Monday, November 30, 2009

Yancey Bros. Co. Acquires International(R) Truck Dealerships

/PRNewswire/ -- Yancey Bros. Co., announces the acquisition of the operating assets of All Star International® Trucks and D&M International Sales. The four locations operated by these two dealerships in southern Georgia - Albany, Blackshear, Tifton, and Valdosta - will continue day to day operations under the new name of Yancey Truck Centers, a newly created division of Yancey Bros. Co. Yancey Truck Centers will be focused on serving customers in the on-highway industry in Georgia.

As part of this acquisition, Yancey Bros. Co. has also finalized a Sales and Service Agreement with Navistar®, Inc., to be the authorized International dealer for the southwestern/south central Georgia territory, ensuring continuous service to customers in these trade areas.

"The addition of these two highly regarded dealerships combined with a new partnership between Yancey and Navistar, Inc., provides us with a tremendous opportunity," said Jim Stephenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yancey Bros. Co. "We are excited about working with a world-class manufacturer like Navistar. We also look forward to building on the relationships that All Star and D&M have developed, and providing additional products and services to our existing Yancey trucking and construction customers."

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U.S. Labor Department releases updated Employment Law Guide

/PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of an updated version of its popular Employment Law Guide, an online publication that describes the major employment laws administered by the department. The Guide helps the public -- workers and employers -- understand many of the laws affecting the workplace. For instance, it helps small businesses develop wage, benefit, safety and health, and nondiscrimination policies. It also benefits employees and employee representatives who need information about worker rights and responsibilities under federal employment laws.

"Fair and safe practices in the workplace are a top priority for the Department of Labor, and we want to make it simple for both employers and workers to understand the federal policies that protect them," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Our new Employment Law Guide provides updated and user-friendly information and guidance. We encourage everyone to use it."

Following a topical format and written in plain language, the Employment Law Guide is especially helpful for employers without a dedicated legal or human resources staff. The updated version addresses recent and important changes in employment laws, including the increase in the federal minimum wage and an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act that grants qualified relatives of veterans leave to care for ill or injured uniformed service members or to fulfill obligations that arise when a relative is called to active duty in the military. The Guide also now includes a chapter on child labor regulations in the agriculture industry and one on the Defense Base Act, which provides workers' compensation benefits to civilian employees working outside the United States on U.S. military bases or under certain contracts with the U.S.

The Employment Law Guide is a companion to the department's FirstStep overview advisor, an online system that allows employers to quickly and easily determine which federal employment laws apply to them by answering a few simple questions about relevant variables. Each chapter in the Employment Law Guide corresponds to the laws addressed in the FirstStep advisor, outlining coverage under the law; its basic requirements; employee rights; recordkeeping, reporting, notice and poster requirements; penalties and sanctions for non-compliance; relation to state, local and other federal laws; and contact information for further assistance.

Together, the updated Employment Law Guide and FirstStep overview advisor offer employers the information they need to ensure safe and fair workplace policies and practices. Both are available at http://www.dol.gov/elaws or http://www.dol.gov/compliance.

U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

US Labor Department's OSHA issues compliance directive to address flu prevention for health care workers

/PRNewswire/ -- For the protection of frontline health care and emergency medical workers at high risk of infection, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued a compliance directive to ensure uniform procedures when conducting inspections to identify and minimize or eliminate high to very high risk occupational exposures to the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus.The directive, which closely follows the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) guidance at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu, is available online at https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02_02-075.pdf.

"OSHA has a responsibility to ensure that the more than nine million frontline health care workers in the United States are protected to the extent possible against exposure to the virus," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "OSHA will ensure health care employers use proper controls to protect all workers, particularly those who are at high or very high risk of exposure."

In response to complaints, OSHA inspectors will ensure that health care employers implement a hierarchy of controls, and encourage vaccination and other work practices recommended by the CDC. Where respirators are required to be used, the OSHA Respiratory Protection standard must be followed, including worker training and fit testing. The directive also applies to institutional settings where some workers may have similar exposures, such as schools and correctional facilities.

The CDC recommends the use of respiratory protection that is at least as protective as a fit-tested disposable N95 respirator for health care personnel who are in close contact (within 6 feet) with patients who have suspected or confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza.

Where respirators are not commercially available, an employer will be considered to be in compliance if the employer can show a good faith effort has been made to acquire respirators.

