Film Study Center announces 2011-12 FSC-Harvard Fellows

first_imgThe Film Study Center at Harvard University (FSC) announces the list of FSC-Harvard fellows chosen for the 2011-12 academic year.FSC-Harvard fellowships provide funding and technical resources for people doing compelling work in video, film, sound, or photography. These fellowships support advanced work, from the ethnographic to the experimental, that explores and expands the expressive potential of audiovisual media. The fellowships are open to Harvard faculty, graduate students, teaching assistants, teaching fellows, and postdoctoral and research fellows.A wide range of works have been produced with the FSC’s assistance over the years. Historically important ethnographic films have included John Marshall’s The Hunters (1958) and Robert Gardner’s Forest of Bliss (1985). While nonfiction film and video continue to be a main focus of this fellowship, widely divergent strategies have also been supported, including animation, multimedia installation, and sound.Fellows become part of a community of makers who participate in monthly gatherings where works in progress are shared and discussed. Fellows have access to recording and editing equipment, technical assistance. Fellowships can also include funds to help defray production or postproduction expenses.The 2011-12 fellows are Aryo Danusiri, Toby Lee, Ruth Lingford, Cuilan Liu, Ross McElwee, Adam Muri-Rosenthal, Verena Paravel, Cozette Russell, J.P. Sniadecki, Stephanie Spray, and Julia Yezbick. Read more about them.last_img read more

Soft robotics expert receives NSF CAREER Award

first_img Read Full Story Conor J. Walsh, assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, has been selected to receive a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). One of the most prestigious honors recognizing early-career scientists and engineers, the award will support Walsh’s research in the burgeoning field of soft wearable robotics.The award is from NSF’s General and Age Related Disabilities Engineering (GARDE) program, which advances fundamental engineering research that will lead to the development of new technologies, devices, or software for persons with disabilities.Soft robotics combines robotics, design, chemistry, advanced manufacturing, and the mechanics of materials to solve problems in a range of application areas. Walsh’s work focuses on applying soft robotic systems to help individuals overcome disabilities, and to augment the performance of able-bodied people.“Traditional robotic systems don’t translate easily from industrial settings to medical and home applications,” Walsh said. “One of the main reasons is because rigid components pose safety risks for people. We are overcoming that hurdle by designing soft robotic systems made of elastomers, fibers and textiles. A major aim of this work is to advance the state of the art of wearable robotics and intuitive human-robot interaction.”last_img read more

Photography without a camera

first_imgIn Cambridge, Saunders took a break from working with color — and the processing equipment’s toxic chemicals — to explore other modes of combining printmaking, photography, and painting. He used oil paints to draw directly onto undeveloped silver gelatin (black-and-white photo) paper, then immersed it in a bath of water-based developer, causing an image to emerge in the repellant reaction between the materials. He developed the image for three minutes in a darkroom used for black-and-white photography at the Linden Street studios.His engagement with different materials and modes of making art extends to his classroom.“Recently, I’ve done a lot more work in printmaking, which gave me a direct line to collaborating with art historian Jennifer Roberts on a course called ‘Critical Printing,’” offered this fall through AFVS, he said. “Conversely, my studio practice hasn’t looked like traditional painting for a long time, but my engagement with those materials in the classroom as an instructor keeps my passion alive and mind in gear.”While Saunders relishes the freedom and time that summer provides for artmaking on campus and abroad — he also works in Berlin, where he lived for nine years prior to joining Harvard’s faculty — his experimental mindset will serve him well in his first foray into a different model of teaching with the new College program in General Education. In spring 2020, Saunders will teach “Painting’s Doubt,” a Gen Ed course in painting that invites students across disciplines to build their own relationship with art practice and analysis.“I hope that this course makes the AFVS department and painting itself visible in a new way to Harvard students,” he said. “The role of the AFVS department is to engage with making, and I want students inside and outside the department to be able to do that.”The course will also prompt questions about representation of bodies and identity in art, and the responsibility of artists to engage with difficult issues in their work.“There is a craft-obsessed trap that happens where people get stuck trying to make technically excellent work without engaging with the world,” Saunders said. “It’s important to learn that nature and materials may know more than we do.” When Matt Saunders talks about his art, he could be describing his life. “I try to avoid rote ways of working, and find ways to do things that allow for a kind of blindness about what a process may yield,” says Saunders, the Harris K. Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities. “It allows me to see something differently than I might be accustomed to.”As a teacher Saunders, the incoming director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies (AFVS), will collaborate on a fall course on printmaking with an art historian. And in spring he is preparing to offer a new Gen Ed course in painting that will require him to find ways to introduce large groups of students, most of whom are not studying art, to “a language outside of words,” as the course description puts it.As an artist, the hazy, lazy days have been few this year.“For the past few years, I’ve been staying in Cambridge for more of the summer,” he said. “It’s actually a great time to work here, with a quiet and surprising sense of focus that is hard to get during the school year.”This summer, Saunders focused his attention on projects that combine painting and darkroom photography techniques, emphasizing his love of experimentation and unorthodox materials. For instance, in his studio on Linden Street in Cambridge and in his color processing lab in Allston near the Harvard ArtLab opening this fall, Saunders used traditional darkroom processes to explore the material possibilities of paint, photo paper, and photo processing and to ask questions about the representations of bodies in art.In one image, Saunders exposed blank photo paper by passing light directly through painted materials (a kind of handmade photo negative), then used a 52-inch Kreonite color processor to develop it. As he exposed the paper, Saunders interrupted the process by shining light on it or moving the negative. The spontaneity of these disruptions changed the colors, sharpness, or clarity of the images. His goal for combining these interventions with unconventional, hand-drawn means is to force the viewer to recalibrate his or her expectations for photography and how an image is embodied and produced.“I got interested in the idea of X-rays and ‘passing through,’ moving out of narratives and thinking about representing bodies in space,” he said. “I’m working in an in-between space of drawing by hand and using process to manipulate light and the image.” “There is a craft-obsessed trap that happens where people get stuck trying to make technically excellent work without engaging with the world. It’s important to learn that nature and materials may know more than we do.” The aesthetic attitude to art Harvard researcher’s latest book explores how and why we react to it Related Harvard Art Museum curators challenge expectations with new art pairing An unanticipated juxtapositionlast_img read more

