Kirstie Ennis: Going “Full Throttle”

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Kirstie Ennis

By Brady Rhoades

Veteran Kirstie Ennis is one of the best Paralympian snowboarders in the world, and she’s also eying the seven great summits, recently climbing 19,341-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and 16,024-foot Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia. On one leg.

As a Marine Corps sergeant. in Afghanistan—a helicopter door gunner—she wrecked a leg when the helicopter she was in crashed. That leg was amputated above the knee in 2015.

Her jaw was destroyed, she lost teeth, she injured discs in her spine, and she suffered facial lacerations, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD.

In the process of undergoing more than 40 surgeries, she came to a realization, acquiring a come-to-terms toughness and wisdom that would help motivate her to train as a snowboarder for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang County, in the Gangwon region of South Korea.

And to attempt to conquer the tallest peaks on all seven continents.

Countless times a day, she repeats one of her mantras: Stop worrying about what you lost. Look at what you’ve got. Or: What counts is what’s behind your rib cage and six inches between your ears.

She’s only 26, but her near-death experience offered an invaluable lesson on how precious time is.

“I go full throttle,” she said. “I come up with obnoxious goals and I go after them.”

It’s hard to believe that this fifth-gear athlete chasing Paralympian goals—and literally ascending historic heights for an above-the-knee-amputee mountain climber—spent months in hospital beds, nearly lifeless, filled with doubt, enveloped in depression. She wondered how she’d ever get around, go on. What would she do? Would she ever wear a dress again? Would anyone ever be attracted to her?

Idle time can be a wounded warrior’s worst enemy. Fathers can be their best friends.

“Dad said, ‘People in the Middle East couldn’t kill you, and now you’re going to collapse?'” she recalls. “The light went on and I said, ‘I made it home. Nobody owes me a damn thing.'”

Kirstie Ennis

Ennis had to mine for the toughness that is at her core, but her sense of humor? That comes effortlessly.

The same year her leg was amputated, she participated in the Walking with the Wounded event, in which wounded warriors trek 1,000 miles, ending at Buckingham Palace in London. Ennis left dozens of dog tags bearing the names of fallen comrades along the way. She also met Prince Harry, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry, not one to shirk his duties, logged many miles during the event. At one point, he turned to Ennis and complained that his knee ached.

“I looked over and was like, ‘That’s (expletive) cute, really,’” Ennis said. Prince Harry cracked up.

Ennis and Prince Harry became fast friends. At the conclusion of her walk, she presented the final dog tag to him.

Their embrace was photographed and zoomed across the wires, making her a celebrity in a matter of minutes.

For her service to the country, Ennis has earned the NATO Medal, Combat Action Wings with three gold stars, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan National Campaign Medal, two Letters of Appreciation, Certificate of Commendation, and a Certificate of Appreciation.

But who says you can’t be uber-tough and sexy?

ESPN called, asking her to grace the cover of ESPN The Magazine‘s 2017 Body Issue, with rather risqué photos of her on the inside pages. They wanted her to climb Joshua Tree, sans clothes.

She had her doubts. But Ennis tends to run toward challenges, toward fear.

“I thought about it and considered the demographic and the people Kirstie Ennisthat would see it, and I realized that it wasn’t about me anymore,” she said. “Any man, woman, or child facing some sort of adversity has the potential to be inspired by these pictures of someone who has only been missing her leg for a few years go out and do things she wasn’t doing with two legs.”

Ennis appeared in the Body Issue, along with other great athletes, such as Javier Baez (baseball), A.J. Andrews (softball), and Malakai Fekitoa (rugby).

The daughter of two Marines, Ennis enlisted out of Florida when she was 17 years old, in 2008. She served for four years as a helicopter door gunner and airframes mechanic when disaster struck on June 23, 2012.

While on her second deployment in Afghanistan, Ennis’ CH-53D helicopter crashed in the Helmand Province.

Badly injured, she fought to remain on active duty but was medically retired in 2014. After her below-the-knee amputation on November 23, 2015, Ennis contracted the antibiotic-resistant MRSA and, because of a resulting infection, doctors were forced to remove her knee a month later.

“A below-the-knee amputation is night-and-day from above-the-knee,” she said. “You have to relearn everything. You’re basically a toddler.”

