Ready for Take-Off: G-FORCE Launches National Veteran Franchise Initiative

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G-Force

BEDFORD, N.H. G-FORCE™, one of only two Veteran-focused franchise brands and the only one of its kind awarding franchises exclusively to Veterans, is ready for take-off. The New Hampshire-based concept, which provides expert parking lot striping and other pavement marking needs, seeks to provide business ownership opportunities to hundreds of military Veterans across the country with its one-of-a-kind franchise opportunity.

With one location already servicing various parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, G-FORCE™ hopes to open as many as 50 new units over the next 3-5 years. According to founder and CEO Jack Child, the expansion will be accomplished exclusively through franchising and will initially target various cities throughout California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas.

“We know the challenges many of our Veterans face when they return to civilian life and, while there are more resources and assistance programs than ever before to help, there’s always more that can and should be done,” said Child. “We want to do our part. We’ve created a one-of-a-kind, low cost franchise business opportunity just for Veterans.”

Child himself is a more than 10-year veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, having spent three years in the enlisted ranks of the U.S. Army and seven years in the U.S. Air Force as an officer and pilot. He also has seven years of experience in the pavement services and franchise industries.

With attention-grabbing, distinctive camouflage trucks and serviceG-Force trailers, state-of-the-art equipment and military-influenced logo and uniforms, G-FORCE™ has built its brand around today’s Veteran.

Founded in 2017, G-FORCE™ prides itself as the go-to resource for all things line striping and pavement marking – New Layout, Re-Stripe, ADA Compliance, Stencil Markings, Warehouse Flooring, Parking Structure Markings, Outdoor Basketball Courts, Athletic Field Markings and more. Other routine maintenance services G-FORCE™ franchisees may offer include: parking lot sign installation, sealcoating, crack sealing, hot and cold asphalt repairs, new paving, power washing and other property services.

“This is a stealth business that few know about, but one where the demand for our services is unquestionable,” said Child. “Look around. Parking lots are everywhere; strip malls, hospitals, office buildings, schools, municipal airports, town streets. They all require proper pavement markings by law. Somebody has to install them and somebody has to re-stripe them numerous times over.”

To augment the company’s growth, G-FORCE™ is seeking military Veterans, including active Guard or Reserve, interested in starting a business built on the values of integrity, reliability, respect, and precision, and one that ensures first class, military-style service. The franchise fee starts at just $5,000 and generally ranges between $7,500 and $15,000 depending upon territory size. The initial investment can start as low as $25,000.

G-Force“Veterans have the best leadership training in the world. In addition to coming from an integrity-focused background, they are mission-oriented and have a call to fulfill a higher purpose – all traits needed to run a successful business,” added Child. ‘With our low investment, G-FORCE™ is a more comfortable approach for Veterans to become entrepreneurs and answer the call.”

To date, G-FORCE™ has secured national corporate sponsorships for its Veteran initiative from GemSeal®, Sherwin-Williams®, Graco Industries® and The Pavement Stencil Company offering incentives such as a free traffic paint starter package and nationwide discount pricing for equipment and paints, over $7,000 in value, to each new G-FORCE™ franchisee.

To learn more on the G-FORCE™ franchise opportunity, please visit gogforce.com/parking-lot-striping-pavement-marking-franchise-opportunity/.

About G-FORCE

Founded in 2017 and franchising since 2018, G-FORCE™ is a franchise built by veterans for veterans that provides expert Parking Lot Striping, Pavement Marking, Sign Installation Services and more. Today, there is one location servicing various parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. For more information, visit gogforce.com.

Donation from Shoen Family of U-Haul to Restore a Pearl Harbor Icon

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HONOLULU and PHOENIX (Dec. 10, 2018) — The Ford Island Control Tower, the historic structure that witnessed and withstood the attack on Pearl Harbor 77 years ago, will soon be fully restored with a new working elevator thanks to a generous gift from the Shoen family of U-Haul International.