Where OSHA inspectors determine that a facility has not violated any OSHA requirements but that additional measures could enhance the protection of employees, OSHA may provide the employer with a hazard alert letter outlining suggested measures to further protect workers.

The 2009 H1N1 influenza is transmitted via direct or indirect person-to-person spreading of infectious droplets passed when an influenza patient coughs, sneezes, talks or breathes. Transmission occurs when expelled infectious droplets or particles make direct or indirect contact with the mucus membranes of the mouth, nose or eyes of an uninfected person. The OSHA directive and other guidelines show steps to eliminate the hazard.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Three Aerospace Companies Announce New Georgia Projects

Governor Sonny Perdue welcomed three economic development announcements made Monday from the Dubai Airshow that continue to strengthen Georgia’s reputation as a global center for the aviation industry.

“Each of these three announcements illustrate a key aspect of our economic development strategy – location of a new U.S. headquarters in Georgia, an existing company expanding its current workforce and an Atlanta-based business selling its products to overseas customers,” Governor Perdue said. “

Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd., a leading-edge aerospace technology company with a revolutionary new product, will establish its United States headquarters in Atlanta. The company will invest an estimated $1 million in its new location and will create up to 20 jobs over the next 36 months.

Zodiac Services Americas LLC is expanding its College Park location, adding up to 26 jobs by the end of 2010 to its current 120-member Georgia workforce. Zodiac Services Americas LLC is the U.S.-based customer services and support branch of Zodiac Aerospace and provides distribution of parts as well as repair and overhaul (MRO) functions for Zodiac Aerospace commercial aviation, helicopter, business and general aviation customers.

Also, Jetaire Group, an industry leader in complete avionics and electrical systems solutions, has completed its first sale of an innovative product that can keep auxiliary aircraft fuel tanks from igniting. Saudi Arabian major conglomerate Dallah Albaraka is the first company to receive and implement Jetaire’s ground breaking solution that reduces the complexity and cost for transport airplanes that must meet an FAA mandate (SFAR 88) to install such equipment by December 16, 2009.

Star Navigation

Star Navigation, based in Toronto, Canada, has developed the world’s first system to monitor in-flight data, analyze that data for potential problems and transmit the results to a ground operator in real time. This in-flight safety monitoring system, called STAR - ISMS TM represents a breakthrough in air safety technology. Airplane “black boxes,” as they are popularly known, provide historic, not real-time, data, whereas the STAR - ISMSTM continuously monitors selected avionics systems on the aircraft as it flies, instantly analyzes the data, and transmits that data and any incident alerts via satellite to the operator. It effectively acts as an early warning system, detecting the earliest signs of potential problems while an aircraft is still in flight.

From its Atlanta headquarters, the company will primarily target commercial and defense applications for its product, with a secondary focus on ancillary tracking and communications solutions for rotary wing and light commercial aircraft as well as marine uses.

“Georgia is ideally situated to help us market STAR - ISMS TM to our U.S., Central and South American markets, which are easily accessible through Hartsfield Atlanta Airport,” said Viraf Kapadia, chairman & CEO of Star Navigation Systems. “I look forward to building on the great relationships we’ve established with the Georgia business community as our company continues to build its presence here.”

The announcement followed a meeting between Mr. Kapadia and Governor Perdue at the Dubai Airshow. Governor Perdue is leading a Georgia delegation to the Dubai Airshow, the largest aviation event in the world’s fastest-growing region, to strengthen ties to both potential investors into the state and new customers for Georgia’s exporters.

Zodiac Services Americas LLC

The additional employment opportunities at Zodiac Services Americas LLC will take place in a 104,000-square-foot space the company has recently leased for an eight-year period at one of its two College Park facilities, each of which currently employ approximately sixty people. Zodiac Aerospace will work with the Georgia Department of Labor in the hiring process, which has already begun with the addition of six people in October 2009, and will continue through May 2010.

“We looked at other locations, but Georgia was the right choice to expand our client services and grow our business,” said Lou Perdoni, CEO Zodiac Services Americas, LLC. “The proximity Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport gives us to support our various client base is unbeatable, and will help increase our access to potential revenue sources.”

The Governor announced the expansion after meeting with Zodiac Aerospace Group Director Pierre-Antony Vastra. A delegation from the Georgia Allies, Georgia’s public-private partnership supporting economic development in the state, visited Zodiac Aerospace at its Paris headquarters in October.

