ProfNet Expert Alerts for January 8, 2021

Also in This Edition: Media Industry News

January 8, 2021 10:25 PM EST

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network who are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area.  


  • Vaccine Research and Diversity
  • eCommerce and the Retail Industry
  • The Changing Payment Ecosystem
  • The Future of the Black Community
  • International Stock Market Movements and COVID-19
  • Grieving? Remember These 4 Things.
  • 7 Keys to Facing Uncertainty With Confidence
  • Helping Hero Dogs in Need
  • Veterans Need Targeted Career Transition Support
  • Senior Pet Health and Nutrition
  • This Holiday Season, Gift a Loved One Memories
  • 5 Mindfulness Tips for a Happier Pandemic Thanksgiving
  • 3 Steps to Rescue Retirement for Small Business Owners
  • Gardens Over Golf Courses: 5 Reasons Agrihoods Bloom in Pandemic



  • Virtual Events for Bloggers and Journalists in January 2021
  • Blog Profiles: Outdoor Activity Blogs

Vaccine Research and DiversityGlenn Rockman Founder and Managing Partner Adjuvant Health "The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed vaccines and public health to the forefront of people's minds. Investment and research in these areas have rocketed in recent months, and this trend will remain strong far beyond the pandemic." Diseases do not discriminate, so why does vaccine research? If Racism is a public health problem, what is the solution? Why does the world care? Conquering COVID-19 requires reprogramming old technology and not just developing sexy new ones. Glenn has active board seats at several innovative life sciences companies such as Univercells (, Themis (acquired by Merck in 2020;, and EuBiologics (listed on KOSDAQ in 2017: 206650.KQ; Website: Media contact: Theresa Maloney, [email protected]

Vaccine Research and DiversityJenny Yip Managing Partner Adjuvant Health "There is enormous potential in expanding the reach of global drug and vaccine discovery by including more diverse populations in research efforts. We were impressed by 54gene's commitment to building a world-class network of African clinicians and geneticists and are excited to work with them as they scale and seek to drive meaningful improvements in global public health." Diseases do not discriminate, so why does vaccine research? If Racism is a public health problem, what is the solution? Why does the world care? Conquering COVID-19 requires reprogramming old technology and not just developing sexy new ones. Jenny has board seats at ChromaCode and 54Gene. She also serves on the Investment Advisory Committee at the Reproductive Health Investors' Alliance (US). Website: Media contact: Theresa Maloney, [email protected]

eCommerce and the Retail IndustryTim Mason CEO Eagle Eye "Retailers have spent the last 20 years learning to think like tech companies. Now, the eCommerce whales are emerging from their ocean of customer data and using that intelligence to curate in-store experiences and creating customer connections in a physical environment. There is an arms race going on: will physical retailers learn the skills of tech companies before the tech companies learn the merchandising, curation and service skills of physical retail?" "I think Alibaba will find solid footing much faster with Sun Art because they've had a head start – and because of their focus on the whole customer experience. Their New Retail concept is all about blurring the lines between off- and online commerce and creating a seamless way to interact with customers however they want and wherever they are." Tim can share insight into Alibaba's recent acquisition of Sun Art Retail Group from a retail/ecommerce perspective and what this means for the industry. Tim is the co-author of two best-selling business books: Omnichannel Retail: How to build winning stores in a digital world Amazon: How the World's Most Relentless Retailer will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce Tim's Bio: Tim has been CEO of Eagle Eye since September 2016. He has over 30 years' experience within the grocery and retail industries, with a strong background in strategic marketing and customer loyalty. Previously, Tim was a managing director at Sun Capital Partners and Chairman of Bonmarché Holdings plc from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that he was Deputy CEO at Tesco from January 2010 to December 2012. He held a number of other roles within the Tesco Group between 1982 and 2012 including CMO for Tesco and CEO of Fresh & Easy LLC. Tim spearheaded Tesco's bid to crack America, and was responsible for the expansion and operations of 150 stores US wide.  Website:  Media contact: Janelle Davis, [email protected]

