Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

US Virgin Islands Specialist Economic Development Agency Focused On Becoming Impact Investment Hub For The Caribbean

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Dale Le Febvre, one of the newest clients in the UVI RTPark and founder of Anvil 1 LLC, presents a donation for USD 750,000 to the University of the Virgin Islands on May 24, 2017.

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, June 2 2017: The US Virgin Islands Specialist Economic Development Agency, the University of the Virgin Islands RTPark, (UVI RTPark), is focused on becoming an impact investment hub for the Caribbean.

As the financial world shifts to embrace mission-oriented investing, the RTPark’s Executive Director, Dr. Gillian Marcelle, says the USVI is ready to lead the region in this sector.

Dale Le Febvre, one of the newest clients in the UVI RTPark, embodies the spirit and intention of impact investing.  Through Anvil 1 LLC, Le Febvre is investing in the USVI, through the RTPark, and is already giving back. Not only the youngest African-American to donate more than USD 1 million to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, he places great importance on education and has shown the way by investing in building the technical workforce of the future in the USVI and  pledging social investments of US$750,000 over the next 15 years to the University of the Virgin Islands for scholarships, research and teaching programs in process technology and energy.

Le Febvre, born in Beaumont Texas, is no stranger to the Caribbean, having lived in St. Thomas for the last seven years and having been an investor with Michael Lee Chin in AIC.

Using the skills and knowledge gained from his MIT Engineering, Harvard Law and Harvard MBA degrees, in combination with native intelligence and insights, Le Febvre has been able to generate value in places where others see none. He is now the owner of five large African-American-owned companies in areas where there was little diversity, such as data center management, long haul trucking, pipelines and mortgage finance.

Join Anvil 1 and many other businesses that have established businesses in the US Virgin Islands to take advantage of the many incentives offered while enjoying an island lifestyle and making a difference.

Join us via Facebook live at UVI Research and Technology Park or on Twitter @UVI_RTPark at 6:30 p.m. EST on June 7th as we share from New York City how the UVI RTPark can make a difference in your business and help you #WorkfromTheBeach.

For more information about the UVI RTPark, call 340-692-4300, email info@uvirtpark.net or find us at Twitter @UVI_RTPark or on Facebook at UVI Research and Technology Park

SOURCE: UVI RTPark

MEDIA CONTACT:

Felicia J. Persaud

felicia@hardbeatcommunications.com

718-476-3616

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Flow Customers Get Behind the Scenes Look At TV Production as CTI’s “Me On My TV” Reality Show Comes to Flow 1

Me On My TV- LOGO@2x (3)

CaribPRWire, MIAMI, FL, Fri. May 12, 2017: Flow Caribbean viewers will get a chance to go behind the scenes of the CaribbeanTales Incubator Program (CTI) and see what it takes to bring a TV production to life, as Me On My TV reality show comes to Flow’s new regional network Flow 1 starting on May 17.

Members of Ten Teams

Members of Ten Teams

This newest product of Flow’s partnership with CaribbeanTales chronicles the journey of ten teams of Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora filmmakers who come together to compete for the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to create an original Caribbean-based TV series for Caribbean screens.

In Me on My TV, the 10 teams – selected from hundreds of applicants for the CTI, which Flow sponsors  – embark on five action-packed creative days in Toronto. Under the guidance of 12 international mentors, they pitch their TV series concepts to a room full of television industry executives at the largest film event in North America: The Toronto International Film Festival. In eight episodes viewers get to share in the tears and laughter, camaraderie and resolve, as each filmmaker works for the chance to bring their show to Caribbean TVs – but only three will come out on top.

“It’s been a pleasure to work alongside CaribbeanTales and continue to deliver Caribbean-focused content to our Flow TV viewers across the region,” said John Reid, CEO of Cable and Wireless, operator of Flow. “This series in particular is significant because it brings audiences closer to Caribbean filmmakers, letting them witness the creative process and glimpse what goes on during those inspiring CTI sessions in Toronto. Flow believes in providing original, high-quality Caribbean content to our audiences and supporting our region’s filmmakers — Me On My TV achieves both.”

CaribbeanTales Incubator founder and CEO Frances-Anne Solomon says, “Having this TV series released in the lead up to launching pilots for three original TV series is a dream come true. When we started the CaribbeanTales Incubator, this is what we envisioned: the opportunity for Caribbean audiences to watch Caribbean content designed, produced, and marketed for, by and about them.”

Multiple-award winning Martiniquan filmmaker Alain Bidard says of his experience with CTI, “It was a life-changing experience for me. I think differently, I understand the industry and I am not lost anymore. Thank you to both Flow and CaribbeanTales for the invaluable opportunity.”

Me On My TV’s executive producer is Christopher Laird and the directors are Lisa Rideout and Marvin Raftopoluos. Viewers can tune in to Flow 1 on May 17th at 9pm to find out what new shows are going to hit their TVs later this year. Each new episode will play on the eight following Wednesdays, and will have a re-run on the Fridays at 8pm. The episodes will become available on Flow on Demand and CaribbeanTales-TV.com for streaming on Saturdays.

About CaribbeanTales

CaribbeanTales is a group of companies that produces, markets, and sells Caribbean-themed film and television content for global audiences. It includes CaribbeanTales Inc. a registered Charity based in Toronto, Canada; the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival that produces events around the world; the CaribbeanTales Incubator, a year-round development and production hub, and CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, the largest full-service distribution entity dedicated to the monetisation of Caribbean content; CaribbeanTalesFlix, our production arm, and CaribbeanTales-TV, a video on demand platform.

About C&W Communications

C&W is a full service communications and entertainment provider and delivers market-leading video, broadband, telephony and mobile services to consumers in 18 countries. C&W also operates a state-of-the-art submarine fiber network – the most extensive in the region. Learn more at http://www.cwc.com/, or follow C&W on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

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The University of the West Indies announces Canadian and Caribbean leaders to be honoured at the eighth annual Toronto Benefit Gala Saturday, April 1, 2017

TORONTO, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – The University of the West Indies today announced leaders of Canadian and Caribbean heritage to be honored at the eighth annual Toronto Benefit Gala, on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at The Ritz-Carlton Toronto, hosted by CBC News Anchor Dwight Drummond.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, will receive the Luminary Award. This award is given to people of Caribbean Heritage who are outstanding achievers on an international scale in their respective fields or people who have brought prominence to the Caribbean or to issues which affect the Region.

Archbishop Tutu has a strong passion for social justice, starting with his unflinching activism against Apartheid since the early 1970s, as the first Black Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and as Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. He has also used his high-profile position to campaign globally for poverty, HIV/AIDS, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and land rights. This is the second time UWI is recognizing the Archbishop for his accomplishments as he received an honorary degree from the university in 1986. Other prestigious acknowledgements he has received include the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He will be represented at the UWI Toronto Gala by his daughter, Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth.

Canadian Senator Murray Sinclair will receive the G. Raymond Chang Award. The G. Raymond Chang award was established to honour outstanding individuals who exemplify the leadership and ideals of G. Raymond Chang (1948-2015). Mr. Chang was a recognized outstanding business leader and philanthropist who embodied great humility and commitment to his fellow persons. Chang, who passed away in July 2014, was the UWI Gala’s patron for five years.

Senator Sinclair served as the Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), documenting the history and legacy of Canada’s residential school system that affected the lives of more than 6000 indigenous women and men of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background. Sinclair also served as the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years and was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second. He served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba. Over the course of his career, he has been recognized for his work in his profession and his community as the recipient of numerous awards, including Honorary Doctorates from eight Canadian universities.

The University of the West Indies Toronto Benefit Gala will also honour one Caribbean organization and five Canadian and Caribbean leaders in the following award categories.

The Chancellor’s Award will be presented to GraceKennedy. Established in 1922 by Dr. John Grace and Mr. Fred William Kennedy, in Kingston, Jamaica, it is one of the Caribbean’s largest group of companies that began as a general mercantile, shipping and insurance business. It operates in the food and financial services industries, with operations in Jamaica, other Caribbean countries, and Belize, the U.S., UK, Canada and Africa. GraceKennedy has also contributed to Jamaica’s development through the years through its two Foundations, generously providing financial assistance to a host of worthy causes. They are the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation (Grace & Staff) and the GraceKennedy Foundation. The Chancellor’s award is given to organizations, which have contributed significantly to the Caribbean, or outstanding organizations owned by persons of Caribbean heritage.

The Vice Chancellor’s Award, awarded to people of Caribbean heritage who have made significant contributions within their organizations and communities, will be presented to the five community leaders.

Dr. Renn Holness, Consultant Neurosurgeon
Dr. Holness is an alumnus of UWI’s Mona campus and recipient of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc). He served as Professor and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, Dalhousie University and Director of The UWI Clinical Training Programme in Nassau, Bahamas. He served as President of the Canadian Neurological Society and Chairman of the Examining Board in Neurosurgery, Royal College of Physicians of Canada. He is a Professor and Examiner in Neurosurgery in the DM (UWI) Neurosurgery Programme and teaches at Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Ms. Kay McConney, Businesswoman and Retired Diplomat
Ms. McConney was the youngest Consul-General of Barbados in Canada. She also served as a high-level diplomat at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland; and as a trade negotiator at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2009, she founded The Executive Minds which specializes in strengthening institutional and individual capacities for 21st century environments, through training, coaching and consulting.

Mr. Wayne Purboo, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Mr. Purboo is the President, CEO and Co-founder of Quickplay, developing award-winning technologies and forging critical partnerships with market leading content providers, video service providers, handset manufacturers and mobile service operators. He is also active on a number of Boards in Toronto.

Dr. Vivian Rambihar, Cardiologist and Community Activist
Dr. Rambihar is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a globally renowned cardiologist, involved in teaching, research and practice in Toronto for 35 years. Since 1990, he has lectured on ethnicity and health, and chaos/complexity and health across the West Indies. He is a pioneer in chaos and complexity science and is the first to apply these ideas to medicine, proposing their use in solving complex world problems, including peace, health, development, poverty reduction and climate change.  

The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael H. Tulloch, Judge, Ontario Court of Appeal
The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael H. Tulloch has been a judge on the Court of Appeals for Ontario since 2012 following nine years on the Superior Court of Justice. He was an Assistant Crown Attorney in both Peel and Toronto.

In 1995, he entered private practice, specializing in criminal law and continued in this practice until his appointment to the Bench in 2003. During his private practice, Justice Tulloch was also appointed a special prosecuting agent with the Federal Department of Justice, participating in a number of commissions. He has been actively involved in post-secondary education as well as numerous community organizations.

In 2011, he was appointed a Distinguished Research Fellow for the Centre of Law and Policy at Ryerson University. He is the recipient of two Honorary Doctorate Degrees. A Doctor of Laws from the University of Guelph and a Doctor of Theology from Tyndale University and Seminary.

The UWI Toronto Benefit Gala brings together Canada’s business and academic communities to celebrate the greatness and tireless work of the honourees, making it a much-anticipated event on the Toronto social calendar. Former honourees include: Dr. Shirley J. Thompson, Food For The Poor, Mr. Stephen Ames, Mr. Wesley Hall, Dr. Paul Steinbok, The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P., Dr. the Honourable Jimmy Cliff, OM, Tessanne Chin,  Roger Mooking and Mr. David Taylor, retired boxer and undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, The Hospital for Sick Children, Mary Anne Chambers, Dr. Upton Allen, Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay, The University of Toronto, award winning author Malcolm Gladwell, The University Health Network, Zanana Akande, The Honourable Harry Belafonte; The Right Hon. Michaëlle Jean, former Deputy Chief of Toronto police Mr. Keith L. Forde; Hon. Michael Lee-Chin, OJ; the Hon. Jean Augustine; the Hon. Justice Dr. Irving André and Dr. Karl Massiah, Senator Vivienne Poy and Mr. Charles Coffey.

