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U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Announces Levi Strauss & Co and Their Legacy Brands as New Members

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol welcomes new members Levi Strauss & Co, one of the most recognizable denim companies worldwide, and their legacy brands Levi’s®, Dockers®, Denizen® by Levi’s®, and Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ More than 90 percent of Levi Strauss & Co’s products are cotton-based. The company has committed to sourcing 100 percent more sustainably grown cotton focusing on decreasing water use, cutting carbon emissions, and reducing fertilizer and pesticide use. This corporate commitment to more sustainable and resilient cotton sourcing is part of a broader internal initiative designed to move the company toward a more sustainable and circular product strategy. “At Levi Strauss & Co., the quality and sustainability of the cotton we use is critical to our business and important to our customers,” said Jeffrey Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer, Levi Strauss & Co. “Membership in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will be an important step and a key partnership in our efforts to source 100 percent more sustainably grown cotton.” The Trust Protocol will aid Levi Strauss & Co.’s efforts by providing verified data on sustainability practices from U.S. cotton growers and access to aggregate year-over-year data on critical metrics including water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, soil carbon, soil loss and land use efficiency. Levi Strauss & Co will also participate in the pilot phase of the Protocol Credit Management System which provides its members with complete supply chain transparency through use of TextileGenesis’ blockchain technology. “Levi Strauss & Co. is a globally recognized and respected brand and we are proud to welcome them as members,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “During the past 35 years, the U.S. cotton industry has made significant progress in reducing our environmental impact and the Trust Protocol is aligned with the 2025 national goals to further those improvements. As a member, Levi Strauss & Co. will receive farm level data which will help them progress their sustainability efforts and achieve their cotton sourcing goals.” The Trust Protocol has welcomed more than 450 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members since its launch in 2020. This includes Gap Inc. and its collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta as well as global apparel manufacturer Gildan. The Trust Protocol has also welcomed UK retailers Tesco, Byford and Next Plc. Other Trust Protocol member announcements include the first 10 U.S. mills to join and the first members in Latin America. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognized by Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future, and part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cotton 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, Cotton 2040 and Cotton Up initiatives. About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol In a period of ever-greater supply chain scrutiny and a growing demand for transparency, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will set a standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the issue of responsibly-grown cotton production and drives continuous improvement in key sustainability metrics. The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Choosing Trust Protocol cotton will give brands and retailers the critical assurances they need that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental and social risk. Brands and retailers will gain access to U.S. cotton with sustainability credentials proven via Field to Market, measured via the Fieldprint Calculator and verified with Control Union Certifications. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is overseen by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers. About Levi Strauss & Co. Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world's largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™, and Denizen® brands. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of approximately 3,100 retail stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.'s reported 2020 net revenues were $4.5 billion. For more information, go to, and for company news and announcements go to Contact Details Media Contact Janice Walters +1 571-527-9840 Company Website

July 07, 2021 06:02 AM Central Daylight Time

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Pocono Organics Becomes World’s First Regenerative Organic Certified Hemp Grower

