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Draft2Digital to Acquire Smashwords, Creating Self-Publishing Juggernaut

Draft2Digital

Draft2Digital, LLC and Smashwords, Inc., two pioneers in ebook self-publishing, today announced that Draft2Digital will acquire Smashwords. The acquisition unites the industry’s two most innovative and author-friendly publishing platforms into one, enabling the new Draft2Digital to drive even greater success for authors, publishers, and sales partners. Draft2Digital and Smashwords are key catalysts behind the dramatic rise of self-publishing over the last fourteen years. Their publishing platforms enable 250,000 authors and publishers around the world to publish, distribute, market, and manage over 800,000 ebooks and 11,000 print on demand paperback books. The combined company will operate under the Draft2Digital name and will be headquartered in Oklahoma City. All Smashwords and Draft2Digital employees are expected to join the combination. Kris Austin, co-founder and CEO of Draft2Digital, will lead the combined company as CEO. Mark Coker, founder and former CEO of Smashwords, will join the Draft2Digital management team as Chief Strategy Officer and board member. Both companies are entering the acquisition profitable and debt-free. “I’m pleased to welcome Smashwords authors, publishers, employees and partners to the D2D family,” said Kris Austin. “Early in our discussions with Smashwords, we each immediately realized we can accomplish so much more for the indie author community by working together than working as competitors. The resources we once expended creating duplicative systems can now be redeployed to ramp up our R&D investments in next generation tools to empower authors and publishers.” “I’m thrilled to join forces with Draft2Digital,” said Mark Coker. “Over the last decade, I’ve come to deeply admire Draft2Digital’s team, technology, and commitment to authors. Our shared business model is a key to our two companies’ success. We put authors first. By design, we only make money when our authors make money. This aligns our interests with the interests of our authors. Together we will lead the next chapter of the indie author revolution.” The combination is expected to yield significant benefits for authors, publishers, retail and library partners, and readers. Draft2Digital authors will gain access to the Smashwords Store and its myriad exclusive book marketing tools, including Smashwords Coupons, self-serve merchandising, Author Interviews, and the patent pending Smashwords Presales tool for book launches. Sales at the Smashwords Store have grown consecutively each of the last five years, with December 2021 sales up 20% over December 2020. Draft2Digital’s erotica authors can look forward to expanded distribution enabled by Smashwords’ proprietary erotica certification system, which allows retailers to carry erotic romance and mainstream erotica with greater confidence. Smashwords authors will gain access to new tools that simplify print and digital publishing and drive greater success. Among these tools are D2D Print, the company’s Print on Demand service for paperbacks (currently in beta, which authors can join at https://draft2digital.com/printbeta/); improved metadata management tools for better book discoverability at retailers; automated end-matter for series books; payment splitting for co-authors and collaborations; and more payment options, including direct bank deposits. Retailers and libraries served by the companies can expect greater title selection and unmatched merchandising recommendations. The new, merged company will offer retailers, subscription services, and libraries unprecedented data-driven insights into the world’s largest dedicated catalog of independently published books. This represents a unique and first-of-its-kind offering that Draft2Digital believes will improve the publishing industry. Customers of the Smashwords Store can look forward to an improved store experience and an increased selection of books from the many great authors and publishers distributed by Draft2Digital. “This acquisition is great news for indie authors,” said Joanna Penn, host of the Creative Penn podcast and bestselling author who has followed each company since its founding. “Two of the industry’s strongest advocates for indie authors are combining their unique toolsets, technologies, and energy to do more for the indie community. There are exciting years ahead!” What’s Coming Next The acquisition is expected to close on March 1, 2022. To minimize workflow disruption for authors, publishers, and sales partners, the two platforms will combine their systems in gradual and incremental steps. Authors and publishers of both companies can continue utilizing their current platform of choice with the understanding that over time the authors and publishers of both companies will gain access to a common dashboard, common distribution outlets (including distribution to the Smashwords Store for current D2D authors), and an expanded suite of new and improved tools for book publishing, distribution, and marketing. Draft2Digital will broadcast a live Q&A session for authors and publishers on Wednesday, February 9 th, at Noon Central, with Kris Austin and Mark Coker, moderated by Kevin Tumlinson, Draft2Digital’s VP of Marketing & PR. Kris and Mark will share additional insight about their plans to support the indie publishing community and welcome questions from the audience. Visit https://D2DLive.com for links and launch time, and to attend live on either Facebook or YouTube. The live broadcast will be recorded for future inclusion in the Draft2Digital podcast, Self Publishing Insiders, and will be available as a blog post at Draft2Digital.com/blog. Additional FAQs about the acquisition can be found at: https://smashwords.com/united https://draft2digital.com/united About Draft2Digital Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Draft2Digital is the world’s leading publishing platform for self-published authors and independent presses. The company offers a broad suite of free and powerful automated and self-serve tools that authors and publishers can use to build and grow their publishing businesses. This includes tools to simplify ebook and print publishing, distribution, metadata management, and marketing. Following its acquisition of Smashwords, Draft2Digital will serve more than 250,000 authors and publishers that collectively publish over 800,000 books worldwide. Visit Draft2Digital at https://draft2digital.com or follow on Twitter @Draft2Digital. About Smashwords, Inc. Founded in 2008 by Mark Coker, Smashwords was an early pioneer in ebook self-publishing. The company’s platform made it possible for writers to professionally produce, publish, and distribute ebooks at no cost. As a distributor, Smashwords was the first to open multiple major retailers and library ebook services to self-published authors, and worked in partnership with sales partners and payment processors to establish systems, standards, and professional best practices to foster a thriving ecosystem of indie-friendly booksellers and libraries. As of December 31, 2021, Smashwords was publishing 590,000 ebooks supplied by 150,000 authors, publishers and literary agents. The company was originally headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif, and most recently based in Pacific Grove, Calif. Visit Smashwords at https://smashwords.com, or follow the store at @Smashwords. For media inquiries, please contact: Kevin Tumlinson, Director of Marketing & PR kevin.tumlinson@draft2digital.com ### Contact Details Draft2Digital Kevin Tumlinson, Director of Marketing & PR kevin.tumlinson@draft2digital.com Company Website https://draft2digital.com/