Under the theme “Light, Learning and Liberty”, The University of the West Indies Toronto Benefit Gala provides funds for scholarships.  Over 250 scholarships have been awarded to date. Over 70 have graduated, most with first class honours. The Patron of the eighth annual Gala is The G. Raymond Chang Family (wife Donette Chin-Loy Chang, and children Andrew Chang and Brigette Chang Addorisio).  Lead Sponsor is Scotiabank for the eighth consecutive year.

Please visit our website www.uwitorontogala.com, or call 416-214-7848 or email the secretariat toni@uwitorontogala.com, for more information.  At this time, the event is SOLD OUT.

About The University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies was established in 1948 as a College of the University of London. It achieved full university status in 1962. Today it is the only pan-Caribbean tertiary level institution offering a wide array of diverse and accredited programmes to 45,000 students throughout the region, with campuses in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua, The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos.

Social Media
Web:
http://www.uwitorontogala.com
Twitter:@uwitorontogala
Facebook:www.facebook.com/UWIBenefitGalaToronto

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Passport Index launches new update

Germany takes the lead. Singapore becomes second.

MONTREAL, Jan. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Passport Index, the real-time global ranking of the world’s passports has announced a new update to its celebrated web service.

Photo – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/457211/Arton_Capital_Passport_Index_launches_new_update.jpg

Germany takes the lead with a visa-free score of 157. Singapore overtakes South Korea and becomes the highest ranked Asian passport, with a visa free score of 156, coming second. South Korea fell to 6th place (152), while Japan, rose to 4th place, tied with European countries like Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, and others whose visa-free score is 154. Visa-free score represents the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.

In addition to the popular mosaic of passports, visitors of PassportIndex.org can now see the overall changes to the ranking of countries in 2016. Marshall Islands is on top of the winners’ list by adding 35 countries to its visa-free score. Palau, Micronesia, follow with 34 additional countries, while Solomon Islands and Tuvalu added 33. Peru is the biggest winner in South America with additional 31 countries.

The newly added World Openness Score (WOS) tracks the progression of freedom of mobility across the globe. The world openness score in 2016 was 17,925. In the few days of 2017, the score has already increased to 17,948. This trend shows opening of borders but will it continue? With the recent backlash on globalisation, the World Openness Score may be in danger of decline.

Comparing passports has never been easier with the streamlined comparison tables and powerful filters which allow you to focus on the countries you need.

The newly added Improve function on the other hand allows you to quickly see the potential of combining two passports together. Fans can add one or more passports to their current travel document with the goal to improve their Global Mobility Score (GMS). For example, a Lebanese citizen has a GMS of 38. However, by adding a passport of Saint Lucia, their Global Mobility Score increases drastically to 123, which would represent the possibility of visa-free travel to over 61% of the countries we examine. For many people, this is priceless.

According to John Hanafin, CEO of Arton Capital, “The desire to improve one’s opportunity and security for their family transcends borders. As such, having a second citizenship has never been more relevant.

In recent years, citizenship by investment has become a US$2B industry, with over 20,000 investors seeking a second residency or citizenship around the globe very year.

New Top 10 Passport Power Ranking:

  1. 157 – Germany
  2. 156 – Singapore, Sweden
  3. 155 – Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, UK, USA
  4. 154 – Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, Japan
  5. 153 – Malaysia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand
  6. 152 – Greece, South Korea, Australia
  7. 151 – Czech Republic, Iceland
  8. 150 – Hungary
  9. 149 – Malta, Poland
  10. 148 – Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia

New Top 10 Individual Passport Power Ranking:

  1. Germany
  2. Singapore
  3. Sweden
  4. Denmark
  5. Finland
  6. France
  7. Spain
  8. Switzerland
  9. Norway
  10. United Kingdom
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Civil Rights and Rule of Law Under Attack in the Bahamas

NEW YORK, Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Less than 100 miles from Florida, in the island democracy of the Bahamas, politicians and the police are harassing environmentalists, illegally hacking and publicly releasing their private communications and other confidential information. And, when the Supreme Court ordered several cabinet members to stop violating the conservationists’ constitutional rights, they threatened to jail the judge.

These startling events are laid out by environmental attorney and activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman of Waterkeeper Alliance, in a new story in EcoWatch, one of America’s top environmental news sites.

Why are civil rights and the rule of law under attack? As Kennedy explains, some Bahamian officials are allied with one of the island’s worst unregulated developers. [See the full story and a video here: http://www.ecowatch.com/bahamas-nygard-bacon-kennedy-2128498516.html]. He notes that a well-connected billionaire developer who donated millions of dollars to members of Bahama’s government, Canadian apparel manufacturer Peter Nygard expanded the buildings on his private residence by filling Clifton Bay without government permission, damaging its world-famous marine area.

Shortly after a feisty environmental group, Save the Bays, sued Nygard, undercover police raided the home of Nygard’s neighbor, Louis Bacon, a philanthropist who co-founded the Save the Bays. In March, Bahamian cabinet ministers disclosed Save the Bays’ private emails and financial records during an open session of parliament.

Responding to a legal action by Save the Bays, the Bahamian Supreme Court ruled that the ministers had violated the environmentalists’ constitutional rights to privacy. But instead of backing down, the ministers doubled down. They appealed the ruling, arguing that parliamentary privilege trumped personal rights to privacy, and that the Supreme Court lacked power to enforce the constitution against parliament.  The ministers have launched a process to hold the lawyer who argued the case and the judge who decided against them in contempt of parliament.

The developer-friendly cabinet ministers are attacking the rule of law, stomping on privacy rights, and savaging judges, lawyers and environmental and human rights organizations, Kennedy’s story says, adding: It is time for level-headed leaders in the Bahamas to step in and fix this fiasco before permanent damage is done to the country’s natural environment and international reputation as a scenic destination and secure financial haven.

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COSME ANNOUNCES THREE FINALISTS FOR GLOBAL ENTREPRENEUR WEEK

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CaribPR Wire, TORTOLA, BVI, November 17, 2016 COSME, an European Union funded programme and key supporter of entrepreneurs in the Caribbean region, is proud to announce its three finalists in their Confessions of an Entrepreneur contest.  The three finalists are: Libbie Oliver, Owner of Caribbean Mountain Coffee, British Virgin Islands, Cristal Legrand of SSSAS Tourism Ambassador in Sint Maarten and Madhavi Mathura of Accounting & Enterprise Solutions in Cayman Islands.  These finalists were able to deliver a short, well-articulated message about being an Entrepreneur. The contest was open to all entrepreneurs in the 12 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT’s): Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Montserrat, Saba, St. Barthelemy, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten and Turks and Caicos.

The three videos have been posted on Facebook with voting boxes. The final winner will be selected by the public through online voting, which can be done here or at  http://bit.ly/COSMEVideo. The video with the most votes by midnight November 20th, 2016 will win a HD Kindle Fire.

Ms. Oliver of Caribbean Mountain Coffee focused on the need for passion and how it will carry you through in a well-crafted message that tied into her own passion for coffee. Ms. Legrand of SSSAS Tourism is a brand new entrepreneur that was bubbling with enthusiasm and commitment for her upcoming opening.  Ms. Mathura of Accounting & Enterprise Solutions was clear about her dream and the need to just make a start or nothing can happen. All videos presented excellent messages.

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week VI initiatives, COSME adopted the Confessions of an Entrepreneur series in its efforts to learn more and share more stories from entrepreneurs in the Overseas Territories.  This contest generated awareness and coordinated with a number of Entrepreneur activities taking place during Global Entrepreneur week, November to 14 – 20, 2016.

“The Confessions of an Entrepreneur contest enables COSME to show its support through results driven social media in profiling these successful entrepreneurs. This contest demonstrates that social media implemented in addition to traditional channels is an effective tool that OCT entrepreneurs can use to create awareness for their businesses in and beyond their country borders. During the video submission week COSME received over 30,000 visits,” stated, Diana Hendrickson-Fleming, COSME, Key Expert.

The public will choose which of the three entrepreneurs’ videos at http://bit.ly/COSMEVideo has the best Confession. Join in on the fun and cast your vote.  Voting will close November 20, 2016.

ABOUT COSME

COSME is a 54-month programme with the responsibility to disperse 15M Euros to projects benefiting participating Caribbean Territories. The funds were made available by the European Union (EU). The programme’s overall objective is to contribute to the sustainable and climate-resilient economic diversification and prosperity of Caribbean OCTs by improving the competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the participating territories.

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Media Contact:

Samuel K. Kruiner

Private Sector Development Expert/SME Expert (British OCTs)

Caribbean OCTs SME (COSME) Programme SME Regional Project Office

Email: Samuel.kruiner@gopa.de

SME Regional Project Office

Road Town

Tortola

British Virgin Islands

www.cosmeprogramme.org

www.facebook.com/cosmeprogramme

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Twenty Cities Advance in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Latin American and Caribbean Mayors Challenge

Finalists selected from pool of 290 cities that submitted bold ideas to address urban challenges and improve city life

Finalists now competing for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the 20 Latin American and Caribbean cities selected as finalists in its 2016 Mayors Challenge, a competition that encourages cities to generate bold ideas that solve urban challenges and improve city life – and have potential to spread.  The finalists, hailing from 10 countries, will move forward to compete for a $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards, as well as extensive implementation support. The ideas reflect creative new approaches to some of the most pressing issues facing cities in the region, including mobility, youth unemployment, waste management, obesity, and social and economic inclusion for immigrants and people with disabilities.

“We received so many great ideas for this Mayors Challenge, and narrowing it down to just 20 finalists was a big challenge in itself. These ideas really capture the diversity of the region and the creativity and commitment of its leaders and citizens in making cities work better. Each of them has the potential to improve the lives of local residents — and if they work, to spread far and wide. We look forward to working with all of the finalists on their proposals and to seeing the winning cities bring them to life,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

The 2016 Mayors Challenge is Bloomberg Philanthropies’ first in Latin America and the Caribbean following successful competitions in the United States and Europe. After receiving submissions from 290 eligible cities in April, Bloomberg Philanthropies conducted an intensive review of the ideas with the support of Bloomberg’s extensive global network and a selection committee of 13 innovation and policy experts from across Latin America and the Caribbean. Ultimately, the top 20 best and most innovative ideas were selected to move forward in the competition.

The 20 finalist ideas were evaluated against four key criteria – their idea’s vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities. Finalists will next attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp in Bogotá, Colombia – a two-day convening in July where leading innovation experts and peer cities will help finalists take their proposals from good to great. Prize winners will be announced by the end of 2016.

