Missouri’s Top Two Youth Volunteers Selected in 21st Annual National Awards Program

Posted by admin on 02/11/2016 in Secured Funding | Short Link
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Brooke Hale, 18, of Forsyth and Kera Mingus, 12, of Kirbyville today
were named Missouris top two youth volunteers of 2016 by The Prudential
Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people
for outstanding acts of volunteerism. Brooke was nominated by Forsyth
High School in Forsyth, and Kera was nominated by Forsyth Middle School
in Forsyth. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 21st
year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Brooke, a senior at Forsyth High School, is the co-founder and executive
director of a free after-school arts program that has been offering
weekly classes in musical theatre to elementary and middle level
students in her school district for the past four years. As a child,
Brooke had to travel 20 miles to Branson, Mo., for singing, dancing and
acting lessons. “There were no artistic extracurricular activities at my
school for students in elementary and middle school, which forced me to
outsource for instruction in the arts,” she said. When her older brother
proposed that they address that need, Brooke was quick to take up the
challenge.

Together, the two siblings met with school administrators to plan a
program called “Art to the Third,” presented the plan to the school
board, recruited staff members and high school students to help, and
secured funding from the Branson Arts Council. Classes are now taught
weekly at the Forsyth Performing Arts Center and include such
specialized disciplines as tap dancing, vocal technique, script writing,
improvisation and stage combat. In addition, students perform throughout
the year at various events in the Forsyth/Branson community, and a
musical is produced at the culmination of the spring semester. About 70
students have taken part in the program so far. “There is nothing more
gratifying than sharing your passion with others and seeing the lights
you spark in other people’s lives,” said Brooke.

Kera, a seventh-grader at Forsyth Middle School, raised more than
$11,000 during the first three years of her fundraising campaign to find
a cure for juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), a rare autoimmune disease
that attacks her muscles and skin. “I know what it is like to be sick
and not be able to have a doctor tell you what is wrong,” said Kera. “I
am trying to prevent other children from going through what I went
through.”

Kera wanted to find a fundraising project that her whole family could
take part in. After deciding on a mini-golf tournament, she enlisted the
cooperation of a local mini-golf course, recruited sponsors for each
hole, and asked local businesses to donate prizes. She also promoted the
event through emails, the news media and the website of the Cure JM
Foundation. Kera repeated the event the following year, and in 2014, she
hosted a raffle and ran a concession stand at flag football games.
Kera’s activities have not only raised awareness of a rare disease, but
have made important contributions to the research efforts of the Cure JM
Foundation. “I’ve learned that I can do something positive with having a
disease, and that I don’t have to feel sorry for myself,” she said.

As State Honorees, Brooke and Kera each will receive $1,000, an engraved
silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to
Washington, DC, where they will join the top two honorees from each of
the other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national
recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s
top youth volunteers of 2016.

Distinguished Finalists

The program judges also recognized six other Missouri students as
Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service
activities. Each will receive an engraved bronze medallion.

These are Missouris Distinguished Finalists for 2016:

Crystal Diebold, 18, of Eldon, Mo., a senior at Eldon High
School, has been a volunteer with Daybreak Rotary since 2007, and in
that time has helped the organization with its two annual fundraisers,
helping to decorate, set up, man the table and sell raffle tickets.
Crystal also volunteered at the Rotary’s Camp Wonderland for kids with
disabilities, and at Candyland, a local program that provides Christmas
gifts to children in need.

Taylor Lauer, 18, of Jonesburg, Mo., a senior at Montgomery
County High School, joined student council as a freshman and since then
has been an avid volunteer in many projects both at school and in the
community, including volunteering at school carnivals and blood drives
and participating in a polar bear plunge to raise money for Special
Olympics. Of her many volunteer activities, Taylor was most impacted by
helping to raise funds and pack food donations for a backpack food
program benefitting children experiencing hunger.

Kelly Nguyen, 17, of Kansas City, Mo., a senior at East High
School, has volunteered steadily for the past two summers with the youth
volunteer program at Truman Medical Center, where she has answered
phones, checked schedules, and transported patients. Kelly, who has
chosen to pursue a career in medicine after losing her father to a
motorcycle accident and her grandfather to a heart attack, also
volunteered last summer at Ronald McDonald House Charities, where she
helped to plant gardens and make meals for the guests.

