The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) should move toward permitting private contractors to train explosive-sniffing dogs and make them available for use at government certified cargo screening facilities, the Airforwarders Association (AfA) urged a congressional panel in testimony today.
Appearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, AfA board member Chris Connell urged TSA to finalize its efforts to develop a program for private companies to use their own canines, certified to TSA standards, to meet federal air cargo screening mandates. Currently, TSA permits only the use of the agencys own dogs in cargo screening, and only at on-airport facilities.
Click here to download the AfA’s written testimony.
Connell, who is President of Commodity Forwarders, Inc., a Los Angeles-based freight forwarding company specializing in perishable products, said enabling the use of private sector dogs will help broaden the security options for freight forwarders who operate off-airport Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF), which are supervised by TSA.
We are not saying that privatized canines are a magic bullet when it comes to screening cargo, but they are a potentially valuable part of this multilayer approach another important tool in the toolbox, if you will that includes a range of other technology solutions that our members can use to meet their screening requirements, he said.
Connell told the subcommittee that the AfA had just recently surveyed its members and found that fully three-quarters of the respondents about half of whom operate CCSFs said they would strongly consider using dogs provided by private companies if they were given the option to do that.
While emphasizing that the threat to the aviation industry remains high and association members are determined to do their part to ensure safety, Connell noted that time is money in our business. And right now our company believes that we could save over a million dollars a year at our LAX facility if we had access to a third party solution deploying canines. And of course our customers would highly appreciate the time savings that this solution would help us achieve.
Accordingly, we are highly interested in any solution that can help us expedite the screening process, move our perishables more quickly through the supply chain, and still provide the utmost in safety and security of what we ship. We think dogs can really help us do that, he said.
Connell also noted that use of specially trained dogs is one of several methods for screening air freight that are identified in the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act that was passed by Congress in 2007. And he said that, given the track record of using canines in cargo screening, proceeding with a private sector option with solutions fully regulated, certified and monitored by government agencies would square with other screening approaches such as in-house x-ray and ETD, where the government relies on private sector solutions that are tested and certified.
About the Airforwarders Association
The Airforwarders Association (AfA) represents more than 360 member companies dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain. The association’s members range from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees to large companies employing more than 1,000 people and business models varying from domestic to worldwide freight forwarding operations. In short, they are the travel agents for freight shipments, moving cargo in the timeliest and most cost efficient manner whether it is carried on aircraft, truck, rail or ship. For more information, visit the association’s website at http://www.airforwarders.org.
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Change The Only Constant In Your Life Style
The Two Pillars of Customer-Centric Marketing
“Change the only constant in life style”. This is a simple yet profound truth that is lived out daily as the market changes to change the epicenter of marketing. Today is a customer-centric environment which businesses, big or small must acknowledge and embrace to survive in the harsh business world.
Google recognized the impacts of change to adapt quickly to keep pace for survival and attain market greatness. It is not surprising then that Google continues to excel with its rapid adoption of changes year by year from its search engine algorithms to SEO indexing requirements.
A growing emphasis is placed on adopting the best features that contribute to a dynamic user-centric search experience for users. There is a changing shift in the market towards dynamic content marketing where brands are re-structured intensely to provide valuable information for enticing potential leads to the brand and business.
Such customer-centricity demands changes in modern marketing practices which would boost the brand and business to stay ahead of the competition. Businesses today must establish two imposing pillars of customer-centric marketing to be successful in the marketplace.
Pillar 1 – Reshape Content Creation Strategy
Customer-centric marketing refers to customers’ demands and expectations which should be fulfilled satisfactorily by business marketers. The Internet offers diverse, dynamic tools such as Quora.com that permits easy access to understanding customers’ requirements and preferences.
These online tools allow marketers and business planners to identify the needs of potential leads as well as current customers quickly. Those indulging into such activities proactively over time would be deemed as market leaders in their respective industries. There would be a stirring of favorable sentiments such as respect and confidence towards marketers who are deemed innovative and bold to venture into new areas of advanced technologies in leading the way on better marketing developments.
Such proactive approach could also generate inspirational ideas and themes for interesting and new blog articles that users find relevant and fresh that connect them to the brand and company. Inbound marketing is known to be strengthened with relevant concerns being addressed effectively in the contents.