The Changing Payment EcosystemKristian Gjerding CEO CellPoint Digital Ant Group's Valuation "I'm not at all surprised Ant Group is valued higher than many financial institutions. Banks are locked up in a traditional business model and if they don't transform, their role will diminish. The payment ecosystem is changing in that technology providers like Alipay are becoming payment providers. Where banks rely on value from account holders, who interact less and less frequently, payment tech companies are capable of deriving value from each individual user in relation to merchants." Alipay and alternative forms of payment "If you don't offer a payment method that customers trust, they aren't going to buy from you. End of story. Anybody doing business with China will need WeChat Pay and Alipay as payment options, there is no way around that. For travel merchants operating on a global scale, they need to be able to transact not just with China but every market they are in, which means conducting business within the local form of payment.  Kristian can share insight into Ant Group's valuation as well as Alipay and alternative forms of payment. "In order to have a diversified payment strategy, you need to meet people where they are." Kristian's Bio: As founder and Chief Executive Officer of CellPoint Digital, Kristian Gjerding sets the strategic direction for the company as it evolves to become the premier payment orchestration platform for travel merchants across the globe. In this role, he has shaped and help build one of the most effective, intelligent digital commerce and payment solutions for the travel industry, designed to help travel merchants simplify their systems, unify their customer experience and boost their digital transactions across website, mobile web and mobile apps. Website: Media contact: Janelle Davis, [email protected]

The Future of the Black CommunityReco McDaniel McCambry President and CEO Novae "I am concerned yet optimistic about the future of the Black community and the United States of America: the pandemic has killed tens of thousands of Black Americans, protests against police brutality have risen to an unprecedented scale, and the unemployment rate is the worst it has been since the Great Depression. At times like this, it can often feel like the world is coming to an end. But difficult times offer unprecedented opportunities to create positive change. Many of us have been waiting for such an opportunity for a long, long time." McCambry can speak on social justice, educational and economic equity, reparations, leadership, entrepreneurship and financial services.Author of 2020 book THE PLAN: After Police Reform that Will Guarantee Social Justice and Progress for the Black Community Reco McDaniel McCambry is a serial entrepreneur and honors M.B.A. graduate who has founded four multimillion-dollar companies and has been voted among the top 10% of direct-selling CEOs globally. He's a member of the Forbes Business Council, the Golden Key International Society, and Beta Gamma Sigma. Recognized for his strong leadership, he also serves on the Leadership Council of the National Small Business Association (NSBA) out of Washington, D.C. Find out more at Website: Media contact: Penny Sansevieri, [email protected]

International Stock Market Movements and COVID-19Orhan Erdem Assistant Professor of Finance Rockford University "Even though the pandemic has significant negative effects on global financial markets, the adverse effects of the coronavirus on the stock markets are less in freer countries." Dr. Erdem can explore the relationship between the freedom of countries and their stock market movements in response to COVID-19 outbreak announcements. The published paper, "Freedom and Stock Market Performance during COVID-19 Outbreak," was published in Finance Research Letters and can be downloaded here: Dr. Erdem is fluent in Spanish and Turkish.  Website: Media contact: Rebecca Epperson, [email protected] Additional insight from Dr. Erdem's research includes: 1. The number of COVID-19 pandemic cases per million has significant negative effects on global financial markets. 2. The effect of an increase in growth of case numbers is three times more effective on the stock markets than the growth of death toll is. 3. The adverse effects of the coronavirus on the stock markets are less in freer countries, controlling other country-specific factors. That is, the stock markets of less-free countries are affected more by the same size of increase in the number of coronavirus cases. 4. For every increase in the growth of number of COVID-19 cases per million, the stock market returns in freer countries are associated with less return decreases. 5. Even though the growth of the number of COVID-19 cases per million increases the volatility in less-free countries, it does not have any effect on the volatility of freer countries' markets.  

Grieving? Remember These 4 Things. Diana Cole Spirit Translator, authorDiana Cole "1) Tap into stillness: One of the main reasons grief so hard is that we're sad that our loved one is no longer here with us. If we can allow ourselves space for stillness, we can begin to tune into the realm of invisible love that is all around us. We can feel a sense of closeness with the person who has passed, and it can help us grieve.2) Realize that death is not "bad": No matter what suffering they endured in life or in their last days, death itself is a release from that suffering. Those who have passed on want us to be happy, even in their absence, and want us to know that they are okay now.3) See the signs: People often want to know if they can communicate with the person who has passed, or if that person can communicate with them. Tapping into stillness can allow you space to recognize the signs and the signals that are being communicated already, even though you don't notice them all the time.4) Live with their love: When you're really missing someone, get into a place of remembering being with that person. Allow yourself to really live in the joy of that person, and it can bring you closer to them. Imagine them hugging you and smiling with you and talking to you about something. Live from that place; keep that connection."Diana Cole is a spirit translator, thought leader, and author. Passionate about spirit guidance, she is committed to teaching people how to access it for themselves so they may find freedom from pain and limitation and live a life of abundance, fun, and inspiration. Diana offers her empowering tools for spirit guidance in group settings, speaking engagements, live workshops, and through her vibrant Instagram and Facebook communities. She is the author of "Spirit Translator: Seven Truths for Creating Well-Being and Connecting With Spirit" (St. Martin's Press, August 2020) and co-author of "Pillars of Success" (August 2020) with Jack Canfield. Diana's first children's book, "Alina the Positive Thought Warrior," is due to be released at the end of 2020. Learn more at Press Kit: www.dianacole.onlinepresskit247.comWebsite: Contact: Klaudia Simon, [email protected]

