Meydenbauer Center 's 25 Years Celebration

Meydenbauer Center, a full-service convention center and theatre located in the heart of the greater Seattle tech scene in Bellevue, Washington, is celebrating its 25th anniversary by looking back at what has changed since its beginnings in 1993.

Meydenbauer Center ‘s 25 Years CelebrationMeydenbauer

The highlights of Meydenbauer’s contributions to the city of Bellevue—in response to the growing need to have a central meeting place for business and social activities year-round—are plentiful. For example, since 1993:
· Bellevue’s population grew 59%, from 89,710 to 142,000, while the economic impact of the convention center grew by 365%, to $58 million annually.
· Bellevue’s downtown employment more than doubled, to over 50,000, as new office towers opened and many companies opened offices in the downtown core, utilizing the convention center for meeting space.
· The convention center provided a venue for fundraising organizations to grow. Funds raised at Meydenbauer Center have increased from $2.4 million in 1998 to over $9.1 million today, a 379% increase.
· The makeup of the city moved from majority white to majority minority, and the convention center kept pace, with a mosaic of cultural offerings, a diverse workforce and increasingly sophisticated food.
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Mira Mesa ‘s FastSigns Top Performance Award

Patricia Caro, Outside Sales Professional at FASTSIGNSⓇ of San Diego – Mira Mesa, received the Bronze Sales Award at the 2018 FASTSIGNS Outside Sales Summit recently held in Arlington, Texas. This award recognizes sales employees who achieved sales of $300,000 to $499,999 during the 12-month period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

Mira Mesa ‘s FastSigns Top Performance Award
Mira Mesa

Caro is one of 82 Outside Sales Professionals to receive the Bronze Sales Award. Catherine Monson, President and CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc., the franchisor of almost 700 independently owned and operated FASTSIGNS locations worldwide, presented the award.

Caro was also recognized with the Outside Sales Certification Award, which is presented to sales professionals who complete an extensive certification program including curriculum and activities designed to heighten and expand sales skills. Upon completion of the program, recipients receive the distinction of ‘Certified FASTSIGNS Sales Executive.’

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Applauds Eight NAHREP Awarded Agents

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, congratulated eight network sales professionals for ranking among the top 250 Latino agents by number of transactions in the U.S., as tracked by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®).

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Applauds Eight NAHREP Awarded AgentsBerkshire

Honorees include Rebecca Hidalgo Rains of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties in Chandler, AZ, No. 12 on the list; Richard Rodriguez, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties, Hoschton, GA, No. 35; Diana Sifuentes, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices A Action, REALTORS®, Mesquite, TX, No. 67; Sonia Arias, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, Victorville, CA, No. 103; Gustavo Cardenas, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, Rolling Hills Estates, CA, No. 174; Francis Hiraldo, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gammons Realty, East Greenwich, RI, No. 203; Martha Lebron-Dykeman, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty, West Des Moines, IA, No. 213; and Veronica Faz, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier, REALTORS®, Roanoke, VA, No. 242.

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Snowflake Lane to Features More Cast!

Snowflake Lane Producer, Greg Thompson, will be taking advantage of last season’s new expanded parade route on Bellevue Way this holiday season by featuring the Snowflake Lane Drummers, Dancers and Color Guard to a much greater degree than in the previous 13 years of the holiday event.

Snowflake Lane to Features More Cast!Snowflake Lane

The nearly mile long loop from NE 4th St. to NE 8th St. will featuring 16 colorful holiday floats and over 250 performers during the 32 days this season.

Thompson plans to put the 50 drummers in the parade itself, allowing them to perform “up close and personal” with the crowds on the sidewalks and will alternate the 50 dancing Jingle Belles with the 42 Snow Flurries Color Guard down the center of NE 8th St. giving them plenty of room to ring in the holidays.
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Curating Cool 40 Years LA Celebration

Ron Robinson celebrates Curating Cool 40 years in the retail fashion business with the release of some special capsule collections and celebratory events at the brand’s flagship Santa Monica location and their original location on Melrose Avenue. In an era when online storefronts are hailed as the wave of the future, Ron Robinson proves that brick and mortar retail is far from obsolete.