When she was told that surgeons would have to perform above-the-knee surgery, she said she “lost it.” She cried. She wailed.

“It’s one curveball after another,” she said.

She still struggles, emotionally. “I’d be lying if I said it’s easy,” she said.

Two years after her life-altering surgery, she’s adapted, and she’s developed coping skills, which is a critical component of recovery.

Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t.

Set lofty goals.

Stay busy.

And true to her military training, be of service to others.

“When I’m having a bad day, I help someone who’s missing three limbs,” she said. “There’s this common misconception about what strength is. In the grand scheme of things, we’re in this together. You have to realize that you have to turn to somebody.”

Some of her best days involving helping other wounded warriors—whether it be through her notoriety as a star Paralympian or simply visiting a hospital.

“I know I’m on a platform,” she said. “I want to inspire people to reach their potential.”

She recalls a wounded warrior uttering eight words that she’ll never forget and that make her journey—as harrowing as it has been—worth it.

“You inspired me to walk another 10 steps,” the woman said.

 

Veteran uses military experience, builds record setting adventure park

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Mike Holder began his career as a Staff Sergeant/Airborne Ranger in the US Army. Mike went to Officer Candidate School and worked his way up to retire as a Colonel with 4 commands.

Mike used his military experience to build a world-record setting outdoor adventure park and builds and consults on zip line parks all over the Southeast. His original outdoor adventure park, Historic Banning Mills, in Whitesburg, Ga., started as a 10-room bed and breakfast, and was rebuilt after a devastating fire to become a revolutionary outdoor adventure resort with over ten miles of zip lines to date.

Mike and his team have grown immensely with more than seven parks that they manage and have assisted in constructing many more. Known as being a leader in the zipline and adventure park industry, Mike has worked to create his own service to ensure that all ziplines are as safe as they can be using a safety belay system. Although Mike works non-stop on his business ventures, he never forgets about his fellow veterans and always strives to give back to them.

Banning Mills is an avid supporter of the Wounded Warrior organization and has hosted several events over the years. Mike and team work to host multiple military decompression groups to re-emerge and re-integrate soldiers back in to society and offer an outlet for decompression. While many places are available for soldier decompression, Historic Banning Mills specifically offers many unique and exciting activities for the soldiers that turn their stressful energy to a more fun, positive energy, while also offering an adrenaline rush.

Now through Veterans Day, Banning Mills is running the following deals for veterans and their families:

Banning Mills – Whitesburg, GABanning Mills Cottage
historicbanningmills.com/
Buy any 2 Zip Line Canopy Tours and get a Creekside Overlook Room for $99+. Breakfast for two include. Good all of October
$99 Extreme Nov 9-11 for Veterans and dependents. ID required

Screaming Eagle at Guntersville – Guntersville, AL
http://www.lakeguntersvillezipline.com/
$20 Level Two Oct 1-Oct 29
BOGO Level One Oct 30-Nov 1
Level Two $79 Nov 9-11

Screaming Eagle at Windcreek – Alexander City, AL
windcreekzipline.com/
BOGO Level One Oct 1-Oct 31
Level Two $45 per person Nov 9-11 for Veterans and dependents ID required

Amicalola Aerial Adventure Park – Dawsonville, GA
amicalolazipline.com/

Mike and Donna Holder
Mike and Donna Holder

$25 off Level Two, Oct 1-Oct 31. Monday-Friday Only
Level Two $79 per person Nov 9-11 for Veterans and dependents ID required

Unicoi Aerial Adventure Park – Helen, GA
unicoizipline.com/
$25 off Level Two, Oct 1-Oct 31. Monday-Friday Only
Level Two $79 per person Nov 9-11 for Veterans and dependents ID required

Decorated Naval Officer turned Talk Show Host, Montel Williams, signs on as Host and Co- Executive Producer of “Military Makeover”

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Montel Williams-Military Makeover

When most Americans hear the name, “Montel Williams,” they remember the Emmy Award-winning host of Montel Williams Show, which aired nationally for seventeen years.

