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Focused Image President Toby Eckhardt Appointed to Forbes Council

Focused Image

Toby Eckhardt, founder and president of Focused Image, Inc., one of the top communications firms in the D.C. area, has been appointed to the Forbes Agency Council, an exclusive group of thought leaders from successful advertising, public relations and digital marketing agencies across the nation who publish insights and articles on the prestigious Forbes business news platform. “I am honored to have been welcomed into the Forbes Agency Council,” said Toby Eckhardt, CEO of Focused Image. “I applaud Forbes’ mission to bring together successful and knowledgeable industry leaders and create this community of collaboration and expertise sharing to benefit others across our industry. I look forward to being a part of the national conversations that shape our industry, and to sharing insights from our work and experiences over the past 35 years with leading brands in aerospace, defense, consumer and emerging technology.” Eckhardt had more than 40 years’ experience in communications and founded Focused Image in 1985. Since then, the firm has become and remained a top agency in the greater Washington Metropolitan area, playing a key role in major campaigns over the years, including supporting AOL’s rapid growth and success, launching XM Satellite Radio, and helping many GovCon brands catapult to the top of the government services market. As a member of the Forbes Agency Council, Eckhardt will share insights through original business articles on Forbes.com and contribute to published Q&A panels alongside other industry experts. “We are honored to welcome Toby into the community,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Agency Council. “Our mission with Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world.” Eckhardt was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience. Criteria for acceptance into the council include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors. Eckhardt’s latest article, “ 5 Ways To Encourage Creativity And Productivity Within Remote Teams,” provides ideas for leaders across any type of organization about ways to encourage productivity and creativity as many continue to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift to remote work has made it increasingly difficult for creative collaboration among teams, which is why companies must create new strategic processes and steps to engage their team virtually and boost company productivity. Read the full article here: https://bit.ly/39FPmtr. About Focused Image, Inc. Focused Image Inc. is an award-winning marketing communications agency that specializes in branding, advertising, public relations and digital marketing. Based in Falls Church, Va., the agency is a recognized leader in the greater Washington Metropolitan area communications industry. Focused Image was founded more than 35 years ago by Toby Eckhardt, a leading national authority on strategic marketing and branding. Since then, it has been helping clients from Fortune 500 companies to fast-growing technology startups build brands and launch new products with strategies and creative communications concepts and programs that deliver results. More information about the agency is available at www.focusedimage.com. About Forbes Council Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive. For more information about Forbes Agency Council, visit forbesagencycouncil.com. To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit forbescouncils.com. Contact Details Focused Image Kristina Messner +1 703-678-6023 kmessner@focusedimage.com Company Website https://www.focusedimage.com/

April 06, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Velocity Global acquires iWorkGlobal to accelerate remote work and global expansion platform; receives $100M growth investment from FFL Partners

