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COMCAST ANNOUNCES RURAL BROADBAND EXPANSION IN SNOHOMISH COUNTY

Comcast West Division

Comcast today announced it will expand service to 1,667 homes in rural areas of Snohomish County. Over the next two years, Comcast will invest $7.6 million, to bring the entire suite of Xfinity and Comcast Business services to the rural unincorporated communities of Sisco Heights, Burns Road, and Frontier Air Park. “I am appreciative of the efforts taken up by Comcast and all of our private sector partners to help us achieve broadband service across the state that is quality, affordable, and reliable. Even before we felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew that too many Washingtonians had limited or no access to broadband,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Continued private investment, such as Comcast’s commitment, is essential to making sure that as many Washingtonians as possible have access.” “This is welcomed news for Snohomish County residents, especially in a world where we are increasingly reliant on a broadband connection to work, learn, and teach. In our region, where we have some of the world’s largest technology companies, we still have too many residents without affordable access to the internet,” said Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01). “Bold investments like these will help families during this difficult time and beyond and help make sure students don’t fall behind because of their connectivity. It’s incumbent upon state and federal lawmakers to also help fill the connectivity gap in our rural communities and partner with the private sector.” “Snohomish County welcomes Comcast’s significant investment in our rural communities and the expansion of broadband access,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Sommers. “This investment will support workforce development, virtual education, overall quality of life, and greater access to high speed internet for our residents. I appreciate Comcast’s commitment to expanding broadband access in critical areas of Snohomish County.” “This is excellent news for our rural communities, especially with kids online attending classes and parents working from home, said Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro Wooley. “The need for fast and secure internet service has never been greater and I’m glad to see Comcast step-up to help our underserved neighborhoods.” “I’m thrilled to hear this news. For today’s generation, communication services are a necessity, not a luxury. This expanded network service will help thousands of individuals, families and businesses in our region. I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this change a reality,” said Rep. Carolyn Eslick, R-Sultan, 39th LD. Snohomish County residents will have access to the entire Xfinity product suite, including Internet Essentials, the largest and most comprehensive low-cost Internet adoption program for low-income Americans. Since 2011, it has connected more than 85,000 low-income households statewide, many for the first time. Businesses will have access to the full suite of Comcast Business Internet, voice, and video services, including WiFi, Voice, TV and managed enterprise solutions for businesses of all sizes. “We’re excited to expand our network into these rural communities. Connecting people to the power of technology is important and life-changing” said Rodrigo Lopez, Region Senior Vice President, Comcast Washington. “We will continue investing in our state. In one year alone, we spent $988 million in Washington to maintain and upgrade our network, help local charities, and keep children connected during school closures.” Comcast has more than 4,200 of employees who serve more than 1.6 million residential and business customers throughout Washington state. Comcast is Washington’s leading provider of Xfinity video, high-speed Internet, smart home and phone services. Comcast operates Xfinity retail stores throughout Washington, which feature a welcoming and modern retail environment that highlights the complete line of Xfinity home and Comcast Business technology offerings, including Xfinity Mobile, Xfinity X1, Xfinity Home and Xfinity Internet. To learn more about Comcast in Washington, visit: https://washington.comcast.com/ About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. 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/

February 25, 2021 08:01 AM Pacific Standard Time

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COMCAST ANNOUNCES RURAL BROADBAND EXPANSIONS IN SNOHOMISH AND SPOKANE COUNTIES

