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  • Hinesburg woman wins Ralph Nading Hill writing contest

    first_imgHeather Anne Caulfield of Hinesburg, Vermont, is the winner of the 2011 Ralph Nading Hill, Jr. literary prize awarded annually by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Life magazine.Caulfield’s winning story, titled “Fetching Lambs,” describes a teenager on a Vermont family farm leading the sheep into the shed for the night. As she walks in the frosty darkness, her path illuminated by her flashlight, starlight, moonlight and the glow through the window of the distant farmhouse, she thinks about the family’s life on the farm through the seasons.Mary Hegarty Nowlan, editor of Vermont Life, commented that the judges were taken by the strong sense of place that came through in Ms. Caulfield’s writing. “We were impressed with her ability to perfectly capture a scene and evoke a feeling that is familiar to anyone who has spent some time on a farm in Vermont. Her unadorned, precise prose made her story an absolute pleasure to read.”Caulfield, 29, grew up in Putney and Dummerston, and worked at her family’s farm stand after school. She graduated from UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources, and the SIT Graduate Institute. She has taught English as a Second Language in Mongolia. Caulfield is currently the administrative coordinator at VHB in North Ferrisburgh, an engineering and environmental consulting firm.Caulfield said: “I began writing fiction in my early teens, but poetry became my first love by the time I left for college. I’ve written about the ordinary moments such as neighbors, car trouble and gulls in a field, as well as life’s deepest moments, such as the death of my father and the sale of our family farm.” Caulfield describes her winning story as “creative non-fiction. I was trying to recapture a memory from my early teens and I found myself reimagining certain details I couldn’t recall. Although I set the story in early winter, the actual event most likely occurred in during spring lambing.”Ms. Caulfield will receive a $1,500 prize for the short story. The award is named for the late Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., a Vermont historian and writer and long-time member of Green Mountain Power’s Board of Directors. It is considered by Vermont writers to be one of the state’s premier literary prizes.The selection was made by an independent panel of judges: Mary Hegarty Nowlan, editor of Vermont Life; Tom Slayton, past editor of Vermont Life; Tony Marro, retired executive editor of Newsday; Alison Freeland, a 1994 winner of the Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., award; Brian Vachon, retired vice president of communications at National Life of Vermont and a former Vermont Life editor; and Steve Terry, retired Green Mountain Power senior executive.”Fetching Lambs” is available on the Vermont Life website, www.vermontlife.com(link is external), and will also be included in Vermont Life’s September newsletter.The deadline for this year’s Ralph Nading Hill, Jr. Literary Prize is November 15, 2011. The contest, now in its 22nd year, is open to all Vermont residents, including seasonal residents and students enrolled in Vermont colleges. Entrants may be amateur or professional writers. Submission may include essays, short stories and poetry that focus on “Vermont — Its People, the Place, Its History or Its Values.” Entries must be unpublished and less than 1,500 words long. Employees of Vermont Life or Green Mountain Power and previous winners are ineligible. Send entries to the Corporate Relations Department of Green Mountain Power, 163 Acorn Lane, Colchester, VT 05446.last_img read more

  • New Map Predicts Arrival of Peak Fall Foliage in Western North Carolina

    first_imgAre you planning a trip to the mountains of Western North Carolina to view fall foliage this autumn?  If so, this map, put out by the department of biology at Appalachian State University, could be an incredibly helpful planning tool.Maps claiming to predict the arrival of fall foliage come a dime a dozen this time of year, but the App State map incorporates multiple variables such as elevation change and latitude, making it more accurate than similar leaf peeping predictions.“We constructed the map using the following assumptions,” writes Michael Denslow of the Department of Biology at Appalachian State University who created the graphic.”First, we assumed that fall color would start earlier at higher elevations. We then figured (guessed!) that for each 1,000′ increase in elevation, peak fall colors would occur about one week earlier, with the exception of those areas near the coast, where we divided the elevation into 500′ sections.”According to the map, fall will come first to areas like Boone, Mount Mitchell, and Grandfather Mountain, with peak season arriving around October 1, while Asheville won’t experience peak viewing conditions until mid-October.last_img read more

  • Do you have enough education?

