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Accounting professors have confirmed what we always suspected: companies which are scrambling to meet or just beat Wall Street analysts’ profit projections have worker injury rates that are 12% higher than other employers. The recent research indicates that frantic efforts by “benchmark-beating” employers – increasing employees’ workloads or pressuring them to work faster, at the same time that these employers cut safety spending on activities like maintaining equipment or training employees, to meet the profit projections – are the likely source of increased injuries and illnesses. Professors Judson Caskey of the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Naim Bugra Ozel from the UT Dallas Jindal School of Management used workplace-level data from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to compare injury rates for two general categories of firms. Companies that barely met or slightly exceeded analysts’ financial benchmarks had higher work-related injury and illness rates than those firms that comfortably beat or completely missed financial analysts’ profit forecasts. Their paper, “Earnings expectations and employee safety,” was published earlier this year in the Journal of Accounting and Economics. Caskey and Ozel’s findings are the flip side of the often-cited but less frequently followed “business case for safety” which has shown for two decades now that employer spending on health and safety programs generates two to three times the return on the investment. Effective safety programs reduce the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities; they reduce all the associated costs, including medical expenses, workers’ compensation and regulatory fines; they increase productivity, and thereby increase profits and stock price; they result in higher employee morale, higher retention rates, lower absenteeism and reduced turn-over and training costs; and they help safer companies attract new talent and improve their corporate reputation. Among those banging the drum for the business case are Federal OSHA, the European Agency for Safety and Health (EU-OSHA),  the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the Center for Safety & Health Sustainability (CSHS), and even Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. We now have Caskey and Ozel’s analysis to show that employers that ignore the safety business case, not surprisingly, have higher rates of injury and illness among their workers. The accounting and business school professors looked at the safety records and financial performance of 35,350 “establishment-years” from 868 unique companies in the period of 2002 to 2011. They classified the companies into several categories related to financial analysts’ profit projections: the “meet/just beat” category; the “comfortably beat” category; and the “large miss” and “small miss” categories. The researchers used each firm’s total injury case rate as the variable for safety performance and the companies’ earnings as an indicator of financial performance. On average, the “meet/just beat,” or “suspect,” firms  had injury rates that were 5% to 15% higher (with an overall average of 12%) than the other firms. Another way to express the results is that one in 24 employees is injured in the “meet/just beat” firms compared to one in 27 employees in the other firms. The results were “both statistically and economically significant after controlling for various establishment-level and firm-level characteristics.” He also noted that CEOs’ “career outcomes” can be affected by missed benchmarks, and their pay is increasingly in the form of stocks, whose value decline with missed profit projections. The authors describe the “tools” that managers use in their scramble to meet analysts’ benchmarks: In the shorthand of standard employer excuses: “The Market made me do it…” Interestingly, the accounting and business school professors’ research found that there are three settings where this effect is much less evident: Dr. Ozel noted that most people think company managers “are rational players, so while performance is important, they will not sacrifice people’s health for this purpose.” But he said their study shows that this is not just a problem of random anecdotes of a few companies “willing to sacrifice employees’ safety.” Rather “we looked at a large sample, and in this sample, we find quite a significant result – a 10 to 15 percent increase in employee injuries.” I see several important take-away messages from this research: These may not be new or surprising conclusions to you – but now you have additional confirmation of them by business school bean-counters to back you up. Garrett Brown is a certified industrial hygienist who worked for Cal/OSHA for 20 years as a field Compliance Safety and Health Officer and then served as Special Assistant to the Chief of the Division before retiring in 2014.  He has also been the volunteer Coordinator of the Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network since 1993 and has coordinated projects in Bangladesh, Central America, China, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Mexico and Vietnam.


