When she was first accepted to Notre Dame, class of 2018 salutatorian Harisa Spahić wasn’t sure she wanted to come to the University. During the spring of her senior year of high school, the self-described “townie”, who was born in Germany to a Bosnian family and lived in Idaho before her family relocated to northern Indiana, was harboring some doubts about Notre Dame — namely its proximity to her home.“I didn’t want to go to a school that was very close to my home,” Spahić said. “I’m also not Catholic nor religious so I was hesitant about that just because I went to public school. I didn’t know what it was going to be like. So, it was just the unknown. And then also I’m not the biggest fan of football.”Still, Spahić eventually decided to come to Notre Dame. Four years later, she will graduate with a 4.0 cumulative GPA, having completed a major in biochemistry and minors in anthropology and science, technology and values. She will also graduate as an early inductee into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, a Marshall Scholar finalist, a four year member of the Dean’s List and a recipient of the 2018 Daniel and Anne Crossen Pre-Medical Student Award.Spahić said her decision to come was largely due to her participation in the QuestBridge program, a scholarship program for low-income students, coupled with a visit to campus.“I came on that spring visit weekend in the spring, and I think it was being able to actually experience academic, social and spiritual life on campus that really kind of took away a lot of that mystery and unknown,” she said. “I found out that Notre Dame is a fantastic place, and I do want to go there and I do fit in.”Spahić said her decision to pursue a degree in biochemistry was a result of her interest in both biology and chemistry, and she chose her two minors because they helped expand her perspective on the sciences.“I like biochemistry because … it gets the right level of what I like. So, it worked out for me,” she said. “Anthropology I picked because it was interesting. I took one anthropology class in my freshman year and I really liked it, so I just picked up the minor because it was easy and those have also been some of my favorite classes. It really kind of directed my interest in medicine.“And the science, technology and values was primarily because of the interesting classes they offer and the perspective on science it offers … I think a lot of scientists sometimes get too dead set in their ways, and science is absolute, but when you actually start looking at science and the history of it and everything it’s not as absolute.”Beyond the classroom, Spahić has been involved in two research labs — the Cancer Neurocognitive Translational Research Lab (CNTRL) and the Clark research lab. In addition to a job in the admissions office, she has also volunteered with a range of organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the Center for Hospice Care, Social Justice in American Medicine Club and the Notre Dame chapter of Timmy Global Health.Through her various activities, Spahić has traveled throughout the world. She went to Copenhagen to present research from the CNTRL and traveled to Ecuador to volunteer in a health clinic with Timmy Global Health. In addition, she participated in academic study abroad programs in Ireland and Greece.Spahić said her engagement was sparked by a desire to interact with the world beyond Notre Dame.“Notre Dame can be a bit of a bubble sometimes,” she said. “I think leaving the bubble was very important, especially because academics and things like that are so ingrained, but with community service and other outreach opportunities, getting to know other people that don’t necessarily go to Notre Dame, so exposing myself to people with different ways of thinking, backgrounds, was really important and what I wanted to do,”Spahić said the key to balancing her many activities with her academics was prioritization. She also used yoga to help her de-stress during busy periods and said balance was important to healthy life.“The thing I’ve taken most away from Notre Dame is having a balance of things,” she said. “And I think that comes into like academics, spiritually and socially, but then also family. So, having a great life doesn’t mean just being the best student you could possibly be, the best athlete you could possibly be, being the best anything you could possibly be — it’s just being the best person you could possibly be.”In the fall, Spahić will enroll at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. She is interested in studying women’s health, and currently plans to become an OBGYN.In offering advice for the community she is preparing to leave, she said students should have some direction but be willing to change their plans.“Something I like to tell prospective students is draw your plan in pencil. Just so you have a plan, like it’s always good to have direction in life,” she said. “But always be open to new opportunities. So that’s the pencil part, be willing to erase thing and make a new plan. I think that was very important in my experience during Notre Dame.”I didn’t expect to study abroad in all of the places I did, I didn’t expect to do all the research I did, I didn’t expect to join all the clubs I did. But it was just as the opportunities arose and my interests were piqued, I chose to do those. Definitely having flexibility with that regard would be my biggest piece of advice.”Tags: 2018 Commencement, class of 2018, Commencement 2018, Commencement Issue 2018, health, medical school, Medicine, salutatorian, science