Chance Riddle, 16, of Warrensburg, Mo., a junior at Warrensburg
High School, started volunteering in the sixth grade for his church’s
after school care program and continues to volunteer weekly helping the
teachers with their lessons. Chance, an active Boy Scout, has gone with
his church to various Native American reservations to help run summer
Bible programs.

Yumino Sasaki, 18, of Brentwood, Mo., a senior at Brentwood High
School, volunteers almost every Saturday as a teacher at the St. Louis
Japanese School. Yumino, who attended the school and understands the
value of maintaining her Japanese culture, has volunteered for three
years at the school, first working with pre-schoolers and now working
with kindergarteners.

Tyler Swearingin, 17, of Urbana, Mo., a senior at Skyline High
School, has been an active volunteer with the American Diabetes
Association for the past seven years, helping to raise $4,500 by
participating in the Walk to Stop Diabetes. Tyler, who draws his desire
to help those with diabetes from his own diagnosis with the chronic
disease, also serves as a counselor at a summer camp for children with
diabetes where he helps them to learn how to take care of themselves.

“Prudential commends each of these young volunteers for using their
creativity and compassion to bring positive change to their
communities,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We hope
their stories inspire others to consider how they can make a difference,
too.”

“We are pleased to honor these students not only for their exemplary
acts of service, but for the powerful example they’ve set for their
peers,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of NASSP.
“Congratulations to each of the 2016 honorees.”

About The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States’
largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All
public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well
as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross
chapters, YMCAs and HandsOn Network affiliates, were eligible to select
a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award.
These Local Honorees were then reviewed by an independent judging panel,
which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on
criteria including personal initiative, effort, impact and personal
growth.

While in Washington, DC, the 102 State Honorees – one middle level and
one high school student from each state and the District of Columbia –
will tour the capital’s landmarks, meet top youth volunteers from other
parts of the world, attend a gala awards ceremony at the Smithsonian’s
National Museum of Natural History, and visit their congressional
representatives on Capitol Hill. On May 2, 10 of the State Honorees –
five middle level and five high school students – will be named
America’s top youth volunteers of 2016. These National Honorees will
receive additional $5,000 awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies and
$5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable
organizations of their choice.

Since the program began in 1995, more than 115,000 young volunteers have
been honored at the local, state and national level. The program also is
conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan,
Ireland, India, China and Brazil. In addition to granting its own
awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program also
distributes President’s Volunteer Service Awards to qualifying Local
Honorees on behalf of President Barack Obama.

For information on all of this year’s Prudential Spirit of Community
State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists, visit http://spirit.prudential.com
or www.nassp.org/spirit.

About NASSP

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the
leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school
principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the
United States and 35 countries around the world. The association
connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research,
education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school
leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school
leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality
professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing
commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the
National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National
Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.
For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org.

About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has
operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping
individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth
through a variety of products and services, including life insurance,
annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment
management. In the US, Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for
strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century.
For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com.

Editors: For full-color pictures of the Spirit of Community Awards
program logo and medallions, click here: http://bit.ly/Xi4oFW

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24 ways to improve your finances this year

Posted by admin on 02/01/2016 in Finances | Short Link
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Everyone wants to be better with money.

Luckily, it doesnt take a job on Wall Street or a Masters degree in economics to make the most out of what you have. Improving your finances and building wealth boils down to adopting a few smart strategies, and incorporating them into your routine.

We cant guarantee turning the strategies below into habits will make you rich, but they will help you improve your finances.

Dragan Radovanovic

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On Deck Capital, Inc. (NYSE:ONDK) Short Interest Update

Posted by admin on 02/01/2016 in Small Business Financing | Short Link
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On Deck Capital, Inc. (NYSE:ONDK), A rise of 109,469 shares or 2.7% was seen in the short interest of On Deck Capital, Inc.. Even as the interest increased from 4,080,189 shares on December 31,2015 to 4,189,658 shares on January 15,2016, the days to cover came in at 8. The updated interest stood at 12.8% of the stocks floats. The stock has seen an average daily volume of 514,246 shares. The information was released by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc (FINRA) on January 27th after the market close.

The company shares have dropped -49.91% from its 1 Year high price. On Mar 25, 2015, the shares registered one year high at $23.83 and the one year low was seen on Jan 14, 2016. The 50-Day Moving Average price is $9.39 and the 200 Day Moving Average price is recorded at $10.04.

