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Naurt supercharges delivery industry as it goes public with innovative geo-location software


The global “last mile” food and package delivery industry is worth almost $990b and is facing immense pressures to manage costs and cope with demand. Helping them deliver on their promise and create operational efficiencies, geo-location start-up Naurt today announcing the public launch of their software which is set to redefine the delivery ecosystem. Having successfully completed over 80 pilots with a range of organisations, Naurt is launching with a £300,000 funding from venture builder Founder + Lighting to propel its ambitious scale-up plans. The Naurt platform is laser focussed on fixing the biggest issue facing delivery drivers: the arduous task of finding the best parking spot and the correct building entrance. By showcasing the optimal locations, Naurt guarantees quicker deliveries, ensuring parcels never get lost or delayed. This innovation not only enhances delivery capacity by 5% to 15%, but it also significantly impacts delivery companies’ gross profit margins by minimising the key industry “stop cost” metric. This measures the number of deliveries made per shift divided by the length of time it’s taken the driver to complete. During its beta testing (last 18 months), Naurt has collaborated with 83 organisations, who have reported a 6.67% increase in daily deliveries. This boost, equating to an additional delivery per day for drivers, translates into substantial financial savings for companies, especially when labour costs account for a substantial 40% of delivery service expenses. Founded in 2020, Naurt has been on a mission to refine GPS tracking accuracy. The company’s unique software-first approach has enabled them to deliver significant business impact and has been recognised by winning Tech Nation’s Rising Stars start-up competition, outperforming 627 others. With a rapidly expanding team, which includes industry stalwarts Lucy Woolfenden, former CMO at Yolt, and Cien Solon, ex-Zilch, Naurt is poised to scale the business. Jack Maddalena, CEO of Naurt, said, “We see many businesses miss out due to poor levels of location data quality. Now that we have proven our quality of location tracking and data, this will lift the constraints and open possibilities for teams. Naurt has unlocked this opportunity for businesses, with the delivery sector being our initial focus. It's become clear that accurate location tracking alone is not sufficient in this fast paced industry, there's a desperate need for location intelligence in each and every delivery. A lack of which is costing businesses and people time, money and safety. We have created a solution that is able to improve on this without the need for extra hardware. The work we are doing will be transformational for people and businesses around the world”. The current economic environment has witnessed a shift from growth to profitability. Final mile companies are striving to streamline operations, making Naurt’s solution increasingly pertinent. Their patent-pending software not only ensures efficient deliveries by determining optimal parking spots and building entrances, but it also amasses invaluable data, with over 500 million location points collected in collaboration with global delivery giants. Recent studies, like the research paper from Washington University, have underscored the need for intelligent parking solutions, highlighting potential savings of up to 27.9% in parking search time. This further emphasises the value Naurt brings to the industry. “We are confident that Naurt has a globally unrivalled location-tracking solution. Last-mile delivery problems are costing businesses millions each year and Naurt will help slash these inefficiencies.” added Conor Moylan, Chief Investment Officer at Founder + Lightning Looking ahead, Naurt is eager to integrate with numerous delivery companies, aspiring to become an industry-standard software solution. Their vision extends beyond deliveries; they foresee their technology aiding utility companies in asset tracking, potentially revolutionising maintenance protocols. About Naurt Established in 2020 in the UK, Naurt is reshaping the delivery landscape with pioneering software solutions. Our focus on advanced GPS tracking and precise parking and entrance data has simplified deliveries, boosting efficiency and profits for global delivery firms. As a winner of Tech Nation’s Rising Stars award, we’ve showcased a software-driven approach to tangible challenges. In partnership with industry titans, we’ve captured over 500 million location points, leading the way in delivery and location tracking. Naurt is on a mission to set the benchmark in location data across diverse sectors. About Founder & Lighting Founder + Lightning Capital invests in Founders to help them build, grow and transform their businesses with technology. Over the last decade, Founder + Lightning has built over 35 businesses, protecting Founders’ runway and business growth like their own. Founder + Lightning Capital has an ecosystem of investment, strategy, design and tech and is looking to invest in Founders building B2B startups. For more information and to apply go to: Contact Details Naurt Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 Company Website

