What To Look For In A Church Contractor

Planning the construction of a new church is an exciting thing for both your church members and the whole community. A new church can benefit your congregation and other attendees in numerous ways above and beyond worship. There are many different church designs to consider and the right one will depend on your church’s preferences as well as the main purpose of the church design as well. Below are some of the things to consider when comparing church builders before you make your decision.

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Previous Completed Works

When you are interviewing church builders, they should be able to offer you pictures of completed churches they have done in the past. This can give you a clue as to how well they can build your church for you. To help in your decision making process, try to go and visit the church buildings which they have completed. Each church construction is a major project and the company you choose should be able to walk you through each step from the beginning concept until completion. Companies such as www.obrienandkeane.com have multiple completed projects under their belt and have the experience to get you the church of your congregation’s dreams.

How Are The Buildings Manufactured

Another great question to ask a potential church builder is how they complete the projects. Do they manufacture the building materials and then hire outside companies to complete the building process? Do they manufacture and build everything themselves? Typically, companies that employ their own crews have better quality control over the whole process compared to companies who hire outside contractors to finish the projects. Additionally, you will want to know what kind of warranty is offered on the whole project from inside out. You will want the outside to have warranty against normal weather conditions as well as the catholic church interior design to withstand normal wear and tear for years to come. It pays in the long run to go with a church builder who has a good reputation for standing behind their work.

The more you know about a church builder and how they run their business, the more comfortable you will be about the whole process. You want to know enough to make you confident in your decisions because they affect you, your congregation and the whole community. A company that has been in business for years and successfully completed multiple projects will be your best chance at getting the church of your dreams.

Vacation planning

No one will argue the fact that family vacations can be expensive.  From travel expense to food and lodging, the costs can add up when it comes to planning a successful vacation.  This had given rise to the concept of stay cations, vacations that allow you to stay in town.

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Utilizing the Hotel Accommodations

One of the easiest ways to take the cost out of a vacation is by taking advantage of many of the amenities that are provided by the hotel.  You’ve already saved on transportation costs by booking a hotel in town which makes room in the budget for booking a nicer hotel with more amenities.  Take advantage of the swimming pool, the gym, movie rentals, and any free meal offers.  Most nice hotels have enough amenities to keep you both relaxed and entertained.  This type of quick and easy to plan vacation can give you much needed rest and relaxation away from the stresses of your job as a utility pole supplier.

Take Advantage of Attractions Nearby

Most hotels are located near many restaurants and entertainment venues.  Take advantage of the close proximity to food and entertainment.  If there is a mall or movie theater nearby, a family outing that makes going to the movies a focal point is a great way to enjoy the day.  Even a simple outing like a trip to a nearby mall and a nice family lunch are both excellent ways to create inexpensive ways for a family to enjoy each other’s company and be entertained.

Plan a Wild Card Day

Most family vacations are spent take advantage of activities as a family unit, however, it’s ok to plan a day where each family member can do whatever they want to.  Mom may not be interested in going to see that teen horror flick, just as Dad may not want to spend hours in the mall shopping for clothes, let everyone off the hook by planning a day where each family member can do their own thing.

Staycations can be just what the doctor ordered when funds are low but the family is still due a vacation.  Take the leap, in your own city, and explore the many different ways that you can still create a pretty impressive vacation without spending large amounts of money or having to fly or drive far away.  The money saved can make that fancy in-town hotel more affordable, not to mention the nice amenities that many hotels have inclusive in their pricing.  Most hotels are located near plenty of restaurants and entertainment which translates into fun for everyone, without the stress of having to drive far away.

Reasons for Hazmat Training

When you think about hazardous materials training, there are three basic reasons it needs to be provided whenever circumstances make it necessary. One of these reasons is legal compliance. The other two are prevention and response. Since, however, the regulations were formulated to prevent incidents from occurring and to mandate the responses that are needed if an incident occurs, training should be focused on the prevention and response aspects. It should then be fine-tuned to make sure it complies with the legal requirements. Toxicology education is important for developing effective management programs. Companies like Advanced Hazmat Life Support can provide this training for companies who do not have the resources on staff to conduct it internally.