MGN ImageALBANY – On Saturday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State had its first death related to coronavirus.The Governor says that an 82-year-old New York City woman, who had an underlying medical condition, died on Friday.The number of positive coronavirus cases has gone up across the state by about 100 from Friday. There are now 524 positive cases of coronavirus in the state, and of those, 117 people have been hospitalized. Cuomo reiterated on the call that people shouldn’t be alarmed by the rising numbers, because the more tests that are able to be done, the more positive cases of cornavirus will be found.“No one believes there are only 500 cases of coronavirus in New York State,” Cuomo said. On Friday, a drive-through testing facility was opened in New Rochelle. Cuomo said 150 tests were done on Friday alone at that facility of the 700 tests that were done statewide.The Governor also issued an executive order on Saturday, waiving the co-pay on telemedicine visits. Cuomo urged New Yorkers to take advantage of teledoc services their insurance companies provide. Using teledoc and telemed services will free up hospital space and the possible spread of coronavirus.There remain no confirmed cases of the virus in Chautauqua County. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Armed with colorful signs preaching peace and love, interfaith groups mingled with local Muslims in a parking lot adjacent to Rep. Peter King’s (R-Seaford) Massapequa Park office four years ago last month to condemn the hearings the congressman was planning to hold on “radicalization” of Muslim Americans.The “pray-in” attracted a diverse group of Long Islanders who were worried that the hearings in Washington, D.C., which had the potential of attracting a global audience, would further stigmatize Muslim Americans by casting a whole religious community under a dark cloud of suspicion.Several demonstrators were so incensed that they not-so-subtly accused the congressman of embarking on a personal crusade that mirrored notorious US Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s scorched-earth pursuit of alleged Communists inside the United States amid pervasive Cold War paranoia.Holding various pro-Muslim signs, demonstrators channeled their inner-George Washington, unfurling a banner that blared in giant, bold letters: “To Bigotry, No Sanction; To Persecution, No Assistance.”King, who in various interviews at the time scoffed at the notion that he was negatively stereotyping all Muslims, was hardly alone in wanting to explore the so-called “radicalization” of Muslim Americans.King’s supporters defended his actions during the protest outside his office, and they also came out in full force a few weeks later in New York City. Standing on the corner of 38th and Seventh Avenue on a cold, dreary Saturday afternoon, they also protested the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque”—a proposed Islamic Center intended to inspire interfaith dialogue but criticized as insensitive to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.“Never Forget 9/11: No Jihad Mosque,” read one sign that day.“No Sharia Law in the USA!” declared another.At the same time, a counter demonstration was heating up a few city blocks away. Hundreds of Muslim Americans joined interfaith groups in the pelting rain to reject the misguided notion that their religion is somehow responsible for the murderous misdeeds of fanatics, who, they say, have co-opted a perverted version of Islam to justify suicide bombings, attacks on civilians and all-around bloodlust.While the protests generated a deluge of news coverage—and, lest we forget, incessant banter from talking heads on cable television—they did little to convince King to abandon his plans.Four days after the NYC protests, on March 10, 2011, King, then the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, held his first in a series of five hearings in Washington, D.C. The hearing drew such a large contingent of media members that dozens of reporters were forced into a stuffy overflow room replete with spotty Wi-Fi and an old TV perched atop a rolling stand from where the proceedings were streamed live.In his opening remarks, King reaffirmed his commitment to exploring radicalization of Muslims in the US and—not surprisingly—expressed shock at the rhetoric the hearings provoked.“To back down would be a craven surrender to political correctness and an abdication of what I believe to be the main responsibility of this committee—to protect America from a terrorist attack,” King told the packed audience.Not only did the hearing ignite a tidal wave of controversy, but it also gave Americans an intimate glance of King: an outspoken and unapologetic congressman from the South Shore and a leading national security hawk.Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) drew both praise and widespread criticism four years ago when he held his first of five hearings exploring the “radicalization” of Muslim Americans. (Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)King would not be the only political figure to hold a public discussion on radical extremism. Almost exactly four years after King’s initial hearing, President Obama last month waded into the delicate waters of discussing Islamic terrorism, albeit without ever linking the two terms, holding what he called a “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) summit–and resurrecting yet again intensely passionate, polarizing views from both sides of the issue, drawing consternation from the right while also opening himself up to critics concerned about the effect the discussion