February 08, 2022 10:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Velocity Global becomes Official Partner of the DP World Tour

Velocity Global

Velocity Global becomes first global technology company to sponsor the DP World Tour, PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour DP World Tour to utilise the Global Work Platform from Velocity Global to enable employees to work anywhere in the world Multi-year agreement with elevated partnership status at three additional tournaments The DP World Tour today announces that Velocity Global, the world’s leading provider of global talent solutions, has become an Official Tour Partner in a multi-year agreement. Velocity Global serves as the Official Global Work Platform of the DP World Tour. Speaking about the partnership Rob Wellner, Chief Revenue Officer of Velocity Global said; “We are excited to become an Official Tour Partner and the Official Global Work Platform for the DP World Tour. Golf is truly a global game that spans national boundaries, leading to increased competition in an effort to find the best golf talent wherever it is. Finding and hiring top talent - anyone, anywhere - is at the heart of what Velocity Global provides to our customers. We give a competitive edge to leading companies to get ahead in the global marketplace. This partnership is a perfect embodiment of that work." Max Hamilton, Commercial Director of the European Tour group, added; “The DP World Tour has a truly global footprint, with 45 tournaments across 25 countries in our 2022 schedule - and in Velocity Global, we have found a partner who matches that globality. As an ever-expanding Tour, their Global Work Platform will support our business operations for DP World Tour personnel working abroad. Their footprint in golf is substantial and given our close ties to the PGA TOUR and both the LPGA and Ladies European Tour with our mixed events, Velocity Global can create synergies through its deep partnerships across golf’s biggest tours. We look forward to supporting each other in the years ahead.” As an Official Tour Partner, Velocity Global benefits from a range of marketing opportunities to grow its brand, including on-course signage and live television branding during DP World Tour events, bespoke social media content and access to tournament hospitality services. Throughout the partnership Velocity Global and the DP World Tour will develop a multi-channel content series to showcase some of the top players in the world and share their Work from Anywhere story. Velocity Global also enjoys elevated partnership status at three of the DP World Tour’s premier tournaments each season. These are two Rolex Series tournaments - the BMW PGA Championship and the DP World Tour Championship - plus the ISPS Handa World Invitational, which is an innovative mixed gender tournament run in partnership with the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour. The company’s Global Work Platform TM enables employers to grow compliant distributed workforces in more than 185 countries. Serving as the Official Global Work Platform for the DP World Tour, this partnership will see the Tour use Velocity Global’s services to help its employees work anywhere in the world. With this announcement, Velocity Global is now a partner of the four leading Tours in the men’s and women’s professional game – the first global tech company to have such a presence in elite golf. The company is already the Official Global Workforce Solutions Platform of the PGA TOUR, as well as the presenting sponsor of the PGA TOUR University. Last month, Velocity Global also announced a new agreement as the Official Global Work Platform of the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour. In addition, Billy Horschel, the winner of the 2021 BMW PGA Championship on the DP World Tour and a six-time PGA TOUR winner, is a Velocity Global brand ambassador, along with 12th-ranked Lexi Thompson and Albane Valenzuela on the LPGA Tour. Kevin Hall, a four-time APGA Tour champion, is also a Velocity Global brand ambassador. About Velocity Global Velocity Global accelerates the future of work for anyone, anywhere, anyhow. Its Global Work Platform simplifies the employer and talent experience through its proprietary cloud-based talent management technology, backed by personalized expertise and unmatched global scale. With talent solutions in more than 185 countries and all 50 United States, the platform combines global Employer of Record and Contractor Management to onboard, manage, and pay talent worldwide. More than 1,000 brands rely on Velocity Global to build global teams without the cost or complexity of setting up foreign legal entities or state registrations. Velocity Global was named a "Leader" in Global Employer of Record services by prominent analyst firm NelsonHall. Founded in 2014, the company has hundreds of employees across six continents. For more information visit velocityglobal.com. About the DP