    first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Time to hit the books again? According to a CareerBuilder survey, nearly a third (32 percent) of employers have increased their educational requirements over the past five years. More than a quarter (27 percent) are hiring employees with master’s degrees for positions primarily held by those with four-year degrees in the past, and 37 percent are hiring employees with college degrees for positions that had been primarily held by those with high school degrees.More than 2,300 hiring and human resource managers in the private sector participated in the nationwide survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Nov. 4 and Dec. 1, 2015.What Employers Are Looking For According to the survey, of the employers that have increased their education requirements in the past five years, most have done so for middle-skill jobs:entry-level or low-skill: 46 percentmiddle-skill: 61 percenthigh-skill: 43 percentlast_img read more

  • THINK 18: Where digital speed meets strategic excellence

    first_imgWhere are you in the Race to Excellence? THINK 18 – the industry’s most talked-about convergence of fintech thinkers, industry innovators and credit union leaders – kicks off May 7 to 10 at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in the beautiful Sonoran Desert at Chandler, Arizona. NBC Today Show finance editor Jean Chatzky hosts an all-keynote lineup that includes (so far) record-breaking competitor Michael Phelps, Wired editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson, Banking on the Edge fintech commentator Chris Skinner (called “one of the most brilliant minds in banking” by The Financial Brand), and business strategist Chip Heath, bestselling coauthor of “The Power of Moments.” Competing in the digitally-driven, fast-paced world of financial services today is truly a race to excellence. Consumer expectations driven by technology are evolving faster than ever. Yet, the stakes have never been higher to invest wisely in technology, gear up for a data-driven future, combat fraud and protect your data, and infuse human intelligence into your member experience. These choices are not either/or in today’s environment: Excellence is mandatory at every level and must be executed with continuous speed.THINK 18 delivers the strategy and tactics credit union change agents need to compete and win. In addition to breakthrough insights from world-changing minds on what it takes to prevail in today’s digital times, THINK 18 will feature dozens of illuminating sessions that speak directly to the opportunities that are emerging in the credit union space. Dive in and discover:The 7 most important strategies to transform your credit union nowThe “new normal” in member expectations and how you can respondHow to utilize AI and machine learning to fight fraud and grow your bottom lineWhat’s behind the ecosystem economy and why it’s critical to take part.SPACE TO RECHARGE AND UNWINDThe THINK 18 journey will unfold in an atmosphere of unparalleled natural beauty at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona. Hand-picked for THINK 18, this venue offers a perfect counterpoint to the intense strategic thinking and discussions that take place in session. Designed to reflect the region’s deep Native American heritage, the Sheraton Grand’s sophisticated amenities include Arizona’s only AAA Five Diamond/Forbes Five Star restaurant and Native American Spa, two Troon-managed 18-hole golf courses, refreshing pools, tennis, an equestrian center and more.The Sheraton Grand also provides an inspiring backdrop for networking with some of the industry’s most forward-thinking, digitally-savvy leaders. THINK is widely recognized as the gathering place for credit union executives and intrapreneurs, and professionals in payments, security, customer experience and operations. Claim your spot in the Race to Excellence. Register today to secure your place and receive best pricing.LEARN MORE about THINK 18. 29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

  • The artificial intelligence gap between megabanks, community banks and credit unions

    first_img continue reading » Claims regarding the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on banking are getting out of control.Claim #1: [Financial] institutions will turn AI-enabled back-office operations into external services, both accelerating the rate at which these capabilities improve and necessitating others to become consumers of those capabilities to avoid falling behind.” (Source: World Economic Forum)No they won’t. Establishing external services requires marketing and customer service. And it takes someone who knows how to manage a profit-center to run the show–which doesn’t usually describe the folks running those departments today.You really think a lot of institutions are going to make the investments required to turn some AI-infused back-office operation into its own line of business? ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

  • 3 ways to make sure your New Year’s resolutions succeed

    first_img 24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details Well it’s 2019. How many of you have written 2018 on a check or something in the last 18 days? Personally, I haven’t done it, but that’s only because I ran out of checks about 7 years ago. But anyway, it’s a new year and with that usually comes New Year’s resolutions. Have you given up on yours already? I usually don’t make any because my track record for success has been pretty awful. If you have the same problem as me, here are a few tips to help you stick with those resolutions throughout the year…Baby Steps: What do you think of when you hear the words “Baby Steps”? If you’re thinking about the book by acclaimed Author and Psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin, I owe you a high five. Also, watch What About Bob?. You won’t regret it. Seriously though, the concept of small steps is a good one. Don’t look at a massive goal that will scare you into giving up. Look at path ahead of you and figure out what you need to do every month, every week, every day, and even every hour if that helps. Put one foot in front of the other and you’ll eventually get to your destination (perhaps an elevator).Find an echo: Sometimes our goals can be hard to accomplish on our own. Fortunately, we all know someone who wants to see us succeed in our endeavors. Make sure that person knows what you’re trying to accomplish and let them know that you could really use their support. Hopefully they have some good things to say that will bounce around in your head anytime you feel like giving up.Shut out the negative: People are awful. Not all people, but definitely some people. Anyone who wants to put you or your goals down doesn’t deserve your attention. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re doing it wrong or give you reasons why you’re going to fail. Those people are either jealous or don’t like themselves very much. Either way, you should never make time for those people. Focus only on the positive and keep pushing yourself!last_img read more

