Russell to fight on July 26 Contender card

first_img Eye-opening Wray and Nephew Contender 2015 Middleweight champion Kemahl ‘The Hitman’ Russell will be in action against Nigel Edwards from Trinidad and Tobago, in an 8-round bout on the Contender 2017 final night card, scheduled for the Mico University College campus on Wednesday, July 26. The main attraction will be the 2017 Contender finals, between Jamaica’s Sakima Mullings and Canada’s Phil Rose over 10 rounds. Russell, who has a 10-1 record, defeated Richard Holmes by seventh round technical knockout in 2015, to become the champion that year, and he will be fighting in Jamaica for the first time in 12 months. On July 2, 2016, he defeated Denny Dalton by technical knockout (TKO) in three rounds, but since then, he has been training and competing overseas. In October, he stopped Henry Mercer in two rounds in Georgia, USA, and then lost by TKO to world rated Sergiv Derevyanchenko, in Mississippi, USA. That loss, he said, served as an eye opener. “Sergiv is a good boxer/fighter, and I thought that I could exchange with him. He had too much power for me, however, and I suffered my first defeat. I learnt several lessons from that fight, however, and will use them well going forward,” Russell said. He is a Wray and Nephew brand ambassador and said the he is thrilled to be back in Jamaica and fighting on the Contender final night card. He will be going up against a wily veteran who has a 9-1-1 record and had a fight for a Caribbean title last January. Edwards fought Sheldon Lawrence for the FECARBOX light-heavyweight title in Trinidad and Tobago then, losing by TKO in round eight. He is regarded as a boxer/fighter, and has five knockouts in his nine victories. Russell also has a good knockout percentage, as he has recorded knockouts and tko’s in eight of his 10 victories. This could be a recipe for an exciting fight, especially as Russell said last week, that he plans to give his fans a lot to cheer about next Wednesday.last_img read more

Fed raises interest rates

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Ben Bernanke, sticking with the Federal Reserve’s playbook in his first meeting as chairman, boosted borrowing costs to a five-year high and hinted that an additional interest-rate increase could be in store. Wrapping up a two-day meeting Tuesday, Bernanke and his Fed colleagues struck a mostly positive tone, saying the economy “rebounded strongly” in the January-to-March quarter from an end-of-year lull. But Fed policymakers raised concerns about the potential for inflation to flare up. On Wall Street, stocks tumbled as investors expressed disappointment that more rate increases could be in the offing. The Dow Jones industrials lost 95.57 points to close at 11,154.54. In a unanimous decision, the Fed raised its key interest rate – the federal funds rate – by one-quarter of percentage point, to 4.75 percent. This rate, which is the interest that banks charge each other on overnight loans, affects other rates charged to consumers and businesses. Commercial banks reacted by lifting their prime lending rate – for certain credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other loans – by a corresponding amount, to 7.75 percent. Both the prime rate and the funds rate are at their highest since the spring of 2001. Bernanke presided over his first meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the group that sets interest rates, and continued the gradual rate-raising campaign set in motion by his predecessor, Alan Greenspan. It was the 15th such increase since the Fed started tightening credit in June 2004. Some economists and investors hoped Bernanke would have indicated that Tuesday’s increase was the last; he did not. “The committee judges that some further policy firming may be needed” to keep inflation and the economy on an even keel, policymakers said in a statement after their meeting. That matched the language issued after the previous Fed meeting on Jan. 31 – Greenspan’s last.last_img read more

Ferguson: Rangers signing McGregor would be ‘no-brainer’

first_imgBarry Ferguson has said Rangers’ move to sign goalkeeper Allan McGregor is a “no-brainer” and the player would be a perfect signing for the club.Rangers are in advanced talks with McGregor, who is out of contract with Hull City at the end of the season and he could have a second spell at Ibrox if terms are agreed. Though a fan of current number one Wes Foderingham, Ferguson told STV that McGregor’s knowledge of the club would see him become a key figure in the Rangers squad if a move was completed.last_img read more