The market comprises diverse consumers who require market expertise in many areas of life where excellent and useful answers would boost the marketers’ leadership in the industry and market. This is part and parcel of adding value to the content that would be re-constructed to be rich and delightful. Hence, content is now designed and developed in a new structure that is fresh and more appealing to modern consumers.
Quality content in a customer-centric environment is associated with key focuses like storytelling narration and empathy with feasible solutions. Such approaches stir up interest and curiosity in consumers to initiate a self discovery for solutions which they could apply and benefit.
The bottom line in customer-centric marketing is to add value to consumers through quality content which they would benefit using effective marketing campaigns with the right mindset of pleasing or satisfying customers. This marketing approach focuses on the customers and not the brand or business.
Pillar 2 – User-centric Marketing
When marketers or business owners change their thought pattern and approach to be user-centric, they would design and develop marketing strategies and campaigns that would satisfy consumer needs and preferences. Businesses today must work ‘selflessly’ to satisfy consumer demands and expectations rather than their own ambitions in the market which becomes secondary.
This is the profound revelatory principle that is now established in the market for business success. The onset of the social media revolution changes branding approaches to be customer-centric where successful branding focuses on the targeted community and meeting its diverse needs and requirements using customized processes that present business brands more palatably.
Today’s form of marketing is having the tables turned on businesses as givers and not takers. When this change happens or is adopted by business brands, there would be a definite change in the marketing strategies and plans developed to win over consumers as customers who know what they want and whom they want from.
The new form of marketing happens when marketers research on changing market trends and customer demands to reward customers the way they want and not according to the whims and fancies of the business or brand. This would flood consumers with unique and fresh brand experiences that resonate in trust, confidence and reliability in the brand and company. Consumers are drawn into a special relationship that is underpinned by mystery, sensuality and intimacy.
A strong customer relation creates more business opportunities for the marketer and business owners to promote the business brand and offers. Marketing efforts become less intense with an established relationship that has trust and confidence incorporated to enjoy the best of user experience with the brand and business if proper interaction is engaged between marketer and potential leads or customers.
Reaping Results – The right application of this customer-centric marketing philosophy could bring about exciting business opportunities that would include favorable business results and outcomes. More traffic would be drawn to the website and brand awareness would be intensified with wider market recognition as more consumers are made aware of the brand presence in the market.
Word-of-mouth advertising is activated more readily from this marketing philosophy as customers are more satisfied and willing to spread the brand to their circles of contact and influence. Hence, marketers save huge amounts of money on intense advertising as satisfied customers prove to be the better alternative that is more convincing as proven by testimonies in the market. Consumers are more readily influenced with success stories from their own kind than professional business promos which are ‘white-washed’.
Conclusion – When potential customers recognize the unique and different approach the marketer is adopting in promoting their brand and business using a different mindset that caters to meeting their needs, their attitude and response would be favorable towards the marketer and brand.
This user-centric attitude changes the perspective of brand and business to put their priorities on customers who become satisfied with the favorable customer services to pledge their loyalty towards the brand and business.
Customer centric is a way of doing business with your customer in a way that provides a positive customer experience before and after the sale in order to drive repeat business, customer loyalty and profits. And a customer–centric company is more than a company that offers good service
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The Dallas YMCA Provides Runners with a Better and Safer Race Experience at this Year’s Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot
YMCA Dallas Turkey Trot 2013 logo
Warm up your Thanksgiving appetite with the Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot! The Dallas YMCA brings family and friends together to start the day in a healthy way. Come join runners, joggers, even walkers for great fun! The Capitol One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot is the largest Thanksgiving Day event of its kind in the United States. Starting from humble beginnings 45 years ago at White Rock Lake, the Trot has attracted thousands of locals as well as those who fly in from all over the world to experience the great destination event.
With the Dallas Marathon taking place just 10 days after, the Trot 8 mile course is popular among local running enthusiasts that are training for an endurance run. The 46th annual Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot expects to draw a record-breaking 40,000 participants to City Hall this year.
Whether you are a serious runner, just beginning your running journey or a family wanting to come be a part of a Dallas Thanksgiving Tradition, the Trot is one of the most fun and popular high-quality events to take place in Dallas each year.
The Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot is truly Dallas way to begin Thanksgiving day. It is so exciting to see the generations of families choosing to start their holiday in such a healthy way, states Gordon Echtenkamp, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas.