Comcast West Division

Comcast today announced it will expand service to more than 2,100 homes in rural areas of Snohomish and Spokane Counties. Over the next two years, Comcast will invest $9.4 million, to bring the entire suite of Xfinity and Comcast Business services to the rural unincorporated communities of Sisco Heights, Burns Road, Frontier Air Park and Chattaroy. Additionally, Comcast is nearing completion of its network expansion with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, which includes service to more than 600 previously unserved homes in the area. “I am appreciative of the efforts taken up by Comcast and all of our private sector partners to help us achieve broadband service across the state that is quality, affordable, and reliable. Even before we felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew that too many Washingtonians had limited or no access to broadband,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Continued private investment, such as Comcast’s commitment, is essential to making sure that as many Washingtonians as possible have access.” “Today’s announcement is great news for families, workers, and students who have been struggling with the connectivity that is fundamental to our everyday lives in Eastern Washington. I applaud Comcast for their commitment to expanding critical broadband to our rural and unserved communities,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05). “I will continue to lead in Congress to help close the digital divide so students can excel in the classroom, patients can access reliable telehealth services, and everyone has access to the resources needed to succeed in our 21st century digital economy.” “This is welcomed news for Snohomish County residents, especially in a world where we are increasingly reliant on a broadband connection to work, learn, and teach. In our region, where we have some of the world’s largest technology companies, we still have too many residents without affordable access to the internet,” said Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01). “Bold investments like these will help families during this difficult time and beyond and help make sure students don’t fall behind because of their connectivity. It’s incumbent upon state and federal lawmakers to also help fill the connectivity gap in our rural communities and partner with the private sector.” Sisco Heights, Burns Road, Frontier Air Park and Chattaroy residents will have access to the entire Xfinity product suite, including Internet Essentials, the largest and most comprehensive low-cost Internet adoption program for low-income Americans. Since 2011, it has connected 85,000 low-income households statewide, many for the first time. Businesses will have access to the full suite of Comcast Business Internet, voice, and video services, including WiFi, Voice, TV and managed enterprise solutions for businesses of all sizes. “We’re excited to expand our network into these rural communities. Connecting people to the power of technology is important and life-changing” said Rodrigo Lopez, Region Senior Vice President, Comcast Washington. “We will continue investing in our state. In one year alone, we spent $988 million in Washington to maintain and upgrade our network, help local charities, and keep children connected during school closures.” Comcast has more than 4,200 employees who serve more than 1.6 million residential and business customers throughout the state. Comcast is Washington’s leading provider of Xfinity video, high-speed Internet, smart home and phone services. Comcast operates Xfinity retail stores throughout Washington, which feature a welcoming and modern retail environment that highlights the complete line of Xfinity home and Comcast Business technology offerings, including Xfinity Mobile, Xfinity X1, Xfinity Home and Xfinity Internet. To learn more about Comcast in Washington, visit: https://washington.comcast.com/ About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. 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/

February 25, 2021 08:01 AM Pacific Standard Time

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Rechat Launches Innovative Mobile Platform to Empower Real Estate Agents and Brokerages to Work Anytime, Anywhere

