Heart to heart

first_imgHeart to heartOn 10 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article The concept of emotionalintelligence and its impact on a firm’s efficiency has fast gained recognition.Caroline Horn offers a guide to converting emotion into action Personal qualities andpeople skills such as empathy and self-knowledge – otherwise known as emotionalintelligence – are increasingly being seen as good for business. Colin Selby,director of business psychology consultancy Selby MillSmith, des-cribesemotional intelligence as “the capacity for self-awareness and thecapability to sympathise, which is linked to how a person manages theirbehaviour and skills they use at work.” Since US psychologist DanielGoleman applied the term to the workplace in 1996 (Emotional Intelligence – whyit can matter more than IQ), interest in the concept has grown with a number ofstudies into its positive effect on areas such as leadership skills, managingchange and staff retention.Tim Sparrow, coursedirector at the Centre for Applied Emotional Intelligence, says, “Therehas been a distinct change in the approach to emotional intelligence over thepast 18 months. To begin with, after people found it was measurable, they wereinterested in simply developing it and it was seen as the answer to everyone’sprayers. Now, people are more interested in what you can do, how you can useemotional intelligence and how you can intervene to do something about it. Atsenior levels, it is correlated with effective performance and, because it isrecognised it is can be developed, that you can get a long-term effect.”He adds, “Peopleare also now more aware that emotional intelligence is not one thing – it ismade up of lots of related things. Early tests tended to give you a figure ofyour “EQ” which was unhelpful have different strengths in differentareas and what is important is that shape, rather than “you are good atthis or that.’” Goleman believes thatemotional intelligence covers a number of aspects of personality, includingself-awareness, emotional management, self-motivation, empathy, relationshipmanagement, communication skills and personal style.A number of studiesare also under way to show how such skills can affect an organisation’s growthand how companies can develop their own “emotional capital”. DrMalcolm Higgs of Henley Management College is examining the extent to whichcreating the right environment can effect the development of emotionalintelligence in an organisation. His research, still at an early stage,involves looking at the measure to which a particular culture can support orinhibit emotional intelligence.He has studied 180people across 11 organisations. “We found that the more a culture isassociated with emotional intelligence, the more it attracts and retainspeople,” says Dr Higgs. “This links in with other studies showing alink between emotional intelligence in an organisation – its emotional capital– and an individual’s morale and levels of stress. The higher the emotionalintelligence, the lower the levels of stress.”There are a number ofdifferent ways to look at emotional intelligence, says James Park, managingdirector of consultancy Antidote. “What we try to do is enable anorganisation to look at the interaction between the individuals andorganisational structure and culture in an ongoing way. We describe this as emotionalliteracy – how individuals’ skills and abilities manifest themselves comes downto the way in which they respond to an organisation.”There are a range ofissues involved in building emotional capital, from assessing emotionalintelligence and defining which areas to develop, to deciding where a company’spriorities lie in terms of developing competencies. Dr Higgs comments, “Ihave been involved in projects where emotional intelligence is becoming asignificant part of coaching leaders. That is increasingly coming down tocoaching-based interventions.” There is, he adds, noquick fix. “You hear quite a lot of people talking about developingemotional intelligence but it is not something you can deliver through atwo-day course – there is no quick fix.”And emotional capitalis taking on increasingly global perspectives. Peter Melrose, partner of HayManagement Consultants, says, “In the past couple of years we have beenworking increasingly with the HR departments of large organisations to address theissue of emotional intelligence. Organisations are becoming very interested incomparing their levels of emotional intelligence against internationalbenchmarks.”There are a number ofareas a company needs to consider once it has decided to develop their “emotionalcapital”. A five-point plan towards developing emotional capital in yourorganisation follows. Assess and developemotional competenciesInitially, says DrHiggs, it is important that the organisation spends time explaining whatemotional intelligence is and exploring the issues. That will help”kick-start” it in the development process. “You have to findout which people are good at using assessment, preferably on a 360-degreebasis, then give careful feedback,” he says. “Coaching can be on alengthy one-to-one basis or part of a development programme.”Once the assessmentshave been completed and people understand where their strengths and weaknesseslie, it is important to find out what they are interested in changing. Dr Higgsadds, “It is very clear that, unless someone is motivated to change, theywon’t put in the effort to do it. If they don’t buy into the result, they won’tcommit to it”.This, says Dr Higgs,is where 360-degree feedback is important in self-assessment. “If yousimply sit people through tests and give them the results, people canrationalise it and you can get more denial. With 360-degree feedback, thedifference between how people see themselves and how others see them is veryclear. Individuals then need to consider the different areas and decide whatthey will work on.”You also need todecide what is the most appropriate way to develop those areas, says Sparrow.”There are some people you can test, explain the results, and they willpick it up and run with it. Others are not so good at doing that and they needsupport from a person outside the organisation. Different people need differentinterventions.”Enable teams to learnon the jobLearning on the job iswhere most learning takes place, but for it to be effective, a very specificagenda is required, says Dr Higgs. “Prioritise. Get members to work on onearea of emotional intelligence at a time, not all seven areas. Generally, youare looking at six-to-nine months to see a noticeable change in one area,although it speeds up after that.” Since a team willoften include counterbalancing strengths and techniques, individuals can learnto work with the skills of others, rather than competing against them. Dr Higgsadds, “Individuals need to recognise the strengths they have. If they arein a team and have to deal with a complex decision but don’t have all theinformation, and there is one member who is strong on