September 20, 2023 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Get SAT’s new In-Flight Connectivity ESA Terminal was chosen by Safran Passenger Innovations, as part of the RAVE AeroConnect Ku IFC solution


19 September 2023 - Get SAT, an innovator in compact satellite communication terminals for ground, airborne, and maritime applications, today announced that it has been chosen by Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) to supply an innovative Ku-band terminal as part of SPI’s “RAVE AeroConnect” inflight connectivity (IFC) products. RAVE AeroConnect Ku is a new flexible satellite connectivity solution, which will be provided to airlines as linefit and retrofit options on all major aircraft platforms. The antenna will add Ku-band capability in addition to SPI’s existing Ka-band offering. With RAVE AeroConnect, airlines will be able to choose between various satellite services and multiple constellations. Notably RAVE AeroConnect will be available on Airbus aircraft as SFE* line-fit and retrofit catalogue option as part of Airbus’ Airspace HBC plus (targeted offer ability for 2024 and EIS in 2026) and enable airlines to connect to a choice of service providers. RAVE AeroConnect Ku is part of a complete IFC solution with a radome, adapter plate and various modem options. Get SAT Aero LESA represents state-of-the-art, low profile ESA (Electronically Steered Antenna) technology operating in the Ku-frequency band. It allows simultaneous connection with both Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations, to enable simultaneous multi-beam multi-orbit operation. This small, versatile terminal will provide airline passengers with unparalleled connectivity experience through true global coverage by its multi-orbit performance and higher bit rates with its multi-beam simultaneous links. Built specifically for airborne operations, RAVE AeroConnect Ku solution, which includes Get SAT Aero LESA, supports both in-flight connectivity and entertainment. The new RAVE AeroConnect Ku terminal from SPI, that was selected by Airbus for its HBCplus solution, leads to significant reductions in operating costs and boosts the user experience. This enhanced connectivity solution will ensure faster, more reliable passenger connectivity with greater flexibility. Passengers can look forward to a remarkable, seamless in-flight connectivity experience. Offering high-speed connectivity, the terminal delivers enhanced data rates, reduced drag and latency, and increased performance, thus boosting productivity, reliability and decreasing operational costs. This innovative solution, which allows data exchange as a unified aircraft system, is ideally tailored to support future capacity growth and digital services demand. It empowers airlines to offer passengers an exceptional connectivity experience. Get SAT CEO, Benjamin, said: "SPI has recognized our expertise in navigating complex SATCOM challenges, highlighting our contribution to evolving airborne communication solutions. Together with SPI and Airbus, we're gearing up to amplify the RAVE AeroConnect IFC offering using our innovative communication terminals, which are specifically designed to cater to airline demands. It's a matter of pride for us to be a part of such transformative steps in commercial aviation." Matt Smith, CEO of SPI said: “Safran Passenger Innovations is delighted to select Get SAT as the Ku-band ESA provider for our various airline and OEM programs. We are excited to disrupt the industry by providing agnostic and open terminals supporting the Airbus vision, giving airlines the freedom of choice for their future connectivity services. Get SAT has demonstrated their ability to meet the needs of demanding government customers and we are excited to bring this technology to the commercial airline market.” About Get SAT Get SAT is at the forefront in supplying Micronized Satellite Terminals, which come in a compact form and are suitable for ground, air, and maritime applications. The company's groundbreaking antenna technology delivers the highest level of efficiency in the most compact size. The LESA antenna technology is a leap forward in capability and form factor, enabling Get SAT to provide truly portable, integrated, full-duplex, wide-band satellite communications. Get SAT terminals operate in multi- orbit satellite constellations, in GEO, MEO and LEO. For more information visit Press Contacts Get SAT Ayala Pinhasi +972-76-5300-700 #122 +1-571-501-5150 About SPI Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 83,000 employees and sales of 19,0 billion euros in 2022 and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes research and development programs to maintain the environmental priorities of its R&T and innovation roadmap. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices. Safran Passenger Innovations creates innovative in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems using the latest in consumer and avionics technology to provide best in class hardware, software, and services for a premium, connected flying experience. For more information: Press Contacts Jared Siqueland +1-714-203-0525 SFE* = Supplier Furnished Equipment Contact Details Get SAT Ayala Pinhasi +972 76-530-0700 Company Website