The global system integration market is expected to reach USD 528.2 billion by 2025 Increased spending on system integration solutions, by the key players in the market, has enriched the IT infrastructure and subsequently eliminated redundancies. The growing requirement for eradicating heterogeneity, multiplicity, and fluctuating distinctiveness of vital applications & infrastructures is anticipated to fuel the system integration market over the forecast period. The growing espousal of cloud computing along with numerous developments in virtual technologies is projected to trigger the adoption of system integration solutions. Technological advancements, such as Cloud Service Brokerage (CSB), Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), Cyber-Physical System (CPS), and clinical integration, are anticipated to offer new opportunities for market growth. The system integration market is projected to witness high growth over the forecast period, owing to the recurrent need for open and distributed architectures across the globe. However, high implementation costs may dissuade SMEs and start-ups from adopting system management solutions. Further key findings from the report suggest: 5 System Integration: End-use Estimates & Trend Analysis 5.1 Global System Integration Share by End-use, 2015 & 2025 5.1.1 IT & telecommunication 5.1.2 Defense & Security 5.1.3 BFSI 5.1.4 Oil & gas 5.1.5 Healthcare 5.1.6 Transportation 5.1.7 Retail 5.1.8 Others For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/r3wrcp/system Research and Markets Laura Wood, Senior Manager press@researchandmarkets.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call +1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call +1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900 U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907 Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716 To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/528-bn-system-integration-market-2017-2025--by-service-infrastructure-integration-application-integration-consulting--end-use-it-bfsi-healthcare-defense-retail-oil-gas-retail-transport---research-and-markets-300453292.html


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MOLINE, Ill., May 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- QCR Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCRH) today announced that on May 12, 2017 the Company’s board of directors declared a cash dividend of $0.05 per share payable on July 6, 2017, to stockholders of record on June 16, 2017.   QCR Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Moline, Illinois, is a relationship-driven, multi-bank holding company, which serves the Quad City, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Valley, Des Moines/Ankeny, and Rockford communities through its wholly owned subsidiary banks.  Quad City Bank & Trust Company, which is based in Bettendorf, Iowa, and commenced operations in 1994, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust Company, which is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and commenced operations in 2001, Community State Bank, which is based in Ankeny, Iowa and was acquired by the Company in 2016, and Rockford Bank & Trust Company, which is based in Rockford, Illinois, and commenced operations in 2005, provide full-service commercial and consumer banking and trust and wealth management services.  Quad City Bank & Trust Company also provides correspondent banking services.  In addition, Quad City Bank & Trust Company engages in commercial leasing through its wholly owned subsidiary, m2 Lease Funds, LLC, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Additionally, the Company serves the Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa community through Community Bank & Trust, a division of Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust Company. Special Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements.  This document contains, and future oral and written statements of the Company and its management may contain, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business of the Company.  Forward-looking statements, which may be based upon beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the Company’s management and on information currently available to management, are generally identifiable by the use of words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “predict,” “suggest,” “appear,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate,” ”annualize,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should” or other similar expressions.  Additionally, all statements in this document, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events.                 A number of factors, many of which are beyond the ability of the Company to control or predict, could cause actual results to differ materially from those in its forward-looking statements.  These factors include, among others, the following: (i) the strength of the local, national and international economies; (ii) the economic impact of any future terrorist threats and attacks, and the response of the United States to any such threats and attacks; (iii) changes in state and federal laws, regulations and governmental policies concerning the Company’s general business, including the Basel III regulatory capital reforms, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the regulations issued thereunder; (iv) changes in interest rates and prepayment rates of the Company’s assets; (v) increased competition in the financial services sector and the inability to attract new customers; (vi) changes in technology and the ability to develop and maintain secure and reliable electronic systems; (vii) unexpected results of acquisitions (including the acquisition of CSB), which may include failure to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition and the possibility that the transaction costs may be greater than anticipated; (viii) the loss of key executives or employees; (ix) changes in consumer spending; (x)  unexpected outcomes of existing or new litigation involving the Company; and (xi) changes in accounting policies and practices.  These risks and uncertainties should be considered in evaluating forward-looking statements and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements.  Additional information concerning the Company and its business, including additional factors that could materially affect the Company’s financial results, is included in the Company’s filings with the SEC.


