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Agiliance Inc. Wins Stevie Awards

Agiliance®, Inc., the Big Data Risk Company™ and a provider of integrated solutions for Operational and Security Risk programs has recently announced that they received four Stevie Awards during the 2014 American Business Awards competition. They received the Gold Award for being the Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year (with up to 100 employees). They also received three other honors for its product called RiskVision™. They were named as the Gold Award winner for Best Governance, Risk, and Compliance Software Solution. They also received the Bronze Award for Best Software Security Solution and for Best Big Data Software Solution.

As Torsten George, the VP of worldwide marketing and products for Agiliance, said,

“In 2014, Agiliance has received more than two dozen industry accolades. These Gold and Bronze Stevie Awards are especially gratifying for the company, its employees, and our partners. The American Business Awards is the nation’s premier business competition – it can’t get any bigger. In 2014, Agiliance has received more than two dozen industry accolades. These Gold and Bronze Stevie Awards are especially gratifying for the company, its employees, and our partners.”

Plans for the Swatch Smartwatch?

Swatch Group plans to launch a series of watches with “smart” features to complete with the wearable gadgets from large brands. They plan to unveil the Swatch Touch next summer. Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek explained that the watches will have a step counter, calorie calculator and other “Swatchy” things.

Apple has recently invited the media to a special event where many believe they will unveil an “iWatch.” and this is perhaps partly responsible for Swatch losing almost 15% so far this year.

Other companies are working on smartwatches as well with Google’s Motorola having plans to launch the Moto360 next week in the US. The spotlight, however, is all on Apple and its up-and-coming announcement.



Scholarship Programs on the Virgin Islands

For people living on the Virgin Islands, there are many interesting educational grants that are certainly worth exploring. The Virgin Island Board of Education offers four types of financial assistance. They have Territorial Scholarships, Special Legislative Grants, In-Service Training Grants and Summer Grants for Educators. Generous donors like the White Bay Group USVI LLLP have helped to ensure these grants continue.

In order to get the grant, people must be residents of the Virgin Islands and graduates from a Virgin Island high school. They must be able to show financial need and must have a cumulative grade point average of no less than 2 or 2.5 if nursing. Finally, they must be accepted to or attending an accredited institution.

Another interesting grant that the Board of Education has is the Morris F. DeCastro Fellowship that allows as much as $45,000 per one year and applies to active Virgin Islands Government Employees. It is for active government workers who are accepted to an institution of higher learning and are nominated by the Governor of the Virgin Islands, the President of the Legislature or others. The fellowship lasts for one year and includes one fellowship for the district of St. Thomas-St. John and one for the Distric of ST. Croix.

Certainly, these fellowships and scholarships are worth exploring for anyone who wants to get ahead. The assistance of those like the White Bay Group with Elli Ausubel and Uriel Cohen allows these programs to continue to grow and flourish.

Obama Pledges Large Sum to Africa

Certainly, when Obama talks, others listen. And this is definitely true when he talks about $14 billion. Obama pledged to invest more than this amount in Africa while speaking at a meeting of African leaders recently. His remarks came during the US-Africa Business Forum. Speakers and attendees included former president Bill Clinton, Wal-Mart president and chief executive Doug McMillon, MasterCard president and chief executive Ajay Banga and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Officials want to strengthen financial and trade ties between African countries and the US. As Obama said in his speech, “We want to do business with these folks.”


Great Bahama Vacations: Bimini Cruise from Miami, Carnival Cruise and Norwegian Cruises

The Bahamas are a string of more than 700 islands in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Florida. Breathtaking beaches, warm inviting water, and a relaxing atmosphere make the Bahamas a favorite destination for Americans. The variety of ways to visit these islands almost numbers the amount of islands in the island chain. Listed are just three of the many enticing possibilities for wonderful romantic or family getaway.

Bimini Cruise from Miami
Bimini Superfast Cruise from Miami

Bimini Superfast Cruise from Miami

Strapped for time? Then there is no doubt that a Bimini Cruise from Miami hosted by Resorts World Bimini (RWBimini) is the choice for you. Leaving at 9AM every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Bimini Superfast speeds you to the western Bahama island of Bimini in just over 2 hours. Traveling at speeds up to 30 knots, the 32,000 gross ton ship is the fastest cruise liner in America. As you speed to your destination passengers enjoy the delights of six spectacular restaurants and other activities in comfort and style. Upon arrival visitors on the Bimini Day Cruise have hours to explore the delights of the island. The fun does not end until passengers return home to Miami at 8PM. Hard to think of a better way to spend a day.