Pocono Organics

Pocono Organics, one of the largest regenerative organic farms in North America, has received its Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC), becoming the first source grower of Regenerative Organic Certified hemp in the world. The Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA) is the governing body for the Regenerative Organic Certification standards and criteria and was created by three global pioneers in the organic and regenerative organic industries – Patagonia, Rodale Institute, and Dr. Bronner’s. The ROA has meticulously developed the revolutionary ROC designation for farms and products that meet the highest standards in the world for soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. This new label goes beyond the existing USDA Certified Organic standards and does not include hydroponic growing practices. “This is an absolute game-changer for our farm as well as for companies and consumers searching for ROC produce and hemp that they can trust,” said Ashley Walsh, founder and president of Pocono Organics. “There is a vital link between the health of our soil, the health of the crops we grow, and ultimately human health.” Walsh and her team have recently launched their USDA Certified Organic full-spectrum hemp extract product line. Now with the new designation, these will become the first products in the world made with ROC hemp. It’s important to know how your hemp is grown and the true potency of the products. Independent, third-party testing shows that there are no heavy metals or pesticides and also reports accurate potency for Pocono Organics’ products. Pocono Organics’ CBD is the only line to carry the respected Rodale Institute logo on its products and packaging. The two global leaders have conducted extensive research on the potential uses of industrial hemp for the last three years. Pocono Organics’ wellness products are CBD-abundant and harness the power of full-spectrum hemp extract to deliver a broader range of health-promoting cannabinoids that contain well under.3% THC. New York Magazine recently named Pocono Organics’ bath bombs one of the Best CBD Bath Products to buy. The product line - available online and carried in retail outlets, spas, and numerous doctors’ offices across multiple states - is formulated in Pocono Organics’ in-house lab to create artisanal, small-batch items including tinctures, creams, body oil, salve sticks, lip balms, and bath bombs. The Global Center for Research, Education, and Discovery, which opened to the public in June of 2020, spans more than 380 acres atop the iconic Pocono Mountains and is a source grower of regenerative organic certified produce and hemp for retailers, distributors, restaurants, and consumers. Regenerative organic agricultural practices make soil health the priority and include low-till methods and zero-use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides and GMOs. Pocono Organics’ farming approach, in partnership with Rodale Institute, produces some of the cleanest and most nutrient-dense crops grown on earth – making them better for consumers – while also strengthening and healing the soil in which they are grown – which is better for our planet. In fact, Rodale Institute released a White Paper in September, 2020 illustrating the science that a global switch to regenerative crop and pasture systems could drawdown more than 100 percent of annual CO2 emissions. “For more than 70 years, our partners at Rodale Institute have led the world in regenerative organic science and research that shows how healthy soil grows more nutrient-dense food,” Walsh continued. “Our vision, as a health and wellness organization, is to inspire people and heal the earth. The United Nations has reported that we have less than 60 farming cycles left before our soil is completely depleted of the nutrients needed to grow the food we need. So, we are not only facing issues of human health, but of soil health that will further impact humanity and the food we eat. The ROC designation is proof of our commitment to this mission, to our communities, and our planet.” The USDA’s 2020-2025 food guidelines also highlight the need for Americans to eat more nutrient-dense foods to promote better health and fight the risk of chronic disease. “I can attest to the power of using food as medicine and plant-based wellness products, like hemp, from my own personal health journey. I was diagnosed with gastroparesis in my late ‘20s, which is a paralyzed stomach. Essentially, I can’t digest food like normal people. So, when doctors suggested cutting out parts of my stomach, inserting feeding tubes, and putting me on a regiment of medications to make me well, I leaned into organic food as a source of nutrition that drastically improved my health and changed my life. That is where the vision of Pocono Organics originated, which makes our mission extremely personal for me.” Pocono Organics is also an agritourism destination with a boutique 56-room hotel adjoining the farm property. Guests can get their hands dirty on the farm and enjoy freshly picked vegetables and fruits as well as prepared meals from its market and café. There are also regular in-person and virtual experiential series ranging from cooking classes with Executive Chef and Food Network Chopped Champion, Lindsay McClain to wellness and food education programs for children. -30- About Pocono Organics Pocono Organics Pocono Organics is a health and wellness organization with a mission to inspire people and heal the earth. The Global Center for Research, Education, and Discovery is one of the largest Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) farms in North America and grow the world's first and only ROC hemp. Located in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, Pocono Organics has more than 380 acres of farm land and, at full build out, will have 120,000 square feet of greenhouse. Pocono Organics has a strategic partnership with Rodale Institute, the global leaders in Regenerative Organic Agriculture science and research and is one of their largest research satellite facilities. Awarded the 2019 Environmental Innovator of the Year by the Green Sports Alliance, sustainability is a hallmark of Pocono Organics. The farm draws power from a 3MW, 25-acre solar farm and reclaims rain water from 70,000 square feet of roofs for irrigation. Pocono Organics also serves the local community through its Clean Food, Dirty Hands school education program and veterans in transition through a Veteran Farmer Training Program. In addition, the property includes an organic farmer's market and cafe, and with a 56-room adjoining hotel, is an agritourism destination, and host location for annual festivals. Please visit to learn more about Pocono Organics' mission and work. Contact Details Pocono Organics Mike Mooney +1 704-361-9499 Company Website

July 01, 2021 09:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Valley Produce Joins FreshEdge

