Following a huge overhaul of the French boulangerie and patisserie chain, Maison Blanc’s 14 shops are now positioned for the growth of the brand planned over the next three years.Maison Blanc co-founder Raymond Blanc told British Baker that the chain was “in the midst of huge changes”, but was back on track to deliver the authenticity of its brand values, with the business now returning to profit.The firm was bought by Kuwait-based Kout Food Group Company (KFG) in October 2007, having previously been owned by bakery group Lyndale. KFG UK was keen to go back to the original concept and values created by Blanc, who returned to the fold one year ago to spearhead a relaunch of the chain, which he founded with his wife, Jenny, in 1981.The financial model has been reworked, new staff have been brought in and it has invested heavily in training, said KFG’s chief operating officer Simon Wilkinson.The patisserie range has been taken from 120 to around 16 core products, and two seasonal patisserie products will be launched, three times a year. Its patisserie launches for spring are: Earl Grey Citron Chocolate Tart and Gariguette Strawberry and Cream with marshmallow. Wilkinson, who has been working with Blanc for the last eight months, said the firm would also expand the cake and patisserie range it supplies to Waitrose.Maison Blanc had previously bought in a lot of bread products from France, but now the bakery produces all its own loaves, explained Wilkinson, adding that it had a three-year strategy for its bread, patisserie and menus.Although there are also plans for more shops, the location and time has to be just right, he said. “We have identified around 30-40 potential locations, but we don’t want to compromise the quality.”
Bakery employers are being urged to sign up to a £10m industry bid for funding for training before they miss the deadline tomorrow (26 March).The bid is being put together by sector body the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink.Chief executive Justine Fosh told British Baker that under the government’s new Employer Ownership of Skills initiative, funding for training will be paid to employers to buy in training provision.She commented: “We are bidding on behalf of the food industry for £10m over three years. The food and drink industry has to join together to get this money and make its case against other industrial sectors. Bakery businesses can register quickly online to be part of the bid with a follow-up phone call, and that will give access to some of that funding.”In the past, public funding for training initiatives was channelled through training providers, such as colleges and private training companies, which made successful bids for public funds.These then offered businesses discounted, or sometimes free, training, with costs offset by the public funds.Now, as part of a pilot of the new system, £200m funds will no longer go to training providers in 2013/14. Instead, they will go direct to businesses that take part in a successful bid.These employers will then be able to select a training provider to deliver the skills training they require.Contact Liz Pattison at Improve [email protected] or telephone 0845 644 0558.
Neighborliness is something of a dying ideal these days, a once-cherished quality that most overworked, hyperconnected Americans now scarcely have the time to embrace. In one corner of the University, however, the dedicated group of volunteers who run Harvard Neighbors is proving that the concept is alive and well — and that the definition of a neighbor extends well beyond the house next door.What started in 1894 as a prim club for faculty wives has evolved into one of the least exclusive, most eclectic social organizations at Harvard. Faculty, staff, visiting scholars, fellows, postdocs, and retirees may join, along with their spouses or partners. The group currently has nearly 300 dues-paying members. (Graduate students and their families have their own support network, the Harvard Students’ Spouses and Partners Association.)“People may consider this an old-fashioned organization, but I believe it has and continues to serve the University well,” said Jacoba von Gimborn, Harvard Neighbors’ director since 1998. “The goal is simply to make people say, ‘I was at Harvard, and it was a really good experience.’ ”While that mission has remained the same over the years, von Gimborn stressed, Harvard Neighbors has evolved to serve it as the needs of the Harvard community have changed. As Harvard has become more diverse, so have Harvard Neighbors’ offerings. Daytime playgroups for international parents, evening lectures by faculty, weekend outings to art galleries or apple orchards: If it can be done in a group, Harvard Neighbors likely hosts it.“We’re here to provide what people need,” von Gimborn said. “Maybe in the 1950s and ’60s, that was a cocktail hour. Maybe in the 19th century, it was an afternoon tea.“Now,” she added, looking around the organization’s cozy, multipurpose space in the Loeb House basement, “it’s this.”As Harvard has become more international, so has Harvard Neighbors. In recent years, the group has been an invaluable resource for the University’s immigrant community, including visiting researchers or fellows and their significant others. One recent afternoon, a meeting of an English conversation practice group drew a gaggle of fellows and spouses from Poland, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and Israel.