The finalists’ ideas (outlined below) illustrate fresh thinking to address common urban challenges experienced by cities across regions:

  1. Asunción, Paraguay – Data: Closing the city’s socio-economic data gap by conducting citizen-led research to gather demographic information that can inform and measure the impact of policymaking for the first time.
  2. Barueri, Brazil – Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities/Workforce Development: Increasing access to the workforce for people with disabilities by creating a physical and virtual network to improve job training, analyze workplace conditions, and provide technical assistance to employers and job candidates.
  3. Bogotá, Colombia – Education: Twice daily, the city will leverage all transportation channels, public facilities, volunteers and the city’s cultural history to enhance and shorten the severe school commute times for children.
  4. Cap-Haïtien , Haiti – Waste Solutions/ Environment: Reducing deforestation and mangrove destruction by creating community biodigesters, which are closed containers that break down organic waste and turn it into renewable energy.
  5. Caracas, Venezuela – Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities/Mobility: Enrolling volunteers to drive people with motor disabilities to and from public transport points and providing assistance during their commutes,  opening access to education, culture, healthcare, employment and productive citizenship for a vulnerable segment of the population.
  6. Corumbá, Brazil – Environment/ Economic Development: Combatting further environmental degradation caused by improper disposal of ore – a mining byproduct – by repurposing the waste into productive materials for construction.
  7. Curitiba, Brazil – Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities/Mobility: Drawing on its history of transit innovation, improving the mobility of disabled people by integrating more inclusive transport services and introducing better designed routes.
  8. Estación Central, Chile – Social Inclusion for Immigrants / Entrepreneurship: Promoting social inclusion by matching immigrants with new business ideas to technical assistance, office space, and local entrepreneurs looking to partner to launch a new startup.
  9. Godoy Cruz, Argentina – Waste Solutions: Preventing illegal waste disposal in canals – an essential feature of the city’s irrigation system – by placing sensors to monitor and identify the exact location where infractions occur.
  10. Guadalajara, México – Transparency / Government Efficiency: Tackling corruption by streamlining the legal requirements for construction projects through a new geo-referenced app that publicly maps business names, plans, licenses and payments, speeding processing times and increasing transparency.
  11. Kingston, Jamaica – Youth Unemployment / Workforce Development: Tackling entrenched youth unemployment through a mobile digital platform that encourages young people to explore, create, and access career opportunities in a variety of industries, especially Jamaica’s cultural and music industry, based on their strengths and interests.
  12. Medellín, Colombia – Public Safety / Financial Empowerment: Reducing demand for illegal loans that finance organized crime by creating neighborhood lending collectives that offer low-interest commercial loans and connections to employment.
  13. Milagro, Ecuador – Environmental Sustainability: Encouraging emergency preparedness for children through the creation of a network chaired and formed by students that promotes better preparation for adverse weather and natural disasters.
  14. Pudahuel, Chile – Education: Pairing older residents wishing to volunteer with the children of working families in need of after-school child care, limiting social isolation for seniors and providing a vital service for families.
  15. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Public Health: Improving children’s healthcare standards and outcomes by removing silos and integrating data across agencies to improve the health and wellbeing of children ages zero to six.
  16. Santiago (Commune), Chile – Public Health: Through citywide challenges, encourage neighborhood groups to work together to reduce childhood obesity; communities earn points they can use to fund local recreational and civic infrastructure.
  17. São Paulo, Brazil – Economic Development: Creating an online exchange that connects growing local demand for locally produced farm products from restaurants, markets, and schools to struggling local farmers on the outskirts of the city, addressing a market failure.
  18. Tlalnepantla de Baz, México – Social Cohesion: Publishing and promoting a municipal catalog of good deeds, an effort to address widespread civic apathy by engaging citizens in acts like helping the elderly and improving the local environment.
  19. Tuxtla Gutiérrez, México – Anti-Corruption: Fighting corruption and improving efficiency by streamlining service delivery for public facing transactions and allowing users to monitor the activity of civil servants through a new mobile app.
  20. Valdivia, Chile – Entrepreneurship: Directing promising academic research toward practical problems and helping the local economy by testing bright ideas from local universities in real-world markets with a new mobile lab.

“This year’s finalists are using innovation to address the concrete, clear, and urgent needs of citizens – with noteworthy emphasis on vulnerable populations,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation Programs. “There is so much cities around the globe can learn from the way these finalists are engaging citizens and data to meet pressing needs,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182 | rebeccac@bloomberg.org

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Pew Applauds New Caribbean Shark Sanctuaries

St. Maarten, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, and Grenada boost regional protections for sharks

MAHO, St. Maarten, June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Sharks are safer across the Caribbean Sea, with the announcement of four new shark sanctuaries in the region. Prime Minister William Marlin of St. Maarten and Wayne Panton, minister of financial services, commerce, and environment for the Cayman Islands today announced that their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) are completely closed to commercial shark fishing. Additionally, Curacao and Grenada announced that they will establish legislation this year that will protect sharks in their waters.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160615/379765

Government leaders were joined by ocean advocate Sir Richard Branson, as well as by global shark experts and representatives from The Pew Charitable Trusts and other nongovernmental organizations, at a press conference in St. Maarten to champion the new protected areas.

“People from all over the world come to our island to dive and snorkel with our marine wildlife, including sharks and rays,” said Irania Arrindell, St. Maarten’s minister of tourism, economic affairs, transport, and telecommunications. “St. Maarten’s shark sanctuary will help to ensure that our local shark populations exist for future generations and continue to benefit St. Maarten’s marine ecosystem and ecotourism.”

Together, the two new sanctuaries cover a total of 46,190 square miles (119,631 square kilometers), raising the total number of Caribbean sanctuaries to seven.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Unite founder, said: “We applaud the steps taken by Caribbean island governments to conserve sharks in their waters. To these governments, sharks are worth far more alive than dead. We are delighted and encouraged to see this bold action being taken to protect Caribbean ecosystems and bolster ecotourism industries.”

“St. Maarten and the Cayman Islands have joined a progressive group of leaders in global shark conservation by choosing to fully protect the diverse but vulnerable shark and ray species found in their waters,” said Luke Warwick, director of Pew’s global shark conservation campaign. “We look forward to continued expansion of shark conservation in the Caribbean to secure the region as a safe haven for threatened shark species.”

The announcement came during a three-day shark conservation symposium co-hosted by the government of St. Maarten, the St. Maarten Nature Foundation, the Bahamas National Trust, and The Pew Charitable Trusts. At the symposium, Caribbean leaders had the opportunity to learn from global shark experts, such as Boris Worm, professor in marine conservation biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and discuss shark conservation and shark-related tourism in their jurisdictions.

Since 2009, Pew has worked with governments around the world to establish shark sanctuaries in their territorial waters. The creation of these sanctuaries in the Caribbean brings the total number of sanctuaries worldwide to 14, covering 6 million square miles (15.5 million square kilometers), an area bigger than Canada.

Worldwide, at least 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries; nearly 30 percent of all known shark species assessed by scientists are threatened with extinction. Sharks play an important role in maintaining the health of the entire ocean, but they grow and reproduce slowly, which makes them particularly vulnerable to overfishing. Officials in many coastal and island nations recognize sharks’ high value to the dive tourism industry.

“Establishing sanctuaries to protect all sharks makes clear that these top predators warrant the same status as other vulnerable marine wildlife that help attract ecotourism, such as turtles and whales,” Warwick added.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.

Barbara Cvrkel, +1 202-510-5670
bcvrkel@pewtrusts.org

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2016 Mayors Challenge Entries in Latin America and the Caribbean Reveal a Focus on Addressing Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Economic Growth – with a Strong Emphasis on Engaging Citizens in These Efforts

290 Cities Submit Ideas to Solve Pressing Urban Challenges; with 5 Cities from Haiti Participation

Selection Process Now Underway to Determine the 20 Finalists who will go on to compete for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 290 cities across Latin America and the Caribbean have submitted ideas to solve major challenges and improve city life for the 2016 Mayors Challenge. The ideas offer insight into the needs of communities and priorities of local leaders in the region.

Seven in ten ideas aim to address a social or economic challenge, while the remaining 30% focus on improving government effectiveness and efficiency.

  • 71% of cities generated ideas to address major social or economic challenges such as:
    • Social inclusion for vulnerable populations (23%)
    • Sustainability (20%)
    • Economic growth (13%)
    • Education (9%)
    • Public health (8%)
  • 29% of city ideas focus on improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of government

The 290 Mayors Challenge applicants represent over 172 million citizens in 19 countries across the region. Participating cities span the entire region with 71% from South America, 20% from Mexico and 9% from Central America and the Caribbean.  Seventeen capital cities in the region submitted ideas to the competition – from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City to Kingston. With applications from 80 Brazilian cities and 59 Mexican cities, Brazil and Mexico had the largest number of cities that submitted applications.

5 cities from Haiti submitted applications and are now competing for $9 million dollars in innovation funds: Cap-Haïtien; Jean Rabel; Jérémie; Les Cayes; and Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite.

Applicants for the 2016 Mayors Challenge proposed innovative solutions to address a wide range of urban challenges. A series of themes emerged in the ideas, including:

  • Leveraging technology and citizen engagement to improve government performance
  • An emphasis on public education initiatives, citizen participation and digital solutions to prepare for and address natural disasters
  • An interest in entrepreneurship and digital learning to improve education
  • Promoting the inclusion of new or vulnerable populations through job creation, better use of public spaces and technology
  • Improving public health through wide-ranging citizen engagement strategies

“Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are some of the most innovative in the world, and they are proving it with their entries in our latest Mayors Challenge. The hundreds of proposals present exciting new ways to tackle problems across the region, and they have the potential to have a big impact on the lives of millions of people.” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

Additionally, a survey taken of participating cities showed significant city hall interest in innovation, but a lack of resources needed to experiment.

  • More than half of participating cities report regularly borrowing ideas from cities in the region or even from around the globe when faced with a tough problem.
  • Three out of 5 cities said they usually or always crowdsource ideas from citizens when they are faced with a tough problem.
  • Just 1 out of 5 participating cities report usually having access to public or private funding to test new ideas.

“This is a region of the world with a rich history of public sector innovation. The ideas coming from the Mayors Challenge build on that legacy. We see a stronger focus in this year’s ideas on citizen engagement, which is both a trend in governments worldwide as well as an area in which Latin American cities have been clear leaders,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

The current applicants emerged from more than 900 Latin American and Caribbean cities who were invited by the Mayors Challenge in January 2016 to compete. Cities had until April 15, 2016 to generate and submit their innovative ideas to improve city government and city life. Modeled on successful competitions in the United States and Europe, the 2016 Mayors Challenge will award $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate the most powerful and transferable ideas.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org

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Entrepreneurs’ Organization to Support Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Entrepreneurship Fellows Program

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global network of more than 11,000 business owners in 48 countries, has joined forces with Meridian International to support Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program. The program is open to 250 entrepreneurs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean between the ages of 21 to 35 with at least two years of professional experience. Applicants interested in the five-week fellowship program are required to apply by the 20 May 2016 deadline, here: https://ylai.state.gov/. EO will be assisting with the sourcing, screening and interviewing of these delegates in advance of the program, as well as providing entrepreneurial-focused learning content and connections to EO’s U.S.-based chapters once the program is underway.

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“Given the business acumen of EO’s membership, more than 11,000 members in the U.S. and 47 countries, our members are fully equipped to serve as business mentors to a future generation of entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Vijay K. Tirathrai, EO’s CEO.

EO will provide its entrepreneurial-focused Forum Training for all 250 YLAI Fellows in a series of kick-off events in Dallas, TX later this year. Participants will then be separated into smaller working groups across 20 U.S. cities before the program ends in Washington, D.C. with a three-day conference and networking event featuring top U.S. government officials, as well as global public, private and non-profit leaders.

As part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s effort to empower entrepreneurs and civil society leaders in order to advance entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean, participants will continue their collaboration with U.S. partners and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentorship and networking.

The YLAI is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), of the U.S. Department of State, in collaboration with Meridian International Center, which works with corporations, governments, NGOs and individuals in 190 countries to socio-economic development.

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 11,000 influential business owners with 144 chapters in 48 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond. For more information, visit www.eonetwork.org.

CONTACT: Gustavo Vieira, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Phone: +1.703.837.6068, Email: gvieira@eonetwork.org

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2016 Mayors Challenge Entries in Latin America and the Caribbean Reveal a Focus on Addressing Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Economic Growth — with a Strong Emphasis on Engaging Citizens in These Efforts

290 Cities Submit Ideas to Solve Pressing Urban Challenges

Selection Process Now Underway to Determine the 20 Finalists who will go on to compete for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 290 cities across Latin America and the Caribbean have submitted ideas to solve major challenges and improve city life for the 2016 Mayors Challenge. The ideas offer insight into the needs of communities and priorities of local leaders in the region.

Seven in ten ideas aim to address a social or economic challenge, while the remaining 30% focus on improving government effectiveness and efficiency.