The announcement came Saturday evening at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum during the annual gala commemorating the events of Dec. 7, 1941 and the heroism of our WWII veterans.

Watch U-Haul Chairman Joe Shoen’s video to Pearl Harbor and WWII veterans: uhaul.com/about/veterans.

Repairs on the tower began in 2010, necessitated by decades of weather-related deterioration. This gift will allow the public to visit the tower’s upper deck, providing a 360-degree view of America’s first aviation WWII battlefield.

Pearl Harbor attracts about 2 million visitors each year.

U-Haul, founded by a U.S. Navy veteran and his wife as WWII was nearing an end in 1945, has been recognized repeatedly as a leading veteran-friendly employer. U-Haul proudly served as the Presenting Veterans Sponsor at the Pearl Harbor Day 75th anniversary opening gala in 2016.

“The Ford Island Control Tower remains an iconic symbol of Pearl Harbor’s resolve and the brave veterans who served there, many whom gave their lives defending our freedom,” stated U-Haul Chairman Joe Shoen, son of company founders L.S. Shoen and Anna Mary Carty Shoen.

“U-Haul honors our veterans and active military members for their service and sacrifice. One way we can do this is by helping to preserve a piece of American WWII history for present and future generations to appreciate.”

Elissa Lines, executive director of the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum noted the restoration efforts on the tower will now be completed before September 2020, when the global commemoration of the 75th anniversary of WWII’s conclusion will take place.

“This will be a day that we have all been dreaming about for many years,” Lines said.

The Ford Island Control Tower was a new building when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, and was not painted until 1942. Today, the brightly striped structure is centrally located on the base, offering scenic views of the ships and memorials in the neighboring harbor.

Among those memorials is the U.S.S. Arizona, which holds special significance to         U-Haul and more than 3,800 of its 30,000-plus Team Members. The industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage has been headquartered in Phoenix since 1967.

“The restoration of the Ford Island Control Tower will greatly contribute to honoring the memory of those lost at Pearl Harbor and serve as a symbol of America’s resiliency and resolve,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “I thank the Shoen family for their commitment to preserving this important icon of history and their dedication to honoring America’s veterans.”

About the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to steward America’s first aviation battlefield of World War II sharing the artifacts, personal stories, the impact and response to the December 7, 1941 attack and the pacific region battles that followed, honoring those who have defended our freedom so they might educate and inspire future generations. Contact: 808-441-1000; Marketing@PearlHarborAviationMuseum.org

About U-Haul of Hawaii, Inc.

U-Haul of Hawaii, Inc. has been in operation since 1984, when its first Honolulu store opened. Today, U-Haul serves the Aloha State with company-owned facilities on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, as well as 22 U-Haul neighborhood dealers across 16 cities. U-Haul soon plans to open a second store on the Big Island in Hilo, complementing its 2014 store acquisition in Kailua-Kona. U-Haul offers moving solutions, including U-Box portable storage containers, for families relocating between the islands or the mainland. Reach U-Haul of Hawaii president Kaleo Alau at 808-836-0970.

About U-Haul

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of more than 21,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 now offers customers access to U-Haul trucks every hour of every day through the self-service options on their internet-connected mobile devices. U-Haul customers’ patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to 161,000 trucks, 118,000 trailers and 42,000 towing devices. U-Haul offers nearly 632,000 rooms and 55.2 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry and is the largest retailer of propane in the U.S. uhaul.com

Bringing Virtual Reality and 3D Technology To Real Estate

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Dustin Gardner, the founder of Reality Capture Experts, was the fourth generation in his family to join the military but joining up had not really been on his radar until a school friend asked him if he wanted to go to the Army recruiter’s office. 90 days later he was at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). He became an MP (Military Police), transitioning into a SWAT officer role (referred to as Special Reaction Team) and spent time near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in South Korea, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and was stationed near the Pentagon in Virginia. Eventually being away from his newborn son took its toll and he decided it was time to transition out.

