Become more nimble using ‘Agile’ methodology

first_imgAmid today’s rapid pace of change in financial services, many credit unions strive to make their operations more nimble so they can pivot their products and services to meet members’ evolving needs.“Agile” methodology provides the perfect framework for that capability, according to Melanie Gillen and Andy Schuman of CUNA Mutual Group.They’ll tag-team on a preconference workshop at the upcoming CUNA Lending Council Conferencethat explains Agile’s advantages and offers a pathway for credit unions to use it as a project management tool. Registration for the workshop remains open through Nov. 12, the day it will be held in Nashville, Tenn.“When you start with an idea and want to create value, this methodology and mindset is critical,” says Gillen, a capability leader director. “We’re approaching two years of using Agile within our Transformation area, and it has enabled our teams to bring value to our credit union clients and their members much faster. We are focusing on the right things because we’re constantly working with customers to validate and test our solutions.” continue reading » 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

CEO discusses innovation, gaming industry

first_imgWhile the video game industry has expanded in recent years, its growth has been met with some challenges, according to Jack Tretton, the president and chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, at an address at the School of the Cinematic Arts on Thursday.Executive · Jack Tretton, president and chief executive officer of Sony, spoke about the changing technology business in his Thursday keynote. – Ricardo Galvez | Daily TrojanTretton delivered the keynote speech during a two-day event sponsored by Playstation. The event offered a variety of activities for students interested in the gaming industry as well as those simply passing by.During the event, Chris Kroger, tool manager for Playstation, said students could use the company’s new move motion controller to play unreleased games or play on handheld consoles. In addition, students interested in owning PlayStation products could also enter into raffles and contests to win PlayStation Vista packs and PlayStation 3s.Tretton spoke about his own journey through the industry. He offered some information on declining business models and explained how the original PlayStation console revitalized the industry but also how new gamers are continuing to. As gaming continues to expand, Tretton said, it is becoming harder and harder to find someone who has never played a game.“The gaming industry has never been more fertile, but it has never been more complicated,” Tretton said.Though Tretton is unsure about what lies ahead for Sony’s gaming endeavors, he said there are many opportunities for independent gamers around the world. Similar to the iOS and Android platforms on mobile devices, Sony manages the PlayStation Network, which provides some of these opportunities.“[It] allows independent developers to self publish over 300 titles,” Tretton said.One independent publishing company, thatgamecompany, created and managed by USC alumni, launched a game in March of this year that has since become the best selling game on the network.Getting an inside look into how PlayStation operates was very valuable, said Michael Francisco, a sophomore majoring in critical studies.“It was really great getting inside knowledge of PlayStations’ philosophy,” Francisco said. “It also solidified that I would minor in interactive media at the SCA.”In addition to his work to help independent gamers, Tretton said he has assisted numerous students with the internships available through his company. To date, PlayStation has had about 70 different universities participate in the internship program.Some students, such as Kyle Grayson, a junior majoring in architecture, said they were excited that Tretton had come to speak on campus.“I love PlayStation and [when I] heard Jack was coming…[I] had to be there,” Grayson said.Tretton emphasized the importance of having a vision and committing to it.“You are the most important product you’ll ever be involved with…. I have a vision and stick to it,” Tretton said.last_img read more

Mother’s Day Rotary Run happening Sunday after postponement by wildfires

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The rescheduled Mothers Day Rotary Run is a go this Sunday at the Surerus Fields in Fort St. John.Back on May 6th, event organisers announced that they would postpone the walk, which was previously scheduled for Mother’s Day, May 14th due to the wildfire situation that had escalated at the time, as well as the decrease in regional air quality.The Rotary Club will be donating $2 from every entry to Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society, as well as the net proceeds from the event. The Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing valuable services and promoting the betterment of all women’s lives.- Advertisement -Participants can pick up their run packages at Ernies Sports Experts in the Totem Mall on Saturday between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Registration happens on Sunday morning from 8:30 to 9:30. The 10 kilometre run begins at 10:00 a.m., with the 5 km run fifteen minutes later. The 1 km Kids Dash starts at 11:15 a.m., followed by the Prize Presentations and a Rotary-sponsored pancake breakfast.last_img read more

