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A year on, Hillsboroughs juvenile mental health court showing signs of success, officials say – Tampa Bay Times

Posted: March 12, 2020 at 10:45 am


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The juvenile defendants get more of the individualized attention and treatment they need to keep them from re-offending.

TAMPA A couple of weeks ago, a teenage boy walked into Courtroom 53A bristling with anger.

His criminal case had been diverted to Hillsborough Countys juvenile mental health court. He told Chief Judge Ronald Ficarrotta he was worried about his sisters who, like him, were in the foster care system.

Instead of speaking from the bench, the judge sat down with the teenager in the courtrooms jury box to talk. I told him, Thats got to be your motivation. Youve got to be strong and get through this so you can be there for your sisters,'" Ficarrotta recalled Wednesday.

It was a small but meaningful moment in a specialty court that has transformed the countys approach to juvenile offenders who have mental health issues.

The first of its kind in Florida when it was launched a year ago, juvenile mental health court focuses on providing resources to children and their families to get them out of the system and keep them from returning.

The signs of success are already clear, Ficarrotta and other officials said Wednesday at a news conference in Courtroom 53A.

You have to remember that for a long, long time, the focus as it related to juvenile kids was not in the area of mental health, Hillsborough Public Defender Julianne Holt said. Thats whats unique here. We have finally embraced, recognized and accepted that mental illness has an impact on how people conform and conduct their behavior.

The court was initially created to give special attention to the cases of juveniles deemed by mental health professionals incompetent to proceed in the criminal justice process. The cases were piling up because the process to diagnosis children and match them with mental health care providers could take six months, Holt said.

But officials soon realized that some juveniles who were found competent to proceed still had mental health issues or other challenges that could be better addressed by the courts individualized approach. So Holt and Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren asked Ficarrotta to make the program available to other juveniles who have mental health issues, intellectual disabilities or other challenges.

Our courtrooms cant be revolving doors for anyone, especially not those with mental illness and especially not our kids, Warren said. If we want to prevent individuals from committing further crimes, then we need to address the underlying problems and thats exactly what were doing with this juvenile mental health court.

When a child shows up for the court, held every other Wednesday, psychologists and psychiatrists are available to evaluate them and report to the judge. Hillsborough County school district officials are present to provide school records and keep the district informed of the childrens progress, care plans and sanctions.

We can say, Here are the needs of the children as they return to school, Holt said. Thats extremely important because that is the only way you have continuity in services and continuity in stability.

About 110 cases have come through the court since its inception, and there are currently 64 defendants on the docket. The process to evaluate the courts strengths and areas to improve is underway. One measure of success will be a reduction the recidivism rate, and officials are optimistic, Holt said.

I think from what weve seen we are going to impact recidivism, and I also think were going to impact the ability of these kids to go on into life and navigate themselves, she said.

Positive reinforcement is important. Defendants get punch cards to keep track of successes and get incentives for progress. On the courtrooms Success Board, kids write down their achievements on gold paper stars.

Im proud of not being locked up.

Im proud of having good grades and great friends.

Im proud of being alive.

Ficarrotta said he spends much of his time off the bench, talking with children and families face to face, giving them hugs and pats on the back to build trust and convey that everyone in the courtroom is there to help.

You start out with these kids being very withdrawn and then you see them come in and theyve got a smile on their face and theyre proud of their accomplishments, theyre proud of their successes, theyre thankful for things, Ficarrotta said. We celebrate that in this courtroom.

Ficarrotta called the court a natural extension of the adult mental health court he helped launch in 2017. That docket currently has about 350 defendants.

The juvenile court is also another example of how Holt, Warren, and law enforcement officials including Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister have collaborated on progressive criminal justice programs. In the last few years, theyve created and expanded a juvenile citation program, launched a pre-arrest diversion program for adults and supported the County Commissions decision to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

Chronister said at Wednesdays news conference that he is grateful to be able to help change the criminal justice system in Hillsborough. But as the father of a 24-year-old son with addiction and mental health issues who is now serving time in state prison, he said, the juvenile mental health court feels personal.

I stand here next to you and wonder how his path would have been different if this resource would have been available to him," Chronister said. But I find great comfort knowing that the children who are following him have this resource.

Day Cops, Hillsborough Sheriff, Tampa Police Department Reporter

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A year on, Hillsboroughs juvenile mental health court showing signs of success, officials say - Tampa Bay Times

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March 12th, 2020 at 10:45 am

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Fiction but Fact: Life is one of those choose-your-own-adventure books – Daily Trojan Online

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Life is like the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. Let me explain why.

Choose Your Own Adventure is a series of childrens books where each story is written from a second-person point of view. The reader assumes the role of the main character and influences the plots outcome by deciding their actions and behavior.

During the 80s and 90s, this series was one of the most popular children books. Originally published by Bantam Books (now Random House), the books are based on the concept created by Edward Packard in 1976. Packard developed the idea from bedtime stories he crafted for his daughters which featured the character, Pete, and the adventures he went on.

I had a character named Pete, and I usually had him encountering all these different adventures on an isolated island, Packard said in an interview with the Beaver County Times. But [one] night I was running out of things for Pete to do, so I just asked what they would do.

It was his two daughters who came up with unique paths for Pete to take as he ventured on, motivating Packard to build several endings for each path. Inspired by his daughters creativity and eagerness, Packard went on to apply his personal experience to his professional career.

Though this style of literature is catered toward young children, his books invite people of all ages to be their own hero. Having the audience pick from three to four options every two or three pages for what the main character does fosters a deeper and stronger relationship between the reader and the protagonist. Breaking the wall between fiction and the real world, a Choose Your Own Adventure book transports readers into an alternative universe, allowing them to experience new worlds and situations.

But, the greatest life lesson these books contribute is the simple yet profound truth that life is filled with adventures of your own choosing.

When applying this universal principle to daily life, it becomes evident just how complex and difficult it is to live by this motto. Our thoughts, our actions, our beliefs, our quirks and, most notably, our values are highly influenced by various factors surrounding us. From a young age, teenagers face all sorts of pressure manipulating them to change their attitudes and decisions. According to a publication by Parent Further, 90% of teens surveyed said that they had been influenced by peer pressure. While peer pressure may not always be negative, this phenomenon significantly affects adolescent decision making.