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Under President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget, the world's only independent body dedicated to investigating chemical-related industrial accidents would be abolished. A story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, revisits why the U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board was initially created, its accomplishments, and what experts say about its potential demise. Jeff Johnson, a special correspondent to C&EN, notes that the board -- also known as the Chemical Safety Board, or CSB -- was called for in the 1990 legislative overhaul of the Clean Air Act. But the board lacked the necessary support from presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, so industrial chemical accident investigations were delegated to other agencies. But stalled investigations into a 1995 explosion at a New Jersey facility that killed five workers and destroyed surrounding businesses led to pressure from unions, community groups, the state's governor and a senator to fund the CSB. In 1998, the board opened its doors. Since then, the CSB has investigated some 130 accidents, and has produced more than 90 accident reports and about 40 safety videos. The board has positively influenced industrial and chemical safety in the U.S. and elsewhere, industrial accident experts told C&EN, and with a budget that has never exceeded $12 million in any given year, they say that's a good deal. The article, "Chemical Safety Board faces death sentence," is freely available here. The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: phys.org

Under President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget, the world's only independent body dedicated to investigating chemical-related industrial accidents would be abolished. A story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, revisits why the U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board was initially created, its accomplishments, and what experts say about its potential demise. Jeff Johnson, a special correspondent to C&EN, notes that the board—also known as the Chemical Safety Board, or CSB—was called for in the 1990 legislative overhaul of the Clean Air Act. But the board lacked the necessary support from presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, so industrial chemical accident investigations were delegated to other agencies. But stalled investigations into a 1995 explosion at a New Jersey facility that killed five workers and destroyed surrounding businesses led to pressure from unions, community groups, the state's governor and a senator to fund the CSB. In 1998, the board opened its doors. Since then, the CSB has investigated some 130 accidents, and has produced more than 90 accident reports and about 40 safety videos. The board has positively influenced industrial and chemical safety in the U.S. and elsewhere, industrial accident experts told C&EN, and with a budget that has never exceeded $12 million in any given year, they say that's a good deal. Explore further: Chemical safety board could halt new investigations while it reboots


A 2016 Airgas facility explosion that killed one worker reveals a gap in federal process safety requirements for facilities that manufacture hazardous substances, a new report says. The plant in Cantonment, Fla., which makes nitrous oxide, was not in violation of federal regulations when the explosion happened, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) says in an investigation report released last week. OSHA and EPA regulations that require chemical facilities to have process safety management systems largely do not apply to facilities that manufacture nitrous oxide. “Airgas lacked a safety management system to identify, evaluate, and control nitrous oxide process safety hazards, which led to the explosion,” CSB concludes. “Since 1973, the nitrous oxide industry has averaged one major explosion about every seven years,” says CSB, an independent federal agency that investigates serious chemical accidents in the U.S. but does not regulate. CSB says the explosion at the Airgas facility was most likely caused when a pump heated nitrous oxide above its safe operating limits during transfer from a holding tank to a transport tanker. But damage to the facility, minimal process data, and absence of a surviving eyewitness kept investigators from making a definitive determination. Nitrous oxide manufacturing has not resumed at the facility. Airgas says it is implementing a process safety initiative for its nitrous oxide business.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.sej.org

"HOUSTON - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has concluded that a 2015 explosion at a Torrance, California, refinery then owned by Exxon Mobil Corp could have been prevented, the agency concluded in a report issued on Wednesday. 'This explosion and near miss should not have happened,' said CSB Chair Vanessa Allen Sutherland in a statement. 'The CSB's report concludes the unit was operating without proper procedures.' The federal watchdog found that weaknesses in the Torrance refinery's safety program led to the blast." Erwin Seba and Liz Hampton report for Reuters May 3, 2017.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