Following his time in the military, Dustin was a corporate executive at Chase Bank where he managed a team of mortgage officers. Then came the crash of 2008 and Dustin felt it was time to reinvent himself. He created Columbus Car Connection with a colleague, exporting Lexus products to clients in Dubai, but this was not financially stable enough for two partners so he went back into banking out of necessity. He eventually found himself at a crossroad where life was less about money, and more about fulfillment – owning a business and doing something fun.

USING 3D TECHNOLOGY IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY

Reality Capture Experts started in late 2016 as a result of a conversation Dustin had with a high school friend living in Silicon Valley who introduced him to Matterport 3D  technology. Before that, he hadn’t seen or heard of this specific 3D technology before but once Dustin was introduced to the technology he could instantly see the practical application of this tech to help business owners (of any size) showcase their physical space.

Having spent 12 years in the mortgage industry, residential real estate was an industry Dustin knew well. Knowing how realtors think, gave him an understanding of their need to be thrifty and corresponding unwillingness to spend money on marketing. According to Dustin, “the top 20% of realtors make 80% of the money since these folks are willing to spend dollars on marketing.”

“What Reality Capture Experts does well is help create an emotional connection with a customer or prospect viewing a business owner’s space in 3D virtual reality. Our digital marketing is immersive, interactive and emerging.” The term in the industry for this is “virtual storytelling” – telling the story of what’s inside that building you drive by every day, but have never ventured into. The goal of using this virtual storytelling is to help their clients “crush it on SEO.”As Dustin says, “our product catapults them on [search engines] to help them get found faster on Google.”

Read the complete article On Bunker Labs.

Women Veterans in Los Angeles Get Needed Support To Grow Their Business

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microbiz.org

Los Angeles, CA – As of September 2017, there were more than 1.8 million women veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces with 143,211 of them living in California. More than 60,000 those veterans call Los Angeles county home.

Women who have served in the military face many challenges upon leaving and often feel isolated, financially dependent on others, and dismayed by their career prospects. Business ownership is a path to increased income without having the burden of functioning in a civilian workforce that may not empathize with their military experience

Resources do exist for women veterans who want to be business owners. However, when CAMEO (California Association of Micro Enterprise Opportunity) looked in the Los Angeles area, we found a need to outreach to this formidable community to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and develop local resources.

CAMEO hosted our first CAMEO’s WOVEN summit in 2014 at the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall in Los Angeles with keynotes by senior executives from the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development in DC, inspirational stories from successful, decorated women veterans, and training in negotiating, marketing and business development.

Heidi Pickman, Associate Director of CAMEO, said, “The expression of gratitude from those involved compelled us to partner with Melanie Rae, founder of Guided Business Plan, to launch an ongoing community-learning program.”

CAMEO’s WOVEN (Women Veteran Entrepreneurs Network) fuels economic independence among military-connected women by facilitating professional alliances, ongoing mentoring and entrepreneurial guidance. We are a free peer support group that meets biweekly online and in-person to help launch and grow small businesses owned by military families.

Alicia, a United States Air Force (USAF) veteran, is an Arizona-based member who opened a store-front for her micro-blading and skincare salon. As an aircraft mechanic, her skin broke out and she found a solution that gave her near-flawless skin so she studied cosmetology and opened Exclusive Beauty. “After several discussions with CAMEO’s WOVEN members, I know that I’m not taking advantage of my full potential.”

Other success stories include:

  • Avis, USAF, participated in a VWISE conference after attending a meetup and practiced her pitch with us. She won $5,000 for her clothing line for women affected by cancer.
  • Joshica, USAF, has been featured on Etsy.com twice as a best seller for her beauty products. Through WOVEN she has been introduced to beauty industry leaders who have offered to mentor her. She served in the US Airforce within supply chain/logistics management which included storing, moving and tracking supplies, equipment and personnel.

More than 20,000 veterans will retire each year. They are looking to start their next chapter after devoting decades to their military careers. CAMEO’s WOVEN is well positioned to reach, guide and inspire the next wave of veteran-owned businesses as well as those separating after a shorter service period.

