Jan 15, 2014 09:00 ET

Hickory Farms And Brand Licensing Team Enter Licensing Partnership

TOLEDO, OhioJan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Hickory Farms, the specialty food and gift retailer, and Brand Licensing Team, a top brand licensing agency based in Atlanta, GA, have entered into an exclusive agreement to develop and commercialize a range of new products across categories.

Hickory Farms intends to expand its distribution reach through the partnership as well as create new purchase occasions for its loyal fans by offering new, innovative products.  According to Mark S. Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer for Hickory Farms, Inc., "We selected BLT for their expertise in helping iconic brands build upon brand equity to grow strategically."

John Shero, Managing Partner of Brand Licensing Team, comments, "We will focus on creating relationships with best-in-class licensees known for innovation and quality to assist Hickory Farms, Inc. in realizing its growth objectives."  

About Hickory Farms
Hickory Farms, Inc. is a leading provider of specialty foods and holiday food gifts. Since 1951, North American families have chosen Hickory Farms' savory sausages, cheeses and other gourmet foods for their loved ones each holiday season. The company's award-winning signature products and eco-friendly gift boxes can be found online, in catalogs, at leading supermarkets year round and in shopping malls throughout the Christmas holiday season. For more information, please visit

About Brand Licensing Team 
Brand Licensing Team (BLT) is a leading agency specializing in food, beverage and merchandise licensing.  The agency was founded by Cindy Birdsong and John Shero who are credited with transforming the Coca-Cola licensing program into a strategic marketing asset. Current clients include Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Chick-fil-A, The Coca-Cola Company, Hasbro, Hickory Farms, Inc., and Fender Musical Instruments Company. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Hickory Farms


Nov 7, 2013 07:05 ET

Ex-Im Bank and FedEx Join Forces to Empower U.S. Businesses to Export

New Agreement Creates Collaboration to Help Small Businesses Reach Customers Overseas

WASHINGTONNov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Export-Import Bank of The United States (Ex-Im Bank) and FedEx have announced an innovative new alliance that will help U.S. small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) reach the 95% of the world's customers who live overseas.  

Ex-Im Bank and FedEx signed an agreement in Washington, D.C. outlining their commitment to providing U.S. exporters increased access to Ex-Im Bank products and services. As part of this agreement, FedEx international customer representatives will make their clients aware of the Bank's abilities to protect against the risk of nonpayment and to extend credit to buyers, eliminating the need for expensive letters of credit or cash-in-advance payments. Customers who are interested in this service will then be connected to Ex-Im Bank's managers for trade finance counseling.

"The first steps for a business as it expands to international markets can be daunting. We are helping clear the hurdles for small and medium size businesses to access the 95% of the world's population outside of U.S. borders. With this alliance, FedEx sales and marketing will now have additional valuable resources they can share with our customers to help them grow their business through exports," saidMichael Ducker, Chief Operating Officer and President, International FedEx Express. "It complements the alliance we have established with the U.S. Commercial Service to assist our customers with locating markets for business expansion."

"Ex-Im Bank is an example of government operating at the speed of business, and there is nothing that moves faster than businesses like FedEx," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg. "This alliance with FedEx will help businesses increase sales, create jobs, and succeed in international markets." 

About Ex-Im Bank
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $50 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 255,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information,

About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services.  With annual revenues of $45 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit

SOURCE Export-Import Bank of the United States


Oct 2, 2013 06:30 ET

HireVue Introduces Talent Interaction Platform and Partners with Sequoia in $25 Million Funding Round

New Offerings and Renowned Industry Partnerships Help Reinvent Work

SALT LAKE CITYOct. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Digital recruiting provider HireVue, today announced its expanded Talent Interaction Platform™.  The cloud-based platform includes new offerings that help employers rapidly source top talent, evaluate candidates' skills, and enhance the onboarding process for new employees. These capabilities augment the company's popular screening and digital interviewing applications. The HireVue Talent Interaction Platform also benefits candidates and employees by better enabling them to have a voice, tell their story and demonstrate their abilities – all at their own convenience. In addition, the company announced that it has partnered with Sequoia Capital and raised$25 million with participation from Kickstart Fund and existing investors. Mickey Arabelovic will represent Sequoia on the HireVue board.

