Southwest Airlines Co. is a major U.S. airline and the world's largest low-cost carrier, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The airline was established in 1967 and adopted its current name in 1971. The airline has nearly 46,000 employees as of December 2014 and operates more than 3,400 flights per day. As of June 5, 2011, it carries the most domestic passengers of any U.S. airline. As of November 2014, Southwest Airlines has scheduled service to 93 destinations in 41 states, Puerto Rico and abroad.Southwest Airlines has used only Boeing 737s, except for a few years in the 1970s and 1980s, when it leased a few Boeing 727s. As of August 2012 Southwest is the largest operator of the 737 worldwide with over 550 in service, each averaging six flights per day. Wikipedia.
News Article | February 15, 2017
PrideStaff, a national staffing organization, is pleased to announce the opening of a new staffing and employment agency in Ventura County, California. The new office will offer a full range of staffing and employment services in a variety of professional and light industrial disciplines serving all of Ventura County. Three years after launching their award-winning Thousand Oaks office (which was recently recognized as PrideStaff's 2016 Office of the Year), Owners/Strategic-Partners Daan and Nieke Renssen are excited at the prospect of opening their second location. "We are thrilled to build on the success we've had in Thousand Oaks and expand our territory to the north and west," said Daan Renssen. "More than ever, area employers need flexible workforce solutions and exceptional talent to remain competitive." "Our Ventura County office provides fresh opportunities for us to make meaningful contributions to our local community," stated Nieke Renssen. "We're looking forward to making a positive impact by connecting great talent with exceptional employers." As a national staffing services organization, PrideStaff provides outstanding service and results by removing the guesswork from staffing. The Ventura County office uses this approach to recruit superior light industrial and professional candidates for employers in cities such as Oxnard, Ventura and Camarillo. The success of PrideStaff's approach is evident, as they consistently rank among the highest 1% of staffing firms in the industry. According to Inavero, a business intelligence firm specializing in the staffing industry, PrideStaff earned a client Net Promoter® Score (NPS) as high as or higher than other well-known brands such as Southwest Airlines and Netflix. NPS is computed by subtracting a firm’s detractors from its promoters. Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc. About PrideStaff PrideStaff was founded in the 1970s as 100 percent company-owned units and began staffing franchising in 1995. They operate over 74 offices in North America to serve over 5,000 clients. With over 40 years in the staffing business, headquartered in Fresno, CA, PrideStaff offers the resources and expertise of a national firm with the spirit, dedication and personal service of smaller, entrepreneurial firms. PrideStaff is the only commercial staffing firm in the U.S. with over $100 million in annual revenue to earn Inavero’s prestigious Best of Staffing Diamond Award for three years in a row, highlighting exceptional client and talent service quality. For more information on our services or for staffing franchise information, visit http://www.pridestaff.com.
News Article | February 19, 2017
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on a minor collision involving two jetliners at the Phoenix airport (all times local): A federal safety agency says it's not investigating an airport collision involving two jetliners at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The planes clipped wings Thursday evening, but there were no injuries to people. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Terry Williams says the agency isn't investigating the accident because the damage to the planes was "very, very limited." Officials say a departing Frontier Airlines flight was pushing back from its gate when it collided with an arriving Southwest Airlines flight. The Fire Department says there was a fuel leak due to the collision outside Terminal Three. The Frontier plane was headed to Denver, and the Southwest flight was arriving from Oklahoma City. Two planes clipped wings while taxiing at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, delaying passengers but causing no injuries. Airport officials say a departing Frontier Airlines flight and an arriving Southwest Airlines flight met in a minor collision Thursday night. The Frontier plane was headed to Denver, and the Southwest flight was arriving from Oklahoma City. Officials say the Frontier flight was pushing back from its gate when it made contact with the other plane. Airport crews say there was a fuel leak due to the collision. The Frontier flight transferred passengers to another plane. Southwest officials helped passengers impacted by the delay get on connecting flights.
News Article | February 28, 2017
NASSAU, BAHAMAS--(Marketwired - February 28, 2017) - The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is pleased to announce American Airlines new non-stop flight service from Charlotte, North Carolina to George Town, Exuma. American will offer the service starting June 3rd with flight times of approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. The new route, which will be a weekly flight, will expose The Bahamas to new visitors allowing for greater market penetration. "The Ministry of Tourism welcomes this new flight by AA to George Town, Exuma from its Charlotte hub. This opens up market access to Exuma by attracting customers from markets like Pittsburgh and Buffalo which have great connections on AA to Exuma via Charlotte," stated Tyrone Sawyer, senior director of Airlift Development in the Ministry of Tourism. Visitors will have much to do on Exuma. The island, made up small cays, has some of the most gorgeous turquoise waters in the Caribbean and is home to the world-famous swimming pigs. "We are thrilled to launch our new flight between Charlotte and George Town this coming June, further expanding our already extensive presence in The Bahamas," said Caroline Hollingsworth, American's general manager for The Bahamas. "We currently offer up to 25 daily flights to six destinations in The Bahamas, and this new route will enable us to offer even more options to our local customers and tourists alike." The Bahamas continues to attract new airlines and nonstop flights from carriers across the globe. In 2016, Southwest Airlines, Silver Airways, Delta, Air Caraibes, among others, added new airlift to the country. The Islands Of The Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world's best golfing, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway and provides convenience for travelers with preclearance through U.S. customs and immigration, and the Bahamian dollar is on par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It's Better in The Bahamas. For travel packages, activities and accommodations information, call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com. Look for The Bahamas on the web on Facebook Twitter and YouTube
News Article | February 15, 2017