Project Manager Carter Wood assisted Zodiac Aerospace with its expansion on behalf of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Jetaire Group

Jetaire has engineered and installed its product for the first time working with The Dallah Albaraka Group to modify a Boeing 727 with Rogerson auxiliary tanks.

Faisal Haddadin, Advisor to the Chairman of Dallah Flight Operations, said: “We were diligent in exploring a number of options for our modification, and the Jetaire solution exceeded the criteria as the most cost-effective and efficient that we have seen. By simultaneously satisfying our requirements and the regulatory mandates, Jetaire saved us both money and down time. Jetaire’s ability to deliver value, quality and exceed requirements was a major consideration for Dallah.”

The FAA’s Airworthiness Directive (AD) requires that all affected auxiliary fuel tanks, including most systems manufactured by ATS, PATS and Rogerson, be upgraded to meet new safety guidelines. Typical solutions address either Phase I, requiring significant reductions in ignition sources; Phase II, which mandates substantial reduction in flammability; or Phase III, which, requires additional lightning protection.

However, Jetaire has developed a more affordable, single-phased approach to the multiphase requirements, received its Supplemental Type Certification (STC), and moved beyond retrofitting into manufacturing. Its auxiliary fuel system is fully compliant with SFAR 88 requirements. The company’s solution addresses its customers’ need for extended range flights, simultaneous satisfaction of the AD’s three phases, cost efficiency in both money and time, the highest standard of protection, retention of passenger space and reduction of installation downtime.

“Jetaire understands the complex requirements of the directive, and our experts have created a seamless solution with no potential failure modes and a certified 14-year service life,” said Michael Williams, president of Jetaire and a member of the International Fire Protections Working Group. “Georgia’s business climate and resources have supported our company’s research and development of this solution, and provide a great marketing platform as well.”

In addition to a large number of certifications, Jetaire also holds 20 other Supplemental Type Certifications (STCs) for smoke detection and fire suppression in business and commercial aircraft. Jetaire is the first company to certify for commercial use an explosion suppressant currently used by the military to protect the most advanced tactical fighter aircraft. The company is now developing structural corrections to B737 aircraft that have PATS tanks requiring deactivation according to the FAA’s Airworthiness Directive.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Despite Warnings, U.S. Companies Remain Unprepared for Baby Boomers' Exodus

/PRNewswire/ -- With millions of Baby Boomers poised to age out of the workforce, U.S. companies remain unprepared for an imminent talent drain that threatens to alter the national economy, according to a new report by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College.

Nearly 70 percent of the almost 700 organizations surveyed do not yet know how old their workers are or how many are likely to retire. Forty percent reported that the aging of the workforce will have a detrimental impact on their businesses by 2012.

"The out-migration of a generation of workers will upset the entire balance of the workplace," said co-author Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, director of the Sloan Center on Aging & Work. "U.S. companies need to start planning strategically for workforce sustainability. The current abundance of older worker talent and experience is going to dry up, and businesses will very soon need to fill hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs."

The report -- The Pressures of Talent Management -- examined talent management practices at 696 organizations across the 10 leading sectors of the economy. The companies studied employ more than one million workers combined and represent businesses that account for roughly 85 percent of the jobs and payrolls in the U.S.

Additional key findings include:
-- 77 percent of employers surveyed had not analyzed projected employee
retirement rates or assessed employee career plans.
-- 56 percent of these businesses had not assessed the skills their
organizations need today and in the future.
-- About one-third of employers reported not having enough programs for
recruitment or training of older workers.

Though long-predicted, the workforce reduction has generated surprisingly limited responses. In 2000, Baby Boomers represented the largest portion of the U.S. labor force, at 48 percent. By 2010, they're projected to shrink to 37 percent of the workforce, leading some economists predict a shortage of 10-15 million workers in the coming decade.

"Workforce planning makes good business sense," said report researcher Stephen Sweet. "Changing age demographics don't have to disrupt a business -- they may present new opportunities or competitive advantages. Employers should take advantage of programs designed to meet the evolving needs of employees nearing retirement, while at the same time meeting business needs by keeping experienced talent longer and ensuring business continuity."