Along with being a New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Montel is also a passionate advocate for veterans, education and health. While his colleagues tended to invite the dramatic or ultra-celebrity guests, Williams often took the platform of education through self help and mental health advocates. Montel’s unrelenting, empathetic kindness acted as a major directive in his pre-and post-show efforts as he was the first to employ a holistic, therapeutic approach. He now serves on the board of directors for the Fisher House Foundation and the Anne Romney Center for Neurological Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

What America may not remember is that Williams is also a decorated military officer, beginning his professional career in the United States Marine Corps, becoming the first black Marine selected to the Naval Academy Prep School to go on to graduate the Naval Academy and be commissioned a Naval Officer. Montel graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a degree in general engineering and a minor in international security affairs and served in the military for a total of 22 years. Montel is thrilled to be a part of Military Makeover, relishing the opportunity to give back to his fellow veterans through this new role allowing him to not only lead as a host, but also to creatively co-produce the show in its new season. Montel’s heart has actively guided him through his career efforts and there is no doubt this show will further his mission of making America a more loving, giving community by leading the Military Makeover team in generously giving back to those who fought for our freedom.

“In the nearly three decades since I retired from the Navy, I’ve never really taken the uniform off Montel-home makeoverbecause standing up for those who are serving now and those who have served has been the greatest honor of my professional career.” – Montel Williams

“We are so excited to welcome Montel Williams into our Military Makeover family and have no doubt that he will take the show to new levels of engagement and success!”
– Mark Alfieri, Founder and CEO of BrandStar

Military Makeover with Montel®, produced by BrandStar, offers hope and a helping hand here on the home front to members of our military and their loved ones. A veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Navy, talk show legend and military advocate Montel Williams seeks to transform the homes and lives of military families across the country. This special series enlists conscientious Fortune 500 companies, designers, contractors, landscapers and other home improvement professionals. Help starts at home for veterans.

These are the fastest-growing jobs in the next 5 years

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Job Transition for veterans

Being a home health aide is predicted to be the fastest-growing job from 2018 to 2023, according to a new report from CareerBuilder. The CareerBuilder data was calculated based on info from Emsi, a national leader in medical information services, and focuses on 774 occupations that are classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The biggest jumps are for home health aides, software developers, and medical assistants. Registered nurses, the occupation on the list with the most expected jobs added, are expected to see an 8.39% jump in job openings by 2023.

“What we see across industries … is that most professionals are becoming tech workers in some capacity,” Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder, told Yahoo Finance in an email.

With technology continuing to evolve, skills that employees will need are being redefined as well. Novoselsky noted that most of the fastest-growing occupations include some kind of technological component. Earlier this year, tech jobs took the top two spots as the “Best Jobs in America,” largely due to the high demand for the position.

“As we have seen historically, technology and healthcare positions continue to dominate the fastest-growing occupations,” she said. “Technology is an integral part of business and everyday life. Advancements in medicine are enabling people to live longer.

The occupations were sorted into three categories: high-wage jobs, middle-wage jobs, and low-wage jobs. Low-wage jobs were defined as those that pay $14.17 or less an hour, middle-wage jobs as $14.18-$23.59 per hour, and high-wage jobs as $23.24 per hour.

Fatest Growing Jobs

Jobs on the rise in the high-wage category include postsecondary teachers, accountants and auditors, and computer user support specialists. Among middle-wage occupations, customer service representatives, construction laborers, and general maintenance and repair workers are seeing the biggest jump. In the low-wage category are occupations such as retail salespersons, security guards, and restaurant cooks.

Continue on to Yahoonews.com to read the complete article.

White House Chef and Combat Veteran Andre Rush Has Signed a Deal to Produce ‘Chef in the City’

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White House Chef Andre Rush is pleased to announce that he has signed a deal to produce an upcoming television show called “Chef in the City.” This unique concept on location cooking show will have acclaimed Chef Rush take the audience on adventures across the United States, visiting restaurants, first responder units, children’s hospitals, local community centers, military bases, and more.

“I’m honored to be able to take all of my years of experience and skills and produce a brand-new television show that will take audiences to locations not normally highlighted on current cooking shows,” says Chef Rush. “Each week I will meet new and interesting people, cook with them, talk over the preparation, and discover new adventures in cooking. It’s going to be an amazing experience for me as well as the audience viewing to take cooking out of the studio and into communities across the U.S.”