Rechat

Rechat, the real estate technology company that’s optimizing the way agents and brokerages do business from the palm of their hand, today announced the launch of its digital platform, designed to empower on-the-go real estate professionals and brokerages to maximize efficiencies from lead to close, wherever they are. Unlike anything currently available, Rechat is the first platform to offer intuitive, fully integrated tools that add unlimited value to an agent’s or a brokerage's brand. Founded by PropTech veteran and software engineer Shayan Hamidi, Rechat is built by real estate professionals for real estate professionals. The 360-degree solution was designed to address the challenges Hamidi experienced first-hand when he created and operated a tech-enabled real estate brokerage, and can be used by individual agents or as a one-stop-shop and white-labeled solution for brokerages. “The pandemic has changed the way real estate agents work, and this new easy-to-use platform empowers them to manage their contacts and relationships, market themselves and their listings, and actually close transactions -- all in a single app,” said Rechat’s CEO Hamidi. “Agents simply sign-up and instantly gain access to a fully-integrated platform that was designed with real estate professionals’ needs in mind, enabling them to build their own personal brands from the palm of their hands.” Featuring an integrated MLS system, marketing and social engagement management, sales flow automation and more, Rechat gives users freedom to do what they do best without spending countless hours figuring out the “how.” Rechat empowers agents and brokerages to provide a full suite of services from a single, intuitive mobile app: market listings, connect with other real estate professionals, and elevate their personal brands. “Rechat’s fully integrated digital platform and app have been game changers for us,” says Robbie Briggs, President and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty in North Texas. “Rechat allows our team to stay connected at every point in the sales process and exceed client expectations, even when we’re not always face-to-face -- for example, during the pandemic. The fact that our agents can customize workflows and build personal brands using these tools has directly translated into increased impressions and traffic, causing a positive network effect that has put us light-years ahead of where we had planned to be by 2021.” At launch, Rechat’s renowned customers include multiple Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates, Douglas Elliman Real Estate and a series of independent brokerages nationwide. The company has raised nearly $6 million and grew its subscriber base by over 900 percent in 2020. In addition, Rechat recently brought on two industry heavyweights, Director of Sales Jay Stifolter, formerly Director of Sales at Realtor.com, and Chief Integration Officer Kevin Smith, a serial entrepreneur with multiple successful exits who was formerly the Acting CIO of Yahoo! and the Vice President of Technology at Broadcast.com. With aggressive growth projected in 2021, Rechat’s advanced platform, combined with its dedication to personalized customer service, allows any brokerage or agent to remain ahead of the industry as it ebbs and flows. For more information on Rechat and to set up a demo, visit www.rechat.com or download the app in the Apple App Store. About Rechat Rechat is an innovative mobile and desktop platform that empowers busy, on-the-go real estate agents and brokers to do business anytime, anywhere. Founded in 2015 by PropTech veteran and software engineer Shayan Hamidi, Rechat is the first platform to offer simple and intuitive fully-integrated tools that any agent or broker can use to maximize their workflow from lead to close. The platform is a 360-degree solution designed to address the pain points of real estate professionals, including managing contacts and relationships, targeting and marketing listings, working with other agents and brokers, building personal brands, closing transactions on the go and more. Rechat is an easy-to-use one-stop shop for busy individual agents and a white-labeled solution for brokerages. Visit https://rechat.com Contact Details April Margulies +1 347-870-9402 rechat@trustrelations.agency Company Website https://rechat.com/

February 25, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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AdvisorVault Revolutionizes 17a-4 Archiving for Small FINRA firms

AdvisorVault

AdvisorVault’s new features are a game changer for small FINRA firms who want to use the cloud but are worried about 17a-4. With their unique consolidated platform AdvisorVault now combines email and electronic records archiving to give centralized access to data stored in the cloud. “This changes everything for small firms because now they can take advantage of services like Office 365 and G Suite and AdvisorVault will seamlessly plug into the cloud and act as their 17a-4 D3P, making the cloud instantly compliant for them. “ Said Allan Lonz, President of AdvisorVault, “Our direct cloud connector supports all major cloud platforms and will archive electronic records as well as emails for full retention and supervision,” Added Lonz. AdvisorVault continually adds new features to its cloud archiving platform to make sure small firms have a one stop D3P for everything. Some key features of AdvisorVault’s cloud archiving platform: Direct Cloud Connector AdvisorVault’s remote archiving software connects directly into all popular cloud services such as Office 365, OneDrive, SharePoint, Dropbox, and the Google Suite. Also, AdvisorVault instantly captures full data sets from the cloud. This means firms can restore everything including office docs in their native format, full Office 365 and Gmail accounts with contacts and calendars, as well as all data stored in SharePoint sites with access to records saved in personal or group/team drives. Automatic Detection of New Cloud Data AdvisorVault’s software automatically detects new cloud data sets as they are created. For example, as a firm adds new users in Office 365, SharePoint, or OneDrive sites, its automatically added to our 17a-4 archive. This applies to G Suite as well where user accounts are frequently added including their personal or team drives. With our automatic detection, compliance officers don’t need to notify us every time new employees are added to the cloud. Electronic Records Retention AdvisorVault applies a 7-year blanket retention rule to ALL customer data relating to their business. This simplifies the whole data archiving retention process because with this policy firms don’t need to separate different data types then try to apply a unique retention policy to each set, which is impossible to maintain, especially for a small firm without an IT dept. Downloading and Data Retention At the end of the day, the reason AdvisorVault acts as the D3P for its customers is to help them maintain access to their archived electronic records or emails when needed. AdvisorVault includes a secure Web portal for customers to access their 17a-4 data archive. Lastly, we retain cloud data for customers that have been removed and keep them in our 17a-4 archive for 7 yrs. Keeping electronic records from users that have been removed from the cloud will also help with compliance since old employee data is often requested during audits. About AdvisorVault AdvisorVault is the only D3P that has designed their software to help small FINRA firms archive cloud data to meet 17a-4. Focusing on solving this unique problem, our consolidated solution gives firms one vendor to help them satisfy today's demands surrounding data archiving and supervision. We have created a centralized archiving option that captures data and emails no matter where they are stored - in-house or in the cloud: total peace of mind - out of the box. Contact Details AdvisorVault Allan Lonz +1 416-985-0310 alonz@advisorvault.org Company Website https://www.advisorvault.org