Marshfield boys swim team sixth at Sheboygan South Invite

first_imgBrian Engel part of four top-six finishes for TigersBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterSHEBOYGAN — The Marshfield boys swim team had four top-six finishes and ended up sixth as a team at the nine-team Redwing Invitational on Saturday at Sheboygan South High School.The top six finishers in each event earned medals.Marshfield’s Brian Engel was part of all four top-six finishes. He was fourth in the 100 freestyle in 53.04 seconds, sixth in the 100 backstroke in 1:03.88, and was part of two relay teams that end up in the top six.The Tigers’ 200 medley relay team of Engel, Scott Thompson, Michael Kruse, and Calden Wojt was fifth in 1:51.80, and the 400 freestyle relay team of Engel, Kruse, Wojt, and Colin Thomasgard took sixth in 3:45.33.Plymouth won the team title with 425 points, 26 better than second-place Wauwatosa West/East. Marshfield was sixth with 197 points.Marshfield is off until Thursday, Jan. 28, when it finishes its Wisconsin Valley Conference dual meet season at Wausau East.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Redwing InvitationalJan. 16, at Sheboygan South High SchoolTeam scores: 1. Plymouth 425; 2. Wauwatosa West/East 399; 3. Sheboygan South 352; 4. Sheboygan North 343; 5. Green Bay United 212; 6. Marshfield 197; 7. Pulaski 166; 8. Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol 136; 9. Racine Park 31.Winners and Marshfield finishersDiving: 1. Riley Josephs (PLY) 337.30.200 medley relay: 1. Plymouth (Harrison Strutz, Chaz Halderson, Ryan Holec, Cole Henning) 1:45.05; 5. Marshfield (Brian Engel, Scott Thompson, Michael Kruse, Calden Wojt) 1:51.80; 11. Marshfield (Colin Thomasgard, Jacob Dick, Alec Brenner, Ben Donahue) 2:01.37.200 freestyle: 1. Cal Hartt (WWE) 1:53.07; 16. Donahue (MAR) 2:14.23; 18. Anthony Hartwig (MAR) 2:16.29; 23. Andrew Gilkerson (MAR) 2:25.45.200 IM: 1. John Gahnz (GBU) 2:09.20; 9. Dick (MAR) 2;32.95; 11. Thompson (MAR) 2:34.99.50 freestyle: 1. Danny Larson (WWE) 22.12; 8. Wojt (MAR) 24.70; 14. Kruse (MAR) 25.48; 25. Gilkerson (MAR) 29.76.100 butterfly: 1. Holec (PLY) 54.88; 7. Kruse (MAR) 1:04.24; 12. Brenner (MAR) 1:08.59.100 freestyle: 1. Larson (WWE) 48.05; 4. Engel (MAR) 53.04; 8. Wojt (MAR) 56.26; 16. Donahue (MAR) 57.63; 23. Thomasgard (MAR) 1:00.66.500 freestyle: 1. Ben Schaefers (PLY) 5:23.31; 13. Zach Hanson (MAR) 6:10.78; 14. Hartwig (MAR) 6:15.39; 18. Ryan McLellan (MAR) 7:08.84; 19. Alex Wuethrick (MAR) 7:47.00.200 freestyle relay: 1. Plymouth (Strutz, Halderson, Henning, Holec) 1:32.54; 10. Marshfield (Donahue, Thompson, Hanson, Brenner) 1:47.84; 15. Marshfield (Gilkerson, Eric Tollefson, Hartwig, Dick) 1:55.74.100 backstroke: 1. Gahnz (GBU) 56.59; 6. Engel (MAR) 1:03.88; 15. Thomasgard (MAR) 1:10.81.100 breaststroke: 1. Michael Pritchard (GBU) 1:05.29; 9. Thompson (MAR) 1:13.12; 18. Dick (MAR) 1:18.65; 25. Nick North (MAR) 1:25.58.400 freestyle relay: 1. Wauwatosa West/East (Hartt, Caleb Vollmers, Brandon Toye, Larson) 3:32.38; 6. Marshfield (Kruse, Thomasgard, Engel, Wojt) 3:45.33; 13. Marshfield (Gilkerson, Hartwig, Tollefson, Hanson) 4:15.69.last_img read more