would have on everyday, peace-loving Muslim American families.The firestorm that preceded King’s hearings did not materialize this time around; neither was there nationwide protests leading up to the summit. But the three-day White House event did spark backlash from several prominent human rights and Muslim advocacy groups worried that it would further stigmatize Muslim Americans by focusing solely on Islamic terrorists. Why not, some wondered, explore right-wing radicals and other homegrown extremist groups like the Sovereign Citizens movement?The same groups also questioned the effectiveness and intent of the White House’s CVE strategy.In an open letter to the Obama administration, a coalition of rights organizations raised longstanding concerns within the Muslim American community that the CVE—a practice in which law enforcement and community members essentially form a partnership to address perceived radical extremism in the community—could further erode trust, especially if law enforcement intends on gathering intelligence under the guise of community outreach.That deep-seated distrust was born out of an aggressive campaign by local and federal law enforcement to covertly investigate potential extremism in the Muslim community in a post-9/11 milieu. Their gripes concerning potential intelligence gathering are not without precedent, say advocacy groups. View image | gettyimages.com View image | gettyimages.com Since 9/11, Muslims have been the focus of NYPD spying—including on Long Island and Muslim Student Associations at local universities—and undercover operations by the FBI using informants to infiltrate mosques. (As the NYPD itself has admitted, the so-called Demographics Unit, which spied on Muslims in New Jersey, the five boroughs and Nassau and Suffolk counties, was unable to generate a single terrorism investigation despite months of undercover activity.) What’s more, the federal government, according to a lawsuit, went as far as placing men on the government’s secretive no-fly list and threatened to keep their names there if they refused to serve as civilian spies.Meanwhile, the recent slaying of three Muslim American college students in North Carolina and the fatal shooting of an Iraqi man in Texas, who was snapping a photo of his first snowstorm, has Muslims on edge. The latter case has reportedly been ruled out as a hate crime.This tension all comes as the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and other extremists groups in the Middle East and North Africa, continue to commit atrocities in the name of a bastardized version of a religion that the vast majority of Muslims don’t identify with, and actually call un-Islamic. Upwards of 60 countries are currently banding together to fight this new enemy, but there’s only so much this international coalition can do with bombs and brute force.ISIS has proved adept at using the digital age to lure potential recruits through social media and spread anti-West propaganda. Its ability to poach new fighters from western countries is of particular concern to US authorities, according to Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division, who addressed a House Judiciary Committee in February.The FBI estimates that up to 150 Americans have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria to join terror groups, he testified. Steinbach did not say how the agency arrived at that estimate.“It is this blending of homegrown violent extremism with the foreign fighter ideology that is today’s latest adaptation of the threat,” Steinbach told the committee.In response to global events and the concern that some Muslims in America could fall prey to ISIS’ propaganda, the White House held its extremism summit with leaders from several Muslim countries. While some Muslim advocacy groups acknowledge that the summit may very well have had the best intentions, they contend it still missed the mark.“CVE’s stated goal is to ‘support and help empower American communities,’” a coalition of groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Council on American Relations [CAIR] and more than a dozen other groups, wrote in a letter, dated Dec. 18, 2014. “Yet CVE’s focus on American Muslim communities and communities presumed to be Muslim stigmatizes them as inherently suspect. It sets American Muslims apart from their neighbors and singles them out for monitoring based on faith, race and ethnicity.”Essentially, the groups warned, as they did before King’s hearings, that the summit—and the CVE strategy—would once again alienate Muslims in America.“They’re basing these programs on an absolute mythical junk-science premise, and that’s what Peter King’s hearings were based on,” Glenn Katon, legal director for Oakland, Calif.-based Muslim Advocates told the Press. “Like, ‘What are we going to do about ‘radicalization in the Muslim community’?’ That’s nonsense, there’s no such thing. Are there people in the Muslim community who have out-of-the-mainstream views? Yes. And there are among Jews and Christians and everyone else.”