- Revenue of $682.7 million, up 11% from $616.3 million in prior year - EPS from continuing operations of $0.25 ($0.26 before specific items(1)) vs. $0.21 ($0.22 before specific items) in prior year MONTREAL, CANADA--(Marketwired - Feb. 14, 2017) - (NYSE:CAE)(TSX:CAE) - CAE today reported revenue of $682.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017 compared with $616.3 million last year. Third quarter net income attributable to equity holders from continuing operations was $67.6 million ($0.25 per share) compared to $57.9 million ($0.21 per share) last year. Third quarter net income before specific items(3) was $69.6 million, or $0.26 per share, which on the same basis, compares to $59.4 million ($0.22 per share) last year. "Our strong performance in the third quarter was led by Civil, with robust growth and order activity, and higher utilization of our training centres," said Marc Parent, CAE's President and Chief Executive Officer. "In addition to the continued solid progress in Civil, I am pleased to see that our strategy in Defence, to pursue a pipeline of comprehensive programs as a Training Systems Integrator, is bearing fruit. As testimony to CAE's vision to be the recognized global training partner of choice, Defence orders this quarter, including options, were more than $1 billion. And for CAE overall, we reached a new record $7.4 billion order backlog, further augmenting the Company's substantial base of recurring business." Third quarter Civil revenue was $412.8 million, up 23% compared to the same quarter last year, and segment operating income was $71.4 million (17.3% of revenue), up 29% compared to the third quarter last year. The third quarter includes the impact of a change in revenue recognition arising from the standardization of certain types of commercial aircraft simulators. Civil revenue and segment operating income, if adjusted (6)(7) for the impact of this change would have been $418.8 million and $73.4 million, respectively. Third quarter Civil training centre utilization(8) was 76%. During the quarter, Civil signed a series of training solutions contracts valued at $362.7 million, including training services for airline and business aviation customers, and the sale of 12 full-flight simulators (FFSs) to airlines including Southwest Airlines and China's Xiamen Airlines. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, Civil sold an additional six FFSs, bringing the total number of FFS sales announced fiscal year to date to 39. Civil also signed new long-term services agreements with customers, including Jetstar Airways Japan for crew resourcing and with Jet Airways for Boeing 737NG pilot training. The Civil book-to-sales(9) ratio was 0.88x for the quarter and 1.14x for the last 12 months. The Civil backlog at the end of the quarter was $3.3 billion. Third quarter Defence revenue was $243.7 million, down 4% compared to the same quarter last year, and segment operating income was $30.0 million (12.3% of revenue), up 1% compared to $29.7 million (11.7% of revenue) in the third quarter last year. During the quarter, Defence booked orders for $600.5 million and received another $656.6 million in contract options. Notable wins include a contract from new customer, Babcock France, to provide flight simulators for the French Air Force. Orders on enduring platforms include Airbus Defence & Space for a C295 transport aircraft FFS and simulator upgrades and training support services on the MH-60 Seahawk helicopter for both the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy. In Training Systems Integration, Defence received a contract to extend the Royal Canadian Air Force NATO Flying Training in Canada program. Defence also won a long-term contract to train and qualify new Army helicopter pilots under the U.S. Army's Initial Entry Rotary-Wing training program. Following the end of the quarter, Defence was awarded a contract by Airbus for a comprehensive C295W training solution for Canada's Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue program, which has an expected value, including options, of more than $300 million over 26 years. Total Defence orders of $600.5 million this quarter, represent a book-to-sales ratio of 2.46x. The ratio for the last 12 months was 1.41x. The Defence backlog, including options and CAE's interest in joint ventures, at the end of the quarter reached a record $4.1 billion. This compares to $3.3 billion in the prior year period. Third quarter Healthcare revenue was $26.2 million compared to $28.3 million in the same quarter last year, and segment operating income was nil compared to $1.6 million in the third quarter last year. During the quarter, Healthcare was awarded orders including a contract for simulators and training centre management solutions for the CEGEP pre-university college system in Quebec. Healthcare also hosted its first Human Patient Simulation Network conferences in China and India to expand its potential global customer base. And more recently, at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare in Orlando, Healthcare announced the release of CAE VimedixAR, an ultrasound training simulator integrated with the Microsoft HoloLens. CAE Healthcare will be the first company to bring a commercial Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality application to the medical simulation market and is one of only a few authorized resellers of the Microsoft HoloLens worldwide. Specific items this quarter of $2.0 million (net after-tax) involve restructuring, integration and acquisition costs related to the purchase of Lockheed Martin Commercial Flight Training (LMCFT). Free cash flow(11) from continuing operations was $124.7 million for the quarter compared to $194.4 million in the third quarter last year. Free cash flow year to date was $167.5 million compared to $234.9 million in the same period last year. Income taxes this quarter were $11.0 million, representing an effective tax rate of 14%, compared to 13% for the third quarter last year. The tax rate this quarter was higher compared to the third quarter last year, mainly due to the benefit of certain U.S. tax incentives last year. This quarter the rate was impacted by an audit settlement in Canada and a change in the mix of income from various jurisdictions. Excluding the effect of the settlement, the income tax rate this quarter would have been 16%. Net debt(13) ended the third quarter at $853.8 million for a net debt-to-total capital ratio(14) of 29.7%. This compares to net debt of $922.7 million and a net debt-to-total capital ratio of 32.1% at the end of the last quarter. Return on capital employed(15) (ROCE) was 11.0% in the third quarter compared to 10.7% last quarter. CAE will pay a dividend of 8 cents per share effective March 31, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15, 2017. During the three months ended December 31, 2016, CAE repurchased and cancelled a total of 307,900 common shares under the Normal Course Issuer Bid (NCIB), at a weighted average price of $19.12 per common share, for a total consideration of $5.9 million. On February 14, 2017, CAE received approval from its Board of Directors for the renewal of its NCIB to purchase up to 5,366,756 of its issued and outstanding common shares (approximately 2% of its outstanding shares) during the period from February 23, 2017 to no later than February 22, 2018. CAE continues to expect revenue and operating income growth in all segments in fiscal year 2017, led primarily by Civil, which is expected to have higher annual utilization of its training network and low double-digit percentage operating income growth. The Company continues to expect modest growth in Defence and now anticipates lower than expected growth in Healthcare this year, which was previously expected to deliver a double-digit percentage increase over last year. CAE expects the level of total capital expenditures in fiscal 2017 to remain relatively stable with the prior year ($117.8 million), with the exception of the addition of approximately $100 million capital investment for the U.S. Army Fixed-Wing Flight Training program. This program will become operational for training in the current fourth quarter. Management's expectations are based on the prevailing positive market conditions and customer receptivity to CAE's training solutions as well as material assumptions contained in this press release, quarterly MD&A and in CAE's fiscal year 2016 MD&A. CAE is pleased to announce that François Olivier has joined its Board of Directors, effective February 14, 2017. Mr. Olivier has been President and Chief Executive Officer of TC Transcontinental since 2008 where he has led a transformation and consolidation in the printing and media industry. He is now heading the diversification strategy of TC Transcontinental, driving the growth of its flexible packaging division. His deep financial acumen and strategic planning experience make him a strong addition to CAE's Board. Mr. Olivier holds a B.Sc. from McGill University and is a graduate of the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School. Impact of the standardization of certain types of simulators on revenue recognition CAE's process improvement program results in the standardization of certain types of commercial aircraft simulators. For standardized simulators, percentage-of-completion (POC) accounting is no longer appropriate and thus the Company began recognizing revenue upon completion for such simulators in fiscal 2017. To facilitate performance comparability, management has provided the quarterly impact of this change on Civil revenue (Civil revenue - adjusted(6)), Civil segment operating