Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PGA TOUR Extends Health Initiative with Sponsorship of Living at Your Peak

Inaugural Health and Wellness Event in Vail Strongly Aligns with Mission of PGA TOUR’s Humana Challenge to Help People Live Healthier Lives

Vail, CO, July 31, 2012 - The PGA TOUR, whose Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation golf tournament launched earlier this year with a special focus on helping Americans live healthier lives, will extend its commitment to health this fall by supporting Living at Your Peak in Vail. Scheduled for September 13-15, Living at Your Peak is the nation’s only gathering designed to help health-conscious individuals and influencers discover how to live longer, better and impact the well-being of their world.

“When the PGA TOUR launched the Humana Challenge, we were thrilled to see such a prominent organization use its platform to help Americans live healthier lives,” said Jamie Stone, Living at Your Peak event champion and a board member of the Vail Symposium, a non-profit organization responsible for Living at Your Peak. “We are proud to partner with this organization to extend its commitment to health to the Vail valley.”

The Humana Challenge, a collaboration among the PGA TOUR, Clinton Foundation and Humana, uses its stature and visibility as a PGA TOUR tournament to challenge individuals to better understand their role in their own well-being and to take steps to improve and maintain their health. In addition to public education initiatives throughout the week, the tournament features healthy concession options and on-course well-being activities for tournament spectators. The second annual Humana Challenge will be held January 14-20, 2013.

“As a strong adjunct to our own health initiatives, Living at Your Peak closely aligns with the Humana Challenge’s mission and will help us achieve our goal to motivate people to live healthier lives,” said Tim Finchem, commissioner of the PGA TOUR. “The PGA TOUR is strongly committed to supporting initiatives that promote health and well-being, which is why we are proud to sponsor this event.”

Living at Your Peak is organized by the Vail Symposium, a grassroots, non-profit organization providing thought-provoking, diverse and affordable educational programs to the Vail Valley community. Event sponsors include Vail Valley Medical Center, HealthONE, the Town of Vail, The Steadman Clinic, Vail Summit Orthopaedics, Vail Resorts, PGA TOUR, Triumph Development, the Vail Daily, Vail Beaver Creek Magazine, Antlers at Vail, Vitality Center, Opedix, Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, The Biegler Foundation, Colorado Access, Wendy and Paul Raether, the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, Vail Luxury Magazine, The Denver Athletic Club and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

For more information about Living at Your Peak, please visit http://www.livingatyourpeak.org. To learn more about the Humana Challenge, please visit http://www.humanachallenge.com.

About Living at Your Peak
Living at Your Peak is a two-and-a-half day summit designed to help individuals learn how to live longer, better and influence positive change in the wellbeing of the world around them. The event is designed to promote lifelong health and fitness through customized experiences in an intimate setting. Program presenters are proven experts and peak performers in the fields of fitness, nutrition, cognitive and emotional wellbeing, preventive medicine and cutting-edge research. Living at Your Peak is organized by the Vail Symposium. For more information, please visit http://www.livingatyourpeak.org, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/LivingatYourPeak, follow us on twitter at @LivingaturPeak or follow us on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/living-at-your-peak.

About the Vail Symposium
The Vail Symposium is a grassroots, non-profit organization that has been part of the life and history of Vail since 1971. Its mission is to provide educational programs for the Vail Valley community that are thought-provoking, diverse and affordable. A (501)(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Symposium is almost entirely donor-funded. For more information, please visit http://www.vailsymposium.org or call 970-343-9918.

Shannon Fern
Communications Strategy Group
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206

FRA Endorses Harvard's support for Forestry Investment

Harvard University’s investment manager has spoken out in favor of timberland investment as a way to make cash while investing in an ethical cause, in a move endorsed by FRA.

Bainbridge Island, WA, July 31, 2012 - Harvard University’s investment manager has spoken out in favor of timberland investment as a way to make cash while investing in an ethical cause, in a move endorsed by Forestry Research Associates (FRA).

Harvard Management Company’s chief executive, Jane Mendillo, spoke at the CNBC Delivering Alpha Conference in order to voice her support for investing in natural resources. This is according to a report in The Australian.

The Antipodean newspaper was particularly interested in the endorsement from Harvard as the timber the legendary university has invested in is growing in New Zealand.

FRA, is a research and analysis consultancy specializing in forestry investment. FRA’s analysis partner, Peter Collins, said, “We rarely hear from Harvard Management Company, but when we do, they often speak about their investment in natural resources and the gains they have made from this investment strategy,"

The company manages the not insignificant $32 billion Harvard endowment and purchased forested land measuring 170,000 hectares in central North Island in 2003. At the time, the forestry investment industry in New Zealand wasn’t looking good thanks to high export costs and a huge preference for Russian softwood in China. Ms Mendillo said that Harvard’s investment came at a good time, when forestry investment were less fashionable than they are now. "Natural resources is our favourite area and it happens to be a favourite area where we feel that we may have an advantage as an early entrant into the asset class, “ she explained.