Curating Cool 40 Years Celebration
Curating Cool

After four decades, Robinson has built a global brand that serves as a solid benchmark for quality and style, with stores that offer a carefully curated collection of personal and lifestyle fashion for men, women and children, home and beauty. With a different featured local artist dressing the walls of their gallery every two months, one-of-a-kind gifts, custom-made jewelry, interior aromatics and fragrances from hand-picked vendors you won’t find anywhere else, it’s no wonder Ron Robinson stores have withstood the test of time! Continue reading “Curating Cool 40 Years LA Celebration”

Organics Unlimited Celebrating GROW Month

Organics Unlimited, San Diego-based grower and distributor of organic tropical fruit, will celebrate its 13th annual GROW Month throughout the month of September.

Organics Unlimited Celebrating GROW Month Organics Unlimited

The GROW Month celebration raises awareness of GROW’s social responsibility programs. These programs promote sustainability, education and health care to underserved communities in banana growing regions of Mexico and Ecuador through the sale of organic bananas.

Since 2005, through retailer and distributor support, GROW organic banana purchases have provided more than $2 million in aid. A percentage derived from the purchase of each box of GROW organic bananas is earmarked for the GROW fund. These funds are used for youth educational programs, health clinics and dental and vision care in Mexico, clean water and early childhood education programs in Ecuador, disaster relief and environmental initiatives.

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Investment Opportunities for Small Businesses

The Q3 MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index (Index) released today indicates that the majority (69.7 percent) of small business owners have a positive outlook about their company and the small business environment in the United States. Their optimism continues to increase and overall business health is up one point from last quarter. The optimistic outlook, the current economic climate, and recent legislative reforms are creating a stronger environment for small business owners to grow their businesses.

Investment Opportunities for Small Businesses

Investment

“Small business owners continue to tell us that they are confident in the national small business environment, and, just as encouraging, most have confidence in their local environments as well,” said Jessica Moser, senior vice president for Small Business Solutions at MetLife. “This bodes well for the U.S. economy, as small businesses are consistently an engine for growth all across the country: purchasing equipment and inventory, paying taxes, and employing ever-increasing numbers of individuals.”
This is the sixth consecutive quarter the Index has risen and year over year the Index score has increased by 7.4 points. The rise in optimism reflects a rebound in national economic outlook and denotes the highest levels in the history of the survey.
Amid the general optimism, access to capital is strong. However, that access differs across all small businesses. Less than one-quarter (23 percent) of small businesses report that it is hard to obtain financing, but opinions vary based on recent experience with the financing process. Those having sought financing in the last year are twice as likely (41 percent) to report that getting access to credit is difficult than those that have not tried (20 percent). Businesses that have applied for credit at some point in the past, rather than in just the past year, were more likely to say it is easy to obtain financing (70 percent) rather than difficult (24 percent).
“After the 2008 financial crisis there was a decline in small businesses’ access to capital. Recently, Congress took steps to make it easier for small businesses to get capital,” said Tom Sullivan, U.S. Chamber vice president of small business policy. “We are moving in the right direction, but more policies that ease small businesses’ access to financing need to occur to ensure this vital sector of our economy continues to grow, create jobs, and positively impact communities across the country.” 
Small businesses that report to be in good health and those that stated they were not in good health were equally likely to have sought financing in the past year. The 71 percent of small business owners who say their operation is in good health indicate it was easy to obtain financing or credit, while only 40 percent of those in not good health indicate the same. Businesses in not good health are more likely to receive only a partial amount (41 percent) or be rejected altogether (25 percent), than those in good health (10 percent and 8 percent, respectively).
The longer a small business has been in operation, the more likely it is to receive the full amount of financing. Three-quarters (75 percent) of businesses in operation for more than 20 years received the full asking amount versus two-thirds (66 percent) of companies with 11 to 20 years in operation, and just half (51 percent) of those in operation for less than 10 years.
The overall optimistic outlook and current economic conditions have influenced small businesses’ reasons to secure financing. Nearly half (44 percent) of small businesses that applied for financing in the last 12 months are more likely to say they plan to increase investment in their business in the next year than those who have not applied for financing (21 percent). Additional motivators were to buy new equipment (27 percent), keep up with increased local competition (22 percent), expand/upgrade facilities, (20 percent), or buy inventory (9 percent). Only 11 percent of business owners said the financing was necessary to keep the business afloat.