Chef Rush is a master ice carver, sommelier, pastry chef, chocolatier, and sugar sculptor, among other specialties. He has had the exciting opportunity to bring his expertise and skill to the White House over the course of several administrations as the executive chef for special dinners, gatherings, banquets and anything directly involving the first family and their invited guests.

Chef Rush is also a combat veteran who retired as a master sergeant after 23 years in the United States Army. During his career, he worked for many leaders including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of the Army, Chief of Staff, and Superintendents of the United States Military Academy (West Point).

In his capacity at West Point, Chef Rush was the senior aide and advisor, chef, and security detail assigned and protocol liaison. He planned, prepared and serviced social functions to thousands of high-ranking foreign and domestic dignitaries, both civilian and military, and was responsible for the training, performance and welfare of dedicated personnel.

Never far from his military roots, Chef Rush is a key advocate for the United Service Organizations (USO), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion as well as a full supporter of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition with the goal of leading a younger generation to a healthier tomorrow.

Continue onto Newswire to read the complete article.

Paws of War Receives Donation, Aims to Help More Veterans with New Location

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Paws of War

Paws of War, an organization that helps veterans and first responders to obtain and train companion and service dogs, is moving to a new, larger location. The new location will help them provide their important services to more veterans and first responders.

One local construction company, NDA Construction, lead a community effort that made all the difference. The new Paws of War location will be at 127-6 Smithtown Blvd in Nesconset, New York. They are in the same shopping center, but will now be in a new location within it. The public is invited to attend a grand opening event on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 11:00 am. Refreshments and a light lunch will be served.

“We have long outgrown our space and it was preventing us from helping more people,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “We are so grateful that NDA Construction and the community of sub contractors they brought on have stepped up to make it possible for us have a larger and more functional space. Their donation of time and resources has made it possible for us to help many more veterans and first responders. We couldn’t have made this move without their kind donation.”

The new space will be 3,400 square feet, which is double the size of the old location. It has been Paws of War Constructionbuilt out to provide more areas that will be used to help veterans during their training sessions. The group will now also be able to help those veterans and first responders who are wheelchair-bound or who use scooters. Their prior space was not sufficient for those in wheelchairs to properly participate in the training programs.

NDA Construction and its sister company NDA Kitchens have veterans working for them. The company is owned by Ed Rowland, who started it in 1992. Since that time, they have built a solid reputation for building and design. Through NDA Kitchens, they offer custom kitchen remodeling in the Long Island area.

“It would have been a real financial strain for Paws of War to try to move to a larger facility without receiving some assistance from a builder,” explained Rowland. “We believe in what they are doing and wanted to step up and help make it easier for them to continue doing it on a larger scale. We’re helping them, but then in turn they are helping people who have given a lot for all of us.”

Since the organization started in 2014, they have supported over 100 veterans with service dogs that were rescued from kill shelters and given the proper training. They have rescued 455 dogs from kill shelters and have graduated 102 dogs from the training program. Their mission is to help veterans and first responders who are in need of service dogs, whether for emotional issues, PTSD, depression, or for physical conditions. The new location will make it easier for them to help even more be able to get the assistance they need.

Paws of War Construction“I started in the program over a year ago,” says William Wurm, who is retired from the US Army and served in Iraq. “And now we are busting at the seams. This new space is going to be so ideal for all of us who make Paws of War a second home.”

Paws of War is an all-volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD. To learn more about Paws of War or make a donation to support their efforts, visit their site at: pawsofwar.org.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at pawsofwar.org.

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5 Questions Hiring Managers Think During Interviews (But Might Not Ask)

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interview sign on door

Interviews are fairly anxiety inducing, especially when your interviewer has what can only be described as a professional poker face.

You could drive yourself insane trying to figure out what exactly is going on behind that diplomatic smile.

To save you from the agony and to help you better prepare, here is an insider look at what goes through a hiring manager’s mind during an interview. In general, employers are looking for the best technical and cultural fit that their budgets will allow for. While these questions will all go through their minds, the questions they end up asking usually aren’t as direct. So, know that no matter how wacky or irrelevant the question might seem, they all come back to these five core concerns.

1. Have You Successfully Done Similar Work in the Past?

Really, the question should be more along the lines of, “Can you do the job?” but that’s not always the easiest thing to evaluate. That’s why such weight is given to your ability to show relevant work that you have done, whether it was for another company, for school, or just independently.

