“I’m changing gender. Will Dell support me in this? Will Dell still support me having a customer-facing role?”It’s been a while since I started working for Dell. It’s been seventeen years, so quite a while, really. Work is an important part of my life, along with my family, and so the ubiquitous “work-life balance” is key. After fourteen years working at Dell, an opportunity presented itself to work at another tech company, and I took it.After a couple of years away, my good Dell buddies were wondering if I might be interested in returning to the fold, and indeed I was. Other areas of my life were changing too, and issues I’d carried with me for decades were coming to a head. So, when Dell’s recruiter called me and asked if I’d like to come back, I had a whole new question to ask, a question a little different from salaries, roles and benefits.So, “I’m changing gender. Will Dell support me in this? Will Dell still support me having a customer-facing role?”There. I’d asked it. I’d actually said it out loud.One of the scariest conversations I’d ever had. Some of the most important questions I’d ever asked.For my entire life, some aspects of my identity had been wrong, and I didn’t know what normal was. How do you know a feeling is, or isn’t, “normal”? Inside me, something had finally clicked. It’s not as if there was suddenly a clear vision inside my head, there was no bright guiding light, just the truth, enough for me to say that yes, something is wrong. I saw a direction, but no path. I knew there would be challenges ahead, and that I wouldn’t want to move back to Dell if they were not going to support me in this period of intense change.So I asked my question, held my breath, and jumped in to the pool.When I surfaced, I was told that of course Dell would support me, if and when I decided to transition. Of course I would retain my customer-facing role, and that my management and team would fully support my decision, and my transition. Yet I still felt out of my depth. Such deep personal issues are entwined with life itself, with my deepest feelings, with family, with society, and with work. Finding the right answer, the right path was not simple, easy, or quick. There was no “right”, just a varied blend of good and bad, hope and pain. Through it all, prior to any decision to transition, my manager, supported by Dell’s HR team, was there supporting me. Knowing that they would not let the process, or conclusion, affect how I was seen at work provided a fixed point of hope.Ultimately, a decision was made, one that came at a price, but one that had to be made. Human Resources was wonderful, speaking with me about what I needed, how I’d like to proceed and at what pace. I sat down with their team, and they walked me through a plan to prepare my colleagues and customers for the change that was to come. They helped me plan the transition, and when the time came, supported me through it. On the day we’d set, I came in to work and met with HR and my manager. My name was switched over in the records – and my gender, too. A new badge. A new me.I met with my team the next day, and, though surprised, they were all incredibly supportive. Some close colleagues had been told in advance, but for most of them it was a day of change. I visited a customer that very week, one I’d met with just two weeks earlier. They too were incredibly supportive, including using my new name and pronouns throughout. Obviously I’ve heard a few accidental “him’s”, but nobody at work ever said a negative thing to me, and did their best to switch over as quickly as they could.Since then, I’ve presented at conferences and visited many customers across the country. I was doing the same work as before my transition, the very essence of what I was looking for, and felt I deserved. Work has been so supportive, from HR, to my management team, to my colleagues. The support I received made a huge difference to me during a deeply personal, intimate, and potentially traumatic process, a life change that is at once intensely private and incredibly public.There are myriad shades to people’s lives. No one experience can be reflected onto someone else. I know, though, that one of the threads that supported my life through the process of transition has been my job, and the people I work with. I’ll always be grateful to both.
Poison ivy is one of gardeners’ most dreaded landscape weeds, and it is growing and thriving now. If you have ever experienced the red, itchy, blistery rash that comes from being in contact with this weed, then you understand gardeners’ disdain for this plant. How can you tell if a plant is poison ivy? The old saying, “Leaves of three, let it be,” is a good starting point, but a plant should not automatically be considered poison ivy just because it has three leaves. According to Mark Czarnota, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension weed specialist, poison ivy can grow as a vine or a shrub with compound leaves composed of three leaflets that are arranged alternately on the stem of the plant. Czarnota also says poison ivy’s leaf shape and texture are highly variable. Leaves with different shapes may be found on the same plant or on plants near each other.That said, people may incorrectly identify poison ivy when observing a poison ivy plant with an unusual leaf shape, he said. In any case, the “Leaves of three, let it be” motto is good advice to use to avoid contact with poison ivy.But people frequently confuse poison ivy with other plants in the landscape. One of the main plants that people confuse with poison ivy is a vine known as Virginia creeper. It is a native vine that normally has five leaflets — but can have three to seven leaflets — emanating from a central point. It has a weedy growth habit and grows in similar habitats as poison ivy.Boxelder tree seedlings can also look suspiciously like poison ivy. Boxelder seedlings are young trees with three leaflets on a woody stem. But boxelder leaves are arranged opposite each other on the stem, while the leaves alternate on poison ivy. Neither of these plants have the same itchy effect as poison ivy, but the challenge is knowing what’s what! Poison oak is not as common in Georgia landscapes as poison ivy. According to Sydney Park Brown with University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, poison oak is a low-growing, upright shrub that is about 3 feet tall. It is found in dry, sunny locations and does not grow in heavy shade. It is similar in appearance to poison ivy — it has three leaflets — but those leaflets are always lobed. Whether or not you can tell poison oak and poison ivy apart, it is best to avoid both.After you have positively identified poison ivy, there are several ways to control it in a landscape setting. If the poison ivy pops up in a lawn or other area that can be mowed, the easiest thing to do is to mow it down. Czarnota notes that keeping it mowed will eventually eradicate the vines. When herbicides are needed to control a larger area of poison ivy, follow the instructions outlined in UGA Extension Circular 867-10, “Controlling Poison Ivy in the Landscape,” which you can find at www.extension.uga.edu/publications.