Sitting in the chair of African dreams

first_img1 October 2010 A spectacular hand-beaded chair is getting South Africans talking about their dreams and expectations for their country, their communities and themselves. The Dreams for Africa Chair is a project of the Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust (HACT), situated in KwaZulu-Natal. The chair has become a nationally recognised initiative that has warmed the hearts of South Africans and given them the license to express their expectations and raise their hopes for the future. Some may even be inspired to go on and take action to bring their dreams to life.Unleashing South African dreams About eight years ago, the HACT launched the highly successful Woza Moya (Zulu, meaning “Come Holy Spirit”) income generation project to help women affected by HIV/Aids to earn a living. KwaZulu-Natal is one of South Africa’s provinces that is most affected by HIV/Aids. A study titled South African National HIV Prevalence, HIV Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey 2008 reveals that between 2002 and 2008, KwaZulu-Natal had the highest HIV prevalence in the country. The original purpose of the chair was to draw more visitors to the Woza Moya stand at the 2010 Design Indaba, an annual conference and exhibition that brings together designers, architects, crafters, artists and other creative talents from all over the world. Besides showcasing their jewellery and small crafts at Design Indaba, Woza Moya wanted to create something spectacular to help raise funds of R1.5-million (US$214 000) for a new craft centre. Paula Thomson, who runs the project, described the dream chair as a revolutionary idea. “We realised that the women in the project had stopped dreaming about the future, and we were saddened by this. Their circumstances, being HIV positive and living in poverty, didn’t leave much room for dreaming anymore,” she said. This thinking led to the creation of the “talking” chair. The entire chair, except the painted arms and legs, is adorned with beautiful handmade beadwork. Every woman in the project was asked to put her personal dream into the little beaded pieces that would become the chair’s patchwork upholstery. Thomson and the team envisaged that the wings attached to the chair would resemble wire angel wings. However, a German volunteer at the project came up with a much better idea – he constructed the wings from wood in the shape of the African continent, giving the chair a local twist on the classic wingback style. The next challenge was to find a suitable chair. “I was just walking past a skip bin one day and I saw four chair legs sticking out of it,” Thomson said. She rescued an old broken chair from the skip, it was glued back together and local upholsters were tasked with patching it up. The chair has now become a metaphor for the women who come into the project. “They come in broken and damaged and by working together there is transformation within.” After the chair’s first appearance at the Design Indaba in February earlier this year, it has toured the country. Thomson and Claudia Krumhoff, HACT marketing and public relations officer, and photographers Peter Upfold and Matthew Willman have visited many South African towns and cities. Every person who sits in the chair and shares their dreams adds to the character of this work of art. The photographers have generously donated their time and creative input to take photographs of anyone who wants to sit in the chair and share their dreams. Wherever it goes, people are curious about the chair. “The good thing about the chair is that it also connects people to HIV/Aids in a non-threatening way,” Thomson said.South Africans can take a seat HACT staff and patients in the respite care unit were the first to receive the honour of sitting in the chair. Thomson said that although some of the patients were too weak to walk, they still insisted on being carried to the chair. “This was an incredible experience because it was as if their dignity had been restored.” Many local celebrities and South African icons have since been photographed in the chair: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (famous as Zapiro), local band Freshlyground, radio personality DJ Fresh, musicians Lira and Johnny Clegg, and actors Leon Schuster and Shorty, to name but a few. Claire Johnston, vocalist of the everppopular South African band Mango Groove, was recently photographed in the chair. She was amazed by its detail. “So much work and care had gone into making it; so much human feeling, which is what makes an object special. I was told that the chair had a certain magical quality, and that people who saw it were drawn to it and wanted to sit in it,” Johnston said. She also said that the chair has come to represent something very powerful: “It is definitely a symbol of what we all have in common, what unites as opposed to divides. I want to be like the chair – positive, bright and full of possibility!” The support of high profile South Africans is invaluable to the Dream Chair project, said Thomson, but it is also important to photograph ordinary South Africans, especially those who are doing outstanding work in their communities. Jessica Foord from Hillcrest is one such example. She survived a gang rape while walking with her father at a dam near Hillcrest in 2008. Foord didn’t want to remain a victim, so she established the Jes Foord Foundation to help people restore their lives after rape, to raise community awareness about rape, and also to support victims’ friends and families.South Africans’ dreams “We get to hear everyone’s innermost dreams. People have even asked if they can have two or three dreams. This shows that to some extent, we have all stopped dreaming,” Thomson said. There is no limit to the type of dream people can express, whether it’s for themselves, their communities or for the country. The dreams that South Africans have shared reflect the diversity of the country. They have been funny, uplifting, thought-provoking and unexpected. A mother from Khayelitsha in the Western Cape dreams of clean water for her children who are always sick; a three-year-old girl wants to be teen television character Hannah Montana; a young boy wishes to become a successful businessman and make his parents proud; and another South African would like wealth to be distributed more evenly in the country. While taking the chair to Robben Island, Thomson encountered a man on a Cape Town wharf whose dream was that South Africa would overcome its biggest stumbling block of people not talking to each other any more.Bursting at the seams Woza Moya is currently housed in a garage, but is in need of a craft centre to inspire the women to come in and work. The garage also houses a sewing and pottery project and the venue is bursting at the seams. Although it is an incredible hub of creativity, said Thomson, the project is now at the stage where it needs larger facilities. Over 300 crafters are involved in the project. The team helps every woman who comes in to identify a creative skill such as beading, quilting, embroidery or sewing, which she can use to earn an income. The body of crafters grows every week, but infrastructure constraints are making it difficult to accommodate more women. A R1.5-million injection would make it possible to enlarge the craft room, build a second storey and do other renovations. Last year the centre raised R3-million ($428 000) for the crafters. “This proves that our crafters are at the centre of everything we do,” Thomson said.Getting involved Anyone can hire the chair at a daily rate to photograph it on their premises. Many companies are hiring it as part of their strategic planning meetings as well as brand and team building sessions. Any photo shoot with the chair can be tailor-made to an organisation’s needs. The rate includes a set of postcards, which can be customised with the customer’s logo, and extras may be bought for an additional fee. Prints of South Africans, celebrities and community leaders who have already been photographed in the chair can be ordered and prices vary depending on the size of the image. An extensive catalogue of the postcards, as well as rates, is available online. Woza Moya also sells dream-themed items such as tablemats, handbags and notepads directly from their craft shop in Hillcrest. They plan to soon release a coffee table book of all the photographs and dreams. Thomson hopes that the Dreams for Africa photo exhibition will raise more awareness of HIV/Aids in South Africa. “We’ve never really met anyone that hasn’t been moved by the chair,” she said. “It has been on an incredible journey, and it just makes you feel connected to South Africa again.” First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Barefoot on the Roof of Africa