intuition, then theylearn to listen to that person.” Teamwork is alsoimportant because members can give each other constant feedback – an importantpart of the learning process. Dr Higgs comments, “To some extent, itseffectiveness depends on the organisation’s culture and whether it is an openculture where people can give and receive feedback. If so, development will bemuch better.”Team work has alsobecome more sophisticated, adds Sparrow. “When emotional intelligencestarted hitting the headlines, a lot of HR professionals said they wanted towork with it, and asked for team tests. There weren’t any available specificallyfor teams, so companies applied individual tests to teams.”But that is missingthe point, he says. “We all behave differently in different teams orgroups. In some, you have to watch your backs while others are supportive. Theemotional intelligence of a team is not just a fraction of the individuals onthe team – some teams foster emotional intelligence behaviour, some do not. Soyou need to use a measure, like the one we have developed, that tests groupemotional intelligence.”And there are alwaysindividuals who will do all they can to avoid the challenges of team work,warns Selby. “While team work is very effective in enhancing awareness,people will change their work or team rather than their behaviour in order tointegrate effectively into a team.” He adds that other forms of”training” such as psychotherapy “can help an individual resolveconflicts that are causing them pain in their emotional behaviours”.Enhance individuals’and groups’ ability to self-developThere is growinginterest in self-directed learning, says Melrose. “The principle is thatan individual has to own their own learning process. Because of that, as muchof the learning needs as possible need to be in the workplace rather than atraining room.” The elements of emotional intelligence are best developedon a sustained basis, agrees Dr Higgs, but adds that while the elements providea useful framework for people developing themselves, that needs to be supportedby coaching, mentoring and peer mentoring – which also helps draw emotionalintelligence further down the organisation. He points out that it is alsoimportant that individuals attend an initial workshop on the development offeedback skills – how to give feedback and how to listen to it.Selby also recommendsa series of training modules followed by coaching at the place of work sopeople can continuously learn what they have achieved, and where they need todo more work. But while self-learning is important, he comments, “Withoutcoaching, it’s a waste of time, and the coaching has to be continuous.”Organisations can usevarious appr-oaches to self-development, says Dr Higgs. “One organisationwe worked with looked into emotional intelligence and aspects concerning itssalespeople. Each of the sales team identified areas they needed to focus onand set up what were called ‘development clubs’ focusing on different areas.”They meet everycouple of months and work together as a group or pairs and act as coachestogether. The group is given a lot of autonomy so, if they identify a problem,they can bring someone in to work with them on that topic. That comes back tothe culture in the organisation – it is recognised that that development isimportant, and they are supported.”Develop a new breed ofleaders to transform a firms’ cultureSome people claimemotional intelligence is more important the higher you go in an organisation,says Dr Higgs. “We looked at people’s competencies in terms of change andtheir ability to lead change. The assessment was competency-based, using360-degree measures for leadership capability and then using a 360-degreemeasure of emotional intelligence. We found that six of the seven elements wehave identified for emotional intelligence were related to five areas ofleadership capabilities. I have since been using the two together in my‘developing leadership’ training programmes.”Any organisationlooking to introduce emotional intelligence alongside leadership training needsto clarify the purpose of its leadership training, says Selby. “You needto consider if your organisation is looking at succession planning or aperson’s competencies within a job context; 360-degree feedback is good for thelatter, while emotional intelligence measures will give you a good indicationof someone’s potential and how that person can be developed in terms of theirleadership capability.”He adds, “Thereare different types of leaders. Those who have displayed early promise ofleadership promise by taking on responsibilities will benefit from emotionalintelligence training because they have shown potential and motivation. Theywill be good at influencing people, so will take the workforce with them,whereas a crisis leader won’t take other people forward with them – they wouldexpect people simply to follow them.”And even leaders mightneed persuading that they need to change, says Sparrow. “You might have aleader who is a difficult person to work with in a team situation. Theimportant thing is to realise that you can’t make people change; you have topersuade them that it is worth changing. That is, help them to realise that theway they are is getting in the way of what they need to get done, and this canbe quite a challenge for people.Build new skills forHR professionalsDr Higgs argues thatHR people should themselves have high levels of emotional intelligence. Hesays, “The techniques of HR tend to be quite fixed, for example in termsof reward, and HR people really need to understand how this plays into theculture of the organisation. They might find there are other things they needto develop – they might need to address management leadership issues, forexample – so they can create the climate in an organisation where emotionalintelligence will flourish.”Sparrow’s organisationruns a nine-month action learning course for professionals, called theCertificate in Applied Emotional Intelligence. He says, “Peopleare beginning to realise that emotional intelligence is not something you canlearn about. It’s very difficult to help people develop emotional intelligenceunless you have emotional intelligence yourself.”Short of undertakingextensive courses, there is plenty of professional help available for diagnosisand a suggested course of action, although, as Higgs warns, in purely technicalterms HR departments need to be clear about the material they are using toimplement emotional intelligence. “The challenge is to get good quality –what is clearly and soundly proven or demonstrated. A lot of people are re-badgingstuff as emotional intelligence. You need a deep understanding of the subjectto know what is useful and what is not.”Above all, says Selby,”HR professionals need to move away from the ethic which produces safedecisions towards focusing on profitable decisions – guiding and influencing –that will help to drive a company forward.” Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Paperwork hinders Macedonian midwife

