View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Watch Harry Connick Jr. in First Video Footage of The StingHarry Connick Jr. is back onstage, singing and dancing up a storm in the new stage musical adaptation of the 1973 film The Sting at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse. Featuring a book by Tony winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and a score by Tony nominee Connick and Urinetown Tony winners Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, The Sting follows a pair of con men—small town grafter Johnny Hooker (J. Harrison Ghee) and big-time hustler Henry Gondorff (Connick)—who plot to bring down the city’s most corrupt racketeer. Paper Mill has just released footage from the new tuner, also featuring cast members Kate Shindle, Janet Dacal and Tom Hewitt. Give a watch below, and don’t miss the chance to see The Sting in person through April 29. Wesley Taylor & Alex Wyse’s Webseries Indoor Boys Wins Indie Series AwardIndoor Boys, the beloved webseries created by SpongeBob SquarePants star Wesley Taylor and Spring Awakening alum Alex Wyse, has been honored with an Indie Series Award for Wyse’s performance! Written by and starring Taylor and Wyse, Indoor Boys follows two homebody roommates in L.A. as they try to figure out the boundaries of their no-boundaries friendship. Don’t miss the chance to experience Indoor Boys for yourself here.Vanya and Sonia Star Kristine Nielsen to Lead Christopher Durang’s Newest ComedyKristine Nielsen, the Broadway veteran who earned a Tony nom for her turn in Christopher Durang’s Tony-winning play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, is among the cast of the Durang’s world premiere work Turning Off the Morning News, slated to debut with Princeton, New Jersey’s McCarter Theatre this spring. Emily Mann will direct the play, scheduled to begin performance on May 4 with an opening set for May 12. In Turning Off the Morning News, things are good for suburbanites Cliff and Salena; their neighbors across the street, however, are peculiar at best—and at worst, stark-raving mad. Nielsen will take on the role of Polly, alongside Jenn Harris (Cruel Intentions the Musical) as Rosalind, John Pankow (Mad About You) as Jimmy, Robert Sella (Sylvia) as Cliff, Rachel Nicks (Skeleton Crew) as Salena and newcomer Nicholas Podany as Timmy. Turning Off the Morning News will play a limited engagement through June 3.Max Chernin, Dan DeLuca & More Will Sing One Direction at Feinstein’s/54 BelowA talented group of stage stars have been announced to sing the music of hit music makers One Direction in concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Max Chernin (Bright Star) and Dan DeLuca (Newsies) will lead a company of stars for 54 Sings One Direction, set to take place on May 11 at 9:30pm. The cast will also include PJ Adzima (The Book of Mormon), Joshua Burrage (Newsies), Morgan Keene (Newsies), Katie LaMark (Rent), Jillian Mueller (Pretty Woman: The Musical), Jennafer Newberry (Freaky Friday), Larry Owens (Gigantic), Alex Prakken (Newsies), Michael Ryan (Newsies) and Laurie Veldheer (Into the Woods). One Direction produced infectious hit songs including “What Makes You Beautiful,” “One Thing,” “Story of My Life,” “Drag Me Down,” “Little Things” and more. 54 Sings One Direction will be music directed by Ben Caplan and produced by Jen Sandler. J. Harrison Ghee & Harry Connick Jr. in “The Sting”(Photo: Evan Zimmerman)
Vermont Business Magazine Grants are now available to support projects through the South Lake Champlain Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation. The South Lake Champlain Fund supports projects focused on education and research concerning the cultural and ecological history and heritage of Southern Lake Champlain. Projects must be located on the southern portion of Lake Champlain (the area of Lake Champlain south of Crown Point in both Vermont and New York) with a preference for projects directly on the lake or in close proximity. School-based projects are encouraged.The fund also aims to support projects that involve experts and others living in the southern Lake Champlain region. Matching funds are encouraged but not required.Grants: $1,000-$7,500 grants to organizations for research and education concerning the southern portion of Lake Champlain.Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Friday, December 15, 2017, and applicants will be notified in March of 2018. Please visit www.vermontcf.org/availablegrants(link is external) for more information or to apply. Those interested may also contact Lauren Bruno at email@example.com(link sends e-mail) or (802) 388-3355 ext. 222 for more information.Source: Vermont Community Foundation 10.19.2017
Related The IRONMAN Foundation will facilitate and distribute over US$27,000 in charitable giveback to non-profit initiatives and groups in the greater Muncie, Indiana, community in conjunction with the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 Muncie triathlon taking place on Saturday 9 July 2016.The IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund provides community and volunteer grant opportunities to non-profit organizations where US IRONMAN events are held. In 2016, The IRONMAN Foundation will distribute more than US$1.6 million in grant funding to support the needs of IRONMAN race communities across North America.Volunteerism grantsWithin IRONMAN’s race communities, The IRONMAN Foundation provides a grant program to support organizations that have a volunteerism component. This year, The IRONMAN Foundation’s Community Fund will provide US$15,000 in volunteer grant donations for the IRONMAN 70.3 Muncie triathlon.“We are thrilled to continue our support of so many tremendous organizations that selflessly serve the Muncie region,” said Christine Perkins, Community Relations Manager for The IRONMAN Foundation.Last year, volunteer grant funding was distributed among 28 community groups in the region.Firehouse Subs Public Safety FoundationThe IRONMAN Foundation, in partnership with the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation (FHSPSF), will provide a grant of US$14,475 to Delaware County EMS to purchase a LUCAS 2 CPR Chest Compression System that will help to improve outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest victims and improve operations for medical responders.“The willingness of the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and the IRONMAN Foundation to invest in our community is a true testament to their commitment to not only our first responders, but also the community as a whole,” said Executive Director of Emergency Management Jason Rodgers.“With this grant we purchased a CPR device that has already been utilized multiple times and has made our paramedics more effective in pre-hospital care.”“Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, along with The IRONMAN Foundation, is grateful for the opportunity to give back to those who loyally serve our communities,” said Robin Peters, Executive Director of FHSPSF. “As IRONMAN athletes prove that ‘Anything is Possible’, we feel that the mantra also represents what can be done to support the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting others.”The IRONMAN Foundation will recognize this year’s grant recipients at the Athlete Briefing taking place at 13:00 local time on Friday 8 July 2016 at the IRONMAN Village at the Prairie Creek Reservoir.www.ironman.comwww.ironmanfoundation.org