Developing training that meets all the regulatory requirements becomes easier with some understanding of the agencies that may have their own requirements. Sometimes, being familiar with some of the regulatory terms can make it a bit easier to determine which agency’s regulations apply.

 

The term “hazardous chemical” is often used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Whenever you see that term used, it likely applies to something like the hazard communication, or right to know, rules. This is the rule that says workers have a right to know what harmful products they may be dealing with on the job and how to protect themselves against any hazards. Keep in mind that OSHA has phased in the globally harmonized system (GHS) in its regulations. By now, all the effective dates have passed, so your company should be operating in full compliance with the GHS standards.

 

“Hazardous materials” is a term that is often used by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Don’t be led into thinking that if you are not in the transportation business the regulations do not apply to you. Anytime products are offered for shipment or unloaded from trucks at the point of delivery, these regulations can apply. This puts many companies in positions where they must provide DOT training. It is usually required every three years.

 

“Hazardous waste” is a term developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that deals with the proper handling and disposal of wastes that could cause harm to human health of the environment. Whenever you see that term used, you might check the requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  OSHA has borrowed this term to specify training requirements for individuals who are responding to incidents.

 

While training is important to protect people and their surroundings, it must be done in a way that fulfills the legal requirements. Sometimes, finding the applicable regulation can be a challenge. Becoming familiar with the terms can often be helpful.

Simple Strategies That Promote Optimal Wellness

If you’ve been thinking about how to become a healthier person, now is the time to take action. There are a wide range of health strategies you can implement to ensure that you start looking and feeling your very best. Here are three of them:

1. Optimize Your Dental Hygiene Routine.

If you’re serious about health optimization, make sure that you take great care of your teeth. When you do so, you’ll be able to fight gum disease while also improving the aesthetic appeal of your smile. To optimize your dental hygiene efforts, make sure that you are brushing and flossing twice daily. Also make sure that you’re visiting the dentist at least once annually to have your teeth professionally cleaned. If you’re looking for a dentist Charlotte NC residents can count on to offer excellent services, consider Charlotte Dental Partners.

2. Get A Massage.

In addition to optimizing your dental hygiene routine, make sure that you get in the habit of attaining a professional massage. While some people think of massages as a special treat for vacations or spa days, it’s important to know that having a monthly massage can and should function as a part of your health care routine. This is the case because massages provide people with a wide range of benefits that optimize their level of wellness. Some of those benefits include boosted immunity, better memory, enhanced functioning of the circulatory system, and improved skin quality. When you start looking for the ideal massage therapist, make sure you choose someone who has been successfully working in the field for five years or more.

3. Implement A Workout Schedule.

One final technique you can implement to optimize your level of health is implementing a workout schedule. This strategy is important because exercise provides us with a wide range of benefits. Some of them include weight loss, better posture, and heart health. Some forms of physical activity you can engage in to reap these results include yoga, weight-lifting, tae-bo, and pilates. Make sure that you develop a weekly schedule which outlines the types of physical activities you’re going to engage in so that you become systematic and consistent in your workout efforts.

Get Healthy Now!

If you’re serious about living a life marked by extraordinary mental and physical well-being, know that you can. Three strategies that can facilitate optimal health include
optimizing your dental health, obtaining a massage, and implementing a workout schedule.

Things about Clen to Be Aware Of Before Starting Use

There are times when people in a hurry get the dosage of important medicine without knowing much about it. This is one situation to avoid as you would want to get the best possible results without any issues. Here, the amount of Clen to be taken is decided to depend on the need of the individual. Clenbuterol is a highly effective fat cutting capsule for the users looking to lose stubborn fat from the body. It was actually developed as a treatment for asthma due to its function as a bronchodilator. Normally today people use it to cut fat and also while bodybuilding bulking cycles.

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Clen for the common

The common use of Clen is for treatment but now with bulking cycles, they are everywhere. There is rampant use by bodybuilders for quick results with regards to losing sticky fat from the body. People use it all the time to gain an advantage over the others. The cycles are run along with other stuff for better results and it normally relates to the personal demands of the individual as to how long it will run. Minimum cycle length for Clenbuterol usually ranges around 4-8 weeks. Then again it all comes down to the needs of the person at a personal level. There is no way one can determine for sure how many weeks are going to be enough.