Germs and Venoms Can Heal

first_imgThree recent stories indicate that “nasty” things can be good, under the right circumstances:Germs and Aging:  Science Now reported that germs may prolong life.  A study on fruit flies showed that flies whose embryos were exposed to bacteria lived longer than those grown under sterile conditions.  Apparently the germs provide services in regulating genes that affect longevity.  Title: “Live Clean, Die Young.”Snake Venom:  Australia has many venomous snakes.  These are a boon to medical researchers who are combing the outback for potential medicines, reports National Geographic News.  Title: “Could Australia’s Deadly Snakes Put Bite on Cancer?”Spider Venom:  Also from National Geographic comes word of “Venom Venture,” a project from Cornell going “bioprospecting” for medical uses of spider venom.These stories indicate that biological compounds and organisms are not evil in themselves, but cause either suffering or healing depending on context.  They raise the possibility that, under different conditions, the toxins in nature might have had beneficial applications.  Even cells have built-in poisons called caspases that are part of the natural process of recycling.  Since most of us operate in the context of predation and defense in this era, watch your step anyway.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Ernie Els: The Big Easy

first_imgThere was a time when Tiger Woods was on his way to challenge Jack Nicklaus as the greatest golfer of all time. Yet, at the same time, Ernie Els challenged Woods for the world number one ranking, and even held it for short periods of time. Known as “the Big Easy”, he followed the legendary Gary Player as a South African golfing great.While Els hasn’t managed to match Player’s success in majors – few people have – he has won the World Matchplay Championship, a one-on-one challenge, more times than anyone else. In fact, the man whose record he superceded is Gary Player. Els has seven victories to his name and Player five.While Els emulated Player’s success in matchplay, his career, for a long time, was similar in terms of there being a “Big Three” in the game. In Player’s day it was the South African maestro and the Americans Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. At the height of Els’ career, it was the SA star and the Americans Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.Sadly, injury saw the consistency of Els’ game drop a notch or two after he underwent reconstructive knee surgery in 2005. Yet, that did not stop him winning titles and defeating the world’s best players. In 2012, he proved he was far from finished by lifting The Open Championship title at at Royal Lytham and Saint Annes.AutismThere is another reason, not as well known, which explains why Els has not remained as consistent a title challenger in the latter stages of his career, but it is an admirable one.In 2008, he revealed that his son Ben suffers from autism, a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Little known is that autism statistics released in 2012 revealed it affects one in 91 people!Using his public profile, Els has tried to teach people about autism and his primary focus has shifted from golf to learning about autism and trying to find the cause of it.Not only has he moved to the USA, where special schools for austistic children are available, but Els has set up the Els for Autism Foundation which is aimed at funding the building and running of a research centre at the Scripps Institute in Florida, USA.A campaign to raise $30-million of capital, after which the Center will be able to fund its ongoing operations, is on the go. The Els family has already contributed over $6-million alone.The inaugural Els for Autism Pro-Am took place in April 2009 and drew an astonishing line-up of players – testament to Els’ standing in the game – that included Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Gary Player, Raymond Floyd, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Tim Clark, Richard Sterne, Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, and Jeev Milkha Singh among others.FoundationApart from his support of research into autism, Els has also given back to golf through his Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation.It was founded in 1999 and, according to its website, it was “with the purpose of identifying and assisting young individuals from families of limited resources who show promise in the game of golf. “It serves to provide these individuals with educational assistance and opportunities to play, and in so doing create an environment where not only their playing ability could be developed to its full potential, but they could be encouraged to become successful young leaders.”Major winners Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen are products of the Foundation, as is Branden Grace,a four-time winner on the PGA European Tour in 2012.While Els’ focus has shifted somewhat from being solely focused on golf, his Open Championship title in 2012 showed that his skills need to be respected. They have not eroded.MajorsHe has enjoyed an exceptionally successful career. It has included four major titles: the US Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open Championship in 2002 and 2012.His professional career began in 1989, which was the same year in which he won the South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship.He achieved his first professional win in 1991 in the Amatola Classic, but it was in 1992 that Els found the success that had long been expected and awaited. When it came, it came in buckets. In an astonishing run of victories, he won six times on the Sunshine Tour, including the South African Open, the South African PGA Championship and the South African Masters.His