  • 71% of cities generated ideas to address major social or economic challenges such as:
    • Social inclusion for vulnerable populations (23%)
    • Sustainability (20%)
    • Economic growth (13%)
    • Education (9%)
    • Public health (8%)
  • 29% of city ideas focus on improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of government

Applicants for the 2016 Mayors Challenge proposed innovative solutions to address a wide range of urban challenges. A series of themes emerged in the ideas, including:

  • Leveraging technology and citizen engagement to improve government performance
  • An emphasis on public awareness initiatives, citizen participation and digital solutions to prepare for and address natural disasters
  • An interest in entrepreneurship and digital learning to improve education
  • Promoting the inclusion of vulnerable populations through job creation, better use of public spaces and technology
  • Improving public health through wide-ranging citizen engagement strategies

“Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are some of the most innovative in the world, and they are proving it with their entries in our latest Mayors Challenge. The hundreds of proposals present exciting new ways to tackle problems across the region, and they have the potential to have a big impact on the lives of millions of people,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

Additionally, a survey taken of participating cities showed significant city hall interest in innovation, but a lack of resources needed to experiment.

  • More than half of participating cities report regularly borrowing ideas from cities in the region or even from around the globe when faced with a tough problem.
  • Three out of 5 cities said they usually or always crowdsource ideas from citizens when they are faced with a tough problem.
  • Just 1 out of 5 participating cities report usually having access to public or private funding to test new ideas.

The 290 Mayors Challenge applicants represent over 172 million citizens in 19 countries across the region. Participating cities span the entire region with 71% from South America, 20% from Mexico and 9% from Central America and the Caribbean.  Seventeen capital cities in the region submitted ideas to the competition – from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City to Kingston. With applications from 80 Brazilian cities and 59 Mexican cities, Brazil and Mexico had the largest number of cities that submitted applications.

“This is a region of the world with a rich history of public sector innovation. The ideas coming from the Mayors Challenge build on that legacy. We see a stronger focus in this year’s ideas on citizen engagement, which is both a trend in governments worldwide as well as an area in which Latin American cities have been clear leaders,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

The current applicants emerged from more than 900 Latin American and Caribbean cities who were invited by the Mayors Challenge in January 2016 to compete. Cities had until April 15, 2016 to generate and submit their innovative ideas to improve city government and city life. Modeled on successful competitions in the United States and Europe, the 2016 Mayors Challenge will award $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate the most powerful and transferable ideas.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org

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Walden University Introduces New Tempo Learning™ Competency-Based Programs

Online MBA and MHA degree programs for working professionals offered in a self-paced educational platform

MINNEAPOLIS, April 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Walden University, a pioneer in online education, is introducing two new programs offered through Tempo Learning™, its self-paced educational experience for students who want to earn their degree on their terms. In the competency-based Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) programs, students can progress at their own pace by applying their existing knowledge and prior experience while focusing on mastering the new skills they need to meet the demands of the workforce.

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Tempo Learning is composed of competencies and rigorous assessments that have been designed by faculty and validated by employers—creating a direct link between education and the workplace. Students receive individualized help from faculty members and academic coaches while working on their own to pass assessments designed to reflect the needs of the workplace. Successful students can demonstrate their learning and speed their progress toward earning their degree. Unlike traditional degree programs, where time and cost are fixed, Tempo Learning gives students the ability to accelerate their learning and reduce the cost of their degree.

“Our new competency-based MBA and MHA programs will give students the timely skills and knowledge they need to apply at work. We developed our Tempo Learning programs with the help of industry and academic experts in business and healthcare to create a unique learning experience. Now, students will spend less time on what they already know and use their professional experience—with support from Walden faculty—to advance more quickly toward completing their degree,” said Jonathan Kaplan, president of Walden.

Jobs for medical and health services administrators and managers are projected to grow 17% from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Walden’s online, competency-based MHA program is designed to help students prepare to meet the demand for effective, visionary healthcare leaders, as they develop skills and knowledge to apply immediately to advance their career in this rapidly changing field. Competencies touch on all facets of healthcare administration, from laws and ethics, to operations management and human resources, to financial management and strategic planning.

Walden’s ACBSP-accredited competency-based Master of Business Administration (MBA) program will launch with a specialization in Project Management. The program is designed to provide working professionals and entrepreneurs with the vital business and leadership skills they need to keep up with the pace of innovation in an increasingly global market. This self-paced online program allows students to learn and advance by mastering a series of competencies grouped in areas of expertise including innovation for growth, leadership and management, systems and performance, strategic and financial management, and project management.

Walden’s initial Tempo Learning™ offering, a competency-based MS in Early Childhood Studies with a specialization in Administration, Management and Leadership, is the nation’s first online competency-based master’s program in early childhood using a direct assessment model.

To learn more about Tempo Learning and its growing portfolio of competency-based programs, visit www.WaldenU.edu/tempolearning.

About Walden University
For more than 45 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 52,600 students from all 50 states and more than 155 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university offers more than 80 degree programs with more than 390 specializations and concentrations. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu.

Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 80 campus-based and online universities in 28 countries. For more information, visit www.laureate.net.

CONTACT: Jerry Sweitzer, 1-410-843-6576, jerry.sweitzer@waldenu.edu

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Bloomberg Philanthropies Launches 2016 Mayors Challenge in Latin America and the Caribbean

Global Competition Calls on City Leaders to Generate Bold Solutions to Address Urban Challenges and Improve City Life

Approximately 900 Cities Eligible to Compete for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Michael R. Bloomberg today launched Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2016 Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire Latin American and Caribbean cities to develop bold new ideas that solve major problems and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities. The competition includes a $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate powerful ideas. The competition is one of the foundation’s flagship programs, reaching hundreds of cities in the U.S. and Europe.

“Cities around the world are pursuing bold policy innovations, and those in Latin America and the Caribbean are helping to lead the way. Expanding the Mayors Challenge to Latin America and the Caribbean provides new opportunities for progress on a wide range of issues that impact the lives of citizens. We’re looking forward to seeing what exciting new ideas emerge from creative city leaders throughout the region,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

Cities with 100,000 or more residents in Latin America and the Caribbean are invited to compete in this year’s competition. More than 900 cities are eligible within the following countries – Argentina; Bolivia; Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Uruguay; Suriname; and Venezuela.

All cities competing in the 2016 Mayors Challenge must submit ideas that do one or more of the following:

  • Address a major social or economic issue in the local area
  • Improve customer service for citizens or businesses
  • Create government efficiencies
  • Improve citizen engagement in local government

Winners will be selected based on their idea’s vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities. By design, the Mayors Challenge prompts participating cities to leverage resources, talent, and creativity from residents and from other sectors.

Key moments in the 2016 Mayors Challenge for those interested in participating include:

  • By March 15, 2016, all cities must sign up for the competition at www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org
  • By April 15, 2016, all cities must submit their ideas
  • In late spring 2016, approximately 20 finalists will be announced
  • In July 2016, teams from the finalist cities will attend Ideas Camp, a two-day gathering where finalist cities work with experts to stretch and strengthen their ideas
  • In fall 2016, the five winning cities will be announced

Bloomberg Philanthropies will be supported by a selection committee of innovation and urban policy experts, largely from Latin America and the Caribbean, to help select the winning cities. The selection committee will be announced in the coming months.

All Mayors Challenge winners receive robust assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners to support implementation and document lessons learned. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

Facts on Prior Mayors Challenge Competitions

The Mayors Challenge is designed to surface bold new solutions, enable cities to test the best of these ideas, and help those ideas that work spread. To date, 465 U.S. and European cities have participated in the competitions. Highlights include:

  • Providence Talks, the grand prize winner from the U.S. Mayors Challenge, aims to address the fact that low-income children hear millions fewer words than their peers from wealthier families by the time they reach kindergarten, negatively impacting future educational attainment. That program’s pilot showed promising results in increasing the number of words heard by program participants. Providence Mayor Elorza is aggressively ramping up the program to reach thousands of children.
  • Santa Monica, a winner from the U.S. Mayors Challenge, successfully became the first city in the United States to conduct a wellbeing survey in early 2015. City officials are now using these data to align resources, programs, and policies to improve the health and wellbeing of residents. The survey will be conducted once every two years moving forward.
  • Athens, Greece, a winner from the European Mayors Challenge, has established a robust program to unleash the power of civil society to solve community problems, and to reform outdated regulations that make it difficult for citizens to contribute. Over a thousand community activities have been promoted through the program.
  • Barcelona, the grand prize winner from the European Mayors Challenge, aims to coordinate the activities of family members, neighbors, volunteers, and professional care givers around individual at-risk seniors to reduce isolation. The city has prototyped the technological platform and collected significant end-user feedback. An expanded pilot will take place in 2016 as they move toward their ultimate goal of reaching 20,000 seniors.
  • Seven finalists from the European competition that did not receive funding are nonetheless pursuing their ideas: Amsterdam, Brno, Bologna, Bristol, Lisbon, York, and Stara Zagora.  Three of the finalists from the U.S. competition that did not receive funding implemented their ideas: Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH; and Highpoint, NC, while five other finalists continue to pursue the concepts.
  • Winners from the U.S. and European competitions have received over 300 requests for information related to replication from other cities, universities, and civil society organizations.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has a strong history of work in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. In 2015, the foundation launched its Data for Health program in Latin America which will enable countries to vastly improve their public health data collection and use. Cities in Brazil and Colombia are participating in a new phase of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Global Road Safety Initiative, and the foundation is also assisting the region through its Vibrant Oceans Initiative, the largest philanthropic commitment to internationally reform fisheries management.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat: Bloombergdotorg and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact

Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org

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Bermuda Emissions Control Wins Applause at Paris Environmental Conference

Donal Smith, the Founder and CEO of Bermuda Emissions Control, Ltd. (BECL), of Hamilton, Bermuda

Donal Smith, the Founder and CEO of Bermuda Emissions Control, Ltd. (BECL), of Hamilton, Bermuda.

CaribPR Wire, PARIS, Tues. December 15, 2015: The growing need for vehicle emission control around the world was the subject of an address given at the COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris by Donal Smith, the Founder and CEO of Bermuda Emissions Control, Ltd. (BECL), of Hamilton, Bermuda.

In presenting an overview of his Bermuda-based operation to delegates assembled at the ‘Wider Caribbean Pavilion’ in Paris, France on Friday, December 4, 2015, Smith said the small island of Bermuda had taken the lead in ensuring that vehicle emissions met strict quality control standards as a mandatory government requirement, since his company, BECL, began operating in 2009. “It took 20 years of painstaking research and development to open our first inspection plant but it was worth it,” he said.

Smith elaborated on the ways he was fulfilling his company’s commitment to help protect residents on Bermuda’s densely populated 22-square mile island from dangerous levels of carbon monoxide released into the fragile environment from vehicles licensed to operate on the public roadways.

He reminded the audience that Bermuda had achieved global relevance as an international financial centre which led the world in asset protection for ‘blue chip’ corporations. “Helping to protect the Island’s pristine environment has enhanced Bermuda’s appeal as a prominent offshore domicile of choice,” said the former Deputy Mayor of the City of Hamilton, Bermuda’s business Capital.

“The compulsory testing of vehicles on Bermudas roads contributes greatly towards ensuring a safer and cleaner quality of air and helps diminish the long-term impact of vehicular emissions, which research has identified as a significant cause of respiratory ailments which contribute to a high incidence of health concerns, such as asthma and bronchitis,” he added.

In concluding his remarks, Mr. Smith congratulated France on hosting the ‘COP21 Climate Change Conference,’ which resulted in 195 countries approving an historical draft agreement to address the world’s climate change challenges by the year 2020.

“I am so very pleased to see islands from the Caribbean region so well represented at the conference and I look forward to meeting them again to discuss the pressing need for Vehicle Emission Control at the COP22conference next year in Morocco along with the many delegates from all parts of the world I have had the privilege of meeting in Paris,” he said.