September 19, 2023 11:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

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Ocean Power Technologies sees 1Q revenue climb as sales pipeline surges

Ocean Power Technologies Inc

Ocean Power Technologies CEO Philipp Stratmann joined Steve Darling from Proactive to share details of the company's fiscal first quarter for 2023. The results showcased significant growth, with revenues reaching $1.3 million, up from $0.7 million in the same period the previous year. The positive financial performance was attributed to various factors, including sales of WAM-V autonomous vehicles, revenue generated from a previously announced contract with the Department of Energy, and strategic consulting services. Stratmann highlighted the remarkable growth in the company's sales pipeline, which has increased by an impressive 215% year over year, now standing at approximately $85 million. This surge is attributed to several factors, including a substantial increase in defense and security activity and expanding commercial opportunities. Notably, there is growing interest from offshore wind companies seeking autonomous monitoring, surveillance, and survey-related services at various stages of project development. Ocean Power Technologies is uniquely positioned as a provider of ocean energy and intelligent data services. The company's innovative, low-carbon distributed and autonomous ocean power and data solutions, coupled with offshore engineering and design services, positions it as a key player in the evolving landscape of sustainable energy and ocean-related services. Contact Details Proactive Investors +1 347-449-0879

September 19, 2023 02:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Foresight to Present at the LD Micro Main Event XVI

Foresight Autonomous Holdings Ltd.

Foresight Autonomous Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq and TASE: FRSX) (“Foresight” or the “Company”), an innovator in automotive vision systems, today announced that Eli Yoresh, Chief Financial Officer, and Doron Cohadier, VP of Business Development, will present at the LD Micro Main Event XVI in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday, October 3 rd, 2023, at 2:00pm PT / 5:00pm ET. Management will be available for one-on-one meetings on October 3 rd and 4 th. To schedule a meeting, please contact LD Micro or Miri Segal at A webcast of the presentation will be streamed live at the following link: About LD Micro LD Micro aims to be the most essential resource in the micro-cap world. Whether it is the Index, comprehensive data, or hosting the most significant events annually, LD's sole mission is to serve as an invaluable asset for all those interested in finding the next generation of great companies. To learn more about LD Micro, visit About Foresight Foresight Autonomous Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq and TASE: FRSX) is a technology company developing smart multi-spectral vision software solutions and cellular-based applications. Through the Company’s wholly owned subsidiaries, Foresight Automotive Ltd., Foresight Changzhou Automotive Ltd. and Eye-Net Mobile Ltd., Foresight develops both “in-line-of-sight” vision systems and “beyond-line-of-sight” accident-prevention solutions. Foresight’s vision solutions include modules of automatic calibration and dense three-dimensional (3D) point cloud that can be applied to different markets such as automotive, defense, autonomous vehicles and heavy industrial equipment. Eye-Net Mobile’s cellular-based solution suite provides real-time pre-collision alerts to enhance road safety and situational awareness for all road users in the urban mobility environment by incorporating cutting-edge AI technology and advanced analytics. For more information about Foresight and its wholly owned subsidiary, Foresight Automotive, visit, follow @ForesightAuto1 on Twitter, or join Foresight Automotive on LinkedIn. Contact Details Investor Relations Contact: Miri Segal-Scharia, CEO, MS-IR LLC +1 917-607-8654 Company Website

September 18, 2023 09:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Hanson Lab Solutions, One of The Most Experienced Suppliers in Laboratory Furniture, Expands