first_imgPaperwork hinders Macedonian midwifeOn 24 Aug 2004 in Personnel Today Many qualified workers from Eastern Europe arefinding it difficult to complete the paperwork necessary to continue theircareers due to chaos and red tape in their home countries. Stanka Ignatova, 24,qualified as a midwife in her homeland of Macedoniain 1998. She married a UKcitizen last year, and now plans to make her life in the UK.She wants to return to midwifery, but has found the hurdles too great toovercome, and is currently working in a local factory for around £11,000 ayear. “I find it frustrating,” she told Personnel Today. “The formsthe NHS sent me require very detailed information on my education. I need toget those details from my colleges in Macedonia,but Macedoniais in such a mess that it is impossible to track down my details. “It is difficult to know which way to turn,” Ignatovaadded. “I should be able to take a practical test for my skills andattitudes to be assessed, but the NHS tells me they do not have such a systemin place.” Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

TechnipFMC invests and enters into a strategic collaboration with McPhy to accelerate green hydrogen

first_imgThe companies will manufacture and commercialise hydrogen electrolysis production systems for large industry, renewable energy storage and large mobility projects and hydrogen distribution systems for large mobility projects TechnipFMC invests and enters into a strategic collaboration with McPhy to accelerate green hydrogen. (Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.) TechnipFMC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with McPhy (EPA:MCPHY), a leading manufacturer and supplier of carbon-free hydrogen production and distribution equipment, pursuant to which the two companies will jointly work on technology development and project implementation. TechnipFMC is also making an equity investment in McPhy.TechnipFMC’s Technip Energies segment is a global engineering and construction services provider for the global energy industry and is a market leader in hydrogen, having provided proprietary steam reforming technology for more than 270 hydrogen production plants worldwide. The MoU establishes a collaboration framework for the manufacturing and commercialization of (i) hydrogen electrolysis production systems for large industry, renewable energy storage and large mobility projects and (ii) hydrogen distribution systems for large mobility projects. Through their MoU, Technip Energies and McPhy will jointly address commercial opportunities, work on integrating their respective offerings and work on research and development for hydrogen technology.Arnaud Pieton, President of Technip Energies, stated: “The collaboration with McPhy is an important milestone for the future of the green hydrogen industry and demonstrates our ambition to accelerate the journey to a low-carbon society. We will work with McPhy to develop large-scale and competitive carbon-free hydrogen solutions from production to liquefaction, storage and distribution which we firmly believe is core to achieving net-zero targets. We are excited to be also joined by Chart Industries, whose expertise lies in equipment development and is complementary to our process technology and project capabilities. We are proud to keep the same pioneering spirit and our commitment to technology and outstanding project execution to serve the energy transition.” Source: Company Press Releaselast_img read more

