Four signs you’re ready to make a change

first_imgScott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: Details 71SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfield I recently had a lively conversation with a credit union friend about missed professional/workplace opportunities due to fear or resistance to change. We each detailed experience we’ve had and what we learned from them. It also included situations we frequently see among our credit union colleagues. Common and reoccurring themes that emerged from our conversation included:Human Resource Roadblocks – There are people in our organizations who “need to go.“ Their attitude, quality of work, and commitment suck the very life out of everyone on the team. Leadership’s inability to address these issues is costing their team and organization dearly. If you’re the leader responsible for this “drain” on your organization, step up and make the change that’s needed – even if there’s fear of critique from the Board or even the members (some of these drains are beloved by members). That’s never a justification for consistently bad performance that undermines your success.Outdated Processes or Technology – There are a lot of unhappy and frustrated credit union people who complain a lot about poor technology, service, and systems, but are unwilling to make the investment to change to something better. I get it: big investments for new systems, due diligence, creating vendor relationships, and training require a lot of money, time, and effort. I’m frequently amazed at the opportunity (income, growth, better service) losses I see from credit unions unwilling to make technology changes when they need to.Toxic Cultures – Many of us have had the experience of being trapped in toxic credit union culture – good people who were once motivated and saw a great future ahead who’ve had the will to live pounded out of them by ineffective and weak leaders who allow the toxicity to occur. I always hold leaders accountable for toxic cultures. They set the tone and own it. People who are trapped in these cultures need to get the heck out of there. I’ve been in this position before; I understand the fear of the unknown. “Where will I go?” “What will I do?” I’ve made the justification that it will get better. I’ve stayed and watched my quality of life go down the drain. I waited too long, but I finally took a leap of faith. It was stressful, I won’t lie. But I can say, hands down, it’s worth it.Are you ready to make a change?Here are four signs you might be ready to make a change:Motivation – If you feel your motivation to do things you enjoy is ebbing, it might be time to make a change. Try to identify what’s draining your motivation and remove the obstacle. There’s nothing more demotivating than working with chronic underperformers and people who could care less.Stress – If your stress is higher than normal, it might be because you’re working hard for better results, but consistently lack the tools (technology, systems, people) you need to get the job done. The stress won’t go away until you can move or deflect the obstacle(s) in your way.Keep up – If the world around you is changing and you’re not keeping up, it probably means you need to make a change. Fear and resistance to change hold us back. If you see the world passing you by, you might want to make some changes before it’s too late. Anxious – If you live in a constant state of anxiety or fear, it’s time to make a change. Credit union work isn’t always easy. It’s a career full of deadlines, challenges, and change. But, with the occasional exception (anxiety created by an exam), work should not create constant anxiety or fear. If it does, you need to evaluate whether you’re at the right place and you might need to make a change.Why it mattersWe operate in one of the most competitive industries on the planet. Our ability to successfully compete will depend on our ability to embrace and manage change. It’s simple: we don’t have a time to spend on ineffective systems, products, or people. Things are never perfect, but we need to have a reasonable chance to win. Thriving in credit union land isn’t easy, and it’s usually a lot of hard work – but if you get to win once in a while, the hard work is worth it. Because at the end of the day, people (members, communities, staff) are better off when we succeed.Changing your situation isn’t easy, but it’s worth it!last_img read more