“I [wanted] to meet people in the same situation as me, because my fiancé works a lot,” said Agnes Ebinger, who emigrated from Warsaw in January for her fiancé’s job at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. While she plans to take courses at Harvard Extension School, she wanted a chance to practice her English in a more relaxed setting, she said.Insung Hwang, a visiting scholar in the East Asian Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School (HLS) and a judge in his native South Korea, found that the meetings offered a casual atmosphere he wouldn’t find in an English-as-a-second-language class. The one thing the group lacked? Male camaraderie.“It’s very difficult to be one man among so many women,” he joked good-naturedly to his all-female conversation group.Harvard Neighbors began to expand in the early 1970s, when Sissela Bok, wife of President Derek Bok, undertook the task of modernizing the organization. Bok created a system of neighborhood networks, spreading out to towns like Belmont and Arlington to hold “coffee-klatches” for Harvard families, von Gimborn said.While volunteers no longer show up at new members’ homes with trays of cookies, that welcoming spirit is still very much alive, its members stressed.When Will Doss Suter joined the University Planning Office in 2010, a colleague suggested he look into Harvard Neighbors. “At first I was confused, since I don’t live in Cambridge, let alone near the campus,” said Suter, an urban design planner who is now a board member. “But I think the name actually captures part of what’s great about Harvard Neighbors. We’re surrounded by a community of talented individuals from around the world, but all too often only interact with those in our immediate vicinity, department, or field.”The organization relies heavily on volunteers, who serve as board members, organize events, or lead interest groups ranging from a German book club to an outdoor excursions group. (Von Gimborn is the only paid staff member.) Volunteers are especially crucial in welcoming new members from abroad; in some cases, they’ve even taken newcomers to the region on shopping trips for proper winter coats, von Gimborn said.“It’s almost like a welcoming committee for Harvard,” said Scott Cipolla, a staff assistant at the Peabody Museum who leads the popular interest group Adventures in Art, which takes members on tours of area galleries and museums. “It offers people a chance to come, and they speak their own language, so they have the camaraderie of being in this strange land together.”Harvard Neighbors is also a haven for the University’s sizable underground art community, said Mary Lancaster, a sculptor and senior financial manager at the Joint Center for Housing Studies. For more than 30 years, Harvard Neighbors has showcased staff artists’ work, including Lancaster’s, turning the Loeb House meeting room into a de-facto art gallery.“There seems to be a yearning [among staff] for more opportunities to meet other artists or to perform or display their art,” Lancaster said. “But it’s hard to connect that interest with actual opportunities. Harvard Neighbors fills an important piece of that puzzle.”It’s not easy being a catchall club in the social-networking era, when it’s now easier than ever to find others who share one’s niche interests, von Gimborn said. But Harvard Neighbors’ enduring presence on campus proves that the desire for community persists, even in the Internet age.“People will use Facebook or the Internet, but they still want to meet people face-to-face,” she said. “We try to offer that connection, especially in a world that can be harsh at times. I think people miss that.”
Sarah Dimick wants to expand our understanding of environmental literature beyond traditional narratives that extol the beauty of the natural world or wallow in apocalypse. In her teaching and research, the assistant professor of English (who joined the department last year) analyzes themes of displacement, resistance, and justice in novels, poetry, nonfiction, and memoir. Dimick spoke to the Gazette about how she got started and the ways that literature can enlighten our understanding of the past, present, and future under climate change.Q&ASarah DimickGazette: When did you first become interested in the intersections of environmentalism, climate change, and literature?Dimick: Much of my work in this area began when I was an undergraduate student. I spent the summer after my sophomore year in college working as a backpacking guide in the Absaroka-Beartooth mountains in Montana. I had a conversation on the trail with a man who had been herding sheep in those mountains for decades, and he explained that the glaciers in that area were receding at an alarming rate. He never used the words climate change, but he was acutely aware that his home landscape was undergoing this dramatic shift. He was concerned about the availability of water.The following summer, a fellowship allowed me to travel to the Himalayas, working with a women’s collective located near Dharamsala, India. As they embroidered items to sell, the women spoke about how the glacier just up the mountain was receding quite quickly. I was struck by the way these stories emerging in two very different areas of the world were starting to resonate and potentially speak to each other.Gazette: How can literature help us understand the lived realities of climate change?Dimick: I have such admiration and respect for my colleagues in climate science, and I think their work, especially right now, is an incredibly brave undertaking. At its best, literature helps us remember that climate change is not simply a change in the composition of our atmosphere. Climate change is also a change in our practices of mourning and remembrance, a change in how we understand our history. It changes the ways that our lives are entangled with the lives