And USC is no exception to this trend.

From small decisions like attending the Visions and Voices event of the week because everyone is going or eating at Parkside Dining Hall because it supposedly has the best food (even though EVK is only a two-minute walk from you) to larger decisions such as supporting a particular presidential candidate solely because they are the most popular, we all succumb to peer pressure.

It is this societal constraint that builds the foundation of being easily swayed by those around you later in life, such as in your professional career or with your future family. We must all learn to stop making decisions based on the influence of others. Instead, we need to start making decisions for ourselves.

Though its more complex than that, I nevertheless underscore the importance of choosing your own path. I understand that decision-making is guided by several factors ranging from past experiences and cognitive biases to individual preferences and social circumstances. Yet, I believe that if we begin to prioritize being comfortable with making our own choices, we work toward creating our own real-life version of the books we loved to read when we were younger.

Both you and I should start being our own heroes. It is up to you to choose your own adventures, write new memories and narrate your personal success. So, go out there and start chasing your wildest dreams because maybe one day theyll turn into a reality.

Ultimately you are your own protagonist in the story called life.

Aisha Patel is a freshman writing about fiction in parallel to current events. Her column, Fiction but Fact, runs every other Wednesday.

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Fiction but Fact: Life is one of those choose-your-own-adventure books - Daily Trojan Online

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March 12th, 2020 at 10:45 am

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Perfect bodies: How to make a sport your own whatever skin you’re in – Olympic Channel

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Wile out with extreme wheelchair, watch in awe as Paralympic table tennis ace plays with his mouth and feel inspired by this 85-year-old record-breaking great-grandma.

By Evelyn Watta and Ken Browne

What is the perfect body for you?

Olympic Channel has launched a brand new original series that celebrates difference, focussing on athletes who use sports to redefine body standards.

What does an American deaf college basketball team, an extreme wheelchair athlete, a 158kg 'fat activist', an armless table tennis player and an 85-year-old pole-vaulting great-grandmother have in common?

They are all dedicated to their sports, to inclusiveness, to changing the way they see the world and the way the world sees them.

The Olympic Channels new original five-part series Body+, follows the lives of four athletes and a team looking at their world in a different way

The Olympic Channels new original series Body+ focusses on the lives of four athletes and one team embracing and celebrating their bodies regardless of size, age, disability, or limitations.

The series highlights how Aaron Fotherhingham, the Gallaudet Basketball team, Ragen Chastain, Flo Meiler and Ibrahim Hamadtou are redefining what it means to have the perfect body.

Im super excited to be featured in the new Body+ series by the Olympic Channel. Its a series about athletes who use their diverse bodies to make sport their own. Its super exciting to be a part of, said Aaron Fotherhingham, the four-time Wheelchair Motocross World Champion.

The series will run for five weeks focussing on a different athlete or team each week.

Watch our new original series that profiles individuals embracing and celebrating their bodies regardless of size, age or perceived limitation.

The 28-year-old American who, despite being confined to a wheelchair, refused to let his dream of becoming a professional athlete die.

Born with spina bifida, a birth defect of the spinal cord, it caused him to lose the ability to use his legs.

But that didnt limit Aaron who has inspired a new generation of riders into Wheelchair Motocross, WCMX. He uses a custom wheelchair for death-defying stunts and has a crash-reel that would make your eyes peel.

"Every wipe-out has a hint to what you did wrong," he says, but refuses to call crashing and burning and getting back up to try again a hundred times work.

"I dont think of it as practice, I think of it as a fun way to live my life". - Fotheringham

In 2006 at 14 years of age he became the first person ever to land a wheelchair backflip, at 18 the first to nail a double backflip.

Aaron has toured the world with 'Nitro Circus' and starred in the Rio 2016 Paralympics Opening Ceremony (Click on the video below to see how he lit up Brazil four years ago).

But beyond personal success he has given so much more to a budding sport that we may one day see at the Paralympics.

Watch his incredible story below, and how he's personally inspiring and encouraging the next generation of WCMXers.

Aaron uses a custom wheelchair for death-defying stunts. He is now inspiring a new generation of WCMX riders.

Gallaudet Basketball is the only deaf college basketball team in the USA. The team competes against hearing teams and deafness hasnt limited them from showing their greatness on the court.

To immerse you in their world, much of this episode is shot in silence, which makes it an intense extra-sensory experience for anyone used to the screech and slam of your average basketball game.

Watch how the the players come together as one and take their connection to a different level.

Gallaudet Basketball is the only deaf college basketball team in the US. We follow the Bison as they are leading up to a pivotal game on their Senior Night. Through teamwork they come together as one and share an incredible connection.

This American inspiration may weigh 158 kilos, but that doesn't stop her from setting - and achieving her goals - Ragen's favourite thing is seeking out new challenges.

The series follows her to a triathlon as she aims to complete an Ironman. Ragen, a self-confessed fat activist, has been training for years for the Ironman.

Apart from inspiring plus-size athletes, she is also a health coach and a ballroom dancer.

See what life is like for Ragen Chastain here.

Ragen is always seeking that next challenge. We follow her to a triathlon as she aims to complete an Ironman by year's end.

Ibrahim lost both arms in a train accident when he was just 10 years old.

But that has not stopped him from becoming a table tennis champion. Like most Egyptian children he began by playing soccer, and moved on to playing table tennis as a challenge.

He was introduced to the world as one of the most inspiring athletes from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and now has his sights set on Tokyo 2020.

With a silver medal from the 2013 African para table tennis Championships, there's much more to look forward to from Ibrahim's journey.

Find out all about him here.

Ibrahim lost both arms in a train accident when he was 10 years old. He was introduced to the world as one of the most inspiring athletes from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He now has his sights on Tokyo 2020.

Flo started to pole vault at 65.

Over the last 20 years she has proved that age is no barrier. At 85, the great grandmother is one of the most decorated senior athletes ever. She holds eight different National Senior Games records.

Flo believes that keeping her mind and body active helps her look at the world in a different way.