7 Keys to Facing Uncertainty With ConfidenceRabbi Simon Jacobson Founding Dean, AuthorThe Meaningful Life Center "1) Uncertainty can sap our energy. When you have clarity about something, even a development you don't like, it's painful but the clarity allows you to move on. When there's a hanging cloud of uncertainty, there's something that does to us that weakens our entire psyche, our entire being.2) The pandemic's psychological toll. It has challenged and disrupted all our norms — our schedules, our work, our children's schooling, our travel and our ability to congregate with others. There isn't a sector of our lives it has not affected.3) Election exacerbates unease. Bitter partisanship, razor thin margins, and continued court battles over the outcome ¬— the question marks continue to mount. It's very hard to navigate when all the coordinates are on what happens next.4) How we view disruption matters. We can see it as unsettling, or we can see it as the beginning of the birth of something new. Birth pangs are uncomfortable, but disruption often leads to positive change. In the moment, nobody wants to be out of their comfort zone, but disruption allows us to be catapulted to a far better place.5) Don't be afraid of doubt and uncertainty. It's an opportunity to question what are your givens, such as why do we have to have certainty? 6) Define what's really important in your life. Events can take on an outsized importance when we immerse ourselves in media and partisan opinions of others. It's time to step back and look inside your heart and soul. The first one you're responsible for is yourself, then your immediate family and loved ones. We need to take control of our own lives.7) Ask: How can I grow stronger through this? Many people who have persevered through devastating change have found growth, hope, and meaning on the other side. They'll say openings happened, and in retrospect, I realized that the only way to discover new truths and new honesty was by my old paradigm being destroyed or challenged when I relied on it."Rabbi Simon Jacobson shares emotional, psychological, and spiritual skills to help people live their most meaningful lives. An "engaged sage" with an open, empathetic, and non-judgmental approach, he provides clarity, solutions, and new perspectives based on timeless teachings. He is the author of the best-selling book "Toward a Meaningful Life" and Founding Dean of The Meaningful Life Center. Learn more at Press Kit: Website: Contact: Klaudia Simon, [email protected]

Helping Hero Dogs in NeedKristen MaurerPresidentMission K9 Rescue"Working dogs are drafted into service without any choice, and they strive tirelessly to protect American servicemen and women. When their usefulness in service is complete, it is possible for them to become peace-loving pets." Kristen Maurer is the president of Mission K9 Rescue, an animal welfare group dedicated solely to rescuing, reuniting, rehoming, repairing, and rehabilitating American working dogs. Since 2013, the group has provided a wide array of services to working dogs in an effort to offer them a comfortable and peaceful retirement. Mission K9 focuses on retrieving dogs both from overseas and national shelter situations where they are suffering without proper care or medical attention. Their work has been featured numerous times in the national media, including appearances on "America with Eric Bolling" and "Pit Bulls & Parolees." Learn more at Press Kit: Website: Contact: Anita Jakab Kovacs, [email protected]

Veterans Need Targeted Career Transition SupportDave DesRochers Vice President, Partner PATH2™ "When veterans transition out of active service, they don't always stay where they were based. They move to other areas, and they begin a new life there. A lot of them start school after service, making the most of their G.I. Bill benefits. [They need] a clear transition program …  no matter where they land after leaving the service."PATH2™ Vice President and Partner Dave DesRochers has a gift for connecting with people and building mutually beneficial relationships. A former pro football player for the Seattle Seahawks and an exceptional public speaker, Dave shares lessons from life and work with students, community groups, people in career transition, veterans, HR teams, recruiters, nonprofits, and business leaders. For more information, visit Press Kit: Website: Contact: Anita Jakab Kovacs, [email protected]