Rotunda Capital Partners LLC

Valley Produce (“Valley”), a distributor of fresh produce and specialty products, has joined FreshEdge, a family of produce and specialty food companies backed by Rotunda Capital Partners. The addition further diversifies the group’s combined customer base, and increases its breadth and depth of service offerings in Tennessee and the southeastern U.S. Valley is part of a growing family that includes Piazza Produce & Specialty Foods, Indianapolis Fruit, Get Fresh, McCartney Produce, Leonardo’s Produce, Garden Cut, CIBUS Fresh and Papania’s. FreshEdge now operates with 1,430 employees and approximately 600,000 square feet of warehouse space, and a fleet of more than 600 trucks. “We are excited for Valley to join our family of ‘Best in Class’ fresh food distribution companies that are supported by our vertically integrated value-added operations,” said Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge. Terms of the deal, which closed on June 30, 2021, were not disclosed. The transaction strengthens the combined business’s presence in eastern Tennessee and enables continued expansion into the broader southeastern U.S. “We welcome the Valley team and are excited to have them join FreshEdge,” said Greg Corsaro, president and COO of FreshEdge. “Adding Valley to our family of companies greatly enhances our ability to serve retail and foodservice customers throughout the Mid-South and Southeast.” Founded in the early 1980s, Valley distributes fresh produce and specialty products to foodservice customers from its facility near Knoxville, Tennessee. Mark Stansberry will continue to lead Valley as president, and the company’s operations will carry on from its current facility. “By joining FreshEdge, Valley will expand its selection of specialty items and add fresh cut processed products such as fresh salads, sandwiches, and healthy snack items – while continuing to provide exceptional customer service to our current and future customers,” said Stansberry. “We look forward to this new era of opportunity and growth for Valley.” FreshEdge is backed by Rotunda Capital Partners, a Bethesda, Maryland-based private equity firm that invests equity capital in established lower middle-market companies. Rotunda provides opportunities for management teams to reach strategic, financial, and operational objectives. Rotunda entered the food business in 2017 with the acquisition of Indianapolis Fruit and Piazza Produce. FreshEdge was created in 2019 when Get Fresh joined the platform. Valley represents FreshEdge’s fifth acquisition since Rotunda’s initial investment. Together, Rotunda and FreshEdge intend to continue expanding FreshEdge by welcoming more companies into the group—all focused on high quality produce and specialty food products, along with exceptional service—to create a unique team of complementary entities. About FreshEdge FreshEdge was formed in 2019 through the combination of Get Fresh Produce (founded 1982) and the IF&P Foods family of companies, primarily composed of Indianapolis Fruit (founded 1947) and Piazza Produce (founded 1970). Collectively, the three leading fresh food distribution companies have nearly 150 years of combined experience serving the grocery and food service industries. In addition, FreshEdge includes two Garden Cut branded fresh-cut processing facilities, a tomato re-packer, a USDA fresh kitchen (CIBUS Fresh), and two transportation companies. FreshEdge’s fleet resource includes 620 trucks servicing the Midwest and beyond from nine facilities totaling approximately 600,000 square feet of warehouse space. Today, FreshEdge is one of the largest independent fresh food distributors in the United States and a category leader in providing both the foodservice and retail industries with fruit, vegetables, proteins, fresh grab-n-go offerings, dairy, floral, and specialty products. About Rotunda Capital Partners Rotunda Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests equity capital in established, lower middle market companies. Rotunda partners with management to build data-driven growth platforms within its targeted sectors, including value-added distribution, asset light logistics and industrial/business services. Founded in 2009, the firm has a long history of helping management teams achieve their goals for growth. The Rotunda team actively provides guidance and draws on deep industry and financial relationships to contribute to the successful execution of Rotunda’s companies’ strategic plans. The firm has offices in Bethesda, MD and Evanston, IL. For more information, visit # # # Contact Details Rotunda Capital Partners Jill Lafferty +1 847-280-1295 FreshEdge Greg Corsaro +13179813440 Company Website

July 01, 2021 08:56 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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iTradeNetwork Welcomes Bianca Buckridee as Vice President, Product Marketing


