SDSU researchers find that providing mental health care to young people in a primary care setting can help fight stigma, other barriers to receiving treatment.
Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif. (April 27, 2017) — Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems in children and adolescents. Youth with these disorders often go to their primary care physicians for referrals, but only a small number of them obtain much-needed mental health care. A new study led by researchers at San Diego State University suggests that providing a brief behavioral therapy in the pediatric primary care setting can help more young people get the help they need. The brief intervention’s benefits were especially noteworthy in Latino youth, more than three quarters of whom showed significant improvement.
About three in ten children and adolescents suffer from significant anxiety and/or depression that affects their ability to learn in school, form and maintain meaningful relationships, and engage in activities. The study’s lead author, V. Robin Weersing, professor in SDSU’s Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, said that our mental health system is not currently suited to identify and successfully treat this many youth. Additionally, families report barriers to pursuing mental health referrals that they might receive, including stigma, limited time, transportation and financial difficulties. However, statistics show that nine out of ten kids and teens do regularly see a pediatrician, presenting an opportunity to piggyback mental health services on top of their existing medical care.
To learn how effective that approach may be, Weersing and colleagues recruited 185 ethnically diverse children and adolescents ages 8 to 16 who were identified by their pediatrician as struggling with anxiety and/or depression. The study occurred at several pediatricians’ offices in San Diego and Pittsburgh. Half of these youth received outpatient referrals to standard outpatient mental health care, with the researchers continuing to contact families to help ensure that they followed through with referrals. The other half of youth received brief behavioral therapy (BBT) involving between eight and twelve weekly 45-minute therapy sessions at their doctor’s office. The BBT intervention involved learning and practicing strategies that would help youths face their fears and participate in daily life activities—school, social, and family—that they had previously avoided. No psychiatric medications were prescribed as part of BBT.
“In these interventions, kids learn not to withdraw from what’s upsetting them,” Weersing said. “Slowly they learn to approach and actively problem solve. Step by step, they re-engage with the tasks that they need to do or want to do, but previously struggled to do, because negative emotions were in the way.”
After 16 weeks of receiving either outpatient referrals or the BBT intervention, youth and their parents completed interviews and questionnaires that assessed anxiety and depression symptoms. While 28 percent of youth in the outpatient referral group improved significantly, more than twice as many (57 percent) in the BBT group showed significant improvement.
The results were even more dramatic for Latino children and adolescents: An impressive 76 percent showed significant improvement in the BBT group, while only 7 percent showed significant improvement in the outpatient referral group. The researchers recently published their results in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
“Overall, we view this study as providing really promising evidence that anxious and depressed kids can be treated safely and effectively within their pediatricians’ offices,” Weersing said. “This has great promise for improving access to care, particularly for Latino youth.”
An editorial accompanying the paper in JAMA Psychiatry notes that use of brief behavioral techniques in the medical setting might be the only realistic way to meet the mental health needs of young people.
“Bringing mental health care to pediatric primary care is the only chance we have to meet the behavioral health needs of the approximately 20% of children and adolescents who are likely to develop mental health problems before graduating from high school,” write the editorial’s authors. “Although we still have a long way to go, the pioneering intervention … is a big step in the right direction.”
About San Diego State University
San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its more than 36,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 91 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, internships and mentoring, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit www.sdsu.edu.
More Than 70 Companies to Race in Exclusive Global Relay through Wall Street on May 4, supporting the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Press Release – April 27, 2017, New York – The globally renowned Bloomberg Square Mile Relay is returning to the streets of NYC’s Financial District on May 4th. The corporate relay now takes place in ten major cities around the world – last year more than 5,500 runners from 430 companies took part in this global series.
The one-of-a-kind, immersive team building experience will feature more than 70 teams from the city’s leading institutions who compete to win the coveted trophy and bragging rights as the ‘fastest firm in the city’, in support of the race’s Community Partner – the National September 11 Memorial & Museum – who will receive a charity check on race night:
“We are grateful to the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay for selecting us as its official community partner for a second year. Partnerships such as these are critical to help ensure the Memorial and Museum is sustained, and that visitors from around the world will be able to experience this world-class learning institution and living tribute for years to come,” said Cathy Blaney, 9/11 Memorial’s Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement.