This medicine can stimulate the nervous system very similar to adrenaline. Maybe the reason why the side effects are also quite similar to other such medicines like ephedrine. It’s not cleared by FDA due to a strong half-life which makes it risky with the longer sustainability of side effects. Still, there are many people who go for this drug without worrying about the negative side and reap the benefits. They plan the cycle according to the half-life of the product and gain the desired cutting effect.

Taking Clen

This is one medication available in various forms like capsules, sprays, inhalers, injectable, and also in some areas as a bulk powder. People can choose among the various available options to work with it for their particular cycle. Take any one of the forms that you are comfortable using during the cycle. Measure the doses well as some of the brands may mix other stuff too like Ketotifen. Some manufacturers offer odd dosage like 0.025 mg as well, so you need to be sure how much you are consuming.

Effect for the users

People who take Clen should know about the working and the period of effect for them. Running the minimum cycle length for Clenbuterol can be tricky as it has the heating impact on the body due to thermogenic nature. This is why you should consider taking it for 2 weeks and then next couple weeks off to get the effects going for 12 weeks. These off weeks can be utilized with other such drugs like Ephedrine. Clen can be the right partner to recovery during heavy eating without gaining fat.

DoorDash will pay $5 million to settle class-action lawsuit over independent contractors

On-demand food delivery startup DoorDash has reached an agreement with workers’ rights lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan regarding a class-action lawsuit that alleged DoorDash misclassified its delivery workers as independent contractors.

As part of the settlement, DoorDash will pay class members of the suit $3.5 million, following the court’s approval. The company has also agreed to pay an additional $1.5 million in four years or when one of three things happen: DoorDash goes public, the company is profitable for a full year or some other company acquires DoorDash at double its current valuation.

In September 2015, Cynthia Marciano and Evan Kissner both separately filed lawsuits against DoorDash, alleging that DoorDash misclassified them and other delivery workers as independent contractors, and therefore violated certain provisions of the labor code.

The named plaintiffs, Marciano and Kissner, will receive $7,500 each and Liss-Riordan will get up to $1.25 million, according to the settlement. The approximately 33,744 class members, which entail all those who worked for DoorDash as independent contractors at some point between September 23, 2011 through August 29, 2016, and completed at least one delivery, will receive payment as part of the settlement.

 Those who “were most active” on DoorDash will “receive proportionally higher payments,” the settlement states. DoorDash has also updated its deactivation policy to ensure that all its delivery people retain access to the platform unless they violate the rules of engagement. Before, there was no single source of truth when it came to deactivating people from the platform. Another change is that DoorDash delivery workers will be able to appeal a deactivation if they feel they should not have been deactivated from the platform.

This settlement, however, does not prevent other people from suing DoorDash over this exact same reason in the future. But given that DoorDash worked with Liss-Riordan, the lawyer whose name often shows up on these cases against Uber, Lyft and other on-demand companies, there’s reason to believe that this type of case might be less attractive for complaints in the future. That’s because the resolution they agreed on was not to change independent contractors to employee status, but rather change some policies to improve clarity and ensure more rights for the workers.

“We firmly believe that the autonomy and flexibility Dashers love is made possible by, and consistent only with, their status as independent contractors,” DoorDash General Counsel Keith Yandell wrote on the DoorDash blog. “That said, we feel that this settlement represents a fair compromise, addresses valuable Dasher feedback, and makes changes that will further cement Dashers’ status as independent contractors.”

Popular Pays raises $3.1M in new funding to connect marketers and creators

How can Popular Pays stand out in the influencer marketing crowd? The key, according to co-founder Corbett Drummey, is to focus on content.

The approach seems to have convinced investors, with Popular Pays announcing that it has raised an additional $3.1 million, which it rolled up with the funding it raised after participating in Y Combinator into a Series A of $5.2 million. The round was led by GoAhead VC with participation from Pallasite Ventures and Hyde Park Angels.

Drummey told me that when he started Popular Pays, he assumed that the main value the service could provide was connecting marketers with social media influencers to promote their brands and products. That wasn’t entirely wrong, but he said, “The real value of what we’re doing is in the content itself. Brands realized that, too — they wanted the impressions, but they were staying for the content.”