Next Generation Mobile Homes

first_imgUnusual features for a mobile homeVHCB said in a report on the project that the U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development first developed standards for manufactured housing in the mid-1970s. They’ve been updated several times since then, but mobile homes still put their occupants at a big energy disadvantage and they’ve long been disparaged as poorly built.“Replacing poor quality but very inexpensive homes with homes of better quality that cost more must be considered in the context of the fact that nationally 41% of mobile home-dwellers have incomes below 50% of the area median,” the VHCB says.The prototype includes features that plenty of conventional stick-built houses still don’t have:Double 2×4 walls on 24-in. centers creating 10-in. wall cavities insulated to R-43 with blown-in fiberglass insulation.5/8-in. gypsum wallboard on the interior glued to the studs.5/8-in. Zip System roof sheathing covered with Grace Ice & Water Shield.Roof trusses 24 in. on center with 14 in. of blown-in fiberglass (R-60), plus a floor system insulated to R-44 and sealed with Zip System sheathing and tape.A Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator, or CERV that combines an air-source heat pump with a ventilation system that monitors carbon dioxide, humidity, and volatile organic compounds in the air and adjusts ventilation rates as needed.Triple-glazed awning and casement windows manufactured by PVC Industries.A heat-pump water heater.This new breed of mobile home isn’t cheap; the homes cost roughly $100,000 each. But, says VHCB, energy accounts for nearly half of monthly housing costs in a conventional HUD-certified mobile home but should total only 16% in a high-performance model. Renewable energy systems strongly recommendedWith the addition of a rooftop photovoltaic array, this type of the house is designed for net-zero energy operation, says Peter Schneider, a senior energy consultant with Efficiency Vermont, which provides energy efficiency services for Vermont ratepayers and took part in the pilot program.An array of up to 5.5 kW in capacity can be installed on a home 66 ft. long, and 6 kW systems can be installed on a 70-ft. model, Schneider says. That’s about all these roofs will hold, but it should be enough for net-zero operation, and reduce monthly power bills to the service charge alone.“You’re going from a conventional mobile home that is looking at $200 to $300 a month for their total energy costs and taking it down to $16 a month if they put the PV on it,” Pasho said, adding that the quality of construction also is much higher than a conventional mobile home.“For this project we’re working with the state and building them as single module homes with the configuration of a traditional mobile home because they’re designed to be replacement homes in [mobile home] parks,” he said. “You can’t come in and put a nice ranch in there because the park layout is for sausages.”Schneider said a blower-door test of the first unit showed air leakage of 0.9 air changes per hour at 50 pascals of pressure. Once the units are set on their sites and all penetrations for utilities are sealed, the results might be somewhat better. Air leakage rates also may be reduced as Vermod crews gain more experience.The HERS rating will be in the single digits, Schneider said, with the exact number still to be determined based on values allowed for the CERV unit.In all, Pill-Maharam designed one-, two- and three-bedroom models, including one that is ADA-compliant. Pill said the goal was to make the buildings as space- and energy-efficient as possible while keeping them aesthetically pleasing and low in cost. UPDATED on November 6, 2013 with information on the design teamA high-performance mobile home that will use a fraction of the energy of standard manufactured housing and rival the energy efficiency and quality of advanced stick-built homes has made its public debut in Vermont.The first of 10 mobile homes to be produced under the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project was unveiled Oct. 23 in White River Junction, Vermont. The “single-wide” mobile homes, roughly 14 ft. wide and either 66 ft. or 70 ft. long, have features common for high-performance houses but virtually unheard of in manufactured housing: double stud walls, triple-glazed windows, and more than a foot of blown-in insulation in the roof.The project to develop this new type of mobile home is a response to Tropical Storm Irene, which brought widespread damage to Vermont in 2011. Although mobile homes make up just 7% of the state’s housing stock, they represented 15% of the homes damaged in the storm, according to the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB).The year after Irene barreled through the state, VHCB, with help from the High Meadows Fund and others, launched an effort to improve mobile home design. They were prompted not only by the disproportionate storm damage but also by two studies published in 2012 that showed people who live in mobile homes pay a lot more for energy than do those who live in stick-built houses.A working group of two dozen or more people joined the effort. Vermod High Performance Manufactured Housing in White River Junction is building them. The houses were designed by Pill-Maharam Architects of Shelburne, VT, in collaboration with Vermod.“This ain’t no mobile home,” Vermod General Manager Chet Pasho said by telephone. “It just looks like one at 50 miles an hour going down the road. This is a high-performance modular home that right how we’re building on mobile home geometry.”center_img People in many states could benefitImproved air quality and energy efficiency would be a big boost in Vermont, where winters are long and common fossil fuels like oil and kerosene are expensive. But Vermont is actually in the middle of the pack in terms of the percentage of total housing represented by mobile homes. The U.S. Census bureau says 6.9% of all Vermont houses were mobile homes in 2008.Elsewhere, the fraction is much higher. The top three states are South Carolina (17.9%), New Mexico (16.4%) and Mississippi (15.2%). And if Vermont’s case is any guide, lots of these mobile homes are showing serious signs of age.“Over 22% of mobile homes in Vermont are pre-1976, the year that the HUD standards went into effect,” the VHCB report says. “These homes are aging out and will need to be replaced with something. Having a super-energy efficient alternative is an important option.“In addition, 45% of Vermont’s mobile home or manufactured housing stock is pre-1990. Although a 25-year-old home is not particularly old if it is stick built, some manufactured homes of this vintage are also beginning to show signs of significant deterioration.”One big problem is how buyers with low incomes will be able to afford $100,000 mobile homes. Although buyers for these first high-performance homes will be eligible for subsidies, a used HUD- certified model can be had for as little as $8,000. Many mobile home park residents don’t have mortgages, and might not be interested or able in taking out a big loan for a new mobile home, no matter how energy efficient it might be.Pasho says the $100,000 price tag does not include a foundation or utility hookups, but early buyers will get a helping hand from subsidies and loans that could bring the cost to as little as $35,000. That’s what the buyer of the first unit will pay.last_img read more