Flo started to pole vault at 65. Every day she proves that age is no barrier. She is one of the most decorated senior athletes ever. We follow her as she is getting ready to shatter and set more world records at the National Senior Games.

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Perfect bodies: How to make a sport your own whatever skin you're in - Olympic Channel

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March 12th, 2020 at 10:45 am

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SonicFox gets the last laugh and becomes Final Kombat champion – Shacknews

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SonicFox wasn't clowning around at Final Kombat, carrying Joker all the way through to win the Mortal Kombat 11 world championship.

It's been a wild weekend at Final Kombat to cap off the first competitive season for Mortal Kombat 11. But if you've seen one NetherRealm tournament, then you're probably familiar with one of the finalists. Yes, Dominique "SonicFox" McLean was back in Grand Finals. They faced stiff competition from Jarrad "Ninjakilla" Gooden, who looked to continue his own personal success against SonicFox. But as has been the case for so long, there's just no beating SonicFox when it comes to the NetherRealm arena, as McLean won both Grand Finals sets to become the Final Kombat champion.

SonicFox vowed to carry Joker through Final Kombat and they did just that, using the Clown Prince of Crime's combos and gimmicks to overwhelm their opponents. Ninjakilla attempted to rally with Liu Kang, taking one game in the final set. However, Joker's unpredictability proved to be too much, with SonicFox taking advantage of the character's Jack-in-the-box, Batsy-poo projectile, and well-timed Fatal Blows.

While SonicFox had run through many of the established names in the MK pro scene, Ninjakilla was a whole new one that came on the scene just this year. However, the 19-year-old stunned everyone by running through the field quickly in the early days of the competitive scene, even taking a tournament Grand Finals off of SonicFox back at DreamHack Montreal.

For their victory, SonicFox takes home $40,000, while Ninjakilla walks away with $20,000. The future of competitive Mortal Kombat 11 is up in the air. While a new season of the Mortal Kombat 11 Pro Kompetition seemed certain, the esports world is currently at the mercy of the coronavirus outbreak, which already led to Final Kombat being held via livestream only.

As for Mortal Kombat 11 itself, Spawn is joining the roster in just a few weeks. If you'd like to get a taste of the game for yourself, the free trial is set to continue until Monday.

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but hes also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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SonicFox gets the last laugh and becomes Final Kombat champion - Shacknews

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March 12th, 2020 at 10:45 am

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Joel Farabee in the spotlight with playoffs approaching for Flyers – Cherry Hill Courier Post

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Joel Farabee was supposed to go down to the minors for heavy minutes and a bigger role but the Flyers needed him before he could even play two games for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.(Photo: Matt Slocum, AP)

PHILADELPHIA The plan was for Joel Farabee to go down to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and play. Get big minutes, touch the puck more and have an impact.

Turns out he was only in one game, last Friday, since he was sent down at the NHLs Feb. 24 trade deadline. He would have played last Saturday against Charlotte, but the Flyers called him up because Sean Couturier was sick. Turned out to be a false alarm and Couturier played.

I thought I was playing and saw Coots before the game and he looked pretty good, Farabee said. Id rather have him in the lineup than me. It was good. I watched the game, got a workout in and came back for a full week of practice. Here I am.

Thursday in a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, Farabee found himself in the lineup. For real, this time.

Its going to be that way for a while, too, because left winger James van Riemsdyk has a broken right index finger and is expected to miss about a month. The playoffs begin April 8, so Farabee knows hes in this for the long haul and the intensity has been high for a while now.

I can tell from the first period that game was a playoff game, the rookie said after the win. Im expecting the rest of the games to be like that. Were playing pretty well. Coming off a back-to-back, I thought we had better legs than they did.

Farabee is, for now, on a line with Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny. He had three shots on net Thursday and hit a post (which officially counts as a missed shot).

It was a good showing after coach Alain Vigneault shifted Scott Laughton, who was playing great with Hayes and Konecny, down a rung on the depth chart. Turns out that worked just fine because Laughton had a pair of assists and Farabee, who turned 20 last week, was productive.

I just feel that Joels got that top-six upside and if you want a player to have success, you have to put him in the right role and I think he has that potential, Vigneault said before the game. In some occasions this year he has played in the top six and bottom six, but just sometimes as a coach you go with your feeling and thats my feeling.

Whatever AV wants is what I gotta do, Farabee added. As a player I think I can play a lot of different roles and I think that helps me out.

In 50 NHL games this season, Farabee has seven goals and 20 points. Before Thursday, his last game with the Flyers was Feb. 22 against the Winnipeg Jets.

None of the first 50 have been easy, but he knows its about to get tougher and hes coming off a fairly inactive week where he was mostly practicing.

Coming from college where we practice all week and play on the weekend, it was kind of similar there. I felt like getting a full week of practice was really good, just being on the ice and getting puck touches and stuff like that, he said. As far as the game, I know the system pretty well so it wasnt too big a chance. Plus Ive played with TK and Haysey before so I felt pretty good coming right back in.

As the team has matured from previous iterations of the roster trying to gear up for playoffs, Farabee has matured also.

Hes a pretty heady player to begin with, but there were times earlier in the season where hed get robbed of key chances and it clearly affected his play. When he hit the post behind Alex Nedeljkovic there was none of that.

Obviously you want to have personal success but its at that point in the season where you gotta put that by. Its team first now, Farabee said. You want to keep getting chances, but if youre getting chances that means youre doing something right. I think just keep it going, keep playing hard and the goals are gonna come.

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FOR COMPLETE FLYERS COVERAGEstay with the Courier-Post

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Dave Isaac joined the Courier-Post in April 2012 after covering the Flyers for three seasons elsewhere. Contact him on Twitter @davegisaac or by email at disaac@gannett.com.

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Joel Farabee in the spotlight with playoffs approaching for Flyers - Cherry Hill Courier Post

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March 12th, 2020 at 10:45 am

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Unapologetically ambitious: How a woman of color beat the odds and became a CEO – SiliconANGLE

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With black history month and International Womens Day fresh on our minds, theCUBEspeaks withone woman who has become a role model for overcoming the odds in the diversity-challenged world of the technology sector.