By Paul KonikowskiThe last week of February 2020 could go down as the worst week in Wall Street history. The U.S. and global markets plummeted as coronavirus fears escalated. Some think it may have had something to do with Bernie Sander’s wins in the early Democratic primaries, and some think it is tied to the price of oil.I personally think it has to do with the recent mergers and acquisitions in AV land.Am I kidding? Well, yes and no.Before I explain, let me first give props to Gary Kayye for scooping the story about Whitlock and AVI-SPL’s intention to merge on Wednesday, February 5, which was by far the biggest news of the month. Just a day earlier, Diversified announced the acquisition of Sensory Technologies. In both cases, the resulting companies should report more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Some might call them “unicorns,” but in my mind, that term is reserved for startups, and all four of the companies in these two deals were far from startups.In the same week, Yorktel announced the acquisition of Video Corporation of America (VCA) and Starin announced it was being acquired by Midwich Group PLC. Midwich, based in the UK, recently acquired MobilePro (Switzerland), Prase (Italy), AV Partner (Norway) and Entertainment Equipment Supplies (Spain).So, we had regional news, national news and global news. Integrators getting together, distributors increasing their distribution. Four stories in four days. “I think it may mark a top,” I told a few AV friends. I started to write this article on February 9, and then shelved it. Who am I to be calling a top? I thought.A few weeks later, and the stock market indexes are down 11%.It is difficult, if not impossible, to accurately call a “top” in the stock markets, the point when the market pivots from bull to bear market. They are easier to see in hindsight, and recently, some tops have been marked by large mergers and acquisitions and an increased number of stock IPOs (initial public offerings).In the late 1990s, the valuations of tech companies skyrocketed along with the adoption of the internet. The Telecommunications Act combined with the Taxpayer Relief Act gave investors more opportunities to invest. Low interest rates encouraged speculation buying. Similarly, today’s economy is also booming due to deregulation, tax relief and low interest rates.The dot-com bubble burst in 2000, what many call the “dot-com bomb” or more simply “dot-bomb.” On January 10, 2000, America Online announced a merger with Time Warner, the largest merger to date. Yahoo! and Ebay were also in merger talks. In February of 2000, Alan Greenspan announced a series of fed rate hikes, and the NASDAQ topped out in March 2000 before falling for the next two years.On October 9, 2000, Dayton, Ohio-based MCSi acquired Intellisys, part of a Chapter 11 reorganization of Intellisys. For a time, MCSi one of the United States’ largest AV sales and integration companies. In 2003, MCSi itself filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The MCSi downfall caused hardships for some while opening doors for others. Many smaller companies swooped in to capture the AV systems integration business. Executives, account managers, engineers and technicians eventually found jobs at other integration companies.Fast forward a few years, 2007 had a number of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, including big names like Alltel, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclay’s, BCE, Blackstone, Cablevision and Nokia. Audio equipment manufacturer Harman International Industries was in initial talks to be acquired by Kohlburg Kravis, Roberts & Co. and Goldman Sachs, but the deal was abandoned in the second half of 2007, when money became more expensive and private equity firms put the brakes on spending. The Great Recession officially started in December 2007. AV consultants and integrators saw a huge pullback in construction and spending. Some were smart to invest and embrace the emerging UC and digital signage markets.For the next 10 years, the U.S. stock market enjoyed a healthy bull market, one of the longest in history, but bull markets can’t last forever. My prediction depends on the results of this fall’s election: if the Senate majority and the White House go back to the Democrats, the stock markets will suffer, and the recession will begin. If the Republicans can manage to hold on to the White House and Senate, then the Republican tax cuts will be safe for the next four years, and my recession prediction may need to be equally pushed out.What we can count on this year is consolidation. If you overlap the office locations of Whitlock and AVI-SPL you can see which offices are redundant (with all due respect to those offices). Ideally speaking, the amount of business in those areas should stay the same, but the overhead can be combined. There will be layoffs. Front office workers will follow the lead of engineers and technicians who have been switching companies and shifting from integrator to client-side support. Others will decide whether the change in company cultures is enough reason to retire and/or try something new.I think the best word may be “shake-up.” The AV industry got shaken up last month with the M&A news. We need to lay on the couch and talk it out with our therapists. “It all started when I was in drama club …” I think the shake-up is going to continue. Add in a little coronavirus and market turmoil and I think it’s best to get ready for a recession, a number of bankruptcies and a roller-coaster of emotions.