first_imgMembers of the Barefoot Impi teamon top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Dr Ross Tucker, a member of the team,said that when they reached the summitof Kilimanjaro, the team was engulfedwith feelings of vindication mixed withhappiness.(Images: Barefoot Impi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Ronnis DanielsThe Children’s Hospital Trust:Communications Co-ordinator+27 21 659 1796Ray MaotaSouth African mountain climbers can now relish the fact that they are the first people documented to ever climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, barefoot, and all done in the name of charity.With no serious injuries, all the climbers from Barefoot Impi – a group of adventurers and philanthropists who engage in charitable causes barefoot – reached the summit of Kili.Their feat was done in aid of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and Paediatric Healthcare in Cape Town, Western Cape Province. The expedition was sponsored by Old Mutual, a financial services provider.There were 10 climbers in the team. Matt Botha, Dr Ross Tucker, Camilla Howard, Clyde Barendse, Andrew King and Hedley Young went shoeless, the others were guides and a camera man.The money raised from the climb will go towards upgrading the hospital’s Poisons Information Centre.Carla Goliath of the Children’s Hospital Trust said: “The money donated is still coming in and some have pledged donations which we have not yet received so the amount of money raised from the climb is still to be confirmed.”The Children’s Hospital Trust is fundraisers for the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.Before their departure, Sean Disney, the managing director of Adventure Dynamics International, who has climbed Mount Everest and the Seven Summits twice, said: “The objective of the expedition is to climb and summit Kilimanjaro barefoot in entirety. This naturally poses a whole new array of additional challenges that one would have to overcome during a conventional summit.”Tackling KiliTucker said: “Ultimately, to be perfectly honest, we were clinical, precise and got to the summit relatively easily. I’d go so far as to say that probably 80% of expeditions to Kilimanjaro have more problems and issues than we had.“Perhaps being barefoot forced on us a more stringent approach, but it worked, and that should, I would hope, shake a paradigm or two.”The team reached the summit of the 5 895m mountain, also known as the Mountain of Greatness and the Roof of Africa, in five days battling terrain, altitude and weather along the way.They went through extensive training for months in advance, hiking barefoot up trails on Table Mountain and spending time in ice chambers at -15°. The mountaineers basically lived barefoot for months to give their feet the best possible chance against the elements on the mountain.And all that training paid off. “We reached the peak as one very emotional tribe knowing we had achieved what we set out to do,” said King.Tucker added: “I can honestly say that when all six of us got to the summit, with no drama, there was a feeling of vindication mixed with the happiness. All it took was planning and preparation with intelligence, foresight and discipline.”Some of the rules for the hike included: walking barefoot from the gate of the mountain to its peak; set climbing times during each day and not placing a shoe of any kind on any foot during the set climbing times.Why the upgrade is neededThere are only two 24-hour emergency poison lines available to the South African public and medical profession. They are based at the Tygerberg Hospital and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s hospitals, both in Cape Town.Both use the database at the Red Cross hospital as their source of information.According to the Children’s Hospital Trust, an upgraded, internet-based system is required that can be accessed on- and offline by medical professionals throughout southern Africa. This web-based system will allow rapid and immediate access to medical institutions and healthcare professionals, as well as provide information on non-toxic substances to the general public.The cost to upgrade the Poisons Information Centre is R3.1-million (US$406 000).last_img read more