Any chance you get, you should be talking about your relevant experience and transferable skills. Of course, it’s not always just about results. Being able to talk about why you were successful is also important. Tell stories about your previous experience (here’s how, and be introspective. The interviewer will be attempting to draw insights from your answers, so you might as well spell them out to make sure you’re sending the message you want to send.

2. Will You Work Well With My Current Team?

There is always some context that you’re being hired into, and it’s in the hiring manager’s best interest to make sure you will be a good fit and can hit the ground running.

How exactly can a hiring manager discern whether or not you’ll work out? In the end, it’s still a bit of a gamble, but a few things you should definitely try to get across are your communication style and effectiveness, your work ethic, your career values, and how you approach problems. Think broadly about these things, and then come up with a concrete supporting example as you’re preparing for the interview.

And remember: There’s no right or wrong answer here. After all, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re a bad fit either.

3. What Do You Know About My Company?

You’re applying for a specific role that probably exists in many other companies as well, so why this one? Hiring managers want you to show not only that you know what makes their particular company special, but that you’re really excited about it. Doing your homework on the company and considering why you’d be a good fit shows that you’re invested.

Naturally, it doesn’t stop there. Asking thoughtful and informed questions about the company is a great way to show continued enthusiasm as the interview progresses (here are a few great ones). Do the company research beforehand, and show off what you know in both your answers and your questions.

4. Does the Job You’re Expecting Align With What the Job Actually Is?

In other words, do you know what you’re signing up for, and is it what you’re really looking for? No one wants to hire someone who just wants the job to tide him or her over until a new, more desirable job turns up. And, while we’re on the topic of expectations, are your salary expectations in line with the company’s? To get to the point, can the company afford to hire you?

To get to this, the interviewer might ask anything from your motivation for leaving your previous position to what you’re most excited about in the new role. The current salary question will likely come up at some point as well. In the end, there are a hundred different questions that could get at this concern. To prepare in a realistic amount of time, figure out what your career narrative is. Where did you come from, where are you going, and why? How does this job fit in with your goals? Oh, and read up on negotiation.

5. Are You Confident in Your Abilities?

This might not be something hiring managers are thinking about consciously, but you can bet that their perception of your confidence will make a difference in how they remember you. Now, confidence can mean different things to different people, but in general if you can show that you’re passionate about the work and you look the part, half the battle is won. If you want to boost your confidence even more, set some time aside to do a few power poses before the big interview.

Of course, looking confident is just a matter of practice, but being confident requires a whole new mindset. If you’re short on time, get a pep talk from your support network of friends and mentors. Having the right people in your life can make a world of difference when it comes to self-confidence—not to mention it’s easier (and more effective) to say, “My manager would describe me as hardworking,” rather than “I’d say I’m a pretty hard worker.”

Author-Lily Zhang
Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.

Comcast Expands Program to Embrace Low-Income Veterans

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Veteran looking at iPad

PHILADELPHIA, PA – As part of its effort to close the digital divide for all low-income Americans, now including low-income veterans and seniors, Comcast  announced partnerships between Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive Internet adoption program for low-income households, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, and the PsychArmor Institute.

The news comes on the heels of the company’s recent announcement that, since 2011, the Internet Essentials program has connected more than six million low-income Americans to the Internet, most for the first time in their lives.  In addition, the company expanded eligibility for the program to include all low-income veterans living in its service area, which is estimated to total nearly one million, and to low-income seniors in the District of Columbia.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation and PsychArmor partnerships were announced at the Reserve Officers Association Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The partnerships will support the creation of 10 veteran-specific digital skills training modules, which will be made available online and delivered in classrooms at Comcast-sponsored computer labs in 10 markets.  In addition, the partnerships will implement an advocacy effort designed to reinforce the importance of digital inclusion among veteran-serving organizations, caregivers, and elected and government officials.  The ultimate goal is to connect more low-income veterans to Internet resources including: online social support networks, health benefits, access to colleges and scholarship programs, digital and technical skills training programs, as well as news, games, and entertainment.