# # # # # # #

For a transcript of the Paris presentation and details of the services provided by Bermuda Emission Control Ltd please contact:

Media Contact:

Donal Smith                                                                           Victor Webb

Bermuda Emissions Control Ltd.                                Marston Webb International

T: (441) 504-2735                                                             T: (212) 684-6601

e-mail: donalsmith10@gmail.com                             e-mail: marwebint@cs.com

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St. Kitts and Nevis Hon. Prime Minister Timothy Harris Announces Suspension of Syrians from Citizenship by Investment Program

PM’s remarks draw on matters of Caribbean-U.S. mutual concern, highlighting stringent passport and security measures, and lucrative trade

and investment opportunities

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — During a Washington reception on December 3, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis announced the suspension of Syrians from attaining dual nationality via the islands’ citizenship by investment program. Exclusion for second citizenship eligibility will hold, the Prime Minister noted, until further federal vetting processes can be completed.

The statement, first issued in St. Kitts and Nevis last week, comes in the wake of ongoing reports of counterfeit Syrian passports flooding the international black market. St. Kitts and Nevis’s exclusion additionally follows the government’s recall in 2013, barring Iranian citizens from its program due to security concerns.

“As the pioneer country in developing a second citizenship by investment program, we are proud that St. Kitts and Nevis established a standard for the highest due diligence in processing applicants, while developing an integral investment platform and helping the island’s economy,” Hon. Prime Minister Timothy Harris said. “These are hallmarks that have set St. Kitts and Nevis onto the international stage as one of the most lucrative and appealing locations to attain second citizenship by investment.”

St. Kitts and Nevis, alongside economic citizenship offerings in Dominica and Grenada, have emplaced rigorous screening processes in establishing application protocol. The security of a country’s borders remains top priority—standards the St. Kitts and Nevis government holds to highest standard to ensure integrity of its citizenship by investment programs, and opportunities for collaboration with its regional and international partners.

“Today’s perilous times call for heightened security measures—both from government bodies and the global citizen,” said Lanny Davis, executive vice president at LEVICK Communications and former White House counsel.

Speaking at the reception, Prime Minister Harris joined diplomatic representatives and Caribbean leaders in highlighting avenues for joint partnerships between the island nations and the U.S. Ongoing since the 2000 Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, the Caribbean nations remain poised to continue expanding and diversifying their trade offerings, drawing interest from the U.S. market for foreign investment into the islands’ economies.

“Dual nationality is, simply, the 21st century’s insurance policy,” said Micha Emmett, the global managing director and legal advisor of UK-based citizenship solutions firm CS Global Partners. “From visa-free or -upon arrival options for 131 countries to the tranquil experience at the heart of the Caribbean existence, investing in St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica or Grenada grants tremendous benefits while, in turn, supporting the economic developments of each respective island nation. At the heel of the recent events in Mali, Nigeria, Paris, Ankara, and Beirut, a second citizenship from a Caribbean island provides indispensable access to a safe haven, while opening substantial business possibilities.”

St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and Grenada present various real estate and diversification investment offerings, from a $100,000 contribution to Dominica’s Economic Diversification Fund; to $200,000 donation to Grenada’s National Transformation Fund; and a $250,000 minimum investment to the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Fund Diversification. For more information, please visit: www.csglobalpartners.com.

About CS Global Partners
CS Global Partners is an international, industry-leading, legal advisory firm specializing in citizenship and residence solutions. Our business was born out of a desire to deliver efficient and effective solutions for businesspersons and high net-worth individuals looking to safeguard their future and that of their families. With a global physical presence, counting nine offices across the world and an expert multi-lingual team fluent in over eleven languages, we are always available to provide tailored guidance and advice. CS Global Partners’ strong reputation for expertise and integrity has also allowed us to establish a government advisory practice, making us the consultants of choice of countries offering the world’s most sought-after citizenship and residence programs. For more information, please visit: www.csglobalpartners.com.

CONTACT: Olga DeMetri, odemetri@levick.com, +1-202-973-1329 office

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James River Group Holdings informa ingresos netos de 19,0 millones de USD o 0,64 USD por acción diluida durante el tercer trimestre

Informa ingresos netos operativos de 19,2 millones de USD o 0,65 USD por acción diluida.

Declara dividendos trimestrales de 0,16 USD por acción.

Declara dividendos especiales de 1,00 USD por acción.

Crecimiento del 33,0 % del segmento de Líneas de Excesos y Excedentes y 41,2% de crecimiento en el segmento Especial Admitido en el tercer trimestre.

El aumento en la escala impulsa reducciones del índice de gastos en Excesos y Excedentes (Excess and Surplus, E&S) y de segmentos Especiales Admitidos.

Ingresos netos del año de 40,8 millones de USD o 1,40 por acción, e ingresos netos operativos de 43,2 millones de USD o 1,48 USD por acción.

CaribPR Wire, PEMBROKE, Bermudas, Nov. 07, 2015: James River Group Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ:JRVR) anunció hoy los resultados financieros del tercer trimestre y los nueve meses que finalizaron el 30 de septiembre de 2015.

J. Adam Abram, director ejecutivo y presidente ejecutivo de James River Group Holdings, Ltd, comentó: “Mis colegas tuvieron excelentes rendimientos: el índice combinado se situó en el 89,0 %. James River continúa en la senda de una rentabilidad del 12 % sobre el capital tangible para nuestros accionistas durante el año calendario 2015. Nuestro crecimiento rentable le permitió a nuestro directorio complementar nuestros dividendos trimestrales regulares de 0,16 USD con un dividendo especial adicional de 1,00 USD por acción que se pagará en el cuarto trimestre.  Nos complace anunciar estos resultados y estos dividendos”.

Los factores significativos que deben tenerse en cuenta a la hora de evaluar el tercer trimestre de 2015 incluyen los siguientes:

  • Cada uno de los segmentos operativos de la compañía generó ganancias de suscripción.
  • Las ganancias operativas por acción diluidas son de 0,65 USD por acción en comparación con los 0,64 USD por acción del año anterior.
  • Ingresos netos operativos de 19,2 millones de USD en el tercer trimestre de 2015 en comparación con los 18,3 millones de USD del año anterior.
  • En el trimestre actual, la evolución favorable de las reservas antes de impuestos fue de 9,6 millones de USD (que representan 0,28 USD por acción) en comparación con la evolución favorable antes de impuestos de 15,4 millones de USD (que representan 0,48 USD por acción) del año anterior. Este fue el 13.° trimestre consecutivo en el que pudimos reducir las reservas respecto de los años de siniestros anteriores.
  • Nuestros segmentos comerciales continúan respondiendo de manera hábil a las condiciones del mercado:

– Nuestro segmento E&S altamente rentable observó un crecimiento del 33,0 % en las primas brutas emitidas, pasando de 61,9 millones de USD en el tercer trimestre de 2014 a 82,2 millones de USD.

– Nuestro segmento de seguros de productos especiales admitidos aumentó las primas brutas emitidas en un 41,2 %, pasando de 16,2 millones de USD en 2014 a 22,9 millones de USD, lo que ayudó a reducir el índice de gastos del segmento al 35,7 % en comparación con el 46,4 % en el tercer trimestre de 2014.

  • Nuestro índice combinado para el trimestre fue de 89,0 % en comparación con el 88,8 % del año anterior. Al 30 de septiembre de 2015, el 69 % de las reservas totales por pérdidas netas fueron designadas como reservas de siniestros ocurridos y no reportados (incurred but not reported reserves, IBNR), lo cual es coherente con nuestra historia de reservas fuertes.
  • Los ingresos netos por inversiones para el trimestre fueron de 9,5 millones de USD en comparación con los 10,0 millones de USD para el mismo período de 2014.
  • Las primas brutas emitidas en nuestro Segmento de Reaseguros de Responsabilidad disminuyeron de 93,3 millones de USD a 43,1 millones. Ello fue principalmente el resultado de una diferencia temporal, debido a que un gran contrato de reaseguro se renovó con anticipación. Asimismo, la gerencia de este segmento tomó decisiones de no renovar o de reducir el tamaño de otros contratos al momento de su renovación en el trimestre.

Los factores significativos que se deben tener en cuenta a la hora de evaluar el período de nueve meses que finalizó el 30 de septiembre de 2015 incluyen los siguientes:

  • Cada uno de los segmentos operativos de la compañía generó ganancias de suscripción.
  • Las ganancias operativas por acción diluidas subieron un 7,2 % a 1,48 USD por acción en comparación con los 1,38 USD por acción del año anterior.
  • Ingresos operativos netos de 43,2 millones de USD en 2015 en comparación con los 39,6 millones de USD del año anterior.
  • Durante los 9 meses de 2015, tuvimos una evolución favorable de las reservas de 14,6 millones de USD en comparación con los 19,1 millones de USD en los primeros 9 meses del año anterior.
  • Disfrutamos de un aumento en las primas brutas emitidas del 11,5 %, pasando de 415,6 millones de USD a 463,5 millones de USD, lo cual ayudó a disminuir los índices de gastos en nuestras dos aseguradoras principales:

– Las primas brutas de emisión del Segmento de Líneas de Excesos y Excedentes crecieron un 28,9 % hasta alcanzar 235,4 millones de USD, lo cual disminuyó el índice de gastos del segmento en 2,1 puntos porcentuales.

– Las primas brutas de emisión del Segmento de Seguros de Productos Especiales Admitidos crecieron en un 52,7 % hasta alcanzar 61,8 millones de USD, lo cual disminuyó el índice de gastos del segmento en 12,1 puntos porcentuales.

– Las primas brutas emitidas de nuestro Segmento de Reaseguros de Responsabilidad disminuyeron en un 13,6 %, pasando de 192,6 millones de USD en 2014 a 166,4 millones de USD.

El valor del capital tangible aumentó un 3,3 % durante el tercer trimestre de 2015, de 470,5 millones de USD al 30 de junio de 2015 a 485,9 millones de USD al 30 de septiembre de 2015. Esto se debió principalmente a nuestros ingresos netos de 19,0 millones de USD y a un aumento de otros ingresos globales acumulados (es decir, ganancias no realizadas en nuestra cartera de inversión) que aumentaron en 1,6 millones de USD (después de impuestos), pasando de 7,3 millones de USD al 30 de junio de 2015 a 8,9 millones de USD al 30 de septiembre de 2015, que fue compensado parcialmente por el dividendo de 4,6 millones de USD pagados durante el trimestre.  El aumento de las ganancias no realizadas fue impulsado principalmente por el cambio en las tasas de interés del mercado.

En cuanto al desempeño anual hasta la fecha, nuestro valor contable tangible aumentó un 4,3 %, de 466,0 millones de USD el 31 de diciembre de 2014 a 485,9 millones de USD el 30 de septiembre de 2015. Este aumento se debió principalmente a nuestros ingresos netos de 40,8 millones de USD, compensados parcialmente por una disminución de otros ingresos globales acumulados, que disminuyeron 9,5 millones de USD, de 18,4 millones de USD el 31 de diciembre de 2014 a 8,9 millones de USD el 30 de septiembre de 2015, así como también se debió a los 13,9 millones de USD de dividendos pagados y devengados durante 2015.

Las ganancias operativas netas por acción diluida del primer trimestre de 2015 fueron de 0,65 USD por acción, sin incluir 252 000 USD de costos antes de impuestos relacionados con las ganancias y pérdidas realizadas y con otros gastos no operativos. Este monto se compara con los 0,64 USD generados durante el mismo período de 2014. En cuanto a las ganancias anuales hasta la fecha, las ganancias operativas netas por acción diluidas del año 2015 fueron de 1,48 USD por acción, sin incluir 0,08 USD por acción de los costos relacionados con las ganancias y pérdidas realizadas y con otros gastos no operativos. Este monto puede compararse con los 1,38 USD para el mismo período de 2014.