Velocity Global

Velocity Global, the leading provider of global expansion solutions, today announced its acquisition of iWorkGlobal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gary D. Nelson and Associates, and a $100 million growth investment from private equity firm FFL Partners. The combined company, under the Velocity Global name, creates the largest U.S. domestic and global Employer of Record (EoR) and accelerates the future of remote work for companies around the world. The investment from FFL Partners, a firm focused on growth investments in middle market companies, will also be deployed by Velocity Global to support additional strategic acquisitions, technology development, and to further expand the company’s global footprint. “This strategic acquisition combines scale and expertise in a single platform for companies to employ top talent in another state or another country, quickly and compliantly,” said Ben Wright, Velocity Global founder and CEO. “We welcome the iWorkGlobal team, its clients, supported employees, and partners to the Velocity Global family at an inflection point for companies as we exit a pandemic that fundamentally removed the worker from the workplace.” “At iWorkGlobal, we viewed ourselves as a strategic partner to our clients and this outlook aligns with the ‘People First’ brand of Velocity Global,” said Jeff Phelps, iWorkGlobal co-founder and CEO. “Combining our strengths allows us to deliver complementary expertise, capabilities, and new geographies to clients and their supported employees in the U.S. and around the globe.” “As workforces have become more distributed, iWorkGlobal positioned itself as a leader in talent engagement solutions,” said Craig Nelson, Board Chairman of Gary D. Nelson and Associates. “It’s a testament to Jeff's leadership and the hard work and dedication of the iWorkGlobal team that Velocity Global proactively sought out this combination of market leaders." Expanded Services in Domestic U.S. and Globally Brands rely on Velocity Global’s expertise and global infrastructure to hire compliantly without the cost or complexity of setting up their own foreign legal entities or state registrations. As the Employer of Record, Velocity Global manages in-country and in-state compliance, payroll, and benefits for its clients’ supported employees. As a result of this transaction, Velocity Global expands its offering to include EoR services in all 50 United States in addition to its industry-leading EoR capabilities in more than 185 countries. The combined company also offers Independent Contractor Compliance to assess a workforce and Agent of Record (AoR) to streamline payments to contractors globally. Velocity Global’s platform combines these elements with a personalized customer experience, best-in-breed technology, and increased scale for companies to grow their remote workforce. Velocity Global now guides, counsels, and serves more than 700 brands and their 4,000 supported employees. Clients include small start-ups to enterprise businesses. The combined company has supported remote teams for hundreds of public companies with an aggregated market capitalization of more than $2 trillion, and private companies funded by more than $60 billion. “We serve as a single partner for a business to scale its remote workforce from one employee to multinational teams,” said Wright. “We have a global footprint that will grow to nearly 50 wholly-owned foreign legal entities in the most desired international markets by year’s end, and now in all 50 states, to enable companies to compliantly employ top remote talent across a state line or country border.” Market Growth The rapidly maturing global EoR and AoR industries are key drivers of the “future of work” or gig economy worth $4.5 trillion according to a 2020 report from Staffing Industry Analysts. The investment from FFL Partners will help ensure Velocity Global is able to not just meet demand, but extend its market leadership position. “We have all seen the nature of work evolve drastically over the past 12 months, and we are very excited to make this investment in Velocity Global, a pioneer in this space fast-tracking the future of work,” said Cas Schneller, FFL Managing Partner. “Velocity Global achieved a 400% organic growth rate over the past three years while maintaining disciplined financials and delivering an exceptional customer experience. We are confident FFL’s deep business services experience can help accelerate this remarkable success.” Combined Company Velocity Global welcomes 40 iWorkGlobal employees as part of the transaction, growing its team to approximately 300 employees worldwide. Ben Wright leads the company headquartered in Denver with regional headquarters in Amsterdam, Bogotá, and Singapore. The combined company operates additional regional offices in Bangalore, Dubai, London, Mexico City, São Paulo, and Toronto. Local Velocity Global employees in 16 countries contribute cultural and market knowledge for clients and a personalized supported employee experience. Maria Goyer joins the Velocity Global executive team as Chief Innovation Officer, reporting to Wright, after serving as senior vice president of Strategy for iWorkGlobal. She will drive strategic initiatives and innovative best practices across the organization to serve the growing global customer base. Goyer applies more than 20 years of industry and strategic expertise in the development of all aspects of Business Process Outsourcing, including pioneering work in the Managed Service Providers (MSP), Vendor Management Systems (VMS), payroll, and compliance industries through Software as a service (SaaS) applications for global contingent workforce programs. View Velocity Global leadership here. ABOUT VELOCITY GLOBAL Velocity Global accelerates the future of work beyond borders. Its platform enables businesses to employ remote teams and expand internationally through global expertise, best-in-breed technology, and scale. More than 700 brands rely on its Employer of Record model and infrastructure in 185 countries and all 50 United States to compliantly employ thousands of supported employees, access global talent, and grow revenue. Named a “Leader” in Global Employer of Record services by prominent analyst firm NelsonHall, Velocity Global is a strategic partner to its clients through additional comprehensive services including Immigration, Independent Contractor Compliance to assess a workforce, and Agent of Record (AoR) to streamline payments to contractors globally. Founded in 2014, the company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, with regional headquarters in Amsterdam, Bogotá, and Singapore, with local employees in 16 countries. ABOUT FFL PARTNERS Founded in 1997, FFL Partners is a San Francisco-based private equity firm with over $4.5 billion under management. FFL pursues thematic investments in business services and healthcare services partnering with exceptional management teams where the firm's high engagement operating model and extensive network can help accelerate growth and unlock value. Growing our businesses has provided over 75% of the value created by FFL for its investors. For additional information please visit  www.fflpartners.com. Contact Details Velocity Global John Hall +1 720-650-4348 johnhall@velocityglobal.com For FFL Partners Kelly Holman +1 (646) 502-3509 KHolman@Stantonprm.com Company Website https://velocityglobal.com/