"Hiring and retaining great people is probably the single most important thing a company can do. But it's also really hard and time consuming.  Successive generations of HR systems have automated the hiring and talent management processes, but they've also sapped the soul out of them," said Mickey Arabelovic, Partner, Sequoia Capital. "HireVue uses technology to put people back in the spotlight. We believe in HireVue's vision of interpersonal interactions and are excited to be partners with them in building the next generation of HR technology."


HireVue's new Talent Interaction Platform, which augments existing applicant tracking, talent management, business and social applications, accelerates productivity and decision-making by delivering high-definition clarity into people's character, cultural fit, personality, and potential.  The platform includes HireVue's flagship digital screening and interviewing capabilities, as well as new solutions for sourcing, skills validation and onboarding. Offerings include:

  • HireVue for Sourcing (New) :  Branded social media and digital campaigns help modernize employment branding, extend sourcing reach, engage passive candidates, and meet higher quality applicants. As part of its new Talent Interaction Platform, HireVue also announced today a joint collaboration with LinkedIn. This integration lets HireVue customers view LinkedIn profile information directly from within the Talent Interaction Platform, and makes it easier for candidates to register for their HireVue interview using their LinkedIn profile.
  • HireVue for Screening : Quickly screen more candidates in less time and get deeper insight early in the process with on demand digital interviews. Secure buy-in from team members and hiring managers by rating, comparing and sharing only the best candidates. HireVue is pre-integrated with more than a dozen existing recruiting platforms.
  • HireVue for Validation (New) : Finally, a way to validate a candidates ability to work during the recruiting process – before putting them in front of senior staff. HireVue's multi-media questions, tests, and industry-specific evaluation tools perform deeper capabilities assessments and pose real-life scenarios to effectively evaluate skills.
  • HireVue for Interviewing : Bring in only the best candidates for final rounds after validating skills, capabilities and cultural fit with live online interviews, questions and probes. Live video and panel interview tools enhance the experience, allow for deeper insights, and can be recorded and shared with the hiring team.
  • HireVue for Onboarding (New) : Allow new hires to introduce themselves and get to know team members beyond words on a resume or online profiles. Video-enriched profiles allow deeper insight and collaboration before day one.  Additionally, HireVue is working on an integration withSalesforce, allowing customers to access HireVue onboarding videos directly from Salesforce Chatter and 

"What energizes us is the ability to infuse not only the human touch – but also efficiency, intelligence and accuracy – into talent interactions. HireVue is working to help companies and people better connect – saving millions of hours and dollars wasted on static, broken and impersonal processes," said Mark Newman, CEO and Founder, HireVue.  "People everywhere deserve a chance to have a voice, tell their story and be heard."

This news comes on the heels of record momentum for HireVue. Over the past year, the company has launched five new products, successfully completed and integrated the acquisition of CodeEval, more than doubled the team and welcomed a world-class customer base including more than 20 percent of the Fortune 100.  During the fiscal second quarter, the company closed, on average, more than one deal per day.  HireVue will utilize the funding to expand its platform, services and team to address accelerating market demand for broader talent interactions.

To learn more about HireVue, visit

About HireVue
HireVue is making business personal again through social, mobile & video enriched workplace interactions. Our Talent Interaction Platform™ lets people tell their story and demonstrate their talents, enabling high-touch collaboration and insights – all at the speed, quality and consistency of digital. HireVue was recognized by Inc. magazine in 2013 as a top 500 fastest growing private company and HR Executive Magazine as a Top HR Product of 2012.  Join HireVue customers – including more than 20% of the Fortune 100- who are reimagining recruiting and putting the personal back in business.