DEFIANCE, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Defiance Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: FDEF) announced today that earnings for the first quarter of 2017 were $5.1 million, or $0.54 per diluted common share, which included the acquisition and operations of Commercial Bancshares, Inc. and its banking subsidiary, Commercial Savings Bank (collectively “CSB”), at February 24, 2017. These results included merger and conversion expenses related to the acquisition of $3.6 million, which had an after tax impact of $2.5 million, or $0.27 per diluted share. In addition, first quarter 2017 results reflected the impact of the purchase of a bank owned life insurance policy including a tax-free value enhancement gain of $1.5 million and the surrender of a bank owned life insurance policy which added $1.7 million to income tax expense. Together, these transactions reduced net income approximately $0.2 million, or $0.02 per diluted share. For the comparable period last year, net income was $7.2 million, or $0.79 per diluted share. “We are very pleased with our strong operating performance for the first quarter and our successful completion of the merger and integration of CSB late in the quarter,” said Donald P. Hileman, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Defiance Financial Corp. “While the inclusion of CSB’s financials in the current quarter’s results impacts comparison of the quarter’s operating results, we were encouraged by our organic loan and deposit growth and the continued strength of our net interest margin. We look forward to building relationships in our new markets and realizing the benefits from merger in our future results.” Net interest income up compared to first quarter 2016 Net interest income of $21.6 million in the first quarter of 2017 was up from $19.2 million in the first quarter of 2016. Net interest income grew $2.5 million over the prior year’s first quarter including approximately $945,000 from the acquisition of CSB completed during the first quarter 2017. Net interest margin was 3.81% for the first quarter of 2017, up from 3.76% in the fourth quarter of 2016, and up from 3.80% in the first quarter of 2016. Yield on interest earning assets were up slightly at 4.22% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 4.18% in the first quarter of 2016. The cost of interest-bearing liabilities increased by 5 basis points in the first quarter of 2017 to 0.54% from 0.49% in the first quarter of 2016. “The acquisition of CSB, particularly with its profitable earning asset mix and low cost deposit funding, supplemented our balance sheet very nicely as net interest income rose 12.8% over the first quarter last year,” said Hileman. “Our net interest margin showed improvement in the first quarter with the rise in interest rates and remains well positioned for future rate movements.” Non-interest income up from first quarter 2016 First Defiance’s non-interest income for the first quarter of 2017 was $10.5 million compared with $8.6 million in the first quarter of 2016. The first quarter 2017 included a $1.5 million enhancement value gain related to the purchase of bank owned life insurance, while the first quarter 2016 included net securities gains of $131,000 and net gains on the sale of OREO of $317,000. Mortgage banking income increased to $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2017, up from $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2016, mostly due to higher mortgage volumes this year compared to a year ago. Gains from the sale of mortgage loans increased in the first quarter of 2017 to $1.1 million from $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2016. Mortgage loan servicing revenue was $934,000 in the first quarter of 2017, up slightly from $877,000 in the first quarter of 2016. First Defiance had a positive change in the valuation adjustment in mortgage servicing assets of $33,000 in the first quarter of 2017 compared with a negative adjustment of $21,000 in the first quarter of 2016. For the first quarter 2017, service fees and other charges were $2.8 million, up from $2.6 million in the first quarter of 2016; and commissions from the sale of insurance products were $3.5 million, up from $3.1 million in the first quarter of 2016. The first quarter typically includes contingent revenues, bonuses paid by insurance carriers when the Company achieves certain loss ratios or growth targets. In the first quarter of 2017, First Defiance’s insurance subsidiary, First Insurance Group, earned $1.2 million of contingent income, compared to $799,000 during the first quarter of 2016. Trust income was $450,000 in the first quarter of 2017, up from $427,000 in the first quarter of 2016. “First quarter total non-interest income was up significantly from a year ago due to growth in all of our key business lines plus an enhancement to our bank-owned life