About Us

CAMEO is California’s statewide network made up of over 230 organizations, agencies, and individuals dedicated to furthering microbusiness development in California. Annually, CAMEO members serve about 21,000 very small businesses with training, business and credit assistance and loans. These firms – largely start-ups with less than five employees – support or create 37,000 new jobs in California and generate a total of $1.3 billion in economic activity.

microbiz.org/woven

Which Coding Language Should You Learn?

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Soldier using a laptop to code at desk

It’s a great time to learn how to code. Whether you’re looking to reinvent your career and become a developer, leverage a new skill in your current job, or just better understand what the developers on your team are up to, there has never been a better time to get into programming.

There’s been an explosion of coding boot camps and online resources to help you get started. But it’s a double-edged sword: with near-unlimited resources, countless different languages—and a rabbit hole of passionate voices debating which are the easiest to learn, best to help you get a job, and so on—where do you start?

The best way to learn to code is to stop endlessly analyzing what to learn and just start. So, with a giant disclaimer that these aren’t all of the languages you could consider learning to start your coding journey, here are a few languages you can learn.

JavaScript

Great for: beginners, aspiring software engineers

Think of the difference between dynamic, automatically updating Gmail account and your old static Hotmail, which needed to be reloaded to see new messages. That fundamental change was thanks to JavaScript. And, as one of the most popular languages out there, it’s still bringing websites to life in new, exciting ways. It has a ton of resources and tools available to help you use it effectively, and it opens you up to a ton of software engineering jobs. It can basically do everything, and if you’re going to be a full stack developer, you simply can’t avoid it.

Ruby

Great for: beginners, aspiring software engineers

Ruby was specifically designed by its inventor Yukihiro Matsumoto to make programmers happy, and it’s delivered upon that objective: Ruby is accessible and reads like English, allowing new programmers to focus right away on the fundamental concepts and logic, rather than basic syntax. Even beginners can start building right away. The teachers at the Flatiron School find Ruby to be extremely effective at helping students learn how to think like programmers, break problems down, express themselves technically, abstract ideas, and work together with other programmers. (The Flatiron Co-founder Avi is a little obsessed with it, too.)

Python

Great for: budding data scientists

There’s a massive amount of data out there. Companies that harness it can create better products and understand their businesses better; companies that don’t lose their competitive edge and get left behind. But while at its core, data science may be similar to your high school stats class, with so much data (hundreds of millions of records), your old spreadsheet is the wrong tool for the job. That’s where code comes in. The R language is super specific to statistics, whereas Python is a general-purpose language that happens to have great tooling available to make it a perfect language for data science. It’s actually similar to Ruby in a lot of ways: easy to read, forgiving for beginners, and there’s a passionate community around it, devoted to creating and improving the tooling to make Python even more powerful.

Swift

Great for: mobile developers, developers breaking out of their comfort zone

For beginners hoping to get into mobile app development, now is the perfect time to dive into Swift. It’s new enough that there is a lot of energy and excitement around it. Each year, Apple holds their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) where Apple engineers discuss the intricacies of Swift along with all the new and exciting features (don’t be surprised if it inspires you to try implementing all the new concepts into your own apps). But it’s also been around long enough that the early kinks have been worked out, and the open source community has grown significantly. If you’re already a programmer, learning Swift is a way to get out of your comfort zone—the constraints iOS puts on your code forces you to, as Apple would say, “think different.”

Still not sure where to start? That’s OK! There’s really no correct first language to learn. The important thing is to consider what you’re excited to build, what language will help you do that, and then to just start learning!

In the end, this is why schools like Flatiron School doesn’t focus on teaching one specific technology. It wants you to learn how to learn—the only coding skill that will be never become obsolete. You don’t see Fortran or ColdFusion developers anymore. Similarly, you probably won’t be a Ruby or JavaScript developer in 10 years. Eventually, you will need to know more than one language if you want to have an awesome career and build amazing things. If you become skilled at learning languages, you’ll be ready to keep pace with technology as it changes.