As a teenager,Shellye Archambeau had a big dream: to become a CEO. But in a pre-World Wide Web society, her role models were limited to the women in her neighborhood. She saw leadership skills in her mother, who was active in the school parent-teacher association, church groups, and the Girl Scouts. Competitiveness was a skill taught by being the oldest of four children. But the ambition that took her to business school and up the corporate ladder to a seat on the board of directors was all her own.

Im ambitious. Ive always been ambitious, Archambeau said.

She knew early on that she wasnt going to be defined by how others saw her, instead making that disadvantage her career challenge. What do I need to do to improve my odds? she asked herself.

Archambeau spoke with theCUBE for a special Women in Tech feature on female executives and how they overcome the challenges posed by their gender and ethnicity to succeed in a field that is dominated by white males.

The strategy Archambeau has applied her whole career is fake it until you make it.While she presents as a self-assured woman, she confides that her confidence is not natural. I was not born confident at all, she said. I just act like I am.

Preparation is important to pull off this approach. I try to do my homework before any situation so at least the things that can be known I know, and so I have a solid base of data, information and facts, Archambeau said. Then I put my shoulders back and hold my head high and walk in.

Ambition, plus courage and intelligence, seem to be the secret to Archambeaus rise. She started working as a sales assistant at IBM Corp. to finance her education at the highly rankedWharton School of Business. After graduating with a bachelors degree in marketing and decision science, she decided to stay on at IBM with the goal of becoming the companys chief executive officer.

CEO was really what I was shooting for, she said. When I joined IBM, I was, Oh, well this is good company. Ill just become CEO of this company.

She laughs at the memory, but her youth allowed her to see possibilities where others didnt. I wasnt constrained by the reality of the challenge when I set my goal, she said.

No journey comes without roadblocks and detours, and Archambeau is no exception. Were there changes? Absolutely, she said.

But she never lost sight of her main objective: to take her place on the executive board.

Ive been very intentional about what Im about, what Ive done, decisions I made, choices I made to try to improve the odds as I went along, she said, advising others to do the same.What I tell people is set a goal; make a plan to achieve the goal. If you come across a hurdle or roadblock or something you didnt see, if you cant figure out how to move it out of the way, then go over it, around it, and change course if you have to. But keep the goal in mind.

Archambeau achieved her goal plus some. She currently sits on the board of directors for four major companies: Verizon Communications Inc., Nordstrom Inc., Roper Technologies Inc., and Okta Inc. She was the first woman of color appointed to the Okta board, adding another first to a career that has been marked by being the first woman, woman of color, or person of color to achieve a given position.

Climbing the career ladder can mean making some tough decisions, and Archambeaus first major career coup was also the most courageous act she has ever undertaken. She had been seeking promotion internally at IBM and was offered the lead of the companys Asian Pacific Public Sector. The role as general manager would kick her career up a notch, but meant that she, her husband, and their two school-age children had to move to Japan. Adding to the stress was the pep talk she received from her then boss, who had experience working in Japan.

There arethree things that are important to be successful in business in Japan, she remembers him saying. The first is wisdom wisdom is age. Archambeau was in her late 30s at the time,which was not old enough to have gained wisdom, according to her boss.

The next key to success in Japanese business culture, said her then-boss, was being male. This is my send-off speech? Archambeau recalled thinking. I dont have that either!

However, she did have the third attribute: Intelligence. Youd better figure out how to maximize it, her boss advised.

Once again, Archambeau was facing odds that seemed stacked against her. It was definitely, definitely a risk, she said.

But the risk paid off. I learned a lot; I made an impact. I helped turn around business over there, she said. And in addition to the career boost, she and her family had a great adventure.

I believe that people should take more risks, show more courage, and go after what they want, Archambeau said.

And she has practical advice on how to gain the courage necessary to step up and take career risks. The way you get the courage is to imagine what is the worst that can happen, and can you live with it? she said.

Imagining the worst and dealing with it gives the power to overcome the fear. Youve envisioned it, and youve dealt with it. So now go ahead and take the risk, she said.

Failure is the flipside of risk. When things go bad, its important to remember that there is a big upside to failure the lessons it teaches. Theres a lot more to learn in failure then there is in success, Archambeau said. And the biggest thing you learn is resiliency and that it isnt going to kill you.

As her career took her from the East Coast to Japan, to a short stint as president of Blockbuster.com in Dallas, and onto Silicon Valley, Archambeau was fortunate to have a family that was willing to go along with her as she followed her dream to become a CEO.

I was very fortunate to have a supportive family, she said.

Along with her family, she credits her support network of cheerleaders with helping her to keep going when the going got tough. Im a big believer in having cheerleaders to help remind you when things are looking dire that you actually are capable and have talent and all those good things, she said. [A cheerleader] just helps balance all this stuff the world is throwing at you.

Being able to turn to others for a confidence boost is more important for women because of the judgments they receive, according to Archambeau. She lists the physical assessments that women deal with on a daily basis: having to look young, be thin, be dressed correctly. But the judgement doesnt stop there.

If my husband walks outside with a wrinkled shirt, people think, What kind of wife does he have? They dont think, Whats wrong with him? she stated.

Women are burdened with constant judgement in their personal lives and in their careers, according to Archambeau. At work they not only have to look the part, but act it as well, walking a fine line in a culture where assertiveness can be labeled as aggressive, ambition judged as pushy, and upper management is a club where girls arent welcome.At the end of the day youve got all this, so youre thinking, Im just not good enough, Archambeau said. So, you need people around you to tell you to forget all that. To focus on whats important.

Other women executives agree. Gaining a seat on a board of directors resulted in an aha moment for Geeta Schmidt, chief executive officer of Humio Ltd. I realized I probably need my own personal board, my own sort of support infrastructure, she said.

Having this support network outside of her work-related contacts has been important, as the focus is on the person not the company, Schmidt explained.

After stepping down from her position as CEO of compliance management and security solutions company Metricstream Inc. Archambeau turned her focus to helping others who share her dream of heading a company.

So many people never get the opportunity to truly leverage all theyre capable of, she said. I want this next generation to have the ability to capitalize on their full sets of capabilities.