Don’t Hire a Cleaning Crew to Wash Your Solar Panels

first_imgWorried that your rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels are cranking out less power than they should because they’re dusty? Don’t be. Paying someone to wash them is likely to cost more than what you’d gain in electrical output, engineers at the University of California, San Diego, said.According to an article in Laser Focus World, the efficiency of panels that hadn’t been cleaned or rained on for 145 days during a drought had dropped by 7.4%. But washing the panels midway through the summer would have boosted the value of electrical production by just $20.Power losses are greater for commercial installations, but even there probably not enough to justify the cost of a cleaning. For very large installations, however, washing made more sense economically.The conclusions were based on a study of 186 solar installations in California in 2010. Jan Kleissi, the report’s principal investigator, said pollution and dust levels in California are fairly typical of other parts of the country, if a little dustier. In areas that get more rain, panels would tend to stay cleaner, with even smaller energy losses, making for an even more compelling argument against paying for a cleaning.One exception is bird droppings. Rain won’t wash them off and they block virtually all light, the study said. So if your solar panels happen to be in an avian bombs-away zone, it probably makes sense to clean the panels once in a while.The study was originally published in Solar Energy.last_img read more

Act Your Financial Age

first_imgBaby Boomers (Born 1946-1964, Age 55-73 in 2019)Determine when to claim Social Security and develop a strategy to provide income from investmentsLearn about Social Security, Medicare, and pension benefits as you approach the age of eligibilityInvestigate later life housing and living costsLearn about required minimum distributions (RMDs) from tax-deferred retirement savings plansTry to pay off all debt before retirementTake advantage of available “senior discounts” Young woman By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] staff serve service members and their families at all ages and stages of life from young enlisted personnel getting a credit card in their 20s to those receiving retirement pay decades later. Thus, it is essential to understand how different generations handle money. Below are some examples of generational differences:Millennials spend the most of any generation on eating out and Generation X spends the most on housingMillennials are more likely than other generations to not carry around any cashCredit card use and credit scores increase with age as do health insurance premiumsYounger tax filers are more likely to use software and older tax filers more likely to hire a tax professionalEach decade of one’s financial life has suggested recommendations. Below are action steps for the four generations that are currently in the workforce or retired. Positive action steps taken as a young adult should continue throughout one’s adult life. A military homecoming. Portrait of an African American woman wearing navy camouflage uniform standing outdoors with her family. Her husband is holding their 5 year old son who is in the middle between his parents. Return to article. Long DescriptionGet strategic about philanthropy and/or gifting to family membersTalk to children/heirs about finances and estate planningStreamline and consolidate financial accounts and downsize and/or donate excess “stuff”Take RMD withdrawals from tax-deferred retirement savings plans (e.g., 401(k)s and Traditional IRAs)Make sure family members and/or advisors know where to find personal and financial documentsAdjust lifestyle to declining real income, if neededFor additional information about financial tasks for different generations, review the Military Families Learning Network webinar Financial Planning Transitions for Different Generations. Return to article. Long DescriptionGeneration X (Born 1965-1981, Age 38-54 in 2019)Continue to invest for the long term in stocks or stock mutual fundsDiversify investments and periodically rebalance portfolioEnhance employment skills (build human capital)Try to “max out” retirement savings plan contributions; take advantage of catch-up contributions at age 50+Talk to aging parents about their financesPrepare a will and living will if one wasn’t already created Mature/Silent/Traditionalist Generation (Born 1927-1945; age 74-92 in 2019) Return to article. Long DescriptionPhotospin/Ruslan KudrinMillennials or Generation Y (Born 1982-2000; Age 19-37 in 2019)Train for a career and become financially independent from parentsLearn to budget and “pay yourself first”Develop a repayment strategy for student loansBuild an adequate emergency fund (i.e., 3 to 6 months expenses)Build a positive credit historyDevelop investing expertise and start investing for retirementBuy life insurance to protect dependents and/or student loan co-signersBalance YOLO (You Only Live Once) and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) mindsets with financial security Return to article. Long Description read more

Flash memory

first_imgThis collection of articles highlights Flash memory technology and its application in a variety of roles in embedded systems.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Continue Reading Previous Why 60GHz mmWave is moving into the mainstreamNext ADLINK to refresh its carrier-grade network appliances with 2nd gen Xeon scalable processorslast_img