In the past twelve weeks, the net percent change held by company insiders has changed by -5.59% . Institutional Investors own 63.17% of On Deck Capital, Inc. shares. During last six month period, the net percent change held by insiders has seen a change of -5.59%. On a different note, The Company has disclosed insider buying and selling activities to the Securities Exchange, The officer (Chief Financial Officer), of On Deck Capital Inc, Katzenberg Howard had unloaded 25,000 shares at $10.77 per share in a transaction on December 21, 2015. The total value of transaction was $269,250. The Insider information was revealed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in a Form 4 filing.

During the last several months other analysts have commented on the company rating. Compass Point upgrades its view on On Deck Capital, Inc. (NYSE:ONDK) according to the research report released by the firm to its investors. The shares have now been rated Neutral by the stock experts at the ratings house. Earlier, the shares had a rating of Sell. The rating by the firm was issued on January 15, 2016.

Shares of On Deck Capital, Inc. (NYSE:ONDK) ended Wednesday session in red amid volatile trading. The shares closed down 0.25 points or 3.11% at $7.8 with 263,298 shares getting traded. Post opening the session at $8.05, the shares hit an intraday low of $7.71 and an intraday high of $8.145 and the price vacillated in this range throughout the day. The company has a market cap of $546 million and the number of outstanding shares have been calculated to be 69,974,770 shares. The 52-week high of On Deck Capital, Inc. (NYSE:ONDK) is $23.826 and the 52-week low is $6.91.

On Deck Capital Inc is a United States-based financing network that offers financing to small businesses that do not meet the criteria for traditional bank loans. The Company uses data aggregation and electronic payment technology to evaluate the financial health of small and medium sized businesses. The OnDeck system also provides a critically needed mechanism for financial institutions and other business service providers to reach the Main Street small business market. It has offices in Kansas City and McLean Virginia. Its small business loans include dental loans, restaurant loans, medical financing, restaurant financing, fast small business loans, fast small business financing, online small business loans, online applications for small business loans, small business loans online, retail capital, fast small business financing, short-term business loans, business equipment financing, small business equipment financing and merchant cash advance.

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Floridians’ finances improve in January, but concerns for the economy weigh on sentiment, survey finds

Posted by admin on 01/31/2016 in Finances | Short Link
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Improving personal finances were weighed down by gloomier feelings about the national picture, and the two trends balanced each other out in the University of Floridas January consumer survey.

The monthly index of Florida consumer sentiment stands at 91.6, virtually unchanged from December but down compared with last year. The survey, conducted from Jan. 1 to 24, measures consumer sentiment on a scale of 2 to 150. The benchmark score is 100.

Signs are pointing up for Floridas economy: Unemployment has improved to 5 percent, on par with the rest of the nation, and job growth is outpacing the rest of the country.

But plummeting oil prices and a slowdown in China have made for a tumultuous month on Wall Street, and newly released figures show that the US economys growth closed out 2015 at a crawl.

Floridians sense for how the economy will perform this year has fallen sharply since last January, a trend that cuts across demographics, according to Hector Sandoval, director of UFs Economic Analysis Program. This unfavorable perspective is shared by all Floridians in general, independent of their gender, age or income level, he said in a statement.

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Investors Boost Another Indian Finance Startup

Posted by admin on 01/31/2016 in Small Business Financing | Short Link
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India is building its reputation as the next major alternative small business lending market. Last year saw venture capital investment in SME lending innovators, government legislation to encourage market entrance of these players and involvement from major companies, like Alibaba, in bringing working capital to the nation’s SMEs through nontraditional routes.

The latest progress of India’s SME finance sector comes from Power2SME, a startup that announced Monday (Jan. 25) that it had raised new funding from venture capitalists for its small business financing portal.

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Onesavings Bank (LON:OSB) Receives Buy Rating From Investec Capital Analysts

Posted by admin on 01/31/2016 in Unsecured Lending | Short Link
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OneSavings Bank plc (OSB) is a United Kingdom-based lending and retail savings company. The Company operates through three segments: Buy-to-Let/SME, Residential Mortgages and Personal Loans. Its Buy-to-Let/SME segment offers secured lending on property for investment and commercial purposes. Its Buy-to-Let/SME segment also provides residential development finance to small and medium sized developers and secured funding lines to other lenders. The Companys Residential Mortgages segment provides lending to customers who live in their own homes, secured either through first or second charges against the residential home. Its Residential Mortgages segment also offers bespoke residential first charge, second charge and shared ownership mortgages, and provides secured funding lines to other lenders. The Companys Personal Loans segment offers unsecured lending services.