Beyond the Basic Transformation: How Business and Workforce Evolves

first_imgIn other words, it’s not just technology for the sake of technology – it’s about operational excellence.But that is where Dell Technologies comes in — we can help with this transformation from the inside-out. So where does this transformation start?In this series of blogs, we will further explore how Dell Technologies can help Telecom Service Providers meet the challenges of transformation by focusing on people first. This is a journey, much like many others today, but the destination is the Digital Workforce. Having an employee base that thrives within a cloud first model will be the true engine for industry growth. Workforce Transformation is a theme discussed across all organizations. Companies must transform with technology, even if technology is not what they do.Even companies that have consistently demonstrated excellence in delivering technology-based solutions are at-risk, as the underlying architectures that they have built their businesses on change. The competitive pace of change creates internal pressure to adapt systems and processes. This often leads to unintended skill gaps. Many of these organizations feel like they are behind and cannot keep up.Let’s consider Telecommunications Service Providers as one segment representative of this change. They provide the backbone of the Internet, and the critical access and mobile infrastructure so the rest of the world can continue on their transformation journey. All businesses today are built on the Internet and cloud technologies. Industries have embraced this mobility as a critical means of connecting to services, customers and partners. While 3G and 4G/LTE technologies were designed and used as an enabler of high-speed mobile data to the eventual smartphone and tablet, with the advent of 5G, vertical industries will look towards a new age of mobility as a foundation for their future success. To capitalize on this trend organizations must transform operational and organizational models to maximize the full potential of 5G. This is especially true with new opportunities at the edge.Organizations must focus on aligning technology and organizational strategy. This will ensure they not only exist in the next 5 years, but also grow.Dell EMC sees 4 pillars of Telecom Transformation:Network ModernizationIT & BSS/OSS TransformationDigital Growth & TransformationWorkforce InitiativesTo place this into context, it is worth considering what has shaped existing organizations. The scale, composition and structure of telecom organizations represents one of the defining features of the industry. This legacy has been shaped over time by diverse physical network functions, hierarchical systems management, regulatory & compliance restrictions and other industry specific issues. The telecommunications industry has continually endured massive technology shifts and adapted to new business models; however, the rate of change and the pace of disruption only continue to accelerate.Stepping back and examining the larger picture reveals a multitude of technology disruptions taking shape simultaneously within the industry. Network virtualization, OSS & BSS modernization, real-time analytics and advanced telemetry have been underway for some time. To this, planners and strategists must add 5G, other radio technologies (such as WiFi 6 and CBRS), new IoT paradigms and further disaggregation of access and edge networks. Underpinning all these changes are the ever-present currents of openness and open source. Taken together, these present challenges to any organization striving to adapt and reinvent itself.In particular, the widespread belief is that public cloud operating models (massively-scaled within centralized data centers) have solved the challenges facing the Telco Cloud. However, the industry continues to identify requirements at all layers – from facilities to infrastructure to skill sets to processes – that are unique. This learning is important – Public Cloud is not a “lift-and-shift” to Telco Cloud. Public cloud has solved the challenge of deploying tens of thousands of things at single-digit facilities – expanding those to hundreds of things at thousands of disparate facilities is a different problem space. Remote management, automation, orchestration, and operations are unique problems to Telco Cloud.Furthermore, Public Cloud is built on standardization of a single resource building block. Standardized servers are made available in standardized racks, replicated across data center rows. Those rows are replicated across the data center. This homogeneous architecture meets the needs of the majority of tenants. The Telco Cloud, especially closer to the edge, is more heterogeneous, and the difficulty of reaching facilities requires that the right architectures and right capabilities are made available in as few iterations as possible.With this in mind, implementing workforce programs designed to acquire new skills, change the culture and embrace innovation is critical for success. Returning to our themes of transformation, it is worth pointing out that the first 3 pillars all have in common the workforce consideration. This is pervasive throughout the entire company and as such, must be a top priority for the leadership team.For example, traditional job roles may no longer align to business driven technology adoption. The ability to redefine roles and offer training programs designed for these new challenges should be leadership initiated. Today many organizations are focused on career skills that encompass web development, data science and analysis, advanced programming, cloud computing and API design, all within the construct of dev ops and agile methodology.While this may seem at face value to be an internal set of challenges, the reality is that the problem statement can be recast to reflect a rapidly shifting external world that to some extent must be embraced, harnessed and brought within the organization in a meaningful way.Dynamics at play between external and internal forces (see graphic) can be characterized as follows:New technologies, communities and ecosystems are driving an innovation wave throughout the industry.Maximizing this potential requires new models of interacting, adopting and embracing these currents of opportunity.A variety of traditional modes of operation can impede or create pressure on acquiring innovation.An implicit acceptance of mismatched operating models introduces paralysis.last_img read more

SMC discusses Ferguson in Justice Fridays Series

first_imgSaint Mary’s students and the College’s Justice Department gathered Oct. 17, to reflect on the events in Ferguson, Missouri. The discussion was introduced and facilitated by associate professor of religious studies Stacy Davis as part of the Justice Fridays series held in the Saint Mary’s Student Center.Davis said responses regarding Ferguson can be divided into four sources: residents of the cities of Ferguson and St. Louis, the police shift between Ferguson and St. Louis County, the Department of Justice and social justice groups.Davis said the circumstances in Ferguson raise the question: “What does it mean when police act like military?”Ferguson began to pique to public’s interest when the police “left the uncovered body” of Michael Brown in the streets and began to “cover their nametags with black tape” to conceal their identities, Davis said.She said the public was surprised and appalled by “nonviolent protesters getting gassed in this country.”Davis said the Pentagon should reconsider the consequences before it distributes extra military equipment to police officers.“They are not soldiers,” she said.Davis discussed the significance of the Ferguson and St. Louis County police representations in the media.“The police response to the shootings, in many ways, has been bigger than the shootings itself,” she said.Davis said the issues highlighted during the protests should not wane the same way passing trends do.“We want to keep this in the forefront,” Davis said. “We don’t want people to forget. Last month, colleges across the country have had panels and peaceful protests. [Saint Mary’s] did the same. On our first day of classes, Aug. 25th, there was a nationally renown #handsupwalkout campaign to raise awareness of police brutality and cruelty.”Davis said supporters of the peaceful protest gathered in Ferguson and St. Louis between October 9 and 13 to raise awareness about police brutality.“What happened there affects all of us no matter where our political interests stand,” Davis said.Tags: Ferguson, handsupwalkout, Justice Fridays, militant police force, Stacy Davislast_img read more