World Tour The DP World Tour is the main men’s professional golf Tour of the European Tour group, with a global schedule featuring a minimum of 45 tournaments in 25 different countries across the 2022 season. Formerly known as the European Tour, which was established in 1972, the 2022 DP World Tour schedule includes five Rolex Series events, along with four Major Championships, two World Golf Championship events and three tournaments co-sanctioned with the PGA TOUR, as well as tournaments staged around the world with a minimum prize of $2million for all events solely sanctioned by the DP World Tour. The season concludes with the final Rolex Series event, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, where the winner of the Tour’s season-long competition, the DP World Tour Rankings, will be crowned. DP World, the leading provider of global smart end-to-end supply chain and logistics solutions, is the title partner of the DP World Tour, which is administered by the European Tour group. Contact Details Velocity Global Chris McGrath +1 720-650-4348 news@velocityglobal.com Company Website https://velocityglobal.com/

February 08, 2022 07:01 AM Mountain Standard Time

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Pickswise Curates the “Top 10 Super Bowl Betting Moments & Controversies” List

Pickswise

Pickswise, the fastest growing independent sports betting content provider in North America, today announced the creation of the “Pickswise Top 10 Super Bowl Betting Moments and Controversies” ahead of Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. The list takes a deep dive into some of the most notable betting events of the past 20 years, exploring everything from spectacular plays that drastically swung the balance of the game to wholly unique Super Bowl situations, including Gatorade confusion and national anthem controversies. The Top 10 Super Bowl betting moments and controversies 10. Patrick Mahomes’ victory kneel down chaos (Super Bowl LIV) 9. Philly Special - Foles & Eagles trick Pats (Super Bowl LII) 8. Controversial Gatorade bath (Super Bowl XLVI) 7. Malcolm Butler goal line interception - Patriots vs Seahawks (Super Bowl XLIX) 6. Devin Hester opening kickoff touchdown return (Super Bowl XLI) 5. Christina Aguilera and Gladys Knight National Anthem controversies (Super Bowl XLV) & (Super Bowl LIII) 4. Steelers come back to beat Cardinals (Super Bowl XLIII) 3. Kurt Warner leads the longshot Rams (Super Bowl XXXIV) 2. Underdog Giants ruin Patriots perfection (Super Bowl XLII) 1. Patriots 28-3 comeback, win in OT vs Falcons (Super Bowl LI) “The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of sports betting since almost every aspect of the event can be bet on, from the coin toss to the final score. All these moments are then amplified as an estimated 24 million Americans will bet nearly $5 billion on the game,” said Jared Smith, lead betting analyst at Pickswise. “It was important for us to develop an inclusive list showcasing how fortunes have swung on everything from the Patriots historic comeback in Super Bowl LI to Gladys Knight causing a stir by hitting some extra notes in Super Bowl LIII. Anything and everything can happen during the Super Bowl, which makes it so compelling and exciting.” In addition to the list of memorable betting moments, Smith and Pickswise host Lauren Jbara have provided key analysis to this year’s most popular Super Bowl betting markets, found on Pickswise’s Super Bowl Hub. “Our Super Bowl Hub serves as a one-stop destination for all those looking to make a more informed decision come Super Bowl Sunday,” said Jbara. “With breakdowns on everything from sides and totals to key props and betting trends, we have been able to put all a bettor needs ahead of the big game in one place.” Pickswise is owned by Spotlight Sports Group, a world-leading technology, content and media company specializing in sports betting and fantasy sports. ABOUT PICKSWISE Pickswise is a digital platform that provides free wagering research, insights and analysis from experts in every major sport. Based in New York and part of Spotlight Sports Group, Pickswise is one of the fastest-growing publishers of sports betting content in the U.S. For more information, visit Pickswise.com. ABOUT SPOTLIGHT SPORTS GROUP Spotlight Sports Group (owned by Exponent Private Equity) is a leading technology, content and media business specializing in sports betting. Evolved from the Racing Post Group, Spotlight Sports Group engages millions of people directly through Racing Post, Pickswise, Free Super Tips, Fantasy Alarm and myracing. The company also has decades of experience in powering growth and conversion for the world’s biggest sportsbooks and media companies, delivering best-in-class technology and expert scalable content experiences in more than 70 languages. Contact Details Hot Paper Lantern Michael Adorno +1 212-931-6143 madorno@hotpaperlantern.com Company Website https://www.pickswise.com/