“Internet access is incredibly important to the veteran community.  Yet, about a third of low-income veterans still do not have Internet service at home and about 40 percent do not even own a computer,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast Corporation.  “We think this is simply unacceptable and our partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and PsychArmor will help more low-income veterans get connected to the Internet so they can receive the benefits they deserve and learn the digital skills they need to be successful as civilians in our fast-paced, global economy.”

“An Internet connection can be a transformative tool for low-income veterans and their caregivers. The greater access to benefits, resources and to each other can truly make a difference in their quality of life,” said Senator Elizabeth Dole, President of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.  “Our first partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal has helped us establish a nationwide network of support for veteran caregivers, and we look forward to building on this work by reaching out across our Hidden Heroes network to connect with low-income veterans who may have been left on the wrong side of the digital divide.  They should not be left behind.”

Also  in Washington, D.C., Comcast launched an Internet Essentials Learning Zone, which will create a network of Internet connectivity for students and families across all eight Wards of the City.  The goal is to ensure more low-income students are connected to the Internet at school, then after school at anchor institutions, such as libraries and community centers, and then at home through Internet Essentials.  As part of the D.C. Learning Zone, Comcast will provide courtesy broadband service to 19 partners, including nonprofit and social service organizations.

In addition, Comcast announced a grant for Beacon House, an Edgewood neighborhood organization dedicated to closing the education achievement gap for children in Ward 5.  The company donated 32 laptops to high school juniors and seniors who attend after school programs there.  Finally, Comcast announced that, in January 2019, it will expand its senior pilot program to low-income seniors in the District of Columbia.  The company plans to work with the District of Columbia Public Libraries to help expand digital inclusion training classes tailored to meet the needs of area seniors.

At various events, Comcast was joined by four Olympic and Paralympic gold medalists, including track and field star and still-standing world heptathlon record holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee, U.S. Women’s Olympic hockey team gold medalists Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, as well as two-time Paralympic sled hockey gold medalist, and veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Rico Roman.

About Internet Essentials

Internet Essentials is designed to address the three major barriers to broadband adoption by providing: high-speed Internet service for just $9.95 a month, the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for less than $150, and access to free digital literacy training in print, online, and in person.  For more information, or to apply for the program, please either visit internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses.  It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the XFINITY brand.  NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts.  Visit comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Taya Kyle, Widow of Late U.S. Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, Announced as Keynote Speaker for Upcoming Brave B.A.S.H.

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Taya Kyle Keynote Speaker

TAMPA–ART International recently announced that Taya Kyle, widow of late United States Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, commonly known as the “American Sniper” after the title of his New York Times bestselling memoir of the same title, will be the keynote speaker at the organization’s upcoming Brave B.A.S.H. (Building Advocates for Successful Healing) gala.

The organization also announced an all-star musical lineup featuring country artists LOCASH, Billy Dean, Tim Rushlow, Monty Powell, along with jazz artist Anna Wilson. Sawyer Fredericks, winner of “The Voice,” will perform a private concert at an after-party in Ybor City. The Golf Channel’s Lauren Thompson will be emceeing the main event.

The Tampa event, scheduled for Friday, October 19th at The Gathering at Armature Works, is a fundraiser to support the work of ART International, a nonprofit formed by restauranteur and entrepreneur Chris T. Sullivan, with a mission of expanding the reach of Accelerated Resolution Therapy, or ART, and making it more widely accessible to individuals suffering from mental health issues.

Ms. Kyle published a New York Times bestselling memoir, American Wife, after her husband’s book was made into an Academy Award-winning film directed by Clint Eastwood starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. With humor and vulnerability, Kyle recounts the tremendous highs and lows in her unpredictable life as the wife and now widow of an American hero. She continues to be a contributor on television networks, is a passionate author with new books coming out later this year and next year, and is a public speaker inspiring others to find light in the midst of darkness.

Following the murder of her husband, Chris Kyle, Ms. Kyle founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation (CKFF) where she volunteers her time as executive director. The foundation continues Chris Kyle’s legacy of honoring God, country and family. With a team of people behind the mission and donations coming in from across the globe, CKFF is helping first responder and military families not only survive their life of service, but thrive.

ART is an evidenced-based psychotherapy that has demonstrated proven results in treating individuals with post-traumatic stress (PTSD). This treatment provides effective relief from strong physical and emotional reactions associated with PTSD in as few as one to five sessions, with the average being four sessions.