Green Mountain Coffee 2011 earnings more than double

first_imgBasic income per share: – 2010 Change in restricted cash – $199,501 $27.6Information Systems Technology 1,131,527 $2,650,899 9,617 Source: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. November 9, 2011 – – 348,696 Thirteen weeks ended September 24, 2011 212%Royalties Cash and cash equivalents$12,989 $ Increase (decrease) 526 $373.1 (116,653)Income tax receivable, net 24,236 Expenses related to SEC inquiry and pending litigation (2) 8,788 40%Other Products September 25, $138.9 27,184 310,321 1,746,274 $869.6 Receivables, less uncollectible accounts and return allowances – – 672,248 $62.0 2011 $1.3 $26,991 (375,709) Q4 2011 335,504 Fifty-two 17,328 Cash flows from investing activities: (1,630)Total stockholders’ equity$1,912,215 104%Brewers and Accessories 5,191 September 24, (8) Common stock, $0.10 par value: Authorized – 200,000,000 shares; GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliation of Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Operations September 25, – 81.8 disqualified dispositions of incentive stock options 1.0 (6,142) Other current assets (66)%Total Net Sales $711.9 Interest expense Loss on extinguishment of debt (4)$0.07 63,487 $41,676 244.4 243 Fifty-two 36,231 904,625 $- % Increase (decrease)K-Cup® Portion Packs Diluted income per share$1.31 Acquisition-related expenses (1) 785 132,210,938 1,199,845 Expenses related to SEC inquiry and pending litigation (2)$0.03 49,279 Non-GAAP operating income$119,139 92,579 Current liabilities related to assets held for sale 9,961 Cash distributions to redeemable noncontrolling interests shareholders Intangibles, net 18,906 (1) Amortization of identifiable intangibles (3)$0.05 Net income attributable to GMCR$75,369 Current assets: 95,150 19,732 Fifty-two (126,205)Proceeds from disposal of fixed assets Current assets held for sale (12,715) weeks ended $834.4 186,418 After tax: 10,575 Net income per common share – basic$0.49 $1,356.8 Income tax expense Operating income Accrued expenses 41,676 Retained earnings Net operating and capital loss carryforwards (4)$(0.05) 44,105 Change in cash balances included in short-term assets held for sale Net cash used in investing activities Description 85 Gain (loss) on financial instruments, net 5,574 113,446 (6,245) 411,727 610 $226.0 Amortization of identifiable intangibles (3) 425,758 – – 2010 (57,657) 169.6 99,349 $1.36 Amortization of intangibles 120.3 (715) (283,444) $79,506 (101,699) – $26,991 Deferred income taxes, net (46,009) Cash flows from financing activities: Stockholders’ equity: – 1,547 $4,401 (237,410)Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period $ Increase (decrease) Represents legal and accounting expenses related to the SEC inquiry and pending litigation classified as general and administrative expense.(3) September 25, 2010, respectively Fixed asset purchases included in accounts payable 144%Royalties September 24, 100,568 82.2 131,529,412 After tax: (63)%Total Net Sales$2,650.9 Unrealized loss of foreign currency 675 Diluted income per share: (533,435) 159,207,852 – 59%Other Products 137,834,123 Thirteen weeks ended September 25, 2010 Proceeds from issuance of common stock for private placement $19,009 $79,506 September 25, Thirteen Cash paid for income taxes$58,182 1,645 2010Assets $42,313 8.2 Fifty-two weeks ended September 24, 2011 Restricted cash and cash equivalents Commitments and contingencies Represents direct acquisition-related expenses classified as general and administrative expense.(2) 4,895 of $21,407 and $14,056 at September 24, 2011 and 573 GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliation of Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Operations 172,200 Represents the write-off of debt issuance costs and original issue discount, net of tax, primarily associated with the extinguishment of the Term B loan under the Credit Agreement.(5) $25.4 weeks ended $8.0Coffee Processing (primarily roasting & grinding equipment) GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS, INC.Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Operations(Dollars in thousands except per share data) 5,350 11,752 302,747 $0.60 Proceeds from issuance of common stock under compensation plans September 24, After tax: $27.6 41,339 GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS, INC.Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows(Dollars in thousands) – Additional paid-in capital The 2011 fiscal year reflects direct acquisition-related expenses of $10.6 million ($8.9 million after-tax); the write-off of deferred financing expenses of $2.6 million ($1.6 million after-tax) on our Former Credit Facility in conjunction with the new financing secured for the Van Houtte acquisition; and the foreign exchange impact of hedging the risk associated with the Canadian dollar purchase price of the Van Houtte acquisition of $5.3 million ($4.0 million after-tax). The 2010 fiscal year represents direct acquisition-related expenses of $18.9 million ($16.8 million after-tax). Direct acquisition-related expenses incurred prior to the closing of the acquisition are tax affected. Generally, upon the close of the acquisition, the direct acquisition-related expenses are nondeductible. Fixed assets, net Noncash investing activity: Amortization of identifiable intangibles (3) 258,923 529,494 220,005 (8,376) 10,573 673,048 – 2010K-Cup® Portion Pack Packaging (354)Loss on foreign currency, net – Amortization deferred financing fees 19,341 $475.5 Supplemental disclosures of cash flow information: 14,973 Total current assets (2,297) – Non-GAAP operating income$428,693 265,511 – 452 GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS, INC. 120,583 931,017 Loss on extinguishment of debt (4) $- 139,220 Represents direct acquisition-related expenses classified as general and administrative expense.(2) 92,120 Deferred income taxes, net 193.9 140,000 – 34,613 (52) 355 Proceeds from issuance of common stock for public equity offering – 189,637 General and administrative expenses 238,055 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., (GMCR) (NASDAQ: GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee and coffeemakers, today announced its full year and fiscal 2011 fourth quarter results for the thirteen and fifty-two weeks ended September 24, 2011. Earnings more than doubled for the year and revenues increased 95 percent. Those numbers, however, were below analysts’ expectations, especially on the revenue side, and GMCR’s stock fell in after-hours trading nearly 30 percent to $48.11 as of 4:32 pm. http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GMCR(link is external)Performance HighlightsFiscal 2011Net sales of $2,650.9 million, up 95% over fiscal 2010GAAP EPS of $1.31 increases 126% over fiscal 2010; non-GAAP EPS of $1.64 increases 113% over a year agoGAAP operating income of $368.9 million increases 166% over fiscal 2010; non-GAAP operating income of $428.7 million improves 148% over a year agoGAAP net income of $199.5 million increases 151% over 2010; non-GAAP net income of $248.9 million up 135% over 2010Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2011Net sales of $711.9 million, up 91% over the same period in fiscal 2010GAAP EPS of $0.47 increases 135% over fourth quarter fiscal 2010; non-GAAP EPS of $0.47 increases 96% over the year ago quarterGAAP operating income of $106.7 million increases 156% over fourth quarter fiscal 2010; non-GAAP operating income of $119.1 million improves 128% over the year ago quarterGAAP net income of $75.4 million increases 179% over Q4’10; non-GAAP net income of $75.3 million increases 126% over Q4’10″With 95% annual revenue growth over last year the business continues to demonstrate extraordinary momentum as a result of broad consumer adoption of the Keurig® Single Cup Brewing system,” said Lawrence J. Blanford , president and CEO of GMCR. “We are seeing continued evidence of strong consumer demand for both brewers and portion packs from our customers and from third party sources that track consumer purchases such as NPD Group and SymphonyIRI Group, Inc. For instance, NPD reports Keurig® Single Cup Brewer unit sales increased 56% in our fiscal 2011 fourth quarter from the same period last year. As an indication of what we believe will be strong holiday consumer demand, for the month of September alone, NPD reports Keurig brewer unit sales are up 73% from the same month in 2010.””Our fiscal fourth quarter revenue