AdvanFort Vessels to Aid Voluntary USG Amver Program

first_img View post tag: Aid August 2, 2013 View post tag: program View post tag: Naval View post tag: News by topic View post tag: AdvanFort View post tag: USG View post tag: Amver AdvanFort Vessels to Aid Voluntary USG Amver Programcenter_img View post tag: Navy View post tag: vessels Share this article Training & Education Back to overview,Home naval-today AdvanFort Vessels to Aid Voluntary USG Amver Program View post tag: Voluntary Maritime security leader the AdvanFort Company announced on Wednesday that it has volunteered for service in the piracy-infested waters in and around the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean as part of the U.S. Coast Guard-coordinated Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (Amver), whose members assist any nearby vessel in distress.The AdvanFort fleet, which has vessels strategically positioned in key sea lanes surrounding the High Risk Area (HRA), is now “on plot” in the official USCG program, a computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system that is used by search and rescue authorities around the world to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.“AdvanFort helps ensure no call for help goes unanswered even in the most dangerous waters,” said Benjamin M. Strong, director of Amver Maritime Relations at the Coast Guard, in a statement about the unique voluntary alliance with one of the leading private maritime security companies.“The high risk waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea make search and rescue cases challenging to manage,” Strong noted. “AdvanFort’s participation in Amver gives search and rescue authorities new, specialized vessels to assist them in managing maritime emergencies.”“The management of AdvanFort as well as the captains and crews of our fleet of vessels are pleased and honored to now be enrolled in the Amver program,”added AdvanFort President William H. Watson.“With vessels strategically located at the perimeter of the High Risk Area for piracy, our vessels are uniquely positioned to assist in Search And Rescue (SAR) missions should any other nearby vessel require assistance.”Captain Watson added: “Since our vessels also house our off-duty PCASP (Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel) teams, we will also be in a position to protect a distressed and vulnerable vessel from attack by pirates or other seagoing criminals who might seek to capitalize on their situation.”Any commercial vessel of more than 1,000 gross tons that are on voyages of 24 hours or more, regardless of nation or flag, ought to enroll and participate in the Amver program, the AdvanFort president pointed out.Due to participating merchant vessels regularly reporting their position, those ships near a position of distress are more readily identified, and thus rescue coordinators are able to compress the search area in cases where a participant vessel is unreported or overdue.By identifying those vessels best positioned to respond to distress calls, other vessels are able to continue their voyage—having met those obligations set down in international law—thus saving fuel, time and cost of payrolls.[mappress]Press Release, August 2, 2013; Image: AdvanFortlast_img read more

Sean Hayes Is Engaged to Longtime Partner Scott Icenogle

first_img View Comments Broadway alum and Emmy winner Sean Hayes is engaged to longtime boyfriend, music producer Scott Icenogle, E! Online reports. The two have been together for eight years and apparently have been engaged for some time before going public with the news (despite Hayes subtly flashing the ring on recent TV appearances).Hayes received a Tony nomination in 2010 for his Broadway debut performance in Promises, Promises. That same year, he hosted the Tony Awards alongside co-star Kristin Chenoweth. His many screen credits include Will & Grace, Smash, and Sean Saves the World.Congratulations to Hayes and Icenogle! Star Filescenter_img Sean Hayeslast_img