Hanson Lab Solutions

Hanson Lab Solutions, known as the largest single-source supplier of steel laboratory casework in the Western United States, proudly announces a significant expansion of its national presence. In a strategic move, Hanson Lab Solutions has been acquired by Progress Equity Partners, a prominent private equity company, fueling its nationwide growth and innovation. Hanson Lab Solutions Announces Expansion Hanson has gained a reputation for its revolutionary Agility™ laboratory benches, characterized by robust, heavy-gauge construction and premier modular capabilities that offer unrivaled flexibility. This expansion is marked by two remarkable developments: the introduction of Hanson Express, an enhanced quick ship program, and the launch of the innovative M-Series workstations. Hanson Express - Redefining Speed and Selection Hanson Lab Solutions is rebranding its quick ship program, formerly known as Looped Logic, to Hanson Express. Established in 2006, Looped Logic was the staple of quick ship programs, enabling customers to swiftly receive high-quality laboratory furniture and equipment. Today, Hanson Express boasts an impressive inventory of over 1000 linear feet of laboratory tables, cabinets, fume hoods and accessories ready for immediate shipping. This rapid fulfillment service is reinforced by a commitment to maintaining all the services that made Looped Logic exceptional while expanding product offerings. Introducing M-Series: Workstations for Modern Lab Environments A new addition to Hanson Lab Solutions' product lineup is the M-Series workstations. These modular bench systems are designed to meet the demands of modern laboratories, offering advanced field adaptability features such as integrated power, gas, data, lighting and even USB compatibility. The M-Series Tables provide a blend of sleek design and functionality, all with adjustable height countertops. Constructed from heavy-gauge materials, they ensure durability and reliability even in the most demanding laboratory environments, all while offering a competitive price point. About Hanson Lab Solutions Shaping Future-Ready Labs for Over 50 Years Hanson Lab Solutions, a full-service manufacturer of laboratory tables, cabinets, fume hoods and accessories, has shaped more than 30,000 laboratories across Life Sciences, Biotech, Pharmaceutical and Institutional industries. Our broad range of modular products includes the new high-quality M-series lab furniture and cutting-edge Agility™ workstations that can be easily reconfigured to meet any lab need. As a direct manufacturer,­­­ our unmatched delivery speed, comprehensive suite of services, and unparalleled quality set us apart. With our dedicated project team guiding you every step of the way, we provide end-to-end solutions, from planning to installation, crafting efficient and innovative workspaces tailored to your specific needs. Learn more about Hanson Lab Solutions at or contact us at or 805-498-3121. Contact Details Chief Outsiders Sandy Barger +1 818-331-0258 Company Website

September 13, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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How Clean Energy Jobs are Driving the Economy


The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is the largest investment in climate and clean energy in U.S. history, and within the last year, companies have created more than 170,600 new clean energy jobs nationwide. Recently, Lori Lodes, the Executive Director of Climate Power, and Gina McCarthy, Former White House Climate Advisor, participated in a nationwide satellite media tour to discuss how families are benefitting from the law and how clean energy jobs are reshaping the economy. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: Clean energy projects created 170,606 new jobs in 44 states between August 16, 2022 and July 20, 2023. There are 272 new clean energy projects in small towns and big cities nationwide, totaling $278 billion in new investments. Plans include 91 new battery manufacturing sites in places like Tucson, Arizona; Rochester, New York; and Florence County, South Carolina. So far, companies have announced plans for 65 new or expanded electric vehicle manufacturing facilities in Savannah, Georgia; Montgomery, Alabama; Auburn Hills, Michigan — and more. A further 84 plans were announced to develop wind and solar manufacturing in cities including Cochranton, Pennsylvania; Pensacola, Florida; and Georgetown, Texas. The majority of projects are in five states — Michigan, Georgia, South Carolina, California, and Texas. The jobs being created across the country are good-paying opportunities for electricians, mechanics, construction workers, technicians, support staff, and thousands of others. Many of these clean energy jobs come with higher wages and good benefits without requiring a four-year degree — meaning they’re accessible to most Americans. For more information, visit About Lori Lodes Lori Lodes is the executive director of Climate Power, a strategic communications operation focused on building political will and public support for bold climate action. It was founded going into the 2020 US presidential election and played a key role in establishing climate as a core message for the Biden campaign and Build Back Better agenda. Before stewarding Climate Power, Lori spent a handful of years in corporate communications at Apple. She was deputy director of communications for Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016, and she spent many years working on communication initiatives for the Affordable Care Act and About Gina McCarthy The first White House National Climate Advisor and former U.S. EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, is one of the nation’s most respected voices on climate change, the environment, and public health. As head of the Climate Policy Office, McCarthy’s leadership led to the most aggressive action on climate in U.S. history, creating new jobs and unprecedented clean energy innovation and investments across the country. Her commitment to bold action, supported by the climate and clean energy provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, restored U.S. climate leadership on a global stage and put a new U.S. national target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 within reach. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727