February 08, 2022 08:31 AM Eastern Standard Time

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How The US is Leading the World to End COVID

YourUpdateTV

After two years of dealing with COVID issues, everyone is sick of arguing about masks and wants the supply chain fixed, the economy to rebound and kids to stay in school. The United States has been the global leader in the fight donating more than a half a billion vaccine doses and hundreds of millions of dollars. More needs to be done, and it’s in the hands of Congress to pass an emergency plan to End COVID Now. YourUpdateTV spoke to Michelle Nunn, President & CEO of CARE USA and Dr. Angela Wakhweya, CARE USA Senior Director, Health Equity and Rights Team to discuss how the US is leading the world to end COVID. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/vbbO4zX15Qw An emergency plan being considered by Congress will put billions of dollars into vaccines that could help reduce the risk of new variants developing that could threaten the United States and finally allow us to get back to normal. END COVID NOW is up with new advertisements across the country starting today, Lead The World and Variants are running nationwide on TV and cable as well as digital and streaming platforms. The Campaign to End COVID Now says This pandemic isn’t going away. Instead, it is a chronic disaster for everyone – families, communities, the whole country. The solution is straightforward and staring us in the face – we must achieve global immunity through ensuring everyone in the world has access to vaccines as quickly as possible. If not, we will continue to see variant after variant spread through our neighborhoods, disrupting and threatening our lives and our children’s lives. To learn more, visit EndCovidNow.com About the Campaign to End Covid: The End Covid Now campaign was formed by public health experts, scientists, and other concerned Americans to pressure our nation’s leaders and pharmaceutical companies to ensure future variants don’t shut down America. The plan to end COVID-19 consists of investing more money in vaccine manufacturing, sharing the vaccine formula so other countries can manufacture and distribute them, and working with allied countries to get more people vaccinated so Americans are safe from future variants. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

February 07, 2022 12:03 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Kivvit Announces Addition of Top-Level Talent