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Help Is on the Way: Small Business Financing and the Freelance Economy

Posted by admin on 01/31/2016 in Small Business Financing | Short Link
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Even large businesses sometimes use a line of credit just to make payroll during slow times.

If you truly understand the business cycle and have a good idea of when things will pick up, this may be a realistic approach, but before taking out the loan, pay close attention to how much you really need and how often you are using this tactic.

A line of credit or a factored loan may offer the best terms, but smaller businesses may be required to put up collateral.

And despite your best efforts and advice to keep your business and personal finances separate, that may not be possible, and the bank may require collateral in the form of the owners personal guarantee in the form of personal property or real estate if the business itself has no assets. In the case of many small service-oriented businesses, this is often what happens.

Related Article: Will Work for Funding: 7 Ways to Finance Your First Small Business

Evaluating Your Employment Needs

A small to midsize business that borrows money to make payroll more than two or three times a year needs to re-evaluate their staffing strategy.

Making staffing reductions may ultimately harm your business, though, if it means the work is not getting done, and your customers are not being served and supported in a way that is meaningful to them. The customer experience is more than a strategy, and delighting the customer is not just a trend. Its why you are in business.

Profits and growth are just the byproducts of how well you manage to delight your customers, said customer experience consultant Amas Tenumah of BetterXperience. Customer experience is highly relevant – and when used with defined goals and a well-staffed support group, leads to increased loyalty, reduced customer churn, and improved revenues.

Taking Advantage of the Freelance Economy

An increasingly popular solution to managing the staffing budget is the gig economy, or the increased use of freelance, contract, and consulting personnel on an as-needed or retainer basis. The gig economy today has gained traction from two vantage points, said Silvina Moschini, CEO and co-founder of collaboration platform Yandiki.

Companies which incorporate a professionally managed and curated staff of freelance professionals gain better control over their personnel costs while gaining access to top-tier talent. The freelance professionals themselves are able to accept projects that suit them, on their own schedule and at a professional rate they set, rather than being tied down to the inflexibility inherent in the traditional employment model.

Related Article: What Are the Best Options for Financing a Franchise?

The Evolution of Employment 

The term Job 3.0 as described in the book Cloud Computing Made Easy notes major changes in the workplace and employment trends over the past 20 years. The traditional Job 1.0 model describes

The traditional Job 1.0 model describes a 50s or 60s company that saw the companys physical size as an indicator of success, highlighted by the old IBM model of doing absolutely everything in-house. This model broke down at the onset of the dot-com boom with the ubiquitousness of the Internet. During that time, we saw companies with fewer employees taking on large incumbents, simply because technology and better communications allowed them to do more with fewer people.

The Job 2.0 model also started to break down the 1950s ideal of finding a job with a good company and keeping it for 30 years – a model that worked for some, but greatly diminished the ability of workers to move freely between opportunities and pursue career advancement. The good company Job 1.0 model rewarded those who did not look outwardly to expand their careers, severely limiting their opportunities to what might be available within a single firm.

Job 2.0 created more mobility in the workplace and made it more acceptable for an individual to venture out on their own, offering their professional services on a contract basis to the highest bidder rather than being tied down to a single employer.

Today, Job 3.0 defines what a job really means. Modern communications technologies, cloud computing and high-speed Internet, paved the way. A lengthy recession which begun in 2007 (and from which we have not yet fully recovered, despite what economists might say to the contrary) also served as a trigger point for individuals to abandon the traditional job model completely, instead turning to platforms like Yandiki to offer professional services on an entrepreneurial, rather than employee basis.

Related Article: The Keys to Business Financing Success

The first plan of attack when a company realizes it may fall short on payday is to determine how much is really needed, and to conduct due-diligence on lending options to find the absolute best rate and payment terms possible. As a long-term strategy, re-evaluating staffing to embrace a Job 3.0 model will add a new level of flexibility and cost control, while allowing the company to gain access to top talent on an as-needed basis.