income (Civil segment operating income - adjusted(7)), and EPS (EPS before specific items and adjusted for the impact of the standardization of simulators on revenue recognition(16)). This is a non-GAAP measure. We calculate the impact of the change in revenue recognition arising from the standardization of certain types of simulators by adjusting for the recognition of Civil revenue, Civil segment operating income and EPS upon completion for these simulators versus the Civil revenue, Civil segment operating income and EPS that would have otherwise been recognized under POC accounting. Readers are strongly advised to view a more detailed discussion of our results by segment in the Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) and CAE's consolidated interim financial statements which are posted on our website at www.cae.com/investors. CAE's consolidated interim financial statements and MD&A for the quarter ended December 31, 2016 have been filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and are available on our website (www.cae.com). They have also been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and are available on their website (www.sec.gov). CAE President and CEO, Marc Parent; Sonya Branco, Vice President, Finance, and CFO; and Andrew Arnovitz, Vice President, Strategy and Investor Relations will conduct an earnings conference call today at 1:00 p.m. ET. The call is intended for analysts, institutional investors and the media. Participants can listen to the conference by dialling + 1 877 586 3392 or +1 416 981 9024. The conference call will also be audio webcast live for the public at www.cae.com. CAE is a global leader in training for the civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare markets. Backed by a 70-year record of industry firsts, we continue to help define global training standards with our innovative virtual-to-live training solutions to make flying safer, maintain defence force readiness and enhance patient safety. We have the broadest global presence in the industry, with 8,000 employees, 160 sites and training locations in over 35 countries. Each year, we train more than 120,000 civil and defence crewmembers and thousands of healthcare professionals worldwide. This summary earnings press release contains limited information meant to assist the reader in assessing CAE's performance but it is not a suitable source of information for readers who are unfamiliar with CAE and is not in any way a substitute for the Company's financial statements, notes to the financial statements, and MD&A reports. Certain statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. These statements include, without limitation, statements relating to our fiscal 2017 financial guidance (including revenues, capital investment and margins) and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by future or conditional verbs such as anticipate, believe, expect, and may. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the 'safe harbour' provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws and of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions, both general and specific, which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events could differ materially from our expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements and that our business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities may not be achieved. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize and we caution you against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release describe our expectations as of February 14, 2017 and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Except as otherwise indicated by CAE, forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any special items or of any dispositions, monetizations, mergers, acquisitions, other business combinations or other transactions that may occur after February 14, 2017. The financial impact of these transactions and special items can be complex and depends on the facts particular to each of them. We therefore cannot describe the expected impact in a meaningful way or in the same way we present known risks affecting our business. Forward-looking statements are presented in this press release for the purpose of assisting investors and others in understanding certain key elements of our expected fiscal 2017 financial results and in obtaining a better understanding of our anticipated operating environment. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. The value of capital investments expected to be made by CAE in FY2017 assumes that capital investments will be made in accordance with our current annual plan. However, there can be no assurance that such investment levels will be maintained with the result that the value of actual capital investments made by CAE during such period could materially differ from current expectations. A number of economic, market, operational and financial assumptions were made by CAE in preparing its forward-looking statements for fiscal 2017 contained in this news release, including, but not limited to certain economic and market assumptions including: modest economic growth and interest rates to remain largely unchanged in fiscal 2017; a sustained level of competition in civil, defence & healthcare markets; no material financial, operational or competitive consequences of changes in regulations affecting our business; and a relatively stable defence market. A number of assumptions concerning CAE's business were also made in the preparation of its forward-looking statements for fiscal 2017 contained in this news release, including, but not limited to factors including: productivity and efficiency gains to lower CAE's manufacturing costs and cycle times; maintenance of CAE's market share in civil simulator sales in the face of price competition; and higher Civil training network utilization. The foregoing assumptions, although considered reasonable by CAE on February 14, 2017, may prove to be inaccurate. Accordingly, our actual results could differ materially from our expectations as set forth in this news release. Important risk factors that could cause our assumptions and estimates to be inaccurate and actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our forward-looking statements, including our fiscal 2017 financial guidance, are set out in CAE's MD&A for the year ended March 31, 2016 filed by CAE with the Canadian Securities Administrators (available at www.sedar.com) and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (available at www.sec.gov). The fiscal year 2016 MD&A is also available at www.cae.com. The realization of our forward-looking statements, including our ability to meet our fiscal 2017 outlook, essentially depends on our business performance which, in turn, is subject to many risks. Accordingly, readers are cautioned that any of the disclosed risks could have a material adverse effect on our forward-looking statements. We caution that the disclosed list of risk factors is not exhaustive and other factors could also adversely affect our results. Non-GAAP and other financial measures This press release includes non-GAAP and other financial measures. Non-GAAP measures are useful supplemental information but may not have a standardized meaning according to GAAP. These measures should not be confused with, or used as an alternative for, performance measures calculated according to GAAP. They should also not be used to compare with similar measures from other companies. Management believes that providing certain non-GAAP measures provides users with a better understanding of our results and trends and provides additional information on our financial and operating performance. (1) Earnings per share before specific items is a non-GAAP measure calculated by excluding the effect of restructuring, integration and acquisition costs and one-time tax items from the diluted earnings per share from continuing operations attributable to equity holders of the Company. The effect per share is obtained by dividing the restructuring, integration and acquisition costs, net of tax, and one-time tax items by the average number of diluted shares. We track it because we believe it provides a better indication of our operating performance on a per share basis and makes it easier to compare across reporting periods. (2) Total backlog is a non-GAAP measure that includes obligated backlog, joint venture backlog and unfunded backlog. Obligated backlog