Kivvit

Kivvit today announced a transformative expansion with 10 new hires – including a cohort of four new Managing Directors – marking the largest expansion of Kivvit’s senior leadership team since the firm’s founding twenty years ago. Joining Kivvit’s senior leadership as Managing Directors are Arielle Goren, Aaron Mays, Terri Sanders, and Jalisa Washington-Price. “Kivvit is singularly focused on attracting great professionals who can thrive in our unique operating structure, which focuses equally on sectors, industries and geographies, supported with a suite of internal service teams. This work culture creates a platform for our team to do our best work and constantly grow professionally,” said Kivvit founder and CEO Eric Sedler. Other recent additions to the Kivvit team include: Katie Coleman, Principal (Chicago) Iris Dew, Brand Strategy Senior Associate (Chicago) Alex Hanns, Principal (Chicago) Mashal Hashem, Associate (New York) Christine Lee, Senior Associate (New York) MJ Sheckles, Talent Manager (DC) These latest hires cap a year of expansion for Kivvit that included record revenue growth, the launch of a new talent team and brand strategy team, and a doubling in size of the firm’s digital and insights teams. MANAGING DIRECTOR PROFILES: Arielle Goren Arielle specializes in messaging, strategic counsel, executive and crisis communications. Before Kivvit, Arielle founded and lead Juno Strategies, a boutique communications consultancy where she developed and executed social impact campaigns on behalf of start-up and non-profit clients. In that capacity, she helped launch San Francisco and Oakland’s COVID-19 emergency relief funds, mobilized a coalition in support of expanded healthcare access for gig workers, and highlighted technological innovations being used to preserve the stories of Holocaust survivors. Arielle also previously honed her business, tech, executive and crisis communications skills as one of Uber’s early hires to its Policy & Communications team. Arielle began her career as an aide to Senator Chuck Schumer and has held senior positions as a speechwriter and communications advisor in New York State and Los Angeles City government, as well as on Hillary Clinton’s historic 2016 presidential campaign. Aaron Mays Aaron Mays is an award-winning PR professional and media relations strategist based in Chicago. Before Kivvit, Aaron led his own communications firm, where he worked with clients in the US and the UK. He has devised numerous earned media campaigns over the course of his career, securing placements in local and national outlets, as well as across the globe in Mexico, Canada, the UK, sub-Saharan Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Prior to that, he served in communications roles at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, The Axis Agency, and Rise Interactive. Terri Sanders Terri is an award-winning marketing, branding, and communications expert with more than 20 years of experience. She works across industries in brand development and positioning, marketing strategy, consumer research, audience development, and crisis communications. Prior to joining Kivvit, Terri served as the chief marketing and communications officer for HIMSS, where she was responsible for global management of its brands as well as marketing, communications, design, and UI/UX. Before that, she worked in communications and branding at The Chartis Group, and previously Terri served as director of corporate brand and strategy at AIM Specialty Health. In 2019, she received the Power 50 - Women Transforming their Industries award. Jalisa Washington-Price Jalisa is a decorated campaign strategist. Jalisa most recently worked at iHeartMedia as VP, Political & Advocacy. Jalisa also worked on the Joe Biden presidential campaign, serving as Senior Political Advisor to vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris. In 2021 Jalisa was the Director of the Office of the Vice President-elect for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Jalisa has also held senior leadership positions at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, worked on a number of congressional and statewide campaigns and worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. In 2020 Jalisa was named 40 under 40 in Government and Politics by Fortune. She has made appearances on MSNBC and CNN. About Kivvit Kivvit is one of the largest and fastest-growing independent strategic communications and public affairs firms in the United States, with over 130 professionals across six offices in Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. Kivvit has earned over 60 awards and recognitions in the past 5 years, including Public Affairs of the Year (Reed Awards), Digital Agency of the Year (PRovoke SABRE North America), Most Innovative Agency (Bulldog Stars of PR Awards), and a Best Agency to Work For (PRovoke). Kivvit also leads O'Dwyer's national rankings of independent communications firms across multiple categories, including #1 for Non Profits, #2 for Energy, #3 for Corporate Social Responsibility, #3 for Real Estate, and #4 for Education. Contact Details Kivvit Zach Silber +1 212-929-0669 zsilber@kivvit.com Company Website https://www.kivvit.com/

February 04, 2022 03:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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The Importance of Indoor Air Quality