growth of 91% was strong. This was off of our estimates as a result of a number of factors including changes in wholesale customer ordering patterns in our grocery and club channels despite steady consumer point-of-sale demand in those channels,” continued Blanford.Blanford concluded, “While like most consumer products companies we are watchful of broader consumer sentiment going into the holidays, we remain confident in the Company’s growth potential and comfortable reiterating our estimate for fiscal year 2012 non-GAAP earnings per diluted share in a range of $2.55 to $2.65.”Fiscal 2011 Financial ReviewNet Sales (in millions) Preferred stock, $0.10 par value: Authorized – 1,000,000 shares; (7,555) (53,703)Net Income$75,821 – (102,297)Inventories 38.5 Loss on extinguishment of debt 298,322 Acquisition-related expenses (1) Loss on disposal of fixed assets Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests $33,312 Redeemable noncontrolling interests $0.58 Amortization of identifiable intangibles (3) (23,528) 575,969 $6,486 Operating income$368,913 – $1,356,775 Issued and outstanding – 154,466,463 and 132,823,585 shares at September 24, 2011 and September 25, 2010, respectively 15,447 2011 Accounts payable (1,339)Repayment of long-term debt $52,169 (67,813) 2011 32.9 $- 474 138,256,219 – 5,017 Long-term liabilities related to assets held for sale (5,294)Income before income taxes Current liabilities: Q4 2010 2,074center_img weeks ended 5,191 5,476 187,016 2010Cash flows from operating activities: 29,484 Non-GAAP net income per share$0.47 Expenses related to SEC inquiry and pending litigation (2)$- provided by operating activities: Depreciation 368,913 Net income$201,048 Inventories 67,813 1,376 6,158 4,401 91%Approximately 83% of consolidated net sales in the fourth quarter were from the Keurig® Single Cup Brewing system and its recurring portion pack sales, including Keurig-related accessory sales, with the remainder of total sales consisting primarily of sales of bagged coffee and revenue from the office coffee services business.The increase in K-Cup® portion pack net sales is driven by a 52 percentage point increase in K-Cup® portion pack sales volume, a 29 percentage point increase in K-Cup® portion pack net price realization due to price increases implemented during fiscal 2011 to offset higher green coffee and other input costs, and a 10 percentage point increase in K-Cup® portion pack net sales due to the acquisition of Van Houtte.GMCR sold 1.3 million Keurig® Single Cup Brewers during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. This brewer shipment number does not account for consumer returns to retailers. We estimate that GMCR brewer shipments represented approximately 92% of total brewers shipped with Keurig technology in the period.Royalty revenue declined from the fourth quarter of 2010 due to the acquisition of Van Houtte, which previously paid royalties to GMCR as a third party licensed roaster.Revenue from the Canadian business unit segment, which includes the acquisition of Van Houtte completed on December 17, 2010, contributed approximately $100.4 million to net sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.Fourth quarter fiscal 2011 gross margin was 35.7% of total net sales compared to 30.4% for the corresponding quarter in fiscal 2010. The elements of the gross margin improvement are primarily:The impact of price increases on K-Cup® portion packs during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 improved gross margin by approximately 710 basis points.The benefit from the K-Cup® portion pack price increases was offset by higher green coffee costs in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 as compared to the prior year quarter, which decreased the Company’s gross margin by approximately 860 basis points.Gross margin also increased due to a shift in the Company’s sales mix.Net sales from Keurig® Single Cup Brewers and related accessories were lower as a percentage of total Company net sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.The Company sells the majority of Keurig® Single Cup Brewers approximately at cost, or sometimes at a loss when factoring in the incremental costs related to sales, including fulfillment charges, returns and warranty expenses.In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, the decrease in Keurig® Single Cup Brewer and accessories net sales as a percentage of total net sales improved the Company’s gross margin by approximately 250 basis points over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.The Company’s effective income tax rate was 23.7% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to a 32.0% effective tax rate for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. The difference is primarily attributable to the release of valuation allowances related to a $17.7 million capital loss carryforward and a $5.4 million net operating loss carryforward in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. In addition, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, the Company had a larger percentage of foreign-based sales in Canada, which has a lower corporate tax rate.Diluted weighted average shares outstanding increased 15% to 159.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 from 138.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 primarily due to the issuance of approximately 8.6 million shares of common stock to Luigi Lavazza S.p.A (“Lavazza”) on September 28, 2010 and approximately 10.1 million shares on May 11, 2011 from a public offering and concurrent private placement to Lavazza pursuant to its preemptive rights.Business Outlook and Other Forward-Looking InformationCompany Estimates for First Quarter Fiscal Year 2012The Company is providing initial estimates for its first quarter of fiscal 2012:Fiscal first quarter consolidated net sales growth of 85% to 90%.Fiscal first quarter fully diluted non-GAAP earnings per share in the range of $0.35 to $0.40 per share excluding any acquisition-related transaction expenses; legal and accounting expenses related to the SEC inquiry and the Company’s pending litigation; amortization of identifiable intangibles related to the Company’s acquisitions; and any gain from sale of the Filterfresh U.S.-based coffee services business.Company Estimates for Fiscal Year 2012The Company provided the following estimates for its fiscal year 2012:Total consolidated net sales growth of 60% to 65% from fiscal 2011.Fiscal 2012 non-GAAP earnings per diluted share in a range of $2.55 to $2.65 per diluted share, excluding any acquisition-related transaction expenses; legal and accounting expenses related to the SEC inquiry and the Company’s pending litigation; amortization of identifiable intangibles related to the Company’s acquisitions; and any gain from sale of the Filterfresh U.S.-based coffee services business.For fiscal 2012, we currently expect to invest between $630.0 million to $700.0 million in capital expenditures to support the Company’s future growth. We expect approximately $225.0 million will be spent to increase our portion pack packaging capacity related to our current Keurig® Single Cup Brewing platform, approximately $100.0 million will be spent for portion pack packaging capacity related to our next-generation Keurig® Single Cup Brewing platform, approximately $175.0 million will be spent to expand our physical plants, research and development facilities and office space, approximately $100 million will be spent for coffee processing equipment, and approximately $65.0 million will be spent for information technology infrastructure and systems.Use of Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to reporting financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the Company provides non-GAAP operating results that exclude certain charges or credits such as transaction expenses related to the Company’s acquisitions including the foreign exchange impact of hedging the risk associated with the Canadian dollar purchase price of the Van Houtte acquisition; any gain from sale of the Fitlerfresh U.S.