April 06, 2021 05:30 AM Mountain Daylight Time

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Comcast Partners with Harris County to Bring WiFi Connected “Lift Zones” to More Students

Comcast West Division

As part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy, Comcast today announced plans to equip Harris County community centers with WiFi enabled “Lift Zones” to provide students who do not have Internet at home with safe spaces to participate in distance learning. In partnership with Harris County, Comcast is providing robust WiFi hotspots to help students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework. This initiative provides free connectivity inside partner community centers for the next three years. “Over the past year, we’ve seen how digital access provides a critical lifeline for families,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “Tackling the digital divide takes creative solutions and partnerships like this one and I’m appreciative of this partnership and innovative model as we work to ensure every child in Harris County has access to high-speed internet.” “We are honored to partner with Harris County to provide students with safe, fast and reliable connectivity to keep up with school and prepare them for a bright future,” said Ralph Martinez, regional senior vice president, Comcast Houston. “The COVID-19 crisis continues to put many low-income students at risk of being left behind, accelerating the need for comprehensive digital equity and Internet adoption programs to support them. We expect these Lift Zones will help those students who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to connect to effective distance learning at home.” “We are providing Internet to many community centers already, but this partnership will expand our efforts and help us focus on educational gaps.” shared Rick Noriega, executive director of Harris County Universal Services. It’s a winning situation for everyone.” In addition to Comcast’s multiyear commitment to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected Lift Zones in community centers nationwide, they recently announced a $1 billion investment over the next 10 years to help further close the digital divide and give even more low-income Americans the tools and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world. About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. Contact Details Comcast Michael Bybee +1 281-605-9658 Michael_Bybee@comcast.com Comcast Misha McClure 832-547-6783 Misha_McClure@cable.comcast.com Company Website https://houston.comcast.com/

April 05, 2021 10:35 AM Central Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press in Philadelphia Boosts Local Business Recovery With Essential Print and Marketing Services

Minuteman Press International Inc

Jude Arijaje is the owner of the Minuteman Press franchise in Philadelphia. He also owns a second franchise in Bala Cynwyd with his son Mejire. Since printing is an essential business, Jude and his team have been open and operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing everything from signs and menus for restaurants to full-scale direct mail and outreach programs for elections including the upcoming state primaries in May. Jude has been running his business since 2008 and is a member of the Minuteman Press International President’s Million-Dollar Circle for achieving yearly gross sales of at least $1 million. By focusing on supporting local businesses and organizations at this critical time with products and services they need to reopen safely, Minuteman Press in Philadelphia is playing a crucial role in getting the local economy back on track. Jude says, “All in all, people are very receptive to local and small businesses. We are proud to do our part in the local economic recovery. We also have been helping non-profits with their marketing strategies and making sure that are maximizing their reach for their budgets.” He continues, “Right now, many local businesses need to get the word out to their customers that they are open and operating. We have seen high demand for direct mail postcards, directional signs, and signs in general that say ‘WE ARE OPEN’ or ‘WE ARE HIRING’, which is encouraging to see. Custom branded apparel is another capability of ours that continues to be big for us.” During the 2020 election season, Minuteman Press in Philadelphia was able to help many campaigns nationwide adapt their printing and marketing strategies during the pandemic. Jude explains, “We do a tremendous amount of political printing for elections, right now in Pennsylvania there is a primary coming up in May. At the height of the pandemic, we were printing signs and banners as well as many different mailers for the 2020 election. With traditional events not being allowed to take place, we were able to help our clients adapt their marketing and outreach efforts. I am grateful to be able to help local businesses and organizations successfully pivot during this crucial time.” “Print is never going to go away, and the pandemic affirms this. For example, to look professional at Zoom meetings, we will produce the signs, the backdrops, the branded apparel, anything you need. Another example is that local restaurants have come to us for new custom disposable menus. We might have to do business in different ways, but printing is always able to adapt.” -Jude Arijaje, owner, Minuteman Press franchise, Philadelphia It is inspiring to see how Jude has been able to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and keep his business healthy. He states, “The two most important things that we are doing are marketing while also making sure our existing customers are happy. We have reached out to all of our previous clients as well as prospects with special offers via direct mail, and we do everything we can to make sure they have a positive experience with us.” Jude adds, “My biggest lesson learned during the pandemic and my message to other local business owners would be to work harder, work smarter, and try to connect with customers in a different way. If you don’t adapt to the current needs (and communication tools) of your customers, then they won’t know who you are or how you can help. The climate has changed with the pandemic and we help our clients understand that. We then help them effectively market their business.” Because Jude is part of the Minuteman Press franchise family, he has also received ongoing support that really makes a difference. He says, “The support from Minuteman Press International has been great. When everyone needed a lift, the corporate team and my local regional team were always there for us. I’ve been in constant contact with my Philadelphia Regional Vice President Rich Hornberger and he has been really supportive of us throughout the pandemic.” Rich Hornberger says, “Jude is a consummate professional who cares about his community. I am proud of his efforts in supporting local businesses both before and during the pandemic. Hard work pays off, and Jude is a prime example of that.” When asked what advice he would give to others right now, Jude answers, “My advice is simple: We are in this together, and we all have to work together. Keep your dollars in the community, and employ people in the community. That’s what we strive to do and we are proud to help others recover as we continue to build back our local economy.” For more information on Minuteman Press in Philadelphia and Bala Cynwyd, PA, visit https://www.philly.minutemanpress.com. Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and read Minuteman Press franchise reviews at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com. Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