insurance revenues,” said Hileman. “Increases in service fees, mortgage banking, insurance commissions and trust income all contributed to our improvement this quarter.” Non-interest expenses up from first quarter 2016 Total non-interest expense was $23.1 million in the first quarter of 2017, up $5.8 million from $17.3 million in the first quarter of 2016. The first quarter 2017 included expenses of $3.6 million related to the CSB merger and conversion. The remainder of the increase was mostly due to the operating costs for CSB from February 24 to the end of the quarter. Compensation and benefits increased to $14.3 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to $10.2 million in the first quarter of 2016. The increase in compensation and benefits from a year ago is mainly due to $2.8 million of merger costs to settle employment and benefit agreements and for personnel expenses related to operating the new CSB locations. Data processing cost was $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2017, up $479,000 from the first quarter of 2016 and included $124,000 of CSB merger and conversion related costs. Other non-interest expense of $4.0 million in the first quarter of 2017 increased $1.1 million from the first quarter of 2016 and included $667,000 of CSB merger and conversion related costs. Non-performing loans totaled $15.1 million at March 31, 2017, a decrease from $17.7 million at March 31, 2016. In addition, First Defiance had $705,000 of OREO at March 31, 2017, compared to $1.1 million at March 31, 2016. Accruing troubled debt restructured loans were $9.8 million at March 31, 2017, compared with $11.3 million at March 31, 2016. The allowance for loan loss as a percentage of total loans was 1.15% at March 31, 2017 compared with 1.41% at March 31, 2016. The decrease in the allowance for loan loss as a percentage of total loans was primarily attributable to the CSB acquisition. The CSB loans acquired were recorded at fair value with purchase accounting adjustment discounting the loan balance instead of an allowance for loan losses. Excluding the loans acquired from CSB the allowance for loan loss as a percentage of loans would be 1.32% at March 31, 2017. For the CSB loans acquired the discount recorded totaled $5.1 million, or 1.8% of total CSB loans at acquisition. The first quarter 2017 results include a provision for loan losses of $55,000 compared with $364,000 for the same period in 2016, while net charge-offs totaled $190,000 in the current quarter in comparison to net charge-offs of $78,000 in the first quarter of 2016. “Asset quality remained steady and strong in the first quarter,” said Hileman. “While the accounting rules for the acquisition affect some of our key asset quality measures, the Commercial Savings Bank loan portfolio had many similarities to ours and we are very confident in our credit strength as we pursue our growth strategies going forward.” Total assets at March 31, 2017, were $2.93 billion compared to $2.48 billion at December 31, 2016 and $2.36 billion at March 31, 2016. The increase in the current quarter is primarily due to the acquisition of CSB effective February 24, 2017, which added $369.5 million to total assets, net of $12.3 million paid in cash, at consummation. Net loans receivable (excluding loans held for sale) were $2.21 billion at March 31, 2017, compared to $1.91 billion at December 31, 2016, and $1.80 billion at March 31, 2016. In the current quarter, the acquisition of CSB added $285.7 million to the loan portfolio. At March 31, 2017, excluding the CSB acquired loans, net loans receivable grew $128.1 million, or 7.1% from a year ago. Also, at March 31, 2017, goodwill and other intangible assets totaled $97.1 million compared to $63.1 million at December 31, 2016 and $63.5 million at March 31, 2016. The increase in the current quarter was attributable to the acquisition of CSB which added $34.2 million to goodwill and intangibles. Total deposits at March 31, 2017 were $2.37 billion compared with $1.98 billion at December 31, 2016, and $1.87 billion at March 31, 2016. In the current quarter, the acquisition of CSB added $308.0 million to total deposits. At March 31, 2017, excluding the CSB acquired deposits, total deposits grew $194.6 million, or 10.4% from a year ago. Total stockholders’ equity was $354.2 million at March 31, 2017, compared to $293.0 million at December 31, 2016, and $280.4 million at March 31, 2016. The acquisition of CSB during the current quarter added $56.5 million to total equity. Acquisition of Corporate One Benefits Agency, Inc. On April 13, 2017, First Defiance and Corporate One Benefits Agency, Inc. (“Corporate One”) jointly announced the signing of an agreement under which First Defiance acquired the business of Corporate One. Corporate One will be part of First Defiance’s subsidiary insurance agency, First Insurance Group. Corporate One is a full-service employee benefits consulting organization founded in 1996 with offices located in Archbold, Findlay, Fostoria and Tiffin, Ohio. Corporate One consults employers to better manage their employee benefit programs