“People’s political views,” he added, “even if they are extreme, have nothing to do with [whether] they [are] going to be the ones who commit violent acts.”Photos from NYPD reports exposed by the Associated Press of Islamic institutions throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties that were the subject of covert police surveillance.Cloud of IslamophobiaMuslim Americans for years have argued that they have been unfavorably targeted by law enforcement due to circumstances out of their control, thereby creating an atmosphere in which Muslims have bullseyes on their backs.They point to assaults on Sikhs, who are oftentimes mistaken for being Muslim, the aforementioned slayings in North Carolina and Texas, and well-attended anti-Islam rallies in Europe, particularly in Germany.And the wave of Islamophobia that has persisted, not only in the US, but also in other western countries since 9/11, is due in part to rhetoric from policymakers and hate groups, they argue.But suspicion has also been cast in no small part due to attacks perpetrated by Muslim adherents—the Fort Hood shooting in 2009 that killed 13 people, Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013 that killed three and injured more than 200 spectators, and failed attacks either disrupted through sheer luck or work of law enforcement. And masked thugs uploading videos of brutal slayings on the Internet while saying they’re acting in the name of Islam does not help the cause for Muslims preaching peace and tolerance.A poll conducted by the Arab American Institute in June 2014 perhaps best illustrates the deep divide between Arab and Muslims Americans and the rest of the country. The poll found that the favorability rating toward Arabs and Muslims in the US dropped precipitously between 2010 to 2014, from 43 to 32 percent and 35 to 27 percent, respectively. That earned Muslims the lowest favorability rating among all groups covered.Credit: Arab American InstituteAnother poll released a month later similarly captured unfavorable views toward Muslims. In its poll, the Pew Research Center found that Americans have more negative views toward Muslims than any other religious groups, including Atheists. (Jews and Christians received the highest overall ratings, 63 and 62, respectively, according to Pew.) The poll also discovered a partisan divide among respondents, with Democrats expressing significantly “warmer” feelings toward Muslims than Republicans (47 to 33).Credit: Pew Research CenterBoth polls were taken before ISIS began laying siege to large swaths of Iraq and Syria, targeting so-called apostates and enslaving women and children, and well before it began releasing horrifying Hollywood-style videos documenting decapitations of Americans and the caged immolation of a downed Jordanian pilot. The polls were also released prior to the massacre inside Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine based in Paris. It’s therefore difficult to discern whether Americans’ views have changed since the polls were first publicized.But anti-Islam rallies sprouting up in Europe in reaction to these events do indicate, if not a rise in Islamophobia, at least a willingness to publicly denounce the religion that nearly a quarter of the world–some 1.6 billion people–worship daily.What’s troubling Muslim advocacy groups is the way in which the US government is going about addressing extremism.“Targeting any American on the basis of political activism or religious observance or extreme views—as opposed to unlawful action—violates our Constitution,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, wrote in a blog post days before the CVE summit. “This is equally true when the government conducts the surveillance or when the government recruits community partners to monitor and report back to law enforcement. What results is a climate of fear and self-censorship, in which people must watch what they say and with whom they speak, lest they be reported for engaging in lawful behavior that the government vaguely defines as suspicious.”Much has changed in the four years since King followed through on his plan to openly discuss Muslim “radicalization”: The Islamic State has emerged as a new threat, the US withdrew (sort of) from Iraq only to return again, Syria is crumbling amid a devastating humanitarian crisis, and the Middle East and North Africa, which saw the collapse of several regimes during the Arab Spring, is seemingly even more of a powder-keg than the years immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks.Nearly 14 years later, Muslims are still at the center of it all. Battle WithinWhen Obama appeared before a slew of world leaders and human rights organizations at the White House on Feb. 19 for the “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism,” he spoke in broad terms about what causes an individual to turn to a violent ideology: social strife, politics, sectarian conflict, propaganda, economic woes.He spoke mostly about young people, who are perhaps more susceptible to online propaganda espoused by extremists than any other group of individuals.“We have to address the political grievances that terrorists exploit,” Obama said. “Again, there is not a single perfect causal link, but the link is undeniable. When people are oppressed, and human rights are denied—particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines—when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism.“When peaceful, democratic change is impossible,” he added, “it feeds into the terrorist propaganda that violence is the only answer available.”Obama was careful not to conflate Islam with extremism. He also spoke about the distorted impression of Islam in the news, the “lie” that the West is at war with Islam, and anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe.King was not impressed.“The way I looked at it from the outside, from what I heard, it was more like a touchy-feely type thing,” King told the Press about Obama’s hearings in a phone interview.King, who was among the voices in Congress who criticized Obama for failing to label extremists Islamic, said he believes doing so would actually have been beneficial to the Muslim community because it would have distinguished them from extremists.Asked if calling it an “Islamic Extremists Summit” would have provided ISIS with more ammunition to unleash as propaganda, King demurred.