One way she shares her knowledge and experience is through her writing. Her inspirational memoir, Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms, is due for release in October and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Social media is another channel through which Archambeau reaches out to answer questions and share her knowledge. She is active on Twitter, and her livestreamed Ask Me Anything sessions provide a forum where aspiring executives can ask questions on anything work or life related. When the live session is over, the videos are posted to view on her YouTube channel.

Many times, what people are struggling with, what their questions are, other people have the exact same issues, the exact same questions or can learn from the same points, Archambeau said.

Theres never been a better time for female tech entrepreneurs, Archambeau said in an opinion piece for Xconomy magazine. This is because women rank highly in the soft skills that are in such short supply.

CEOs around the world agree that there is a talent shortage and, by the way, thats a major risk to their businesses, she said. And if you look at the skill sets that they now value theyre actually skill sets that involve collaboration, communication, team leadership, and building. And guess what? Women tend to over index on those skills.

Read more of theCUBEs women in tech featureshere.

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Unapologetically ambitious: How a woman of color beat the odds and became a CEO - SiliconANGLE

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March 12th, 2020 at 10:45 am

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He had the world at his feet until he got greedy with Big Un – The Australian Financial Review

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Michael Ho had it all a young family, a job at a top investment firm and stock worth $14 million on an investment of $80,000. This is how his perfect life turned into a nightmare.

On the lookout for opportunities, he came across a quarterly stock market update issued by Big Unlimited. The companys Big Review TV brand produced online videos for small businesses to market themselves to customers. Cafes, florists and beauticians were typical clients.

Big Un had listed on the Australian Securities exchange via the "back door" after merging with a defunct gold miner. The statement proudly proclaimed strong revenues for the June quarter, exceeding $1.8 million 50 per cent up on the previous quarter, and 20 per cent above market guidance, provided four weeks earlier.

Ho was intrigued. He rang Big Un's chief executive, Richard Evertz, whose mobile number was on the release, but he was too busy to take the call according the court statement.

So he emailed an introduction and by the end of the week a stockbroker at Morgans had arranged a meeting.

The broker's role was to introduce investment firms to corporate management, but he was likely unaware that Hos interest appeared to be personal rather than professional.

On July 19, the Morgans broker accompanied Evertz to Maple-Brown Abbotts headquarters on the 31st floor of an office tower at the harbour end of George Street in Sydney. It was the first of many encounters between Ho and the 50-year-old Evertz, the master salesman with a controversial past.

Evertz was forced to disclose, in an updated prospectus, that he had briefly changed his name to Richard Evans, before changing it back.

As Mr Evans, he was the chief executive of a listed company called Imagine Un.

That collapsed in 2007, losing investors millions after the federal court ruled Evertz made false and deceptive claims to individuals who signed up for licences in the belief they could cut their utility bills based on agreements he said he secured with big providers. Evertz was not charged with crimes over that incident.

At that meeting, Evertz told Ho that Big Un was growing fast, and was signing up customers to a point where its annualised revenues would soon reach $8 million to $10 million. Ho, according to court documents, made a note, of this information that had yet to be disclosed to the market.

Ho had already been buying shares and options in the company before the meeting buying $8000 worth of options that allowed him to buy shares in 18 months' time, at double the current price for just 1.5.

The following afternoon Evertz invited Ho to visit the Big Review TV sales centre in Clarence Street in Sydney's central business district.

There young staff were working the phones in a space Evertz often referred to as the boiler room. They dialled small business owners and, following a script, attempted to convince new clients to trial or sign up for their videos.

Ho noticed a whiteboard that listed 70 customers who had signed contracts. When he asked, Evertz described them as conditional.

In the six weeks that followed Ho bought 300,000 more shares for $5000. But he bought a lot more options 1.4 million in total, paying around $30,000 at a cost of between 1.2 and 2.5 cents a share. The options were purchased in his own name and that of his wife.

Hos trades expressed the maximum possible faith that Big Un was heading for the sky. Buying cheap, "long dated out of the money" options required the share price to be more than double in 18 months to be worth anything. But if they did, then Ho stood to make an extraordinary profit.

In the spring of 2016 Ho would dive headlong into his Big Un folly with a series of meetings, inside tips, trades and, ultimately, assistance that would tie him inextricably to Big Un.

On September 8 over coffee at the Livello Caf, directly opposite Big Reviews "boiler room" sales hub, Evertz gave Ho the jump on news of further revenue growth and a London expansion. The following week he told Ho that a joint venture with The Intermedia Group, a publisher and events organiser, would deliver double the revenue that had been disclosed to the market. And in November, at a meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel, Evertz told Ho that Big Un would acquire its subsidiary BHA Media.

All this time, Ho was accumulating shares and options through his wifes trading account and his own account spending tens of thousands purchasing cheap options on the companys share price.

Ho was also soliciting interest from money managers that could buy Big Un shares in their fund. On one occasion, Ho passed on non-public information to a fund manager as he tried to arrange a meeting with Evertz. The manager, who was between jobs, was oblivious that the information was non-public.

Ho was a private investor, but the court documents and evidence gathered by The Australian Financial Review reveal just how close he was to Evertz.

Ahead of the annual general meeting in November, Ho emailed Evertz a powerpoint template for investor presentations.

Brandon Evertz and his father Richard Evertz, the co-founders of former market darling Big Unlimited.

Ho later told ASIC investigators that all information contained in the investor presentation had been disclosed to the ASX. The implication was that in assisting Big Un, he'd not been privy to any further inside information.

In early January 2017 Ho got a call from Evertz to tell him that Finstro a small business financier that they had a sponsorship deal with would finance $20 million of customer purchases.

Ho's 12-word file note makes clear how excited he was about the news. Thats $20m of annual sales! Big monetises the crap out of contracts.

During the call, Evertz asked Ho if he thought it was a big deal, according to the court filings.

Hos response was that it was up to the board to determine whether the information was material. But later that evening he emailed through the ASX listing rules, pointing out the relevant paragraphs.

Material or not, Ho was buying. Using the trading accounts of his wife and parents (who are not facing any charges), he bought via online brokers, investing platform Netwealth and a firm called Red Leaf Securities.

Mila Investments Hos personal company was also issued with options by Big Un. This was curious enough as it appeared to be for the provision of services. In fact, Big Un had got into the habit of paying many of its expenses with cheap options to buy shares.