Web Trends: What’s New in 2009, Part 2

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Trends#web Image credits: cartoon screenshot from Geek And Poke; nano:ztag by aaron schmidt “Real-time is huge. Many companies are built on timed data dumps, with the timing affecting workflow and cash flow, but the always-on generation will soon pressure businesses to provide real-time online information. Banks that don’t post real balances in a timely way, or insurance companies that take weeks or months to process paperwork, or government agencies that don’t provide timely transparent data will face pressures from millennials demanding faster, more accurate information.”On this note, a commenter called Joe remarked that we may be mis-using the term ‘real-time.’ “For the record,” said Joe, “none of those sites you mentioned are doing REAL real-time, they are simply doing interval-based polling for new data on the server.” Joe advised us to check out http://obama.collecta.com to see a good example of pushing to the browser using long-polling, not interval polling. We did indeed check that out, and wrote up our findings. While we were impressed that the search results were all less than a minute old, we’re not convinced that just more speed means a better form of real-time than Twitter or FriendFeed. Time will tell.Note: for a very mathematical explanation of why Twitter isn’t really real-time, read this comment by Falafulu Fisi (made on a recent RWW post).ConclusionWell, there is no conclusion because the Web is an evolving beast. We’re excited to see open data becoming more prevalant, even if it hasn’t fully opened up yet. We’re excited to see real-time making such an impact this year. We’re excited about mobile and Internet of Things. There is a lot of innovation happening this year, which is pleasing to see.Once again we invite you to list in the comments any other trends you’re noticing – and just as importantly, what products you’re seeing that exemplify these trends.Here’s the original 5-minute presentation which kicked this series off:center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting richard macmanus Last week we discussed some of the new trends we’re seeing on the Web in 2009: open data, structured data, apps that filter content effectively, real-time, personalization, mobile (especially location-based), and Internet of Things (the Web in real-world objects). We asked for your thoughts on these trends, along with your suggestions on what we should add. Also we were interested to know what products you’ve seen this year that are doing something new and ‘beyond Web 2.0’. In this post we look at some of your responses, to try to define further what defines this current era of the Web.So What Else is New?Other than the trends we’ve already listed, what else did our readers identify as new this year?Babak Samii pointed out that in 2009 there has been an increase in “real, defined business models that can actually generate revenue.” MacStories agreed, noting that we’ll see many innovations in revenue models as a result.Aaron Fulkerson of Mindtouch commented that “Web Oriented Architectures are redefining ROI and TCO for enterprises.” I had to google the second acronym (shows how long I’ve been out of the corporate world – it means “Total Cost of Ownership”). Aaron is right that enterprises are taking the Web seriously now for business apps – the slow rise in popularity of Google Apps in enterprises is evidence of this. Willi commented that there is a “new lightweight” about the current Web. “There is a new granularity, atomicity and a kind of chemistry,” he remarked. He noted the way that people can “jump in Twitter from persons to hashtags to new interesting persons and their social bubble in real-time.” As examples, he pointed to products like Evernote (a note-taking app – our most recent review) and Mir:ror (we reviewed Mir:ror earlier today – it’s an Internet-enabled device which enables you to create actions on your computer via everyday objects such as coffee mugs and books). Willi noted that while they may appear to be relatively trivial products, “new use patterns and user benefits emerge” out of them.Open Data… Except ExportNot everyone in our previous post agreed with the initial set of trends. RWW commenter William claimed that ‘open data’ is a misnomer, because users mostly cannot export their data from the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Friendfeed, Google, et al. We wouldn’t go as far as William and label this “web 1.9.8.4.”, however it’s fair to say that – as far as users go – the promise of open data far outweighs the reality. Having said that, the other meaning of ‘open data’ is that it’s open for developers to build on top of. The plethora of Twitter apps built on top of Twitter’s API is evidence enough of this. While Jason Barone called this “a one-way stream back to their closed system, in the form of an API,” it’s better than what we had before – which was fewer APIs and not many Linked Data sets (see the Linked Data graph from just 2 years ago, in this recent post). So overall we’re encouraged that API data – or even better, Linked Data sets – will enable more and better connected web apps. This makes for a richer ecosystem of Web apps and social connections, which is a very good thing. But point taken William and Jason, today for users the idea of ‘open data’ is half-realized at best. It won’t be truly open until we have data portability – when you own your identity and content on the Web.Real-time in the Real World So far much of the focus on real-time as a new(ish) trend on the Web has focused on trendy apps such as Twitter and FriendFeed. However, Andria Krewson pointed out in the comments to our last post that real-time will spread much further than the early adopters: Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