represents the expected value of orders we have received but have not yet executed. Joint venture backlog is obligated backlog that represents the expected value of our share of orders that our joint ventures have received but have not yet executed. Unfunded backlog represents firm Defence and Security orders we have received but have not yet executed and for which funding authorization has not yet been obtained. We include unexercised negotiated options which we view as having a high probability of being exercised, but exclude indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts. (3) Net income before specific items is a non-GAAP measure we use as an alternate view of our operating results. We calculate it by taking our net income attributable to equity holders of the Company from continuing operations and adding back restructuring, integration and acquisition costs, net of tax, and one-time tax items. We track it because we believe it provides a better indication of our operating performance and makes it easier to compare across reporting periods. (4) Total segment operating income is a non-GAAP measure and is the sum of our key indicator of each segment's financial performance. Segment operating income gives us an indication of the profitability of each segment because it does not include the impact of any items not specifically related to the segment's performance. We calculate total segment operating income by taking the operating profit and excluding the impact of restructuring, integration and acquisition costs. (5) Operating profit is an additional GAAP measure that shows us how we have performed before the effects of certain financing decisions, tax structures and discontinued operations. We track it because we believe it makes it easier to compare our performance with previous periods, and with companies and industries that do not have the same capital structure or tax laws. (6) Civil revenue - adjusted is a non-GAAP measure we present to facilitate performance comparability that takes into account the impact of the change in revenue recognition arising from the standardization of certain types of simulators. We calculate this by taking our Civil revenue and adjusting for the impact of the recognition of revenue upon completion for these simulators versus the revenue that would have otherwise been recognized under POC accounting. (7) Civil segment operating income - adjusted is a non-GAAP measure we present to facilitate performance comparability that takes into account the impact of the change in revenue recognition arising from the standardization of certain types of simulators. We calculate this by taking our Civil segment operating income and adjusting for the impact of the recognition of segment operating income upon completion for these simulators versus the segment operating income that would have otherwise been recognized under POC accounting. (8) Utilization rate is an operating measure we use to assess the performance of our Civil simulator training network. We calculate it by taking the number of training hours sold on our simulators during the period divided by the practical training capacity available for the same period. (9) The book-to-sales ratio is the total orders divided by total revenue in a given period. (10) Simulator equivalent unit (SEU) is an operating measure we use to show the total average number of FFSs available to generate earnings during the period. (11) Free cash flow is a non-GAAP measure that shows us how much cash we have available to invest in growth opportunities, repay debt and meet ongoing financial obligations. We use it as an indicator of our financial strength and liquidity. We calculate it by taking the net cash generated by our continuing operating activities, subtracting maintenance capital expenditures, investment in other assets not related to growth and dividends paid and adding proceeds from the disposal of property, plant and equipment, dividends received from equity accounted investees and proceeds, net of payments, from equity accounted investees. (12) Maintenance capital expenditure is a non-GAAP measure we use to calculate the investment needed to sustain the current level of economic activity. Growth capital expenditure is a non-GAAP measure we use to calculate the investment needed to increase the current level of economic activity. (13) Net debt is a non-GAAP measure we use to monitor how much debt we have after taking into account liquid assets such as cash and cash equivalents. We use it as an indicator of our overall financial position, and calculate it by taking our total long-term debt, including the current portion of long-term debt, and subtracting cash and cash equivalents. (14) Net debt-to-capital is calculated as net debt divided by the sum of total equity plus net debt. (15) Return on capital employed (ROCE) is a non-GAAP measure we use to evaluate the profitability of our invested capital. We calculate this ratio over a rolling four-quarter period by taking net income attributable to equity holders of the Company excluding net finance expense, after tax, divided by the average capital employed. (16) EPS before specific items and adjusted for the impact of the standardization of simulators on revenue recognition is a non-GAAP measure calculated by excluding the effect of restructuring, integration and acquisition costs, one-time tax items and the impact of the standardization of certain types of simulators from the diluted earnings per share from continuing operations attributable to equity holders of the Company. The effect per share is obtained by dividing restructuring, integration and acquisition costs, net of tax, one-time tax items as well as the impact of the recognition of net income upon completion for these simulators versus the net income that would have otherwise been recognized under POC accounting by the average number of diluted shares. We track it because we believe it makes it easier to compare across reporting periods. For a detailed reconciliation of these measures as well as other non-GAAP and other financial measures monitored by CAE, please refer to CAE's MD&A filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators available on our website (www.cae.com) and on SEDAR (www.sedar.com). Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity
News Article | February 25, 2017
A tech start-up based in Los Angeles rather than Silicon Valley. A mobile app that built its appeal by deleting photos and messages. Vertical video in a widescreen world. Snapchat, the popular photo and video messaging app, has broken the mold in many ways. Now, with parent company Snap Inc.’s initial public stock offering only days away, it is poised to do so again. Snap will begin trading on public markets without a designated headquarters, an anomaly in the tech world. None of Snap’s peers — the 10 California-based technology companies with the biggest IPOs of the last 15 years — lacked a corporate headquarters when it went public. Snap knows its strategy is unusual: The company listed its lack of a headquarters and spread-out West L.A. offices on its financial filings as a risk that could potentially harm its business and future revenue prospects. “This diffuse structure may prevent us from fostering positive employee morale and encouraging social interaction among our employees and different business units,” the filing stated. “Moreover … we may be unable to adequately oversee employees and business functions.” In an era when companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple have created an expectation that tech firms will offer sprawling corporate campuses with gyms, chefs preparing organic food and massage services on site, Snap’s scattered layout could strengthen its brand as an outsider that challenges the status quo. Or it could prove to be a liability that hinders innovation and productivity, experts say. Snap has been a rebel from the start. In 2013, founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel left Palo Alto and set up shop in Venice Beach, hoping to escape both Silicon Valley and corporate culture. The company quickly outgrew its beachfront bungalow but chose to expand within Venice and nearby Marina del Rey rather than consolidate in a single location. This strategy has some benefits. Snap, whose emphasis on secrecy extends beyond its self-destructing messages, always strives to surprise its users. By isolating teams in separate facilities, it can limit those in