NEW Turkey Trot Race Course You spoke, and we listened to your feedback! Due to construction around the metropolitan Dallas area, the course has been re-routed to be a more enjoyable run for participants. The Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot offers two different races, with something for every age group and ability, starting at Dallas historic city hall downtown. On event morning, participants begin the race with an enjoyable run or walk through scenic downtown, Deep Ellum, through the Design District, and re-entering downtown with sights of the beautiful Dallas skyline.
Download a PDF of the 8-mile timed/8-mile untimed/5K start course maps here.
NEW Race Start Procedure The 2013 Turkey Trot introduces a new start line and timed runner corral. The start line has been pushed east of St. Paul. Moving the start line east moves the timed runner corral east of Ervay. There will be 3 access points (West, North, and South) to the corral. To ensure a safer and less crowded race, strollers and dogs will no longer be permitted in timed corral. All timed runners must be in the corral no later than 8:40 am.
NEW Race Safety This year, the Turkey Trot is being made safer with RedFlag, a mass notification system used for emergency alerts and other important information. Race participants and spectators can subscribe to be alerted via text or email about breaking safety information and other relevant updates or changes before and during the Trot. RedFlag is a service of PocketStop, LLC. PocketStop is providing the service, in partnership with the Dallas YMCA, to give event participants real-time access to important information and alerts affecting the Trot.
To subscribe to RedFlag, participants can text Trot to 444222 from their mobile phones. Text and email alerts will only be sent when deemed credible; such as important pre-race reminders, last-minute changes, severe weather warnings, or life-threatening incidents.
Dont Forget About Packet Pick-Up Avoid the race day rush and pick up your packet at Lukes Locker from November 20-27 beginning at 10:00AM. A map of the start changes will be located on the back of each race bib. Stay connected with us for race updates by Liking the Turkey Trot on Facebook. Its the fastest and easiest way to stay in the loop regarding the event, updates, results, photos, special offers, etc.
Get Social! Be sure to tag your pictures on Instagram and Twitter with #DallasTrot13, and you may be featured on our feed! Follow us at @Turkey_Trot on Twitter.
For more information on the Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot , call 214-954-0500 or to register or volunteer log on to http://www.thetrot.com.
About the Y The Y is one of the nations leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children regardless of age, income or background to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nations health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in 23 North Texas communities, the Dallas Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. http://www.ymcadallas.org
Colorado State University-Global Campus Gives Back Through Community Relations Grants
Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSUGlobal.edu) is proud to announce it has donated $ 10,000 to non-profit organizations in the communities of its dedicated employees as part of its Community Relations Grant program.
In addition to the incredible contributions our staff members make to our university and its students, they are actively involved in a wide variety of activities that make a big difference to their families, neighbors, and communities at large, stated CSU-Global President, Dr. Becky Takeda-Tinker. We created the Community Relations Grant program to give them the opportunity to accomplish even more, and truly recognize their hard work and efforts.
CSU-Global staff memberslocated in Colorado and across the U.S.nominated local charity events and organizations for the grants, and the universitys Community Relations Committee selected 12 deserving non-profits to receive funds in support of their causes. This years recipients were:
The Gathering Place – a daytime drop-in center for women, children, and transgender individuals who are experiencing homelessness and poverty. First Tee of Denver – provides the opportunity to children to have a fun, engaging sport alternative. Sprout City Farms – works with communities to create sustainable farms that meet the food access and educational needs of surrounding residents. Larry Silver Memorial Golf Tournament – raises money to support children and families dealing with cancer. Commanders Youth Sports – provides athletic opportunities to kids that promote sportsmanship, leadership, community, team effort, and life skills. Literacy Coalition of Colorado – promotes and fosters adult literacy in Colorado through professional development, volunteer training and referrals, and other projects. Westernaires – encourages self-respect, responsibility, and leadership in children through horsemanship and family participation. Judis House – helps children and families who are grieving the death of a loved one find hope and healing. Big Brother Big Sister Colorado – provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring one-to-one relationships that will change their lives for the better. Colorado Pug Rescue – works to improve the welfare and quality of life of homeless pug dogs. Elevation Blueprint – provides affordable English, financial education, computer literacy, and technology advancement classes to people in need. Life is Better Rescue – creates a better life for animals facing euthanasia.