-based coffee services business; legal and accounting expenses related to the SEC inquiry and pending litigation; non-cash related items such as amortization of identifiable intangibles and losses incurred on the extinguishment of debt; and the effect of net operating and capital loss carryforwards, each of which include adjustments to show the tax impact of excluding these items. These amounts are not in accordance with, or an alternative to, GAAP. The Company’s management believes that these measures provide investors with transparency by helping illustrate the underlying financial and business trends relating to the Company’s results of operations and financial condition and comparability between current and prior periods. Management uses the measures to establish and monitor budgets and operational goals and to evaluate the performance of the Company. Please see the “GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliation of Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Operations” tables that accompany this document for a full reconciliation the Company’s GAAP to non-GAAP results.Conference Call and WebcastGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. will be discussing these financial results with analysts and investors in a conference call and live webcast available via the Internet at 5:00 p.m. ET today, November 9, 2011. Management’s prepared remarks on its quarterly results will be provided via a Current Report on Form 8-K and also posted under the events link in the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website at www.GMCR.com(link is external). As a result, the conference call will include only brief remarks by management followed by a question and answer session. The call along with accompanying slides is accessible via live webcast from the events link in the Investor Relations portion of the Company’s website at http://investor.gmcr.com/events.cfm(link is external). The Company archives the latest conference call for a period of time. A replay of the conference call also will be available by telephone at (719) 457-0820, Passcode 7944796 from 9:00 p.m. ET on November 9, 2011 through 9:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 13, 2011.About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.As a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) (NASDAQ: GMCR), is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative Keurig® Single Cup brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in sustainably-grown coffee, and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects.GMCR routinely posts information that may be of importance to investors in the Investor Relations section of its website, including news releases and its complete financial statements, as filed with the SEC. The Company encourages investors to consult this section of its website regularly for important information and news. Additionally, by subscribing to the Company’s automatic email news release delivery, individuals can receive news directly from GMCR as it is released.Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements contained herein are not based on historical fact and are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the applicable securities laws and regulations. Generally, these statements can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “feel,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “should,” “would,” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Owing to the uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, actual results could differ materially from those stated here. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the impact on sales and profitability of consumer sentiment in this difficult economic environment, the Company’s success in efficiently expanding operations and capacity to meet growth, the Company’s success in efficiently and effectively integrating the Company’s acquisitions, the Company’s success in introducing and producing new product offerings, the ability of lenders to honor their commitments under the Company’s credit facility, competition and other business conditions in the coffee industry and food industry in general, fluctuations in availability and cost of high-quality green coffee, any other increases in costs including fuel, the Company’s ability to continue to grow and build profits in the At Home and Away from Home businesses, the Company experiencing product liability, product recall and higher than anticipated rates of warranty expense or sales returns associated with a product quality or safety issue, the extent to which the data security of the Company’s websites may be compromised, the impact of the loss of major customers for the Company or reduction in the volume of purchases by major customers, delays in the timing of adding new locations with existing customers, the Company’s level of success in continuing to attract new customers, sales mix variances, weather and special or unusual events, the impact of the inquiry initiated by the SEC and any related litigation or additional governmental investigative or enforcement proceedings, as well as other risks described more fully in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s analysis as of the date of this release. The Company does not undertake to revise these statements to reflect subsequent developments, other than in its regular, quarterly earnings releases.GMCR-C 884 Acquisition-related expenses (1) $0.12 – 47,759 (11,454) (285) Net income attributable to GMCR$75,369 (Dollars in thousands) 25,600 2,584 Other long-term liabilities 386,416 64,457 40,139 Income taxes receivable 648 (188)Tax expense from exercise of non-qualified options and 115.1 Fifty-two weeks ended September 24, 2011 21,034 790 Amortization of identifiable intangibles (3) 16,773 Other income (expense), net 2011 (713)Excess tax benefits from equity-based compensation plans Amortization of identifiable intangibles (3)$0.18 Capital expenditures for fixed assets 1,499,616 43,260 Long-term assets held for sale Diluted income per share$0.47 (5,097) (1,063) Net operating and capital loss carryforwards (4) Non-GAAP net income per share$1.64 10,065 Other current liabilities Accumulated other comprehensive loss 41,007 27,665 (5,349)Accounts payable 106,202 Long-term debt Accrued compensation costs Purchases of short-term investments $1,294.1 Thirteen weeks ended September 24, 2011 14,973 $26,991 $699,245 (8,828) 39,706 $63.1Next Generation Portion Pack Packaging (3,118) Other long-term assets $13.0Manufacturing Facilities & Infrastructure Goodwill % Increase (decrease)K-Cup® Portion Packs$1,704.0 (1) Gross profit $- Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 50,000 Net income per common share – diluted$0.47 Provision for sales returns (2,912) Acquisition of Timothy’s Coffee of the World Inc. – (1.9) Represents the amortization of intangibles related to the Company’s acquisitions classified as general and administrative expense.(4) Diluted weighted average shares outstanding (1,187,672) GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS, INC.Unaudited Consolidated Balance Sheets(Dollars in thousands) 2,233 Net change in revolving line of credit 153,837,445 Other long-term liabilities 1,041 291,096 Thirteen weeks ended September 24, 2011 $1,370,574 Other investing activities (158) Net income attributable to GMCR$199,501 4,377 22.0 (1,918) and not disbursed at the end of each year$25,737 Represents the amortization of intangibles related to the Company’s acquisitions classified as general and administrative expense.(4) 414.0 Changes in assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisition: *$0.77 27,523 457,793 213,844 – Non-GAAP net income$75,275 Expenses related to SEC inquiry and pending litigation (2) Expenses related to SEC inquiry and pending litigation (2) (8,376) September 25, $0.24 – No shares issued or outstanding GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS, INC. 524.7 (Dollars in thousands) Acquisition-related expenses (6) 262,478 $1,370,574 499 (217)Proceeds from borrowings of long-term debt 91%Brewers and Accessories – 579,219 41,339 13,282 (906,885) 72,297 Non-GAAP net income$248,914 (8,500)Net cash provided by financing activities 23,405 (5,160) – Selling and operating expenses 26,997 – – 8,588 796,375 $0.20 241,811 Cash and cash equivalents at end of period$12,989 2011 Deferred financing fees Cash paid for interest$33,452 (10,692)Other long-term assets, net 2011 106,712 – weeks ended $20,261 14,590 Liabilities assumed in conjunction with acquisitions$- $1,533 $0.20 259,641 Deferred income taxes, net Unrealized (gain) loss on financial instruments, net $21.0Other 495,269 146,214,860 Current portion of long-term debt$6,669 3,292 Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$3,197,887 7,868 8,110 $373,087 Excess tax benefits from equity-based compensation plans Other current