of others, particularly as we look ahead to a future of displacement and precarity. These changes alter the ways we locate meaning within our lives, and literature can help us navigate crumbling ideas and imagine routes towards more equitable futures.Gazette: You analyze and teach on these themes in many areas including nonfiction, contemporary and historical fiction, and poetry. Why do you think it’s important to explore these issues across genres?Dimick: Often, when I describe what I do, people will say, “Oh, you work on cli-fi,” the shorthand for climate fiction. I do appreciate that emphasis on the speculative [in that genre]. But I think it’s crucial to consider the capacities of other genres and forms: poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir, and realist novels. They open other possibilities and are attuned to different audiences.Last semester, I was struck by the way that my students gravitated toward climate poetry. Repetitions and anaphora provided a weight — a certain heaviness — that students felt was necessary as they read through a semester of wildfires and unrest. I also think nonfiction environmental writing is absolutely crucial and understudied. I enjoy teaching “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore” by Elizabeth Rush. It collages voices from coastal communities in the United States, reminding us that the climate crisis is not a futuristic event but something already underway.Gazette: Can you talk about the courses you’ll be teaching this spring?Dimick: My lecture course, “Voices of Environmental Justice,” considers the relationship between systems of human injustice and environmental issues. We’ll be looking at literary portrayals of industrial disasters, ocean acidification, and resource extraction. We’re reading Ken Saro-Wiwa’s “A Month and a Day: A Detention Diary.” Saro-Wiwa recounts how he and other Ogoni activists organized a resistance movement against Shell Oil. As Shell and other international oil companies siphoned profits away from the Niger Delta, Saro-Wiwa framed the extinction of human communities as an environmental issue. He was executed for his activism in 1995, but his voice and ideas persist in his writing.I’m also teaching a seminar called “Resisting Toxicity: Rachel Carson, Dolores Huerta, and Environmental Nonfiction.” Carson wrote “Silent Spring” and Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers. Through their writing and organizing, both of these women campaigned against toxic exposures in the mid-20th century United States, but they are rarely studied together. Carson and Huerta offer us two distinct, but vital examples of environmental rhetoric. Carson crafted a meticulously researched case against the profligate use of DDT, publishing with Houghton Mifflin, while Huerta’s speeches and negotiations built a movement against cancer clusters and pesticide poisonings in California’s farm fields. I think they’re powerful complements and counterpoints to each other, and I’m grateful to have the chance to consider their work and their legacies with my students. Beth Blum traces how the two genres have influenced one another over history Reading as pleasure Related Befriending ‘Clarissa’ during lockdown Very long, even for academic book club, but themes of morality, isolation resonated Self-help books, literature, and how they help us live LitLab brings literature to casual gatherings The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.
As assistant vice president for Student Affairs at Saint Mary’s College, Sr. Mary Louise “M.L.” Gude, worked to foster tolerance for gay and lesbian students at Notre Dame. Gude will receive the Thomas A. Dooley award on Saturday for her service to the gay and lesbian community of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s from Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College (GALA). The Thomas A. Dooley award is named after a gay, former Notre Dame student who worked as a Navy doctor in Southeast Asia and continued as a humanitarian doctor in Laos after his dismissal from the Navy, according to GALA’s website. The award is given to individuals who use their faith to advance the rights of American gays and lesbians. Growing up in Cleveland as the oldest of five children, Gude said she always knew she had a religious vocation. “I wanted to be a sister of Holy Cross because my mother’s family had connections to Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s,” Gude said. Gude came to Notre Dame in 1983 and remained at the University for 23 years, until she became the vice president for Mission at Saint Mary’s College in 2006. She started as an assistant rector in Breen Phillips Hall and eventually became an assistant vice president for student affairs in 1998. In 1996, Gude helped found the standing committee on gay and lesbian student needs at the University. The Network Initiative, one of the first programs implemented, was designed to promote understanding and facilitate dialogue in the Notre Dame community. “I met quite a few students in the late 90s and early part of this decade through that program,” Gude said. The standing committee is now the Core Council, which hosts events such as CommUnity and Solidarity Sunday in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community. “Catholic theology is founded on marriage, and sexual acts should take place in a marriage,” Gude said. “On the other hand, LGBT deserve not just tolerance, but our respect and acceptance.” She also said the goals of the standing committee and Core Council are not based on activism. “We were not activists. We just want people to be accepted for who they were,” she said.