“First of all those groups don’t need any excuse, they attacked us long before Guantanamo [Bay], long before any of the things they’re talking about now,” King said. “No, it’s almost as if we’re afraid, or the president is afraid, or the administration’s afraid, to identify this for what it is.”Looking back on the five hearings he held over the course of 13 months, King remains adamant that it was the right step to take.“I raised issues that had to be raised,” he said, adding that the same issues are relevant today.“I think they were certainly on target…for instance the first hearing, which by the way people don’t realize I had three witnesses, two of them were Muslim Americans, the other was an African American whose son converted to Islam,” he said. “But the key Muslim American witness was from Minneapolis and he was describing [Somali militant group] al Shabaab and how they’re being recruited, and how they were being sent overseas and coming back from overseas. And now of course we saw the concern of Mall of America and al Shabaab in Minneapolis, so that was directly on-target.” [King was referring to a recent threat made against the huge Midwestern mall by the terrorist group.]King’s critics continue to argue that extremism by Muslims is not the only significant threat to American citizens—a concern also raised by groups that voiced displeasure with Obama’s summit. King acknowledged that there’s other threats, but radical extremists professing to be Muslims are of greater concern because of potential international support from terror groups, he argued.Although the summit was expected to tackle “violent extremism,” it predominantly focused on Muslim extremism, despite vast amounts of research indicating law enforcement considers other radical groups in the US just as dangerous—or even more of a threat—to the community.According to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland, law enforcement’s chief extremism concern is no longer Islamic extremists, although it was still a major worry.“Approximately 39 percent of respondents agreed and 28 percent strongly agreed that Islamic extremists were a serious terrorist threat,” the study continued. “In comparison, 52 percent of respondents agreed and 34 percent strongly agreed that sovereign citizens were a serious terrorist threat.”Credit: National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.When it comes to fatalities, those perpetrated by Muslim Americans accounted for seven deaths in 2014, compared to approximately 14,000 murders in the US during that time, according to a report released in February by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University. Additionally, since the Sept. 11 attacks, there have been more than 200,000 murders in the country, researchers reported. In 2014, 30 mass shootings killed four or more people, resulting in 136 deaths.Deaths caused by individuals who adhere to Islam, although just as abhorrent, are relatively miniscule compared to the total number of fatalities in the US annually, the research finds.“While small numbers of Muslim-Americans continue to be indicted for terrorism-related offenses, the publicly-known cases of domestic plots does not suggest large-scale growth in violent extremism or more sophisticated planning and execution than in recent years,” the report noted.Yet, Islamic extremism—although Obama didn’t say it outright—happened to dominate the conversation, according to people who attended the summit.“When the feds say, ‘Oh, we’re going to put on all these panel discussions,’ and they’re all basically overwhelmingly either law enforcement talking about Muslims or Muslims talking about the need to address ideological violence, that sends a very clear message to the media and Muslim communities that Muslim communities pose this special threat,” said Katon of Muslim Advocates. “And study after study has shown that is simply not true.”Rights groups also take issue with law enforcement utilizing members of the community to root out perceived extremism and essentially singling out people who may have radical thoughts but don’t pose a serious physical threat.“I think that the intention is probably good, the intention is to prevent violence, but if the government is essentially using teachers and social workers and coaches to gather information that will then be transmitted to the government, then of course that’s problematic—that’s a little more than intelligence gathering,” Hugh Handeyside, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project, and a former CIA analyst, told the Press, one day after an appearance at Hofstra University in which he took part in a panel dubbed, “The Globalization of Islamophobia.”For organizations skeptical of the government’s intentions, the issue goes far deeper than just how Muslims are perceived by their fellow residents, given law enforcement’s murky relationship with the Muslim American community.“As we’ve seen in other contexts, law enforcement abuses targeting one community will expand to others unless there are clear and specific protections,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, told the Press in an email. “Instead of clear and specific safeguards, the CVE strategy risks treating people, especially young people, as security threats based on vague and virtually meaningless criteria.