Senior Pet Health and NutritionDr. Cristie KamiyaChief of Shelter MedicineHumane Society Silicon Valley "As dogs and cats age, their nutritional and medical requirements change and evolve. Obesity, arthritis, and cognitive and appetite loss are common problems for seniors. So, even though a long life is the result of good genes, good care, and good luck, there are opportunities to partner with your veterinarian to support your pet into their golden years."   Dr. Cristie Kamiya serves as Chief of Shelter Medicine at Humane Society Silicon Valley and is one of only a handful of residency-trained veterinarians in the specialized field of shelter medicine. She completed her three-year shelter-medicine training program at University of California – Davis and now oversees both Shelter and Medical Operations for HSSV. She holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Colorado State University. A member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV), Dr. Kamiya led the HSSV initiative to become the first model shelter in the nation to meet all the ASV Guidelines. She travels all over the country and the world providing volunteer veterinary support to organizations in need. She also fosters underage shelter kittens and loves spending time with her adopted shelter dogs. For more information, visit Press Kit: Website: Contact: Klaudia Simon, [email protected]

This Holiday Season, Gift a Loved One MemoriesDarla DeMorrowFounder, certified professional organizer (CPO®)HeartWork Organizing, LLC"People are just overwhelmed with their photos. It's one of those jobs we all want done, but who has the time? If you haven't found the time during this supposedly slower pace of the pandemic, consider handing this task over to professional photo organizers, [who do] the hard work of gathering, organizing, digitizing, protecting, and maintaining your photo collection so you can easily find and share important memories. Sharing your photos in any form makes a perfect, one-of-a-kind gift."Darla DeMorrow is a certified professional organizer (CPO®), Certified Photo Organizer, decorator, speaker, and founder of HeartWork Organizing, LLC, based in Wayne, PA. Her mission is to help people achieve a sense of peace and purpose. She is the author of several inspiring books on getting organized, including "Organizing Your Home With SORT and Succeed." Her newest book is "The Upbeat, Organized Home Office" (January 2020).Darla holds a master's degree in business administration from Temple University. She is an active member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals).Darla is a certified photo organizer with The Photo Managers, and a certified Evernote consultant. She is constantly honing her skills to provide her clients the best in organizing and design.Darla is the host of Organizing Elephants, a local access television show. She is a former member of the volunteer fire department ambulance crew, an avid reader and podcast listener, and the rescuer of a homeless Siamese cat. Darla speaks French and enjoys traveling to France whenever she can.When not redesigning client lives, you will often find Darla working on her own home — which she shares with her husband and two young daughters. To learn more, visit Press Kit: Website: Contact: Anita Jakab Kovacs, [email protected]

5 Mindfulness Tips for a Happier Pandemic ThanksgivingJulie PotikerAuthor, mindfulness expertMindful Methods for Life"1. Stay connected: Human beings are wired for connection, which is one reason this pandemic has hit people's emotional well-being so hard. Just because you won't be there in person like you normally would be doesn't mean you have to spend the day alone. Practice mindful self-care and initiate a plan to connect outdoors or on video chat for Thanksgiving. You'll lift your own spirits and others' at the same time.2. Arrive mindfully: I recommend taking 5-10 minutes to transition from your everyday world into the holiday family gathering world — even if you're gathering virtually. That short amount of time can mean all the difference between how you show up. Try listening to a free guided meditation on the Insight Timer app. There's a fabulous guided meditation by Rick Hanson called "Coming Home to Happiness" that is eight minutes long. It guides you to leave what you don't want to bring with you in a suitcase outside your front door. It's awesome. 3. Respond rather than react: Holiday gatherings are a beloved part of our culture — and they're also notorious hot spots for awkward or heated conversations. Even if you're seeing loved ones for a short outdoor gathering or a holiday video chat, you can improve the odds of your interactions going smoothly by practicing the PAUSE.Put a colored dot sticker on your computer, on your jacket, on your wallet or your purse — wherever you will most easily and often see it. When you see one of the stickers, let it remind you to pause and take three deep breaths, making your exhale a little longer than your inhale. (For example, breathe in for a count of four, out for a count of six.) Just that brief pause will break you out of the cycle of ruminating and worrying. You can even attach a happy memory to the sticker and recall it in your mind each time. That way, when you pause, you are installing a positive mental state. Take a breath or two and push that positive state into a neural trait, making yourself happier and more resilient.4. Practice acceptance and forgiveness: Family gatherings can be especially triggering if there are unresolved issues between family members, and we can get triggered regardless of whether we're on screen together or around the dinner table. Try a guided meditation for forgiveness and letting go. The Insight Timer has a category for forgiveness, with meditations and talks from some wonderful teachers.5. Start a gratitude practice: A simple way to get started with gratitude practice is to keep a journal. Notice times when you feel joy during the day, then take in that good mental state for a couple of breaths, allowing it to turn into a neural trait. What fires together wires together! Before you go to bed at night, answer these two questions in your journal: What are you grateful for today? What did you enjoy today?For a Thanksgiving gratitude spin, you could invite loved ones to join you in this gratitude practice, whether on the holiday itself or for the week leading up to it. Then, share some of your gratitudes with each other to celebrate and connect. Continue the practice year round to form your gratitude practice into a healthy lifestyle habit and reap the many proven benefits, such as improved physical and mental health, better sleep, better self-esteem, and much more."Julie Potiker is a mindfulness expert with extensive teacher training in a variety of tools and methods, including Mindful Self-Compassion. Through her Mindful Methods for Life program offerings and her book — "Life Falls Apart, but You Don't Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos" — Julie helps others bring more peace and wellness into their lives. For more information, visit Press Kit: Website: Contact: Jennifer Thomas, [email protected]