First launched in the heart of London in 2007, the internationally-renowned race has become synonymous with the city’s financial district – the ‘Square Mile’. Bloomberg has since expanded the race series to Dubai, Sydney, New York, Tokyo, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The event places strong emphasis on teamwork and employee interaction, making it a compelling attraction for New York’s corporates and financial institutions such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, MasterCard, Standard Chartered, Wells Fargo and many others who will be on the start line next week.
Each team includes 10 runners, each of whom will run a unique one-mile course that traverses Water Street and Wall Street. The race culminates with a celebratory ‘After-Party,’ where runners and supporters will be treated to a live DJ set and complimentary food and drinks in the Race Village throughout the evening.
“The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay is a unique sporting event which offers a perfect opportunity for the city’s most competitive institutions to come together for a night of camaraderie, teamwork, celebration and networking. Our goal is to offer a platform for teams from local corporations to express their sporting enthusiasm, while bonding with fellow colleagues. The event is open to all levels of experience – whether you are an elite or leisure runner – we want everyone to enjoy this relay,” said Nick Keller, Managing Director of event organizer Square Mile Sport.
Participation will also help fund a local revitalization project, allowing runners to volunteer with the local Bloomberg Square Mile Relay community and have a positive impact on New York City. The collective effort of over 7,500 runners across 10 cites will positively impact the global community of race cities, reinforcing Bloomberg’s long-standing commitment to strengthening and improving lives in the communities where people live and work.
For further information on the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay or to enter a team please visit:
About Bloomberg Square Mile Relay New York:
Registration for the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay is now live on the event website visit https://squaremilerelay.com/city/new-york. General entry for a team of ten runners is $1,800. Only one representative from the participating corporation will need to register and pay on behalf of the team. Rates include entry to the after-race party that includes hospitality with a main meal, dessert and three soft or alcoholic drinks. Additional hospitality packages will be available to purchase online at a later date for supporters.
Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader, gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas. The company’s strength – delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology, quickly and accurately – is at the core of the Bloomberg Professional service. Bloomberg’s enterprise solutions build on the company’s core strength: leveraging technology to allow customers to access, integrate, distribute and manage data and information across organizations more efficiently and effectively. For more information, visit www.bloomberg.com or request a demo.
About The National September 11 Memorial & Museum:
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the nonprofit organization that oversees operations for the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum. Located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site, the Memorial and Museum remember and honor the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. For more information or to reserve a ticket to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, please visit 911memorial.org.
About Square Mile Sport:
Square Mile Sport is the event owner and delivery agency of the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay – a unique event series designed exclusively to provide businessmen and women with an outlet for their sporting passion. Established in 2007 in London, Square Mile Sport plans to replicate the event in cities across the world. Square Mile Sport is wholly owned by Benchmark Sport, which operates leading international brands including the Sport Industry Group and Beyond Sport. www.squaremilerelay.com
Michaels to Deliver Backpacks Loaded with Arts and Crafts Supplies to 30,000 Kids
Press Release – LOS ANGELES, Calif. (April 25, 2017) – Celebrating National Volunteer Week, Starlight Children’s Foundation and Michaels have teamed up to deliver Michaels backpacks that will bring joy and comfort to hospitalized children across the U.S. and Canada. Generously provided by Michaels and assembled by team members across North America, Michaels backpacks are filled with cool arts, crafts, and other supplies to inspire creativity and bring smiles to seriously ill children of all ages. From April 23-29, Michaels’ team members will deliver a total of 30,000 backpacks to kids at over 380 hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
“Michaels is helping to bring moments of joy and comfort to millions of seriously ill children and their families,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “Michaels backpacks will bring smiles to 30,000 children and we’re grateful for their continued generosity in communities across North America.”
LAC+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles and Children’s Health in Dallas will host special kick off events on April 25 and April 28, respectively, during National Volunteer Week. Michaels team members from 1,300 participating local stores and corporate headquarters will deliver hundreds of bags room-to-room and take part in art and craft activities with hospitalized children and their families.