“That’s not only stigmatizing, unproductive, and ineffective,” she added, “it alienates the very communities it’s meant to engage.”Daisy Khan, executive director and co-founder of the New York City-based American Society of Muslim Advancement and an LIU Post graduate, suggested the government focus solely on the terror groups that pose a threat—al Qaeda and ISIS—so as to not alienate the very people they’re hoping will help weed out bad seeds.“I think they were trying not to stigmatize the religion by calling it an extremism conference and I think maybe it’s time to just call it what it is and have a summit on al Qaeda and ISIS,” Khan, who was recently recognized by the Islamic Center of Long Island for her accomplishments, told the Press. “I think Muslims would rally around that. And when you can feel it and you try to give it a cover and try to frame it in a broader framework, you can’t rally the troops around what the issue really is.”For her part, Khan is embarking on a months-long project to give Muslim American families the tools they need to counter radical ideology. The project is similar to one Khan’s organization used in Afghanistan in 2009 that successfully got dozens of extremists to lay down their arms, she said.“It’s meant to protect Muslims from falling prey,” she said. The project, which will become a sort-of digital counter-radical ideology handbook, would make clear that the violent ideology is an abuse of Islam.“Because right now, Muslims don’t know,” Khan explained. “They think it’s an attack on Islam when people say this is Islamic. Yeah, they [terrorists] are using Islam, but they are distorting it, and we have to reveal that distortion and show people how they’re distorting it.“And that’s the work that lies ahead.”
40SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Hilary Reed Hilary Reed, founder of EmpowerFi, is an innovative thought-leader who has been involved in various aspects of strategic sales and marketing for 15 years. Her career began in 2000 when … Web: www.empowerfi.org Details Is your financial institution stuck in a rut? Does it seem as though you have been doing the SAME things over and over again with limited success? Has your staff been “going through the motions” for the past few years? Now is the time to change before that rut becomes a permanent black hole. Here are just 5 things your credit union needs to stop doing right now to ensure future growth, profitability, and efficiency.Stop running your credit union without a strategic plan. Having clear goals and definitions of success will help you to build focused priorities and activities that will make your vision a reality. These specific goals and objectives will help you determine which refined strategies and tactics will be most effective for your credit union. Set specific and measurable goals so that you will be able to measure your success or make changes if the success is not as great as you were hoping. Set a reasonable timeframe and re-evaluate your goals at the end. If you still have not accomplished your goals at the end of your time limit don’t get discouraged, simply revise your strategies and keep working toward your vision.Stop relying on your marketing calendar. Using a marketing calendar is great, but without a marketing strategy, a tactical marketing calendar can lead to inconsistent busywork. A lack of consistency in your marketing will create a state of confusion, which can lead your audience astray. Inconsistent marketing efforts will make members less confident in your product. Marketing strategies don’t have to be rocket science – at the very least, start by breaking down your organization’s strategic goals and building your marketing strategy around those.Stop disregarding your brand. Your brand IS your credit union. Your credit union IS your brand. Branding is a huge, sometimes untapped competitive opportunity for you to stand out among other institutions that offer the same products and service. Building your business around your brand will help you show your differential value to members and prospective members. Branding isn’t simply marketing’s job, it requires dedication and effort from all areas of the organization, and shouldn’t be an afterthought. Living and personifying an authentic brand will make you less of a commodity.Stop focusing on too many delivery channels. A single channel marketing strategy may not be an extremely common approach to marketing these days, but a reduction in number of delivery channels is something to consider. How many delivery channels does your marketing plan currently contain? Parse out every social media platform separately; count digital channels, traditional media channels, direct mail, events, community and so on. When considering which channels to eliminate or spend less marketing dollars on, rank the channels in terms of best alignment with your products, strategies, and long-term viability. This will help you decide which channels to allocate additional funds toward for the next strategic cycle and each year thereafter.Stop being inconsistent with your online presence. Digital and social media marketing can be great assets to your marketing strategy if used properly. It is one of the cheapest ways of marketing your brand while achieving a large reach, and anyone can take advantage. That being said, apparently not everyone can be consistent. Once you determine what channels will benefit your credit union the most, USE THEM. If you’re not sure whether an online channel will benefit your long-term strategy, then don’t use it at all. It’s better to not use that digital channel at all than to be inconsistent. Consistency is key, and costs very little.