BURLINGTON, Vt.–Champlain College Marketing Professor James E. McKee has been named a Professional Certified Marketer by the American Marketing Association. The professional certificate is highly regarded as an indicator of strong knowledge and performance in the marketing field.Actively involved in the community, McKee has been coordinating The Kelley Marketing Group, a group of volunteers which provides marketing advice to nonprofit organizations in Vermont. Its beneficiaries include hundreds of organizations which run the gamut from The Vermont National Guard to the American Civil Liberties Union.McKee is a resident of Colchester, Vt., who has taught for 27 years at Champlain College. He teaches marketing and advertising courses at the career-oriented, four-year college. McKee has a B.A. from St. Lawrence University and an M.B.A. from S.U.N.Y. Buffalo.McKee is an avid bicyclist and he has led summer tours in Ireland and throughout Vermont. Other interests include photography, skiing, ice-skating, snowshoeing, and hiking.# # #
Bill Orleans, who has been promoting Vermont s tourist and travel industry for 28 years one brochure at a time has been elected Chairperson of the Vermont Travel Industry Conference.Orleans, owner of PP&D Brochure Distribution, has attended the Conference annually since 1986, been an exhibiting sponsor since 1996, and sat on the planning committee for the last five years. I strongly believe in this conference, and the value it provides to participants, exhibitors, and the State of Vermont. I look forward to another great year, and hope to make next year s conference highly relevant to the hundreds of business that serve Vermont s travelers , says Orleans. In these challenging economic times, coming together to share ideas and discuss crucial issues is vital to our continued success.The new vice-chair will be Vicky Parra Tebbetts, Senior Vice President of Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of Vermont Hospitality Council.Next year’s conference will be on April 7 and 8, 2010 at the Stoweflake Spa and Resort in Stowe.PP&D Brochure Distribution, founded by Orleans in 1981, is located in Burlington and has a staff of eight. Last year PP&D delivered over a million brochures to a thousand locations in Vermont, New York and New Hampshire, including 763 exclusive PP&D displays. Most of the brochures direct travelers to nearby attractions and businesses.Current brochure clients include: Vermont Attraction s Association Official State Map, The Church Street Marketplace, Echo Science Center, Billings Farm, Vermont Marble, Stowe Mountain Resort, Ben and Jerry s, Magic Hat, Shelburne Museum, Killington Mountain Resort, Vermont Country Store, and Fairbanks Museum.PP&D also distributes magazines including: Seven Nights Dining Guide, Edible Green Mountains, Burlington Magazine, The Burlington Free Press Real-estate Extra and Vermont Commons Newspaper.Burlington, VT, June 22, 2009 —
By Geraldine Cook/Diálogo July 16, 2020 Under the theme “Strengthening Partnerships to Confront Regional Challenges in a COVID-19 Environment,” the Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC) 2020 was held virtually for the first time on July 14.“The threats to our neighborhood are becoming more complicated than ever and ever evolving; those threats include the COVID-19 as well as transnational criminal organizations, narcoterrorism, and the upcoming hurricane season,” U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), said to ministers of defense, chiefs of staff, and other CENTSEC participants at the event’s opening. “We all agree that the impacts of COVID-19 in our lives, and societies, and on our families, and in our personnel has been extreme, and it has caused us all to commit time, people and resources, as we focus on the continued health of our force, as well as the readiness of our forces.”Michael Soto Rojas, Costa Rican minister of the Interior, presents his country’s response to the pandemic at the Central American Security Conference on July 14. (Photo: Geraldine Cook, Diálogo)Military leaders from Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and the United States shared leadership and communication strategies, as well as lessons learned during the pandemic, and analyzed threats to Central American security and advances in the fight against transnational criminal organizations. Colombia participated as an observer nation.Experts from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Program also attended the event.Challenges amid the pandemic “We have worked hard in this pandemic; we’ve had to improvise and look for good practices from other countries to move forward,” Michael Soto Rojas, Costa Rican minister of the Interior, said when discussing his country’s response to the pandemic. “The police is involved in everything, in citizen security, in the fight against narcotrafficking and common crime, the transfer of infected patients, border protection. It’s been very complicated, but we got through it.”“Since the pandemic began, the Military Medical Center and Military Health Service were instructed to prepare the necessary protocols and update plans,” said Army Major General Juan Carlos Alemán Soto, Guatemalan minister of Defense. “We’ve assisted in the construction of four temporary hospitals through the Army Corps of Engineers, distributed food kits for personnel, strengthened borders at informal crossing points, and used protocols to protect our forces.”Narcotrafficking during the pandemicParticipants also addressed how narcotraffickers continue their illicit operations despite the pandemic, by diversifying their illegal operations through concealed smuggling.