April 05, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Forte and CivicPlus® Partner to Deploy End-to-End Payments Solution for Local Governments

CSG

Forte Payment Systems ®, a CSG ® (NASDAQ: CSGS) company, and CivicPlus today announced a strategic partnership to offer a full end-to-end payments solution that delivers a superior citizen engagement digital experience for local governments nationwide. “The ability for local government agencies to provide services online is a core component to meeting the needs of the citizens they serve,” said Ryan Strait, CivicPlus senior product director. “We are excited to partner with Forte and offer the public sector a full solutions suite that provides ease of use and process efficiencies along with a high level of security and stability needed to ensure a seamless payments experience.” Together, Forte and CivicPlus will offer a solution that accelerates the evolution of traditional payments services that meets the needs of today’s digital-savvy citizen while providing key capabilities needed to drive an industry-leading online payments experience: • Enhanced security: E2E encryption protects sensitive card data throughout the transaction lifecycle. • Seamless payments: Secure, online payments received instantly through an intuitive, easy to use platform. • Check processing with verification: Gives government agencies the ability to accept checks with confidence, providing checking account validation. Verification capabilities meet new requirements set forth by Nacha. • Updated payment status: Automatically records the payments status to keep the system updated in real-time. “For years, Forte has been a trusted payments provider for local government agencies and municipalities nationwide, delivering a robust, secure and innovative technology suite to support acceptance and processing of payments,” said Jeff Thorness, president of Forte, CSG’s Payments solutions unit. “Our partnership with CivicPlus will allow us to expand our offerings and reach more than 4,000 local governments serving 250 million citizens and provide them with a seamless online payments experience.” With a 20-year history in processing ACH transactions, Forte delivers innovative and secure payment solutions that help businesses and government agencies reduce transaction costs, mitigate risk, and increase efficiencies. The company was recently named a Preferred Partner for Account Validation by Nacha, recognized for offering products and services that increase or enhance the use of secure ACH payments, information and messaging by financial institutions and end-user entities. # # # About CSG For more than 35 years, CSG has simplified the complexity of business, delivering innovative customer engagement solutions that help companies acquire, monetize, engage and retain customers. Operating across more than 120 countries worldwide, CSG manages billions of critical customer interactions annually, and its award-winning suite of software and services allow companies across dozens of industries to tackle their biggest business challenges and thrive in an ever-changing marketplace. CSG is the trusted provider for driving digital innovation for hundreds of leading global brands, including Airtel Africa, América Móvil, AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, DISH, Formula 1, Hutchison 3 Indonesia, Inmarsat, Mastercard, Maximus, Mediacom, Microsoft, Mobily, MTN, New Leaf Service Contracts, State of California, TalkTalk and Telstra. To learn more, visit our website at csgi.com and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Copyright © 2021 CSG Systems International, Inc. and/or its affiliates (“CSG”). All rights reserved. CSG® is a registered trademark of CSG Systems International, Inc. All third-party trademarks, service marks, and/or product names which are referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners, and all rights therein are reserved. About CivicPlus CivicPlus provides integrated technology solutions for over 4,000 local governments and their over 250 million citizens. Its solutions enable municipalities of all sizes to rapidly and efficiently migrate traditional citizen services online to meet the new online imperative of local government. Our solutions include website content management, agenda and meeting management, parks and recreation management, citizen request and work order management, employee management, routine and mass notification software, and ready-to-use mobile apps and forms. For more information, visit civicplus.com. Contact Details CSG Global, North America, Asia-Pacific Brad Jones +1 303-200-3001 brad.jones@csgi.com CSG Europe, Middle East, Africa Kristine Østergaard +44 (0)75 0051 8412 kristine.ostergaard@csgi.com Civic Plus Jessica Marabella marabell@civicplus.com Company Website https://www.csgi.com