assets 145,000 95%Approximately 84% of consolidated net sales in fiscal 2011 were from the Keurig® Single Cup Brewing system and its recurring portion pack sales, including Keurig-related accessory sales, with the remainder of total sales consisting primarily of sales of bagged coffee and revenue from the office coffee services business.The increase in K-Cup® portion pack net sales is driven by a 76 percentage point increase in K-Cup® portion pack sales volume, an 18 percentage point increase in K-Cup® portion pack net price realization due to price increases implemented during fiscal 2011 to offset higher green coffee and other input costs, and a 10 percentage point increase in K-Cup® portion pack net sales due to the acquisition of Van Houtte.Supporting continued growth in portion pack demand, GMCR sold 5.9 million Keurig® Single Cup Brewers during fiscal 2011. This brewer shipment number does not account for consumer returns to retailers. We estimate that GMCR brewer shipments represented approximately 91% of total brewers shipped with Keurig technology in the year.Royalty revenue declined from 2010 due to the acquisitions of Timothy’s, Diedrich and Van Houtte, all of which previously paid royalties to GMCR as third party licensed roasters.Revenue from the Canadian business unit segment, which includes the acquisition of Van Houtte completed on December 17, 2010, contributed approximately $321.4 million to net sales for the year.Gross profit for fiscal 2011 was $904.6 million, or 34.1% of net sales as compared to $425.8 million, or 31.4% of net sales, in fiscal 2010.The impact of price increases on K-Cup® portion packs during fiscal 2011 improved gross margin by approximately 400 basis points.The benefit from the K-Cup® portion pack price increases was offset by higher green coffee costs in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010, which decreased the Company’s gross margin by approximately 330 basis points.Gross margin also increased due to a shift in the Company’s sales mix.Net sales from Keurig® Single Cup Brewers and related accessories were lower as a percentage of total Company net sales in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010.The Company sells the majority of Keurig® Single Cup Brewers approximately at cost, or sometimes at a loss when factoring in the incremental costs related to sales, including fulfillment charges, returns and warranty expense.In fiscal 2011, the decrease in Keurig® Single Cup Brewer and accessories net sales as a percentage of total net sales improved the Company’s gross margin by approximately 230 basis points.The Company’s effective income tax rate was 33.6% for fiscal 2011 compared to a 40.3% effective tax rate for fiscal 2010. The difference is primarily attributable to the release of valuation allowances related to a $17.7 million capital loss carryforward and a $5.4 million net operating loss carryforward in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. In addition, in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010, the Company had a larger percentage of foreign-based sales in Canada which has a lower corporate tax rate.Diluted weighted average shares outstanding increased 10% to 152.1 million in fiscal 2011 from 137.8 million in fiscal 2010 primarily due to the issuance of approximately 8.6 million shares of common stock to Luigi Lavazza S.p.A (“Lavazza”) on September 28, 2010 and approximately 10.1 million shares on May 11, 2011 from a public offering and concurrent private placement to Lavazza pursuant to its preemptive rights. The initial Lavazza sale raised $250.0 million and the May offering raised approximately $688.9 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses.The Company allocates at least 5% of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental programs. GMCR estimates that total resources allocated to social and environmental programs totaled approximately $15.2 million for fiscal 2011.Balance Sheet HighlightsAccounts receivable increased 80% year-over-year to $310.3 at September 24, 2011, from $172.2 million at September 25, 2010, reflecting continuing sales growth and the addition of Van Houtte-related accounts receivables.Inventories were $672.2 million at September 24, 2011 including $52.0 million of Van Houtte-related inventories. This compares to $262.5 million at September 25, 2010. The year-over-year increase is comprised of:a $136.5 million, or 295%, increase in raw materials most notably from an increase in green coffee volume and 65% average green coffee cost increase;a $273.3 million, or 126%, increase in finished goods inventory with approximately half of the increase due to K-Cup® portion packs on hand and the other half due to Keurig® Single Cup Brewers and accessories on hand.Debt outstanding increased to $582.6 million at September 24, 2011 from $354.5 million at September 25, 2010 as a result of an increase in the long-term revolver.On October 3, 2011, the Company completed the sale of the Filterfresh U.S.-based coffee services business portion of its Van Houtte acquisition to ARAMARK Refreshment Services, LLC for an aggregate cash purchase price of approximately $145.0 million. As of September 24, 2011, the business was classified as “assets held for sale” in the Company’s financial statements.Capital Expenditures+Following is a summary of the Company’s 2011 and 2010 capital expenditures (in millions): – $338.8 Thirteen weeks ended September 25, 2010 Fifty-two weeks ended September 25, 2010 23,488 152,142,434 10,964 (75)Proceeds from sale of short-term investments 2.9 $4,401 453 $290.3 Income tax payable Contributions to the ESOP Provision for doubtful accounts – 330.8 25,885 18,258 2010Net sales$711,883 Expenses related to SEC inquiry and pending litigation (2) $1.31 Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity 3,437 weeks ended – 1,192 Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash (used in) (1,830)Accrued expenses $105,806 Operating income$106,712 Receivables – (14,590)Deferred income taxes (154,208)Acquisition of Diedrich Coffee, Inc., net of cash acquired – (907,835) Acquisition-related expenses (1)$- 254,090 (6,931)Deferred compensation and stock compensation $0.02 Accrued compensation costs (157,329) Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities Total current liabilities Cost of sales 138,772 2,884 Represents the release of the valuation allowance against federal capital loss carryforwards which represents the estimate of the tax benefit for the amount of capital losses that will be utilized in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 on capital gains generated on the sale of Filterfresh and the utilization in fiscal 2011 of net operating loss carryforwards generated from the Filterfresh acquisition.(6) (14,575) 14,524 $0.58 Financing costs in connection with public equity offering (305,261)Acquisition of LJVH Holdings, Inc. (Van Houtte), net of cash acquired 471,374 1,934 $32.6 $172,651 Thirteen weeks ended September 25, 2010 $0.02 $249.5 $134.0+ Note: Capital expenditures do not include capital acquired in the Timothy’s, Diedrich or Van Houtte acquisitions.Fiscal 2011 Fourth Quarter Financial ReviewNet Sales (in millions) 1,788 – $0.20 $201,048 333,835 Basic weighted average shares outstanding Represents the release of the valuation allowance against federal capital loss carryforwards which represents the estimate of the tax benefit for the amount of capital losses that will be utilized in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 on capital gains generated on the sale of Filterfresh and the utilization in fiscal 2011 of net operating loss carryforwards generated from the Filterfresh acquisition. Total assets$3,197,887 27,343 Fifty-two weeks ended September 25, 2010 Fifty-two weeks ended September 24, 2011 11,027 $79,506 $- (25,685) After tax: 133,209 Thirteen – Fifty-two weeks ended September 25, 2010 Proceeds from notes receivable Net operating and capital loss carryforwards (5)$(0.06) 52,228 Acquisition-related expenses (6)$0.10 $138,772 7,829 weeks ended Represents legal and accounting expenses related to the SEC inquiry and pending litigation classified as general and administrative expense.(3) $0.07 473,749 Net operating and capital loss carryforwards (5) Capital lease obligations 789,305 $3.8 28,072 * Does not add due to rounding. Other current liabilities 9,527 862 $79,506 Fifty-two (13.8) September 24, Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalentslast_img read more