September 12, 2023 01:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Ascento rolls out latest autonomous security patrolling robot with new $4.3m funding round to tackle global security guard personnel shortage


Labour shortages have affected large parts of the world and various industries. The security industry is also feeling the crunch, with many countries around the world facing a 52% staff shortage of security guards* which means companies are struggling to fulfill contractual obligations or sign new business. In addressing this pressing issue, robotics startup Ascento, is today announcing a $4.3m funding round and the launch of its latest autonomous outdoor security patrolling robot: Ascento Guard. The pre-seed funding round was led by Wingman Venture and Playfair with participation from marquee investors including Tim Kentley-Klay (Founder of Zoox that exited to Amazon), robotics industry veteran Ryan Gariepy (CTO & Co-Founder of Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors), Daniel Kottlarz (Founder of MYBOTSHOP, largest robotics research reseller in Europe) and Tobias Redlin (Founder of IGO3D, largest desktop 3D printer distributor in Europe), including non-dilutive funding from the Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse and the European Space Agency incubator ESA BIC. Ascento develops advanced robotic systems that are popularly known for their wheel-leg design. These autonomous robots are designed to navigate any outdoor terrains with agility and stability of their legs. They are already being deployed on large industrial sites and have covered over 3000 km for outdoor security since early this year. Ascento customers include large outdoor warehouses, industrial manufacturing and pharma campus, among others. Today, the startup has launched their latest autonomous outdoor security patrolling robot called Ascento Guard. It is able to detect bad actors or unwanted people on premises, verify perimeter integrity, check that doors and windows are closed, record property lights, identify floods and fires, and control parking lots. They can move at walking speed (4.5km/h) and come with autonomous charging such that the system can be continuously in operation without human intervention. The Ascento Guard can be installed and deployed within a few hours, allowing companies to save from day 1 and adapt fast to their current security needs. The Ascento Guard can be hired by the hour, just like a human guard, and it includes deployment, 24/7 support, service and repairs. The Ascento App analyses video and images with AI, it integrates with existing video management systems, provides end-to-end encrypted two-way communication, and offers powerful reports that security managers actually want to see. Alessandro Morra, co-founder and CEO of Ascento commented: “The new Ascento Guard offers hope and a breath of fresh air for the security industry facing some pressing challenges. By supporting human security personnel with the Ascento Guard, security companies can offer a lean solution through which Ascento does the heavy lifting allowing humans to focus on the unique nuances of the work”. The global security industry is facing mounting challenges. Labour shortages mean a lack of qualified personnel available to do the work which involves long shifts, during anti-social hours or in bad weather. To compound matters, there is high staff turnover in the industry, as much as 47% annually. By providing a robotics-as-a-service solution to security companies, Ascento aims to address these challenges. Alessandro Morra added: “Ascento is targeting the high operating costs the industry is enduring. The traditional approach is to use either people or fixed installed cameras. We know about the labour challenges and the installation of cameras has a huge outlay that can be complex. The Ascento Guard provides the best of both worlds, with the resilience, reliability and repeatability of technical solutions whilst being as flexible as human guards.” Ascento was co-founded by Alessandro Morra (CEO), Miguel de la Iglesia Valls (CTO), Ciro Salzmann and Dominik Mannhart (Software & Hardware) who combined their experience as security guards together with the robotics technology that they developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) as students. The team has grown to >10 people, as new customers sign up every month, with a growing fleet mileage over 70% month over month since the beginning of 2023. The systems in the field have accumulated over 3000 km. Ascento is hiring across Sales and Operations to scale their fleet of Ascento Guards. Pascal Mathis, Founding Partner at Wingman Ventures commented: “We accompanied the founder team for over a year as sparring partners and the dedication, execution speed and how the team is listening to its customers to build the right solution is astonishing. We look forward to making the life of security guards easier and the objects they protect safer.” Chris Smith, Managing Partner at Playfair commented: “Many of the world’s most pressing business challenges cannot be solved by software alone. We see the next decade as providing a huge opportunity for companies building in robotics to solve these challenges. Ascento’s combination of a world class team, best in class technology and a large global market with significant labour and pricing pressures made this a compelling investment opportunity for us.” * Gitnux Market Data, Security Guard Industry 2023: Statistics And Trends About Ascento Ascento provides robotic guards and AI software to patrol large, outdoor, private properties. It includes points of interest checking, edge case detection, all powered by proprietary AI. Premises like manufacturing plants, data centres, energy production, pharma manufacturing, luxury manufacturing and outdoor warehousing use the Ascento solution. For more information please visit: or follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, X About Wingman Ventures Wingman Ventures is Switzerland’s leading pre-seed fund, backing founder teams building tech companies with the potential to become global market leaders. Wingman has a track record of supporting exceptional founders in creating breakthrough companies and has the passionate conviction that the Swiss startup ecosystem is just starting to write its best success stories. To learn more, please visit About Playfair Capital Playfair Capital is a generalist fund with a contrarian approach to pre-seed technology investing. Based in London, Playfair invests across the UK and Europe with an intentionally high conviction, low volume approach: making 6-8 investments a year and preserving time, capital and resource to help companies post-investment. Playfair has backed 70+ companies across two funds including Thought Machine, Andela, Mapillary, Recycleye and Orca AI. Contact Details Ascento Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 Company Website