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Synovus Reaffirms Capital Position

(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to recent questions, Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) today (November 13) reaffirms that it is not under a regulatory requirement to raise additional capital. The company’s capital position remains strong. Synovus is considered well-capitalized by regulatory standards and its ratios compare favorably to those of its peers. As of September 30, 2009, Synovus’ Tier 1 Capital Ratio was 10.48 percent compared to the regulatory minimum of 6.00 percent to be considered well-capitalized. The company’s Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio of 13.84 percent is well above regulatory minimums of 10.00 percent.

Synovus Chairman and CEO Richard Anthony commented, “Synovus continues to manage credit in a proactive and aggressive manner. Given our strength of capital combined with our continued focus on disposing of non-performing assets and improvements in core operating results, we remain confident in our belief that we have the opportunity to achieve profitability during 2010.”

Forward Looking Statements

This press release and certain of our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission contain statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, among others, our statements regarding our belief in our opportunity to achieve profitability during 2010 and the assumptions underlying our expectations. Prospective investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward- looking statements in this press release and our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these factors are beyond Synovus’ ability to control or predict. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in this press release and our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission include the factors set forth in Synovus’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. We believe these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

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US Airways Pilots Request Mediation of Stalled Contract Negotiations

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), representing the pilots of US Airways, applied today (November 13) to the National Mediation Board (NMB) to request mediation of the currently single contract negotiations for all US Airways pilots. US Airways pilots work under two separate contracts, covering the pre-merger US Airways and former America West pilot groups.

The US Airways pilots entered contract negotiations with management in November 2005 under the terms of a Transition Agreement at the time of the US Airways and America West merger. In April, USAPA requested an NMB facilitator to assist the parties in reaching an agreement, but that proposal was rejected by US Airways.

“Our pilots have been laboring under substandard bankruptcy and ATSB-era contracts for years prior to the start of these negotiations, which have gone nowhere,” said Captain Mike Cleary, president of USAPA. “After four fruitless years, we have determined that the current negotiations are hopelessly stalled. As we predicted in April, US Airways’ rejection of an NMB facilitator amounted to nothing more than a delay tactic, and we questioned then management’s sincerity in desiring to reach any agreement. Sure enough, seven months down the road, the US Airways pilots are hardly a step closer to an industry-standard contract.”

“Industry-standard pilot wages and working conditions will allow our company to compete on equal ground with other airlines,” President Cleary continued. “US Airways pilots have tired of the rhetoric and welcome the opportunity to negotiate under the auspices of NMB Mediation and the Railway Labor Act, where impasse allows us to persuade our company to do the right thing.”

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) represents more than 5,000 US Airways pilots in seven domiciles across the United States.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Community One Associates Wins Management of Spire

Expands Intown Presence with Iconic High Rise Condo Tower

Community One Associates announced that it was awarded the management and front desk concierge services at Spire, one of Atlanta’s signature high rise condominiums located in the heart of Midtown at 860 Peachtree Street. Community One assumed management of the Residential and Master Condominium Associations from Novare Management, a subsidiary of Novare, which developed the 29-story mixed-use tower.

In addition to Spire, the full service management company has expanded dramatically into Atlanta’s intown submarkets by adding other condominium developments which include Ansley Above the Park, MidCity Lofts, Colony Park, Carrington Park, Heritage and others.

“Managing this enormous asset is a trust we take very seriously,” said Steve Weibel, Chief Executive Officer of Community One Associates. “Spire is an iconic property that deserves the highest level of service, care and attention that we can possibly give it. We bring to it a national platform, buying power and best practices of the nation’s leading management company.”

Community One is recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the top five full service management companies, responsible for both residential and commercial property owners associations, high rise condominiums, mixed use/retail developments, active adult and master planned neighborhoods.

It is the Georgia Partner of FirstService Residential (www.firstservice.com), the largest manager of residential communities in North America responsible for over 1 million units in 3,700 communities throughout the United States.

For more information, visit www.communityoneassociates.com or call (404) 308-3188.
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Corzine to Replace Lewis at Bank of America?