After all, brands need an increasing amount of videos, photos and blog posts if they’re going to keep posting and engaging online, a trend that’s only going to increase as social media shifts toward more Snapchat Stories-style formats.

Instagram Marketing Startup Popular Pays Raises $2MTime Inc. is launching its own influencer marketing network with help from SpeakrAmazon quietly launches its own social media influencer program into beta

To be clear, Popular Pays hasn’t abandoned the influencer marketing model entirely. Drummey said most of the company’s campaigns involve a combination of generating content for a brand and publishing promotional messages on users’ accounts.

However, he said the company has switched from calling those users influencers — instead, it calls them creators, to reflect the fact that for many of them, “Their value isn’t necessarily that they’re famous or a celebrity, but that they’re professional content creators.”

Drummey also noted that Popular Pays offers tools that help marketers manage many creators at once (hundreds, in the case of some campaigns), and to A/B test the content that they produce. And the company is expanding the way it makes money by licensing the technology to other businesses and also working with resellers — in fact, he said resellers already account for nearly one-third of the company’s revenue.

Cloudera’s IPO will test unicorn valuations

Cloudera filed to go public mid-day last Friday, releasing a set of financial numbers that were the locus of anticipation: How would the company’s recent performance stack up to its $4.1 billion valuation set three years ago?

Before Cloudera published its S-1 document — detailing its recent quarterly results and several years of financial data — reports indicated that the company would pursue a $4.1 billion valuation in its IPO, flat from its last private round when Intel poured $740 million into the company.

That Cloudera might aim for a level valuation with a dozen or so quarters of additional growth under its belt was notable. (Crunchbase News reached out to Cloudera regarding the valuation figure. The company declined to comment.) The situation raises an obvious question: Did Cloudera’s investors incorrectly estimate the potential future value of the company in 2014 if it intends to secure a flat valuation today?

It is likely fair to say that Cloudera’s investors were at least partially incorrect about where the company’s value would end up by the first quarter of 2017. No one alive deploys three-quarters of a billion dollars in capital for a flat return over a multi-year period. And doubly, Cloudera may in fact still be overvalued at the proposed $4.1 billion valuation when compared to certain public market comps.

We’ll need to do some work to get there, but if you come along for this walk, I promise that we will learn something. Take my hand.

Cloudera’s guts and bolts

All Cloudera results are set to its own fiscal calendar, a yearly period that ends on January 31st. That recurring annual chronology is common among companies that sell to larger customers, as the month of December is slow, and sales denizens like to close their quarters on months that are non-holiday infused. So, effectively, January becomes your December.

In its most recent fiscal year, which wrapped January 31st, 2017, Cloudera reported aggregate revenue of $261.0 million, up 57.2 percent from its preceding fiscal year. In that year, Cloudera’s revenues were a more modest $166.0 million.

Cloudera also lost $187.3 million — down 7.8 percent from its gut-busting prior-year loss of $203.1 million. Those are GAAP results, mind, not adjusted figures. (GAAP, a boring acronym, means: “No accounting bullshit is allowed; how much did you really lose or make?”)

The company has a mere $74.2 million in cash and equivalents in the bank. Compared to its quarterly losses from operations in its last few fiscal quarters (-$61.0 million, -$44.0 million, -$38.8 million and -$43.5 million), that amount of cash implies Cloudera is raising money because it needs to. This isn’t uncommon in IPOs, but it is worth bearing in mind, all the same.

If all those numbers blurred slightly in your head, it’s understandable. What we need to do now is uncover what Cloudera is, in fact, worth. Spoilers: Cloudera is worth more than nothing and far less than the most valuable public company in the world, Apple.

From that, let’s narrow it down.

The $4.1 billion question

Cloudera is a deeply unprofitable company with a history of both losses and quickly expanding revenue. So too, of course, are nearly all technology IPOs.

Antigravity exists, however, between revenue growth and losses. The faster you grow, the more money you can lose both in raw dollar terms and on a comparative basis, while managing to keep your investors content. If you grow at, say, one billion percent per year, doubling your losses isn’t a big deal. However, if you grew just 10 percent last year, and you lost 200 percent as much as the year before, you might be dead.