Source: This piece was originally published by WeWork, which provides companies with the space, technology, and services they need to success.

Diageo’s New American Anthem Vodka Donates to Families

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Diageo-American Anthem Vodka

Distilled. Distinct. Delicious. Dedicated. Here’s to American Anthem! Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, is proud to introduce its new-to-world, 5× distilled vodka, American Anthem. This exceptionally smooth vodka offers a premium finish for a great value and is rooted in giving back.

Proudly American, this new brand of vodka is uniquely designed to celebrate the American spirit. American Anthem will donate $1 from each bottle made, split between Operation Gratitude and The Mission Continues—two exceptional charitable organizations that are dedicated to strengthening and supporting military personnel and their families.

With ingredients sourced from America’s heartland, this brand-new American vodka uses corn from Indiana and Iowa for a product that is delicious, versatile, and gluten-free. American Anthem is the perfect complement to backyard cookouts, rooftop parties, happy hour or by poolside, and it invites us to come together and unify. “American Anthem inspires us to unite with the pride, the generosity, the people and the uniquely American values of the place we call home,” said Ryan Robertson, Brand Director, American Anthem. “It’s a privilege to partner with two great charitable organizations, Operation Gratitude and The Mission Continues, and we’re honored to be able to offer additional local engagement opportunities for consumers to give-back with these partners via our brand website.”

“We are excited to partner with American Anthem to expand our support of our Military and our mission to give everyone over legal drinking age a way of expressing their appreciation to those who serve,” said Kevin Schmiegel, Chief Executive Officer of Operation Gratitude. “Providing opportunities like this for our nation to say ‘Thank You’ to service members and their families is critically important, because so many grateful citizens want to do so, but many don’t know how.”

“Our partnership with American Anthem vodka is an exciting new opportunity for The Mission Continues,” said Spencer Kympton, president of The Mission Continues. “Their contribution will further propel our efforts to empower veterans creating a positive impact in communities nationwide.”

For delicious American Anthem cocktail recipes and to find out where you can purchase the product, visit AmericanAnthemVodka.com.

About Diageo
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness. Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Source: Diageo North America

Sailor Spotlight! Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Alton Laussade

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Two Sailors aboard USS Chung-Hoon

Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Alton Laussade, (left), from Raceland, Louisiana, and Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Remely Culas, (right), from Garden Grove, California, clean the main rotor pylon of an MH-60R Sea Hawk, with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37, aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93).

Chung-Hoon is underway conducting routine operations as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3 in the U.S. Pacific Fleet area of operations. The men and women in the U.S. Navy are deployed around the clock and ready to protect and defend America on the world’s oceans.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Logan C. Kellums)

Military Makeover with Montel set to air next week. Tune in!

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Military_Makeover_Montel

Military Makeover with Montel is a very special home improvement series that aims to respect those who have served our country, rebuild the homes—and even the lives—of these brave service men and women, and repay veterans for the service and sacrifices they’ve made for us.

Montel began his professional career in the United States Marine Corps, becoming the first black Marine selected to the Naval Academy Prep School to then go on to graduate from the Unites States Naval Academy. Williams earned a degree in general engineering and a minor in international security affairs and served in the military for a total of 22 years.

He is best known as the Emmy Award-winning host of The Montel Williams Show, which aired nationally for seventeen years. Along with being a New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Montel is a passionate advocate for veterans, education and health.

He 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. Montel is thrilled to be a part of Military Makeover, relishing the opportunity to give back to his fellow veterans.

Our military servicemen and women boast a proud history and a devoted dedication to serve. They are sworn to uphold the Constitution that guarantees our freedom, making the ultimate sacrifice when we need them most. But what about those who serve? Who serves them when they need our help?

Military Makeover with Montel 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.