Should Jon Corzine Take Over Bank Of America? - Dealbreaker ...
DealBreaker is an online business tabloid and Wall Street gossip site that provides free financial news headlines and ... Banking Culture. Business Media. Private Equity ... Bank of America Chief ...dealbreaker.com/2009/11/should-jon-corzine-take-over-b.php - 83k -

Mr. Corzine goes to Charlotte?
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has not even vacated his office in Trenton yet, and the chatter about his next gig is reaching new levels on the blogosphere. Dealscape suggested on Wednesday he's likely to return to Wall Street but stopped short of suggesting specific firms -- other than not Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) where he was CEO. However, other bloggers were not so restrained. One of the more popular rumors started at Dealbreaker, which eventually spilled over into the mainstream press via The Wall Street Journal's Overheard column, is the idea of Corzine taking the helm of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) from outgoing CEO Ken Lewis. http://www.thedeal.com/dealscape/2009/11/mr_corzine_goes_to_charlotte.php

Should jon corzine take over bank america dealbreaker " BANK ...
Should jon corzine take over bank america dealbreaker, BANK OF AMERICA, credit card news. ... Should Jon Corzine Take Over Bank Of America? - DEALBREAKER ...bankcreditcardguide.com/bank-of-america/...

Bank Of America CEO Kenneth Lewis To Retire
Bank Of America Announces Retirement Of Ken Lewis Announces As CEO And Director - Quick Facts. Bank Of America To Sell Columbia Management's Long-Term Asset Management ...realtimetraders.com/Content/...&Category=Top+Stories

More Stimulus Equals More Unemployment

"Stimulus" is in the process of turning a nasty recession into a genuine depression. The evidence is in the "Employment Situation" report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on November 6th. The "headline" unemployment rate shot up to 10.2%, the highest in more than 26 years. But the report was much worse than most people realize.

The "household survey data" showed that 589,000 jobs vanished during October. This is bad enough, but the three-month moving average of changes in total employment (current month and prior two months) shows that job losses are actually accelerating.

Click to read the rest of the article on Real Clear Markets

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta Begins Fueling Fleet With Biodiesel

/PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta has become the first major foodservice distributor in Georgia to run its entire delivery fleet on biodiesel fuel.

All of the Atlanta division's 185 tractors and 210 trailers began using biodiesel fuel last week following its first 7,500-gallon delivery of B5, a blend of diesel containing 5 percent biodiesel, a form of diesel fuel made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases. Biodiesel is a sustainable, renewable alternative to diesel fuel which can dramatically reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions.

"Utilizing biodiesel is a continuation of our ongoing environmental strategy," said John Leake, president of U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta. "Improving our overall impact on the environment - while helping our customers find effective ways to do the same - not only makes good business sense, it's the right thing to do."

The biodiesel fuel costs on average about a penny more per gallon. Its use is expected to reduce the U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta fleet's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 788,000 pounds - or about 4 percent - annually. That's roughly the equivalent of taking 65 cars off the road or of planting more than 3,150 trees every year.

The biodiesel is locally sourced and refined, a product of S.A. White Oil Co. of Marietta.

U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta is active with and has a leadership role in several local, regional and state efforts to promote and protect the environment including the Georgia DNR Project, Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia and the Atlanta Zero Waste Zone. The division, which serves the entire state of Georgia and operations in parts of the five bordering states of Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, already has a number of "green" achievements to its credit. These include:

-- Reducing electrical consumption by 18 percent with the use of T8
fluorescent lamps in its warehouse operations.
-- Decreasing waste by 55 percent through recovery and recycling
programs.
-- Saving fuel by decreasing truck idle time below 2 percent.


Atlanta is the third U.S. Foodservice division to use biodiesel in its fleet. It joins divisions in Streator, Ill., and Plymouth, Minn.

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Senate Approves FMLA Coverage For Flight Attendants

/PRNewswire/ -- More than 16 years after the original Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed, flight attendants and flight crews across the country, are finally about to be granted access to the same coverage that has long benefited working families. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) today applauded the U.S. Senate for approving the Airline Flight Crew Family and Medical Leave Act, S. 1422.

"We are happy to announce to our over 50,000 members that no flight attendant will be left behind when it comes to FMLA coverage anymore," said AFA-CWA International President Patricia Friend. "We have worked alongside Senator Patty Murray on this very important legislation and her leadership has been essential in making this bill a bi-partisan effort to correct and clarify current FMLA language that has repeatedly denied many flight attendants from qualifying for coverage for years."

Currently, flight attendants face many hurdles in order to qualify for FMLA benefits. These hurdles are particular to airline employees since FMLA language has been narrowly interpreted and has failed to take into account "the unique way in which the airline industry counts its workers' hours." The current bill clarifies the original 1993 FMLA law and ensures that flight crews are treated fairly and qualify for benefits. The bill was introduced by a bi-partisan coalition that consisted of Senators Murray (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jim Webb (D-VA), Sue Collins (R-ME), Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Kit Bond (R-MO). A similar bill was passed by the House on a unanimous voice vote earlier this year.