September 12, 2023 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise Owner Mark Barnes Shares Keys to Tripling Sales & Growing Into Million-Dollar Business in Bakersfield, CA

Minuteman Press International Inc.

In the three and a half years since Mark Barnes purchased the Minuteman Press franchise in Bakersfield, CA located at 4500 Easton Drive, he has more than tripled his sales. Mark shares, “Before the acquisition in December of 2019, the prior year’s sales totaled just under $500,000. Our current 12-month sales (as of August of 2023) is just over $1.75 million.” In 2023, Mark became one of the newest members of the Minuteman Press International President’s Club for top performers (based on 2022 yearly sales). Mark shares his keys to growing the business as well as his journey to Minuteman Press in Bakersfield. He also gives his thoughts on the printing industry today, what it’s like owning a business in Bakersfield, the ongoing franchise support he’s received from Minuteman Press, and more. What does it mean to you to be a member of the Minuteman Press President’s Club? Mark Barnes: “Making the President’s Club has always been a goal from the very beginning! We knew it wouldn’t be easy and it would take a lot of hard work and a little time, but we knew with the right team, and the right approach, it was only a matter of time before we got it. 3 years in, and we made it!” What are the 3 biggest keys to your sales growth and success? Mark Barnes: “Our sales growth success has been through a variety of factors. I feel like we have taken an ‘all of the above’ approach. We incrementally increased our ad spend, and tested and adjusted as necessary We took a focused approach on our networking opportunities We added product lines and revenue streams to our offering mix, and we have looked for strategic partnerships that made sense We were already doing wholesale print for what you might consider our competitors, but we are equipped and positioned to do more, better, with our facility and equipment mix, so when we realized there was some untapped potential to expand on that, we actively pursued those opportunities as well. If we don’t get the account directly, due to, perhaps, a relationship, we will look to get them indirectly through wholesaling to our competition that can’t offer what we can.” What are your high-demand products and key growth areas? Mark Barnes: “We have many high-demand products and services. Our high growth areas have been direct mail marketing and compliance mailings, programs for events, signs, branded apparel, and “operational” things like blueprints. Promotional items have also played a large role.” Why do you think printing remains so vital to businesses today? Mark Barnes: “Print remains vital because it drives behavior. Think about your daily life, do you stand in the wine aisle and judge a wine by its label when looking for a decent wine? Imagine if all of those labels were blank and you just had rows of bottles, how would you ‘know’ what to choose? You wouldn’t. If this is you, you are relying on print to drive your behavior. Maybe you casually look at a speed limit sign to adjust your driving speed, those are printed folks, and you have just relied on print to change your behavior in that moment. Print is ubiquitous and has been around all of us our entire lives; for that reason, print has an inherent trust built in because we rely on it day in and day out, and we don’t even realize it. I have had people ask me if print was dying and I asked, ‘Why because the credit card companies want you to go ‘green’ by paying your bills online?’ They certainly do this, but they turn around and send you all of these offers for new credit cards via direct mail, because they know direct mail works to drive revenues and new acquisitions. Need more proof that print is here to stay? Just ask the savvy marketers that rely on us for their campaigns, and even their clients’ campaigns. Spend a day in our office and you will see how high emotions can run when a marketer has waited until the last minute for something, or when blueprints are needed to submit plans by a deadline, and then ask yourself why these people bring us food and snacks as a way of saying thank you. How many businesses have their clients bringing them food? Print is vital – and everyone from marketers to admins that need to make sure they have the things they need for their team – understands this.” How would you best describe your business community in Bakersfield? Mark Barnes: “I would put our business community up against any in the nation. We have a robust and growing business community in both our local Bakersfield area and our county as a whole. In fact, this entire region is that way. The San Joaquin Valley where we are located feeds the world when it comes to many fruits and vegetables and nuts. The scale of the reach of businesses here blows my mind. Maybe more importantly, our business community is active and involved, supports one another, and I am honored to have developed personal relationships with so many of the business owners and leaders here. Many have become friends, and even mentors (whether they realize it or not).” What was your previous background and why did you choose Minuteman Press? Mark Barnes: “I was in the corporate