YourUpdateTV

Aire Serv®, a Neighborly® company, is a global franchise providing installation, maintenance and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and indoor air quality systems. Aire Serv® franchisees provide services to residential and commercial customers from more than 200 locations worldwide. Established in 1992, Aire Serv® is part of Neighborly®, is the world’s largest home services franchisor of 29 brands and nearly 5,000 franchises collectively serving 10 million+ customers in nine countries, focused on repairing, maintaining and enhancing homes and businesses, united under one platform serving 10 million+ customers in nine countries. Neighborly® brands are found at Neighborly.com and through the Neighborly App. For more information about Aire Serv®, visit AireServ.com. The quality of the air we breathe has a direct effect on our health and comfort. You may notice some of the more prominent side effects of indoor air pollution, like an unpleasant odor, but many others go undetected. These include headaches, fatigue, respiratory issues, and other serious, long-term conditions. Recently, Hall of Famer and Super Bowl Champion, Jerome “The Bus” Bettis, teamed up with Aire Serv, a Neighborly company, on a nationwide satellite media tour to discuss the importance of indoor air quality, especially when it comes to how pollution can impact workouts. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/moFVmGsuRK0 Jerome was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 14 and as an avid athlete, making sure he wasn’t aggravating that condition was critical to his performance level. As a result, he started learning about different air pollutants and discovered that many are actually found within the home. When you’re constantly breathing in air pollutants, it can take a toll on your breathing over time and especially make it difficult to breathe deeply while exercising. When you don’t get enough oxygen, your energy level decreases, which directly impacts the intensity and performance of your workouts. The cleaner the air you breathe, the better you’re setting up your body for a successful training session. Something as simple as changing the air filters quarterly can have a great impact on indoor air quality. Also, being more mindful of the items in your household will help, such as opting for real plants that will help purify the air indoors, buying beeswax or organic candles, and even swapping out dryer sheets and fabric softeners for more natural alternatives. The experts at Aire Serv recommend making sure you have proper ventilation and filtration throughout the home, as well as air treatments to get rid of any bacteria or viruses. To determine what’s best for your home, call a service professional from Aire Serv to test for you, as this will eliminate a lot of the guesswork. Aire Serv service professionals will go through a discovery stage that discusses issues in the home such as dry throat, allergies, asthma, headaches, and fatigue before analyzing the air quality inside of the home. Once the analysis is complete, the service professionals can recommend additional measures to improve the quality of air in the home, including air and duct cleaning, duct sealing, UVC protection, and ionization. For more information, you can visit AireServ.com, or Neighborly.com to learn more about their other home service brands. About Jerome “The Bus” Bettis: The former Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back is one of the best all-time running backs in the NFL (6th overall in rushing). Jerome Bettis was also the recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2001. “The Bus” finished his NFL career in January 2006 after 13 seasons, retiring immediately following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 21-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL in his hometown of Detroit. Diagnosed with asthma at age 14, Bettis is a tireless advocate for asthma education and awareness. Bettis founded and establish “The Bus Stops Here Foundation” in 1996 to help improve the quality of life for disadvantaged and underprivileged children. About Aire Serv ®: Aire Serv®, a Neighborly® company, is a global franchise providing installation, maintenance and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and indoor air quality systems. Aire Serv® franchisees provide services to residential and commercial customers from more than 200 locations worldwide. Established in 1992, Aire Serv® is part of Neighborly®, is the world’s largest home services franchisor of 29 brands and nearly 5,000 franchises collectively serving 10 million+ customers in nine countries, focused on repairing, maintaining and enhancing homes and businesses, united under one platform serving 10 million+ customers in nine countries. Neighborly® brands are found at Neighborly.com and through the Neighborly App. For more information about Aire Serv®, visit AireServ.com. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

February 04, 2022 02:54 PM Eastern Standard Time

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COD Launches Virtual Newsroom to Expand Coverage of Stories, Experts and Events

College of DuPage

The College of DuPage News Bureau recently launched a new virtual newsroom to enhance coverage of events, subject-matter experts, features and other news from the Glen Ellyn campus, its centers and ongoing work in the community. The new virtual newsroom website provides an overview of the College’s latest news, student success stories and faculty experts through stories, videos and photos. Visitors to the site also can read the latest from COD President Dr. Brian Caputo and other College thought leaders to learn more about campus happenings and programs. “Our inaugural virtual newsroom brings forth a unified user interface and solid experience that is uniquely designed to meet the needs of both internal and external audiences,” said Wendy E. Parks, Vice President of PR, Marketing and Communications. “We are excited to share this digital platform that will serve as a news hub and repository of sources, industry trends and information.” In addition, media outlets now have direct access to COD footage and photos, and easily can contact News Bureau staff through the website’s improved navigation. “College of DuPage is a multi-faceted institution, and it is important for us to better capture our vital and engaging content by incorporating the multitude of tools we use to convey our institutional story,” said News Bureau and Community Engagement Senior Manager Jennifer Duda. “The News Bureau and COD’s web team collaborated to create a platform that operates very much like front page news for the institution.” The site features videos from COD’s award-winning Multimedia Services department, information on upcoming events, and analysis on current issues and trends from faculty experts who share their knowledge through the College’s Speakers Bureau. “We are very proud of the end result and excited to share this resource with our community members and local media,” Duda said. The News Bureau crafts dynamic and compelling stories to support the College's mission and vision through media outreach, social media strategy and multimedia pieces. The department is responsible for developing press releases and obtaining media placements in local, regional and national media outlets to enhance visibility of the College's news, programs, students, faculty, events and thought leadership. News Bureau Contact Details Jennifer Duda +1 630-942-3097 dudajen@cod.edu