"We look forward to an expedited process to finalize this very important bill and for President Obama to officially sign it into law this fall. No one can question the benefits FMLA has provided for working women and men, allowing them to take time off from work to care for themselves or family members," added Friend.

The FMLA requires most employers to provide job-protected unpaid leave to employees who have worked 60 percent of a full-time schedule over the course of a year. However, the courts and federal agencies disregarded that original intent and narrowly defined the "full time schedule" as that of a traditional 40 hour work week, thereby excluding flight attendants whose schedules do not fall within the traditional 9-5 work day. The Airline Flight Crew FMLA corrects this misinterpretation of the original legislation and finally extends this vital coverage to flight crews.

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Atlanta Selected as Westec’s National Sales HQ

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Westec Intelligent Surveillance, the nation’s largest remote video monitoring company, announced today that it has selected Atlanta, Georgia as the location for its national sales headquarters. Additionally, Westec announced Charles Moeling as its Executive Vice President of Sales and Chief Marketing Officer.

Given the company’s double-digit growth in sales this year, Westec plans to accelerate the expansion of its sales teams and recently secured new office space in Atlanta at the Concourse Corporate campus in the Central Perimeter area. Mr. Moeling commented, “Atlanta offers us an excellent talent pool as we look to expand our team of sales professionals, and the area provides exceptional infrastructure supporting the growth of a retail and hospitality focused organization.”

Mr. Moeling brings 20 years of strategy, sales, operations and technology experience to the company. His responsibilities include developing Westec’s sales and marketing strategies and leading the company’s go-to-market teams.

Westec recently received national attention and $20 million in growth funding in large part for its unique 2-way audio technology. Westec video monitoring specialists can “talk” and interact with potential threats in thousands of customer locations nationwide in real time, helping to diffuse escalating situations that risk the safety and security of the location. Westec’s proprietary monitoring technology saves retail and restaurant customers millions of dollars annually, and leading clients like McDonald’s, Burger King, Waffle House, La Quinta, EZ Mart and Zales rely upon Westec’s services to ensure the day-to-day safety and performance of their operations.

“Helping our customers save money and run more secure operations, Westec is strategically positioned to perform well in this tough economy as we continue to deploy our unique technology and services to leading companies in the retail and hospitality industries,” said Kelby Hagar, CEO for Westec. “Securing top talent, like Chuck Moeling, plays a key role in our company’s growth strategy, and our investment in Atlanta, and its pool of talent, provides a great platform for Westec’s continued leadership in the security industry.”

Prior to joining Westec, Mr. Moeling served as Vice President of Retail at Radiant Systems where he played a key role in winning strategic customers, including The Athlete’s Foot and Batteries Plus. Before Radiant, Moeling was a founding executive of BlueCube Software where Moeling’s teams added strategic accounts such as Marriott Select Services and doubled the firm’s subscription installations. Moeling holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BE in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University’s School of Engineering.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nation’s First All-digital Production Facility Locates in Georgia

Meddin Studios opens doors, creates jobs in Savannah

Meddin Studios, LLC, is opening in Savannah with a $5.5 million investment in advanced digital media technology. The new studio, which will be the nation’s first fully digital production facility, will create up to 10 new jobs. Its completely digital workflow will stretch from pre-production to post-production, including distribution and asset management. Capitalizing on Georgia’s 2008 Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which offers up to a 30 percent tax credit for qualified productions, Meddin will foster innovation in digital film and video production and distribution.

“Meddin Studios’ decision to open in Savannah demonstrates that Georgia is leading the way in digital technology,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Ken Stewart. “What’s more, it reflects the strength of the growing film and entertainment industry, a result of Georgia’s strategic investments over 37 years.”

One of Meddin Studios’ unique offerings is asset management: the organization, conversion and preservation of content in a digital format. Aging film and tape formats, deteriorating photos and new digital media formats are the types of assets for which Meddin Studios can develop and implement a preservation plan. At its simplest, this means a visual, searchable catalog of media from years past. Film companies especially require more complex preservation plans, as old tape libraries are converted to a more accessible format.