achievement in winning South Africa’s three biggest events matched that of South Africa’s Sportsman of the Twentieth Century, Gary Player, one of the all-time greats of the game, which made it clear that Els was a special talent.The following year, 1993, Els scored his first win on foreign soil, capturing the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan.First major victoryA year after that he hit the big time when he captured the US Open. Instead of the regulation 72 holes, he played 92 holes after he finished tied for the lead with Loren Roberts and Colin Montgomerie, then tied with Roberts over an 18-hole playoff, before winning on the second hole of a sudden death playoff.Ernie Els had arrived and another win on American soil, in the first Sarazen World Open, which included a tournament record of 30 over nine holes, confirmed this.The Big Easy also showed that he was happy to demonstrate his skills anywhere in the world. Competing on the PGA European Tour, he captured the 1994 Dubai Desert Classic title. His winning effort included a stunning round of 61 that included 12 birdies. Els’ willingness to compete anywhere in the world was to become one of his trademarks.A victory in the World Matchplay Championship further enhanced the South African’s status as one of the world’s leading golfers; one-on-one there is nowhere to hide. Only two results are possible: win or lose, and Els, since his first win, had acquired a remarkable winning habit.World Matchplay titlesHe has gone on to demonstrate his brilliance in the world’s foremost one-on-one showdown over the years, providing ample evidence of his status as one of the leading golfers of his generation. Els won the World Matchplay title in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007. He finished as runner-up in 1997.His feat of winning the title three years in succession – something he has managed twice – is unmatched.Apart from victories on the PGA Tour and Sunshine Tour in 1996, Els also recorded one of his career highlights when he teamed up with Wayne Westner to win the World Cup of Golf at Erinvale in South Africa by a record 18 strokes. He and Westner dominated the event, finishing first and second in individual scoring.In 2001, Els and Retief Goosen lifted the title for South Africa again, winning in Gotemba, Japan.When the Big Easy’s captured a second US Open victory in 1997, he became the first foreign player since Alex Smith (1906, 1910) to win the tournament twice.Alfred Dunhill CupEls once again flew the flag for South Africa when he was part of the team that lifted the Alfred Dunhill Cup at Saint Andrew’s in 1997 and 1998.In 1998, he was one of the stars of the Rest of the World’s huge victory of 20½-11½ over the USA in the Presidents Cup. It was the worst defeat ever suffered by the Americans.As one of the most consistent players on the very competitive PGA Tour, Els enjoyed a superb run during which he won at least one event on the Tour from 1994 to 2000. His lack of a title in the USA in 2001 was offset by the aforementioned victory with Retief Goosen in the World Cup.Els then won titles in America from 2002 to 2004. His wins in 2002 included his third major title, The Open Championship, which he captured at Muirfield.Apart from his major victories, he has finished as a runner-up five times.PGA European Tour successesWhile the Big Easy was one of the leading lights on the PGA Tour for the decade from 1994 to 2004, he was still active in other parts of the world and was one of the PGA European Tour’s leading players. In fact, Els topped the European Tour’s Order of Merit in 2004 and 2005. He was second in 2007 and third in 2000 and 2002.His titles on the European Tour include victories in diverse surroundings, such as South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, China, Switzerland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.The Nedbank ChallengeDuring his career, Els has also been a loyal supporter of the Nedbank Challenge, played annually towards the end of the year at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City.He has appeared more times than anyone else. Not surprisingly, he is also a runaway leader in the all-time money list for the tournament.Els holds the tournament record for the lowest winning score, an astounding 25-under-par total of 263 – comprising rounds of 67, 66, 64, and 66 – in 1999. He finished on 21-under-par in 2002 and 20-under in 2000. He won the tournament in all three of those years.Knee surgery in 2005 affected his play. He was no longer as consistent and dominant as he had been, but he continued to win, picking up titles in the USA, in Europe, Asia and South Africa.He enjoyed a particularly good year in 2010, recording back-to-back victories in the World Golf Championships-CA Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational to underline his status as one of the golfing world’s leading lights.Later in the year, he lifted the WGC Bridgestone Invitational title and claimed the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. He rounded out the year by winning the South African Open for a fifth time.Career victoriesBy October 2010, he had won four major championships, 19 titles on the PGA Tour (including majors), 27 titles on the European Tour (including majors), 16 titles on the Sunshine Tour, one title on the Japan Golf Tour, as well as 14 other victories, including in the Nedbank Golf Challenge and the World Match Play Championship.Apart from his fine achievements on golf courses around the world, Els has also become a sought-after golf course designer. He has designed courses in South Africa, the USA, China, the United Arab Emirates, the Bahamas, Bahrain, and Hawaii.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Mobile money solutions ‘a hit in Africa’