Rivers We Love

first_img6 ICONIC WATERWAYS—and the people fighting to protect themIn 2018, we commemorate 50 years of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. It’s a good time to celebrate the rivers that sustain us all—especially six iconic rivers in our Blue Ridge backyard.Chattooga River (Featured)North Carolina – Georgia – South CarolinaPractically equidistant from the major metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Ga., and Greenville, S.C., the Chattooga River has long provided a recreational oasis for Southeasterners looking to escape the grind. It’s one of the few remaining free-flowing rivers in the region, winding unimpeded by dams for 56.9 miles from the base of Whitesides Mountain in western North Carolina to Tugaloo Lake at the confluence of the Tallulah River.Once home to the Cherokee, Chattooga, or Tsatugi, has been interpreted as, “he drank by sips,” or, “he has crossed the stream and come out upon the other side,” according to New Georgia Encyclopedia. But take a look back through the Chattooga’s history and it feels like it was the river, not man, that entered turbulent times and came out on the other side safely.Logged almost entirely during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the nearly 190,000-acre Chattooga watershed is today one of the most critical refugia for at-risk species migrating due to climate change. The U.S. Forest Service manages 70% of the watershed, with over 120,000 acres residing in three different national forests—the Nantahala in North Carolina, the Chattahoochee in Georgia, and the Sumter in South Carolina.Throughout the early to mid 20th century, eight dams were proposed on the Chattooga but they never came to fruition, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Chattooga Conservancy. In 1971, a Congress-appointed task force released its “Wild and Scenic Report” on the Chattooga, recommending the river for Wild and Scenic designation. Three years later in 1974, the Chattooga officially became one of the first Wild and Scenic rivers in the country.“I used to be a river guide before I got into the conservation business,” says Chattooga Conservancy Executive Director Nicole Hayler. “A lot of people come and go through the river guiding community and guide all over the world in places like New Zealand and Nepal, all over the place, and so many come back to the Chattooga and say it’s their favorite river. I can’t put my finger on it as to why it’s so alluring. It just is. It really takes you back into the feeling of being in a wilderness.”Experience the Chattooga Section IV of the Chattooga is a classic whitewater run in the Southeast. Kayakers should have solid class IV paddling skills to run the river comfortably, but for those who are new to the world of whitewater, there are plenty of outfitters like the Nantahala Outdoor Center that offer rafting trips (starting at $110 per head). Anglers can fish for stocked trout at Burrells Ford bridge or head north towards Ellicott Rock to try landing some wild brown trout.Scout for speciesThe Chattooga crayfish is specific to the Chattooga watershed. It’s about 3.5 inches in length with dull green claws and a light amber body. Plethodontid salamanders, or lungless salamanders, are also commonly found in the watershed. Because these salamanders breathe through their skin and depend on a damp environment to survive, the Chattooga watershed, considered a temperate rainforest, makes for the ideal habitat.Know the threatsSouthside Project timber sale in the Cashiers-Highlands area, which is the site for the headwaters of the Chattooga; city of Clayton raw sewage contamination in Stekoa Creek, a majorly polluted tributary to the Chattooga.Lend a handBecome a member of the Chattooga Conservancy or volunteer for a river cleanup. The organization hosts monthly cleanups through September.The French Broad RiverkeeperFrench Broad RiverNorth CarolinaThough the Cherokee name for the French Broad, Tah-kee-os-tee, means “racing waters,” there was a time when western North Carolina’s beloved broad was considered “too thick to drink but too thin to plow.” Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, industrialization slowly overtook the banks of the French Broad, so that by the 1950s, the river was considered more of a toxic dumping ground and less as a natural resource.After the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, all of that began to change. Today, over one million people rely on the 4,000-square-mile watershed for their drinking water, and that doesn’t include the explosive population in Knoxville, which draws its drinking water from the Tennessee River, formed by none other than the French Broad and Holston Rivers.Despite point source pollution like unlined coal ash ponds on Duke Energy property and the recent fuel storage tank leak that resulted in 1,000 gallons of petroleum oozing into the French Broad, the river’s health is better than it’s ever been. The river is now home to more than 100 species of fish. Over 50% of the watershed is forested, with much of that buffer protected by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway.The revitalization of the French Broad has simultaneously restored the region’s economy, too. Communities like Marshall and Hot Springs, not to mention the city of Asheville, are sustainably capitalizing on the river as an eco-tourism attraction. Riverfront space, once the cheapest lots in town, is now prime real estate. Breweries, outfitters, and other outdoor industry business are purposefully relocating to have better access to the river.“It’s important to remember how we got to this point,” says French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson. “It wasn’t an accident that thousands of people now float the river on a Saturday. It was the passage of the Clean Water Act and the implementation of that law that brought the river back from the brink of extinction, but it doesn’t mean there’s a guarantee it’ll stay clean in the future. We have to continue that hard work to keep the French Broad pristine.”Experience the French BroadThe most accessible way to see the French Broad is to flow the section of river from Hominy Creek to the Salvage Station in Asheville. You can get away with a craft as minimal as a Walmart inner tube if that’s all you have. Whitewater boaters with class III skills should paddle section nine of the French Broad, which flows naturally for much of the year. Flatwater paddlers will enjoy the French Broad River Trail, a 140-mile blueway that offers multiple access points, campgrounds, and paddling services for overnighters of varying lengths.Scout for speciesThe Appalachian elktoe is an endangered species of mussel that resides on the Mills and Little Rivers in the upper reaches of the French Broad watershed. The eastern spiny softshell turtle is considered a North Carolina species of concern and likes to burrow in the soft bottoms of the French Broad.Know the threatsRapid and thoughtless development; point source pollution from leaky coal ash ponds; radioactivity from Duke Energy coal plantsLend a handParticipate