iTradeNetwork, the global provider of supply chain management solutions for the food and beverage industry, announced Bianca Buckridee as its new vice president of product marketing. Prior to joining iTradeNetwork, Buckridee worked for Blue Yonder, BMC Software, The Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and SunTrust Banks in progressively responsible customer service operations and product marketing roles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Southeastern University. In this role, Buckridee will be responsible for building and scaling the product marketing function, especially how teams interface with product positioning and messaging. She plans to embed storytelling into iTradeNetwork’s “DNA” to share diverse and meaningful perspectives. “Product marketing is vital to enabling sales and accelerating adoption,” explained Buckridee. “We are the connective tissue across the organization. We have an incredibly strong mission here at iTradeNetwork and I hope to give a voice to all of our users across their journey with us.” ABOUT ITRADENETWORK iTradeNetwork, Inc. is the leading global provider of supply chain management solutions for the food and beverage industry, with more than 8,000 active customers. Suppliers and resellers connect on iTradeNetwork’s technology platform to create active partnerships and easily transact. The platform also provides one-stop-shopping for freight, food traceability, fresh inspection and supply chain compliance, which creates efficiencies for buyers and sellers alike. For more information, visit: Media please note: Visual assets, photos and interviews are available by contacting Robin Carr at (415) 971-3991or ### Contact Details Landis Communications Inc. Robin Carr +1 415-971-3991 Company Website

June 30, 2021 09:27 AM Pacific Daylight Time

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STEAM Brand Osmo Participates in Ace Presents the Kerry Wood Celebrity Golf Invitational Benefiting Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Makes Product Donation to Hospital


Award-winning STEAM brand Osmo participated in the June 28 Ace Presents the Kerry Wood Celebrity Golf Invitational, where its charitable arm, Osmo Cares, gifted its bestselling Creative Kit for iPad to over 200 celebrity golfers and Lurie Children’s Hospital patients’ families. In addition, Osmo Cares gifted 48 Creative Kits for iPad directly to the hospital, for their patients to enjoy. The Celebrity Golf Invitational, which takes place at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, is a key fundraising event for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, raising over $1 million on a single day. This year’s event included high-profile celebrity golfers Kerry Wood, Mark Rypien, Ryan Dempster, Jim McMahon, Toni Kukoc, and many others. ( images ) “We love events that support important organizations that provide life-saving medical services and treatments for children,” says Karen O’Dell, Osmo Director of PR and Osmo Cares. “By providing gifts to participants at this celebrity golf invitational as well as kits to Lurie Children’s Hospital, we hope to bring smiles and joy to many Chicago-area children and families, and provide healthy screen time that inspires kids’ appetite to explore STEAM learning.” Osmo’s combined donations are valued at approximately $18,500. “The Ace team is proud to partner with the award-winning STEAM brand Osmo to raise money for Lurie Children’s hospital in Chicago. Working together with great companies like Osmo to help sick kids and their families is the bedrock of what the Ace Foundation is all about,” stated Kane Calamari, President of the Ace Foundation. Says Susan Ruohonen, EdD, Senior Director of Family Services at Lurie Children’s Hospital, “Through this generous donation, so many children and their families will have this unique opportunity to explore STEAM learning and be inspired through curiosity, creativity and innovation. Thank you for providing this avenue of discovery and imagination for our patients and their families at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.” Osmo’s Creative Kit for iPad, used at home and in classrooms across the U.S., features award-winning games that inspire learning, drawing, creativity, and more. It contains the Osmo Base for iPad, Creative Board, 4 erasable markers, a fuzzy eraser pouch, stackable storage for each game, and three best-selling game apps (Monster, Newton, Masterpiece). Osmo Cares Since 2016, Osmo Cares has made over $600,000 (USD) in product donations to nonprofit and charitable organizations in the U.S., and established over 50 partnerships with family service and autism awareness organizations. Osmo was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions in 2014; and its Osmo Learning System received the 2021 EdTech Digest Award in the “Curriculum and Instruction Solution” category. In 2018, Osmo received a Best AI-based Solution for Education Award for its proprietary reflective AI technology. About the Ace Hardware Foundation As the official charitable division of Ace Hardware Corporation, the Ace Hardware Foundation helps enhance the vision of being the “Helpful Place” in local communities across the country and around the globe through charitable giving. The Ace Foundation provides support and philanthropic opportunities to its consumers, retail store owners, vendors and team members to give back to local communities through fundraising efforts for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Ace Hardware has been a national partner for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for the last 30 years, raising over $140 million during that time. For more information, visit or About Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year, the hospital served more than 220,000 children from 48 states and 49 countries. About Osmo Osmo is an award-winning STEAM brand whose products are used in over 50,000 classrooms and 2.5 million homes. It is building a universe of hands-on play experiences that nourish the minds of children by unleashing the power of imagination. The company brings physical tools into the digital world through augmented reality and its proprietary reflective artificial intelligence. Founded in 2013 by ex-Google engineers Pramod Sharma and Jerome Scholler, the Osmo Play System fuses digital gameplay and physical interaction to create fun and nutritious play experiences designed for all kids. Osmo is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Learn more at For information about its educational division, Osmo for Schools, visit Contact Details Carolyn Kamii +1 310-251-0550 Company Website