(If you can unpack the inherent importance of baseline metrics in those examples, you didn’t need the examples to grok the point, did you?)

So Cloudera loses money, but we need to decide if that’s a problem or not. And to get a handle on it, we need to better understand growth.

 Let’s put Cloudera’s 57.2 percent revenue growth rate into context compared to two recent, enterprise-facing tech IPOs, and everyone’s favorite SaaS company, Box. From TechCrunch:
  • MuleSoft, for example, currently trades at a revenue multiple of around 15 (trailing). It grew its revenue just over 70 percent last year.

  • Alteryx, another recent IPO, is trading at around a 10x trailing revenue multiple. It grew its revenue by just under 60 percent last year.

  • Box, a favorite market comp for private enterprise startups, commands just a 5.34x trailing revenue multiple. It grew just under 32 percent last year.

The quick lesson here is that companies get a higher revenue multiple the faster they grow. That’s reasonable. The faster a firm is growing today, the more future dollars of revenue investors buy when they purchase its shares.

As you can see, Cloudera slots in just under Alteryx, and far ahead of Box, in terms of its growth rate. Let’s go ahead and say, staring between the two comps, that the top line expansion range indicates that a revenue multiple of 8 is a reasonable estimate for what Cloudera might be able to command. That would value the company at just under $2.1 billion.

Not a good result when compared to Cloudera’s previous $4.1 billion valuation.

But what about Hortonworks, another company operating in the Hadoop space. What are its own figures? Keeping the same structure as our prior notes, here are Hortonworks’ own metrics:

  • Hortonworks, a fellow Hadoop player, currently trades at a revenue multiple of 3.5 (trailing). It expanded its revenue 51 percent compared to its year-ago annual period.

Two things should stand out to you:

  1. At that revenue multiple, Cloudera is worth less than one billion dollars.
  2. Hortonworks is trading at a revenue multiple discount to Box’s own, despite growing more quickly.

There’s an argument to be made for why that may be reasonable: Box is now free cash flow positive, unlike Hortonworks. Box also has higher revenues in raw dollar terms, and lower net losses in raw dollar terms, making its operating margins far superior.

There’s more to valuation than just growth percentage and loss rates. But, keep in mind that Cloudera and Hortonworks both have growth rates in the 50s, so the companies are close.

After observing a reasonable market analog in terms of product direction (Hadoop) and growth, it isn’t clear how Cloudera gets to a $4.1 billion valuation.

So what?

What we are seeing here is a potential mismatch between Cloudera’s prior private valuations and what it can command in the public.

Why does that matter? It matters in that if the mismatch persists, then we could see a unicorn not merely price at a modest discount to its past-private valuation, but at a fraction of that price. And that could mean there are other paper unicorns out there that could come out of their own eventual IPO process looking more origami than broadsheet.

Blackstorm Labs and Rakuten launch R Games to build high-fidelity HTML5 games

Blackstorm Labs, a startup that’s working to build technology that brings developers tools to get out games and apps more quickly through HTML5, today said it is working with Rakuten to build a new entity called R Games that will serve as a hub for games in Japan and Asia.

Blackstorm Labs has been working with Rakuten for some time on the project, which was rumored last November, but it is coming out officially this evening, and co-founder Ernestine Fu said that working with Rakuten dovetails with users in Asia generally having a more progressive worldview of app distribution. Apps running on Blackstorm Labs’ technology are designed to boot instantly and have the same quality of a regular app without having to download large files.

“If you think about any new distribution platform you try to create, you need to have premiere amazing content on that platform,” Fu said. “The game studio to feed some initial content. But at some point we’ll open to additional developers.”

R Games is more of a “joint spinout,” with Blackstorm basically handling education and development of the technology and relaying that over to Rakuten. R Games already has dozens of people working on games that will be distributed through Blackstorm Labs’ HTML5 technology, and is tapping big brands like Taito to make games like Bubble Bobble and Pac-Man. The startup has one board seat in the venture.