Carnival Cruise from Virginia

Have a little more time? Consider taking Carnival Cruises leaving from Norfolk, Virginia. Trips with Carnival can be from 2-5 days long and take passengers to the Bahama ports of Nassau and Freeport. On board the Carnival Splendor passengers can enjoy comedy shows, musical performances, karaoke and more in the El Morocco Lounge. The ship has a jazz club and an elegant steak house. The cloud 9 Spa gives the word “relax” new meaning, while those looking for a bit more excitement can head for the Splash Park and the Carnival Twister Waterslide. Carnival would be an excellent choice for those looking for a bit of a longer dream vacation.

Norwegian Cruise from New York

Saving all your vacation time for that one big adventure? Consider a 14-night Bermuda, Bahamas and Florida tour. The Norwegian Cruise Line offers a full service holiday on their luxurious Norwegian Breakaway. The cruise ship offers a long list of bars, clubs and lounges; a spa; a fitness and sports center; swimming pools; shopping in art galleries and more; theater, singers, dance, comedy and magic shows; and much more. There are even children’s programs. Ports of call include West End, Bermuda; Port Canaveral, Florida; Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; and then New York. If you have the time for an extended cruise, this one is excellent.

Massive Settlement Awarded to Widow of Chain Smoker

In a fascinating ruling, a Florida jury has just awarded the widow of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer 18 years ago more than $23 billion against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. These are punitive damages and represent the largest award given in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a single plaintiff.

Cynthia Robinson sued RJ Reynolds in 2008 saying that the company conspired to conceal the health dangers of their product. Her husband died of lung cancer in 1996 at the age of 36, having smoked one to three packs a day for more than 20 years.

The jury awarded $7.3 million to the widow and the couple’s child and $9.6 million to another son of Johnson’s. They then awarded $23.6 billion in punitive damages.

Of course, J. Jeffery Raborn, vp and assistant general counsel for RJ Reynolds, said that they plan to challenge “this runaway verdict.”




Facebook Acquires LiveRail

In a desire to make video ads a larger part of their business, Facebook Inc. is acquiring the video advertising company LiveRail. LiveRail’s technology pairs video ad with videos that appear on websites such as sites for ABC, Major League Baseball and others.

Facebook won’t discuss its own plans for the technology. Learn more about LiveRail and about Facebook’s acquisition.


Mine for Sale in Dawson City

Clearly, gold has dropped a great deal recently, and one mine owner has felt this personally. The owner of a mine in Canada’s Yukon gold belt is selling his property for $2 million in bitcoin. The minor hasn’t made his name known, but he is selling the property on BitPremier, a bitcoin marketplace for “luxury items and opportunities”.

The mine in Dawson City can product as much as 4000 ounces of gold a year. This is worth $5.9 million at the current market rate. The sale also includes $1 million worth of equipment.

As the ad says,

“A well-respected, fully compliant and profitable company, any new buyer could recoup their initial investment in as little as two mining seasons.”

See the full story here.

Real Estate Investment Strategies

real-estate-investment-strategiesFor those with excess money to invest, today, real estate can be a viable option. The market is currently not as volatile as it once was, and thus it is becoming more popular. Indeed, according to Jake Adger, a Forbes contributor and chief economist at RealtyTrac, as the recession takes a bad seat, real estate can be “a good addition to [one’s] investment portfolio. At the end of last year he pointed out that:

“Investors need to think about all aspects of real estate investment including rental income, expenses, home price appreciation, and taxes…Investors looking for rental income will look for high rental yields now and in the future.”

Steven P. Rosenthal, President and CEO of Northland Investment Corporation, is responsible for the firm’s “strategic direction.” In terms of real estate investment the company seeks to “identify value creation opportunities….acquiring real estate assets diversified by markets, sectors and lines of business—and balancing the acquisition of high quality, lower risk assets with higher yielding, valued added assets and development opportunities.”

Real estate as an investment potential definitely has its benefits. CPA Mark J. Kohler is “convinced more entrepreneurs should consider rental real estate as an important part of their portfolio.” He lists five reasons why this is the case and then concludes: “The far majority of us will never get rich overnight. It takes long-term investing and a diverse portfolio to build true wealth. Don’t forget real estate as an important part of the equation.”

For those looking at possible options for investment, in a stable economy, real estate might be a good idea.

Apple Inc. Entering the Wearable Items Market?

Apple Inc. is set to sell its first wearable item this coming October with the goal of producing 3-5 million smartwatches a month in their first run. This is reported by Nikkei. The devices are probably going to have curved OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays and sensors that will collect health data from blood glucose and calories consumed.

The industry has just been waiting, assuming that Apple would produce a smartwatch at some point after Samsung released its Galaxy Gear watches. CEO Tim Cook has promised “new product categories” for 2014.

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