Las ganancias por acción totalmente diluidas para el tercer trimestre de 2015 fueron de 0,64 USD, las cuales excedieron el monto de 0,60 USD del tercer trimestre de 2014. A la fecha, las ganancias por acción totalmente diluidas en el año 2015 fueron de 1,40 USD por acción. Este monto puede compararse con los 1,24 USD del mismo período de 2014.

El índice combinado de la compañía para el tercer trimestre de 2015 fue del 89,0 % (compuesto por un índice de pérdidas del 54,4 % y un índice de gastos del 34,7 %). Este puede compararse con el índice combinado del 88,8 % (compuesto por un índice de pérdidas del 54,5 % y un índice de gastos del 34,3 %) del año anterior. A la fecha, el índice combinado de la compañía para 2015 fue de 94,6 % (compuesto por un índice de pérdidas del 60,5 % y un índice de gastos del 34,1 %). Esto se compara con un índice combinado del año anterior de 94,5 % (compuesto por un índice de pérdidas del 60,1 % y un índice de gastos del 34,4 %).

Los resultados del trimestre que finalizó el 30 de septiembre de 2015 incluyen una evolución favorable de las reservas de 9,6 millones de USD respecto de los años de siniestros anteriores. Esto representó 7,8 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y nuestro índice combinado, respectivamente, que puede compararse con una evolución favorable de las reservas de 15,4 millones de USD del año anterior, que representó 15,4 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y nuestro índice combinado, respectivamente. La evolución favorable de las reservas para el trimestre es de 8,3 millones de USD después de impuestos (13,9 millones de USD el año anterior). Los parámetros anuales hasta la fecha para el año 2015 incluyen una evolución favorable de las reservas para años de siniestros anteriores de 14,6 millones de USD (o 12,4 millones de USD después de impuestos), que representa 4,2 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente. En 2014, la evolución favorable de las reservas para este período de 9 meses fue de 19,1 millones de USD (o 16,8 millones de USD después de impuestos), que representó 6,7 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente.

El aumento en el índice de gastos globales durante el tercer trimestre de 2015 en comparación con el mismo período del año anterior (34,7 % en 2015 frente a 34,3 % del año anterior) se debió a mayores comisiones a tarifa variable en nuestro segmento de Reaseguros de Responsabilidad (debido menores a índices de pérdidas subyacentes). Dicho incremento también se debió a mayores gastos de compensación basados en acciones y otros costos asociados a ser una compañía pública, pero fue compensado por el aumento del 22,7 % de nuestras primas devengadas durante el trimestre, de 100,0 millones de USD en 2014 a 122,7 millones de USD en 2015. Nuestro índice de gastos globales durante el período de 9 meses que finalizó el 30 de septiembre de 2015 disminuyó de 34,4 % en 2014 a 34,1 % en 2015, como consecuencia del aumento del 20,9 % en las primas devengadas, de 286,1 millones de USD en 2014 a 345,8 millones en 2015, pero fue compensado por el aumento de los gastos de compensación basados en acciones y los demás costos asociados a ser una compañía pública.

El índice combinado del segmento de Líneas de Excesos y Excedentes, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas del 49,9 % y un índice de gastos del 24,2 %, fue de 74,1 % durante el tercer trimestre de 2015. El año anterior, el índice combinado de este segmento fue de 74,6 % durante el segundo trimestre, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas de 46,6 % y un índice de gastos de 27,9 %. A la fecha, el índice combinado del segmento de Líneas de Excesos y Excedentes fue de 83,0 %, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas de 56,9 % y un índice de gastos de 26,1 %. El año anterior, el índice combinado a la fecha de este segmento fue de 84,1 %, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas de 55,9 % y un índice de gastos de 28,2 %. Durante el tercer trimestre, registramos una evolución favorable de las reservas antes de impuestos de 10,1 millones de USD, lo cual representó 15,3 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y nuestro índice combinado, respectivamente. Durante el mismo período de 2014, registramos una evolución favorable de las reservas antes de impuestos de 12,0 millones de USD, lo cual representó 23,4 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y nuestro índice combinado, respectivamente. A la fecha, 2015 incluye una evolución favorable de las reservas para años de siniestros anteriores de 18,5 millones de USD, lo cual representa 10,4 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente. Durante el año 2014, esta evolución favorable de las reservas fue de 18,3 millones de USD, lo cual representó 13,2 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente.

El índice combinado del segmento de Seguros de Productos Especiales Admitidos, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas del 60,0 % y un índice de gastos del 35,7 %, fue de 95,7 % durante el tercer trimestre de 2015. El año anterior, el índice combinado de este segmento fue de 97,7 %, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas de 51,3 % y un índice de gastos de 46,4 %. A la fecha, el índice combinado del segmento de Seguros de Productos Especiales Admitidos, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas de 60,4 % y un índice de gastos de 38,0 %, fue de 98,3 %. El año anterior, el índice combinado de este segmento fue de 104,7 %, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas de 54,5 % y un índice de gastos de 50,1 %. Durante el tercer trimestre, registramos una evolución favorable de las reservas antes de impuestos de 2,0 millones de USD, que representó 18,3 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y nuestro índice combinado, respectivamente. Durante el mismo período de 2014, registramos una evolución favorable de las reservas antes de impuestos de 2,2 millones de USD, que representó 30,3 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y nuestro índice combinado, respectivamente. A la fecha, 2015 incluye una evolución favorable de las reservas para los años de siniestros anteriores de 2,2 millones de USD, que representa 7,1 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente. Durante el año 2014, este segmento tuvo una evolución favorable de las reservas de 3,3 millones de USD, lo cual representó 17,2 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente. El índice de gastos anual hasta la fecha y del tercer trimestre de 2015, de 38,0 % y 35,7 %, respectivamente, ha comenzado a evidenciar las consecuencias del crecimiento exitoso de los programas y de las transacciones “fronting”, con un aumento global de las primas devengadas en este segmento. Durante el mismo período del año anterior, el índice de gastos fue del 50,1 % y del 46,4 %, respectivamente.

El índice combinado del segmento de Reaseguros de Responsabilidad, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas del 59,4 % y un índice de gastos del 40,0 %, fue de 99,4 % durante el tercer trimestre de 2015. El año anterior, el índice combinado de este segmento fue del 100,0 %, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas del 64,7 % y un índice de gastos del 35,2 %. El aumento del índice de gastos durante el tercer trimestre de 2015 fue el resultado de mayores comisiones a tarifas variables asociado con índices de pérdidas favorables, principalmente en el año de suscripción 2014. A la fecha, el índice combinado del segmento de Reaseguros de Responsabilidad, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas de 65,1 % y un índice de gastos de 34,2 %, fue de 99,3 %. El año anterior, el índice combinado de este segmento a la fecha fue de 99,7 %, compuesto por un índice de pérdidas de 65,4 % y un índice de gastos de 34,3 %. Durante el tercer trimestre, registramos una evolución desfavorable de las reservas de 2,5 millones de USD, que representó 5,3 puntos del índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente. El año anterior, registramos una evolución favorable de las reservas de 1,2 millones de USD, lo cual representó 2,9 puntos del índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente. A la fecha, 2015 incluye una evolución desfavorable de las reservas para los años de siniestros anteriores de 6,0 millones de USD , lo cual representa 4,4 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente. Durante 2014, esta evolución desfavorable de las reservas fue de 2,4 millones de USD, lo cual representó 1,9 puntos de nuestro índice de pérdidas y del índice combinado, respectivamente.

La disminución de las primas brutas emitidas en este segmento durante el tercer trimestre de 2015 se debe, principalmente, al momento de la renovación de un contrato que se renovó en el tercer trimestre de 2014, pero que fue renovado en el segundo trimestre de 2015. Este contrato contribuyó 25,0 millones de USD a las primas brutas emitidas del tercer trimestre de 2014 y 16,0 millones a las del segundo trimestre de 2015. Asimismo, la gerencia de este Segmento tomó decisiones de no renovar, o de reducir el tamaño de otros contratos al momento de su renovación en el trimestre.

Los ingresos netos por inversiones durante el tercer trimestre de 2015 fueron de 9,5 millones de USD, que se comparan con los 10,0 millones de USD durante el mismo período en 2014. A la fecha, los ingresos netos por inversiones durante 2015 fueron de 34,5 millones de USD, que se comparan con los 33,2 millones para el mismo período de 2014. La disminución de los ingresos netos por inversiones para el trimestre pudo atribuirse, principalmente, a una disminución en el valor de mercado de nuestras inversiones en ciertas sociedades relacionadas con energías renovables llevadas a cabo en el tercer trimestre, de 659 000 USD, en comparación con un aumento de 697 000 en el tercer trimestre del año anterior. A la fecha, estas sociedades relacionadas con la energía han contribuido a nuestros ingresos netos por inversiones 4,0 millones de USD y 4,7 millones de USD durante los nueve meses finalizados el 30 de septiembre de 2015 y 2014, respectivamente. El aumento a la fecha de los ingresos netos por inversiones también pudo atribuirse al aumento en nuestro saldo en efectivo y activos invertidos que aumentaron un 5,9 %, de 1302,1 millones de USD al 30 de septiembre de 2014 a 1378,9 millones al 30 de septiembre de 2015. Asimismo, los ingresos netos por inversión se vieron afectados por nuestro flujo de caja operativo positivo, parcialmente compensado por los 70 millones de USD en dividendos que pagamos el 30 de septiembre de 2014, los cuales redujeron nuestros activos invertibles, así como también el rendimiento de la cartera. Nuestro rendimiento bruto anualizado de inversiones sobre los valores de vencimiento fijo promedio para los períodos de tres y nueve meses que finalizaron el 30 de septiembre de 2015 fue de 3,4 % y 3,3 %, respectivamente, mientras que la duración promedio de nuestra cartera fue de 3,5 años.

Durante el tercer trimestre, registramos pérdidas realizadas netas antes de impuestos por un total de 17 000 USD (diecisiete mil dólares estadounidenses). A la fecha, registramos ganancias realizadas netas antes de impuestos por un total de 2,5 millones de USD. Este monto incluye los 3,4 millones de USD en pérdidas durante el primer trimestre de 2015 en relación con el segmento energético de nuestra cartera. Al 30 de septiembre de 2015, ésta tenía un valor contable residual de 21,0 millones de USD y un valor de mercado de 16,1 millones de USD.

Dividendos

La compañía anunció que su Junta Directiva declaró un dividendo en efectivo de 0,16 USD por acción ordinaria. Este dividendo se pagará el 28 de diciembre de 2015 a todos los accionistas que se encuentren registrados el lunes 14 de diciembre de 2015.

Dividendos especiales

La compañía también anunció que su Junta Directiva declaró un dividendo en efectivo de 1,00 USD por acción ordinaria. Este dividendo se pagará el lunes 28 de diciembre de 2015 a todos los accionistas que se encuentren registrados el lunes 14 de diciembre de 2015.

Conferencia telefónica

James River Group Holdings llevará a cabo una conferencia telefónica para hablar sobre este comunicado de prensa mañana, 05 de noviembre de 2015, a las 9.00 a. m., hora del este. Los inversionistas pueden participar en la conferencia llamando al (877) 930-8055; el número de identificación de la conferencia es el 17443071. O bien a través de Internet en www.jrgh.net, haciendo clic en el enlace “Investor Relations” (Relaciones con los inversionistas). Ingrese al sitio web al menos 15 minutos antes del evento para inscribirse, y descargar e instalar el software de audio necesario. La repetición estará disponible poco después de la finalización de la conferencia y hasta el momento de cierre de la jornada del 04 de diciembre de 2015 en el número de teléfono y en el sitio web antes mencionados.