“What motivated me to get involved in connecting more patients and therapists to ART are the staggering number of military, active and retired, deeply and perhaps permanently damaged by PTSD; and the published data that speaks to the effectiveness of ART,” said Chris T. Sullivan, chairman of ART International. “One in five veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is diagnosed with PTSD. Brave B.A.S.H. will look to inspire attendees to support our mission of helping those who have protected us. I’m thrilled that Taya Kyle, along with our musical acts, have joined in to be a part of this special evening.”

ART International is excited to create a memorable experience for their guests at the inaugural Brave B.A.S.H. A VIP reception for sponsors and patrons begins at 6:00 p.m. The gala and music jam, which will be emceed by Lauren Thompson, begins at 7:00 p.m. Guests will experience an electric musical evening featuring performances by award-winning artists LOCASH, Billy Dean, Tim Rushlow, Monty Powell and Anna Wilson during this one-of-a-kind music jam. The after-party, set for 11:00 p.m. at The Attic – Rock Brothers Brewing in Ybor City, will include a private concert by Sawyer Fredericks, winner of “The Voice”.

To purchase a sponsorship or tickets to Brave B.A.S.H or for more information on ART International, please visit artherapyinternational.org or call (813) 435-1374.

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About ART International Training and Research

ART International Training and Research Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was created and is supported by the Chris T. Sullivan Foundation and private funding sources. ART International offers training in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) to licensed mental health clinicians to increase access of treatment worldwide; provides financial support of the most current, effective and innovative clinical research related to ART; and develops financial assistance opportunities for those in need of the therapy.

ART has been successful in treating individuals with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) by reprograming distressing memories and negative images that are stored in the brain so that they no longer trigger strong physical and emotional reactions — and establish a positive change for adverse psychological conditions. For more information, visit artherapyinternational.org.

DraftKings’ High-Tech Jobs Skills Training Program Now Open for Texas Veterans

LinkedIn

BOSTON, MA–DraftKings Inc. recently announced that it is expanding its Tech for Heroes initiative to Austin, Texas. The eight-week course, beginning October 9 and offered free of charge, is designed to provide high-tech job skills training to current and returning veterans and military spouses, so they can expand their knowledge base and find gainful employment in the tech sector.

“The Tech for Heroes program was designed with one goal in mind–help veterans gain a real advantage in an extremely competitive tech industry,” said Paul Liberman, co-founder and COO of DraftKings. “The skills acquired through the program can be applied to nearly any company, no matter their size or industry, giving each individual the ability to explore career paths of all types. These individuals have all made tremendous sacrifices in service to our country and this program is one way we are showing our collective appreciation.”

Working in partnership with the national nonprofit VetsinTech, DraftKings launched the company’s first corporate social responsibility initiative in June with its inaugural Tech for Heroes training class taking place in Boston. Last month, the company announced an expansion of the program to San Francisco, California, where it is training more than 30 veterans and military spouses in web development.

“We are excited to continue the expansion of the Tech for Heroes program to Austin. The partnership with DraftKings has allowed us to impact so many veterans and their families all across the country, and we look forward to the opportunity to bring this life changing training to Texas,” said Katherine Webster, founder and CEO of VetsinTech.

DraftKings’ employees will be working with the veterans to grow their understanding of employment opportunities at high-tech companies and to further support the veteran graduates pursuing careers in tech. Efforts include resume development, career roadmapping and skills translation as well as peer to peer networking.

The deadline for signing-up is October 8.

For additional information on the DraftKings Tech For Heroes program and to inquire about joining a class, please visit Tech for Heroes.

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About DraftKings

DraftKings is a global sports technology and entertainment company that believes life is more fun with skin in the game. Its mission is to bring fans closer to the games they love via a unique combination of daily fantasy sports, sports betting and media platforms that, combined, deliver “The Game Inside The Game.” Founded in 2012 by Matt Kalish, Paul Liberman and Jason Robins, DraftKings is headquartered in Boston, MA, and offers daily fantasy sports contests across 11 professional sports in 8 countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K and Australia. Now a licensed operator in New Jersey, DraftKings Sportsbook allows players in the state to engage in betting for major U.S. and international sports.

