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  • Department of Energy Funds New Center at Argonne for Decarbonization of Steelmaking: Reimagining the Steel Production Process
    by on September 30, 2023 at 12:00 am

    LEMONT, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Steel has a major impact on everyone’s lives and our economy. It is crucial to cars, trucks, airplanes, buildings and more. However, there is a significant issue with its production process. Globally, it accounts for a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced $19 million in funding over four years for DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory to lead the multi-institutional Center for Steel Electrification by Electrosynthesis (C-STEEL). The center's charge is to develop an innovative process that would replace blast furnaces in steelmaking and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2035. C-STEEL is a key project of the DOE's Industrial Heat Energy Earthshot initiative, which aims to significantly cut emissions from the energy-intensive process of industrial heating. Partners in the center include DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Case Western Reserve University, Northern Illinois University, Purdue University Northwest and the University of Illinois Chicago. The most energy-intensive step in steel production involves converting iron ore into purified iron metal or iron alloys using blast furnaces. This demands temperatures of 2500 to 2700 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than an erupting volcano. The team’s electrodeposition process would eliminate or minimize that heat demand. It involves dissolving iron ore in a solution and using electricity to initiate a reaction that deposits a useable iron metal or alloy for steelmaking. The solution is a liquid electrolyte similar to those found in batteries. The project has three thrusts. Two of them will investigate different processes for electrodeposition. One process will operate at room temperature using a water-based electrolyte. The other will use a salt-based electrolyte and will function at temperatures 1800 to 2000 degrees F below current blast furnaces. The energy for this process is low enough that it could be provided by renewables or waste heat from a nuclear reactor. A third thrust will focus on gaining an atomic-level understanding of each process. The goal of this thrust is to exert precise control over both the structure and composition of the metal products so that they can be incorporated into existing downstream processes of steelmaking. Each thrust will incorporate an artificial intelligence based platform to ensure a unified approach to electrolyte design. To that end, C-STEEL will be drawing upon the world-class computational resources of two Leadership Computing Facilities, one at Argonne and the other at Oak Ridge. Contacts Christopher J. Kramer Head of Media Relations Argonne National Laboratory media@anl.govOffice: 630.252.5580

  • The Marketing Alliance Announces Financial Results for Quarter Ended June 30, 2023
    by on September 29, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Marketing Alliance, Inc. (OTC: MAAL) (“TMA” or the “Company”), today announced financial results for its fiscal 2024 first quarter ended June 30, 2023. 1Q 2024 Financial Key Items (all comparisons to the prior year period) Operating income from continuing operations of $52,191 compared to $383,810. The differences were largely due to the late timing of insurance fees (revenue) in the current year and the timing of revenue associated with the company’s annual conference, which was collected in the prior fiscal year due to an earlier conference date Revenues were $4,109,746 compared to $4,382,845, the decrease due primarily to late timing in the current year fee structure and revenue from the company’s annual conference billed prior to the beginning of this fiscal year Net income from continuing operations was $139,508 or $0.02 per share compared to ($257,992) or ($0.03) per share as the current quarter benefited from an investment gain of $152,212, compared with a loss of ($670,618) in the prior year quarter Management Comments Timothy M. Klusas, TMA’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our fiscal first quarter 2024 results were actually quite similar to our results in the same quarter last year except for a few unfortunate timing issues. Our insurance fee revenue was approximately $100,000 less than the previous year quarter because we issued our fee structure later than in the previous year. While this affected fee revenue this quarter, we calculated that the difference relative to the previous year quarter would be reduced throughout the balance of the fiscal year. Second, the timing of our annual insurance conference, earlier this year than the previous year, had the effects of the company collecting reimbursements and sponsorships for the conference in the previous fiscal year while leaving the expenses paid in the current fiscal year. The combined negative financial effect on the quarter versus the prior year quarter was approximately $204,000. While we wouldn’t ordinarily be concerned with the timing of our conferences relative to financial quarters, the timing around the fiscal year end had a pronounced effect this time.” Mr. Klusas added, “Our construction business had another exceptional start and actively positioned itself for larger jobs as we progress throughout the year.” Fiscal First Quarter 