June 29, 2021 04:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time

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NAMEPA’s Maritime Sustainability Passport Awarded to Tidewater

North American Marine Environment Protection Association

Carleen Lyden Walker, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) announced that NAMEPA will be awarding their new member, Tidewater (NYSE: TDW), the “Maritime Sustainability Passport” (MSP) Certificate and Seal. The MSP is awarded to companies, organizations and individuals who meet the requirements of the program which encompasses each of NAMEPA’s six Transparency Pillars in its Corporate Social Responsibility/Environmental, Social and Governance (CSR/ESG) metrics. Tidewater is dedicated to meeting their ESG goals not only to satisfy their shareholders but all stakeholders, clearly demonstrated through successfully passing the MSP evaluation. Jason Stanley, Tidewater’s Vice President of ESG said, “As a company with a long history of operating responsibly and sustainably, we have been pleased to take the opportunity to improve our transparency by sharing what we have been doing to protect the environment and positively impact the communities in which we work around the world. We are proud to have received this important recognition of our commitment to sustainability from the team at NAMEPA.” Tidewater, the company with one of the largest offshore support vessel fleets globally, is the fourth company and first offshore service vessel company to be awarded the Maritime Sustainability Passport Certificate and Seal. Tidewater has demonstrated strong progress in developing programs and policies to support their ESG efforts and were awarded the MSP by completing all phases of the program, including supplying supporting documentation for its claims. A team of assessors evaluated their submission to determine whether they meet the CSR/ESG program’s criteria, which, upon approval, made them eligible to receive the MSP Certificate and Seal. Dedicated to protecting the safety of its employees, building strong community relationships and maintaining awareness of potential environmental impact all while promoting strong business ethics, Tidewater is a positive influence in the Maritime Industry. Tidewater has an exemplary reputation for providing their customers with exceptional service while maintaining safe and environmentally responsible operations, clearly aligning with NAMEPA’s mission to promote industry best practices and to Save Our Seas. NAMEPA congratulates their member on successfully fulfilling the requirements for their CSR/ESG Program and looks forward to continuing to work together to Save Our Seas. The MSP Seal is used to signify the participant met or exceeded the program’s benchmarks, which offer basic guidelines for the maritime industry along with a Tool Kit to help achieve them and develop best practices using CSR/ESG principles. Some of the program’s benefits include increased efficiency, stakeholder visibility and positive global impact and social license. “The maritime industry is rapidly recognizing the importance of demonstrating its commitment to sustainability” stated NAMEPA Chairman Joe Hughes, CEO and President of the Shipowners Claims Bureau. “NAMEPA identified the need to provide the industry with a standard guideline of expectations relating to a company’s efforts in CSR/ESG. We are pleased to provide this tool for the industry to support its efforts towards sustainability.” NAMEPA is extremely proud of its contribution to the maritime industry, as its CSR/ESG program is the first known standards program developed specifically for the maritime industry, winning the 2021 Green4Sea Initiative Award for its significant contribution towards greener shipping. Tidewater owns and operates one of the largest fleets of Offshore Support Vessels in the industry, with over 65 years of experience supporting offshore energy exploration and production activities worldwide. To learn more, visit The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is a marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. Visit us at: Contact Details Morgan Marketing & Communications Carleen Lyden Walker +1 203-260-0480 Company Website

June 27, 2021 05:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Phantom Fireworks Encourages Safe Firework Usage as Record Number of Consumers Buy Fireworks Products Amid Historic Fourth of July Celebration