February 03, 2022 01:00 PM Central Standard Time

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NERL and Elsevier continue agreement and develop open access pilot

Elsevier

February 3, 2022 – NERL, a consortium representing some of America’s leading research institutions, and Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, have established a new three-year agreement. The deal provides 13 of the NERL member institutions with ScienceDirect access and pilots retroactive open access (OA) for participating institutions’ authors. In 2021, a project team of NERL and Elsevier representatives established the agreement terms to ensure continued access to Elsevier's journals and support the NERL core values of transparency, sustainability, equity, reproducibility, and flexibility. This mutually sustainable agreement includes numerous NERL Preferred Deal Elements. The retroactive OA pilot program is the first of its kind. Each year of the agreement will open five years of content by researchers based at NERL institutions—a total of 15 years constituting tens of thousands of articles authored by leading researchers. The agreement advances NERL’s values-based licensing agenda and Elsevier’s commitment to OA. The participating institutions—including Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Rochester, the University of Miami and others—will all have content included as a part of the pilot. Lindsay Cronk, project Co-chair and University of Rochester Assistant Dean of Scholarly Resources & Curation, said: “The future of scholarly communication depends on agreements that don’t reinforce the inertia of the past or create new inequities. We have succeeded in this agreement by arriving at an entirely new model that provides more access for all who seek knowledge.” Greg Eow, President of the Center for Research Libraries, the administrative host of NERL, added: “We are proud that NERL continues to be a leader in the movement towards open access, and we look to build on this agreement to find even more robust ways to democratize access to scholarship going forward.” Elsevier works in partnership with customers to understand their objectives and collaborate with them to achieve these while preserving the quality, integrity, and sustainability of peer-review scholarly communications. The agreement supports NERL's goals by enabling researchers to stay up to date with the latest science, technology, and health findings worldwide via ScienceDirect, while opening ScienceDirect content authored by NERL researchers. “We are delighted to support NERL’s world-class researchers to access and publish high-quality, trusted research,” says James Tonna, Elsevier’s Vice President for North America Academic and Government. “Working collaboratively with NERL, we hope to play a small part in helping their researchers advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society.” About NERL A national leader in negotiated licensing, NERL maximizes effective and sustainable access to content for its member institutions. By building and supporting alliances between higher education and the information industry, NERL serves as an advocate for the collective power and influence of academic libraries and their parent institutions. The NERL and Elsevier project was co-chaired by Jessica Morales of Notre Dame and Lindsay Cronk of the University of Rochester, with key contributors that included Ken Peterson formerly of Dartmouth University, Maridath Wilson of Boston University, Michael Fernandez of Yale University, Katie Brady of the University of Pennsylvania, and Terrie Wheeler of Cornell University. About Elsevier As a global leader in information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society. We do this by facilitating insights and critical decision-making for customers across the global research and health ecosystems. In everything we publish, we uphold the highest standards of quality and integrity. We bring that same rigor to our information analytics solutions for researchers, health professionals, institutions and funders. Elsevier employs 8,100 people worldwide. We have supported the work of our research and health partners for more than 140 years. Growing from our roots in publishing, we offer knowledge and valuable analytics that help our users make breakthroughs and drive societal progress. Digital solutions such as ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath support strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and health education. Researchers and healthcare professionals rely on our 2,500+ digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell; our 40,000 eBook titles; and our iconic reference works, such as Gray's Anatomy. With the Elsevier Foundation and our external Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board, we work in partnership with diverse stakeholders to advance inclusion and diversity in science, research and healthcare in developing countries and around the world. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.elsevier.com Media contact Andrew Davis Elsevier Communications, UK andrew.davis@elsevier.com Contact Details Elsevier Andrew Davis +31 20 485 2719 andrew.davis@elsevier.com Company Website https://www.elsevier.com/