“Giving back is a key value at Michaels, and we are grateful to have a partner in Starlight Children’s Foundation that supports us in bringing our commitment to life. We are proud to have our team members across the country celebrating National Volunteer Week this way and hope the backpacks being delivered this week provide some comfort, amusement, and inspire creativity for both the kids and their families,” said Chuck Rubin, CEO of Michaels.
Brand Partners with Andy Roddick and America’s VetDogs to Launch “Call for Incredible” Campaign Highlighting Incredible Dog Stories
Press Release – ST. LOUIS, (April 25, 2017) – For two decades, the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge (IDC) has been giving competitive canine athletes a stage to demonstrate their amazing abilities in Olympic-style events around the country. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the IDC, Pro Plan is partnering with Tennis Hall of Famer Andy Roddick to kick off the “Call for Incredible” campaign to highlight all the ways dogs are “incredible” and call on dog owners to share their own stories. For every entry in the Call for Incredible Sweepstakes on proplan.com/incredible, Purina Pro Plan will make a donation to America’s VetDogs, to support the “incredible” and important work they do with service dogs and veterans with disabilities.
“Call for Incredible” is a year-long celebration showcasing all kinds of incredible dogs – from canine athletes like Incredible Dog Challenge competitors, to military dogs, and lovable couch companions like Andy Roddick’s two English bulldogs, Bob Costas and Billie Jean. Purina Pro Plan is calling for dog owners to share a photo and story on what makes their own dog incredible by visiting proplan.com/incredible. Here, dog lovers can also enter for a chance to win a trip to San Diego during Veterans Week in November to attend a special Incredible Dog Challenge on the historic USS Midway Museum, featuring some of the most incredible canine athletes and working military canines in the country. And for every entry, Purina Pro Plan will donate one pound of dog food, up to 20,000 pounds, to America’s VetDogs, which trains and places guide and service dogs to veterans with disabilities.
“The Incredible Dog Challenge is more than a competition; it’s a passionate community of dog owners, who feel the same way that we do – that all dogs are capable of amazing things,” said Christi Maginn, Brand Director, Purina Pro Plan. “’Call for Incredible’ gives us the chance to celebrate 20 years of these amazing athletes, as well as the incredible dogs that have impacted our own lives.”
The “Call for Incredible” campaign will also highlight incredible dogs whose lives are dedicated to helping military veterans, such as the guide and service dogs that work with America’s VetDogs. America’s VetDogs recognizes the powerful impact dogs can have on a person’s life and is committed to training and placing assistance dogs with veterans to help better their quality of life.
“We’re excited to partner with Purina Pro Plan to highlight the impact that highly-skilled service dogs can have to help veterans live with dignity and independence when they return from duty,” said Wells B. Jones, CEO from America’s VetDogs. “We know they are incredible and deserve recognition for the unwavering love, companionship and care they provide to their owners.”
Purina Pro Plan is committed to delivering high quality nutrition to help fuel dogs so they can do the incredible. Whether they’re jumping off docks, opening doors or napping on the patio, there’s a Pro Plan formula specially designed to fit each dog’s specific needs. Purina Pro Plan is dedicated to helping promote healthy living in dogs of all ages and activity levels through nutrition that performs.
For more information on the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge or “Call for Incredible” campaign, visit www.proplan.com/incredible.
About Purina Pro Plan:
Purina Pro Plan is the food of choice for 10 of the past 11 Westminster Best in Show winners*. Our goal is to give your dog the nutrition to be his absolute best, helping him to be energetic and resilient, and maintain an ideal body condition, healthy skin, and a stunning coat. Because being the best he can be means something different for every dog, our wide range of dry and wet foods and snacks, sold exclusively at pet specialty stores, can be found in five specialized categories formulated for a dog’s unique needs. For more information, visit www.proplan.com or follow @ProPlan on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Google+. The brand is manufactured by Nestle Purina PetCare, which promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement, and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestle Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestle S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health, and wellness.
*Handlers or owners of these champions may have received food or compensation as a Purina ambassador.
About America’s VetDogs
Since 2003, America’s VetDogs (www.VetDogs.org) has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel. America’s VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation. VetDogs relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual.