Walter Reeves If you’re thinking of monkeying around with Liriope in your landscape, check out “Gardening in Georgia” Oct. 18 and 21.Host Walter Reeves will visit with Wally Pressey of Classic Groundcovers. Pressey will show many of his favorite varieties of monkey grass and mondo grass.Reeves will also visit with Randy Drinkard, a Cobb County Extension agent with the University of Georgia Extension Service. Drinkard walks Reeves through a landscape that has followed the seven principles of Xeriscaping, or water-saving landscaping.Wednesdays, Saturdays on GPTVDon’t miss “Gardening in Georgia” Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. The show is designed especially for Georgia gardeners. It’s produced by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV.
South Korea adopts energy policy pushing renewables, reducing coal and nuclear FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Korea Bizwire:South Korea on Tuesday reaffirmed its strong commitment toward reduced dependency on conventional energy sources, such as coal, and more environment-friendly sources.The country’s new energy policy roadmap, proposed in April, was approved at the Cabinet meeting, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy. South Korea’s energy guidelines are renewed every five years with a 20-year goal.The proposal is in line with the Moon Jae-in government’s push to phase out coal and nuclear plants and instead move toward clean and safe energy sources to meet the country’s demand for electricity.“The government plans to gradually decrease the number of nuclear and coal plants to have a clean and safe portfolio of energy,” the ministry said in a statement.Under the proposal, renewable energy sources, such as sunlight and wind, will account for up to 35 percent of the country’s electricity output in 2040, sharply up from around 6 percent of the country’s energy portfolio in 2017.The country will refrain from building new energy plants running on conventional sources. Some existing coal plants will be renovated to run on more clean resources, such as LNG, according to the energy plan.More: Clean, fossil-free energy plan approved
By Nastasia Barceló/Diálogo September 20, 2016 The Uruguayan Army now has three Mobile Emergency Response Centers (MERC) that it can deploy in places where there is no communications infrastructure. The U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), through the Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay, delivered the equipment during a ceremony that took place August 12th at Communications Brigade No. 1 in Montevideo. According to the Uruguayan Army’s press office, the ceremony was attended by the United States Ambassador to Uruguay, Kelly Keiderling, as well as the head of the embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation and senior officers from the Uruguayan Army, General Guido Manini Ríos. The mobile centers are easy to transport, quick to deploy, and can be activated in less than 30 minutes, linking multiple satellite, radio and internet communications systems. Their generators allow them to operate autonomously for 7 to 10 days. “The MERC donation from the United States of America’s Office of Defense Cooperation to the Uruguayan Army constitutes an important milestone for the Communications Arm,” said Alférez Mariana Meza, from the Uruguayan Army’s Department of Social Communication to Diálogo. “It will allow us to form a command and control center whose goal will be to provide initial communications in disaster preparedness operations, emergencies, disasters and catastrophes anywhere throughout Uruguayan territory. It will also be of use in mission areas carried out under a United Nations mandate,” added Alfz. Meza. The mobile centers system makes communications equipment interoperability possible (including radio VHF and UHF, telephony, internet and satellite linking) — allowing them to get to remote places where there are no communication networks or where they have been disabled.” According to Alfz. Meza, one of the mobile centers is scheduled to be sent to Uruguay’s 4th Battalion, which has been deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Peacekeeping Uruguay holds a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council for the 2016/2017 period. It has 1,500 Air Force, Navy and Army personnel participating in several peacekeeping missions, mainly in the Congo (MINUSCO) and Haiti (MINUSTAH). During the equipment handover ceremony, Ambassador Keiderling reported that, in part, the donation of the MERC units will support Uruguay’s efforts in “peacekeeping at a global level.” Uruguay is recognized internationally for its constant deployment of peacekeeping forces. Collaborating is a fundamental part of its foreign policy. Historically, the country has had the highest per-capita level of troop contributions to UN peacekeeping forces, and it has also been an important political and operational collaborator. “We have participated in peacekeeping missions without interruption since 1952, and in total, over 45,000 men and women have been deployed in these missions, once or several times,” highlighted Lieutenant Colonel Alejandro Martínez, deputy director of the Uruguayan National Peacekeeping Operations School in an interview with Diálogo. “Really, we are very proud of the fact that in terms of peacekeeping missions, we have accumulated a great deal of experience that few other states have. Currently, in addition to military personnel, there are civilians that are fulfilling different functions of the mission,” he said. . Cooperation with the United States in defense and security matters is very important for Uruguay to be able to continue developing its capacities as a promoter of peace. In the next few years, the primary task for the two nations will be to implement military programs in the areas of security assistance, exercises, exchanges and humanitarian aid with the goal of promoting strategic relations in areas of mutual interest.