3 Steps to Rescue Retirement for Small Business Owners Pamela YellenPresidentBank on Yourself"Step #1: Increase Your Profits and How Much You Put in Your Personal Pocket From Your Business — Learn everything you can about 'direct response marketing,' as opposed to the dumb kind of marketing most businesses rely on. Using direct response marketing lets you track every dollar you spend and the return on investment you get from it. Equally important is to keep increasing the money you pocket from your business.Step #2: Keep Your Lifestyle in Check — Resist the constant pressure to spend by adopting the 24-hour and seven-day rules. Except for basic necessities, wait 24 hours before making small purchases. For larger purchases, like a new appliance or TV, you'll wait seven days to consider whether you really need or want that item before making the purchase. For major purchases like a car or luxury vacation, wait 30 days. Do this consistently for a month, and you'll be amazed at how many things you thought you really needed have lost their pull over you.Step #3:  Create a Safe Money Plan to SAVE the Difference — Work toward saving 20%, 30% or even 40% of your pre-tax income. It can be done, and if you increase your savings by 2 or 3% each year, you'll be surprised by how fast your nest-egg will grow — and you won't feel the pinch."Financial security expert and best-selling author Pamela Yellen investigated more than 450 savings and retirement planning strategies seeking an alternative to the risk and volatility of stocks and other investments. Her research led her to a time-tested, predictable method of growing and protecting wealth she calls Bank on Yourself that is now used by more than half a million people.Pamela is the author of the New York Times best-selling book "The Bank on Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street, and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future." Her new book is "Rescue Your Retirement: Five Wealth-Killing Traps of 401(k)s, IRAs and Roth Plans — and How to Avoid Them" ( Press Kit: Website: Contact: Jennifer Thomas, [email protected]

Gardens Over Golf Courses: 5 Reasons Agrihoods Bloom in Pandemic Allison SmithFounding PartnerOlivette Riverside Community and Farm"1) Gardens, an extensive trail system, a dog park, island park, and riverfront access allow residents to enjoy activities such as hiking, cycling, fishing, birding, and wildlife observation without having to drive anywhere.2) Fiber optic internet makes it easy for residents to work from home and stay connected with the larger world.3) Organic produce locally grown on site is available to residents and the larger community[.]4) Event spaces … provide residents with outdoor spaces for community gatherings, wedding ceremonies, family picnics, anniversaries, and holiday get-togethers.5) Planned activities such as performances, storytelling, arts events, and farm-to-table suppers help foster connections between residents and the land, and each other."Farm-to-table living expert Allison Smith is a founding partner at Olivette Riverside Community and Farm near Asheville, N.C. The region's first "agrihood," Olivette is built around a four-season organic farm and designed to connect people with nature, community, and their food. Olivette recently won the National Association of Home Builders Best in American Living Award for Best Green Community. Visit Press Kit: Website:  Contact: Anita Jakab Kovacs, [email protected]


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Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at [email protected] 

Virtual Events for Bloggers and Journalists in January 2021. It's time to break in that brand new 2021 planner and add some learning opportunities to your calendar. As of now, most events are still being set up as virtual gatherings due to COVID-19. As the year progresses, we'll see how the event space changes and if we go back to in-person conferences. Have an event you'd like added to the calendar? Email the team at [email protected]:                         

Blog Profiles: outdoor activity Blogs. Every week we highlight blogs focusing on a specific topic. This week is all about outdoor activities:                      

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