in the Riverkeeper Beer Series, an eight-part river cleanup and special beer release summer series; Blue Ridge Outdoors and MountainTrue Litter Floatilla on September 20thWatauga River | Photo: Dylan McKinneyWatauga RiverNorth Carolina – TennesseeGiven that the Watauga River basin is one of the smallest in the state of North Carolina (only 205 square miles total), the river has an almost larger-than-life reputation as being one of the best fishing and paddling destinations in the country. Trout fishing, in particular, has been a huge boon to the local economy. A 2017 study released by Responsive Management and Southwick Associates for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission found that trout fishing on rivers like the Watauga (which has 171 miles of state-designated trout waters) contributed $383 million to western North Carolina’s economy.Contained entirely within North Carolina’s High Country, over two-thirds of the Watauga watershed is forested and includes portions of Grandfather Mountain State Park, Pisgah National Forest, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Elk Knob Game Land. Historically, the river was mostly harnessed for power. Four dams provided hydroelectric power for the numerous saw and gristmills that once ran the lengths of the Watauga’s banks.Today, it’s farmers, not mills, which depend on the river. About 10% of the Watauga watershed is covered in row-crop farms, Christmas tree farms, and livestock operations, all of which have caused sedimentation and erosion issues as of late. Yet it was a single tannery that operated near Valle Crucis in the 20th century which, anecdotally at least, seems to have caused the most lasting damage to the native species of the Watauga.More than the agricultural impacts and even the gasoline seepage that has happened multiple times in the past year alone, Watauga Riverkeeper Andy Hill is worried about steep-slope development. Because of the mountainous topography of Avery and Watauga counties, Hill says it’s imperative that developers do more in the way of riparian zone protection, which will, in turn, protect habitat for trout and shiners and salamanders, which need cool clean water to survive.“Even though the water quality now is excellent, we’ve really seen the local population jump in the last five to 10 years,” says Hill. “People are realizing Boone and the High Country, in general, is a wonderful place to be, but we need to do more to address that explosive development. Being as isolated and well-protected as it is, the Watauga has been able to remain clean, clear, and cold while other rivers have become impaired, and we need to work to keep it that way.”Experience the WataugaAnglers can cast a line for brook, brown and rainbow trout at the 321 river access point or at Valle Crucis Community Park. Further downstream, there’s plenty of smallmouth bass fishing to be had, too. Class IV+ paddlers would be remiss to not kayak the Watauga when it’s running. This boulder-strewn river can be a fun, creeky run one day and a high-volume wave train the next.Scout for speciesThe banded sculpin is a winter spawner that resides in the Watauga river bottom’s rocks and slabs. The aptly named tangerine darter is a flashy, brilliant shade of orange and is the largest darter in the state, reaching upwards of seven inches in length.Know the threatsHabitat loss due to steep slope development; agricultural runoff; diminished riparian zones; aquatic nuisance species such as gill lice and whirling diseaseLend a handBecome a member at MountainTrue.org.Clinch River | Photo: Jack LooneyClinch RiverVirginia – TennesseeLocated in the heart of Virginia’s coal country, the Clinch River arguably supports more threatened and endangered aquatic species than any other river in North America. It begins in Tazewell County and flows freely for nearly 200 miles until it reaches Norris Lake in Tennessee. The combined Clinch-Powell five-county watershed has historically been responsible for 40% of Virginia’s coal production, with the remaining 60% conducted in two adjacent counties.Acid mine drainage and heavy sediment continue to contaminate the river. Combined with the negative effects of agriculture, the other primary economic activity in the region accounting for one-third of the area’s land use, this incredible hotbed for diversity is one of the most at-risk rivers in our country.But, there is hope. The Clinch River Valley Initiative and The Nature Conservancy’s Clinch Valley Program have joined forces to defend the Clinch, and are recently underway with the creation of the Clinch River State Park. When complete, the state park will provide 600 acres of canoeing, hiking, and camping for Southwest Virginia, simultaneously creating a protective barrier for a river that is home to more than 40 species of freshwater mussels, 20 of which are federally listed endangered species.According to Chmura Analytics, this state park could generate $3.58 million annually and create 31 local jobs in the first five years of existence. For a region like Southwest Virginia that is struggling to redefine itself in the wake of the coal industry’s decline, the Clinch River is a much-needed lifeline.“Southwest Virginia, like the rest of the Central Appalachian coalfields, faces profound economic and social challenges,” says The Nature Conservancy Clinch Valley Program Director Brad Kreps. “Right now, we are going through a significant transition as the coal mining industry declines and the region seeks ways to diversify, strengthen, and renew local economies. Assets like a new Clinch River State Park will help Southwest Virginia attract visitors interested in recreation but also new businesses that place a high value on access to nature and quality of life.”Experience the ClinchDepending on water levels, the Clinch is mostly a flatwater experience, which makes it a wonderful river to float on a hot summer day. Clinch River Adventures in the river town of St. Paul, Va., offers shuttle services and rentals (from $12). Fly fishermen can float down past Norris Dam in Tennessee, where the Clinch River has 13 miles of tailwaters stocked with rainbow and brown trout.Scout for speciesFeared that it had gone extinct in 1969, the yellowfin madtom is still swimming in the warm waters of the Clinch River. Even more rare than the madtom are the 20 endangered species of mussels like the rough rabbitsfoot, fluted kidneyshell, and cumberlandian combshell. For many of these mussels, the Clinch River population is the last holdout.Know the threatsResidual contamination from abandoned mined lands; mountaintop removal and valley fills; agriculture-related sedimentation and erosion; stormwater runoffLend a handVisit Southwest Virginia and support the river with your dollar; donate to The Nature Conservancy or the Clinch River Valley Initiative.James River | Photo: Sarah Hauser / Virginia Tourism CorporationJames RiverVirginia It would not be an overstatement to say that the history of our nation literally unfolded along the banks of the James River. From the settlement of Jamestown to the Civil War “battle