  • Purposeful Talent Development: A quiz about your role as a leader

    first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Complete the below quiz to identify how well you as a leader support talent development. Use the answers to guide your own development to provide quality support to your team.1. Which of the below are opportunities that support an individual’s professional development?a. Completing an online Bank Secrecy Act trainingb. Reading the article, “Four Payment Technology Predictions for 2019”c. Attending CUES’ Payments Universityd. Leading a team meetinge. A and C onlyf. All of the abovelast_img read more

  • Five focus points to make 2019 a cybersecurity success

    first_img 92SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Cybersecurity is always a hot topic, especially in the financial services industry. And while malicious hackers continue to find new avenues to access your data, security experts are working hard to craft even more resilient cybersecurity strategies.For credit unions, protecting your members’ data means staying caught up on the latest security resources as well as evolving criminal tactics. Here are five quick tips to help you align your goals and craft a sound cybersecurity strategy.1. Think forwardWhen it comes to preventing cyber-criminal activity, a reactive mentality isn’t a risk most credit unions can afford to take. It takes a proactive approach to stay one step ahead of cyber crimes, and accountability starts at the top. Make sure your board and leadership team are aligned on the details of your credit union’s cybersecurity budget, operational roles and responsibilities and overall strategy.2. Weigh the risksYou can’t be everywhere at once and spreading your organization’s resources too thin only leads to undue stress and weak security. If your institution is smaller or just beginning the journey to enhanced cybersecurity, don’t hesitate to seek outside support to source cybersecurity functions or personnel. Make sure your risk assessments are up-to-date with the latest data and regulations, so you can prioritize like a pro.3. Keep everyone on the same pageProper cybersecurity training should not only intersect with every area of your organization, it should be clear and consistent across departments. The last thing you want is a gap in communication causing preventable issues. According to a recent cybersecurity survey by Deloitte, more than half of responding financial institutions had a fully centralized cybersecurity function in order to allocate shared responsibilities among staff.4. Use the tools available to youThere are a number of solutions available to credit unions seeking to strengthen cybersecurity, but assessing which offerings will prove reliable and serve your unique needs can be difficult. Make sure you know your options, and if possible, consult with technology leaders from similar credit unions on services and strategies they utilize.5. Build to lastHaphazardly attaching new parts to your cybersecurity program to keep up with shifting trends is both a hassle and the mark of an inefficient system. Invest in a robust cybersecurity foundation that’s capable of evolving along with your organization.Take these insights into consideration while you’re crafting your cybersecurity strategy this year. Be sure to join us at CUNA Cybersecurity Conference with NASCUS, June 10-12 in Austin, TX for in-depth, expert-lead discussions on these topics and others that are shaping the landscape of credit union cybersecurity.You can view the full conference schedule at cuna.org/cyberlast_img read more

  • LPP pools £1.3bn credit assets for London and Lancashire schemes

    first_imgThe launch of the credit fund – officially called LPPI Credit Investments LP – follows similar launches by LPP of private equity, infrastructure and global listed equity vehicles, all within the last 12 months.LPP said it planned to launch fixed income and total return funds in the near future.The partnership has £12.8bn of assets under management from its two founder pension funds. A third local authority fund, the £2bn Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund, has provisionally agreed to join LPP but has yet to invest significantly in the pooled funds launched so far.In a draft version of Berkshire’s annual report for 2016-17, the fund said it would be “uneconomic” to pool asset classes such as private equity and infrastructure due to transfer costs and “the inequality created by sharing future returns”. It said it would consider future investment opportunities as they become available.“[The pension fund has judged that initially liquid assets will achieve the most instant benefits from pooling,” Berkshire said. However, its only liquid assets were developed market, emerging market and frontier market equities, as of the end of March 2017. The Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) has launched a £1.3bn (€1.5bn) credit fund, the fourth such asset-pooling vehicle it has set up in the past 12 months.LPP – the collaboration between the London Pensions Fund Authority and Lancashire County Pension Fund – announced the launch this morning. The fund will pool the credit assets of the two founding pension schemes.The credit fund is a limited partnership structure and will be managed by LPP Investments, LPP’s in-house asset manager. In a statement, LPP said the fund would have a “long-term, buy-and-hold investment approach with a focus on reduced volatility and capital preservation”.Susan Martin, LPP’s chief executive, said the fund was “another example of how collaboration can benefit our shareholder funds by delivering not only sustainable long-term investment outcomes, but also cost savings through manager consolidation and an enhanced internal investment capability”.last_img read more