world in the oil and gas industry for nearly 15 years. Prior to acquiring Minuteman Press, I was the Regional Manager for an oil and gas manufacturer and supplier of key products for the industry. I was tasked with leading a turnaround effort in that role where the company was looking to regain market share. I earned the trust of the tenured staff, got some wins early, and then we added a completely new product line that I had background with from a previous career. After getting market share with that product line, we then identified other locations to expand. We opened a new location a few hours away, secured the business we were going after there, and began due diligence on the next location. I was traveling back and forth to our manufacturing facility in Texas and learned a ton about manufacturing processes in general, being lean, and I felt like there was a lot of overlap with Minuteman Press. Minuteman Press is a manufacturer and I felt like there were a lot of similarities – the processes, the tenured staff in place, the reputation and book of business in place, and I felt like Minuteman Press was simply producing ‘a different widget’ and that the transition would be relatively smooth as a result. Of course, we didn’t account for a global pandemic three months after taking over, supply chain issues, employee shortages, and those things. With that said, because of my corporate experience and with the support of Minuteman Press, we were well-equipped to manage through these challenges when they did come up. As you can see, we managed through them relatively successfully. We continue to learn and improve as we go. That’s what it’s all about, continuous improvement.” What has the franchise support from Minuteman Press been like for you? Mark Barnes: “The support from Minuteman Press has been great. Obviously, something like the pandemic presented many challenges for all businesses, but being new in business for myself, the support we received was critical. They rolled out new programs; they provided marketing support and operational support when we needed it; and my favorite part has been the best practice training we continue to get regionally. Every 3-6 months, we have the 54 owners in my region get together and exchange best practices on just about everything from marketing, operations, product/service mix, staffing, accounting, etc. This has been vital as the different owners have their own experiences and insights that we get to learn from. They are also at different locations in the region so we get to see how they have their operation set up and it just goes a long way with exposure to new ideas or confirming what we are already doing. The President’s Club meeting was also important because those owners were top performers and the advice and conversations there, along with the new relationships established, have elevated us even further.” What are the biggest personal and professional rewards of owning your business? Mark Barnes: “The biggest personal reward of owning my own business is simply fulfilling the long-standing desire to own my own business. I’ve always been entrepreneurial and I feel so good every single day that I am in control of my own destiny. I love that I’m able to help provide for staff that can then provide for their families, and that we are able to help our business partners provide for their families (because at the end of the day we are helping businesses grow or become more efficient, and that improves their own lives by extension). Even when things are hard or stressful, that feeling overrides all of that for me, and I feel lucky. Professionally, I’m just proud to have developed great new friendships and mentorships in the business community here. I’ve been able to give back in various ways; I’m on the board of a non-profit, I’m on the board of the Bakersfield Rotary, and these have led to wonderful opportunities to give back but also to learn from such strong and high level leaders; I’m just very fortunate.” What are 1 or 2 key pieces of advice would you give to other owners? Mark Barnes: “My biggest piece of advice for other Minuteman Press owners is to think big. We look at ourselves as commercial printers, marketers and designers. We are not a quick copy model; we are a commercial level organization helping other organizations achieve their business goals by being a trusted and valued partner of theirs. We look to align ourselves with organizations as partners – the Robin to their Batman – supporting them from recruiting employees and marketing their value propositions in the marketplace to supporting their operations internally with critical items used in the day-to-day operation of the enterprise. We don’t need the limelight; we just aim to add value to the full life cycle of a given day in their operation. As our clients succeed, we will succeed… so we have a vested interest in their success and making sure we are acting as a good partner in every way we can.” Minuteman Press in Bakersfield is located at 4500 Easton Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93309. For more information, visit their website: Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and read Minuteman Press franchise reviews at Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 Company Website