of the ironclads,” “America’s Founding River” has witnessed some of the most pivotal points in our fledgling country’s saga. Long before Captain John Smith pulled his boat to shore, Powhatan and Monacan Indians had been utilizing the James as a source for sustenance, travel, trade, and defense. The river largely continued to fulfill those roles as Europeans made their way up the watershed.From its beginnings at the confluence of the Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers, the James flows for 340 miles to the Chesapeake Bay. That makes it Virginia’s largest river, covering one-fourth of the entire state and sustaining one-third of the state’s population, many of whom depend on the river directly for drinking water.Because the river flows through major urban centers like Richmond and Hampton Roads, the river has not escaped the threats of industrialization and pollution. Just three years after the Clean Water Act was passed, the harmful pesticide Keypone was discovered in the James in dangerous quantities. The river quickly rose to the top as one of the most polluted rivers in the nation, and a subsequent 13-year ban on commercial fishing killed the area’s fishing industry.The James River Association (JRA) was founded in 1976 as a result of the Keypone dumping and has been working to restore the river’s health ever since. To date, the James is cleaner than it has been at any point in the past 100 years, but there remain concerns over the river’s proximity to coal ash ponds at three major facilities in the watershed. According to JRA, there are 1,100 toxic storage sites, up to 5 billion gallons of coal ash, and millions of gallons of crude oil traveling along the James each week.Fortunately for the James, because it is such a large and vital river, it has a lot of people who care about conserving it. Less than 40 years ago, no one would have ever imagined that bald eagles or Atlantic sturgeon would call the James home again, but today, both of these species are thriving, even in downtown Richmond.“Today especially, a lot of these people depend on the river. It’s their livelihood,” says James Riverkeeper Jamie Brunkow. “If we don’t have a healthy river, that’s affecting their ability to get drinking water and downstream, it’s affecting industry and tourism. The river is that critical nexus to keep everything connected.”Experience the JamesBegin in Botetourt County and float through the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Upper James River Water Trail. The pristine beauty (and ample smallmouth bass fishing) here is absolutely unparalleled. Whitewater kayakers will appreciate the unique urban setting of the class III+ Lower James. If you’re not a paddler, you can still bike along its shores through the James River Park System or ride in a raft with an outfitter like RVA Paddlesports (starting from $60 per person). Though technically a tributary of the James, the Chickahominy is worth a trip all to itself. There’s a water trail in the works here (put in at Grapevine Bridge), which allows paddlers to float 100 miles of tupelo and cypress-lined blackwater back to the James.Scout for speciesThe massive Atlantic sturgeon call the James home just downstream of Richmond. These prehistoric looking creatures can be up to 14 feet in length and weigh 800 pounds. The James is also home to the James spinymussel, an endangered species of freshwater mussel that sprouts short spines on each valve.Know the threatsAgricultural runoff; urban development; wastewater discharge; coal ash.Lend a handParticipate in JRA River Hero Home pledge system; become a member of JRA; volunteer for water testing programsCheat River SalamanderCheat RiverWest Virginia No one knows exactly where the name of the Cheat originated. The Delaware Indians’ name for the river was Ach-sin-ha-nac, which loosely meant “stony river.” Later, settlers claimed the proliferation of cheatgrass along the river’s banks gave it its name. Regardless of its origins, many felt the river was appropriately named, albeit doomed, especially after the flood of 1985, which devastated many of the watershed’s dying coal towns like Rowlesburg, Albright, and Parsons, killing dozens and “cheating” many out of life as they knew it.Things didn’t improve after that. In 1994, an illegally sealed underground coal mine blew out and poured contaminated mine water into Muddy Creek, a major tributary to the Cheat. A year later, another blowout occurred. The river ran orange for 16 miles downstream, killing everything in its flow. The pH of Cheat Lake dropped to 4.5. American Rivers listed the Cheat as one of the top 10 most endangered rivers in the country, and the river’s burgeoning rafting industry collapsed.But, you know the saying—it always gets worse before it gets better. The mine blowouts galvanized an impassioned community of river stewards and stakeholders, who then formed the Friends of the Cheat (FOC). In the last 20 years, FOC has been at the forefront of implementing 15 acid mine drainage remediation sites on the river. That work is far from over, but the mainstem of the Cheat River has been restored, so much so that sensitive species like walleye are well and thriving in the Canyon.“What makes the Cheat especially important to a state like West Virginia is the hope,” says FOC Executive Director Amanda Pitzer. “It’s the reality that in someone’s lifetime, this river was dead and people came together and made a difference and changed it. We hope that other people see the work that FOC has done and not just accept that things are broken or that rivers are polluted because things can get better.”Experience the CheatThe Cheat’s rafting industry is also well and thriving and the Canyon, along with some of the river’s major tributaries like the Big Sandy, provide some of the best class IV boating in the Mid-Atlantic. Cheat River Outfitters in Albright, W.Va., offers rafting trips down the big-wave Canyon starting at $85 per person. Shavers Fork, another tributary to the Cheat, is a little-known trout fishing gem while the mainstem of the Cheat has flourishing numbers of smallmouth bass and pike. Though it doesn’t follow the banks of the Cheat, the northernmost 28 miles of the Allegheny Trail is a little-traveled backcountry hiking trail that offers views of the river from above.Scout for speciesYou can thank the flat-spired three-tooth snail for preserving the Cheat Canyon. This little snail only lives in the Cheat Canyon and resides in the cracks and crevices of this boulder-choked river. The Cheat Mountain Salamander is also unique to the Cheat, specifically its headwaters, and is a small four-inch dark brown amphibian with shiny gold coloring along its back.Know the threatsDefunding of programs like the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program that support acid mine drainage remediation; fracking proposals on major tributaries to the Cheat; gas pipelines; climate change impacts to water flowLend a handBoat with your wallet and support local establishments; become a member of FOC (cheat.org); come to Cheat Fest in the springlast_img read more