the know about projects outside their own — potentially reducing the likelihood that details leak out. Workers take shuttles or walk between offices, which some say has deepened their desire to volunteer locally. They can eat at beachside cafes and support local businesses, thanks to Snap vouchers. And then there’s the aura. “Venice is younger and grittier” — more South of Market than Silicon Valley,” said Bryan Dunne, a commercial office broker in West L.A., referring to a neighborhood in San Francisco. But at the same time,“It’s extremely supply constrained and there’s not that many large projects,” Dunne said. For that reason, he said, tech giants such as Oracle Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. have generally chosen spaces where they have the ability to keep growing without relocating: the Water Garden complex in Santa Monica, for example, or new developments in Playa Vista. Even Google — the pioneer in bucking workplace convention — “had no choice” but to expand in Playa Vista once it outgrew its Los Angeles home in Venice, Dunne said. Consolidating office space into a single campus is beneficial for an obvious reason, said Sigal Barsade, a professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: It brings people together. A company’s culture is often set from the top down, Barsade said. Employees absorb it by observing company leaders and one another. “It’s easier to maintain consistency in the messages that you’re sending in terms of culture when literally people are in the same location and it gives more opportunity to see the culture enacted,” Barsade said. A strong culture, in turn, translates to improved morale and productivity. “People like to feel like they fit in and are part of something,” Barsade said. “You also know better what to do and how to do it.” But companies can succeed without consolidating, she said. “It’s not a fatal flaw. It just means that they have to be very, very conscious of how they’re going to [achieve] the cohesion, the transfer of norms and values, the transfer of knowledge” that you get from being in one place, she said. Barsade pointed to Southwest Airlines, which has built a strong culture and a productive business despite having employees all over the country. Snap declined to comment for this story, but in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission the company made clear it has a strong sense of its own culture. “Our team is kind, smart and creative,” the filing stated. “When we say ‘kind,’ we mean the type of kindness that compels you to let someone know that they have something stuck in their teeth even though it’s a little awkward.” The company has created a charity, the Snap Foundation, and a slush fund — “Snap-a-Wish” — to help employees in an emergency. And it established what it calls Council, a kind of biweekly group therapy, to enable employees to connect in person. But consolidated offices aren’t just a vehicle for promoting culture, experts said. They also cluster amenities in one place, reducing costs. “If you’re providing a food service, you don’t want to have to do that 15 times in 15 different locations,” said Robert Mankin, a partner at the architecture firm NBBJ, which has designed corporate offices for technology companies. More than the logistics, Mankin said, amenities — yoga classes, gardens, video game lounges — create chances for employees to rest, socialize and make new discoveries. “With technology companies innovation is at the forefront of their thinking,” said Mankin. “They need a campus and they need amenities that will promote new ideas.” Located just steps from the Venice boardwalk, Snap has what might be considered the ultimate playground: a wide expanse of sand and ocean, and an international tourist hot spot where every culture is on display. Employees rate the beach as Snap’s top perk, but it can be hard to leverage in the same way, experts said. A gaming lounge, for example, isn’t just a creative outlet or a distraction, said Mankin. It’s an opportunity to interact with a new colleague on the spur of the moment.
News Article | February 16, 2017
DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, announced today that it has been certified as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal for the third year in a row. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/2lztMvm. Each year, researchers from BenchmarkPortal audit and validate best-practice metrics drawn from the world’s largest database of objective and quantitative data to determine which contact centers should be awarded this designation. Only contact centers that rank in the top ten percent of those surveyed achieve the award. “Contact center leaders who seek this certification demonstrate an ongoing commitment to achieving service excellence in the most cost-effective ways possible,” said Bruce Belfore, CEO of BenchmarkPortal. “This certification means that EFG’s center has reached an optimized balance between efficiency and effectiveness.” EFG has long recognized the importance of providing the highest level of customer service to its clients through high quality employees. In 2016, the company made its mission to better equip those employees with the tools and processes that only enhance their ability to service their clients and customers. This effort started with the implementation of the company’s proprietary part sourcing platform, the Parts Wizard. In early 2016, EFG launched the Parts Wizard to reduce client reinsurance exposure, streamline claims administration and increase customer satisfaction. The Parts Wizard automates the manual process of sourcing parts for vehicle repairs. Traditionally, claims administrators must research vehicle parts on several vendor websites, before negotiating with a service center. The Parts Wizard sources parts from all EFG-approved vendors at once, drastically shortening the time it takes to research parts by up to 30 minutes per claim. In addition, the technology prioritizes results based on availability and price to factor in to the decision process. To further ensure the success of every customer contact, EFG invested in and implemented Castel DetectTM LIVE Speech Analytics to provide EFG claims adjusters and management teams with real-time insight into the health of every call. Each adjuster has a direct feed on their monitor of analysis regarding call content, including: Based on the course of the conversation, adjusters receive on-screen notifications to help guide them to more intuitively and successfully steer the conversation. In addition, managers have access to all adjuster analytics and receive notifications to step in to conversations that need their attention without the adjuster actually having to seek them out for assistance. Since implementing this software, EFG has seen a decrease in formal escalations, thereby increasing the number of successful calls and high customer satisfaction ratings. “With achievements like these, we intend to continue to push the industry to serve contract holders more expertly, efficiently, and respectfully,” said John Pappanastos, President and CEO, EFG Companies. “This will inevitably promote a more positive overall customer experience and decisively impact the growth and success of the consumer protection product industry.” EFG Companies drives the industry’s highest-reported compliant F&I profitability through its distinct engagement model in which the company operates as an extension of the dealer’s management team. EFG addresses total dealership performance, and its client satisfaction Net Promoter score is higher than national corporate leaders such as Southwest Airlines, USAA Banking and Finance, and Nordstrom. Learn more about EFG at: www.efgcompanies.com. Founded in 1995, BenchmarkPortal is a global leader in the contact center industry, providing benchmarking, certification, training, consulting, research and industry reports. The BenchmarkPortal team of professionals has gained international recognition for its innovative approach to best practices for the contact center industry. BenchmarkPortal hosts the world’s largest database of contact center metrics, which is constantly being refreshed with new data. BenchmarkPortal’s mission is to provide contact center managers with the tools and information that will help them optimize their efficiency and effectiveness in their customer communications. For more information on BenchmarkPortal please call 800-214-8929 or visit www.BenchmarkPortal.com.