Final appeals and supervisory review committee (SRC) rules are part of NCUA’s board meeting agenda next week. The meeting will come a day after NCUA conducts a briefing on its 2018-2019 budget, which CUNA will attend and give a presentation.CUNA generally supports NCUA’s proposals on appeals and SRCs. The appeals rule would adopt procedures governing appeals to the board that would apply to agency regulations that currently have their own embedded appeals provisions.The SRC rule would expand the number of issues that can be appealed to the SRC, and would also expand the SRC and update its operating rules. continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The HIA has released its latest Housing Affordability Index. Image: AAP/Dave Hunt.HIA’s Affordability Index is calculated for each of the eight capital cities and regional areas on a quarterly basis and takes into account latest dwelling prices, mortgage interest rates and wage developments. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours ago“Affordability in Sydney improved by 1.9 per cent as a result of the reduction in dwelling prices over the past six months, while in Melbourne the outcome was largely unchanged as price growth remains solid,” HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said. But Digital Finance Analytics principal Martin North said the index did not necessarily take account of the tighter lending standards currently in play. RECORD $11.6M BEACHFRONT SALE SWITCH ON THE LUXURY PROPERTY CONFIDENCE AT RECORD HIGH Housing affordability has improved in Australia’s capital cities, according to the HIA. Image: AAP/Sam Mooy.HOUSING affordability has improved in most of Australia’s capital cities in 2018, thanks mostly to price falls in Sydney.The Housing Industry Association’s latest Affordability Index reveals homes became 0.2 per cent more affordable in the first three months of the year.But the improvement was limited by strong home price growth in markets like Melbourne and Hobart. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Housing affordability has improved in most of Australia’s capital cities in 2018, according to the HIA. Image: AAP/Paul Miller.“In any case, in most centres, affordability is still well below the long term averages,” he noted.Mr Garrett said the current interest rate settings continued to benefit affordability, but it remained a challenge in the larger capital cities.“The root cause of the problem is that the cost of producing new houses and apartments is still too high,” he said.“Governments need to focus on solutions involving lower land costs, a more nimble planning system and a lighter taxation burden on new home building.” A house for sale in Sydney. Image: AAP/Paul Miller.
At South Brisbane you can get a view like this for less than $220,000. Picture: realestate.com.auMore from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoThe Brisbane CBD had a median unit value of $473,101, while close by Spring Hill, $405,351, South Brisbane, $467,662, Kangaroo Point, $487,604 and Fortitude Valley, $396,391 were all within 1km of the city and still had unit prices of less than $500,000.In Sydney the closest you could get to the CBD for a median unit value of less than $500,000 was Lakemba at $435,314 – 12.4km from town.In Melbourne its CBD median value was $487,071, but after that buyers had to move further out to secure something for less than $500,000. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 8:04Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -8:04 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenMay 1: Real Estate Market Wrap08:04 CoreLogic analyst Cameron Kusher said while there were more affordable unit options closer to many CBDs than houses, in some capital cities it could still be hard to find.“While most Australians still aspire to own a house, the cost of well located houses, particularly in the larger capital cities, is restrictive,’’ he said.“As a result an increasing number of buyers are choosing to purchase more affordable units which offer the ability for owners to live in more desirable suburbs at a lower price point thanpurchasing a house.”Mr Kusher said most suburbs in Greater Brisbane had a median unit value below $500,000. “Even within the CBD and surrounds median unit values generally sit below $500,000 offering a much more affordable alternative, particularly in the inner city to houses.’’A search of realestate.com.au reveals there are 2639 units within the Greater Brisbane area with an asking price of less than $500,000. 307/7 Hope Street South Brisbane is listed for just $219,000. Picture: realestate.com.auWHILE units are proving a much more affordable prospect for first home buyers than stand-alone houses, in some capital cities buyers with less than $500,000 can still find themselves a long way from townNew analysis by CoreLogic has Brisbane as the only capital city on the eastern seaboard where spending $500,000 or less for a unit will get you into almost every suburb close to the CBD.And in many cases units were substantially cheaper and bigger than those in the southern capitals.