Ben Bridge Jeweler Launches In-Store

Ben Bridge Jeweler, the distinguished family-run fine jeweler with over 90 retail stores in 11 states and one province, has announced a progressive new store concept and full interior and exterior redesign. Award-winning, Seattle-based architecture and interior design firm SkB Architects was commissioned to develop an engaging, interactive environment to optimize the shopping experience. The redesign has begun with its Westfield Southcenter Mall heritage store, which is now open. The store will celebrate the official grand re-opening on September 12, 2018, and the redesign concept will roll out to additional store locations in the near future.

Ben Bridge Jeweler Launches In-Store

Ben Bridge

Ben Bridge was founded by a watchmaker and today has one of the largest cohorts of watchmakers in the country. Thestore showcases this impressive heritage in the art of watchmaking, and the new store concept capitalizes on this artisanal tradition, putting it at the literal forefront as the first thing shoppers experience when entering the store. The all new ‘Alchemy Lab’, crafted with meticulous details like the woven leather watchband door, allows customers to actually observe watchmakers at work, seeing firsthand the craftsmanship that goes into fine timepieces.

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Home-Cooked Food Sale Legalization

The California Senate’s voted on August 28, 2018, to pass AB 626, which would allow the sale of meals prepared in home kitchens and improve public health safeguards around the existing informal food economy, would benefit many of California’s entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, immigrants and people or color.

Home-Cooked Food Sale LegalizationHome

Without the fear of fines, AB 626 would permit thousands of existing home cooks to openly access business education and training on safe food handling practices. Small-scale microenterprises are an important tool for those who want to grow their business but don’t have access to sufficient capital to enter the commercial food industry. What’s more, this bill would protect consumers by ensuring public officials have access to the kitchens where the food is prepared and protect their rights to use existing public health reporting mechanisms if concerns arise.

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OneClick.ai Joins NVIDIA Inception Program

OneClick.ai announced on August 28, 2018, it has joined the NVIDIA Inception program, which is designed to nurture startups revolutionizing industries with advancements in AI and data sciences.

OneClick.ai Joins NVIDIA Inception ProgramOneClick.ai

Available on premise and in the cloud, OneClick.ai’s easy-to-use automated AI software uses advanced deep learning techniques to design, train, and deploy high-performing AI models for a wide range of applications including numeric prediction, classification, time series forecasting, and image recognition. Powered by Generalized Architecture Search (GAS), which supports both deep neural networks and traditional machine learning algorithms, OneClick.ai allows users without any background in data science to upload any type of data and generate a scalable, custom model to deploy to production via API in hours or days instead of months. OneClick.ai’s simplified approach allows customers flexibility with a pay-as-you-go pricing model.
The NVIDIA Inception program will benefit OneClick.ai by providing computing and development resources and access to its global network of deep learning experts and thought leaders to accelerate global adoption of OneClick.ai’s technology in key industries including Retail, CPG, Auto Manufacturing, Aviation, Healthcare, and Insurance.
“We’re thrilled to join the NVIDIA Inception program, which supports our mission of making AI accessible to businesses everywhere,” said Yuan Shen, co-founder and CEO of OneClick.ai. “The collaboration will support our expansion into new markets and ensure our technology offering continues to be a leader in the market.”
NVIDIA’s Inception program is a virtual accelerator program that helps startups during critical stages of product development, prototyping and deployment. Every Inception member gets a custom set of ongoing benefits, from hardware grants and marketing support to training with deep learning experts.
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