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Meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

By |2013-09-26T10:59:46-04:00September 26th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|

Meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Wednesday, September 25, a group of about 100 economists and traders were invited to meet with the prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe to hear an important speech on “Abenomics” at the N.Y. Stock Exchange. The Prime Minister provided a broad based overview of his financial objectives for the next several years then took questions from the guests. He followed his remarks with a tour of the stock exchange floor by New York Stock Exchange CEO Duncan Niederauer. Niederauer spent 3 years working in Japan 20 years ago. The Prime Minister then climbed the stairs to the balcony above the trading floor and rang the closing bell.

Prime Minister Abe’s remarks were wide ranging with multiple American cultural analogies including Muriel Siebert (the first woman to hold a seat on the exchange), Antonio Rivera (home run king), hot dog vendors, and controversially, Gordon Gecko (“Greed is good!”).

Prime Minister Abe’s comments on women were very interesting. He quoted Ms. Siebert (referencing the Middle-East) as having stated no country can compete fully without using all their human resources. This is in reference to the cultural practice in Japan of women dropping out of the workforce to have children and not returning. Japanese women have told me this is something they must do in order to prepare their children to get into good colleagues and universities. There are limited, good, day care options for professional women. Getting into a good colleague in Japan is dependent on getting into a good primary school. Under “Abenomics” Japan is focusing on developing day care centers to free up women to participate more fully in the economy.

Most importantly “Abenomics” is focused on eliminating the barriers to foreign direct investment through reducing or eliminating financial and safety compliance requirements (focusing on self reporting and safety certification). Much as France and Ireland have recently begun aggressively courting foreign direct investment, Prime Minister Abe is focused on removing barriers to trade. Japan’s on the right trend, with the last two economic quarters positive.

His reference to Gordon Gecko, the corporate raider in “Money Never Sleeps” with Michael Douglas was not completely effective. “Today, I have come to tell you that Japan will once again be a country where there is money to be made, and that just as Gordon Gekko made a comeback in the financial world … so too can we now say that ‘Japan is Back’,” Prime Minister Abe said. This remark caused some commentary in the press this morning but I think Prime Minister Abe was trying to say after the recent economic slump Japan, the world’s third largest economy, is focused on welcoming companies particularly technology companies and green energy. The country is rehabilitating the financial infrastructure to facilitate foreign direct investment.

Thanks to Dr. Dale Akinla for facilitating the meeting!

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Cuba Trip Itinerary

By |2013-09-17T16:28:40-04:00September 17th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|

Rotary International 2014

Itinerary

Departure Dates: February 23 – March 1, 2014 (7 days/6 Nights)

Day 1 – Havana

  • Arrive at the José Martí International Airport
  • After clearing immigrations and customs, your Cuban host will accompany you to your hotel in the heart of the country’s capital.
  • Get acquainted with your Cuban Guide and your Insight Cuba Tour Leader your with an afternoon program orientation.
  • Later that evening, celebrate your arrival with a fantastic welcome dinner at the hotel.
  • After dinner, depart to the Morro-Cabaña with a tour through the installations, and view the historical canon blast ceremony.

       Meals | Lunch*, Dinner        *For early arrivals

Day 2 – Havana

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • This morning Insight Cuba will lead an educational exchange between the U.S. travelers and Cuban patients, residents and doctors at the local polyclinic, concerning, among other topics, socialized medicine and healthcare in both the U.S. and Cuba
  • Meet with Cuban farmers and administrators at Vivero Organopónico to discuss organic farming and its role in providing food in urban areas and the availability of organic farming supplies in both the U.S. and Cuba.
  • Lunch at Vivero Organopónico
  • Explore Finca Vigia, the birthplace of many of Ernest Hemingway’s best works, including For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea.
  • Meet with the director of the Casa Taller Antonia Eiriz and discuss the incredible works of Paper Mache.   Explore other expressions of Fine Arts from various artists and receive insight into the pieces made by members of the workshops taking classes at the institution.
  • Dinner in Havana

       Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 – Havana/Santiago

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  •  After breakfast we will meet with the Director of Havana Club. Havana Club rum is made in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba. The world famous brand was established by José Arechabala in 1878
    • Next we’ll visit with friends from the University’s FLEX program (the Foreign Language department), where we’ll have a chance to talk candidly about life in Havana.
    • Next, sit down with the director of the Literacy Museum in Havana to hear about Cuba’s literacy campaign and how the island’s youth have mobilized across the country to teach rural inhabitants how to read.
    • Enjoy an educational exchange with Cuban dance students at ProDanza Ballet School. You will have a chance to watch a stunning ballet performance. Afterwards meet and speak with the famed owner and director of the Laura Alonzo
      • Finally, it’s onward via domestic flight to Santiago de Cuba.
      • Dinner in Santiago.

        Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 – Santiago

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • En route to Santiago de Cuba, stop at the village of Cobre to view the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre beautifully tucked away in the hills. The Basilica is one of the most important churches of Cuba. Hike up the hills to view the Cimarron memorial (sculpture by Alberto Lescay, 1997, the first monument erected in the slave route established by UNESCO).
  • After arriving in Santiago de Cuba, enjoy lunch at El Morro fortress overlooking the sparkling blue Caribbean Sea.
  • Enjoy a panoramic tour of Santiago de Cuba, including Revolution Square, Cuartel Moncada, and Loma San Juan from the back of a bici-taxi!
    • Next, visit the Museo de Carnival to discuss the history of the slave trade, and how African roots have permeated the local culture.
    • Dinner in Santiago.

       Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner                                        

Day 5 – Santiago/Havana

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Kick off the day with a discussion on the Afrocubanismo movement during a visit to a local artist’s studio.
  • Get acquainted with Santiago de Cuba on a delightful walking tour en route to visit a Casa Particular to explore the details of this fascinating cottage industry with the owners.  Learn about the challenges they face and the successes they enjoy, buy being on the frontline of private industry in Cuba.
  • Visit the Casa Artex where we will enjoy an Afro-Cuban dance performance, before returning to Havana by domestic flight.
  • Dinner in Havana.

       Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 – Havana

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  •  Meet with ICAP representatives. ICAP promotes friendship and peace between Cubans and other parts of the world.
    • Later, get a snapshot into the lives and work of a local hair salon. We will meet with the owner of the business and learn about the unique challenges they face.
    • After lunch, move onto the next artistic adventure at La Zorra y El Cuevo, Havana’s famous jazz club, where you’ll meet jazz musicians for a sampling of sounds and rhythm. 
    •  Engage in non-guided dialogue with English speaking Cuban university students from the Cuban Amigos, sharing vivid details about life in Cuba.
    • Dinner in Havana.
    • After dinner we will head off to a famous night club for a fantastic show!

       Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 – Havana

  •  Breakfast at the hotel
  • Sit down with a manager of a prominent Cuban hotel and discuss the unique nuances of the Cuban hospitality industry.
  • Next, we will enjoy a talk about Cuban Economics with a specialist in the field.
    • Enjoy a visit to a local cigar factory where Cuba’s world famous cigars are produced.        
    • After our visit, bid farewell to Cuba as you board your flight home.

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch

 

*We will make every effort to operate all programs as disclosed in this agreement. However, circumstances beyond our control may arise which would require an adjustment to the program. We will do all that is possible to avoid such changes but we must reserve the right to make such modifications. Normal cancellation penalties still apply to the program that has been change.

Pricing to Include hotel Nacional or similar

  • Base Price for Double Occupancy:   $ 3,299
  • Single Supplement Add-on:   $ 500
  • First-class accommodations
  • Full schedule of guided people-to-people activities
  • All meals while in Cuba as agreed upon in final itinerary
  • U.S. Treasury Department License and Letter of Authorization
  • Insight Cuba Tour Leader
  • Cuban Guide
  • Small group size of no more than 24 guests
  • All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events
  • All in-country ground transportation, and airport transfers
  • Guaranteed flights from Miami to Cuba and priority handling (flight cost is additional)
  • Travel health insurance, emergency medical evacuation, and trip cancellation coverage (up to $1,000)
  • Insight Cuba Travel Guidebook
  • 24 hour emergency customer service hotline

Included in Tour Price:

 

 

not included in Tour Price:

  • Estimated Flight and Visa Fees not included
    • US domestic flights and International Flights are not included in the cost of the program (prices vary month to month). Flights to and from Cuba will be arranged by an authorized Charter Company via Insight Cuba. Payments for Flight Fees will be made payable to Insight Cuba. (Current flight price range including cost of Cuban Visa is $450 to $600)
  • Cuban Exit Fee not included
    • $25 Cuban Convertible Peso Exit Fee to be paid upon departure of Cuba (at the airport in Cuba)
  • Tips are not included
    • Tips for your guide, driver, chambermaids, bell hops and waiters are not included in the program fee. It is important that the group leader collect these funds from the group and pays the tip directly in Cuba or tell the participants that tips are not included and that they should be prepared to pay for this in Cuba.
  • Alcoholic Beverages and Bottled water are not included
    • Meals include 1 beverage. Bottled water can be requested at meals and additional bottles of water can be purchased on a daily basis. Alcoholic consumption is on your own account.