Be sure to catch Charlie, the VetDogs ‘Puppy with a Purpose’ daily on NBC’s TODAY.
America’s VetDogs has been accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.
About USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1992. The Museum opened in June 2004. It is governed by a board of directors. Its vision is to become America’s living symbol of freedom, and its mission to preserve the historic USS Midway and the legacy of those who serve, inspire and educate future generations, and entertain museum guests.
 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes begins 12:00:01 a.m. ET on 4/17/17 & ends 11:59:59 p.m. ET on 9/30/17. Open to 50 U.S./D.C. residents who are at least age 21 in MS, age 19 in AL/NE or age 18 in other states/D.C. at the time of entry. To enter & for prizes, odds & full Official Rules, go to www.ProPlan.com/Incredible. Void outside 50 U.S./D.C. & where prohibited. Sponsor: Nestlé Purina PetCare Company.
Beginning at 12:00:01 a.m. ET on 04/17/2017 and ending at 11:59:59 p.m. ET on 09/30/2017, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company (“Purina”) will donate one (1) pound of food to America’s VetDogs for each entry into the Purina Pro Plan Call for Incredible Sweepstakes, with a minimum donation of 10,000 lbs. and a maximum donation of 20,000 lbs. of food. For more information about America’s VetDogs, please visit www.vetdogs.org.
Conservation Projects available for volunteers to protect the environment
Press Release – NEW YORK – April 26, 2017 – Earth Day was celebrated by more than 1 billion people in nearly 200 countries around the world on Saturday April 22nd. As the world celebrates Earth Month throughout April, Projects Abroad recognizes the importance of collective action to protect the environment.
Projects Abroad offers 12 Conservation & Environment volunteering programs in destinations around the world. Through service work, volunteers contribute to ongoing conservation efforts in specific areas of need. The types of projects available vary, and take place in destinations across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the South Pacific.
Climate change and global warming were major focuses of hundreds of campaigns in support of Earth Day. Many of Projects Abroad’s conservation programs directly address the realities of climate change. Reforestation efforts in Madagascar, research into recent major global coral bleaching events, and protecting biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest, are among the projects a volunteer can be exposed to during a trip.
A number of projects also focus on protecting specific threatened animal species. The Shark Conservation Project in Fiji produces groundbreaking research to better understand these predators at the top of our oceans’ food chain. On the African Savannah Project in Kenya, volunteers work in a team to monitor and count endangered giraffe.
“As we start to realize the severity of our planet’s condition, protecting the environment has to become a priority for all,” says Tom Pastorius, Head of Global Recruitment for Projects Abroad. “From the tiniest of hatched sea turtles, to the vast Amazon jungle, our conservation projects make it possible for someone to do their bit to make a difference.”
Earth Month ends next week, but the need to protect the planet does not end with it. Volunteers of all ages can sign up and join a passionate Projects Abroad team of conservationists in a destination abroad, to contribute to saving planet Earth.
Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.
Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 30 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.
For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.org.
USCIRF Recommends Russia be Designated a Country of Particular Concern
Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2017 Annual Report on the state of religious freedom in selected countries. “Overall,” said USCIRF Chair Thomas Reese, S.J., “The Commission has concluded that the state of affairs for international religious freedom is worsening in both the depth and breadth of violations. In the 2017 report, the Commission calls for Congress and the administration to stress consistently the importance of religious freedom abroad, for everyone, everywhere, in public statements and public and private meetings.”
The International Religious Freedom Act requires the U.S. government to designate as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, any country whose government engages in or tolerates particularly severe religious freedom violations that are systematic, ongoing, and egregious. To fulfill USCIRF’s mandate to advise the State Department on which countries should be designated as CPC, the Commission researches and monitors religious freedom conditions abroad and issues an annual report on countries with serious violations of religious freedom.
This year’s report calls on the Secretary of State to designate Russia as a CPC partly due to its continued use of its “anti-extremism” law as a tool to repeatedly curtail religious freedoms for various faiths, most recently the Jehovah’s Witnesses. “The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ right to religious freedom is being eliminated through a flawed application of this law,” commented USCIRF’s Chair, Thomas Reese, S.J. “The recent Russian Supreme Court ruling bans the legal existence of the group throughout Russia.”