Phantom Fireworks

The U.S.’s largest consumer based fireworks company is urging consumers to use fireworks products safely as sales surge and many families gather again following last year’s pandemic lockdowns Phantom Fireworks is an industry-leader in supporting fireworks safety measures - encouraging consumers to take time to learn about the products and safety practices prior to usage Phantom Fireworks stores and retailers across the nation are ready to support consumers seeking fireworks to celebrate the season - with extended store hours, in person shopping opportunities and additional staff to help fireworks buyers select the best products for their needs leading up to the holiday weekend This year’s Fourth of July, America’s holiday, promises to be especially celebratory as the nation continues its recovery from the pandemic The nation’s top consumer fireworks retailer Phantom Fireworks, is urging everyone to use fireworks products safely and responsibly - especially as sales surge again this year. Phantom Fireworks is an industry leader supporting fireworks safety measures and encourages customers to learn about products and how to use them safely prior to usage - especially for the higher number of first time users. As families and friends begin to gather in person once again this year, firework usage around the Fourth of July holiday is expected to increase - like it did last year. Among key safety measures recommended, Phantom Fireworks urges that consumers: Set up fireworks on hard, flat surfaces Have water readily available (bucket of water; hose, fire extinguisher) Keep plenty of distance between the launch site and spectators A sober adult should be in charge of the fireworks; children should not handle the products Consider weather conditions (including using a flashlight at night) Use safety gear (glasses and gloves) when lighting fireworks Keep pets inside during fireworks use (the noise can frighten animals) “Safety is our top priority at Phantom Fireworks - particularly as more Americans are able to celebrate with family and friends this year as we recover from the pandemic,” said Bill Weimer, Vice President of Phantom Fireworks. “We expect more first-time fireworks users this season and it’s important to remember that fireworks and safety can go hand-in-hand. We encourage all amateur pyros to take the time to understand how to properly use our products.” Last year’s consumer fireworks sales surged to record rates industry wide. Many communities had public fireworks displays postponed and canceled amid the height of the pandemic, which is one of the reasons consumer fireworks sales surged. Phantom Fireworks adapted to the 2020 pandemic surge by offering a variety of purchase options, expanded customer service and pandemic-friendly hours. The 2021 season is also expected to bring higher sales for fireworks products - particularly as the nation’s leaders have designated this year’s holiday as the beginning point for the nation to “mark our independence” from the virus - citing the Fourth of July as the unofficial return to normal following the pandemic year. Because of the anticipated demand, Phantom Fireworks has been preparing for the season with additional store openings, early shopping incentives and updated inventory, even while supply chain challenges have emerged. “Phantom Fireworks is excited to help Americans celebrate our nation’s favorite holiday - the Fourth of July, especially meaningful following the 2020 pandemic summer,” said Bruce J. Zoldan, Phantom CEO. “We are ready to help our nation move forward and heal from a difficult year - and to enjoy the summer with friends and family this year, safely and with Phantom products as we move towards a hopeful future.” To follow Phantom Fireworks on social media, visit us on Twitter ( ), Instagram ( ) and Facebook ( ). For additional information on open stores and information on this year’s shopping process, visit: About Phantom Fireworks Phantom Fireworks is the leading consumer fireworks retailer in the country with retail stores in fifteen states and is also the major July 4th product supplier to several national retail chains in all states that permit the sale of consumer fireworks. Each state has different laws and guidelines that regulate both the industry as well as the new COVID-19 reopening regulations. Phantom has a comprehensive and easy-to-find list of state protocols listed on their website: Contact Details Amelia Hoffman Company Website

June 25, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Akeneo Named an Overall Leader in Ventana Research’s Product Information Management Value Index