February 24, 2021 06:05 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Comcast NBCUniversal Commits $500,000 to Support Winter Storm Uri Relief Efforts

Comcast West Division

Our hearts go out to the people of Houston, including thousands of our employees and customers who have been impacted by the extreme and devastating effects of Winter Storm Uri. To help support those impacted by the disaster, Comcast NBCUniversal is committed to providing $500,000 in support to Houston-area relief efforts, including cash and in-kind contributions. The $500,000 commitment includes $250,000 in cash that will be shared between the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Houston. Additionally, the company will donate advertising time on its cable systems to these organizations to run public service announcements to help educate concerned citizens about how they can assist with relief efforts. “Winter Storm Uri has truly highlighted the importance of businesses taking care of the community,” said Amanda McMillian, president and CEO for United Way of Greater Houston. “We thank Comcast for stepping up and making this donation that will provide a lifeline to Houston residents who are struggling due to the devastating effects of this extreme weather.” Comcast NBCUniversal’s pledge is another step in the company’s commitment to providing a combination of financial and additional resources to assist with the relief efforts in Houston. Last week, Comcast opened more than 800,000 Xfinity WiFi hotspots around the Houston area to help all area residents and emergency workers to connect during Winter Storm Uri. “Comcast believes it is our responsibility to continue our support to strengthen the community, said Ralph Martinez, senior vice president for Comcast’s Houston region. “We hope this donation will help accelerate the recovery process and provide the support Houstonians need at this challenging time.” The outpouring of support from Comcast NBCUniversal employees across the country has been tremendous. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the storm, and we will continue to identify ways to give back as rebuilding efforts begin. About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. 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/

February 23, 2021 11:30 AM Central Standard Time

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GSBA AND COMCAST EXPAND RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES ACROSS WASHINGTON STATE WITH SECOND ROUND OF “READY FOR BUSINESS FUND”