March 31, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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COMCAST APPOINTS SHAKIRA SHANKS TO OVERSEE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN WASHINGTON

Comcast West Division

Comcast today announced Shakira Shanks as the new Director of Customer Experience in Washington. In this role, Shanks will manage customer experience efforts across all lines of business in the state. “Our goal is to deliver a simple, consistent, and excellent service experience that exceeds the needs and expectations of Comcast customers in Washington,” said Rodrigo Lopez, Region Senior Vice President, Comcast Washington. “ I am delighted to have Shakira Shanks as our new Customer Experience Director. She is the leader we need to meet that commitment." Before joining Comcast, Shanks worked at Verizon for 20 years, in roles spanning customer experience, retail and management, including leadership of a 1,000-person team responsible for addressing customer escalations and supporting frontline operations. Shanks has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and Human Development & Criminal Justice from Washington State University. She is a valued member of two Comcast employee organizations; the board of the Washington Region Black Employees Network and on the West Division Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. She is also a member of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle Young Professionals network. Comcast is deeply committed to Washington, where employees serve more than 1.6 million residential and business customers throughout our state footprint. Comcast is Washington’s leading provider of XFINITY video, high-speed Internet, “smart home” and phone services. Our Comcast Business team offers Ethernet, Internet, WiFi, Voice, TV, and Managed Solutions to help businesses transform with technology. Since 2011, Comcast has invested $2.5 billion in Washington to build, enhance, and maintain our systems, networks, and infrastructure. As a result, we have been able to continuously increase the features, capacity, reliability, and performance we offer our customers. Comcast has invested billions of dollars in its network, locally and nationally, to meet consumer demand, and it has now increased speeds 18 times in the last 18 years, delivering speeds in most of Washington State from 15 Mbps up to 1 Gbps for residential customers and up to 10 Gbps for business customers. About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. Contact Details Comcast Andy Colley +1 425-248-5438 andy_colley@comcast.com Company Website https://washington.comcast.com/

March 30, 2021 08:55 AM Pacific Daylight Time

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The IRONMAN Group Partners With PRophet To Help Tell Stories Of Triumph

PRophet

PRophet, the first-ever AI-driven platform to help predict media interest, sentiment and spread, announced that The IRONMAN Group and its portfolio of events including the IRONMAN® and IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series and Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, is the most recent company to partner with the platform, bringing PRophet’s active user base to 20 since making the technology commercially available to brands in January of this year. The groundbreaking platform is also now available to agencies and their clients through PRophet’s Agency Partnership Program which allows account teams and their clients unlimited access and use of the platform together. “Platform interest, usage and now real-life use cases underscore the growing acceptance of AI-based technologies like PRophet to help improve human performance,” said Aaron Kwittken, founder and CEO of PRophet. “We look forward to continuing to grow the platform’s reach to agencies and their clients alike and provide additional market-first capabilities in the months to come.” “As a performance-driven organization ourselves, PRophet helped us uncover additional journalists who we had not engaged with previously, leading to an overall placement increase of over 30%. More importantly, the platform is helping us share more stories around an athlete’s journey of triumph which is of core importance to us. Being able to use PRophet’s pitch data and analytics to better inform our press strategies amongst high quality, high authority outlets is a game changer for us, helping to put the spotlight on our deserving athletes,” said Dan Berglund, Vice President of Global Communications, The IRONMAN Group. Agencies and brands can contact PRophet at sales@prprophet.ai for a demonstration of the platform’s capabilities and request a complementary, two-week trial. For more information on PRophet, visit www.prprophet.ai. About PRophet PRophet is the first-ever AI-driven software-as-a service (SaaS) platform designed by and for the PR community that samples past stories to better predict future media interest, sentiment, and spread through natural language processing and machine learning. PRophet is owned by Ahteed, LLC, an MDC Ventures company and was founded by marketing industry thought leader and entrepreneur Aaron Kwittken alongside former political strategist, technologist, and author Mark Penn, currently President of Stagwell Group and chairman and CEO of MDC Partners and formerly with Microsoft. To learn more, visit  www.prprophet.ai. Contact Details KWT Global for PRophet Jason Fagan +1 646-761-1206 jfagan@kwtglobal.com Company Website https://www.prprophet.ai/home