to effectively lead them into the future. The transaction will enhance employee benefit offerings and expand First Insurance Group’s presence into adjacent markets in northwest Ohio. Dividend to be paid May 26 The Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per common share payable May 26, 2017, to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 19, 2017. The dividend represents an annual dividend of 2.00 percent based on the First Defiance common stock closing price on April 14, 2017. First Defiance has approximately 10,145,303 common shares outstanding. First Defiance Financial Corp. will host a conference call at 11:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, to discuss the earnings results and business trends. The conference call may be accessed by calling 1-877-444-1726. In addition, a live webcast may be accessed at http://services.choruscall.com/links/fdef170418.html. The replay of the conference call Webcast will be available at www.fdef.com until April 18, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. ET. First Defiance Financial Corp., headquartered in Defiance, Ohio, is the holding company for First Federal Bank of the Midwest and First Insurance Group. First Federal Bank operates 43 full-service branches and numerous ATM locations in northwest and central Ohio, southeast Michigan and northeast Indiana. First Insurance Group is a full-service insurance agency with six offices throughout northwest Ohio. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.fdef.com. This news release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21 B of the Securities Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be safe harbors created thereby. Those statements may include, but are not limited to, all statements regarding intent, beliefs, expectations, projections, forecasts and plans of First Defiance Financial Corp. and its management, and specifically include statements regarding: changes in economic conditions, the nature, extent and timing of governmental actions and reforms, future movements of interest rates, the production levels of mortgage loan generation, the ability to continue to grow loans and deposits, the ability to benefit from a changing interest rate environment, the ability to sustain credit quality ratios at current or improved levels, the ability to sell real estate owned properties, continued strength in the market area for First Federal Bank of the Midwest, and the ability to grow in existing and adjacent markets. These forward-looking statements involve numerous risks and uncertainties, including those inherent in general and local banking, insurance and mortgage conditions, competitive factors specific to markets in which First Defiance and its subsidiaries operate, future interest rate levels, legislative and regulatory decisions or capital market conditions and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. One or more of these factors have affected or could in the future affect First Defiance's business and financial results in future periods and could cause actual results to differ materially from plans and projections. Therefore, there can be no assurances that the forward-looking statements included in this news release will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties in the forward-looking statements included herein, the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a representation by First Defiance or any other persons, that our objectives and plans will be achieved. All forward-looking statements made in this news release are based on information presently available to the management of First Defiance. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. As required by U.S. GAAP, First Defiance will evaluate the impact of subsequent events through the issuance date of its March 31, 2017 consolidated financial statements as part of its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q to be filed with the SEC. Accordingly, subsequent events could occur that may cause First Defiance to update its critical accounting estimates and to revise its financial information from that which is contained in this news release.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

An anonymous donor has committed a $10 million gift to the College of Saint Benedict (CSB) to create the Center for Ethical Leadership in Action. A key function of the Center will be to increase students’ opportunities for experiential learning, which include study abroad, undergraduate research, service learning, fellowships and, often most influentially, internship experiences. This is the largest single gift in the college’s history. The gift will create a permanent endowment fund, which will fund the operations of the Center, including the support of experiential learning as well as a mentoring program and speaker series. Internships and other experiential learning opportunities will be carefully designed to support the formation of ethical women leaders in a variety of fields from business to medicine to education and beyond. “We are grateful for the donors whose vision and