Salvadoran Air Force Teaches Youths Aeronautics and Discipline

first_img Full and partial scholarships offered “Everything is provided for our students: food, uniforms, and a quality technical education with training in line with current market demand,” ETAM Director Guadalupe Argueta said. “They also receive behavioral and physical education with military training. This makes the difference in their character.” “But if they have a stronger interest in the aeronautical world and want to expand their field of knowledge, they may enter CIMA’s School of Advanced Military Aeronautics (EPAM), where they could be promoted in their Military career.” “We graduate well-rounded people who join society with all the moral values of the military doctrine: discipline, respect, responsibility, honesty, love for their country and family… This is an advantage over other educational centers in the country.” “We graduate well-rounded people who join society with all the moral values of the military doctrine: discipline, respect, responsibility, honesty, love for their country and family… This is an advantage over other educational centers in the country.” Young people like Viscarra who are accepted into the program at ETAM live at FAES bases during the week and can visit their hometowns on weekends. To provide this opportunity to young people from all socio-economic backgrounds, the FAES General Staff grants full and half scholarships to outstanding students and others whose families have limited monetary resources. Carlos Viscarra, 16, is one beneficiary of the opportunities provided by ETAM. Since January, he has proudly worn the blue uniform for high school students studying aeronautical mechanics — a dream of his that has become a reality through discipline and dedication. For young people to achieve their goals, “the most important thing is discipline because it builds character,” he said. “Of course, we are instilled with values such as respect for national symbols, honesty, punctuality, and responsibility. I feel I’ve grown as a person and a professional; it has been demanding, but satisfying. I’m not the same person.” CIMA graduates are highly sought after by aeronautical companies due to the high standards of educational quality and training they receive, as well as the values they are instilled with. About 50 percent of the students who graduate from the high school program continue technical and aeronautical studies, either in the FAES or at private maintenance companies. Twenty-four percent of graduates choose to continue their training at Captain General Gerardo Barrios Military School, and the others go into private universities or accept jobs at international companies. “I am grateful to be studying what I really enjoy, and my parents are too because they see changes in my behavior,” he said. ” I am more disciplined and responsible. My goal is to join the Military, keep learning, and become a great aircraft mechanic.” Students graduating from ETAM may choose military tactics at the Captain General Gerardo Barrios Military School and become Cadets after two years. At that time, they have to decide which branch of the Armed Forces to continue with: the Army, Navy, or Air Force. If they are selected by the FAES after passing various aptitude tests, they may request to study at CIMA’s Military Aviation School (EAM), where they will graduate as second lieutenants and continue studying to become professional pilots. Young people like Viscarra who are accepted into the program at ETAM live at FAES bases during the week and can visit their hometowns on weekends. To provide this opportunity to young people from all socio-economic backgrounds, the FAES General Staff grants full and half scholarships to outstanding students and others whose families have limited monetary resources. “Our high school graduates are highly skilled in their knowledge of both areas, capable of directly entering a Military career with a specialty in aeronautics or a company with aircraft maintenance needs,” said Col. José Ernesto Aguirre, General Staff College graduate and aviator, and director of the Center. CIMA graduates are highly sought after by aeronautical companies due to the high standards of educational quality and training they receive, as well as the values they are instilled with. About 50 percent of the students who graduate from the high school program continue technical and aeronautical studies, either in the FAES or at private maintenance companies. Twenty-four percent of graduates choose to continue their training at Captain General Gerardo Barrios Military School, and the others go into private universities or accept jobs at international companies. Wow I’d like to be a professional flight pilot so my family could feel proud of me 🙂 By Dialogo May 08, 2015 For young people to achieve their goals, “the most important thing is discipline because it builds character,” he said. “Of course, we are instilled with values such as respect for national symbols, honesty, punctuality, and responsibility. I feel I’ve grown as a person and a professional; it has been demanding, but satisfying. I’m not the same person.” Carlos Viscarra, 16, is one beneficiary of the opportunities provided by ETAM. Since January, he has proudly worn the blue uniform for high school students studying aeronautical mechanics — a dream of his that has become a reality through discipline and dedication. “Our high school graduates are highly skilled in their knowledge of both areas, capable of directly entering a Military career with a specialty in aeronautics or a company with aircraft maintenance needs,” said Col. José Ernesto Aguirre, General Staff College graduate and aviator, and director of the Center. Full and partial scholarships offered “Everything is provided for our students: food, uniforms, and a quality technical education with training in line with current market demand,” ETAM Director Guadalupe Argueta said. “They also receive behavioral and physical education with military training. This makes the difference in their character.” Viscarra is not only working toward his dreams, but also steering clear of the gang violence which mars life in the the municipality of Zacatecoluca, Department of La Paz, where he lives with his parents. CIMA graduates are in high demand Viscarra is not only working toward his dreams, but also steering clear of the gang violence which mars life in the the municipality of Zacatecoluca, Department of La Paz, where he lives with his parents. Hundreds of young people who study aeronautics in high school have been invited to participate at the Salvadorean Air Force (FAES, for its Spanish acronym) Center for Military Aeronautical Training (CIMA, for its Spanish acronym). Through its Technical School for Aviation Mechanics (ETAM), CIMA trains people with significant theoretical knowledge and skills in the fields of Military aviation and aerospace mechanics. “But if they have a stronger interest in the aeronautical world and want to expand their field of knowledge, they may enter CIMA’s School of Advanced Military Aeronautics (EPAM), where they could be promoted in their Military career.” “I am grateful to be studying what I really enjoy, and my parents are too because they see changes in my behavior,” he said. ” I am more disciplined and responsible. My goal is to join the Military, keep learning, and become a great aircraft mechanic.” In addition to teaching aeronautics, the program instills important values. Students graduating from ETAM may choose military tactics at the Captain General Gerardo Barrios Military School and become Cadets after two years. At that time, they have to decide which branch of the Armed Forces to continue with: the Army, Navy, or Air Force. If they are selected by the FAES after passing various aptitude tests, they may request to study at CIMA’s Military Aviation School (EAM), where they will graduate as second lieutenants and continue studying to become professional pilots. In addition to teaching aeronautics, the program instills important values. That’s the goal of Gentleman Cadet Raúl Granados Romero, who is currently in his fourth year in the EAM. His dream is to become a pilot in the Air Force. That’s the goal of Gentleman Cadet Raúl Granados Romero, who is currently in his fourth year in the EAM. His dream is to become a pilot in the Air Force. CIMA graduates are in high demand Hundreds of young people who study aeronautics in high school have been invited to participate at the Salvadorean Air Force (FAES, for its Spanish acronym) Center for Military Aeronautical Training (CIMA, for its Spanish acronym). Through its Technical School for Aviation Mechanics (ETAM), CIMA trains people with significant theoretical knowledge and skills in the fields of Military aviation and aerospace mechanics. last_img read more