9 Leadership Functions That Should Be in Every Loss Prevention Manager Job Description

first_imgIn many professional fields, such as legal, technology, and finance, one can expect to find commonalities among the practitioners. These professionals share certain certifications or degrees, or they’ve progressed through a series of common steps or training regimens to reach their current position, where they share a fairly standard reporting level.Executives in the security profession—and in this designation we include the retail loss prevention manager job description, as well as those of corporate security and information security leadership—does not fit into such a mold. We at the Security Executive Council have researched this profession in depth, and the diversity of experience, responsibility, authority, and background we’ve found is stunning.However, across this varied landscape, commonalities of successful leadership do exist. The council’s community is comprised of many individuals who are recognized as highly successful security leaders. Because they have allowed us access to their time and insights, we were in a  position to uncover and identify similarities between them that contribute to strong performance.- Sponsor – A series of in-depth interviews in 2009 led us to identify the following nine practices that the most successful leaders have in common:The creation of a robust internal awareness program for the security/loss prevention department, including formal marketing and communication initiatives.Ensuring that senior management is made aware of what security/loss prevention is and does.Walk-and-talk methodology: regularly talking to senior business leaders about their issues and how security/loss prevention can help.Conversing in business-risk terminology, not security/loss prevention terminology.Understanding the corporate culture and adapting to it.Winning respect by refusing to exploit fear, uncertainty, and doubt.Basing the security/loss prevention program goals on the company’s business goals.Having top-level support from day one.Portraying security/loss prevention as a bridging facilitator or coordinator across all functions.Some of these items have been added to the loss prevention manager job description because past leaders have worked to achieve them, such as creating internal awareness programs and conversing in business risk terminology. Others have come from luck or hard-won experience.The overarching principles that tie these nine practices together are strong communication and receptiveness as well as responsiveness to the desires and needs of the business and others, both up and down the chain. While loss prevention leaders stand apart from other security disciplines in many ways, we believe these findings to be as pertinent in a retail loss prevention setting as in corporate security.Methodology for Successful Security and Loss Prevention LeadersAs a part of its strategic plans project, the Security Executive Council conducted in-depth interviews with 27 Tier 1 Security Leaders™ to discover and compare best practices. Most of the interviewees were leaders of the security programs in large corporations, many of which operate internationally. Questions addressed issues such as the top risks to the organization (not specific to the security department), business alignment and drivers, internal influence issues, and senior management’s view of the security function.In the resulting qualitative analysis, council researchers isolated commonalities reported among the leaders of the most successful, internally recognized security programs in the sample.Our research shows that much of the success revolves around communication and receptiveness. Each of our findings reflects how security or the security leader is perceived by other business leaders, management, and employees based on how the security leader presents risk and, to a great extent, him- or herself.It should also be noted that many of these findings are intertwined with others. Ensuring management’s understanding often requires having a walk-and-talk mentality, for instance, just as conversing in risk terminology is beneficial to achieving business goal alignment.1. The creation of a robust internal awareness program for the security/loss prevention department, including formal marketing and communication initiatives.A formal marketing and communications initiative builds internal awareness of the security department and raises the understanding of what security does and the value it imparts to the organization. This is not to be confused with a security risk awareness and training program. In this case, the successful leader knows that the security department is often misunderstood or that many employees do not even know there is one.The “marketing” in this case, for example, involves having an internal logo and tagline for the security department (that is, branding the department), holding brown-bag lunches with security issues infused into them, regular newsletters on security department happenings, and encouraging and rewarding employee security and LP champions.When employees across the organization not only recognize the importance of security’s contribution, but become invested in furthering it, the security function’s potential for success dramatically improves.2. Ensuring that senior management is made aware of what security/loss prevention is and does.Executive management’s perception of security impacts funding and organizational support for security initiatives as well as the security leader’s ability to influence risk-related decision making at a corporate level. All of these limit the effectiveness of the security function. It will be difficult for a senior manager to develop an accurate understanding of his or her organization’s security function without direct input from the security leader.Because the structure and operation of security differ so much from business to business, past experience at other companies may lead a senior manager to a view of security that is unrealistic or erroneous in his or her present environment. In addition, because the security industry in general has done a poor job defining itself in a business context, many corporate executives continue to assume that security begins and ends with guns, gates, and guards— until they are shown otherwise.What loss prevention leaders often fail to do is to fully understand (or analyze) their resource capacity regarding what the security staff is spending their time on and providing on a day-to-day basis. From this, what percentage is important and valued by senior leadership? Every other function needs to demonstrate where their time and resources are going—why would the security department be exempt from this?Several of the security leaders interviewed in this research hold seats in corporate strategy groups and on risk management teams and planning councils. Some hold C-level and vice president titles with direct reporting to executive management. All of these positions allow the security leaders greater access to communicate candidly and clearly with top corporate leadership. However, these high-level positions are likely also evidence that management already understands and appreciates security.The security leaders interviewed who still sensed that management required greater understanding took the important step of speaking directly to business unit leaders to understand what risk issues keep them up at night and what security services they find valuable. This is different than the casual brown-bag activities. These one-on-one meetings often result in some kind of quantitative outcome that can be used to make senior management aware of how their direct reports value security’s services.3. Walk-and-talk methodology: regularly talking to senior business leaders about their issues and how security/loss prevention can help.The most successful security leaders we interviewed regularly speak to senior business leaders about their goals and concerns to determine how security can help. These meetings were held in addition to, not concurrent with, formal meetings, such as quarterly briefings with senior management or the board.Our successful interviewees take the initiative to set up meetings with senior executives as well as business unit leaders across the organization. As one leader stated, “I don’t wait for the phone call; I invite myself to major business meetings around the world.” Sometimes it means taking the initiative to learn business processes, especially if no one volunteers to show you the ropes. In some cases, the security or loss prevention supervisor manages all these relationships himself; in others, deputies are charged with heading up regular communications with a select set of business units, making sure they understand their world and represent them in security plans.These meetings are most effective when the security leader enters them with a business-first attitude. Note the wording of the first sentence in this section specifies the goals and concerns of the business leaders, not the concerns of security, come first. Security leaders begin by asking what senior management wants and needs to accomplish, then present themselves as helpers in accomplishing those action items. Security does not set the agenda; the business sets the agenda. Both these elements are critical to effective “walk and talk.” If a security leader tries to insert him- or herself into regular meetings with senior management, but ignores the second lesson on the tone and content of the talk, he or she may be viewed as arrogant or micromanaging.4. Conversing in business-risk terminology, not “security/loss prevention” terminology.