February 03, 2022 10:01 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Osmo From BYJU’s Names Kar-Han Tan, Ph.D., Head of Computer Vision and Machine Learning

Osmo

Award-winning STEAM brand, Osmo from BYJU’S, announces Kar-Han Tan’s appointment as Head of Computer Vision and Machine Learning, effective immediately. With three decades leading teams in robotics and AI research and development, Tan will further the development of a world-class computer vision and AI platform that aids in the creation of new products, games, and devices incorporating gains made in deep learning technology. In addition, he will lead a growing global team to research, develop, and optimize new algorithms for computer vision and AI-enabled features such as object detection, object recognition, hand tracking, pattern matching, and hand-drawing analysis, among others, all in an effort to create the best learning tools and outcomes.. “We were impressed by Kar-Han’s extensive experience leading R&D teams in robotics, AI, and deep learning,” says Mark Solomon, Senior Vice President of Products and Platform at BYJU’S. “His background will help Osmo expand the usage of computer vision technology across BYJU’S various products and platforms, further meeting the needs of learners of all ages everywhere.” Tan, who was born and educated in Singapore, most recently founded Helpful Robotics LLC, which designed and built an AI-enabled autonomous assistive robot from the ground up, and fostered a collaboration between scientists and engineers located in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the University of California San Francisco, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “It’s an important moment for Osmo to capitalize on the explosive breakthroughs in computer vision technology driven by advances in deep learning in recent years,” says Tan, a father of two school-aged children who is passionate about kids’ at-home learning utilizing game-based play. “When combined with advances in neural engines and discoveries of new algorithms for devices, it offers a realm of new capabilities for all devices. Osmo is part of a new ‘space age,’ transforming what was previously imagined as sci-fi fantasy into a concrete reality within the realm of gamified learning and tools.” Between 2017 and 2019, Tan was Head of Product Research and Development at Singapore Telecommunications in Singapore, where he built and led an end-to-end research and development organization and led a number of engineering teams. He helped form the Singtel Cognitive and Artificial Intelligence Lab for Enterprise (SCALE) including a collaboration between Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), which focused on resolving various challenges faced by cities in keeping their infrastructure facilities in top working condition, through the use of smart sensors embedded with AI. Tan was also involved in product launches for a cloud-based open robotic fleet management platform, an AI-powered IoT platform, a smart camera system using Edge intelligence, and an immersive 3D physical security management system. Prior to this, Tan was Vice President of Engineering at NovuMind in Silicon Valley, where he formed and led the software and deep learning algorithms team, in addition to leading the development of a proprietary system for deep learning-based, real-time, unconstrained face recognition system that was installed in an office building in China, to monitor times of entries and exits. Before NovuMind, he was Principal Engineer at Hewlett Packard Personal Systems and later promoted to Head of Advanced Development. He served as technical lead for the computer vision software team for Sprout by HP, the first consumer product to integrate a 3D camera and incorporate 3D scanning capability. Tan’s research and development career also includes working for HP Labs, Epson, and Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab. Tan earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science specializing in computer vision technology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a M.S. in Computer Science specializing in robotics from UCLA, and a B.Sc. in Computer Science from National University of Singapore. Tan holds over 60 patents, and his research has been published and cited in numerous academic and trade journals. About Osmo From BYJU’S Osmo is an award-winning STEAM brand, wholly owned by BYJU’S, the leading global edtech company. Osmo and Osmo Education products are used in over 2.5 million homes and 50,000 classrooms, respectively. Osmo builds a universe of hands-on, curriculum-based learning experiences that nourish the minds of children by unleashing the power of imagination. The brand brings physical tools into the digital world through augmented reality and its proprietary reflective artificial intelligence. Learn more at PlayOsmo.com and Osmo Education. About BYJU’S Launched in 2011, BYJU’S is the world’s leading education technology company for students Pre K-12 and is beloved by 100 million students around the world. By making learning contextual and visual, not just theoretical, BYJU’S is paving the way for new-age, geography-agnostic learning tools that sit at the cross-section of mobile, interactive content and personalized learning methodologies. To learn more, go to: byjus.com/us. Contact Details Osmo Lisa Fujioka lisa@tangibleplay.com Company Website http://www.playosmo.com

February 03, 2022 05:00 AM Pacific Standard Time

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