In 2017, USCIRF recommends that the State Department again designate the following 10 countries as CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. USCIRF also finds that six other countries meet the CPC standard and should be so designated: Central African Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam.
In 2017, USCIRF places the following 12 countries, where religious freedom violations are severe but do not fully meet the CPC standard, on the Commission’s Tier 2 list: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, and Turkey.
USCIRF remains concerned about the “securitization” of religious freedom, citing Bahrain as an example where the government has cracked down on the Shi’a Muslim majority yet the U.S. administration is lifting human rights conditions on weapons sales to that country. USCIRF Chair, Thomas Reese, S.J., said that “Religious freedom should not suffer under the guise of seeking to ensure national security.”
Some governments have made efforts to address religious freedom concerns. For example, USCIRF does not recommend Egypt and Iraq for CPC designation in 2017, as it had for Egypt since 2011 and Iraq since 2008. In Egypt, while ISIS affiliates increasingly targeted Coptic Christians, the government took some positive steps to address religious freedom concerns, although the rest of its human rights record has been abysmal. In Iraq, while the Iraqi government has sought to curb sectarian tensions, ISIS has committed genocide, ruthlessly targeting anyone who does not espouse its extremist ideology.
For years, USCIRF has recognized and documented how non-state actors are some of the most egregious violators of religious freedom. The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2016 requires the President to identify non-state actors engaging in particularly severe violations of religious freedom and designate each as an “entity of particular concern” (EPC). The act defines a non-state actor as “a non-sovereign entity that exercises significant political power and territorial control; is outside the control of a sovereign government; and often employs violence in pursuit of its objectives.”
Accordingly, for the first time, USCIRF recommends that the following three non-state actors be designated as EPCs: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria; the Taliban in Afghanistan; and al-Shabaab in Somalia.
To view the full USCIRF 2017 Annual Report visit www.USCIRF.gov.
Press Release – Boston, MA (April 25, 2017) – Positive lifestyle brand Life is Good® has joined forces with World Champion Gymnast Aly Raisman to launch a new collection aimed at empowering women of all ages by celebrating courage, authenticity, kindness and unwavering optimism. These new T-shirts are available today at LifeisGood.com/Aly.
“Partnering with Life is Good to design this line is exciting, because their brand is based on using the power of optimism to help people live their best lives, something I believe in wholeheartedly,” said Raisman. “The line is a vehicle to help share values like kindness, courage, and authenticity, in order to empower the girls and women who inspire me every day. As simple as it sounds, I think everyone struggles with just being themselves, especially at a young age with so many unfair pressures. Embracing your uniqueness and just being kind are values I hope to support through this line and beyond.”
The new Aly Tee Collection features three designs for women ($32) and girls ($20):
“According to a recent study*, a girl’s self-esteem peaks when she is 9 years old, and 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way. Life is Good and Aly want to help change that. Our brand has always been about using art to get positive, meaningful messages across,” said Lisa Tanzer, President of Life is Good. “Aly is such a positive role model, so to partner with her to inspire values that are central to our brand and also to her personal mission is really exciting for us. As Captain of the U.S. Gymnastics squad, Aly set a wonderful example for women of all ages, showing that positivity, kindness, and teamwork are a win for everyone. The messages on Aly’s T-shirts share these same important sentiments.”
To learn more about the collection, visit: www.LifeisGood.com/Aly
*CAROL MCGRAW, “Media, hormones, peer pressure do a number on girls’ confidence”, The News-Sentinel, Mon, Jul. 31, 2006
ABOUT THE LIFE IS GOOD COMPANY
The Life is Good Company is a $100 million lifestyle brand dedicated to spreading the power of optimism. The company donates 10 percent of its net profits to help kids in need through the Life is Good Kids Foundation. To date, the foundation has positively impacted 8,000 childcare providers who care for over one million kids every year, many of whom are facing early childhood trauma. Life is Good® is a registered trademark of The Life is Good Company. Please visit LifeisGood.com for more details, and follow Life is Good on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
ABOUT LIFE IS GOOD KIDS FOUNDATION
The Life is Good Kids Foundation is an accredited 501(c)(3) that partners with organizations serving the most vulnerable children to improve the quality of their care. The Foundation’s Playmaker program connects with schools, hospitals, camps, and a variety of social service agencies to give childcare professionals the resources they need to make a positive, life-changing impact at a pivotal time in a child’s development. For more information, please visit LifeisGood.com.