2024 Financial Review Revenues were $4,109,746 compared to $4,382,845, due primarily to the factors above involved with timing of revenues on the company’s insurance fees and also the timing of reimbursements from an earlier annual conference, causing billings to be moved into the previous fiscal year. Net operating revenue (gross profit) for the quarter was $1,042,371, compared to net operating revenue of $1,262,026 in the prior-year fiscal period. Net operating revenue was affected by the decreases in revenue discussed above and relatively similar expense levels. Operating expenses increased to $990,180 compared to $878,216 for the prior year. Approximately half of this increase was due to increased meeting expenses of a larger conference. This comparison was also affected by favorable one-time benefits in the previous year quarter such as reversals of accrued expenses and a one-time employee retention credit of $14,000. The Company reported operating income from continuing operations of $52,191 compared to $383,810 in the prior year period, with differences due to factors discussed above. Operating EBITDA (excluding investment portfolio income) declined to $124,952 from $446,480 in the prior year period. A note reconciling operating EBITDA to operating income can be found at the end of this release. Investment gain (loss), net (from non-operating investment portfolio) for the quarter was $152,212, as compared with ($670,618) during the same period the previous year. Net income from continuing operations was $139,508 or $0.02 per share compared to ($257,992) or ($0.03) per share. Balance Sheet Information TMA’s balance sheet on June 30, 2023, reflected cash and cash equivalents of $1.4 million; working capital of $5.6 million; and shareholders’ equity of 6.4 million; compared to cash and cash equivalents of $2.5 million, working capital of $7 million, and shareholders’ equity of $7.0 million as of June 30, 2022. About The Marketing Alliance, Inc. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, TMA provides support to independent insurance brokerage agencies, with a goal of integrating insurance and “insuretech” engagement platforms to provide members value-added services on a more efficient basis than they can achieve individually. Investor information can be accessed through the shareholder section of TMA’s website at: TMA’s common stock is quoted on the OTC Markets ( under the symbol “MAAL”. Forward Looking Statement Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may affect TMA's business and prospects. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding our expectations for our financial performance in future periods, our ability to obtain industry acceptance and competitive advantages of digital and no-contact business solutions, and our ability to generate earnings from our construction business. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release represent our estimates, expectations or intentions only as of the date hereof, or as of such earlier dates as are indicated, and should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date. These statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, expectations of the economic environment, material adverse changes in economic conditions in the markets we serve and in the general economy; the ultimate duration and impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and any other public health events, the ways that insurance carriers may react in their underwriting policies and procedures to the continuing risks they perceive from the COVID-19 pandemic; our reliance on a limited number of insurance carriers and any potential termination of those relationships or failure to develop new relationships;] privacy and cyber security regulations; future state and federal regulatory actions and conditions in the states in which we conduct our business; our ability to work with carriers on marketing, distribution and product development; pricing and other payment decisions and policies of the carriers in our insurance distribution business, changes in the public securities markets that affect the value of our investment portfolio; and weather and environmental conditions in the areas served by our construction . While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so.   CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited)   Three Months Ended June 30, 2023 2022   Insurance commission and fee revenue $ 3,899,144   $ 4,002,084   Construction revenue 180,802   205,661   Other insurance revenue 29,800   175,100   Total revenues 4,109,746   4,382,845     Insurance distributor related expenses: Distributor bonuses and commissions 2,560,053   2,474,822   Business processing and distributor costs 293,875   456,511   Depreciation 2,892   2,958   2,856,820   2,934,291   Costs of construction: Direct and indirect costs of construction 153,543   141,324   Depreciation 57,012   45,204   210,555   186,828   Total costs of revenues 3,067,375   3,120,819   Net operating revenue 1,042,371   1,262,026               Total operating expenses 990,180   878,216               Operating income from continuing operations 52,191   383,810   Other income (expense): Investment gain (loss), net 152,212   (670,618 ) Interest expense (46,695 ) (52,884 ) Paycheck protection program forgiveness 0   24,500     Income (loss) from continuing operations before provision 157,708   (315,192 ) for income taxes Income tax expense 18,200   (57,200 ) Income (loss) from continuing operations 