TO REGISTER FOR THIS TRIP

To register, please go to the website:

https://booknow.insightcuba.com/icgroupenroll/joingroup.aspx  

Type in the following and you will be taken to our club webpage with the registration information.

Username:  RotaryClub

Password: BARC223

We look forward to the pleasure of your company on this extraordinary adventure.

If you have additional questions, please call or email Janet Walsh: 

Phone:  914 218 3149

Email:    jlwalsh25@aol.com.

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Business Training to Increase Organizational Productivity

By |2013-09-16T15:25:59-04:00September 16th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|

September 16, 2013

Birchtree Global, LLC recommends CEOs consider promoting Coursera online university courses to their employees.  The courses are taught by distinguished faculty members, they are foundational to understanding business operations, they increase top line capability in businesses by bringing in new skills, and they reduce costs because the programs are free.

The following programs start soon.  Additional information can be found on Coursera.org:

Janet L. Walsh

 

Johns Hopkins

Computing for Data Analysis

Roger Peng

This course is about learning the fundamental computing skills necessary for effective data analysis. You will learn to program in R and to use R for reading data, writing functions, making informative graphs, and applying modern statistical methods.

Sep 23- 4 weeks

 

University of Washington

Mathematical Methods for Quantitative Finance

Dr. Kjell Konis

Mathematical Methods for Quantitative Finance covers topics from calculus and linear algebra that are fundamental for the study of mathematical finance. Students successfully completing this course will be mathematically well prepared to study quantitative finance at the graduate level. 

Sep 25-8 weeks

 

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The Role of the Renminbi in the International Monetary System

Prof. Joseph Yam and Prof. Terence Tai-Leung Chong

This course will discuss various aspects of the Renminbi internationalization, including the reform of the international monetary system, the opportunities and challenges to internationalize the Renminbi, the evolution of China’s monetary and exchange rate policies, and the implications of the Renminbi internationalization for Hong Kong.

Sep 30-4 weeks.

 

Wharton

An Introduction to Operations Management

Christian Terwiesch

This course will teach you how to analyze and improve business processes, be it in services or in manufacturing. You will learn how to improve productivity, how to provide more choice to customers, how to reduce response times, and how to improve quality.

Sep 30-8 weeks

 

University of Maryland

Surviving Disruptive Technologies

Hank C. Lucas, Jr.

The purpose of this course is to help participants and the organizations they encounter survive the waves of technological disruptions facing business, government, education and their daily lives. 

Sep 30-7 weeks

 

University of California-Irvine

Foundations of Virtual Instruction

Cindy Carbajal

Learn what it takes to teach a K-12 course online! Investigate the history of virtual education, explore innovative tools, and examine key issues related to K-12 virtual instruction.  

Sep 30-5 weeks

 

Columbia University

Financial Engineering and Risk Management Part I

Martin Haugh and Garud Iyengar

This course provides an introduction to various classes of derivative securities and we will learn how to price them using “risk-neutral pricing”. In the follow-up to this course (FE & RM Part II) we will consider portfolio optimization, risk management and more advanced examples of derivatives pricing including, for example, real options and energy derivatives.

Oct-7 weeks

 


Wharton

An Introduction to Marketing

David Bell, Peter Fader and Barbara E. Kahn

This Wharton course will teach the fundamentals of marketing by getting to the root of customer decision making. The course will focus on branding strategies, customer centricity and new market entry

Oct 14-9 weeks

 

University of Michigan

Introduction to Finance

Gautam Kaul

This course will introduce you to frameworks and tools to measure value; both for corporate and personal assets. It will also help you in decision-making, again at both the corporate and personal levels.

Oct 7-15 weeks

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COSHRM Conference Marmot

By |2013-09-02T13:56:12-04:00September 2nd, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|

COSHRM Conference Marmot

On Saturday after the COSHRM conference in Keystone, CO we went hiking down the mountain. The wildlife was very friendly as illustrated by this Marmot who allowed us to get quite close and posed for our new 2014 Calendar.

The conference was a great success. Our presentation was a case study on ADP’s restructuring and development of global HRM competencies. The competencies were developed to train sales professional on the activities of global HRVPs to be become effective trusted advisors. The research was also used to train HR leaders in ADP so they could be better partners with the sales organization. We had about 100 people in the room who asked quite a few questions. The presentation highlighted the 4,500 pages of research on global HRM and showed how linking HRM with line management sales resulted in more sales but also could transform HR into a strategic asset.

If you would like copies of the presentation email: Information@birchtreeglobal.com and include your name, email, and phone.

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