Mr Collins added, “Harvard got a good price for their timberland as the investment was made before people learned what a great hedge against inflation and the strong returns timberland can generate over time.”

FRA supports a number of forestry investment projects and particularly investment in non-native plantations in Brazil through firms like Greenwood Management. “Investing in trees provides a great mid- to long-term option for risk-averse investors,” added Mr Collins.

Peter Collins
Forestry Research Associates
620 Vineyard Lane
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206) 316 8394

AAA Claims the Wealthy are Turning to Tangible Assets

AAA claims that a growing number of wealthy investors are buying things like art, antiques and jewellery instead of stocks and bonds.

Boston, MA, July 31, 2012 - Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA) claims that a growing number of wealthy investors are buying things like art, antiques and jewellery instead of stocks and bonds.

The alternative investment market has become even more ‘alternative’ according to AAA, an alternative investment advocacy group. Its analysis partner, Anthony Johnson, is backing a new report from Barclays Wealth Insights in the UK, which found that millionaires in Ireland now have 10 per cent of their wealth tied up in investments including antique furniture and fine art and jewellery.

The research found that a large percentage (73 per cent) of the wealthy people questioned in the report said they were finding it increasingly difficult to source secure investments. As a result, they are looking towards tangible items that have intrinsic value, as well as a value that can grow due to variable such as rarity, craftmanship, fashion and age.

Pat McCormack, the head of wealth management at Barclays, said, "Treasure may, if you're lucky or very knowledgeable, give you a financial return, but buy something you enjoy and it will always give you an emotional return."

“This report just goes to show how investors don’t need to just rely on stocks and shares to make money – in fact, there is a growing number of viable alternative investments to consider, such as art, antiques, precious metals, timberland and wine,” stated Mr Johnson.

AAA advocates the decision to invest in alternatives at a time when the equity markets are extremely volatile, thanks to the ongoing global economic slump. The group is particularly keen to promote ethical choices, such as impact investing and investing in sustainable forestry and timberland through firms like Greenwood Management, which operate sustainable plantations on non-native tree species in Brazil and Canada.

“Timberland offers investors a great diversifier for their investment portfolios,” added Mr Johnson.

Anthony Johnson
Alternative Asset Analysis
71 Commercial St
Boston, MA 02109-1320

Reviewer Thanks Author for Writing "Excellent Book"

Usually it's the author who thanks a reviewer for a positive book review, but in a "man bites dog" kind of twist, reviewer Misses Amanda thanks Edward Mrkvicka for writing "No Innocent Affair: Making Right the Wrong of Adultery."

Marengo, IL, July 31, 2012 - Edward Mrkvicka, author of the new, highly praised book entitled “No Innocent Affair,” says that while all the book’s reviews have been most favorable, one in particular caught his eye. “Normally, authors will jot a note of thanks for a favorable review, but in this case the reviewer thanked me, and in doing so touched my heart. ‘No Innocent Affair’ was the hardest book for me to write out of all my books, as it covers a subject that is tearing families and this country apart - adultery. Yet, as it approaches the subject as no other, it had to be written in the hope that it would help adulterers and their victims alike, especially the innocent children who are always harmed by the selfishness of a less than loving parent.”

Reviewer Misses Amanda writes: “In ‘No Innocent Affair: Making Right the Wrong of Adultery,’ Edward F. Mrkvicka Jr. discusses one of the greatest Ten Commandments, adultery. Mrkvicka goes into detail on the effects of adultery on one's relationship with God, the relationship with one's spouse, children, etc. The manner in which this singular sin affects the whole is profound.

The author's voice is that of one who is quite learned in the subject matter and a friend, rather than a foe. Our sinful nature is inherent; it is part of being human. However, through God we are able to repent. The nature of the book is to address the nature of the sin, first and foremost. Considering the nature of adultery, Mrkvicka goes extensively to address the perspective through not only a Christian viewpoint, but also that of society. He addresses the conflicts between the modern, sinful society of marriage and that of a marriage through God. The conflicts between the secular and religion have provided a stage for adultery to run rampant. Divorce has become more commonplace and adultery is the starting point. It not only affects the individual but their spouse, their children, their family, their community, etc. The gravity of the sin was addressed in such a manner to show the importance in keeping the Word of God.

Mrkvicka not only supports his claims with the Word of God (unedited and not warped to fit his claims), but also uses other outside sources which show the staggering statistics on the effects of children and marriage. Society has moved away from the importance of the family and masks it with a veil of supposed happiness that is meaningless and not as bountiful as the Love that one experiences from God. This veil shades the truth with the deceits that can cause ruin to an aspect of life so sacred.

