherent impact investing industry. For more information, please visit www.thegiin.org.