"Meddin Studios is excited to fill an infrastructure void locally, regionally and nationally for the film, television and media industry. Four sound stages, production equipment rentals such as camera, lighting and grip, full post-production capabilities and digital asset management are just a few of the many offerings Meddin Studios is bringing to the area, said Nick Gant, company president, along with Jon Foster, CEO of Meddin.

The new studio is located in Savannah’s historic Meddin Brothers meat-packing facility, built in 1917. The 22,000-square-foot facility is located on 2.5 acres, three miles from downtown Savannah. At full operating capacity the studio will feature four 2,500-square-foot sound stages, two of which can be combined for a total 5,000 square feet of space; a full post-production facility; a fully-equipped 1,600-square-foot Pro Tools audio suite; and 4,000 square feet dedicated to camera and equipment rental.

“We are very impressed and proud that Nick Gant, Jon Foster and their management team made this happen – it’s no small feat! And we are thrilled they chose Savannah as the location. SEDA worked with The Creative Coast Alliance to support Meddin's start-up by introducing them to as many people and resources as we could – from potential clients to potential investors,” said Lynn Pitts, Sr. Vice President of the Savannah Economic Development Authority. “Savannah is eager to embrace and nurture these types of operations, and Meddin Studios will lead the way.”

Tonya Cooper, project manager for GDEcD, also assisted the company with this project.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state's sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. For more information, visit www.georgia.org
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

AirTran Pilots: Outsourcing Bad for Business

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Union leaders for the AirTran pilots issued the following statement in response to their airline’s announcement that AirTran [NYSE: AAI] has reached an agreement with SkyWest to operate five CRJ-200 aircraft—in SkyWest livery—between seven cities. AirTran pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have been in contract negotiations for five years and are seeking guarantees that the company will not farm out work to the lowest bidder.

“The pilots of AirTran are deeply concerned that our management is outsourcing flying, even while the company’s mainline growth has been stagnant for the past two years. While we applaud any moves by the company to increase profitability, we strongly believe that AirTran customers expect and deserve to be flown on AirTran planes with AirTran pilots in the cockpit.

“Outsourcing AirTran flying to a regional carrier runs the risk of diminishing the travel experience in the eyes of our customers, and goes directly against the business model that has made this company a success. AirTran is known for its business class seats, XM Radio and WiFi Internet access, none of which would be provided on a 50-seat Regional Jet (RJ).

“AirTran has been marketing its full-sized aircraft in Milwaukee as a more comfortable alternative to Republic Holdings’ smaller RJs. It would be unfortunate if AirTran were to cede that advantage as it works to gain market share in the Midwest.

“Furthermore, it is unclear how the utilization of RJs in 2010 would be any more successful than it was in 2003, when the company ended AirTran Jet-Connect.

“As partners in the success of this airline, we are asking AirTran management to work with the pilots and other employees in the future to encourage the growth of the company from within—as they’ve done in the past with notable success.”

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blytheco Named Sage North America Business Partner of the Year for 2009

Blytheco, LLC, a Sage North America business partner specializing in the sales, implementation and consulting professional services for a wide array of Sage Business Solutions (SBS) products, has been named the Sage North America Business Partner of the Year for fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009). Blytheco generated top revenues through the sales and service of nearly all SBS products, including Sage ERP (enterprise resource planning), MAS 90, MAS 200, MAS 500, Sage CRM (customer relationship management), Saleslogix, Sage Abra HRMS (human resources management systems), Sage FAS Fixed Asset Accounting and Sage MIP (non-profit solutions).

Blytheco, LLC is pleased to announce that the firm has received the following honors from Sage Software in recognition for achievements for Fiscal Year 2009:

· Business Partner of the Year for Sage North America
· Business Partner of the Year for Sage’s ERP Division
· Business Partner of the Year for the Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200 ERP product lines
· Business Partner of the Year for the Sage MAS 500 ERP product line
· Sage Chairman’s Club
· Sage Million Dollar Club
· Sage President’s Circle

“It is only through perseverance and a keen focus on providing our mutual customers superior service and strategic software solutions that Blytheco has earned our 2009 North America Business Partner of the Year Award,” said Jodi Uecker-Rust, President, Sage Business Solutions division. ““It is with great pleasure that we at Sage extend our congratulations to the outstanding team at Blytheco for their achievements in 2009.”