The only way for the adulterer to change is to stop right now. The individual must stop whatever actions they are doing, repent, turn to the Lord, and beg for forgiveness. The author addresses the manner in which the sinner should repent, how grave a sin they committed, and how to turn back to God. This is the only answer to fix the wrong that has occurred.

The book was a simple and easy read, but well-versed and supported throughout the entirety of the book. It was well worth the read to realize further how the sin of my father effected my family. Thank you, Edward F. Mrkvicka Jr. for writing this excellent book.”

“No Innocent Affair” can be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, bookstores, and at www.EdwardFMrkvickaJr.com. Mr. Mrkvicka can be reached through his web site.

Kelly H. Mrkvicka
Reliance Enterprises, Inc.
22115 O'Connell Rd.
POB 413
Marengo, IL 60152

Kickboard Launches Webinar Series Featuring Presenters From Achievement First, Democracy Prep & KIPP

Under the Theme “Igniting a Gradebook Revolution,” the Sessions Discuss Ways Schools Can Use Data to Establish or Enhance a Performance-Driven Culture

New Orleans, LA, July 30, 2012 - Kickboard, a holistic student data tracking platform that goes beyond the gradebook and enables teachers to collect, analyze and share mission-critical data, announced today that it is launching an exclusive, free webinar series, “Igniting a Gradebook Revolution,” beginning August 8th. Registrations are currently being accepted for the first two sessions in the series: Setting the Right Expectations and Analyzing the Right Data to Create Consistent Classroom Culture on August 8, featuring presenters from Achievement First and Democracy Prep, and Building a Performance-Driven Culture From Day One of the New School Year with KIPP New Orleans on August 15th. Both webinars are from 1:00-2:00 pm EDT.

 “Traditional gradebooks aren’t cutting it. They don’t capture, track and report student behavior, as well as academic achievement, as part of student performance,” said Jennifer Medbery, founder and CEO of Kickboard. “However, many schools are now transforming the gradebook into a centralized hub of student performance to infuse a data-driven approach into both teaching and learning, as well as to build a strong classroom culture. This webinar series discusses the challenges, successes and best practices of schools where the gradebook has become a powerful schoolwide collaboration platform for ensuring student success.”

Attendees will gain actionable insights into ways their peers are using data to support student success and achievement and advance a performance-driven culture, while facilitating collaboration between teachers, administrators and parents. There are first steps any school can take today to expand the view of student achievement beyond grades and instead measure whole student performance, as well as strategies and tools that can help them turn that data into a plan of action.

School leaders, administrators and teachers interested in learning more about how they can use data to establish or enhance a performance-driven culture should register to attend the following webinars:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 1pm EDT

Chris Bostock, Dean, Achievement First Amistad High School
Seth Andrew, Founder and Superintendant, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Chiv Heng, Senior Director of Knowledge Management, Democracy Prep Public Schools

During the webinar, participants will:
* Gain actionable strategies to set schoolwide norms and secure teacher buy-in

* Learn how to enhance or establish a behavior/character/PBIS program that uses data to ensure consistency across classrooms

* Discover the ways peer schools are leveraging the gradebook to implement their programs and track and analyze data, share information about student behavior and create reports

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 1pm EDT

Brenna Benson, Director of Data and Analytics, KIPP New Orleans
Todd Purvis, Chief Academic Officer, KIPP New Orleans

During the webinar, participants will:
* Explore what can be done starting today to build a robust data and performance-driven culture and how data can improve instruction and outcomes

* Review key questions to discuss with staff when incorporating Common Core and standards-based assessment into a traditional grading system

* Learn how to use the gradebook as a hub of student performance to align day-to-day activities to schoolwide, end-of-year goals

For more information or to register, visit www.kickboardforteachers.com.

About Kickboard
Kickboard is a holistic student data tracking platform that goes beyond the gradebook and enables teachers to collect, analyze and share critical data, including multiple assessments, standards mastery, reading growth and, most uniquely, student behavior and character strengths. The platform is built by educators for educators and offers a simple yet powerful web-based dashboard to increase the real-time visibility of student performance across classrooms. Unlike traditional gradebooks, Kickboard tracks whole student performance and features traditional and standards-based grading, one-click behavior data capture, easy to read charts and graphs and immediate student performance reporting, including customizable, painless report cards. The platform advances a school’s performance-driven culture by setting and measuring school expectations and norms and facilitating collaboration between teachers, administrators and parents. Delivered as an on-demand solution, Kickboard can easily be integrated with a school’s SIS, and deployed in a single classroom or across an entire district. For more information, visit kickboardforteachers.com.

Lindsey Read
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206