March 30, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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News Direct Strikes Deal With Prestigious PA Media To Reach Media Throughout The UK And Ireland

News Direct

News Direct clients targeting the United Kingdom and Ireland will be able to leverage the extensive reach of PA Media, the prominent national news agency that is the leading provider of multimedia content to national newspapers, regional publishers, and major broadcasters. PA Media's geographic footprint includes England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The 153-year-old agency was honored in 2020 by the European Alliance of News Agencies for its innovative PA Explore platform, which serves as a gateway to News Direct content. A key attribute of PA Explore is the ability for journalists and other subscribers to remotely access content from PA Media and its partners, such as News Direct, via any device. Some 5,000 journalists have been onboarded since the pandemic began and are using PA Explore in their daily news gathering activities. The distribution agreement enables News Direct clients to reach influential national titles including The Times & The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Observer and The Independent, as well as major broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and Sky TV, in addition to government and corporate subscribers. “PA Media is universally recognized as the gold standard for reaching the UK media," observed Gregg Castano, Founder/CEO of News Direct. "We are building a network of marquee distribution partners that promise to deliver unrivaled ROI to our clients." News Direct's disruptive approach to international news distributions includes a flat-rate pricing model, inclusive of human prepared translations. Additionally, industry-centric news distribution will include dynamically updated lists that are refreshed with each use, raising the potential of earned media placements. About News Direct News Direct provides news and content distribution for PR, IR, Corporate Communications and Marketing professionals. Our automated platform delivers a completely reimagined, intuitive workflow, industry-leading security, transparent, flat-rate pricing and actionable analytics. Further, News Direct has deployed an array of innovation including advanced automation, isolation cloud technology and custom software for the most dynamic, efficient and flexible platform available today. To learn more visit newsdirect.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. About PA Media PA Media (PA) is the national news agency for the UK and Ireland, and a leading provider of multimedia content and services for media and non-media customers. As the home of the UK’s national newswire, PA supplies news to national, regional and international newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, websites and digital applications. Established in 1868 as the Press Association, PA has evolved to serve a broad range of sectors beyond media with tailored, multimedia content solutions. PA’s products and services span everything from sports data, hosted live blogs, and social media content to journalism and media training, page production services and TV listings. www.pa.media Contact Details Martha Pearlstone +1 203-295-7566 martha.pearlstone@newsdirect.com Company Website http://www.newsdirect.com

March 30, 2021 09:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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CMMC Center of Excellence Announces Engagement Agreement with Ordr