Ho had now amassed an enormous position in Big Un mainly in ultra-cheap options that would soar in value if Big Uns shares doubled, but expire worthless if they did not.

Month after month Big Un dazzled the market with explosive growth in cash sales of videos to small businesses.

In April 2017, Big Un reported quarterly cash sales of $5.6 million, up 370 per cent, and in July they almost doubled to $9,4 million. In October they reached $15 million and in the fourth quarter, Big Un later reported the figure hit $22.5 million.

Big Un shares took off, doubling from 25 by April to 50, quadrupling to $1 by June and doubling again by October to $2. By November Big Un was trading at $4, making it the fastest rising stock on the ASX so far that year.

Big Un was billed as an Australian tech success story. Evertz told a fawning media how he and his estranged son Brandon reconnected on a campervan trip, and how Brandon's epiphany that internet videos were the future led him to create Big Review TV.

Brandon was hailed by GQ Magazine as the next Mark Zuckerberg. He made appearances beneath huge neon signs for Big Review TV on Times Square in New York.

Back in Sydney Ho was sitting on a fortune. But the options hed bought so aggressively in the second half of 2016 were about to expire. To realise his fortune, Ho had to find more than $1 million to exercise his right to buy the shares at 20 to 25 in December 2017.

But they would be worth infinitely more given the shares had soared to $3.50. Considering the options only cost between 1.5 and 2, he stood to make 150 times his money.

It seems he was thinking ahead. Throughout the second half of 2017 hed sold $1.74 million of holdings. The proceeds were used to reinvest in Big Un and exercise the options.

But Big Uns gains had aroused suspicions. Unlike other "concept stocks" that have big visions and small revenues, Big Un was showing the market cold hard cash and thats hard to fake.

Still, Big Un was in the habit of issuing ultra-cheap options to mysterious entities. Who were these beneficiaries of Big Uns seemingly unlikely share price surge? Mila Investments was on the list and was among the list of beneficiaries.

It was around the time Hos options were coming good that The Australian Financial Review stumbled upon him.

The disclosures as to who the lucky holders of cheap options agreements pointed to Mila Investments. The paper trail led to Ho.

On Friday, December 20, 2017, the last day of the working year for most of the city, the Financial Review met Ho, who was happy to discuss his amazing investment.

There was no scandal, he said. Maple-Brown Abbotts funds could not own Big Un shares so he'd bought them for himself. Hed disclosed everything to his employer. He thought Richard was a great salesman and Big had good prospects. As a cafe aficionado, hed done his homework, and come to appreciate how well their online videos helped small businesses.

And hed also looked up the names of those who had been issued options and they were all the production guys that Big Un couldnt afford to pay when times were tough.

As for Finstro, he didnt believe there was any vendor financing going on.

Ho, the Financial Review would write in its final edition of the year, was among the big personal winners of Big Uns remarkable rise.

Ho was grateful for the article but joked that now the word was out his friends expected him to buy them coffee.

The stock, Ho explained, would soon be eligible to enter the S &P/ASX 300 index. In a later text exchange he was complimentary that this piece of insight had been included in the article.

But Hos fortunes would soon change. The Financial Review continued its investigation,

On Friday, February 9, after putting questions to the company and discovering that First Class Capital had been issued with more than 3 million shares, the Financial Review ran a front-page article exposing the FC Capital tie-up.

First Class Capital is a Sydney-based financier that raises money from wealth individuals to lend to small businesses.

That came after a report by governance firm Ownership Matters raised concerns about the chairman's disclosures and the manner in which it used cheap options to pay its bills and mask its expenses. That sent the share price tumbling.

Ho was selling, too, that Friday dumping more than $550,000 of shares.

In a response to the ASX, Big Un said it was providing finance in relation to sales to customers but said there was nothing untoward.

The Financial Reviews investigation continued. Later it reported that First Class Capital had a claim over all of Big Review TVs assets including its $30 million cash balance, while at least one customer that had been invoiced for $12,000 had only agreed to a free video shoot.

The shares were placed in suspension as regulators demanded answers. Big Un would then be forced to reveal just how convoluted the FC Capital financing arrangement was.

The FC Capital funds were being advanced before a sale was even being made. About a third was returned as a commission and another third held in a trust account. If a sale wasnt made the contract would be transferred to another customer.

Of Big Uns $20 million of sales in its stellar fourth quarter, about $18.5 million was financed through this arrangement. The cash did not match the sales.

These revelations, with the discovery that Richard Evertz had previously been convicted of blackmail after being caught posing as a police officer at Melbourne park toilets, led to the unravelling of Big Un, which was suspended from trading never to return.

There was to be one more discovery. A Financial Review reader found the name Michael Ho on the metadata of all of Big Uns investor presentations in 2017. As Ho later explained, he had simply provided a template to Evertz and this did not mean he had access to information.

But this finding, with new forced disclosures by Big Un that showed Mila was issued with 100,000 "free" options in December 2016, suggested a closer relationship.

The Financial Review asked Ho directly: had he provided services to Big Un? He would not provide a direct answer.

On February 27, 2018, the Financial Review told Ho it would soon be contacting Maple-Brown Abbott with questions and that if he did need to inform them of anything this was the time.

Later that day Ho met Garth Rossler and the senior management of Maple-Brown Abbott. Ho had previously told them he owned shares, which were on a disclosure register. But it seems he had not told them everything.

They gave him the opportunity to resign or face termination over breaching their ethics code. By the end of the day his Maple Brown career was over. The game was up and on March 12 Ho and his lawyers went to see ASIC.

Almost two years later, on Tuesday, February 25, Ho appeared in the court room on the fifth floor of the Downing Centre. He stood up briefly before the judge informed the court that he pleaded guilty to five counts of insider trading and one of passing on insider information. Ho was advised of his sentencing hearing.

Ho had presented himself and co-operated with regulators, who are still investigating Big Un. He claimed to be unaware of the scheme Big Un was running through its secretive FC Capital agreement which fooled the stock market.

In fact, if you had asked me at the time I would have thought its a non-material sponsorship agreement, Ho told ASIC investigators.