  • Ireland steadfast over Sexton

    first_imgIrish rugby chiefs have reacted angrily to claims throwing Johnny Sexton into RBS 6 Nations action against France after a 12-week concussion lay-off could prove “a big mistake”. Press Association Ireland have not previously made public the fact that they chose not to select Sexton for their first-round clash in Rome, which Joe Schmidt’s side won 26-3 last weekend. The intimation was that Sexton was simply not available as he completed the final week of his three-month absence. This statement claims otherwise, and is designed to assert the IRFU’s right to field Sexton this weekend, and prove an extra level of sensitivity to their approach. France spent the early part of the week volunteering their determination to throw the kitchen sink, as well as tree-trunk centre Mathieu Bastareaud, straight down Sexton’s channel at the Aviva Stadium. Captain Thierry Dusautoir and assistant coach Yannick Bru attempted to downplay such tactics in Friday’s press conference in Dublin however – and Ireland’s frustrations with outside commentary may just account for some of that carefully-orchestrated backward step. When Ireland’s scrum coach Greg Feek and Paul O’Connell addressed 47-cap Sexton’s return on Friday lunchtime, both men hailed his physical condition and mental fortitude. Feek believes it is “a credit” to Sexton that he is fully fit and itching for a Test return after his absence. “Johnny’s selected, he’s been keen to play and he’s fine,” said Feek. “We’ve got brilliant medical staff and strength and conditioning staff, and we all work together on that process. “Then the players themselves are involved in that. “When is the right time? What is the right game? That’s the big question-mark. “We felt this was it. He did everything he needed to do, so it’s a credit to the player to be available at this point as well.” Ireland captain Paul O’Connell hailed Sexton as “an incredible player”, who will cope with whatever France throw at him on Saturday. “Johnny’s a really good professional, he enjoys his training,” said O’Connell. “While he wasn’t able to train very hard in his earlier days of being out, he’s treated the break as a bit of a mini pre-season as well. “He’s been able to look after his hamstring and get a bit of weights done, and relax the mind a bit. “It’s great to have him back in the side: he’s an incredible player, and he’s very aware of how Joe (Schmidt) wants things done having worked under him for a long time. “I played in a team with Ronan O’Gara for many years where teams knew how important he was to us and always attacked the 10 channel. “It’s every team’s focus to attack the 10 channel, it’s where a team’s playmaker is and it’s part and parcel of the game. “France can attack us anywhere and attacking the 10 channel is nothing new.” Former France international Laurent Benezech has questioned Ireland’s decision to start Sexton against Les Bleus in Dublin on Saturday, following his three-month stand-down for suffering four concussions in one year. Ireland have defended the decision to select the Racing Metro fly-half all week, but were moved to issue a pointed statement on Friday night, “to clarify some facts”. Ireland have revealed for the first time that Sexton could have played against Italy last weekend – and by inference are aiming to highlight their careful handling of the British and Irish Lions fly-half. “Player welfare is the primary concern of the Ireland medical and management team,” reads the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) statement. “All of the medical experts directly involved in the management of Johnny Sexton are satisfied that he is fit to return to the field of play.” Irish bosses branded Benezech’s comments as “disappointing and inaccurate commentary”, explaining Sexton has remained free of any concussion symptoms for the last two months of his enforced three-month absence. Former France star Benezech told the Irish Times: “Ireland is in trouble as playing Sexton after what happened to him is a big mistake.” Sexton was stood down from action by independent neurologists instructed by the French Top 14’s governing body, and the IRFU has acceded to those wishes throughout his 12-week break from action. The IRFU statement continued: “Johnny was cleared to play on Thursday, February 5 by independent neurologists in France and Ireland, the FFR concussion review committee, the Racing Metro medical team, the Ireland medical team.” Ireland’s statement is a step rendered all the more unusual given the detail within it was not revealed or volunteered in a Friday lunchtime press conference, despite much discussion of Sexton’s situation. last_img read more