generosity have created the Center,” said CSB President Mary Dana Hinton. “It positions us as a leader among liberal arts colleges nationally in developing women’s leadership capacity, ethical decision-making, self-confidence and career readiness.” The establishment of the Center is especially important as increasing numbers of Saint Ben’s students do not have the financial wherewithal to afford an unpaid internship or other experiential learning. The Center for Ethical Leadership in Action will have the resources to offer stipends to students for whom these experiences would otherwise be out of reach. CSB, and its academic partner Saint John’s University, require that every student complete four credits of experiential learning as part of the core curriculum. The college plans to begin awarding stipends as early as summer 2017. Providing financial support such as this is a key goal in the college’s five-year Strategic Directions 2020 plan. In addition to supporting internships and other experiential learning opportunities, the Center will create a mentoring program and host speakers designed to promote the development of ethical leaders. “Having the Center will enable us to focus our educational programming and opportunities on ethical leadership, which has always been central to our mission,” said Richard Ice, CSB/SJU Provost. “Saint Ben’s is overwhelmed by the generosity of this gift,” said Kathy Hansen, vice president of institutional advancement at Saint Ben’s. “The donors have a long-standing appreciation for the quality education their daughter received at Saint Ben’s and a respect for ethical leadership that was nurtured by their parents. They’re driven to see all Saint Ben’s students receive the internships, research and service opportunities that will build character and form ethical leaders.” In 2016, for the 12th consecutive year, CSB and SJU were ranked among the top baccalaureate schools nationally for the total number of students who studied abroad, according to Open Doors 2016, the annual report on international education published by the Institute of International Education. Visit the college online to learn more about CSB and SJU rankings and Experiential Learning and Community Engagement.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Feb. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Board of Directors of Continuity, a leading provider of compliance management and regulatory technology, today announced that Howard Pitkin, the former Commissioner of Banking for the State of Connecticut, has been elected to the company’s board of directors. The addition of Mr. Pitkin to the company’s board was announced by Chief Executive Officer and Director Michael Nicastro. “We are thrilled and honored to have a such a well-recognized and experienced regulator as Howard Pitkin join our board,” stated Nicastro. “Howard has been involved with and has managed many different facets of compliance over his 40-year career in banking oversight. This level of expertise along with his relationships with the 49 other state regulators as well as federal agencies will be integral to Continuity as we continue to build compliance solutions on our compliance platform for financial institutions.” Mr. Pitkin, who served with the Connecticut Department of Banking for 40 years, was appointed in 2006 to Banking Commissioner by then Governor M. Jodi Rell and again in 2010 by Governor Dannel Malloy. Pitkin is a 1985 graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. Since his retirement as Banking Commissioner in January of 2015, Mr. Pitkin has been the American Saving Foundation Banking Fellow at Central Connecticut State University School of Business, an AA-CSB accredited school of business. Acknowledging his election, Mr. Pitkin commented, “I’m very happy and excited to be joining the governance team at Continuity, knowing first-hand the challenges that financial institutions face every day. The ever-growing complexity of rules and regulations makes it crucial to have a platform such as Continuity’s to help simplify the burden.” In addition to Mr. Nicastro, Mr. Pitkin joins Continuity board members Andy Greenawalt, Continuity Founder and Principal of Gnostic Ventures, Rik Vandevenne, Managing Director of River Cities Capital Funds, and Peter Longo, Senior Managing Director - Investments at Connecticut Innovations. About Continuity Continuity is a leading provider of Regulatory Technology (RegTech) solutions that automate compliance management for financial institutions of all sizes. By combining regulatory expertise and cloud technology, Continuity provides a proven way to reduce regulatory burden and mitigate compliance risk at a fraction of the cost. Our solutions are designed to automate all aspects of compliance management, from interpretation of regulatory issuances through intuitive task delegation, vendor management, and board reporting. Continuity serves hundreds of institutions across the US and its territories. For more information about Continuity, visit http://www.Continuity.net/.

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