News Article | February 28, 2017
With unemployment low and talented, dedicated workers more valuable than ever, companies large and small are focusing more time and resources toward employee recognition. Those efforts to ensure that staffers feel valued will be celebrated by successful employers world-wide on Friday, March 3, with the annual Employee Appreciation Day. “Commonly known as ‘Recognition Day,’ this annual event is not meant as a once-per-year celebration, but as a way to kick-start a year-round culture of appreciation within companies and organizations that makes every day an occasion to recognize good work and encourage employees,” said Kathie Pugaczewski, executive director of Recognition Professionals International – a world-wide professional association at the forefront of workforce recognition. “Our member organizations look at Employee Appreciation Day as a chance to be creative and spotlight the many efforts to recognize good work.” Recognition efforts range in scope from simple events like a root beer float bar at work all the way to elaborate incentives like travel and fiscal rewards. Successful companies like Disney, Southwest Airlines, the Cleveland Clinic and others routinely partake in these efforts, and the results are clear to see. Ensuring employees feel valued has been shown to boost productivity and pay dividends for businesses and organizations. Detailed in a recent RPI webinar, among the many ideas that experts offer for employee recognition activities are: Food – Everyone loves free food, be it a simple snack, a sweet treat, or a full meal, and there’s something special about an employee being served a meal by their supervisor that reinforces the notion of value and recognition. Everything from food truck appearances to ice cream socials are encouraged as a way to recognize employees through food. Team activities – Getting out of the office is imperative to the mental health of employees; even if it’s just to the parking lot for a group stretch. Team activities can be a valuable way to recognize employees and foster a team spirit among members of your organization. Make the office feel different for a day. Some workplaces practice theme days, where workers dress in the colors of their favorite sports team, or emulate their favorite superhero. Games like Jenga contests or a video game setup can bring a spirit of friendly competition to the workplace as well. Wellness – Some workplaces provide healthy snacks or energy-boosting foods to give employees a needed jumpstart, especially in the afternoons. A popular wellness activity is to bring in massage professionals to provide back and neck rubs. For other webinars and a wealth of information on Recognition Day, please visit the RPI website at http://www.recognition.org. For interviews with employee recognition experts, please contact Jess Myers, 651-290-7465, jessm(at)ewald.com. About RPI Founded in 1995, Recognition Professionals International (RPI) is the only professional association at the forefront of workforce recognition through its sole focus on recognition innovations and education as a systematic method for improvements in the workplace. RPI is endorsed by top authorities in the industry, has an impressive membership of Fortune 500 organizations and is the only association offering Certified Recognition Professional® (CRP) courses.
News Article | February 15, 2017
New for 2017, Yountville Chamber of Commerce has retained the creatives behind the wildly successful Yountville Live (and Live in the Vineyard) to produce its highly anticipated annual wine and food festival – Taste of Yountville. This annual walkabout tasting festival features renowned food and wines that make Yountville a world-class destination for all things refined and gastronomic in pleasure. Taste of Yountville, March 17-18, has now commingled with the Yountville Live weekend happening March 16-19. The coalescence of these events will provide attendees with several ticket options to experience a music, food and wine sensory experience over four jam-packed days. Yountville Live Schedule, March 16-19: Here is a look at what will be happening throughout the weekend (schedule subject to change): VIP Welcome Reception, 3-5 p.m. at Brix Restaurant A beautiful, Yountville welcome in the Brix Restaurant gardens, featuring French inspired California cuisine, 10 Yountville appellation wineries, and an intimate performance by multi-Platinum and GRAMMY Award nominated singer-songwriter Five For Fighting. Welcome Gala, 6-9 p.m. A four-course wine dinner prepared by world renowned chefs and winemakers featuring Graham Elliot and Thomas Keller Group’s – Team USA. Late Night VIP Events, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Late night bites, artisan cocktails, beers and wines located at Ottimo! In the heart of Yountville. Friday Taste of Yountville, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Ticketholders will enjoy customized programs and activations from event partners at the V Market Pavilion, some of Yountville and Napa Valley’s most revered wineries at the Taste of Yountville Pavilion, an exclusive beer garden and live chef demonstrations at the Culinary Pavilion, and live musical performances at the North Yountville Pavilion (NOYO), making this the must see center of attention during Yountville Live. A grand crew tasting room featuring cult and highest end wine. Master Classes, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Exclusive epicurean experiences hosted by world-renowned chefs, winemakers and artisans, offering insight into the creative genesis that makes them the masters of their craft. Late Night VIP Events, 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. Late night bites, artisan cocktails, beers and wines located at Hurley’s featuring The Rua Saturday Taste of Yountville, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Ticketholders will enjoy customized programs and activations from event partners at the V Market Pavilion, some of Napa Valley’s most revered wineries at the Wine Pavilion, an exclusive beer garden and live chef demonstrations at the Culinary Pavilion, and live musical performances at the North Yountville Pavilion, making this the must see center of attention during Yountville Live. Master