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Breaking News: Former Ziggie’s owner pleads guilty to $1.3M tax scheme

Posted by admin on 01/31/2016 in Filing Bankruptcy | Short Link
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Agim Zendeli, the former owner of the Ziggies restaurant chain, pleaded guilty in federal court today to withholding more than $1.3 million in payroll taxes owed to the IRS.

The 43-year-old Springfield resident operated the chain 1998-2014. During that time, the chain had Missouri restaurants in Springfield, Republic, Willard, Marshfield, Nevada, West Plains, Rolla, Carthage and Poplar Bluff and Kansas locations in Fort Scott and Pittsburg, according to a news release from the office of Tammy Dickinson, US attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

During the extent of his ownership, Zendeli opened and closed 18 companies used to operate the Ziggies chain. Once a company accumulated a large sum of debt with the IRS, he would cease operating it and open a new entity, often in the name of a family member, partner or employee. However, he continued to maintain custody and control of the restaurant chain.

For each of the companies, he withheld federal income taxes and Social Security and Medicare taxes from his employees pay without their knowledge.

He instead used the money to gamble and purchase vacations and vehicles, including three BMWs, two Cadillac Escalades, two Infiniti QX56s, a 2009 Mercedes, a 2008 Acura and a 2004 Land Rover, according to the release.

Under the terms of his guilty plea, Zendeli must pay the federal government $1.33 million in restitution, as well as statutory interest.

According to the release, Zendeli also attempted to avoid paying $654,260 in past due state and federal employment taxes by filing bankruptcy in March 2010. Prior to filing bankruptcy, Zendeli transferred the Ziggies name to his father, which later was determined as a fraudulent transfer of assets, according to the release.

In the wake of the bankruptcy case, Gordon Elliott of Elliott Lodging Ltd. bought the licensing rights to the Ziggies name. At that time, the rights had been held by Yummy Foods Inc., Ziggies parent company operated by Zendeli and his father, Zulbehar Zendeli, the chains founder.

Ziggies restaurants continue to operate at the Lamplighter Inn amp; Suites, 1772 S. Glenstone Ave., Best Western Plus Coach House hotel, 2535 N. Glenstone Ave., and at 2129 W. Republic Road.

Zendeli changed the name of the 2222 S. Campbell Ave. restaurant to Springfield Family Restaurant, according to the secretary of states website. Marked as fictitious active on the site, Zendeli is listed as the owner.

Federal statutes dictate Zendeli could receive up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a $250,000 fine. A sentencing hearing will follow the presentence investigation by the US Probation Office, according to the release.

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Your Bankruptcy Score May Be Behind That Refused Loan

Posted by admin on 01/31/2016 in Filing Bankruptcy | Short Link
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Lenders have been using a persons credit report for years to judge their overall creditworthiness and the risk that they might default and become a bad debt. However, financial institutions often use another measure, a bankruptcy score, to refuse a loan application for someone who may otherwise have good credit.

Its not unusual for me to meet with individuals in financial distress who have a good credit score. This is because someone who relies heavily on credit to make ends meet works very hard to ensure that they never miss a payment and that there is no history of delinquency on their credit report. Consumer data shows that borrowers who have a high risk of filing bankruptcy behave differently than a typical borrower with bad credit. They use their credit more often, have frequent credit applications, have a higher credit utilization rate, have more new accounts — and yet, fewer accounts in collection.

Credit bureaus, because they have access to massive amounts of data on our credit behavior, have used this information to provide lenders with a measurement of the likelihood that you may file bankruptcy — your bankruptcy score. This score is made available to lenders when you agree to allow them to check your credit report. Equifax has what they call the Bankruptcy Navigator Index, and TransUnion has created a CreditVision Bankruptcy Score.

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Family finances: Budgeting apps feel the pinch

Posted by admin on 01/30/2016 in Finances | Short Link
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Tools that let you track all of your financial accounts in one place, such as Mint.com, rely on a steady flow of data from banks, brokerages and credit card issuers to operate smoothly. Lately, that steady access hasn’t been a given.

Mint experienced disruptions in its feed from Chase last fall because of heavy traffic on the bank’s website. Plus, Chase later notified some customers that they would have to log in to their Chase accounts and go through steps to ensure that desktop applications would continue to sync data. About the same time, Mint users with Wells Fargo accounts dealt with service interruptions that were possibly an inadvertent side effect of security updates.

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