As a state university dedicated to making a positive impact, we look forward to continuing to expand our involvement in the communities and lives of our students, faculty, and staff in Colorado and beyond, continued Dr. Takeda-Tinker. Congratulations to all of this years grant recipients.
Email Outreach(at)CSUGlobal(dot)edu for more information about this years Community Relations Grant program or recipient organizations. More information about Colorado State University-Global Campus 100 percent online bachelors degree and masters degree programs is available at CSUGlobal.edu, or by calling 800-920-6723. Class start every four weeks.
About Colorado State University-Global Campus Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) was created by the Colorado State University System Board of Governors in 2007 as the first 100 percent online state university in the United States. CSU-Global is focused on facilitating adult success in a global marketplace through career-relevant education including bachelors degree completion and masters degree programs. Embracing the land grant heritage as part of the Colorado State University System, CSU-Global sets the standard for quality and innovation in higher education through its expert faculty trained in working with adults in an online learning environment, and through its dedication to student retention, graduation and workplace success. Visit CSUGlobal.edu or call 1-800-920-6723 for more information.
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Best German Shepherd training tips
German Shepherd is a kind of breed that caused different oppinion among different peple. While some see it fierce and threatening, some others, especially who had a German Shepherd look at it much more tenderedly.
The German Shepherd is often aloof – they don’t often walk right up to a stranger but size them up, as if silently figuring whether you are worth their time. Some dogs take longer than others to warm up and create a bond, but once that bond is made is a dog that will face any threat imaginable to protect their family.
It is this loyalty and sense of duty that has made the German Shepherd a dog that willingly guided the blind, works as law enforcement, herds livestock, competes not only in shows but in dog sports, is a friend to the military and performs countless duties in homes throughout the world.
In the late 1800s cavaly officer Capt. Max Von Stephanitz sought to perfect a dog for farm work. As with many animals bred for function, what was needed locally was different than the dogs available. The breed today takes the look of a defined breed but not all are the same. A dog developed as a show dog might look very different from one developed for police work, which may have a different body type from one working on the farm.
American soldiers brought the breed to the US after being introduced to the breed in the military. The breed is still today used to assist soldiers throughout the world.
By the standard, the male should be 24-26 inches at the shoulder with females 22-24. They should be longer than they are tall, with an image of power and grace. Disqualifications from show include: cropped or dropped ears, nose not mostly black, undershot jaw, docked tail and all white dogs. There are many many dogs that are larger than the standard, or all white dogs, as well as all black dogs, that are still fully German Shepherd. For those interested in details of show conformation requirements they can be found at http://www.akc.org/breeds/german_shepherd_dog/
In early development it was felt the GSD should be above everything utility and intelligence. The breed is still today a working machine…functional in the ability to cover ground easily whether after a loose cow or an escaped criminal. They are distinctive in appearance and although known by different names are the same breed throughout the world.
The GSD is one of the breeds some pet food companies have developed special formulas for. They are also many people who feed a raw meat and bones diet. An important factor in feeding German Shepherds is food selection. Do not feed for fast growth – it does not necessarily mean a bigger adult but can mean a weaker adult. High energy food that boosts fast growth should be avoided especially in the rapid growth time of 3-8 months of age. This reduces the chances of displasia later. While selection of breeding dogs and testing hips and elbows before breeding is certainly a factor, equally is diet.
Many things vary within this breed. One GSD charges fearlessly into a conflict that includes gunfire while another trembles in a thunderstorm. Some have been guilty of biting while others would never except under extreme threat threaten a human. Some are bold in any circumstance, some are borderline fearful. Handling and breeding can make an immense difference in this breed. Additionally the breeding and genetic markers for disease can affect an otherwise suitable working dog. Genetic issues affecting the eyes, skin, heart, neurological system, digestive and skeletal systems are all possible within the breed – and most are found by testing before breeding.
It is this testing and the maintaining of healthy, tested clean lines that makes a good GSD an investment. A few health issues to watch for besides the hip and elbow displasia include thyroid disorders, skin allergies, Addisons, vonWillebrand’s disease, heart murmurs, cardiomyopathy, epilepsy, wobbler syndrome and spinal bifida can all affect the breed. Many problems show up at under 2 years old. A condition called EPI, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, is another issue that can be overlooked.