Military Makeover-Moyers

Watch the Season Premiere November 30 at 7:30 a.m. ET/PT at militarymakeover.tv.

Gordon Logan Creates Country’s Biggest Hair Salons

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Headquartered in Georgetown, Texas, Sport Clips Haircuts is a sports-themed hair care franchise for men and boys with more than 1,700 stores across the United States and Canada.

Established in 1993 and franchised in 1995 by Air Force Veteran Gordon Logan, founder and CEO, the company is one of the nation’s leading franchises and in 2018, is celebrating 25 years in business. It is ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the “Fastest-Growing Franchises” and ranked number 10 in the “Franchise 500.” Sport Clips has also been ranked by FORBES as a “Top Ten Best Franchise” to buy for its investment category.

In the early 1990s, Gordon Logan recognized the huge potential, and relative lack of competition, in the men’s and boys’ haircut market. He wanted to create a place where guys could take care of one of life’s necessities—a haircut—and say, “This is my kind of place; I feel comfortable here” when they walked in the door. Assembling a group of passionate industry professionals, Gordon and his team worked together to develop the unique Sport Clips Haircuts concept we know today. While the Sport Clips logo and store design have changed since the first location opened in Austin, Texas in 1993, Gordon’s goal, and Sport Clips’ mission—to provide a “championship haircut experience in an exciting sports-themed environment”—remains the same.

Prior to founding Sport Clips, Gordon served as an Aircraft Commander in the U.S. Air Force, after which he worked as a financial planning and control consultant with Price Waterhouse & Co. in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of MIT and The Wharton School of Business, at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a retired CPA in the State of Texas. Gordon later owned and operated salons throughout Texas, an experience which proved to be invaluable in his journey toward creating one of the most successful haircut franchises in the nation.

Game Plan for Growth

Soon after the first Sport Clips opened Austin, Texas in 1993, Sport Clips expanded into Houston and Dallas, and, based further expansion plans on where Southwest Airlines flew to keep travel expenses at a minimum. It took five years to open the first 50 stores, and by 2007, Sport Clips celebrated the opening of its 400th and 500th store in the same year. In 2012, the franchise expanded into Canada.

Today, Sport Clips is the only national hair care franchise with locations in all 50 states in the U.S., with more than 1,600 open in the U.S. and Canada. When you ask Gordon if he knew Sport Clips would be one of the fastest-growing franchise systems today, he’ll answer you, “Yes, I just didn’t think it would take this long!”

Teamwork with Heart

At the heart of Sport Clips’ culture is its values system, which was inspired by the same core values Coach Lou Holtz used to build championship football teams: “Do your best. Do what’s right. Treat others as you want to be treated.” Gordon and his family put these values to action in 2013 when they pledged to donate $1 million to Georgetown, Texas-area nonprofits, where Sport Clips, Inc. is based, and have been recognized for their philanthropic work with numerous programs including Habitat for Humanity, R.O.C.K, and the Boys and Girls Club, and the Gratitude Initiative.

Military Support

As a veteran, Gordon has also made it his mission to support the military. He has received the VFW’s famed “Citizenship Award”, and since 2007, Sport Clips stores across the nation have worked together to raise nearly $5 Million for the VFW Foundation through its annual “Help A Hero” fundraiser, which has helped thousands of deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members call home through the VFW’s Operation Uplink™ and is providing scholarships for veterans transitioning to civilian careers. Sport Clips, nationally and at the local level, is also a proud supporter of the American Red Cross Blood Services, Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the Aleethia Foundation, Honor Flight Austin, and others.