“We are business professionals who happen to be experts in security,” stated one of the leaders interviewed in our research. Interviewees remarked that they emphasized their role as “business assurance” rather than “security.” Some noted the importance of SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analyses and cost-benefit analyses within the security department to build better performance and to better enable the security staff to “talk business.”Even if the mission, goals, and strategies of the security function are perfectly aligned with the same in the business, if they are not communicated in the right terms, they may be rejected by senior management. The language of security is not easily translated by non-security business executives. Terms that describe security tactics, operations, or projects may have double meanings…or no meaning at all…in business language. “Perimeter” has different meanings in corporate security and information security. “Convergence” is a commonly used term in many functions whose definition varies with its speaker. Even the word “risk” has a broader meaning for business (for example, taking a calculated risk to enhance revenue) than for security.Speaking about business issues in business terms helps enhance management’s understanding of security and increases the chances of management support.5. Understanding the corporate culture and adapting to it.Many LP leaders feel it’s their job to change the corporate culture into something that is more security-centric. Our research showed that successful leaders believe the opposite. A key responsibility of the loss prevention manager job description is to learn the existing corporate culture and find the best ways to fit LP or security into it.An IT services company that prides itself on its relaxed and open philosophy is unlikely to appreciate a security leader whose focus is on locking the employee population out of newer communication technologies, for example. Staff and management may look at that individual as a roadblock to be surmounted rather than a partner.If on the other hand, the security leader talks with human resources, employees, and management to learn what the corporate culture values most, then negotiates security policies and solutions that leave those values intact, the perception of that leader will be markedly different across the organization.6. Winning respect by refusing to exploit fear, uncertainty, and doubt.Respect is won over time, so this accomplishment requires long-term improvement and consistency. While tapping into the fears of business may seem the easiest way to gain support and elicit reactions, ultimately it results in a loss of influence and trust. The successful leaders we surveyed focused on communicating risk in business terms, as something to be transferred, mitigated, avoided, or accepted, not feared. If the security or loss prevention leader is consistently level-headed in describing risks and their implications on the business, clear in conveying the options for managing the risk, and receptive to management’s concerns and decisions, he or she is likely to earn lasting respect.7. Basing security or loss prevention program goals on the company’s business goals.One of the most common terms in the interviews conducted in this research was “enable.” One interviewee stated, “Security enables the business to take risks; we don’t block them.” And another said, “Our strategic plan is to enable the company to be the company.”Many of those interviewed stated that the goals and strategies of the security function cascaded down from the CEO. If brand protection was a major corporate concern, for instance, it became the priority of security. Some security leaders who took this approach reported that management and other business units began coming to security to ask for assistance and advisement on various issues.The security leader who puts the business before the function is more likely to experience long-term success than the one who works to drive the business in a direction set by security. There are several reasons this may be the case. When every function works toward the common goals of the business, setting internal goals that further the corporate mission, the entire organization should become more efficient and effective. This business optimization then reflects back on the individual functions, creating a cycle of higher performance and building success.Communication is another factor. Basic psychology holds that a leader who is constantly asking “How can I help you?” will be met with less resistance and will be more positively perceived than one who is constantly interjecting “You can’t do that.” This positive perception easily translates into greater influence, always a factor in improved performance.8. Having top-level support from day one.Those interviewed who came aboard the organization with a high level of management support performed best. They reported that management places high value on the security department, that they are given one-on-one access to the presidents and chairman, and that their advice, if not always acted upon, is never disregarded. The lesson here is to try to make this level of support a condition for your next career move.The success of these leaders may be as attributable to their acumen as to the clear organizational focus on security’s value. This finding should dispel any doubt of the correlation between organizational support and security success. To have such support is an enviable position in which few security leaders find themselves. However, a caveat—if your internal success relies on this relationship, you may be out the door when a senior management shake-up occurs. Make sure the other practices are in place to thwart immediate displacement.9. Portraying security/loss prevention as a bridging facilitator or coordinator across all functions.Every business unit in an organization is subject to, and sometimes owns, various risks. Many of the leaders we spoke with took it upon themselves to become central points of contact on risk for other business units. One stated that his organizational risk committee regularly sends information to business units to review and asks them to report back, ensuring they have an opportunity to make their voices heard.Another remarked on his function’s close relationship with no less than seven operational functions. That leader further stated that strong security requires these business units to be engaged in risk management rather than periodically reminded of it.When security acts as a bridge between functions throughout the organization, it can help minimize redundancies and optimize resources. The security leader who focuses on achieving this also has the opportunity to identify, understand, and respond to business unit risks more quickly.What Does This Mean to You?While our research identified nine common practices from the collective knowledge of industry-recognized leaders, no doubt there are more. But this report provides a rare wrap-up. Strive for the practices you can implement in your current organization, or look for opportunities that may support these types of practices in the next phase of your career.The extent of information sharing these interviewees offered for this study is unusual in our industry, but more such sharing is required. The security function needs to share its wisdom to become a better understood, more highly recognized, and more valued contributor to an organization’s bottom line. If you are at the tail-end of your career, consider playing a role in the passing on of knowledge by sharing this report with your promising staff.The Security Executive CouncilThe Security Executive Council is a problem-solving research and services organization focused on helping businesses build value while improving their ability to effectively manage and mitigate risk. Drawing on the collective knowledge of a large community of successful security practitioners, experts, and strategic alliance partners, the council provides strategy, insight, and proven practices that cannot be found anywhere else. Our research, services, and tools work to help organizations identify and mitigate risks to people, assets, and the bottom line.SIDEBAR: Lessons from Low-Shrink RetailersIn similar research conducted by Adrian Beck and Colin Peacock, five US retailers were surveyed to determine common practices shared by loss prevention organizations with historically low shrinkage rates. Coincidentally, the authors also identified nine organizational themes that contributed to their success. While these nine factors are not identical to those discussed in this article, the similarities are striking and, taken together, add further insight into this important topic.This article was first published in 2012 and updated March 7, 2018. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Sequencing finds listeria in unlikely places