DSW Wilmot Plaza LP, an Arizona based investment group, acquired Wilmot Plaza shopping center.The group’s managing director Michael Sarabia along with partner James Hardman (DESCO Southwest) believe strongly in the fundamentals of the 139,000-square-foot multi-building “trophy” asset.Wilmot Plaza was purchased for $47.3 million from BP Wilmot Plaza, a Bourn Companies destination retail development. Bourn fully redeveloped the center with an all-star tenant line up including: TJ Maxx, Dicks Sporting Goods, Nordstrom Rack, Payless Shoes and AT&T.The substantial visibility from both Broadway and Wilmot Roads, access to the major arterial intersection, and close proximity to Park Mall (General Growth Properties) benefit the center. Wilmot Plaza offers a diverse shopping experience including off-price retailers, sporting goods and signature fast casual dining. The center has a long history of being a landmark retail center in the central-east corridor.Toufic Abi-Aad (CFO Bourn Companies) handled the disposition for the sellers, and Michael Sarabia and James Hardman (DESCO Southwest) represented DSW Wilmot Plaza LP. Tim Storey with Newmark Realty Capital assisted with the financing for the acquisition.The acquisition reflects DSW’s continued investment strategy in the Arizona marketplace where Michael Sarabia, managing member of DSW Wilmot Plaza LP, has been an active participant for the last 16 years. Sarabia states “when looking at submarkets we take into consideration several mitigating factors such as household income, growing population, quality of building, tenant mix, term of leases and strategic location of asset. Don Bourn and his team have been able to source high profile sites and develop signature projects in irreplaceable locations, we are pleased to be able to work with them on this acquisition.”The acquisition is part of DSW’s continued investment strategy in the Arizona region, a market where they own/manage over 600,000 square feet of retail and office.
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The ‘Imperio’ tram is the first to have been manufactured entirely in Romania and is currently one of only three in existence.It was making its world premiere at the Innotrans Fair in Berlin and such was the significance of the occasion that the manufacturer impressed upon Prangl the importance of schedule reliability – any delay would ruin the Romanian manufacturer’s plans for the premiere.The 37-tonne tram was conveyed by a four-axle lorry with an eight-axle special rail trailer, giving an overall total transport length of 39.75 m. With excellent cooperation from all the relevant authorities, the manufacturer, cargo escort companies, police, and Prangl team, the transport through four countries was incident free.However, on arrival at the exhibition hall, the track gauge available on site in Berlin was deemed to be not appropriate and Prangl suggested that the tram should stay on the its trailer for presentation at the trade fair.Prangl reports that the journey from Arad in Romania to Berlin, as well as the return was performed to the customer’s complete satisfaction.http://www.prangl.at/
Laura Carstensen, former partner at magic circle firm Slaughter and May and former deputy chair of the Competition Commission, is to join the Co-operative Group’s board and chair its new values committee.
HUNGARY: Stadler is to invest €30m to double the capacity of its centre of competence for bogie refurbishment in Szolnok from 250 to 500 bogies per year.The investment announced on March 29 is to be undertaken in two phases. The first phase of construction will get underway in April for completion in the third quarter of 2018, providing 8 000 m2 of space for refurbishment work and supporting office activities. The second phase includes a 20 000 m2 storage hall, which would be used jointly by the bogie centre and Stadler’s car body factory. Stadler’s centre of competence for bogies was launched in 2013, and has since refurbished more than 1 000 bogies and supported the assembly of new bogies.
EUROPE: The Shared & coHerent European Railway Protection Approach project to address risks associated with terrorist threats to trains and stations was launched in Paris on November 13. The 24-month SHERPA project is being funded by a grant from the European Union’s Internal Security Fund Police and co-ordinated by UIC. It aims to improve protection against attacks, including emerging threats such as insider action, cybercrime and the misuse of unmanned aerial vehicles. There are four technical work packages: a coherent approach to risk assessment and management; analysis of emerging terrorism-related threats to stations and trains; assessment of security technologies and procedures for better securing stations and trains, including the legal and ethical aspects and business constraints; practical tools including training and best practice guidelines for a common approach to raising awareness and improving security.Participants in SHERPA include Germany’s DB, Italy’s FS, Poland’s PKP, Belgium’s SNCB and France’s SNCF. The project will work with police, first responders and other stakeholders represented on an advisory board including the Community of European Railway & Infrastructure Companies, the COLPOFER association or railway operators and police agencies and the RAILPOL network of EU railway police organisations.