Comcast West Division

SEATTLE, February 22, 2021 – Following the success of the Ready for Business Fund in 2020, GSBA – Washington’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce – and Comcast Washington are expanding Ready for Business Fund relief efforts this spring to provide $2,500 grants to additional small businesses seeking financial assistance as the COVID-19 economic crisis continues. The Ready for Business Fund will now expand its reach beyond the Seattle metro area to qualifying small businesses throughout Washington, with $50,000 in additional funding from Comcast and GSBA reprising its role as the program and fund manager. Grants from the Ready for Business Fund are made possible by securing contributions from companies and individuals. GSBA is seeking to raise $150,000 by Friday, March 26. This round of the Ready for Business Fund was made possible by contributions from BECU, Comcast, T-Mobile, Symetra, Microsoft, and Harborstone Credit Union, but GSBA is still counting on large companies and investors across the state to show up for small businesses in need. During GSBA’s virtual 40th Annual Business & Humanitarian Awards last Thursday, February 18, $10,000 was raised for the fund thanks to generous donations from the public, raising the current total to $60,000. The Ready for Business Fund was established in the summer of 2020 with a $100,000 investment from Comcast and GSBA as the fund administrator. The fund distributed $2,500 cash grants to more than 60 BIPOC-, LGBTQ-, and women-owned small businesses in the Seattle metro area last year. This second round of funding will also focus on providing support for qualifying small businesses located in rural areas of Washington who have been particularly impacted by the pandemic and lack of proximity to resources. “Within a month of the Ready for Business Fund application being open last summer, we received nearly 500 applications from local businesses owned by marginalized community members,” said Ilona Lohrey, GSBA VP of Membership & Programs. “The sheer amount of applications we saw as well as the information business owners provided about how they’ve been impacted by the economic challenges of 2020 really painted a picture of how much businesses were struggling, and we know that things have only gotten worse as the pandemic has gone on. $2,500 may not seem like much, but for these small business owners, the grant can be what helps them pay their power bills to keep their lights on, built an outdoor seating area, or pay their staff.” Business owners who applied to the Ready for Business Fund last year reported a devastating impact, including up to 85 percent annual revenue loss, laying-off employees, and significant loss of business. When asked how the grant money would support their business, the most common responses included necessities such as paying for rent, bills, payroll, and groceries. “Small businesses are so critical to the fabric of our communities. They need our continued support, especially through the ongoing pandemic and we want to help them,” said Diem Ly, Community Impact Director, Comcast Washington. “That is why we are continuing to partner with GSBA as we have done for some time now and are pleased to expand the Ready for Business Fund. Now small businesses across Washington state, including those in rural areas of Washington may benefit from the relief effort.” Companies and individuals may find more information and contribute to the Ready for Business Fund by contacting Ilona Lohrey (she/her) at IlonaL@thegsba.org / (206) 363-9188, or visiting the webpage at theGSBA.org/ready-for-business. BIPOC, LGBTQ, and women-owned small businesses located in Washington that have been in business since March 2, 2020 may find more information at theGSBA.org/ready-for-business. Applications are open from Monday, March 15 through Friday, March 26, 2021. All grant applicants will be notified the week of April 12. The grant application is short and easy to complete. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee made up of a diverse group of volunteers from the GSBA and at-large community members. All grant recipients will receive wrap-around services from GSBA, including membership and consulting. Qualifying recipients who applied in the summer of 2020 but were not selected for a grant will remain in the pool and be considered during the second round. About GSBA Established in 1981, GSBA is Washington State's LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce and is the largest of its kind in North America. The chamber represents over 1,400 small business, corporate, and nonprofit members who share the values of promoting diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion in the workplace. GSBA proudly serves as a connector across the region, bringing communities together through business while advocating for civil rights and small business. GSBA also promotes LGBTQ tourism through Travel Out Seattle, advocates for small businesses in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood through the Capitol Hill Business Alliance (CHBA) and invests in the next generation of LGBTQ and allied leaders through the GSBA Scholarship & Education Fund. About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. Contact Details Comcast NBCUniversal Andy Colley +1 425-248-5438 Andy_Colley@Comcast.com Company Website https://washington.comcast.com/

February 22, 2021 02:00 PM Mountain Standard Time

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Out with the Old, in with the New PR Tech Stack: How AI is Transforming Journalism and PR Alike

PRophet

For years, the tech stack, driven by fast-paced innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, has been fundamentally changing the marketing industry. Now, it’s PR’s turn to join the stack. The PR industry is on the cusp of a major change – thanks to AI, the job of the PR pro has the potential to be thoroughly reimagined, improving the work of humans without replacing them. This will be the topic of discussion at a marquee panel during the PRovoke North America Public Relations Summit on Wednesday, February 24, titled “Robots Won’t Take your Job, But AI Can Now Help You Perfect Your Pitch.” The panel will feature IBM’s VP of corporate communications Sarah Bruning Meron and The New Yorker contributor John Seabrook, author of 2019’s “Can a Machine Learn to Write for The New Yorker” about the possibilities of predictive text and its impact on journalism. Aaron Kwittken, founder and CEO of PRophet, the first-ever AI-driven platform for the PR community to help predict media interest, will moderate the discussion, focusing on the role of AI in the modernization of media relations and media relationships. The session will explore questions such as how AI and machine learning will change media relations forever, and whether AI can identify story angles and refine pitches more effectively than humans. “AI and machine learning have the prospect of shaping media relations as never before,” said Aaron Kwittken, founder and CEO of PRophet. “By discussing the capabilities and practical applications of these technologies – and the impact they are likely to have on how both journalists and communications professionals do their jobs – this panel will offer a compelling and insightful window into the future of news and public relations.” The virtual event marks PRovoke’s 8th North America PR summit, which will feature a half-day of content coalescing around the theme “Reset” – exploring the pressing communications issues that have emerged as we navigate the aftermath of 2020. The summit will be followed by the Innovation SABRE Awards – North America 2021 online gala. To receive complementary access to the panel and event, email sales@prprophet.ai. 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  prprophet.ai/home. Contact Details KWT Global for PRophet Jason Fagan +1 646-761-1206 jfagan@kwtglobal.com Company Website https://www.prprophet.ai/home