Classes, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Exclusive epicurean experiences hosted by local chefs, winemakers, and artisans offering insight into the creative genesis that makes them the masters of their craft. Late Night VIP Events, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Late night bites and craft cocktail competition located at Bottega Restaurant featuring a special performance with Spencer Ludwig and DJ set by Mayer Hawthorne Bubble Brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wind down the weekend with a southern inspired, open-fire brunch featuring chef Morgan Robinson from SMOKE, a sparkling wine and mimosa bar and an intimate performance by American folk, soul, pop music duo JOHNNYSWIM. Tickets for all Yountville Live Events can be purchased at https://yountvillelive.com/tickets. Tickets for Taste of Yountville at Yountville Live: Single day or weekend long admission tickets are available for the Taste of Yountville attraction at Yountville Live. Tickets range from $125 per person for a single day admission or $225 per person for both Friday and Saturday. Tickets include one tasting with each vendor and unlimited access to all four event tasting pavilions: V Market Pavilion – food, wine and more, Wine Pavilion – wine tastings, Culinary Pavilion – cooking demos, tastings and a beer garden, and the North Yountville Pavilion – live music, food and wine. The third annual Yountville Live, the ultimate, luxury getaway event, featuring exquisite cuisines from world-class restaurants and Award-winning rock star chefs, exclusive intimate performances from some of today’s hottest recording artists and a unique variety of some of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wineries and finest beers and spirits available, is set to take place in Yountville, California from March 16th to the 19th. Tickets are on sale now for the four day event in the culinary capital of Napa Valley that will feature performances by multi-Platinum selling Five for Fighting, internationally acclaimed Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, duo JOHNNYSWIM, well-known singer-songwriter Emerson Hart, up and coming trumpet sensation Spencer Ludwig, a DJ set by the talented Mayer Hawthorne, rising sibling trios JOSEPH and The Rua, singer-songwriters LOLO, Jillette Johnson, Brendan James, Jon McLaughlin, Zach Heckendorf, Paul Loren, Keaton Simons and more. World renowned and celebrated chefs set to take part in Yountville Live are Graham Elliot, Gale Gand, Victor Scargle, Thomas Keller Group - Team USA, Michael Chiarello, Art Cohtino, Bob Hurley, Carey Delbridge, Nate Lindsay, Chris Cosentino, Chris Kollar, Chris Patrick, Claudia Sansone, David Roberts, Dean James Max, Ernesto Martinez and more. There will be pourings by some of the most revered vintners including Aaron Pott, Benoit Touquette, and Julien Fayard and high end wineries including Jessup Cellars, Trinchero, Robert Mondavi Winery, Franciscan Estate Winery, Campana Ranch Winery, Azur, Miner Family Winery, Nickel & Nickel Winery, Silver Trident Winery, Priest Ranch Winery and more. Yountville marries a breath-taking setting and small-town ambiance with a sophisticated Wine Country lifestyle. Yountville Live is the next generation of food and wine events with a vast array of events for attendees to choose between from Master Classes that are a true epicurean experience hosted by world-renowned chefs, winemakers and artisans, offering insight into the creative genesis that makes them the masters of their craft to intimate dinners, performances and of course the “Taste of Yountville” experience. Yountville Live has something for everyone that will not only compliment and highlight all the best that Yountville and the Napa Valley have to offer in the culinary and winemaking world with truly incredible music infused, but also the best across the country has to offer in all three. This four day event is an up close and personal experience while being on a larger scale. For further information about Yountville Live, journalists are asked to contact Denise Carberry, dcarberry(at)pfamedia(dot)net, or visit the event website at yountvillelive.com. Follow the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. ABOUT LIVE IN THE VINEYARD Live in the Vineyard is a private music-food-wine festival that marries peoples’ access to recording artists, top tier wine makers, and world- renowned chefs amongst the lush scenery of the legendary Napa Valley. Tickets for LITV, taking place again in November 2017, are only available through special radio station promotions featured on http://www.liveinthevineyard.com that include Sirius/XM The Pulse, On-Air with Ryan Seacrest, On with Mario Lopez, and Premium Choice Hot AC. Tickets are also available through exclusive sweepstakes and offerings from LITV’s partnerships with Aloft Hotels, National Car Rental Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Sutter Home, Southwest Airlines, Stella Artois, UPS, Sacramento International Airport and a few others. Live In The Vineyard assures that attendees have total immersion in music, wine and food. LITV was created by Bobbii Jacobs and Claire Parr, who together share over 40 years of experience in the music industry, and has since grown into a well-known and sought-after ticket. Jacobs and Parr are the producers of Yountville Live. Considered the culinary heart of Napa Valley, Yountville is the ultimate luxury get-away. With its world-class restaurants and accommodations, and many of the Valley's most celebrated wineries, Yountville marries a breath-taking setting and small-town ambiance with a sophisticated Wine Country lifestyle. The small town of Yountville was the site of Napa Valley's first planted grapevines. The walkable village amid the vines with gorgeous mountain views offers luxe lodging from cozy to indulgent, the only hot air ballooning launch in Napa Valley, five sites on the National Register of Historic Places, unique shopping, golf, art galleries and performing arts, plus a constellation of Michelin stars and renowned restaurants. An ideal base for wine lovers, Yountville's microclimate pedigree has its own American Viticultural Area (AVA) and offers unparalleled wineries and producers. For further information about Yountville, visit http://www.yountville.com.