Ive subsequently realised that this was something that was in fact material to the business model, and the key point here was that Finstro was a $20 million fund. So I wrote that down. Richard gave me this information,"

But Ho was a paid professional. He sought out and placed the most leveraged bets available on Big Un and stood to make tens of millions.

Instead he is waiting anxiously for his June 6 sentencing, and hoping for leniency.

Evertz, who is not facing any charges over the Big Un collapse, remains elusive, and is frequently spotted in the northern suburbs of Sydney. The corporate regulator is pushing on with its investigation into the company and its executives.

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He had the world at his feet until he got greedy with Big Un - The Australian Financial Review

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March 12th, 2020 at 10:45 am

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The most successful Western ever – Looper

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Westerns are the cinematic equivalent of the American Standard: perennially popular, endemic to American culture, and a living historical symbol of its nation's comparably young identity. They are latter-day fantasy, where the knight errant is replaced by the silhouette of Clint Eastwood, and the rolling hills of Europe are exchanged for the buttes and cacti of the American West, and even today its legacy is felt, referenced, and invoked in films that have nothing to do with the desert, or 19th-century Americans, or prospecting. There is nowhere on Earth untouched by Western film culture, and hundreds of films are encapsulated by the single-word description.

It is impossible, then, to name just one film as the most successful Western of all time. There are many qualifications to consider: box office revenue, critical acclaim, public recognition, overall societal impact. The last is the most nebulous, but also might be the most important; Westerns are so numerous and so popular that the cream rising to the top are their own more complicated icebergs of context to be mined. All of this, of course, is drastically separated from a favorite, which is entirely up to taste based on totally different metrics, like director or lead actor. So: using all of these criteria, what are the most successful Westerns, so far as this is able to be quantified?

The Western as a cinematic art form is over a century old, and reached a popularity apex in the '40s and '50s, so of course, any statements of revenue need to be adjusted for inflation to be fair. Even middling financial performances today are capable of outclassing even the highest-revenue films of the golden Hollywood era; mo' people, mo' movies, mo' money. Fortunately, Newsday spared us having to do the math: the winner for objective financial success is 1969'sButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

According to today's numbers, the classic film (and multiple Academy Award-winner) generated more than half a billion dollars' worth of revenue. It was the box office hit of 1969, too, outstripping several other Western-genre films that year by magnitudes to make a contemporary $100 million within the calendar year. It featured perhaps the biggest star in the world in Paul Newman (and his co-star, Robert Redford, would soon have a claim to that title), and it broke another contemporary financial record before it was ever made:20th Century Fox paid $400,000just for the privilege to produce its screenplay, which was a price never before paid for a script. Good thing that all worked out.

Many Westerns have won Oscars over the past century;Cimarron, High Noon, the aforementioned Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. At the 1991 Oscars ceremony, however, Dances With Wolves arrived and swept the slate, taking home seven of the twelve categories it was nominated for: Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Film Editing, Cinematography, and Sound, making it the champion for most Oscars awarded a single Western film.

It sought to be something different and new in popular cinema: a Western willing to put aside high action and individual moral murkiness to assess the greater, mixed legacy of Americans' conquest of the western half of the nation and at least partially frame the story around the subjugation of the Native population that had called it home for millennia before Europeans. Of course, it is also Oscar bait in the classic '90s sense: huge in scale, exacting in detail, a writer-director-actor vehicle for Kevin Costner at the pinnacle of his fame. It was all but destined to sweep its awards slate in 1991, and it's difficult to imagine a modern entry to the Western genre these days more interested in small, personal stories like your remakes of True Grit or remixes like The Hateful Eight to be so willing to aim for the same size and grandeur.

Thanks to the current era's obsession with algorithmizing literally anything no matter when it occurred, we can point to the best critical success of the Western genre: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. This 1948 classic was obliged to garner glowing reviews due to the inclusion of Humphrey Bogart in the starring role alone, but it has stood the test of time, reigning at a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with 46 reviews scattered across the half-century-plus since its theatrical release. It's set in the '20s, well past the epoch of horse-driven carriages, gunslingers, and the time when the West was empty, but it has all the hallmarks nonetheless: outlaws, gold prospecting, wild and barren landscapes where lone wolves save two-bit dusty frontier towns and become beloved.

Sierra Madre features no white hats or even gray ones to save the day: it's a parable about greed, and its targets are the subject of accurate karmic suffering. The greatRoger Ebert described it best in his own glowing review when he revisited it on the then-still-new medium of DVD in 2004: "There is a pitiless stark realism in these scenes that brings the movie to honesty and truth. Leading up to them is a down-market Shakespearean soliloquy when Dobbs thinks he is a murderer and says, 'Conscience. What a thing! If you believe you got a conscience, it'll pester you to death. But if you don't believe you got one, what could it do to ya?' He finds out."

Cultural significance is a slippery term. The Western genre certainly defines American culture in such a profound way that any iconography related to a cowboy can be utilized to represent An American in media, and be instantly understandable, no matter the language. All of the ten-to-twenty films that most often populate "Best Western Movie" listicles also each, in their own way, have left indelible prints on our lives but a special shout-out should be given to the particular selections borne of a unique cross-cultural exchange in the years post-WWII.

Yes, indeed, we do mean the samurai-slash-western-film thematic cross-pollination most famously conceptualized by Akira Kurosawa. Any true die-hard Western fan will include Yojimbo and Seven Samurai as entries into the Western pantheon along with its western-hemisphere remakes that are individuals in their own right: Fistful of Dollars and The Magnificent Seven. Is there a greater victory for cultural impact as inspiring art between nations that, at the time, had been at very bitter war with each other less than a decade before?

Westerns, Spaghetti-flavor or otherwise, had been popular media well before WWII; Kurosawa had seen those films, delighted in them and, after Japan surrendered and it was permissible to indulge in American cultural diversions once again, made masterpiece after masterpiece using those Western tropes. Those masterpieces, in turn, were adapted through the eyes of an Italian and an American to create works of equal quality and identity. That's three separate nations, all with wildly different traditions, food, and religious convictions, coming together to provide artistic filters through which timeless art is made. This is the ideal of towards which humanity should reach in hopes of sustaining peace on Earth.