Fast Facts

  • Founder and CEO Gordon Logan is a pioneer of the unique sports-themed haircutting franchise, including the development of the Sport Clips All-Star haircutting systems, operating procedures, and marketing programs.
  • Sport Clips is the only one listed in Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual “Franchise 500” ranking and has been ranked in the Top 10 for 2017 and 2018.
  • Designed to target a previously underserved market in a multi-billion dollar industry, Sport Clips caters to men and boys by providing hassle-free hairstyling in a unique, sports-themed environment.
  • Qualified veterans who are interested in owning a Sport Clips are eligible for a 20% discount on the Sport Clips’ franchise fee of $59,500 through participation in the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, also known as VetFran.
  • The VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program has awarded more than $4.1 million in scholarships to almost 1,000 military and student veterans.
  • Sport Clips Haircuts, took on a new role this summer in the reality TV series The Look: All Stars, featuring hosts actress Tori Spelling and recognized stylist Kim Vo. The syndicated series aired on the CW and MyTV networks beginning June 24 and focused on head-to-toe makeovers in a team competition setting.

Source: sportclips.com

TARC Executive Director J. Barry Barker to retire

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Barry Barker_Headshot_TARC

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that TARC Executive Director J. Barry Barker is retiring after nearly 25 years leading the city’s public transportation agency. His last day is Nov. 30.

TARC Assistant Executive Director Ferdinand L. Risco Jr., who joined TARC in February 2017, will begin serving as Interim Executive Director after Barker retires.

“I am so grateful to Barry Barker for all he has accomplished at TARC and in leadership roles with non-profit and professional organizations at the local, state and federal levels,” Mayor Fischer said. “In true Barry style, of course, he’s already said that he plans to continue helping our city through volunteer work, and I look forward to continuing to work with him as he transitions to that new role.”

“It’s been a great ride, and I know the TARC team, along with an outstanding Board of Directors, will do great things.  I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to have served TARC and our city,” Barker said. “After nearly 25 years with this great organization, I’m now looking forward to staying engaged in volunteer organizations, traveling and enjoying family and friends more.”

TARC Board Chair Cedric Merlin Powell said Barker’s “indelible imprint on Louisville’s transportation system has provided access, opportunity and enhanced quality of life to all citizens of Louisville Metro.”

“He is a national leader in public transportation and a true public servant, the rare public official whose heart is even bigger than his service,” Powell said. “I, and the Board, wish to express our sincere gratitude in recognition of all he has done for TARC and the community.”

Risco, a U.S. Army veteran with more than 20 years of experience relating to transportation with private, public and non-profit organizations, said, “This is an exciting time at TARC with improvements underway.  I’m honored to serve as Interim Executive Director and to work with Barry Barker and everyone on the TARC team.”

Before joining TARC, Risco was Executive Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Association.

Early next year, TARC will launch a “tap and go” electronic fare payment system on all buses and a new mobility website with start-to-finish trip planning options linking TARC, ride sharing and biking.  The region’s first Bus Rapid Transit route will begin operating in late 2019 along Dixie Highway for faster service linking downtown and southwest Jefferson County.

And in May, TARC will host the American Public Transportation Association’s 2019 Bus and Paratransit Conference, which will bring 5,000 transit industry representatives to Louisville.

Under Barker, TARC was designated in 2006 as the nation’s Urban System of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of American.  The next year, Barker was recognized as the Outstanding Public Transportation Manager of the Year by the American Public Transportation Association. In 2012, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies honored Barker with the Sharon D. Banks Award for Humanitarian Leadership in Transportation.

Locally, Barker has served on more than a dozen non-profit agency boards, including in leadership positions, and in 2010 headed Metro United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.

TARC provides 12 million passenger trips a year, with 63 percent of riders traveling to and from work, and another 20 percent on school trips.

“TARC moves the workforce of today and tomorrow, and we’re critical for people to access opportunity and all life has to offer,” Barker said. “I have always been motivated by the belief that the quality of life in our communities is only as good as it is for the least advantaged members of our communities. Access to life’s opportunities is a must if communities and individuals are to thrive.  I’ve been fortunate to champion these beliefs at TARC and in the community.”

The Mayor will work with the TARC board on next steps.

Hyatt Announces New Initiatives to Elevate Support of U.S. Military Personnel, Veterans and their Families

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In honor of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) recently announced new benefits and programs that demonstrate a strengthened commitment to honoring those who have served or are serving in the United States military.