February 22, 2021 10:04 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise Owner Manny Castro Fulfills Lifelong Dream of US Citizenship

Minuteman Press International Inc

After being a permanent resident for over 35 years, Manny Castro has fulfilled his lifelong dream of achieving his US citizenship. As Minuteman Press franchise owner in Downey, CA for 14 years, Manny credits the support of his family and the team at Minuteman Press International with helping him achieve his dream. “I officially became a US Citizen on November 20, 2020, and it feels just great! This is my home; I have been living in the States most of my life and now I can vote. I am really proud of being a Citizen of the greatest country in the world, a land of opportunities for all!” From El Salvador to Entrepreneurship Originally from El Salvador, Manny is proud to be a shining example of achieving the American Dream both in his life and in his career. He says, “To get my US Citizenship after all this time is just an incredible accomplishment. I came to this beautiful country 38 years ago without a dollar in my pocket, no skills, no academic degrees, no English, not even a high school diploma. Just a young teenager at that time, running away from a very conflicted civil war in El Salvador, looking for a better life.” Reflecting back on those painful struggles and thinking about where he is today, Manny exclaims, “All I can say now is God is great, and may God continue to bless this great country that offers people from all walks of life, hope, endless opportunities, and a second chance in life.” Manny has owned his Minuteman Press franchise in Downey, CA since May 2007. During that time, he has successfully built his business while receiving crucial training and support from his franchisor. “My Regional Vice President Dan Byers and Steve Szymanski have always had my back since day one. They both wrote a beautiful letter of recommendation for me, to support my application for my citizenship. It meant so much to me and my family. Dan and Steve were delighted to help when I asked; everything I obtained when applying contributed to me being granted my citizenship. My kids were born here, and my entire family have already become citizens. It was time for me now to take that next step as well and join the millions of proud Americans. I love this country so much, and I’ve met great people along the way. God has opened up so many doors for me here. It is a land of opportunity for all. If you work hard, the sky is the limit.” Journey to Minuteman Press Dan Byers has known Manny Castro for 15 years. He says, “I first met Manny at a Franchise Expo in Pasadena in February 2006 and he was determined to own a business. At the time, he was working at a company that was downsizing and he saw business ownership as a means to financial independence, the opportunity to step up to a new challenge, and a way to regain control of his time.” Manny explains, “I was a distribution zone manager for a weekly publication company. I had researched many other companies and different industries for a while, but none of them gave me the level of confidence that I needed to motivate me and move forward that Minuteman Press did. Once my decision was made and we moved forward with training and opening up my center, they gave me a real solid foundation, and second-to-none ongoing support to this day.” Dan continues, “In an effort to be close to home, Manny converted an independent printing company in Downey to a Minuteman Press franchise in 2007. Time and time again, Manny has been able to successfully manage his business by working hard and treating people – customers, vendors, and employees – fairly and with the utmost respect. Whether it was the Great Recession of 2008 or the COVID-19 pandemic today, Manny has managed to stay positive and remain focused on growing his business by following the Minuteman Press franchise system.” Managing the Business Through the COVID-19 Pandemic Because Minuteman Press Downey is an essential business, Manny and his team have continued to remain open through the pandemic. He says, “We are an essential printing business and able to assist local businesses in any industry – medical, financial, retail, restaurants – and all businesses that continue to operate.” Manny adds, “For our clients, A-Frame signage, banners, floor decals, brochures, and direct mail have all been crucial in keeping their businesses operating safely while communicating with their customers. 99% of our customer base are other local businesses, and I see people are hungry to get back to work, to open up their doors safely, and we are helping them reach out and reopen safely. I’m very optimistic that things are turning back into full force. We have positioned ourselves to be there for our business community and meet their needs.” During the pandemic, Minuteman Press International has once again proven to be there for Manny to support him. He says, “Minuteman Press ongoing support during these unprecedented times has been tremendous. They’ve been there for us since COVID-19 started and provided us with extensive communications, guidance, marketing strategies, and additional resources. For example, when two of my employees needed to be home, Minuteman Press immediately provided me with additional field support to help me out with everything I needed. They are always there and quick to act whenever I need a helping hand or advice.” “We are an essential printing business and able to assist local businesses in any industry – medical, financial, retail, restaurants – and all businesses that continue to operate.” -Manny Castro, Minuteman Press franchise owner, Downey, CA Rewards of Business Ownership + Advice for Others When asked about the rewards of owning his business, Manny answers, “The most rewarding thing is having full control of your life and your financials. It’s very fulfilling to have your own business. I know that if I work hard, I reap the benefits.” His advice for others is this: “I will say Minuteman Press is a great company to partner up with. They are a leader in the printing industry and with over 45 years of experience. For someone like me who did not know about paper sizes and stocks 14 years ago, this meant the world to me. People can review the Minuteman Press franchise and see there are no hidden agendas. There was no pressure to buy the franchise, and they’ve supported me from day one and continue to work with me in achieving my company goals with ongoing coaching and marketing strategies to get there. Our success is their success as well. Minuteman Press has helped me do everything from getting started and achieving my dream of owning a business to helping my essential business during the pandemic.” Manny reflects once more on his incredible journey to US Citizenship, saying, “And now, Minuteman Press has helped me fulfill my other lifelong dream of becoming a US Citizen. For someone from El Salvador to be able to accomplish all of this, I needed to have help along the way. I couldn’t ask for a better franchise to be a part of or better people who are working on behalf of Minuteman Press International to support me with everything I do. Minuteman Press simply has my back, and I couldn’t ask for anything more than that in my business and in my life.” For more information on Minuteman Press in Downey, CA, visit https://www.downey.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