By Marcos Ommati/Diálogo October 26, 2020 Master Chief Petty Officer Class One Audrey Christie was the first female to be appointed Force Sergeant Major (FSM) in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), on August 1, 2020. During her military career, Master Chief Petty Officer Christie attended and completed several courses, including the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Professional Development course at the NCO Academy of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), located in Fort Benning, Georgia. On September 16, Master Chief Petty Officer Christie was inducted into the WHINSEC Hall of Fame. To learn about her upbringing in Jamaica and her military accomplishments, Diálogo spoke to Master Chief Petty Officer Christie about her leadership and guidance to her subordinates at the JDF, while facing a global pandemic.Diálogo: Can you briefly describe your upbringing in Jamaica?Master Chief Petty Officer Class One Audrey Christie, Force Sergeant Major of the Jamaica Defence Force: My upbringing in Jamaica can be best described as a dynamic and humble experience. I was born and raised in a little district known as Albion in Manchester, Jamaica. We weren’t affluent or even close to being, but no matter what I was provided, I was always grateful. I am privileged to be the seventh of nine children for my mother, Alice McClymont, and the second of four children for my father, Collin McClymont.My mother, a dedicated and resilient homemaker and fish vendor, deposited everything she had in her children. My father, a farmer and a construction worker, believed that my siblings and I were his prized possessions.Although my father did not complete secondary schooling, he ensured that completing at least that level of education was a priority for his children. He did his best and whetted our appetite to learn by teaching us how to read from an early age. He would ensure that we read and explain each section carefully, while being very analytical during our discourse.My siblings and I shared everything and seldom complained about anything. We all learned to be responsible from an early age, and household chores played a big role to that end. The fetching of firewood and water from miles away sometimes were not gender-based tasks. I would find pleasure carrying out these chores even before some of my younger siblings were awake in the mornings. I would then have to get myself and my younger siblings ready for school.My community was my safe haven, as everyone looked out for and did much to protect me, as home, school, and church were in neighboring districts. Back then it took a village to raise a child.I attended May Day Secondary School, where I would do cross-country runs. My perseverance was strengthened as I competed against boys and girls alike, most of them older and stronger than I was at the time. I was not at all intimidated, as I grew accustomed to this level of competition, having four older brothers at home.Humility and selflessness are strong traits that, back then and now, are consistently displayed by my mother. A particular act of selflessness would often see her sharing our meals but never taking a plate until she was convinced that we were satisfied.My father displayed the true meaning and value of hard work and dedication interwoven with a love for family. In so doing, while working in and through pain and under uncomfortable conditions, he demonstrated that goals could be achieved with that solid foundation. These naturally became traits that I adopted over time. That environment prepared me very well for my military life.Diálogo: How did you first get in contact with the JDF?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: I would say that I was first made aware of the JDF like most kids on the island — seeing the soldiers pass through my district on various vehicles owned by the force. On my walks to and from school, I would have the opportunity to see the soldiers going through their routines at Foster Barracks in Manchester, commonly called “solja camp,” which was a base for the National Reserve. That was always a spectacle to behold and left a mark on me.Diálogo: When and why did you decide to enlist?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: After completing my secondary education, I started looking for employment; however, with no prior work experience it was difficult to get a job. I was then encouraged to join the JDF by a former classmate and a family friend, Calvin McKenzie, who was a JDF recruit. I was intrigued with the idea, so on his advice I did further investigations as to the procedure that I should follow. In February 1998, I enlisted and completed Basic Training in August that same year.Diálogo: What characteristics resulted in you being appointed as the first female Force Sergeant Major in the JDF? Do you consider yourself a trailblazer?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: Hard work and dedication, as was demonstrated by my father, professionalism, attention to detail, and a passion for whatever area I am employed. I lead by example and incorporated leadership skills learned during the various leadership courses I have attended, in conjunction with upholding the core values of the JDF. It is very important to highlight the fact that I could not have achieved any of this without support from the men and women of this Force. I would not consider myself a trailblazer, as women have been doing extremely well in the Force and have laid the foundation for me to realize I can achieve my full potential. And this is quite evident in the promotion and appointment of a female brigadier as the Force executive officer.Diálogo: What does the fact that you are the first female FSM in the JDF mean for young women in Jamaica and even around the world?