Ben Sheppard and his fiancee Elli Turton have purchased a house in Townsville’s West End to ‘take advantage’ of low house prices.TOWNSVILLE’S median house price is poised for double digit growth by 2022 a new report by QBE Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance has found. Real estate agents are seeing an increase in activity and buyers are getting into the market while prices are low. Ben Sheppard who recently purchased a house in West End with his fiancee Elli Turton said he had moved to Townsville from the Sunshine Coast to Work on the North Queensland Stadium. “We moved up here about eight weeks ago for work and we thought the house prices were so cheap,” Mr Sheppard said. “We noticed that house prices in Townsville had been low for a couple of years and thought they’d be due for a rise soon so we thought we’d come up and take advantage of it. “We’re looking to renovate it (the house) and see what the market does.”QBE Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance (LMI) CEO, Phil White, said the Townsville economy appears to be slowly turning a corner.“Townsville’s vacancy rates have tightened, particularly following flood damage to properties,” Mr White said.“It is expected the worst is now over for the Townsville residential market with prices having troughed. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“Recent price drops also mean that house prices in Townsville are already at a low base … Our report sees the median house price up 10 per cent over the next three years to $345,000.”M Property agent Tracey Stack who sold Mr Sheppard the house said she had seen an increase in buyers getting into the market recently.“I’ve seen a significant increase in the numbers through open homes and days on the market have shortened for me as well,” Ms Stack said. “With incredibly high employment demand in Townsville at the moment, people already here and who are becoming more confident about keeping a wage are now competing for a home with new residents attracted here by a new job. “This looks like it will keep going as new residents believe our homes are very affordable compared with other large regional cities and the capitals.”
Delmar Systems and Maritime Developments (MDL) have formed a joint-partnership to launch LiveWire, an innovative solution for wire rope inspection and change-out services. LiveWire will be based at Delmar’s Port Fourchon, LA facility and will support the Gulf of Mexico’s offshore crane and winch market including floating production platforms, drilling rigs and construction vessels. The system will be suitable for both onshore and offshore operations depending on customer requirements, the company explained.Mark Williamson, MDL AMS president, said: “We are excited to be working with Delmar Systems on LiveWire, the second phase of our partnership which already features a flex-lay base in Fourchon. By combining MDL’s 20+ years of experience of developing back-deck solutions and Delmar’s 50+ years of handling and installing mooring systems, we were able to develop LiveWire and re-define the traditional solution for handling large diameter wire ropes. At MDL we are constantly looking at ways to evolve our product range and LiveWire is another example of our ingenious instinct leading to a superior product offering.”Matt Smith, Delmar’s VP of Operations, added: “The industry need for proper material handling in an efficient and cost-effective manner led us to the solution at hand. Delmar working with MDL to provide a technically superior product and overall service will undoubtedly change the asset owner’s perspective on deep water crane maintenance and operations. Delmar’s implementation and support service for large diameter long wire rope inspection, installation and service is a natural extension of our mooring methodologies and core business.”
OneNews 9 September 2014Parents who let their children try alcohol too early could be doing them more harm than good.An Australian study reveals 12 and 13-year-olds drinking even tiny amounts can lead to heavier consumption by 16.Today Auckland teenagers told ONE News that “12 and 13-years is possibly too young” and that “their bodies can’t really handle the alcohol at that age”.When speaking to adults, parents were also on the same page telling ONE News “probably around 17 or 18” and “at home” would be the ideal situation to introduce alcohol to their children.The study found 12 to 13-year-olds who were given even small sips by their parents were nearly three times more likely to be drinking full serves of alcohol by age 16.It also found that once teens were introduced to booze by their parents they were 15 times more likely to get it from other sources in order to keep drinking.http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/parents-warned-not-let-kids-drink-booze-too-early-6076484