Declaraciones a futuro

Este comunicado de prensa contiene declaraciones a futuro, según la definición del término establecida en la Ley de Reforma de Litigios sobre Valores Privados (Private Securities Litigation Reform Act) de 1995. En algunas ocasiones, estas declaraciones a futuro pueden identificarse por el uso de términos tales como “creer”, “esperar”, “buscar”, “poder”, “será”, “pretender”, “proyectar”, “anticipar” “planificar”, “estimar” u otras palabras similares. Las declaraciones a futuro implican riesgos e incertidumbres que podrían causar que los resultados reales difieran materialmente de los previstos en ellas. Si bien no es posible identificar todos los riesgos y factores, entre ellos se incluyen los siguientes: pérdidas que excedan las reservas, pérdida de empleados o de miembros de la gerencia claves, factores económicos adversos, disminución de nuestra capacidad financiera, pérdida de un grupo de corredores o agentes que representan una parte importante de nuestro negocio, pérdida de nuestra cartera de inversiones, reglamentaciones gubernamentales o del mercado adicionales, posibilidad de quedar sujetos a impuestos estadounidenses y otros riesgos descritos en los documentos presentados por la compañía ante la Comisión de Bolsa y Valores. Estas declaraciones a futuro son válidas únicamente a la fecha de este comunicado y no asumimos ninguna obligación de actualizar o revisar la información de cualquiera de estas declaraciones a futuro para reflejar cambios en las suposiciones, eventos imprevistos o cualquier otra situación.

Índices que no se ajustan a los principios de contabilidad generalmente aceptados

Al presentar los resultados de James River Group Holding, la gerencia incluyó índices financieros que no se calculan de acuerdo con los estándares o las reglas comprendidos en los principios de contabilidad generalmente aceptados (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, GAAP) en Estados Unidos. Estos índices, que incluyen las ganancias de seguros, los ingresos operativos netos y el rendimiento sobre el capital tangible, se denominan índices financieros no ajustados a los principios de contabilidad generalmente aceptados. Es posible que otras compañías definan o calculen estos índices de manera diferente. No debe considerarse que estos índices sustituyen aquellos establecidos de acuerdo con los GAAP. Al final de este comunicado se incluye la conciliación de estos índices con los índices GAAP más similares.

Acerca de James River Group Holdings, Ltd.

James River Group Holdings, Ltd. es un holding empresarial de seguros con sede en las Bermudas que posee y opera un grupo de compañías especializadas de seguros y reaseguros fundadas por miembros de nuestro equipo gerencial. La compañía opera en tres segmentos especializados de seguros y reaseguros de responsabilidad y patrimoniales: Líneas de Excesos y Excedentes, Seguros de Productos Especiales Admitidos y Reaseguros de Responsabilidad. En cada uno de los segmentos, la compañía tiende a enfocarse en cuentas asociadas con pequeñas y medianas empresas. A.M. Best Company calificó con “A-” (excelente) y una “perspectiva positiva” a cada una de las subsidiarias de seguro reguladas de la compañía.

Visite el sitio web de James River Group Holdings, Ltd. en www.jrgh.net

James River Group Holdings, Ltd. y sus subsidiarias
Información del balance condensado consolidado
(No auditado)
September 30,
2015
December 31,
2014
($ in thousands, except for share amounts)
ASSETS
Invested assets:
Fixed maturity securities, available-for-sale $ 888,480 $ 756,963
Fixed maturity securities, trading 1,251 7,388
Equity securities, available-for-sale 74,453 67,905
Bank loan participations, held-for-investment 213,625 239,511
Short-term investments 50,225 131,856
Other invested assets 74,301 33,622
Total investments 1,302,335 1,237,245
Cash and cash equivalents 76,561 73,383
Accrued investment income 8,281 7,273
Premiums receivable and agents’ balances 197,962 162,527
Reinsurance recoverable on unpaid losses 133,273 127,254
Reinsurance recoverable on paid losses 5,835 1,725
Deferred policy acquisition costs 72,673 60,202
Goodwill and intangible assets 221,509 221,956
Other assets 77,686 67,727
Total assets $ 2,096,115 $ 1,959,292
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Reserve for losses and loss adjustment expenses $ 779,009 $ 716,296
Unearned premiums 329,867 277,579
Senior debt 88,300 88,300
Junior subordinated debt 104,055 104,055
Accrued expenses 29,250 31,107
Other liabilities 58,218 54,034
Total liabilities 1,388,699 1,271,371
Total shareholders’ equity 707,416 687,921
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity $ 2,096,115 $ 1,959,292
Tangible equity $ 485,907 $ 465,965
Tangible equity per common share outstanding $ 16.89 $ 16.33
Total shareholders’ equity per common share outstanding $ 24.59 $ 24.10
Common shares outstanding at end-of-period 28,769,487 28,540,350
Debt to total capitalization ratio 21.4 % 21.9 %
James River Group Holdings, Ltd. and Subsidiaries
Condensed Consolidated Income Statement Data
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015 2014 2015 2014
($ in thousands, except for share data)
REVENUES
Gross written premiums $ 148,236 $ 171,415 $ 463,505 $ 415,616
Net written premiums $ 122,928 $ 153,836 $ 390,401 $ 367,618
Net earned premiums $ 122,705 $ 99,989 $ 345,776 $ 286,057
Net investment income 9,510 9,996 34,496 33,189
Net realized investment (losses) gains (17 ) 2,033 (2,473 ) (1,678 )
Other income 925 (201 ) 2,018 740
Total revenues 133,123 111,817 379,817 318,308
EXPENSES
Losses and loss adjustment expenses 66,718 54,486 209,133 171,936
Other operating expenses 43,387 34,114 119,764 98,971
Other expenses 69 2,459 207 2,848
Interest expense 1,769 1,557 5,217 4,661
Amortization of intangible assets 149 149 447 447
Total expenses 112,092 92,765 334,768 278,863
Income before taxes 21,031 19,052 45,049 39,445
Income tax expense (2,070 ) (1,884 ) (4,222 ) (3,626 )
NET INCOME $ 18,961 $ 17,168 $ 40,827 $ 35,819
NET OPERATING INCOME $ 19,177 $ 18,288 $ 43,230 $ 39,639
EARNINGS PER SHARE
Basic $ 0.66 $ 0.60 $ 1.43 $ 1.26
Diluted $ 0.64 $ 0.60 $ 1.40 $ 1.24
NET OPERATING INCOME PER SHARE
Basic $ 0.67 $ 0.64 $ 1.51 $ 1.39
Diluted $ 0.65 $ 0.64 $ 1.48 $ 1.38
Weighted-average common shares outstanding:
Basic 28,735,087 28,540,350 28,608,398 28,540,350
Diluted 29,418,251 28,793,815 29,244,520 28,787,500
Cash dividends declared per common share $ 1.16 $ 2.45 $ 1.48 $ 2.45
Ratios:
Loss ratio 54.4 % 54.5 % 60.5 % 60.1 %
Expense ratio 34.7 % 34.3 % 34.1 % 34.4 %
Combined ratio 89.0 % 88.8 % 94.6 % 94.5 %
James River Group Holdings, Ltd. and Subsidiaries
Segment Results
EXCESS AND SURPLUS LINES
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015 2014 2015 2014
($ in thousands)
Gross written premiums $ 82,249 $ 61,857 $ 235,384 $ 182,544
Net written premiums $ 68,731 $ 51,079 $ 191,951 $ 150,618
Net earned premiums $ 65,804 $ 51,230 $ 178,071 $ 138,313
Losses and loss adjustment expenses (32,853 ) (23,882 ) (101,383 ) (77,362 )
Underwriting expenses (15,904 ) (14,315 ) (46,429 ) (39,020 )
Underwriting profit (a), (b) $ 17,047 $ 13,033 $ 30,259 $ 21,931
Ratios:
Loss ratio 49.9 % 46.6 % 56.9 % 55.9 %
Expense ratio 24.2 % 27.9 % 26.1 % 28.2 %
Combined ratio 74.1 % 74.6 % 83.0 % 84.1 %
(a) See “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures.”
(b) Underwriting results include fee income of $861,000 and $(218,000) for the three months ended September 30, 2015 and 2014, respectively, and $1.8 million and $565,000 for the respective nine month periods.
SPECIALTY ADMITTED INSURANCE
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015 2014 2015 2014
($ in thousands)
Gross written premiums $ 22,898 $ 16,211 $ 61,755 $ 40,447
Net written premiums $ 11,110 $ 9,212 $ 31,751 $ 24,855
Net earned premiums $ 10,743 $ 7,185 $ 30,448 $ 18,847
Losses and loss adjustment expenses (6,448 ) (3,687 ) (18,377 ) (10,274 )
Underwriting expenses (3,833 ) (3,336 ) (11,565 ) (9,451 )
Underwriting profit (loss) (a), (b) $ 462 $ 162 $ 506 $ (878 )
Ratios:
Loss ratio 60.0 % 51.3 % 60.4 % 54.5 %
Expense ratio 35.7 % 46.4 % 38.0 % 50.1 %
Combined ratio 95.7 % 97.7 % 98.3 % 104.7 %
(a) See “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures.”
(b) Underwriting results include fee income of $328,000 and $211,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2015 and 2014, respectively, and $992,000 and $514,000 for the respective nine month periods.
CASUALTY REINSURANCE
Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015 2014 2015 2014
($ in thousands)
Gross written premiums $ 43,089 $ 93,347 $ 166,366 $ 192,625
Net written premiums $ 43,087 $ 93,545 $ 166,699 $ 192,145
Net earned premiums $ 46,158 $ 41,574 $ 137,257 $ 128,897
Losses and loss adjustment expenses (27,417 ) (26,917 ) (89,373 ) (84,300 )
Underwriting expenses (18,465 ) (14,640 ) (46,973 ) (44,173 )
Underwriting profit (a) $ 276 $ 17 $ 911 $ 424
Ratios:
Loss ratio 59.4 % 64.7 % 65.1 % 65.4 %
Expense ratio 40.0 % 35.2 % 34.2 % 34.3 %
Combined ratio 99.4 % 100.0 % 99.3 % 99.7 %
(a) See “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures.”

CONCILIACIÓN DE LAS NORMAS NO AJUSTADAS A LOS PRINCIPIOS DE CONTABILIDAD GENERALMENTE ACEPTADOS

El cuadro siguiente concilia las ganancias (pérdidas) de seguros por segmento operativo individual y de la compañía en su totalidad con los ingresos consolidados antes de impuestos. Creemos que estas normas son útiles para los inversores al evaluar el desempeño de la compañía y de sus segmentos operativos, porque nuestro objetivo es obtener ganancias de seguros en forma consistente. Evaluamos el desempeño de nuestros segmentos operativos y asignamos recursos principalmente en función de las ganancias (pérdidas) de seguros de los segmentos operativos. Las ganancias (pérdidas) de seguros no pueden compararse con los de otras compañías.

Three Months Ended
September 30,
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015 2014 2015 2014
($ in thousands)
Underwriting profit (loss) of the operating segments:
Excess and Surplus Lines $ 17,047 $ 13,033 $ 30,259 $ 21,931
Specialty Admitted Insurance 462 162 506 (878 )
Casualty Reinsurance 276 17 911 424
Total underwriting profit of operating segments 17,785 13,212 31,676 21,477
Other operating expenses of the Corporate and
Other segment
(4,324 ) (2,041 ) (12,958 ) (5,762 )
Underwriting profit (a) 13,461 11,171 18,718 15,715
Net investment income 9,510 9,996 34,496 33,189
Net realized investment (losses) gains (17 ) 2,033 (2,473 ) (1,678 )
Other income and expenses (5 ) (2,442 ) (28 ) (2,673 )
Interest expense (1,769 ) (1,557 ) (5,217 ) (4,661 )
Amortization of intangible assets (149 ) (149 ) (447 ) (447 )
Consolidated income before taxes $ 21,031 $ 19,052 $ 45,049 $ 39,445
(a)  Included in underwriting results for the three months ended September 30, 2015 and 2014 is fee income of $1.2 million and $(7,000), respectively, and $2.8 million and $1.1 million for the respective nine month periods.