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: Women have been doing well in various spheres in society. In the JDF, they have been the empowering women who display aptitude and attitude for leadership at the higher level. Being the first female FSM means that gender no longer defines positions and appointments that were previously deemed to be male-oriented. It proves that the Force is evolving and that the Chief of Defence Staff is a visionary leader beyond his time. I sincerely hope that women will use my achievements as inspiration to motivate themselves to strive for greatness, especially the women here in the JDF.Diálogo: Do you feel the Force has changed since your tenure as FSM? How?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: The Force is currently going through some degree of change at all levels, being in the appointment for such a short period it is really too early to tell.With that being said, I can say that I have been representing my soldiers at the strategic level, which is one of my main responsibilities as FSM, and this will impact the lives of my fellow enlisted and their careers going forward.Diálogo: Since you assumed this role, have you changed anything in terms of taking advantage of the talent pool as a whole, regardless of gender?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: The Chief of Defence Staff’s mantra “Mission, Men, Merit” is one that speaks for itself. Based on his mantra, I’ve identified enlisted persons, regardless of gender, and made sure they are recognized based on the level of professionalism and dedication shown, which was accepted.Diálogo: What unique talents do women bring to the table when it comes to security forces?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: Women have a natural instinct to care and think outside the box. Traits such as gentleness, empathy, sensitivity and humility are traits that come easily to women. This is not to say that men aren’t capable, but a woman naturally employing these traits will get so much more from the soldier who believes there is someone who cares.Diálogo: What defines success for you or what talents do you need to be successful regardless of gender?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: Concurring with the profound statement made by Michelle Obama, which posits, “Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives,” my true success will be experienced in the difference I make as I continuously serve and represent the men and women of the Force with pride.Diálogo: You were inducted into WHINSEC’s Hall of Fame. What does that represent to you and the JDF? What does one need to do to deserve this honor?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: My induction into the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation’s Hall of Fame is a significant achievement, both for me and for the JDF. The fact that I am of a humble beginning and from a force in a small island state, to be elevated and recognized by a partner nation that is a world leader, is an awesome feeling. This recognition would not be possible without the visionary leadership we are now experiencing in the JDF. I recall a remark made by U.S. Army Colonel John Dee Suggs, Jr. during his remarks at the induction ceremony that the Jamaica Defence Force is so small, yet we are leading the world. That is an innate characteristic of Jamaica and most Jamaicans, of which I am very proud.Diálogo: What is your guidance to your subordinates during the COVID-19 pandemic? Is the JDF preparing for a new normal?Master Chief Petty Officer Christie: I have and will continue to encourage my subordinates to follow the relevant COVID-19 prevention protocols established by the Force to protect themselves, and also the necessary measures to protect their families. We are the first and last line of defense for the country. We have to minimize the unnecessary exposure to remain safe. As we have a duty to protect the citizens of Jamaica, we also have to be operationally ready to fulfill our duties.I would say this has already become our new normal and to remain safe will take some amount of sacrifice and discipline to protect ourselves from contracting the virus. It means a change in our lifestyle. The Force, in general, continues to operate in the COVID environment as our citizens continue to look to us to provide a safe environment for them.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Joe WinnAre you successful? How do you define it? From your member’s perspective, it could be in the amount of money you help them save. For your team, they may consider community engagement an important qualifier. Either way, success does not come by accident. It’s a deliberate result of focused acts.Given that understanding, here’s a question: Is your credit union successful because of or in spite of your efforts?I’ve run into a few companies which fall under the latter classification. By way of monopoly, past performance, or other factor, they ring in improving results each quarter no matter how they operate. “I bet he’s talking about the cable company,” you think, and you would be right. Each of these mega-corporations have set up a situation where they cannot fail. Want to see TV? Buy from them. Want to skip TV and just get online? Buy from them. How about a phone line? Yep, buy from them. And when your customers don’t have a choice, service can suffer with negligible financial impacts. continue reading »