About Aly Raisman
Aly Raisman, who is represented by Octagon, is the two-time team captain of the gold medal winning U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Teams in 2012 and 2016. The first American gymnast to win gold in the floor exercise, Raisman is the second most decorated American gymnast of all-time with six total Olympic medals and one of two U.S. gymnasts to make back-to-back teams in more than 15 years. A native of Needham, Massachusetts, Raisman is a leader on and off the floor as an advocate for positive body image and empowering everyone to be comfortable and confident in their own skin. Follow Aly on Twitter:@Aly_Raisman and Instagram/Facebook: @AlyRaisman
During its 20th Year, Angel Network also Launched Angel Syndication Network to Share Deals with over 20 Other Angel Groups
Press Release – IRVINE, Calif. – April 25, 2017 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) invested $14.1 million in a total of 55 companies in a diverse mix of industries in 2016. TCA’s total investment for the year was its fourth highest since the network’s inception in 1997, and its two largest deals in 2016 were Echo Labs and Movocash – each at over $1 million from TCA. TCA had six exits including five acquisitions (Retrosense Therapeutics, WeGoLook, Clearcare, Hipmunk, and HitFix) and one optional exit (grandPad) upon receiving strategic investment from Acer. This brings the total exits to 68 in the angel network’s history.
Ninety-one percent (91%) of the deals were seed or Series A rounds. Sixty-two percent (62%) of the companies in which TCA invested were initial investments by TCA, up from 35% in 2015. The investment increase in new and early stage companies reflected a wide berth of opportunities in 2016, however the report cautions that such investment activity may be similar to “experiencing an Indian Summer,” as this cycle seems to be drawing to a close.
These investments were across a broad range of industries, but the largest investments in dollars were in life sciences (35%), internet/apps (20%), software (15%) and financial services (16%).
“Although the year started slowly for investments, TCA finished strong in 2016. Additionally, we started a new syndication network to build better deals with great companies regardless of geography,” said Jeff Draa, 2017 Chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “While the diverse experience of our over 300 members helps us as a network to invest with confidence in a wide range of industries, the amount of solid expertise and knowledge also greatly benefits the companies in which we invest, guide and mentor. Together, that formula has helped us achieve results in liquidity events that surpass the averages for other angel groups.”
TCA also participated, along with CommonAngels from Boston, in research that was published in a joint study by Harvard Business School and MIT last calendar year, which may be the first quantitative analysis showing that companies receiving angel funding achieve greater success in many areas (including employees, survival, patents granted, etc.) than companies who did not receive angel funding.
Access TCA’s full 2016 year-end report for more details. The report includes a summarization of 2016, the investment outlook for 2017, the list of companies added to our portfolio, and various infographics.
About Tech Coast Angels:
Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation, and a leading source of funding for seed-stage and early-stage companies across all industries in Southern California. TCA members are accredited investors who individually invest in startup companies, and as a group, TCA has invested up to $6M in a single company. The companies TCA invest in go through well-structured, transparent, and time efficient screening and due diligence. TCA members are themselves founders and executive level business leaders who have extensive knowledge in the investment process and world-class business practices. TCA members thus provide companies with more than just capital; they also contribute counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of investors, customers, strategic partners and management.
TCA is a catalyst in the growth of the thriving Southern California entrepreneurial ecosystem of innovation, funding mostly emerging technologies and life science companies. The most recent Halo Report rated TCA as #2 nationally in a number of funded deals. A recent analysis by CB Insights ranked TCA #1 out of 370 angel groups on “Network Centrality” and #5 overall in “Investor Mosaic.” Since its founding in 1997, TCA has invested over $190 million in more than 335 companies and has helped attract more than $1.5 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds, mostly from venture capital firms. For more information, please visit http://www.techcoastangels.com.