“We have seen changes with the pandemic. Initially it was a decrease in the number of trafficking aircraft that were landing in Belize. But it didn’t last for too long, and then certainly we saw gradually an increase,” said Belize Rear Admiral John Borland, chief of Defense Staff.“Despite the pandemic, Honduras, especially the Armed Forces, have not ceased the fight against narcotrafficking and all related crimes. We have carried out joint combined operations with U.S. Southern Command and other partner nations to confront this scourge, which has reduced drug transit in our country,” said Major General Tito Livio Moreno Coello, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Honduran Armed Forces.Juan Pinto, Panamanian minister of the Interior, said that during the pandemic, “transnational criminal organizations haven’t stopped committing crimes and operating.” He added that his country has not stopped fighting, especially through permanent operations with Colombia, Costa Rica, and the United States. “Panama is a strategic place for drugs coming from the south,” he said. “We cannot lower our guard.”
Foundation fellow to assist women farmworkers Foundation fellow to assist women farmworkers May 15, 2003 Managing Editor Regular News Mark D. Killian Managing EditorMigrant women farm workers in Florida now have someone to turn to if they fall victim to gender discrimination, thanks to The Florida Bar Foundation and Equal Justice Works, a national public interest organization.Mónica Ramírez, who graduates this spring from Ohio State University’s law school, will work through Florida Legal Services to assist victims of sexual harassment, along with those who suffer other inequities existing in farm labor, such as lower wages and discriminatory job placement, as part of the Foundation’s Legal Aid Advocates Fellowship Program.The Legal Aid Advocates Fellowship Program addresses several aspects of the Foundation’s chief mission of expanding and improving representation and advocacy on behalf of the poor in civil legal matters by placing law graduates where they can make a difference in the community and improving lives of low-income individuals and families in Florida through legal effort and community lawyering, according to Foundation President William L. Thompson, Jr.“As a future public interest lawyer, my job is to provide access to justice to individuals who would otherwise not be afforded such representation,” said Ramírez, who will be based in Belle Glade.“Farm worker women fall squarely in this category, and I am honored this fellowship will grant me the opportunity to work to cure the injustices that they face.”As part of the fellowship application process, Ramírez created her own topic and established a plan of action for carrying out her proposal.“Based on my experience as a farmworker advocate and through other research, sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination are widespread problems among this population,” Ramírez said.Ramírez’ project is thought to be the first targeted effort to comprehensively and systematically deal with gender discrimination among farm workers. Due to its uniqueness, Ramírez also intends to create a template that can be used by farm worker legal services throughout the country.Ramírez is one of only four individuals and two legal aid providers awarded the two-year Foundation/Equal Justice Works fellowship this year. The others include:• Tammy Wilsker from the University of Miami who will work through the UM Children and Youth Law Clinic to provide legal advocacy and outreach to older foster children to ensure Florida complies with federal and state law.• Kristen Cooley from the University of Florida who will work with Florida Institutional Legal Services in Gainesville to provide advocacy to civilly committed sex offenders requiring mental health treatment and adequate living conditions.• Tim Stevens from the University of Florida who will work with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County to provide advocacy and outreach to low-income grandparent care givers in Palm Beach County.The Foundation also committed funds this year to establish a project at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center in Miami to represent low income Haitian immigrant women and children who are victims of domestic violence, and another at Three Rivers Legal Services in Gainesville to develop “a comprehensive yet feasible model for innovative and creative delivery of legal services and education to clients in the most impoverished and least served rural counties in North Florida.”Costs supported by the program include an annual salary of $37,500, an annual loan forgiveness stipend of $5,500, fellowship support and training per year of $6,000, and $3,000 to the EJW for program administration costs.Nearly $900,000 in IOTA funds have been awarded for fellowships since Foundation funding began in 1999. Several key Florida law firms and The Florida Bar are funding partners with the Foundation along with a number of other Florida law firms which contribute directly to the local legal aid program hosting the fellow. Fellows are currently working at 14 legal aid and legal assistance programs across the state in public interest projects ranging from environmental justice to bridging the gap between the juvenile delinquency and dependency systems.
17SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Born in 1989, right smack in the middle of the Millennial generation that spans from 1980 to 2000, I grew up in a time of participation trophies, helicopter parents and advancing technology. I’ve dealt with the ramifications of graduating from college during a recession and have faced managing student loan debt on minimum wage. Worst of all, I’ve wrestled with the firestorm of stereotypes that attempt to define my generation.In 2015, the Millennial generation became the largest demographic in the workforce, so I thought this would be the perfect time to address the stereotypes that need to die in 2016.1.We Are EntitledTo put this article together, I polled my Millennial Facebook friends. The stereotype that was overwhelmingly mentioned was entitlement, sentiments echoing around a similar topic:“I am willing to put in my dues and work hard to get promotions, raises and perks on the job.”I don’t know one person who would walk into an office and expect a promotion for merely showing up. Similarly, managers interviewed by The Atlantic say that we are bright, competent and hardworking individuals. continue reading »
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In a new lawsuit, the NCUA claimed U.S. Bank and Bank of America unlawfully withdrew money from residential mortgage-backed securities trust funds to pay for their legal costs from court cases following the subprime mortgage debacle that triggered the 2008 financial crisis and led to the demise of several corporate credit unions.The NCUA filed a 68-page lawsuit and 15 supporting documents on Dec. 5 in U.S. District Court in New York City, which is seeking a court order that would force the banks to pay back all of the investment funds from the trusts that held billions in the subprime residential mortgage-back securities, RMBS. The banks allegedly used these RMBS funds to pay for their legal costs from other investor lawsuits that claimed U.S. Bank and BOA allegedly failed in their duties in managing the RMBS investments. And because the banks allegedly did not fulfill their contractual obligations, the NCUA argued that U.S. Bank and BOA were not entitled to withdraw funds from the trust funds to pay their legal fees.The corporate credit unions —- U.S. Central Federal Credit Union, Western Corporate Federal Credit Union, Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union, Southwest Corporate Credit Union and other investors —- invested $4.8 billion in the RMBS. The NCUA is the designated liquidating agent of the corporate credit unions.
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Indonesians are finding it hard to secure business permits, especially for small and medium enterprises (SME), with a recent survey showing that the country is lagging behind its regional peers in improving ease of doing business.According to Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting (SMRC), which surveyed 2,003 people, 53 percent of respondents said it was “hard” or “very hard” to obtain a business permit for an SME.The figure is higher in rural areas (57 percent) than in urban centers (49 percent), according to the survey, which was conducted by phone on June 24 to 26. Kalimantan showed the largest share of respondents who faced difficulty securing a permit, at 92 percent.“These findings confirm […] Indonesia’s lack of competitiveness in terms of doing business compared to other countries,” SMRC executive director Sirojudin Abbas said in a virtual presser on Tuesday.The survey came at a time when President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo administration is pushing the omnibus bill on job creation to simplify the process of starting a business in order to lure investment.Indonesia’s position in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking, which weighs in the ease of starting a business as one of seven indicators, has been stuck at 73rd position between 2018 and 2019. This suggests a slower progress relative to other countries and compared to Jokowi’s target for 40th place this year.In line with the World Bank’s assessment, 45 percent of Indonesians said obtaining a business permit, in general, was hard, according to the SMRC survey. Only one out of five respondents had experience applying for a permit.The government is expecting the House of Representatives to pass the omnibus bill on job creation this month. After a series of hearings, the House is set to discuss the investment-related articles of the bill next week, said Legislation Body (Baleg) chairperson Supratman Andi Atgas.The bill, which will revise at least 79 existing laws, will allow one person to establish a limited liability company, among other things. The current law requires at least two persons to do so.“We are trying to simplify two aspects of the business permit,” said Supratman, a Gerindra party politician. “First, the permit to start a business. Second, the certification to sell products, including for halal certificates, which will receive a subsidy from the government.”Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) chairwoman Shinta Kamdani has urged the government to propagate the bill, as it would play an important part in the country’s economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.Topics :