News Article | February 23, 2017
Lighthouse Charity Team (LCT) (http://www.lighthousecharityteam.com) founders Dick and Horacene Daugird and Scott Gordon along with internationally published author Lorraine Grubbs (http://www.lorrainegrubbs.com), announce the publication of a new book, “Cooking for a Cause – How a Small Group of Loyal Texas Volunteers Raised Over $20,000,000 for Charity.” This innovative book reveals the secrets of how one charity, based in the communities of Galveston and Friendswood, Texas, develops and inspires loyal volunteers that understand and personify the role of servant leaders. Cooking for a Cause is the story of how determined and selfless individuals took a passion for cooking and turned it into a world-class non-profit organization serving others. From humble beginnings cooking barbecue on a backyard pit to feeding thousands from a fleet of customized cooking trailers, the Daugirds and Scott Gordon have raised over $20,000,000 and helped hundreds of charities and thousands of people throughout communities in Galveston and Friendswood. This unique non-profit model offers inspiration and guidance for those wanting to start a cooking charity that serves the needs of and positively impacts the community. Stories outlined in the book include: The book shares principles and practices the Daugirds and Gordon utilized to create a team of “Warrior Spirited” volunteers who continue to make a significant impact in local Texas communities. Inside the book are guidelines for other organizations to create a “Cooking for a Cause” team to ultimately improve a community, one meal at a time. “What makes “Cooking for a Cause” so unique is the way the Daugirds and Gordon apply the principles that award-winning companies use to create strong, resilient and very effective employee cultures to their warrior-spirited group of volunteers. I am honored to tell their story,” explains Lorraine Grubbs, president of Lessons in Loyalty. “Companies who lose employees and have high turnover know it’s costly and affects morale, productivity, customer service and teamwork. Loyal employees will be more courteous and resourceful with customers. They’ll dig deeper when a project requires creativity, be more tolerant in frustrating situations and demonstrate persistence and determination when the going gets tough. LCT’s founders understood this and have built an incredibly successful fundraising model.” For more than 20 years, the Daugirds and Gordon have worked selflessly dedicating their time away from their insurance business to ensure the needs can be met of those who seek their assistance. “We’ve been a sponsor and supporter of LCT for twenty years. When it comes to making a difference in our neighboring communities and beyond, our investment in the organization has been highly gratifying,” comments Larry Del Papa, president of Del Papa Distributing who wrote the Introduction for the book. “Their motto of People Helping People is exactly what they do and we are excited to be included in the book.” “Cooking for a Cause” is available as a softcover book and e-book available on Grubbs’ web site – http://www.LorraineGrubbs.com and through the LCT website http://www.lighthousecharityteam.com. Cooking for a Cause evolved out of the Daugird’s and Gordon’s desire to help communities create cooking teams where volunteers can make an impact helping first responders in emergency situations, children and adults in need of assistance with medical bills, and other charities with meeting fundraising goals. About the Daugirds and the Gordons As successful business owners and community leaders, they create an environment where volunteers and sponsors participate in their mission because they want to, not because they have to. They built a blueprint that successful, award-winning corporations understand, and applied it to the non-profit world. Centered around respect, loyalty, and engagement of their people, their “People Helping People” philosophy has served them well and demonstrates that by putting people first, donations will follow and fundraising goals are met. For further information, please visit http://www.lighthousecharityteam.com. About Lorraine Grubbs Lorraine Grubbs, was part of the Southwest Airlines Leadership Team for over 15 years. She has more than 30 years of experience as a leader, author and executive coach working exclusively in the field of how to build and retain loyalty in business. She has written three other books providing lessons about loyalty, leadership, and outrageous training tactics, and outline proven and validated principles utilized by companies who put their employees first. She regularly contributes articles to a variety of publications, and is a guest lecturer at Rice University and the University of Houston’s Executive MBA program. When not working, and flying, you’ll find Grubbs living aboard her boat “Loyalty”, in Galveston, Texas. For more information, please visit http://www.LorraineGrubbs.com or contact Grubbs at 281-813-0305.
News Article | February 15, 2017
In How to Create a Happy Workplace, author and executive coach Lorraine Grubbs interviewed CEOs, including John Johnson of David Weekley Homes, on topics ranging from building strong, resilient cultures of loyalty to customer engagement. In the book, Johnson recounts proven approaches that started with David Weekley and were used to create a long-lasting culture of spirited, dedicated and loyal employees. “As an entrepreneur, David had built a very successful home building company,” Johnson said. “He realized that to continue growing, he would need to give up some control and allow his leaders to take the reins. This is not typically easy for a founder to do, but to David, it came naturally. “David began to invest in the development of his leaders,” Johnson said. “He was the model of leadership to which we aspired – creative, imaginative and forward thinking. He is what some would call an ‘enlightened entrepreneur’ in that he shares his strengths and allows us to use his talents. The creativity and imagination of the company, demonstrated in the homes we build, the vision we have and the systems we use in our operations and our brand are a direct reflection of David Weekley.” David Weekley Homes, the nation’s largest privately-held builder, has been recognized 10 times for its award-winning culture by FORTUNE magazine. “The forward-thinking leaders interviewed in this book understand there are no shortcuts to creating a true culture of loyalty in your business,” author Grubbs comments. “I’m passionate about helping businesses create happy workplaces and my mission is to do so, one company at a time.” “We’ve always believed that valuing our Team Members is the right thing to do,” Johnson said. “Throughout our history, this viewpoint has never failed us. We are excited to be included in Lorraine’s book and the examples shared within offer forward-thinking companies a great value.” Grubb’s book also includes interviews from CEOs at Christian Brothers Automotive, Houston Methodist, Briggs & Veselka Co., Gillman Automotive, Hotze Health and Wellness Center and more. The book will be released as a softcover book and e-book available on Grubb’s website -http://www.LorraineGrubbs.com. For more information about David Weekley Homes, please visit http://www.DavidWeekleyHomes.com. David Weekley Homes, founded in 1976, is headquartered in Houston and operates in 23 cities across the United States. David Weekley Homes was the first builder in the United States to be awarded the Triple Crown of American Home Building, an honor which includes “America’s Best Builder,” “National Housing Quality Award” and “National Builder of the Year.” Weekley has also appeared 10 times on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list. Since inception, David Weekley Homes has closed more than 80,000 homes. For more information about David Weekley Homes, visit the company’s website at http://www.davidweekleyhomes.com. About “How to Create a Happy Workplace” Grubbs’ “A Happy Workplace” system, evolved out of her desire to help companies create cultures where employees come to work because they “want to”, not because they “have to.” As a business consultant to companies like Landry’s, State Farm, General Insulation, Methodist Hospital and others, Grubbs’ team assesses an organization’s loyalty and customer service, and helps build a blueprint for extraordinary employee loyalty and customer engagement. The common-sense tactics she recommends comprise essential components to create and sustain a successful atmosphere of loyalty and all the benefits that spring from it. Clients notice how their businesses change and their bottom line improves as employees became warrior spirits demonstrating increased productivity and elevated levels of customer service. For further information, please visit http://www.LorraineGrubbs.com or contact Grubbs at 281-813-0305. Lorraine Grubbs, was part of the Southwest Airlines Leadership Team for over 15 years. She has more than 30 years of experience as a leader, author and executive coach working exclusively in the field of how to build and retain loyalty in business. Her “A Happy Workplace” system incorporates proven and validated principles that companies who put their employees first utilize. She speaks four languages (English, Spanish, French and ‘Nautical’) and possesses various HR certifications. She regularly contributes articles to a variety of publications, and is a guest lecturer at Rice University and the University of Houston’s Executive MBA program. When not working, and flying, you’ll find Grubbs living aboard her boat “Loyalty” in Galveston, TX.