Top biscuit maker Parle may cut up to 10000 jobs as economy

first_imgNew Delhi: Parle Products Pvt Ltd, a leading Indian biscuit maker, might lay off up to 10,000 workers as slowing economic growth and falling demand in the rural heartland could cause production cuts, a company executive said on Wednesday.A downturn in Asia’s third-largest economy is denting sales of everything from cars to clothing, forcing companies to curtail production and raising hopes that the India government will unveil an economic stimulus to revive growth. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details A sharp drop in Parle’s biscuit sales means the company may have to slash production, which may result in layoffs of 8,000-10,000 people, Mayank Shah, category head at Parle, said in a telephone interview from Mumbai. “The situation is so bad, that if the government doesn’t intervene immediately … we may be forced to eliminate these positions,” he said. Parle, founded in 1929, employs about 100,000 people, including direct and contract workers across 10 company-owned facilities and 125 contract manufacturing plants. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Shah said demand for popular Parle biscuit brands such as Parle-G had been worsening since India rolled out a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) in 2017, which imposed a higher levy on biscuits costing as low as 5 rupees, or 7 cents a pack. The higher taxes have forced Parle to offer fewer biscuits in each pack, hitting demand from lower-income consumers in rural India, which contributes more than half of Parle’s revenue and where two-thirds of Indians live. “Consumers here are extremely price-sensitive. They’re extremely conscious of how many biscuits they are getting for a particular price,” Shah said. Parle, which has an annual revenue of above $1.4 billion, held talks over the past year with the government’s GST council as well as former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, asking them to review tax rates, Shah added. Once known as Parle Gluco, the Mumbai-headquartered company’s flagship biscuit brand was renamed as Parle-G, and became a household name in India through the 1980s and 1990s. In 2003, Parle-G was considered the world’s largest selling biscuit brand.The slowdown in India’s economic growth, which has already led to thousands of job losses in its crucial automotive industry, was accelerating the drop in demand, Shah said. Market research firm Nielsen said last month India’s consumer goods industry was losing steam as spending in the rural heartland cools and small manufacturers lose competitive advantages in a slowing economy. Parle is not the only food product company to have flagged slowing demand. Varun Berry, managing director of Britannia Industries Ltd , Parle’s main competitor, said earlier this month that consumers were “thinking twice” about buying products worth just 5 rupees. “Obviously, there is some serious issue in the economy,” Berry had said on a conference call with analysts. Shares in Britannia were down 1.5%, as of 0620 GMT, having fallen as much as 3.9% earlier on Wednesday. (With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

Toronto stock index up loonie higher following Thanksgiving holiday weekend

first_imgTORONTO – Financial shares helped push Canada’s main stock index higher Tuesday following the three-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index advanced 42.04 points to 15,770.36.“There’s a better seasonal backing for banks as we go into Q4,” said Sid Mokhtari, executive director of portfolio and technical research at CIBC Capital Markets. “That’s a theme that’s been going on today.”A surge in the price of oil — which saw the November crude contract spike $1.34 to US$50.92 per barrel — did little to buoy the energy sector, which was down 0.01 per cent.“There is anecdotal evidence that suggests that there may be some improved demand side for the commodity as global growth starts to improve,” Mokhtari said of oil’s upward movement.“I also think to a greater degree it has a lot to do with the price action… It’s finding stability above a series of technical averages, that level being roughly US$49 to US$50, and as it gets above the US$50 level it forces a lot of shorts to come back into the market.”South of the border, it was also a positive trading day on Wall Street.The Dow Jones industrial average added 69.61 points to 22,830.68, a record high. The S&P 500 index was up 5.91 points to 2,550.64 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 7.52 points to 6,587.25.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 79.99 cents US, up 0.30 of a cent.Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract climbed $8.80 to US$1,293.80 an ounce.The November natural gas contract was up six cents at US$2.89 per mmBTU and the December copper contract was up three cents to US$3.06 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

Bangladeshi man arrested with USD 70000 in cash at Kolkata airport

first_imgKolkata: A Bangladeshi national has been arrested at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport, Kolkata, with a huge amount of foreign currency on Saturday morning. Suspicion grew within the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel during the baggage checking as the currency was visible at the time of scanning.According to CISF authority, at around 11 am, when baggage checking for a Dhaka-bound flight was in progress, an on-duty CISF officer noticed a suspicious image on the scanner screen. To investigate the matter, the CISF personnel decided to check the baggage physically. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe passenger, identified as Alam Shah, was also detained for inquiry. After opening the baggage, no suspicious items could be located. But the CISF personnel was not convinced as the bag seemed unusually heavy in respect of the items that were packed inside. The items inside the baggage were then taken out and was passed through the scanner again. It was found that a false compartment had been created at the bottom of the bag. Immediately, the portion was cut open and the huge amount of US dollars were found. During counting, it was revealed that Shah was carrying US $70,000 approximately worth Rs 47.42 lakh. Shah was later handed over to the Customs officials for further action.last_img read more