USITT is calling on the backstage community to promote safe stages with the third annual Rigging Safety Day on Arbor Day, April 28.
USITT launched its first #RigSafe day in 2015, playing on the word “arbor” as a support for stage rigging. Theatre and entertainment groups around the world shared information, memes, videos, and safety tips for the system of weights, pulleys, and machinery used to hang and move backdrops, lighting, curtains, and other equipment to stage live shows.
“Arbor Day is a day for all of us to celebrate safety and training for everyone in the industry,” said USITT Executive Director David Grindle. “From the school or community theatre to the touring shows and spectacles, rigging safety is taken seriously by everyone in our industry. Use Arbor Day to thank a rigger, to celebrate safe practices, or to promote a renewed commitment to safety.”
Helping schools stay safe is the mission of the USITT’s Rigging Safety Initiative (RSI), a program launched by USITT and founding sponsor JR Clancy in 2011. Since then, USITT has approved rigging inspections and training at more than 120 secondary school stages, impacting more than 150,000 students. The program receives support from both corporate and individual donors. All monies go directly to providing inspections and training.
RSI applications are reviewed in spring and fall; the next deadline is Nov. 15. Schools that are selected and inspected receive a detailed rigging report — what’s working properly and what potential safety problems can be prevented with routine care.
“I love to visit high schools and talk to them about our industry,” said Jill Maurer, Clearwing Systems Design Engineer. “Having never had exposure to outside professionals while I was in high school compels me to educate possible technicians about how they could work and live in our industry.”
Join the initiative by sharing rigging safety tips on social media under the hashtag #RigSafe. Help USITT extend its impact on rigging safety through contributions at www.usitt.org/giving.
USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is a national non-profit association for the live entertainment production industry. It provides hands-on learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities for emerging and working professionals in the backstage arts. Its Annual Conference and Stage Expo is the only complete production event in North America, featuring over 250 training sessions and 280 exhibitors of the latest tools and resources for creating live entertainment. More information is available at usitt.org.
Press Release – LINCOLN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Athena Capital Advisors, a registered investment adviser that provides investment management, advisory, and outsourced CIO services to private clients and institutions, has released new research on a framework for constructing diversified, multi-asset class investment portfolios that seek both financial and social return.
Building Impact Portfolios, follows release of Impact Investing: History & Opportunity in January 2017. While the earlier paper reviewed the broad landscape of impact investment strategies that are available across asset classes, the new one describes an approach to combining individual investments into a comprehensive and coherent portfolio. It also builds on “Social Finance and the Post-Modern Portfolio: Theory & Practice,” which appeared in the Spring 2016 edition of The Journal of Wealth Management.
“Much of the dialogue about impact investing has focused on specific investments,” observed Athena’s William McCalpin, Managing Partner, Impact Investments. “Identifying and diligencing individual opportunities that align with client interests is important, but so too is organizing them into a portfolio. The paper describes how we are approaching the portfolio construction process in order to solve for each investor’s risk, return, and impact objectives.”
Mr. McCalpin will discuss the firm’s approach during Big Path Capital’s 8th Annual Impact Capitalism Summit in Chicago on April 25 and 26.
“Since Athena’s founding more than 20 years ago, we have used the principles of modern finance to build and manage client portfolios,” said Lisette Cooper, the firm’s founder and chief investment officer. “Building Impact Portfolios describes how we are extending Modern Portfolio Theory to incorporate the third dimension of impact and using that framework to address the needs of the growing number of clients interested in social return.”
ABOUT ATHENA CAPITAL ADVISORS
Founded in 1993, Athena Capital Advisors is an independent, privately owned, registered investment adviser located in Lincoln, Massachusetts and New York City. As of December 31, 2016, the firm had approximately $5.5 billion in assets under management. Athena offers clients investment advisory and management, investment administration and reporting, external chief investment officer, and wealth planning services. Its clients include both taxable families and tax-exempt institutions. Athena uses a research-driven approach to strategic and tactical asset allocation to provide solutions that are customized to each client’s particular circumstances and objectives. For additional information on Athena Capital Advisors, please visit www.athenacapital.com.