A more complete list of the health issues that can affect the breed is at http://www.awsaclub.com/healthgenetics/caninegen.htm – and remember that although it can look like they are prone to every disease known to canines, many of these can be eliminated by genetics.
Although not genetic, owners of GSD should be familiar with the danger of bloat. Like many deep chested dogs, GSD is susceptible to this critical emergency that needs immediate medical attention. This condition is fast-striking and fatal.
Do not be deterred by the list of health issues in the breed – instead, use that to choose your dog wisely. Understand that without testing you have the risk of losing a dog you’ve become attached to – and it may well be worth $ 700-800 for a dog that has a healthy genetic family rather than getting one of unknown background for $ 150 then spending thousands treating problems that are lurking unseen. For a tested, working and show type dog bred for temperament, trainability and soundness do not be shocked by prices $ 1,500 or $ 2,000 and up. Many of these come with health and soundness guarantees.
Dogs of 12-15 years are not uncommon. With a reported average litter size of eight, it’s important to choose mates wisely.
The trainability of the German Shepherd is well documented. The movie “K-9” and it’s sequels revolved around a German Shepherd, as did the infamous Rin Tin Tin. The first seeing-eye dog in 1928 was a German Shepherd. The GSD is one of the most intelligent dogs in the canine world, in one test just behind the border collie and poodle. John Kennedy, Roy Rogers and Franklin D. Roosevelt kept GSD.
Schutzhund, a competition not for the faint of heart, is but one thing the GSD excells at. This competition tests the dog’s intelligence, soundness, tracking abilities, willingness to work, courage and trainability. While photos from these competitions show dogs scaling obstacles and making spectacular leaps to latch bites onto the arm of a “suspect” it’s important to remember these dogs are highly trained. They are not vicious…they are trained to get to a suspect, restrain them and ideally get them on the ground for the safety of their handlers.
No dog, German Shepherd or otherwise, should be teased or mistreated to induce aggression. The difference between an aggressive dog and a trained K-9 is extreme. A K-9’s training is based on play – an aggressive dog is based on survival, and this difference is critical to understand. It drives an aggressive dog to unspeakable acts and reflects poorly on the many great dogs of the breed that are highly trainable.
A good dog with obedience training doesn’t need special training for protection. These operate from a position of defense of the home – and the bark of a GSD is often enough to change the minds of someone who thinks they want to do harm. The natural protection instincts of a good GSD is normally sufficient to deal with a threat.
It is no surprise that there are many heroes in this breed. Ceasar, a K-9 handled by Corporal Mark Sarna of the Shaker Heights Ohio Police Department, had a resume that included drug detection, tracking suspects as well as being a certified therapy dog and friendly with children. Griff, a K-9 with the Summit County Sheriff’s Department, and his handler Deputy Kathy Wilmot is another awarded dog and a great illustration as to the unknown these dogs and their handlers can face. Called to a domestic disturbance where the suspect was threatening to burn down the house of a girlfriend with her and her kids in it, Griff tracked the suspect through freezing rain. While he wanted to continue, the humans insisted on returning to the command unit and before long a second call came in. The suspect returned to the home and was becoming violent. A very dangerous situation evolved with the suspect assaulting the dog and handlers, attempting to kill the dog hands on despite being tazered. Griff not only never gave up but never shifted position – he put himself between the suspect and his handler, willing to lay down his life if need be. After the incident was over it was learned the suspect had commited an armed robbery just hours before, was out on bond and had a previous stint of 13 years in prison.
In the dangerous work of police and military work many German Shepherds have paid the ultimate price for their instincts and training. They serve faithfully and have confronted the worst of humanity, not only on a daily basis but also in events such as the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombing.
Because these are bold, intelligent and trainable dogs they must have a home that will TRAIN them. Select a good, healthy dog and put the time into training them. This doesn’t take 6-8 hours per day…it’s teaching things in small ways on a day to day basis. Left to their own devices they will be unhappy and find their own means to entertain themselves, and you probably won’t like it. A bored, untrained dog can destroy vehicles, homes and lives. Once trained then you can sit back and enjoy your beautiful, functional, intelligent and well mannered dog.
For the right home the German Shepherd is a wonderful companion and security that doesn’t fail with power outages. If yours is the right home, do your homework and find the best dog for you. They’re a wonderful breed with a big heart.