These commitments include a new rate for U.S. veterans, active military personnel and their immediate family members, and reinforced veteran job placement and career development efforts.

“Military personnel, veterans and their families have worked and fought hard to support their country and they shouldn’t have to settle when on the road or pursuing a post-military career,” said Mark Vondrasek, Hyatt’s chief commercial officer and Veterans Diversity Business Resource Group (DBRG) executive sponsor. “We welcome military personnel, veterans and their families to work and stay with Hyatt.”

Veteran and Military Rate

Individuals who have served or are currently serving in any official government-sponsored branch of the United States armed services and their immediate family members can get between 10 and 15 percent off the Hyatt Standard Rate at any participating Hyatt-branded hotel in the United States when booking the Veteran and Military Rate with offer code MILVET*. This is the first-ever veteran and military discount to be offered by Hyatt hotels. A valid U.S. Military/Veteran ID or other documented proof of service is required at check-in, and military personnel, veterans and immediate family members who are World of Hyatt members will be eligible to earn World of Hyatt points for their stay.

The Hyatt House brand will also allow eligible military personnel, veterans and immediate family members to combine the Veteran and Military Rate with its upcoming holiday promotion, in which World of Hyatt members who stay for four or more consecutive nights at any Hyatt House hotel in the U.S. between November 1 and December 31, 2018 can earn 2,000 World of Hyatt bonus points. For full terms and conditions, please visit worldofhyatt.com/holiday.

Employer of Choice

Hyatt aims to be an employer of choice for military veterans and their families. A Hyatt career offers veterans an opportunity to further develop skills and pursue interests born from their military careers: leadership, teamwork and a chance to travel the world. The Hyatt Veterans DBRG champions veterans in job placement and career development, and pursues volunteer activities supporting military interests in Hyatt communities. To bolster its military recruiting efforts, Hyatt is collaborating with a key organization that helps veterans transition back into the workforce called HirePurpose.

Hyatt encourages colleagues to take pride in identifying as veterans and honors them through celebrations and events. Hyatt has been named to the 2018 FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list, an annual ranking of companies with outstanding workplace cultures according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and FORTUNE.

Support of Veteran-Operated Businesses

The Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands will also further integrate veteran-owned businesses into the guest experience with proceeds benefiting veterans. These brands will expand their existing preferred t-shirt vendor relationship in the U.S. with Rags of Honor, the only silkscreen shop that is 100 percent operated by homeless and unemployed veterans with proceeds directly supporting that mission. On Veterans Day, and weekly throughout November, colleagues at 350 Hyatt Place and Hyatt House properties across the United States will wear Hyatt-branded Rags of Honor t-shirts as a sign of gratitude to those who have served. Additionally, World of Hyatt Globalists and Explorists will receive a t-shirt during any stay at a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House hotel in the United States throughout November, subject to availability. The Hyatt House brand plans to test Veteran Roasters coffee at participating hotels across the U.S.

“We want to show those who serve and have served in the military that we understand them. They never settle and neither do we, which is why Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels are celebrating their service and commitment to their country this Veterans Day and beyond,” Steven Dominguez, vice president of global brands, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House.

For more information about Hyatt and its ongoing commitment to military personnel, veterans and their immediate families, please visit: www.hyatt.com/Veterans.

The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates.

About Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 14 premier brands. As of June 30, 2018, the Company’s portfolio included more than 750 properties in more than 55 countries across six continents. The Company’s purpose to care for people so they can be their best informs its business decisions and growth strategy and is intended to attract and retain top colleagues, build relationships with guests and create value for shareholders. The Company’s subsidiaries develop, own, operate, manage, franchise, license or provide services to hotels, resorts, branded residences, vacation ownership properties, and fitness and spa locations, including under the Park Hyatt®, Miraval®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Andaz®, Hyatt Centric®, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Zilara™, Hyatt Residence Club® and Exhale® brand names. For more information, please visit hyatt.com.

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