About VetsinTech

VetsinTech supports current and returning veterans with re-integration services, and by connecting them to the national technology ecosystem. VIT is committed to bringing together a tech-specific network, resources, and programs for our veterans interested in education, entrepreneurship, and employment.

Starting a Business? Answers to 10 frequently asked questions

LinkedIn

By Kelly Bagla, Esq.

Having been a start-up lawyer and entrepreneur, I have been asked many of the following questions over the years from entrepreneurs who are starting a company.

Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer and, as lawyers often like to say, “It depends on the circumstances.” But here are my short-hand answers to ten of the most frequently asked start-up questions:

  1. Should I form my company as a C corporation, an S corporation, an LLC, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship?

Start it as an S corporation, unless you have to issue both common stock and preferred stock; in that case, start it as a C corporation. And an S corporation can easily be converted later into a C corporation. LLCs are popular, but can get overly complicated. Partnerships and sole proprietorships are to be avoided because of the potential personal liability to the owners of the business.

  1. Where should I incorporate my business?

The standard answer to this is Delaware, because of its well-developed corporate law. My answer is that it should be the state in which the business is located, as this will save you some fees and complexities. You can always reincorporate later in Delaware.

  1. How much should I capitalize my business with at the beginning?

As much as you can reasonably afford, and definitely enough to carry you for at least 6 to 9 months with no income. What you will find is that it always takes you longer to get revenues, and you will undoubtedly incur more expenses than you anticipated.

  1. How can I come up with a great name for my business?

This is difficult. First, brainstorm with a bunch of different names. Then do a Google search to see what is already taken, and that will eliminate 95 percent of your choices. Make it easy to spell. Make it interesting. Don’t pick a nonsensical name that will leave people wondering what you do. Do a trademark/trade name search on the name you like, then make sure you can purchase the domain name.

  1. What are the biggest challenges to starting a business?

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. Some of the challenges you’ll face include—

  • Shortage of capital and cash flow
    • Having a good business plan
    • Coming up with a great product or service
    • Sticking to it
    • Working more than you expected
    • Getting through the frustrations of being constantly rejected by customers
    • Hiring good employees
    • Knowing when to fire bad employees
    • Having to wear so many hats
    • Managing your time
    • Maintaining some kind of work/life balance
  1. What kind of business should I start?

Be sure your business is one that—

  • You are passionate about
    • Is within your reach to fund
    • Has the potential to grow into something big in a reasonable time frame
    • You have some experience in
  1. What are the biggest mistakes made by start-up entrepreneurs?
  • Not starting with enough capital
    • Thinking that success will come quickly
    • Not carefully budgeting
    • Not focusing on the quality of the product or service
    • Underestimating the importance of sales and marketing
    • Not adapting quickly enough
    • Not understanding the competitive landscape
    • Ignoring legal and contract matters
    • Hiring the wrong employees
    • Mispricing the product or service
  1. Where can I get money for my business?

Many books and articles have been written on this subject, and those resources can be very useful. In short, some of the most effective sources of capital include—

  • Personal funds
    • Credit cards
    • Friends and family
    • Angel investors
    • Crowdsourcing sites, such as Indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com
    • Bank loans/SBA financings
    • Venture capitalists
    • Equipment loan financing
  1. What kind of insurance does my business need?

Needs will vary, depending on the type of business, but consider the following:

  • General liability insurance
    • Product liability insurance
    • Professional liability insurance
    • Property insurance
    • Worker’s compensation insurance
    • D & O (directors & officers) insurance
    • Health insurance for employees
    • Business interruption insurance
    • Commercial auto insurance
    • Data breach insurance
    • Key man life insurance
  1. What book is helpful for learning more about starting a business?

Get answers to even more questions in my book, Go Legal Yourself: Know the Legal Lifecycle of Your Kelly BaglaBusiness, available on Amazon.

About the Author
Kelly Bagla has been providing expert legal counsel to domestic and international clients for more than 10 years. As a creator of the Legal Lifecycle program, she knows how to help her clients navigate the legalities of running a business. Kelly specializes in assisting entrepreneurs throughout the various stages of their company’s lifecycle, developing roadmaps that lead their businesses to success, and planning exit strategies that maximize their profits.