Definimos a los ingresos netos operativos como ingresos netos, excluidas las ganancias y pérdidas netas realizadas por inversión, los gastos relacionados con los costos de diligencia debida por varias actividades de fusión y adquisición, costos asociados con nuestra oferta pública inicial, costos de indemnizaciones asociadas con el despido de empleados, cargos por deterioro del fondo de comercio y los activos intangibles, y ganancias por la extinción de deudas. Utilizamos los ingresos netos operativos como una medida de desempeño interno en la gestión de nuestras operaciones, porque creemos que le otorga a nuestra gerencia y a otros usuarios de nuestra información financiera un conocimiento útil de los resultados de nuestras operaciones y de nuestro desempeño de negocios subyacente. Los ingresos operativos netos no deberían ser considerados como un sustituto de los ingresos netos calculados de acuerdo con los principios de contabilidad generalmente aceptados, y nuestra definición de ingresos operativos netos tal vez no sea comparable a la de otras compañías.

Nuestros ingresos antes de impuestos y nuestros ingresos netos durante los tres y nueve meses finalizados el 30 de septiembre de 2015 y 2014, respectivamente, se concilian con nuestros ingresos netos operativos de la siguiente forma:

Three Months Ended
September 30,
2015 2014
Income
Before
Taxes
Net
Income
Income
Before
Taxes
Net
Income
($ in thousands)
Income as reported $ 21,031 $ 18,961 $ 19,052 $ 17,168
Net realized investment losses (gains) 17 63 (2,033 ) (1,420 )
Other expenses 69 45 2,459 (a) 2,434
Interest expense on leased building the Company is deemed to own for accounting purposes 166 108 163 106
Net operating income $ 21,283 $ 19,177 $ 19,641 $ 18,288
Nine Months Ended
September 30,
2015 2014
Income
Before
Taxes
Net
Income
Income
Before
Taxes
Net
Income
($ in thousands)
Income as reported $ 45,049 $ 40,827 $ 39,445 $ 35,819
Net realized investment losses 2,473 1,946 1,678 723
Other expenses 207 135 2,848 (a) 2,775
Interest expense on leased building the Company is deemed to own for accounting purposes 496 322 495 322
Net operating income $ 48,225 $ 43,230 $ 44,466 $ 39,639
(a)  Principally costs of the initial public offering.

Definimos al capital tangible como la suma del patrimonio neto menos la el fondo de comercio y los activos intangibles (neto de amortización). Es posible que nuestra definición de capital tangible no sea comparable con la de otras compañías, y no debe considerarse como un sustituto del patrimonio neto calculado de acuerdo con los principios de contabilidad generalmente aceptados. Utilizamos al capital tangible internamente para evaluar la fortaleza de nuestro balance y para comparar rendimientos relativos a esta medida. El siguiente cuadro concilia el patrimonio neto con el capital tangible al 30 de septiembre de 2015, 30 de junio de 2015 y 31 de diciembre de 2014.

September 30, June 30, December 31,
2015 2015 2014
Shareholders’ equity $ 707,416 $ 692,185 $ 687,921
Less:  Goodwill and intangible assets 221,509 221,658 221,956
Tangible equity $ 485,907 $ 470,527 $ 465,965

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con:

Robert Myron
Presidente y director de Operaciones
1-441-278-4583

InvestorRelations@jrgh.net
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CITIVA and UWI Join Forces to Lead Global Charge in Marijuana Research

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — CITIVA Jamaica (CITIVA) has made another major step in their ongoing relationship with the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus (UWI). The medical research company held its first Continuing Medical Education (CME) Seminar on October 15, 2015, during which CITIVA’s Chief Medical Officer, Jack D’Angelo MD, MBA, delivered a lecture onCannabinoids and the Management of Multiple Disease States.

CITIVA is focused on advancing the study of marijuana and its efficacy in the field of medicine. In July, CITIVA initiated construction of the world’s first facility dedicated to medical marijuana research at UWI.

“In the US we are only allowed to legally study the undesirable effects [of marijuana]; those are the only studies that can be funded,” said D’Angelo, adding that, “these studies are a little bit unfair in their interpretation.” CITIVA’s research will focus on the endocannabinoid system – a system within the human body which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. CITIVA is seeking to show how the naturally occurring cannabinoids in marijuana affect different disease states, particularly Type II Diabetes, Epilepsy and Neuropathic Pain.

Support for the inaugural seminar came from an array of medical fields, with many individuals looking forward to the start of CITIVA’s clinical trials. “It’s good to see that there was a multidisciplinary turnout,” said Eric Williams, who is a consultant in Emergency Medicine at the University Hospital. Amongst those in attendance were, pediatric neurologist Dr. Roxanne Melbourne-Chambers, senior lecturer in Physiology at UWI, Dr. Dagogo Pebble, and Executive Director of the Jamaican Epilepsy Association, Joy McHugh.

“This is a growing industry,” said Pebble, “and having Citiva here will be like having [the research] at the home of the plant.” CITIVA’s research into Type II Diabetes, epilepsy and neuropathic pain could have additional benefits for the local population. “Particularly within our context and our strained resources, this would seem to be an option worth researching to see if it is clinically applicable,” said Chambers, who treats many children with severe epilepsy at the University Hospital. The cost of cannabinoid treatments is expected to be significantly lower than synthetic products.

Along with their work at UWI, CITIVA is working closely with the Diabetes Association of Jamaica (DAJ) and the Jamaican Epilepsy Association (JEA) to study these diseases and how cannabinoids can be beneficial to treatment. One initiative, spear-headed by CITIVA and the JEA, is to make cannabinoid treatments available to all children afflicted with epilepsy. “People in the US move to states where [marijuana is] available to treat their children,” said D’Angelo, who used the CNN piece by Dr. Sanjay Gupta as a prime example of how these treatments work.

CITIVA seeks to make medical practitioners and educators aware of the advancements in marijuana research. “Still in medical schools we don’t spend any time educating people on this topic,” according to D’Angelo. The hope is to grow this series of CME Seminars into a program at the UWI which will be a critical part of proving the efficacy of cannabinoid treatments.

CONTACT: For further information and/or to schedule interviews, please contact: Tiffany Grey, DRT Communications Ltd., Email: tiffany@drtcommunications.com, Tel: 631-8663

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New Scientific Study Finds Coral Reefs Under Attack From Chemical In Sunscreen As Global Bleaching Event Hits

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — A new study published today in a toxicology journal has found that a chemical widely used in personal care products such as sunscreen, poses an ecological threat to corals and coral reefs and threatens their existence.

Oxybenzone is found in over 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide, and pollutes coral reefs from swimmers wearing sunscreens and through wastewater discharges from municipal sewage outfalls and from coastal septic systems.

The study comes less than two weeks after NOAA declared the third ever global coral bleaching event and warned that locally produced threats to coral, such as pollution, stress the health of corals and decrease the likelihood that they will resist bleaching, or recover from it.

It demonstrates that exposure of coral planulae (baby coral) to oxybenzone, produces gross morphological deformities, damages their DNA, and, most alarmingly, acts as an endocrine disruptor. The latter causes the coral to encase itself in its own skeleton leading to death.

These effects were observed as low as 62 parts per trillion, the equivalent to a drop of water in six and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Measurements of oxybenzone in seawater within coral reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, for example, found concentrations ranging from 800 parts per trillion to 1.4 parts per million.  This is over 12 times higher than the concentrations necessary to impact on coral.

A team of marine scientists from Virginia, Florida, Israel, the National Aquarium (US) and the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, undertook the study.  Lead author Dr. Craig Downs of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory Virginia, said, “The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral reef conservation is a critical issue.  We have lost at least 80% of the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers. Everyone wants to build coral nurseries for reef restoration, but this will achieve little if the factors that originally killed off the reef remain or intensify in the environment.”

Between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion are emitted into coral reef areas each year, much of which contains between one and 10% oxybenzone.

Further information about the study can be found at haereticus-lab.org and marinesafe.org.

CONTACT:  Patricia Roy; patricia@communicationinc.co.uk ;  +34.696.905.907

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International Day of the Girl

TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – With the October 11 observance of the International Day of the Girl Child, Canadian researcher Caril Phang emphasizes education as vital to the empowerment of girls, and women. “Organizations such as UNESCO insist that cultural co-operation is essential to pedagogy, and it is this perspective which informs my work.” An advisor on parity, and cultural inclusion in industry, Phang insists that greater representation of women in the production of popular works is vital to enhancing the self-image of our girls. “One of my favourite directors, Tania Hoser, insists that the arts can empower women, being a creative format with informative function. The day our girls can see themselves truly, fully represented in popular culture − in all their complexities as human beings − is the day my work will be done.”

Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151016/277809

Caril Phang @WordsEdge has been published by the United Nations, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Phang manages multilateral projects, specializing in globalism, equity, and discourses, and is author, most lately, of Birth of a Beat: How Kaná:ta’ Creates World Music (spring 2016).

For further information: Caril Phang, 647-829-7086

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Miya signs a water efficiency project estimated at $42.5M in Jamaica

Project with National Water Commission of Jamaica is designed to maximize efficiency of Kingston’s water system. Daily savings of more than 70 million liters of fresh water are expected within 5 years, enough to supply water to additional 500,000 people

KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Miya, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arison Investments, signed a $42.5M contract  with the National Water Commission (NWC) of Jamaica to maximize the efficiency of its water systems in the KSA (Kingston & Saint Andrew) Area, it was announced today.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150709/234593

The 5-year co-management project focuses on improving KSA’s water distribution system and substantially reducing non-revenue water (NRW), currently estimated at 54%. Within five years, most of the current NRW in the KSA-area systems will be saved, estimated in daily savings of more than 70 million liters of fresh water.

Miya is already active in the Caribbean, running a mega 10-year project in the Bahamas. Starting in 2012, Miya returned the water system to its continuous supply within two years, and cut NRW by more than half. This culminates in savings of 16 million liters every day, enabling water production to be reduced by almost 20%.

Meir Wietchner, Miya’s Chairman: “This partnership sets an example for the entire region on how important it is to manage our water resources efficiently. A holistic solution, such as this, leads to sustainable change that mutually benefits the utility and the citizens it supplies.”

The NWC supplies drinking water to about 600,000 residents in KSA. One of the main targets of this unique co-management project is to build professional NRW capacity within NWC, while increasing the system efficiency. The project is fully funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and includes performance based fees, which will be paid only if contract targets are achieved.

David Arison, Miya’s Vice President of Global Business Relations: “We hope and believe that the Miya-NWC project will be the beginning of an extended partnership, and will serve as an exemplary project for all the Parishes in Jamaica. Getting to know NWC’s team, we are certain that together we will achieve the level of commitment and professionalism needed for a successful project. Executing this project is practicing sustainability in its purest form. The results of this project will benefit the environment, the financial position of NWC and most importantly the citizens of KSA.”

The project includes a comprehensive suite of water efficiency solutions, incorporating strategic and financial planning, based on efficiency audits of NRW. This will be followed by a water infrastructure improvement phase devised specifically for the area, including the monitoring of water pressure, locating leaks, repairing or replacing selective pipes, and ultimately (after 5 years) handing over responsibility to NWC staff, who will continue to maintain high levels of system efficiency for the long-run.

Amit Horman, Miya’s CEO: “Miya believes in the Caribbean market and continues to expand its operation in the territory. Our success in The Bahamas opens the eyes of other governments and water utilities in the region, with respect to the hidden value of water efficiency. We will keep striving for excellence in the planning and execution of such projects.”

In cooperation with the Jamaican government and NWC, Miya is planning to involve the local community in water conservation education programs, equipping people with tools such as a new Smartphone application that improves the connection between citizens and the water authority.

www.miya-water.com

CONTACT: Deborah Kohan, 212-593-5885, deborah.kohan@finnpartners.com

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