139,508   (257,992 ) Discontinued operations: Income from discontinued operations, net of income taxes 0   14,418   Net income from discontinued operations 0   14,418   Net Income (Loss) $ 139,508   $ (243,574 )   Average Shares Outstanding 8,081,266   8,081,266   Operating Income from continuing operations per Share $ 0.01   $ 0.05   Net Income per Share $ 0.02   $ (0.03 ) CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS Unaudited       June 30,    March 31,   2023    2023 ASSETS   CURRENT ASSETS   Cash and cash equivalents $ 1,377,085  $ 2,461,956 Equity securities 4,198,708  3,904,217 Restricted cash 554,525  536,212 Accounts receivable 7,450,218  9,710,905 Inventory 11,777  7,534 Current portion of notes receivable 123,123  146,645 Prepaid expenses 198,762  189,036 Assets related to discontinued operations 1,030  6,822 Total current assets 13,915,228  16,963,327 PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT, net 1,043,651  817,945 OTHER ASSETS   Notes receivable, net due to the allowance 568,392  586,435 Restricted cash 2,050,737  2,369,036 Operating lease right-of-use assets 286,150  402,534 Total other assets 2,905,279  3,358,005     $ 17,864,158  $ 21,139,277     LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY   CURRENT LIABILITIES   Accounts payable and accrued expenses 6,193,685  7,930,566 Dividends payable 404,243  566,949 Line of credit payable 675,000  400,000 Current portion of notes payable 838,929  811,223 Current portion of finance lease liability 41,579  67,276 Current portion of operating lease liability 137,653  131,851 Liabilities related to discontinued operations 677  87,194 Total current liabilities 8,291,766  9,995,059     LONG-TERM LIABILITIES   Notes payable, net of current portion and debt issuance costs 2,697,906  3,529,616 Finance lease liability, net of current portion 129,629  165,191 Operating lease liability, net of current portion 139,315  276,497 Deferred taxes 216,000  200,000 Total long-term liabilities 3,182,850  4,171,304 Total liabilities 11,474,616  14,166,363 COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES   SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY   Common stock, no par value; 50,000,000 shares authorized,   8,081,266 shares issued and outstanding June 30, 2022   8,081,266 shares issued and outstanding June 30, 2023 1,025,341  1,025,341 Retained earnings 5,364,201  5,947,573 Total shareholders' equity 6,389,542  6,972,914 $ 17,864,158  $ 21,139,277     Note – Operating EBITDA (excluding investment portfolio income) Three Months Ended June 30, 2023 2022 Operating Income from Continuing Operations $ 52,191 $ 383,810 Add: Depreciation/Amortization Expense $ 72,761 $ 62,670 EBITDA (Operating Income from Continuing Operations) $ 124,952 $ 446,480 The Company elects not to include investment portfolio income because the Company believes it is non-operating in nature. The Company uses Operating EBITDA as a measure of operating performance. However, Operating EBITDA is not a recognized measurement under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, and when analyzing its operating performance, investors should use Operating EBITDA in addition to, and not as an alternative for, income as determined in accordance with GAAP. Because not all companies use identical calculations, its presentation of Operating EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies and is therefore limited as a comparative measure. Furthermore, as an analytical tool, Operating EBITDA has additional limitations, including that (a) it is not intended to be a measure of free cash flow, as it does not consider certain cash requirements such as tax payments; (b) it does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, its working capital needs; and (c) although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized often will have to be replaced in the future, and Operating EBITDA does not reflect any cash requirements for such replacements, or future requirements for capital expenditures or contractual commitments. To compensate for these limitations, the Company evaluates its profitability by considering the economic effect of the excluded expense items independently as well as in connection with its analysis of cash flows from operations and through the use of other financial measures. The Company believes Operating EBITDA is useful to an investor in evaluating its operating performance because it is widely used to measure a company’s operating performance without regard to certain non-cash or unrealized expenses (such as depreciation and amortization) and expenses that are not reflective of its core operating results over time. The Company believes Operating EBITDA presents a meaningful measure of corporate performance exclusive of its capital structure, the method by which assets were acquired and non-cash charges and provides additional useful information to measure performance on a consistent basis, particularly with respect to changes in performance from period to period. Contacts The Marketing Alliance, Inc. Timothy M. Klusas, President (314) 275-8713 -OR- The Equity Group Inc. Jeremy Hellman, Vice President (212) 836-9626

  • P&G Alumni Global Conference 2023: Meeting the Moment as a Force for Growth and Good
    by on September 29, 2023 at 11:00 pm

    WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The highly anticipated biennial conference of Procter & Gamble (P&G) alumni is set to take place in Washington, DC, from November 2-5, 2023. Themed "Meeting the Moment," this event will bring together former P&G associates from across the globe, uniting them as a powerful force for growth and good. Featuring a diverse lineup of industry experts and emerging influencers, including current and past executive officers, the event will engage attendees in dynamic dialogues on health, climate, equity, technology, AI, the future of work, civics, and philanthropy. The conference aims to craft an immersive experience, reigniting the spirit of purpose driven innovation and camaraderie that has always defined the P&G community. “The world has changed since our last live pre-pandemic gathering in 2019, and our global interdependence has been revealed on climate, public health, mental wellness, economic mobility and citizenship. We aspire to inspire the next wave of consequential leaders who will shape the world of tomorrow by ‘meeting this moment’,” said Gina Lam, P&G alumna and executive producer for the event. Participants will be encouraged to take back lessons learned and drive positive change within their social and professional circles of influence to create value for their businesses and their communities. With nearly 10% of S&P 500 CEOs represented by P&G alumni, their impact on the business world is undeniable. This gathering presents a unique opportunity for alumni to connect, collaborate, and cultivate innovative solutions that will shape the world. Conference Highlights: Come for the reunion & inspiration, stay for the big ideas, best practices, industry connections and leadership bootcamp in MEETING THIS MOMENT! Trends on health, climate, equity, tech, AI, the future of work, civics, and philanthropy. The P&G alumni network is one of the largest and only to also field a philanthropic arm and SDG-inspired startup accelerator for social impact. Next generation students will join from Howard University. Roger Martin, the #1 strategic thinker in the world, will make a guest appearance. The close will culminate with a gala night at the newly restored National Museum of Women in the Arts followed by a Black alumni reunion brunch. Who’s joining: Four Emeritus P&G CEOs Seven P&G Company Leaders 40+ Alumni C-Suite & Thought leaders: From Lisa Gevelber - Google USA CMO, Andrew Swinand - Leo Burnett CEO/Publicis Creative USA CEO, Najoh Tita-Reid - Logitech CMO, Cynthia Soledad - Egon Zehnder DEI Practice Lead, Mike Sievert - T-Mobile CEO, Danilo Tauro - Amazon Head of Product for Ad Agencies, Chris Thomas - The Defensive Line Founder, Steve Carlin - AiFi CEO, Priya Ranganathan - GrowSari Board Advisor, Julie Gosalvez - Climeworks CMO, Esi Eggleston Bracey - Unilever USA President/Personal Care NA CEO and Eduardo Coello - Visa LATAM President, Guillaume Tardy – Ralph Lauren Chief Licensing Officer, Emily Chang – Wunderman Thompson West CEO with many more to be revealed! Special Partners: Global Citizen & Howard University Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts 400 Movers & Doers, Mavericks and Stewards Global conference open to P&G alumni ONLY. Further details, Register here: Join the conversation and follow updates on social media using #DC23MTM. About P&G Alumni Network The P&G Alumni Network was founded by former P&G’ers to connect the talent, ideas, and resources of P&G Alumni. By building on existing connections and making new ones – we impact our communities through engaging events, enriching content, and philanthropy. As a nonprofit with tens of thousands of members globally and 40+ chapters worldwide, the P&G Alumni Network is officially recognized and supported by Procter & Gamble. All opinions expressed by the P&G Alumni Network are our own. About P&G Alumni Foundation With a sense of gratitude for skills learned and friends made at P&G, the P&G Alumni Foundation harnesses the power of global alumni by giving charitably and mobilizing expertise to champion causes that help people in need economically thrive. Through nearly $2 million in strategic grant-making to charitable organizations with active P&G alumni involvement, the Foundation has empowered 215,000+ people around the globe to build bright, sustainable futures through job skills, vocational training, and business start-ups across 112 grants in 41 countries. We pay it forward to improve lives for generations. Procter & Gamble and P&G are trade names of The Procter & Gamble Company and are used pursuant to an agreement with The Procter & Gamble Company. P&G Alumni Network is an independent organization apart from The Procter & Gamble Company. P&G Alumni Foundation is a part of the P&G Alumni Network. Contacts Gina Lam (310) - 606 - 9253

  • Expanding Trading Opportunities Across Capital Markets, OneChronos Secures $40 Million Series B Investment Round
    by on September 29, 2023 at 9:38 pm