first_imgThe listeria outbreak that killed three and prompted Texas ice cream company Blue Bell Creameries to recall every one of its products late last month is the latest example of how genetic epidemiology is changing the detection of foodborne illnesses. Two years ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta launched a pilot program to sequence the DNA of every listeria sample tied to an illness in the United States—all told, about 800 per year.“Now that we’re turning whole-genome sequencing on, we’re identifying outbreak after outbreak,” says Brendan Jackson, a medical epidemiologist with CDC. “We’re also finding smaller outbreaks that we weren’t able to find before.” They’re also finding them originating in previously unsuspected foods, from caramel apples to ice cream.The new detection method can identify gaps in the food safety system, especially when used alongside similar efforts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sequence samples from food and from the places where food is prepared, from factories to distribution centers, Jackson says. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In the Blue Bell case, a quick-thinking nurse was the first to link five cases in Kansas with the tainted ice cream. For more than a year, Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator Kären Bally at Via Christi Health in Wichita and the rest of the team had been searching for anything to tie together the infections, which started with a single illness in January 2014. Traditional epidemiological tools showed nothing. Diet records were inconclusive, and listeria samples from the first four patients seemed unrelated using the standard technique for DNA analysis.When the fifth patient fell ill in early 2015, standard DNA analysis finally showed a link to a previous case—patient number three. The state of Kansas sent a sample to CDC for confirmation. Whole-genome sequencing revealed that the two samples of listeria were a near-perfect match. “That was like the ‘aha’ moment,” Bally says.But they still didn’t have a source. Bally and her team scoured FDA recalls and public health listservs for reports of tainted foods. Nothing. Then, she heard about a quality problem with one of their vendors—Blue Bell ice cream. Unknown to Bally, FDA sampling had turned up listeria in a Blue Bell distribution center in South Carolina, and inspectors had traced it to a production facility in Texas. Without explanation, Blue Bell stopped delivering its most popular products to Bally’s hospital.Bally called the state health department. They contacted FDA, which had just sequenced the tainted ice cream samples. When they compared those results to the CDC samples, they found another match. CDC then looked into other unsolved listeria cases. By sequencing samples still in storage, they confirmed five additional cases, dating back to 2010.“It’s not something that we’ve seen before—being able to look at cases so far back,” Jackson says. And although it took many tools to track the current outbreak, whole-genome sequencing “made all the difference,” he says.Before now, investigators had two main tools for tracking cases: diet interviews and DNA analysis known as genetic fingerprinting. Fingerprinting shows the degree to which two different samples of DNA are related. But it isn’t 100% accurate—in some cases, different bacterial strains can appear related and similar strains can appear to be unrelated.Whole-genome sequencing, in contrast, allows scientists to accurately compare every single DNA base pair in samples, giving them “a much sharper look at the differences and similarities in the strains,” Jackson says. The process takes longer—72 hours for testing compared with 48 hours—and it costs more. CDC’s goal is to create a national DNA database for foodborne pathogens from clinical samples that could be integrated with an already-existing FDA database of foodborne pathogens from food and environmental samples. The agency plans to add other foodborne illnesses, including salmonella and the most common disease-causing strain of Escherichia coli, to the project within 3 years.But progress toward setting up a comprehensive national network has been incremental, because only two states can currently perform their own sequencing. The rest must send their samples to central CDC laboratories. And because the onus is on the state to send in samples, some go unsequenced. But the technology can do more than simply identify outbreaks, according to Robert Tauxe, deputy director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases.“Whole-genome sequencing shines a new light in this area that helps us find unsuspected gaps in the food safety system,” he says. Ice cream, for example, was rarely tested for listeria prior to the Blue Bell outbreak. But in the weeks since, several states have said that listeria testing in ice cream will now be part of their regimen. “Finding these outbreaks related to foods we never suspected before is a very surprising thing,” Tauxe says. “This is a wake-up call to the ice cream industry in general and to the regulators.”last_img read more