The Sage North America Business Partner of the Year award is given to the top ranking business partner across the entire SBS product portfolio, which features top brands such as Sage Accpac ERP, Sage Timberline, Sage MAS 90 ERP, Sage SalesLogix, Sage Abra HRMS, Sage FAS, and others.

Business Partner of the Year honors are given to top ranking business partners for each of Sage Software’s product lines and solutions groups. Blytheco has been a perennial Sage Partner of the Year and a member since inception of the Sage President’s Circle and Chairman's Club, a level of distinction for exceptional Sage Software business partners.

“It is a pleasure to recognize the Blytheco team again,” said Paul Johnson, Executive Vice President, Sage Business Solutions. “Their commitment to Sage is admirable, but it is their commitment to their clients and staff that makes them so successful year after year. We are glad to have them on our team, and look forward to even greater achievement in 2010.”

The prestigious Chairman’s Club Award Program rewards Sage’s top performers for their diligence in representing Sage Software products and consistently going above and beyond to achieve sales excellence.

“We are gratified to receive these honors once again from Sage in what has been for most a very challenging year,” said Stephen Blythe, CEO of Blytheco, LLC. “These awards are a tribute to the loyalty of our clients, the quality of our staff, and our ongoing commitment to growth, and we look forward to greater expansion and opportunity in the years ahead.”
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Vega Accepting Bids for Construction of Georgia Manufacturing Plant

/PRNewswire/ -- VEGA PROMOTIONAL SYSTEMS, INC. (Pink OTC: VGPR) announced today it is accepting bids for the construction of its Georgia fuel pellet manufacturing plant.

The proposed 40,000 square foot manufacturing facility will be located in Tifton, Georgia and will manufacture energy efficient pellet fuel from organic waste bi-products located within the State.

The Company will capitalize on the abundance of biomass in Georgia's Bioenergy Corridor and when completed, the new facility will have the capacity to produce several hundred thousand metric tons of biomass fuel pellets annually.

The State of Georgia ranks third in the nation as a potential source of renewable energy. The amount of privately owned forests in Georgia, more than any other state in the country, is the reason for the State's ranking.

The Company recently announced it is seeking financial assistance from the State of Georgia to build its manufacturing plant. When complete, the facility will create nearly 200 direct or indirect green jobs and address state energy priorities to adopt emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Parties interested in bidding on the construction of the plant should visit the Company's website at www.vegabiofuels.com for more information and to receive a detailed bid package.

The Company will announce additional details about the Georgia manufacturing plant as the project moves forward.

Certain statements in this release constitute forward-looking statements or statements which may be deemed or construed to be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "forecast," "project," "intend," "expect" "should," "would," and similar expressions and all statements, which are not historical facts, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause the Company's actual results, performance (finance or operating) or achievements to differ from future results, performance (financing and operating) or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

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Leading Plastics Extruder Has Optimistic Outlook, New Name

/PRNewswire/ -- One of North America's leading extruders of plastic profile, tube and sheet today announced a new corporate identity and reported positive indications for growth. The former Filtrona Extrusion is now Pexco. Management of the company, which is headquartered in Atlanta and operates seven manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico, remains unchanged.

Despite challenging economic conditions, Pexco is confident about its future prospects. "We're able to compete successfully due to an intense focus on efficiency in design, production and delivery. Pexco is helping other U.S. manufacturers make better products here, not offshore," said Pexco CEO Neil Shillingford.

"Signs of economic recovery are already evident in certain markets," Shillingford added. "We believe that Pexco is well-positioned to prosper as conditions improve. We have worked hard through the downturn to protect our resources -- both equipment and people -- and now we are ideally placed to grow as the market begins to pick up. We see our growth coming from continued commitment to our existing markets, also a renewed focus on product development and strategic acquisitions."

Pexco, which has been the brand name of the company's medical tubing products, chose its new name to emphasize a unified approach across multiple markets and production sites. Other brands that are now part of Pexco include Davidson Traffic Control Products, PDS Fence and A&B Plastics, a well-known brand in the aerospace industry.

Pexco's capabilities are aligned around several core markets: aerospace, retail, medical, traffic control, lighting and fence. It also offers a full range of capabilities including concept design, prototyping, die making, fabrication and sub-assembly. The company operates 126 extruders, 51 co-extruders and six sheet lines in 750,000 sq. ft. of production space. It ships more than 70 million pounds of extruded plastic product annually.

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