February 22, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Aviva Shwartz Named News Direct Sales Representative In Israel

News Direct

Communications consultant, Aviva Shwartz, with more than two decades of experience working closely with Israel's corporate community, has joined News Direct as its authorized sales representative for the Israeli market. Recognized for its leadership in technology, healthcare, and other sectors shaping the 21st century global economy, Israel is the third leading source of issuers on Nasdaq, ranking only behind the United States and China. Shwartz formed relationships with many of Israel's corporate leaders and IR practitioners while managing Equities Israel's "Investor Information Directory," a guide to publicly listed companies published in collaboration with Standard & Poor's. Shwartz is deeply familiar with the news distribution market, having previously represented other service providers. Most recently, Shwartz has operated her own PR firm, AvivaPR. In 2015, she was honored by Israel's Association of Media Consultants and Public Relations for the best public relations campaign of the year in the lifestyle category. "We believe that News Direct's unique value proposition will resonate strongly in the Israeli market," noted Founder/CEO Gregg Castano. "The PR and IR communities are sophisticated, value conscious, and open to innovation. We are confident that News Direct's revolutionary approach to news distribution will be embraced by Israel's savvy communications industry." ### About News Direct News Direct provides news and content distribution for PR, IR, Corporate Communications and Marketing professionals. Our 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. Contact Details News Direct Martha Pearlstone +1 203-295-7566 martha.pearlstone@newsdirect.com Company Website http://www.newsdirect.com

February 22, 2021 08:07 AM Eastern Standard Time

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