Keep a pulse on emerging trends in digital interviewing by following HireVue's social channels:,



Aug 8, 2013 10:22 ET

Partnership to Fund Major Expansion of Community Health Centers Under Affordable Care Act

Enterprise, Nonprofit Finance Fund and Chase Provide One-Stop Access to Facility Financing as Centers are Charged with Doubling Capacity

NEW YORK and COLUMBIA, Md.Aug. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — As the Affordable Care Act takes hold, community health centers across the country are undertaking a colossal effort to build a public health infrastructure and improve care for millions of Americans.  Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF),  Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. and Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc. (collectively Enterprise), andChase  have created a one-stop shop for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) to meet the complex challenges associated with paying for major facility projects as centers build capacity. FQHCs provide primary care to people with low incomes, regardless of their ability to pay, and are expected to double those served to 40 million by 2015.

"FQHCs provide front-line services to people in need – people who will benefit from improved comprehensive and preventative care that is ultimately more effective and less expensive than emergency care," said Elaine DiPietro, vice president, Structured Finance, Enterprise. "This partnership gives FQHCs access to the experience, expertise, tax credit allocations and debt financing that make improved community health centers a reality."

Today, Asian Health Services (AHS), the first of three projects supported by the partnership, celebrated the grand opening of its new health center in downtown Oakland, Calif.

The new facility provides comprehensive primary care services—in English and ten Asian languages—to individuals in the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda.

Prior to the opening, AHS was overwhelmed with the demand for patient care and had a growing waitlist of more than 5,000 people in need of services.  The new facility expands capacity by over 30 percent, allowing AHS to serve 7,000 new patients annually.  Construction is underway for two other facilities financed by the collaboration—Chase Brexton Health Services in Baltimore and Family Health Centers of San Diego—and additional projects have been selected for 2013.

"Expanding facilities is directly related to increasing access to care and improving quality of care for our patients; the right physical structures enable a modern approach to full-service, preventative care that delivers better outcomes for patients while at the same time reducing costs," said Sherry Hirota, CEO of AHS. "We've had a tremendous response to our new clinic and know that other health centers around the country – facing similar opportunities and pressures – will benefit from this partnership."

The partnership leverages New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), designed to galvanize investments in low-income communities; NMTC provides investors with tax credits totaling 39% of their investment in select projects, over a period of seven years. NFF and Enterprise are planning to use a sizable part of their recent NMTC awards on FQHC projects and are actively seeking new community health center partners.

"This collaboration aligns with our focus of helping communities meet the growing and critical need for increased healthcare services," said Matt Reilein, head of New Markets Tax Credits for Chase. "Not only do these centers provide essential medical services to community residents, but they are also sought-after employers and role models in the community."

"We're able to help health centers and investors capitalize on significant tax advantages while creating sustained value in underserved communities," said Norah McVeigh, managing director of NFF. "This is an example of how cross-sector partnerships and creative combinations of capital can unlock resources to create healthier neighborhoods and reduce care costs."

Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) unlocks the potential of mission-driven organizations through tailored investments, strategic advice and accessible insights. Founded in 1980, NFF helps organizations connect money to mission effectively, and supports innovations such as growth capital campaigns, cross-sector economic recovery initiatives and impact investing. A leading community development financial institution with over $80 million in assets, NFF has provided over $285 million in loans and access to additional financing via grants, tax credits and capital in support of over $1.4 billion in projects for thousands of organizations nationwide. NFF is headquartered in New York City and serves clients from offices across the country.  Visit to learn more.

Enterprise works with partners nationwide to build opportunity. We create and advocate for affordable homes in thriving communities linked to jobs, good schools, health care and transportation. We lend funds, finance development and manage and build affordable housing, while shaping new strategies, solutions and policy. Over more than 30 years, Enterprise has created 300,000 homes, invested nearly$14 billion and touched millions of lives. Join us at

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 50 million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,600 bank branches, 18,700 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships. More information about Chase is available at