Akeneo, the global leader in product experience management (PXM), today announced that it has been honored as an Overall Value Index Leader in Ventana Research’s 2021 Value Index on Product Information Management (PIM). Akeneo was further classified as Exemplary, the highest possible rating, based on Ventana Research’s thorough analysis of product and customer experience criteria. The PIM Value Index distils over a year of market and product research to evaluate 16 PIM software solutions in seven key categories weighted to reflect buyers’ needs. The index is structured to replicate the procurement process, and incorporates all the criteria needed to evaluate, select, utilize, and maintain PIM solutions and establish relationships with vendors. Akeneo earned a top-three ranking in six out of seven categories — more than any other company surveyed — and was ranked first in three categories, earning the title of Overall Value Index Leader in each category. Among the categories where Akeneo exceled: Customer Experience, where Akeneo PIM was ranked 1st for providing an impressive level of information to communicate their commitment and dedication to customer needs for PIM technology. TCO/ROI, where Akeneo PIM was ranked 1st for effectively demonstrating the PIM business case, including the product’s strategic value, total cost of ownership and total benefit of ownership. Usability, where Akeneo PIM was ranked 1st for meeting the varying business needs of executives, management, workers, analysts, along with IT, and others involved in the PIM processes. Capability, where Akeneo PIM was honored for providing the broader and deeper range of PIM capabilities that support enterprise, commerce, supplier, consumer, and business-to-business requirements. Manageability, where Akeneo PIM was recognized for providing easy, secure, and flexible technology administration by business users as part of new enterprise tech requirements in an organization. Reliability, where Akeneo PIM was celebrated for providing high performance and scalability of the PIM system that supports the continuous processing required for business continuity and operational resilience. Akeneo received an Exemplary Leader rating overall — the highest ranking possible — and won special praise for its TCO/ROI-related support, an area in which most surveyed companies struggled to deliver the support that customers need to make informed decisions. “Akeneo PIM provides a set of flexible enrichment capabilities, powerful automation, and actionable insights for building and enriching contextualized product catalogs. You and your team can be productive, collaborate without friction, and deliver those great product experiences regardless of channel,” said Mark Smith, Chief Research Officer at Ventana Research. “Our assessment finds Akeneo finished as a Value Index Leader in the highest number of evaluation categories, demonstrating its leadership and investment to PIM.” About Akeneo Akeneo is a global leader in Product Experience Management (PXM) helping businesses with products to sell to unlock growth opportunities by delivering a consistent and compelling product experience across all channels, including eCommerce, mobile, print, points of sale and beyond. With its open platform, leading PIM, add-ons, connectors and marketplace, Akeneo PXM Studio dramatically improves product data quality and accuracy, simplifies catalog management, and accelerates the sharing of product information across channels and locales. Leading global brands, manufacturers, distributors and retailers, including Staples Canada, Fossil, Air Liquide and Myer trust Akeneo to scale and customize their omnichannel commerce initiatives. Using Akeneo, brands and retailers can improve customer experience, increase sales, reduce time to market, go global, and boost team productivity. Contact Details David Wamsley +1 415-259-9104

June 24, 2021 06:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Summer Beauty Must-Haves


Summer 2021 is here, and it’s safe to say that people have never been more excited to enjoy the season. Recently, Lifestyle Expert Emily L. Foley teamed with YourUpdateTV to discuss the beauty must-haves we need to thrive this season. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: Protection from the Sun Sunscreen is a beauty must-have 365 days a year–not just in the summer! No matter what the weather is, our skin needs broad-spectrum sun protection from both UVA and UVB rays. CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Sheer Tint is a great daily face sunscreen, because it’s a lightweight, 100% mineral sunscreen, which means it’s safe for even sensitive skin, plus it provides a sheer tint that blends well with most skin tones. It really offers sun care and skincare in one–it has that broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen you need, but it also has important skincare ingredients to restore the skin barrier, lock in moisture and soothe skin, like three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. Good Makeup Habits With people going out and putting on makeup, it’s important to remember to wash off your makeup at the end of the day. But what a lot of people don’t know is that ordinary liquid cleansers can leave up to 30% of your makeup still on your face–especially stubborn eye makeup! That’s why professional makeup artists and people in the know turn to Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, because they remove even the tiniest traces of makeup to make sure nothing gets in the way of your healthiest skin. It’s always a good idea to do a double cleanse, so for the very best clean and your healthiest possible skin, you should use a wipe first and then cleanse. Healthy Looking Skin Everyone is so excited to pull out their sun dresses and actually get dressed and be seen for the first time in a long time, but that also means our pandemic skin is about to be exposed. It’s important to find products that are easy-to-use and deliver big results, and the Olay Premium Exfoliating Body Wash Collection does just that. Their Exfoliating & Moisturizing Body Wash made with sugar and cocoa butter, massages away dead skin cells to leave skin feeling smooth and renewed and is gentle enough to use every day. It’s full of moisturizing ingredients like Vitamin B3 Complex and petrolatum, which is the #1 dermatologist recommended moisturizer, so it deeply hydrates to nourish the skin. For more information, check out @EmilyLFoley on Instagram About Emily L. Foley: Emily is a freelance writer and on-air beauty and lifestyle expert. Specializing in beauty, fashion, entertainment and The Bachelor franchise (it’s totally a specialty), she writes for magazines such as Allure, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, US Weekly, and on the web for,, and She's interviewed Oscar, Grammy and reality show winners; the designers who've dressed them, and the fans who love them. Emily resides in Atlanta with her husband and their exceptionally wonderful young children. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727

June 23, 2021 01:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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