Blackstorm Labs isn’t actually shipping any of its existing employees off to R Games, which would certainly not be a scalable situation if it were to seek additional partnerships and deals like these. But late last year, it became clear that the technology had a opportunity to create, at the very least, a thriving gaming ecosystem based around HTML5 technology, Fu said.

“We built within two days this quick bubble shooter game — it was not polished at all,” Fu said. “We were able to take that game and show it to the folks at Rakuten. It was all these things that were rough but it was one of those big moments that there are new distribution platforms. At the time HTML5 tech was so rapidly changing, Google and Apple were a part of that,”

Games still continues to be one of the strongest showcases of the technology, with the ability to quickly dive into a high-fidelity gaming experience that can tap into more social elements across different platforms like Facebook Messenger. But Blackstorm Labs’ technology can theoretically go beyond games, if developers are able to use that technology to figure out new use cases for applications that can quickly spin up and launch within a browser while having the same level of quality of a downloaded app.

If that’s the case — and that was one of the core elements of Blackstorm Labs’ pitch — then developers may be able to sidestep the cluttered App Store completely if it gets wide adoption. The actual applications could theoretically be embedded within links in your News Feed or messenger clients while still behaving like a typical app. Getting that technology widely adopted is still going to be an uphill battle, but part of the reason the company started off with games is that they have very high performance requirements.

Euronet outbids Alibaba’s Ant Financial with $1 billion offer for MoneyGram

Alibaba’s conquest to own a piece of the global money transfer industry just suffered a huge blow after Euronet outbid its fintech affiliate business for the proposed acquisition of MoneyGram, a popular option for cross-border money transfers.

Ant Financial, the Alibaba-controlled unit that runs Alipay (among other services), bid $880 million for MoneyGram back in January, but now Euronet is offering more than $1 billion for the company.

Ant Financial declined to comment.

Euronet, which operates services like Epay, HiFix and XE, is offering to pay $15.20 per share for Nasdaq-listed MoneyGram, thus outbidding Ant Financial, which proposed $13.25 for its deal. Euronet said that, aside from offering 15 percent more than Ant Financial, its bid offers a compelling 28 percent premium on MoneyGram’s trade-share price, which was suspended following the first buyout offer.

Beyond the differing financial offers, the two bids are distinctly different because of the nature of the two companies making them.

Euronet was founded in Hungary in 1994 and it specializes in point-of-sale and payment services both on and offline. It has a history of acquisitions, having picked up XE, a hugely popular foreign currency site, in 2015, and a range of other purchases that include money transfer providers, ATM cash operators and more across the world.

Ant Financial, meanwhile, is breaking new ground with its proposed acquisition. It has specialized in digital and has no real offline presence, which is where MoneyGram — which runs a vast offline network to distribute payments worldwide — could complement it. Ant Financial claims 450 million users in China, where it is best known as the Alibaba spinout that houses China’s dominant mobile payment platform Alipay and Alibaba’s digital banking and financial services platform.

 It has spent the last few months expanding its footprint outside of China through an aggressive streak of deals that include investments in Korea, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as it looks to construct a regional payments and financial services network.

Financial industry analysts that spoke to TechCrunch following the announcement of Ant Financial’s bid for MoneyGram expressed some surprise that the company had gone after a deal having previously focused on easily comparable businesses in Asia, such as Kakao Pay in Korea and India’s Paytm.

“People are beginning to rethink [Ant Financial and Alibaba’s] global strategy,” James Lloyd, a fintech consultant with EY in Hong Kong, told TechCrunch in a recent interview. “It signaled that their global ambitions go beyond serving Chinese tourists and the overseas Chinese population.”

Ant Financial has declined interview requests around the precise details of its international expansion plan, but we do know that it is hugely ambitious. CEO Eric Jang recently told CNBC that it is aiming to reach two billion users over the next 10 years.

“The combination of Ant Financial and MoneyGram will provide greater access, security and simplicity for people around the world to remit funds, especially in major economies such as the United States, China, India, Mexico and the Philippines,” Jang said in a press statement after the Ant Financial bid was announced.

MoneyGram would massively broaden its focus in terms of markets and users, so it remains to be seen if Ant Financial — which is raising $3 billion in debt funding to finance M&A deals — will come back to the table with a fresh offer or look for a different horse to back.