first_img16 February 2012 “eWallet reduces both risk and cost, and in African markets we have found this to be essential in any financial product offering,” Van Wyk said. eWallet allows FNB customers to send money to anyone within the borders of the country in which the service operates. The recipient does not need to have a bank account. The money is transferred instantly and the recipient uses a pin code sent to their cellphone to access the cash from FNB ATMs. FNB Cellphone Banking Solutions CEO Ravesh Ramlakan said the growth of the service in African markets was due to consumers’ increasing confidence in their mobile handsets as transactional devices, coupled with the convenience of mobile money solutions. The bank’s customers in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia conducted 2.4-million cellphone banking transactions to the value of R214-million during December last year, up from R986 000 recorded in December 2010. South Africa’s First National Bank has seen a huge uptake in its mobile money solutions by customers of its African operations, with cellphone banking transactions growing 150% and eWallet transactions surging by 1 384% year-on-year in December 2011. “Innovation has played a key role in growing cellphone banking across Africa,” Ramlakan said in a statement this week. “Our ability to adapt the service for use on any cellphone has been an important driver of this growth.” FNB eWallet Solutions CEO Yolande van Wyk said that although eWallet had only recently been introduced to markets outside South Africa, the service has demonstrated strong potential for continued growth into the future. Users can conduct a number of transactions using FNB Cellphone Banking, including transferring money between their own FNB accounts, buying prepaid airtime and making third party payments.center_img SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Namibia recorded year-on-year growth of 155%, Zambia 308% and Swaziland 227%. Increasing confidence, convenience Since inception, FNB eWallet has generated 407 110 original “sends” in its four African operations (Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zambia) as at the end of December 2011. In Botswana FNB eWallet, saw an increase in original sends of 1 236% year on year from December 2010 to December 2011. “A country like Zambia, for example, has 5.4-million mobile phone users and a large informal sector, making a solution such as eWallet ideal in helping bridge the financial services gap between the banked and the unbanked,” Van Wyk said. Botswana, which is FNB’s leading subsidiary outside South Africa in terms of cellphone banking activity, saw just over 1.3-million transactions and in the same month, recorded a 126% increase year-on-year. Bridging financial services gaplast_img read more

R165m fund to develop Transnet’s small suppliers

first_img24 February 2014 State company Transnet has partnered with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) and resources giant Anglo-American to launch a R165-million fund to help small black-owned companies become the rail utility’s suppliers. Anglo-American’s enterprise development arm, Zimele, Transnet and Sefa, a subsidiary of the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), will each contribute R55-million to the newly established Godisa Supplier Development Fund. “The aim of the fund is to promote growth and sustainability amongst existing and potential black-owned suppliers of Transnet in the rail engineering and freight services,” Transnet Group CEO Brian Molefe said in a joint statement issued after the launch of the fund in Pretoria on Friday. “It is also our intention to foster enterprise development in such a way that recipients will be able to create new jobs in the communities in which they operate,” Molefe added. Godisa will offer offer loans and capital advances, as well as free business and technical support, to qualifying beneficiaries. R150-million of the total fund will be used for investment financing over a 10-year period, with the remaining R15-million going on support services. Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, speaking at Friday’s launch, said: “Of the country’s almost five-million small and medium entrepreneurs, 70% don’t survive beyond 18 months due to issues such as a lack of access to funding. “This is something that our economy will not self-correct,” Gigaba said, adding that the economy would not recover or achieve social inclusion without partnerships to correct market inefficiencies. He said the fund would help to encourage young black people who had aspirations to be entrepreneurs and suppliers of light and heavy manufactured products to access funding. “We need to increase our appetite for risk, take a hand-holding approach and trust black people as capable entrepreneurs so that we don’t build the economy on the back of fronting entrepreneurs with no experience or skills.” According to the three partners, all applications for funding will need to take the form of an investment proposal accompanied by a formal business plan. Potential recipients will then have present their business case to a committee consisting of the Godisa fund manager and representatives from the various contributors. Once a business case is accepted, a due diligence process will be undertaken to ensure that the company is legally and financially compliant. Godisa will help companies to complete the relevant documentation and meet their compliance obligations. “Enterprise development has become a vital source for job creation and poverty alleviation in South Africa,” Zimele chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama, the executive director of Anglo American in South Africa, said at the launch. The fund, she said, would “provide more opportunities where entrepreneurs and small to medium enterprises can grow within Transnet”. Sefa CEO Thakhani Makhuvha said the fund would help to address “the liquidity challenge curently prevalent in supply chains by making funding accessible to black-owned SME suppliers”. SAinfo reporter and read more