Interoperability Clearinghouse

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Center of Excellence (CMMC COE), hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public-private partnership serving the public and private sectors for more than 15 years, is excited to announce a partnership with Ordr, an industry leader in continuous discovery, device asset inventory visibility and security of all connected devices, including unmanaged IoT, IoMT, and OT devices. This unique partnership will extend efforts by providing complete device asset inventory discovery for compliance within the CMMC COE Marketplace to improve cybersecurity protection and resilience for the global defense industrial base network of contractors, vendors, and suppliers. “We are excited to embark on this journey with Ordr”, said John Weiler, Chairman of the Board at CMMC Center of Excellence, “The foundation of CMMC starts with visibility into devices in the network and the risks they bring. This new partnership will further help advance the goals and objectives for improving the supply chain security and resilience for the US Department of Defense (DoD)”. Ord provides a purpose-built platform for asset inventory and security. It discovers and secures all connected devices -- from traditional servers, workstations and PCs to IoT, IoMT and OT devices. Using agentless and passive methods of data collection, connected devices can be automatically discovered and classified. Devices with vulnerabilities, weak ciphers/certificates or are subject to recall are identified. Ordr’s machine learning engine also maps and baselines device communication patterns to establish “Flow Genomes”. Ordr can then alert on anomalous behavior and dynamically generate micro-segmentation policies to allow devices only appropriate access. “The Ordr team is thrilled to be joining the pioneering organizations and innovators that make up the CMMC COE,” said Greg Murphy, Chief Executive Officer at Ordr. “We are working with DIB contractors, vendors, and the supplier community to enable them to meet CMMC regulations quickly and efficiently. Being a part of the CMMC COE accelerates that effort.” The executed Engagement Agreement establishes a collaborative engagement between Ordr and the CMMC COE to partner in the furthering of their respective and complementary missions and objectives regarding the adoption, use, and expansion of CMMC based cybersecurity practices, risk management, and compliance for the DIB contractor, vendor, and supplier community of providers creating a broader CMMC ecosystem globally to improve security and resilience. Specific actions will include: The co-development of CMMC advisory services, cyber training and education programs to accelerate CMMC certification, increase cyber adoption and improve cyber protection & resilience. Co-sponsor symposiums, training programs and podcasts leveraging their combined cyber and IT expertise. Host regular working groups, with other partners, to enable collaboration and communications. Establish an independent Industry Cyber Security Advisory Council with peer organizations to advise and educate leaders across government and industry on the continued evolution and effectiveness of CMMC. The CMMC-COE ( http://cmmc-coe.org ) and Ordr partnership will focus on bringing together the many disparate cyber and national security communities of interest to reduce complexity, improve awareness, and accelerate industry effort to become more cyber resilient against the growing threats from nation states and criminal enterprises. The CMMC-COE establishes both a Market Place and Knowledge Clearinghouse that will include resources that support the overall effort, including white papers; tutorials; recorded webcasts; presentations; and more that will help reduce the cost and burden on small and medium size contractors already struggling from the impact of COVID. For more information on the CMMC COE, please visit http://cmmc-coe.org, email info@cmmc-coe.org or call 703-863-3766. For more information on Ordr, please visit https://ordr.net/solutions/cmmc/, email info@ordr.net or call 833.673.7999 #### Contact Details John Weiler Executive Director, IT-AAC Chairman, CMMC COE john.weiler@it-aac.org 703-863-3766 Monica Wallace for Ordr Monica.Wallace@ruderfinn.com 650-346-8994 About Us ---------- CMMC-COE.ORG is a unique non-profit public-private partnership, with a vision to accelerate Cybersecurity Maturity Model (CMM) adoption, and reduce time & cost for security compliance for our partners by leveraging commercial best practices, CMMC standards, and innovative solutions for a measurable success. Our mission, focused on DOD mission objectives, cost containment and expeditious CMMC compliance, is to help the DIB improve cyber posture and resilience, and simplify its acquisition. The CMMC-COE is hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public/private partnership (P3) chartered in 2007 as an honest broker to reach outside the confines of the Federal IT advisories that lack dynamic reach into the Global IT Market, and dedicated to the adoption of commercial IT management standards of practice and innovations emanating from the Global IT market. Team IT-AAC has already demonstrated the value of its decade long investment, and provides a unique value to agencies seeking to achieve accelerate the transformation of legacy processes and systems. Our Just-in-Time SMEs apply an innovative suite of Technology Business Management and Agile Acquisition Processes needed to assure the business value of commercial IT. The Interoperability Clearinghouse (ICH), is the managing partner that make up the 24 NGO/SDO organizations that make up the IT-AAC. ICH provides the contract vehicles, clearances, and critical resources proven to guide sustainable, measurable and repeatable processes needed to drive better investment decisions as the speed of mission need, while aligning existing processes, methods and workforce with IT reform mandates contained in Clinger Cohen Act, FITARA, IT MGT Act, EO13838. About Ordr ------------ Digital transformation has led to the inevitable explosive increase of connected devices. The scale and diversity of these devices, and the capacity for network connectivity introduces risks. Every single device is a potential attack vector and must be secured. Ordr delivers visibility and security of all connected devices -- from traditional servers, workstations and PCs to IoT, IoMT and OT devices. Ordr discovers what devices are in the network, profiles device behavior and risks, and then automates appropriate action. Contact Details CMMC Center of Excellence Bob Dix +1 703-975-6633 bob.dix@it-aac.org Company Website https://cmmc-coe.org

March 30, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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