IBM awards $10,000 grant to DREAM mentoring program

first_imgGlobalFoundries,IBM has awarded the DREAM mentoring program a $10,000 Catalyst Grant to develop an environmental education program using the organization’s 50-acre property bordering the Metcalf Pond in Fletcher Vermont.IBM is awarding Catalyst Grants in recognition of its 100th anniversary. The grants support IBM employees applying their professional skills to volunteer projects with schools or community organizations, or that demonstrate a connection to a local, sustainable issue. IBM is awarding 100 Catalyst Grants of $10,000 worldwide in 2011.The DREAM program (Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventuring and Mentoring), matches college student mentors with students from affordable housing communities.  DREAM, with central offices in Winooski, VT, uses a community mentoring approach it calls ‘Village Mentoring,’ which empowers a group of college student mentors to engage both individual students and the entire community of children and families. This project supports DREAM’s goal of building a sense of caring for community, environment and self for the children they serve through the use of unique outdoor experiences, summer and winter camps, trips and community events.  The IBM grant will enable DREAM staff and IBM volunteers to create a new environmental curriculum at DREAM’s facility in Fletcher, Vermont. The goal is the development of a ‘hands on’ curriculum to teach the students about the watershed, its associated water cycle, and impacts on the quality of the water system. Designated areas and signage will help educate the students about brooks, marshes, vernal pools and the pond, and key water resources on the property will be sampled and interpreted by the students.To develop the program, DREAM staff and IBM volunteers will create a global positioning system (GPS) map of the property. Volunteers will identify key areas and install interpretive signs. The program will incorporate components of an IBM-designed student activity kit called “Clean Water Difference’ which discusses the importance of watersheds and the environmental, societal, and economic tradeoffs faced when making decisions that affect water quality and quantity.The IBM grant also will help DREAM redesign its web site and create a web page that will provide access to the environmental curriculum and allow students to upload the water quality data they gather as part of the program.In recognition of its 100th anniversary IBM is providing $12 million in grants worldwide during 2011 to schools and not-for-profit organizations where IBMers volunteer, including the IBM Catalyst grants. In addition to the Catalyst Grant to the DREAM program, in July IBM announced a $100,000 IBM Centennial Grant for an energy efficiency initiative to help HowardCenter and Vermont Technical College reduce their energy use by at least 5 percent annually. That grant is one of eleven IBM Centennial Grants awarded by IBM to projects around the world ‘ one of only two in the U.S.About DREAM:  for more information about DREAM, please visit http://www.dreamprogram.org/index.htm(link is external)About IBM:  For more information about IBM’s Centennial, please visit http://www.ibm100.com(link is external) BURLINGTON, VT, September 7, 2011 ‘ IBMlast_img read more