first_imgWhile the 2007 X-Blades National 18 Years and Under Touch Football Championships have produced some exciting games, none was as unique as the exhibition game played between the Referees and Coaches in the interval between the pool rounds and finals. Touch Football Australia Game Development Officer and former level 6 referee Glen Richardson was in charge of selecting a team of the best Refs to take on the all-star Coaches line-up. Australian Men’s Open Coach Tony Trad took it upon himself to organise the Coaches team. Touch Football personality Tony Eltakchi refereed and commentated on the game, which featured some of the most bizarre play, you are ever likely to see. In the opening minutes of the match the Referees unexpectedly produced whistles to simultaneously make their own ruling. It was one of the most physical games of Touch Football in recent history. Both sides were guilty of putting on heavy hits to let their opposition know this game was serious. But it was Glen Richardson that copped the full brunt of both teams when he became the subject of a ‘stacks on’. “The only thing I was thinking was has somebody got the radio so I can call doctor Bruce,” Richo said. The Referees were unable to deliver on the trash talk they unleashed before the match. Team captain Richardson was heard to utter “We won’t be beaten” before proceedings kicked off. Australian Mens’ Open star Garry Sonda, who has not exactly been top of the pops on the referee Christmans card list, waved the olive branch to bolster the Referees team. His best bit of play was a marvellous falcon of team-mate Mick Giddens with a bullet pass from point blank….In typical Sonda fashion, he of course berated his team mate for his ordinary catching skills…The Referees often resorted to the kick, a tactic that is rarely used in Touch Football. Guest referee Tony Eltakchi said he was disappointed with the Referees’ performance. “I thought the Referees had a hard time getting back on side, they struggled a bit. Their knowledge of the rules was terrible. A couple of times there they were questioning the changeover. I don’t think they realise that if you drop the ball you actually lose possession. Give them time, maybe two or three more years and they might start stepping up to the pace,” Tash said. The Coaches displayed a lot of creativity in their plays. One original move involved employing a gridiron style ‘blocker’ which led to a spectacular touchdown to wily speedster Ange Doyle. Eltakchi said the Coaches were definitely the better team on the day. “I thought the Coaches played a very, very well structured and disciplined game. They realised that the Referees had a couple of weaknesses. Garry Sonda was out there for the Refs and he obviously doesn’t like dumping or defending so they ran the ball a lot at him. It probably cost the Referees the first three tries but the Coaches were very good all day.”Veteran Mick Mc Call was a star turn for the Coaches, also producing a hard touch on an unsuspecting referee that looked suspiciously like a tackle, and Karley Banks made good on her promise to throw a flick pass with every touch of the football.The Coach line up included a number of well-credentialed players including current Australian Mixed open star Steve Roberts.The Referees final roll of the dice involved sending every one of their line-up onto the field to create a 10-man overlap but the Coaches’ bench read the play well – charging onto the pitch to make their presence felt. While there was some discord from the Refs, ironically wearing their red “Don’t argue” shirts, the game finished 5-0 to the Coaches. The winning team was all smiles as they left the pitch having avenged all those victories that Referees had ‘robbed’ them of over the years.last_img read more

Hyper-Active Biz Collection Sale

first_imgPlease see the attached PDF for clearance items which represent fantastic valuePrices are for plain garments and while stock lastsPlease check first before placing an order as stock is moving quicklyMinimum order is for 25 pieces per style and colour.No returns or credits on these itemsPrices do not include logos (Add approx $4.00 per unit for an embroidered logo in one position. Set up charges will apply for new logos)Prices do not include delivery chargesPlease contact Michael Enfield if you require any additional information:[email protected] Related Fileshyper_active_biz_collection_sale_aug_2009-pdflast_img