    Round led by Addition; New funds will help OneChronos expand its product offering and footprint across capital marketsNEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OneChronos, a technology company leveraging advances in auction theory and artificial intelligence to optimize financial markets, announced today the completion of its Series B investment round of $40 million. The financing was led by Addition. OneChronos operates Smart Market periodic auctions at the speed, scale, and resiliency required of the most demanding electronic capital markets. Starting with U.S. equities, these auctions optimize for “best execution,” fostering competition on transaction quality rather than speed. Launched in Q3 2022, the Company has so far facilitated more than $60 billion in institutional securities transactions, with volumes growing more than 35% month over month. Growth has been driven by strong execution performance, as evaluated by OneChronos’ network of over 45 banks, brokers, and dealers servicing thousands of asset managers for their electronic trading needs. The funds raised will help OneChronos expand to new markets and launch new products that allow additional strategy-level constraints within auctions. Doing so will unlock mutually beneficial trading opportunities missed by legacy auction and market formats, and further enhance potential execution quality of trading algorithms and workflows. “OneChronos has clearly demonstrated the execution quality advantage of its product in a highly competitive and established market,” said Andrew Miskiewicz, Investor at Addition. “We look forward to supporting the OneChronos team as they continue solving the unique challenges of operating high-speed Smart Markets, positioning them as the industry leader.” While Smart Markets have been used in other industries, their use in capital markets requires unprecedented speed, scale, and resiliency. A core technical challenge is running these auctions within milliseconds. The OneChronos team operates at the intersection of state-of-the-art computer engineering, AI/ML approaches, mechanism design, and operations research; all of which are applied to capital markets in order to meet these unique needs. Kelly Littlepage, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of OneChronos, said, “We founded OneChronos as a team of institutional investors, traders, and technologists with a deep appreciation for the cost and complexity of institutional trading and the staggering investment returns lost to market friction. Markets like digital display advertising drew their inspiration from capital markets but quickly evolved beyond after seeing the compelling results modern market mechanisms delivered. Capital markets still use 200+ year-old mechanics predating modern theory and computing capabilities. We're incredibly excited to partner with Addition in our journey to change that, and grow the global GDP by helping institutions better optimize their investment objectives.” About OneChronos OneChronos is a technology company of diverse thinkers innovating at the intersection of capital markets, mechanism design, and operations research, working to grow the global GDP by designing and operating matching markets leveraging advances in auction theory and artificial intelligence. Contacts

  • Unveiling the Winning Design: Traffic Control Box Competition Shines Light on Hate Crime Awareness Month
    by on September 29, 2023 at 8:10 pm

    The City of Bedford, TX and SpeedPro Irving join forces to raise awareness of Hate Crime Awareness Month in the greater Dallas areaIRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SpeedPro Irving, a leading provider of best-in-class large format printing and graphics, is announcing its collaboration with the City of Bedford, TX to raise visibility for Hate Crime Awareness Month via a traffic control box design competition. On October 2, 2023 at 11:30am the community will gather to reveal the winning design that will transform an ordinary traffic control box to an inspiring work of art at the entrance of the Generations Park at Boys Ranch in Bedford, TX. “The collaboration between the City of Bedford and SpeedPro is a great example of community building,” said Krissi Oden, cultural arts manager for the city of Bedford. “Public art has the potential to engage and educate in unique ways.” The selected design, by local artist Jodi Pope, features a graphic novel superhero aesthetic, symbolizing gratitude, helpfulness, and understanding. It encourages reflection on the message of unity and protection against hate. A QR code has been integrated into the design to direct citizens to more information on how to recognize and report hate crimes. The material chosen for the traffic control box wrap produced by SpeedPro Irving demonstrates an eco-conscious approach, utilizing non-PVC vinyl, making it recyclable and significantly better for the environment compared to PFAS, also known as forever chemicals. In addition, the wrap features Greenguard Gold Certified inks, designed to endure for many years, highlighting SpeedPro Irving's dedication to stringent environmental standards. The final print will be protected by a special anti-graffiti laminate so it can be cleaned without harm if it is ever ‘tagged’. “SpeedPro Irving is excited to be a part of a project that will have such a positive impact on the Bedford community. The unveiling of the newly designed traffic control box is a testament to our shared vision to foster a safer, more inclusive community,” added David Ostermann, owner of SpeedPro Irving. About SpeedPro SpeedPro Irving, founded in 2006, is one of the 170-location SpeedPro franchises in the U.S. and Canada and a supplier to IFA, specializing in large format printing. SpeedPro’s primary product applications include wall, window and floor graphics, event displays, digital displays, signs and vehicle and fleet wraps. A variety of industries are served by SpeedPro including advertising and marketing companies, retail, healthcare, museums and galleries, restaurants, franchises, event venues, educational institutions and more. SpeedPro’s mission is to partner with businesses to achieve success through innovative visual solutions. Contacts Media:Crackle PR