Investing in member experience, data strategy and authentication

first_imgWrestling with where to invest limited resources for maximum return is a challenge that all leaders face. Digital transformation has upped the ante and raised the bar on how we deliver the member experience, how we make strategic use of data collected and how we deploy offerings that give members a sense of security. These are three key areas to which all credit unions should analyze for investments:Elevating the Member Experience Credit unions are built to serve their members. Many have conducted research and created plans focused on improving the member experience, so now is the time to execute these plans. Although the reality of ensuring an exceptional member experience requires a significant investment of additional time, energy, effort and development, investment in the member experience should be a top priority – and also a realistic one that reaches a credit union’s member experience goals and preferred end state.In order to enhance the member experience across the board, credit unions should invest in the integration of their service offerings and products. More and more, members want and expect seamless experiences and to be able to access all of their information in one place in a similar fashion, regardless of whether they are visiting the branch, logging into a mobile app or placing a call to the contact center. For many, the credit union’s core provider is different from its mobile banking provider, which is different from its card processor and so on. Credit unions must engage multiple partners on the back end to ensure all of this information is readily available in one place. This can be difficult, however, given the majority of partners do not have the same priorities, processing systems or platforms, among other disparities. Investing in collaboration among these partners to provide a seamless, elevated member experience will be key for credit union success as we move forward.Data Strategy To truly harness the power and reap the benefits of data, credit unions must establish strategies focused on addressing how to best gather and utilize data to improve credit union operations and understand member needs and behaviors. These strategies need to focus on more than just the collection and storage of information – they must ensure data gathered is made actionable and understandable in order to put it to good use. It is important to members, as well as expected, that their credit union should know who they are and what they need in their financial journey, even in the digital channel.In particular, credit unions are starting to consider how artificial intelligence (AI) and similar innovations can lead to efficiencies and increased productivity. For example, AI can remove manual, repetitive processes currently conducted by credit union employees that are typically time-consuming and have a high occurrence of user error. With intelligent documentation and responsiveness implemented into a credit union’s systems and programs through AI, contact center representatives and member-facing employees have an opportunity to provide better service and really focus on members’ needs. AI can also drive automation in order to better understand and consolidate data. Authentication for PrivacyIn today’s interconnected world, ensuring a person is who they say they are when they enter the branch, make a phone call or log into their account online is of upmost importance. As fraudsters look for all points of entry into accounts, authentication is key. But while authentication is important for safety, credit unions also need to keep in mind the member experience when solidifying their authentication tactics.Members expect the view of information to be the same, regardless of the channel. They also expect similar authentication processes. But how does a credit union confirm a person is who they say they are in all of these different settings, given branch authentication is different from contact center authentication, which is different from mobile authentication? With member experience as a top priority, investment in deeper authentication processes to ensure seamless experiences across all channels will be imperative across the credit union industry.Credit unions should also introduce continuing education initiatives to their members to explain how and why the traditional means of authentication, like key questions or the last four digits of a social security number, are no longer enough to protect account and personal information. The more members know about changes in security and expectations for their day-to-day account activities and how their credit union is working to keep their information protected, the more seamless the experience will be for both parties.While there are many other areas of focus competing for resources and investments, credit unions should take the necessary steps toward improving their member experience, data strategy and authentication journeys to set themselves up for success. 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Denise Stevens Denise Stevens leads PSCU’s Product Management, New Product Development, Digital Experience, Innovation and Strategic Vendor Alliances teams. Prior to rejoining PSCU in 2015, Denise served as the Executive Vice … Web: www.pscu.com Detailslast_img read more

En Primeur 2019: Premiere of domestic white and red wines

first_imgIncreasingly active Međimurje wine scene through Association of winemakers and winemakers of Međimurje Hortus Croatia has already introduced the young pushchair, thus continuing the successful branding of the pushchair as a registered trademark. In cooperation with the County of Međimurje and the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb, young Međimurje forces have been conducting clone selection since 2011 with the aim of obtaining 3-4 clones to further protect autochthony, and is one of the few domestic varieties whose wine rests in a unique bottle, specially designed for this indigenous variety. Sommeliers, owners and managers of restaurants, bars, hotels, F&B managers, distributors and other wine experts, as well as lovers of a great drink, will do so on Thursday, January 31 in the Crystal Hall of the Westin Hotel in Zagreb from 13 pm to 19 pm. hours and is free) to be able to taste the wines of more than sixty winemakers from three wine regions for the first time. Primarily, there will be Graševina, Pošip and Pušipel from the 16 harvest on the tables Vlado Krauthaker, president of the association Graševina Croatica expects “really a lot, especially when it comes to wine quality.” The Croatian wine scene is getting richer and better, which we will no doubt be able to see for ourselves En Primeuru 2019 and to taste the wines of sixty-five winemakers from Slavonia and the Danube region, Dalmatia and Međimurje for the first time. Project “Clone selection cv. Graševina ”commissioned by the Municipality of Kutjevo and the Association of Producers was recognized by the competent institutions of the Graševina clone and included in the variety list in Croatia, which created the conditions for its reproduction in order to expand the quality potential of the queen of Croatian wines and New, younger generations of Dalmatian winemakers have raised the bar in every part of business and thinking about winemaking and through Association of Dalmatian Wine they continued to develop the improvement of vineyards and wineries experiencing their renaissance. En Primeur 2018, photo: PR Light Communications In true wine! In cooperation with the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb, 13 clone selection projects were launched (simplified: breeding procedure with the aim of improving the characteristics of the variety): škrlet, graševina, kraljevina, pušipel, Krk žlahtina and eight Dalmatian varieties: Korčula Greek, Pošip, Plavac Mali, Plavina, Debit, Maraština, Vugava and Babić). At this year’s En Primeur, there will be special talk about Graševina, whose clone selection began in 2004, and Pušipela (Šipon, Moslavac). En Primeur it is a unique event of tasting young wines of the last vintage and red wines of older years and exclusive wines that will only be offered to the market. These are the first wine tastings, so that the professional public and all wine lovers can recognize the potential of the wines that are yet to come on offer. In the circles of wine experts, the event was recognized as the center of the premiere tasting of the previous year’s harvest.last_img read more