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The most successful Western ever - Looper

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Startup Brings Personalized Coaching To Every Employee – Forbes

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Professional coaching is no longer an exclusive perk for select employees courtesy of Bravely, a cloud-based platform that delivers workplace guidance on-demand to more workers. The New York-based startup provides coaching to employees in numerous industries, including professional and financial services, hospitality, retail, and high technology.

Bravely co-founders, Sarah Sheehan (L) and Toby Hervey, have a shared mission to make coaching available to workers at all levels of the business.

Everyone should have a trusted, skilled coach to help them navigate important make or break moments at work, said Toby Hervey, co-founder and CEO at Bravely. Supporting an employee at moments that matter fundamentally transforms their long-time success and viability, as well as company culture.

Business benefits from coaching for all

Sarah Sheehan, co-founder and president at Bravely, said the coaching platform reflected people-first workplace trends.

Forward-thinking leaders know employees need hard skills and relationship-building expertise to achieve goals together, she said. Using technology, companies can cost-effectively give more employees access to coaching. This reduces employee stress and prevents burnout for improved mental health leading to higher productivity.

Not surprisingly, Bravely helps companies address business commitments to inclusion and diversity. This is something that the co-founders live every day; Hervey is a gay man, and Sheehan is a new mother.

We see strong usage of our coaching among groups such as women, LGBTQ workers, and people of color who are underrepresented the higher up you go in many organizations, said Hervey. We want to be a force for behavioral change across the board, and equitably support people at every level.

Just-in-time coaching

Bravelys network of rigorously vetted, certified coaches stands ready to serve employees across 30 countries 24/7. Using the app, employees can schedule confidential sessions within personalized timeframes. Someone might need some quick coaching to clarify talking points for a difficult conversation with a manager later that day. They may want to prepare for an upcoming performance review, strengthen relationships with peers or direct reports, or develop a long-term plan for a promotion or success in a new role.

Data tracks eye-opening people insights

Based on post-session reports, 91 percent of employees intend to take a next step. Clients also report lower HR caseloads, freeing those teams up for strategic responsibilities. Over time, companies use anonymized data from Bravely to surface information leaders might not otherwise hear about.

Data from coaching sessions at one company revealed employee perceptions that people couldnt move up because the organization tended to hire externally for management positions, said Hervey. HR changed those perceptions with an educational program on upward career paths.

Deeply personal journeys behind Bravely

Sheehan and Hervey are both New York transplants from Florida, where they were born and raised in cities close by unbeknownst to each other. After first meeting as colleagues at a New York-based startup, the two created Bravely from a shared vision.

As the daughter of an employment lawyer who primarily represented women and people of color, Sheehans dinner table conversations while growing up were often about workplace issues. Pursuing her career in human resources (HR) and sales, she considered herself fortunate to have had support from the accomplished people who surrounded her. She wanted to help others tap the same power.

Like many young women, I struggled to find my voice, and challenge myself to climb the ladder, she said. I wanted to extend career support, offering something historically available only to people at the highest levels of an organization.

Hervey channeled into Bravely his lifelong startup mentality, a trait he honed as the son of entrepreneurial parents. He began working at his familys pet care company at the age of 11, eventually moving into customer service. Later in New York, after various positions at technology companies, including a telemedicine startup that matched healthcare providers with patients who needed urgent care, Hervey had an epiphany about bringing a similar concept to employees.

Bravely connects all the different threads in my life, including building something from scratch, using technology to scale resources, and helping people navigate interpersonal dynamics to reach larger goals, said Hervey.

SAP is perfect partner

Bravely recently participated in the latest healthcare-focused accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry New York. It was one of seven up and coming startups working with hospital system providers, employee health and wellness solutions, medical devices, and health IT.

We learned a lot about our go to market strategy, including how to meet the multi-faceted needs of enterprises in many industries that are managing diverse, global employee populations in different environments, said Sheehan.

Downloadable on the SAP App Center, Bravely is integrated with SAP SuccessFactors. The app features triggers for HR-related events like performance reviews or starting a new position.

Our partnership model with SAP has opened the door for new ways to engage and support employees, said Hervey. SAP is recognized as a top place to work and for its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products like ours support that mission.

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Startup Brings Personalized Coaching To Every Employee - Forbes

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IMPACT 100 Announces $1.1 Million In Grants To Be Awarded To Community Groups – NorthEscambia.com

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IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area, a local womens philanthropic organization, announced Wednesday that its 2020 Membership Driveconcluded with a total of 1,166 members. IMPACT 100 will give back $1,166,000 by awarding 11 transformative project grants of $106,000 each to nonprofit organizations serving Escambia and Santa Rosa counties on October 11.

This is the 17th anniversary year of IMPACT 100 awarding grants to local nonprofits. After awarding the 2020 grants, IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area will have funded 120 grants, totaling $12,830,000.

The tremendous generosity displayed by the women in our area never ceases to amaze me! It is what has continued to make IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area the largest Impact organization in the world, but more importantly the one that has given back the most to our community. The philanthropy of our members and the power of collective giving allows us to continue to fund transformative projects of nonprofit organizations that serve our area and make a positive difference for us all. Reviewing the new project ideas submitted is always exciting and we look forward to the opportunity to help bring many of these to fruition, said Brigette Brooks, President of IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area

Two grants will be awarded in each of five focus areas: arts and culture; education; environment, recreation and preservation; family; and health and wellness.Due to the overwhelming response to the membership drive, one additional grant will be awarded in one of the five focus areas for a total of eleven transformative grants.

IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area is hosting a free nonprofit workshop on Thursday, April 16 at Brownsville Community Center, 3200 West De Soto Street Registration is at 8:30 a.m. with the workshop held from 9 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. Guest speaker Cathy Brown, associate director of education at The Fund-Raising School, Lily Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, will present Building Blocks for Sustainable Success. All nonprofit organizations in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties are invited to attend and learn about the grant process, get tips for writing a successful grant and be inspired to create a winning project for the 17th year of giving.

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IMPACT 100 Announces $1.1 Million In Grants To Be Awarded To Community Groups - NorthEscambia.com

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