September 08, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Lee Covington to Succeed Frank Nutter as RAA President


The Reinsurance Association of America (RAA), the leading trade association of property and casualty reinsurers, today announced that Lee Covington, current President and CEO of The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA), has been named President-elect of the RAA, succeeding Frank Nutter, who will retire effective December 31, 2023, after 32 years as President of the Association. Mr. Covington will assume the role of President on January 1, 2024. Mr. Covington has led the SFAA since 2018. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and General Counsel of the Insured Retirement Institute. He has also held positions at Squire Patton Boggs, PWC, Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, and Deputy Director of the Arkansas Insurance Department. In announcing these developments Justin O’Keefe, Chair of the RAA’s Board of Directors said, “Over the last four decades, Frank has grown the RAA into the leading voice for the reinsurance industry in the United States. Guided by Frank’s leadership, integrity, and vision, the RAA team has addressed some of our industry’s most complex issues at both a federal and state level. On behalf of the RAA Membership, Board of Directors and staff I would like to thank Frank for his unwavering commitment to the RAA and wish him and his family a happy retirement.” Mr. O’Keefe continued, “I am delighted to welcome Lee to the RAA. He is an immensely qualified leader and his deep expertise and extensive career in insurance industry advocacy and regulation will be invaluable to the RAA. The board and I look forward to working with Lee as he continues to advance the RAA’s strategic priorities and advocate on behalf of our members.” The Reinsurance Association of America is the leading trade association of property and casualty reinsurers doing business in the United States. RAA membership is diverse, including reinsurance underwriters and intermediaries licensed in the U.S. and those that conduct business on a cross-border basis. The RAA also has life reinsurance affiliates and insurance-linked securities (ILS) fund managers and market participants that are engaged in the assumption of property/casualty risks. The RAA represents its members before state, federal and international bodies. Contact Details Reinsurance Association of America Barb Carroll +1 202-783-8390 Company Website

September 06, 2023 04:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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