How a new member experience revived an old online application

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The member experience is a powerful motivator. According to recent statistics, nearly 75% of respondents identify experience as an important factor in purchasing decisions and 65% say a positive experience is more influential than great advertising. Research from Walker says experience is on track to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by next year.Michigan State University Federal Credit Union($4.2B, East Lansing, MI) aims to build a positive member experience by meeting, and exceeding, its members’ expectations. To do that might require introducing new products or services to meet new needs, but in the case of its online new membership application, MSUFCU knew an update was necessary.“We last touched it in 2010,” says Sam Amburgey, MSUFCU’s chief information officer. “We needed to revise it.” continue reading »last_img read more

Club Adriatic doo Zagreb sold for HRK 54 million

first_imgThe Director of the Center for Restructuring and Sales (CERP) Milan Plećaš and the President of the Management Board of Immo Invest Partner AG Dzek Djoric signed an Agreement on the sale and transfer of shares of Club Adriatic doo Zagreb on April 09, 2018 at the CERP headquarters.Pursuant to this Agreement, the Swiss company Immo Invest Pertner AG bought three business shares, ie one hundred percent of the share capital of Club Adriatic doo for HRK 54 million.Club Adriatic consists of the Hotel and Annex Alem in Baška Voda and the camp in Baško polje. The hotel has 99 double rooms and 9 double suites, and annexes 198 double rooms with extra bed. Camp Basko polje, which is categorized with three stars, has 600 camping places-pitches, 17 bungalows with kitchens and 16 mobile homesThis successfully completed the privatization process of Club Adriatic doo 17 years after the former Croatian Privatization Fund, the legal predecessor of CERP, established it with the aim of bringing former military resorts, hotels and camps for tourist purposes.</p>
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Robert Koch Institute: Šibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia counties put on the red list

first_imgPhoto: PIxabay.com As it was announced yesterday, Slovenia should officially announce this afternoon that it has put Croatia on the red list. According to the decision of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany put Croatia on the red list. The good news is that the whole of Croatia is not on the red list, but it is looking partially i.e. looking at the epidemiological situation by counties. In part, it means how the epidemiological situation will be viewed by counties, and not the whole of Croatia. Awaiting decision from Britain and Slovenia / Britain and Slovenia put Croatia on the red list today? The eventual decision of the Slovenes would be a new blow to Croatian tourism after the decision of Austria and Italy, which introduced mandatory testing for all returning from Croatia, and today awaits the decision of Britain, which also, unofficially, plans to put Croatia on the red list. . So they are according to the data RKI-and, Šibenik-Knin County and Split-Dalmatia County put on the red list. All passengers returning to Germany, who were in the mentioned Croatian counties, must go for mandatory testing, and until they receive the test results, they must be in home quarantine. According to the Guardian, officials of the government’s Joint Center for Biosafety have identified certain cases of coronavirus imported into Croatia from Great Britain. It is not known how many cases have been identified or where they are located in the country, but it is understood that the number of imported cases is similar to that in the case of Spain when it was removed from the travel corridor last month with just a few hours. Britain is likely to remove Croatia from the list today after a recent increase in coronavirus cases. If the measures are formally signed, it would mean that people who come from Croatia to Britain will have to be quarantined for 14 days, reports Guardian. If Croatia is removed from the list of safe countries, the change at this point could, logically, affect thousands of British tourists in the country.last_img read more

Merseyside retail

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img