Want a more effective board? Blunt recommendations from a current chair

first_img 83SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sarah Lietz Sarah Lietz is Director of Projects and Marketing for MEMBERS Development Company, which serves as a billion-dollar R&D budget for many of the nation’s largest credit unions. Web: membersdevelopment.com Details I am proud to be a credit union professional who also volunteers as a board member – it’s my sixth year on the board of directors for the $1.03 billion Firefly Credit Union, based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, and my second year as Board Chair. Meanwhile, my day job for the past 10 years has been to serve as an executive with MEMBERS Development Company (MDC), an R&D CUSO owned by more than 40 of the nation’s top-tier credit unions.Speaking for myself, my role on Firefly CU’s board has given me a well-rounded understanding of the issues facing credit unions today. By helping to steer a large credit union through today’s financial, technology and competitive challenges, I’ve gained an acute awareness of what MDC’s owners face and a better understanding of their R&D needs. Board service also develops leadership skills. Leading a two-hour, monthly meeting comprised of other directors and supported by senior management involves much more than just showing up.How can you improve board performance?There’s no doubt that my dual experience in credit unions has made me more effective at both roles, leading me to share some recommendations about how to have a powerful credit union board of directors.Get rid of board elections. Well, not exactly. Credit unions’ democratic structure is at the heart of what sets us apart from for-profit financial institutions. But typically less than 5% of the membership vote without knowing anything at all about a candidate (except, perhaps, that s/he is an incumbent), and most others know little about candidates’ relevant experience. If you want the most qualified people serving your credit union, put the power of selecting board volunteers in the hands of those who understand the role best – your board. Since Firefly CU changed our bylaws to give our nominating committee the responsibility of identifying, interviewing, and recommending highly qualified board members, the strength and depth of our volunteers has increased dramatically.Board members must be vetted to avoid simply re-electing incumbents who may not be the best candidates for the job, either because they lack the qualifications or don’t respect the requirements and expectations that go with serving as a director. Make no mistake about it – serving on a credit union board is a job, a very serious one, in fact. Trust this—your board knows much better than the average member who is best qualified to fulfill these obligations.Identify specific qualifications, as well as expectations, for board service. To avoid nominating candidates who are unqualified or unprepared to meet the requirements, the board should set out specific qualifications and expectations for volunteer service. For example, directors need a basic level of financial skills, including understanding of financial statements and key ratios (or make and follow through on a commitment to attend financial training). Board members must be prepared before meetings, reading and reviewing board packet materials so they are able to discuss serious issues and make key decisions. It wastes everyone’s time to have to bring a negligent board member “up to speed” during the meeting. And they must make meeting attendance a priority (with the understanding that only a limited number of unexcused absences will be allowed).Board members serving on the nominating committee should also consider the following points: Are there skills gaps on our board that need to be addressed? Are our membership demographics accurately represented at the table? Do we have candidates running for another term who regularly miss meetings, are consistently late or ask questions that make it obvious they didn’t prepare? Is there feedback on board evaluations we should consider? What knowledge requirements should we set? Only after the committee has established sound criteria, approved by the full board, should it develop a slate of nominees.Don’t hide behind term limits. Chances are, there are disengaged or unqualified board members who are dragging down your board’s overall performance. Credit unions are complex financial institutions we are asked to guide; there is simply no room for slackers who see board service as a hobby or way to gain prestige. Many boards view term limits as a way to weed out ineffective directors. Instead, have the courage to let people know when it’s time to move on. It’s our responsibility as board members to take that charge seriously and not only get the right people on the bus, but to have the hard conversations and ask the wrong people to step aside.Term limits can be useful for getting fresh perspectives on your board; but they also can work against you if it means you must release effective, diligent directors. At Firefly CU, it would have meant eliminating two of our most experienced, engaged, and passionate directors, leaving a huge leadership hole on our board. Term limits are not always the answer – strong leadership is.What makes an effective director?Many credit union CEOs I talk with bemoan the fact that their board members are mostly retired, unwilling to learn new technologies, and/or disengaged from their credit union’s desired demographics;. So, who is the perfect candidate? It isn’t about age or gender (although a cross-section of both is certainly healthy). Instead, boards need volunteers who are engaged with the credit union’s success, interested in current market and economic issues, and willing to put in the time and effort to be effective.As someone who has drunk the “credit union Kool-Aid,” I didn’t think it was possible to become more committed to our industry. But by serving on my own credit union’s board, I’ve become a stronger supporter of our cooperative movement, and the benefits we offer everyday Americans. I have seen our board members transform into a diverse, passionate, financially educated, and powerful group of volunteers, and I’m proud to work with them. It can be done – it just requires time, focus, and strong leadership. It’s exciting to participate in activities that directly affect the success of regular people … and it’s also a bit of a thrill to be addressed as Madam Chair.last_img read more

Serving members at the center of the COVID storm

first_img continue reading » Though much of the New York metropolitan area is shut down by its status as the current U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, CUES member Thomas J. Powers, Jr. still goes into the office every other day, leading the “A team” of five employees of Hudson River Financial Federal Credit Union.The credit union divided its 10-member staff into two teams. Each reports to the credit union’s sole office on alternating days so employees can spread out and observe social distancing guidelines, explains Powers, president/CEO of the $70 million Mohegan Lake, New York, financial cooperative serving 7,000 members. The CFO leads the “B team.”“Everybody has enough training so that each day they came in, they could run the credit union,” Powers says. “They’re doing very well. Nobody’s gone down. Nobody has called in and said, ‘We don’t want to come in.’” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

A new concept and creative solution for the CNTB’s appearance at tourism fairs was presented

first_imgToday, the world’s largest tourism fair ITB was officially opened in Berlin, where the Croatian National Tourist Board will premiere with a new stand design that will be used until 2022. The fair presents more than 180 countries from 5 continents, and during its holding it is visited by more than 150.000 visitors.The new concept and creative solution of the CNTB’s appearance at tourism fairs is the work of the Group + Architecture team (Tihana Taraba, Filip Despot, Tvrtko Topic) under the theme “Connecting diversity and openness”.The emphasis of the new solution of appearances at tourist fairs gives the impression of openness, visual clarity and orderliness and quality organization, which is achieved by standardizing the emphasis of visual features of exhibitors at individual stands and designer furniture made in Croatia as an ambassador of domestic creativity and quality.For HrTurizam.hr / Photo: Damir Kovačić, Iva Kružić – Production codelast_img read more