Related posts:No related photos. Hi Greg,As I read your commentary on the challenges of recruitment, I grow more intrigued by the challenge of getting both parties on board, in addition to satisfying the wants and needs of all who are involved. A profession in recruitment requires an immense amount of passion for the process of matching candidates and managing the client-candidate connection, which are processes that not for the easily discouraged.The measures you listed to achieve success as a recruiter spark inspiration to constantly improve and refresh selling skills and prepare for disappointment. I find the idea of consulting rather than transacting to be an effective method of building stronger relationships and ultimately fully understanding the needs of both clients and candidates.Thank you for your insight on the difficulties associated with recruitment, and motivation for continuing to improve.Read full article Comment on Recruiters, time toughen up! by Rachel FucichShared from missc on 18 Apr 2016 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed.
By Abrahm HurtTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS — Legislation working its way through the Indiana General Assembly that would limit asbestos lawsuits is a version of a model law crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council and pushed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.Testimony by proponents of House Bill 1061 told the Senate Civil Law Committee on Monday said that the issue is about transparency and fairness to those affected by asbestos.But lawyer Kathy Farinas, who represents asbestos victims across the state, said the bill is not needed because Indiana already has a court that has effectively ruled on these cases for years.The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization that writes state-level legislation for lawmakers across the country, first developed the bill in 2007. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which lobbies on behalf of business interests, has been traveling from state to state to urge lawmakers to pass the proposed legislation.Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, who authored Indiana’s version of the bill, said the first part would look at Indiana’s statute of repose, which deals with when a claim can be filed by a plaintiff in a liability case.“Our law has been struck down by the courts,” he said during testimony. “The concern I have here is I do think it is the responsibility of this legislative body to make public policy. Not the judicial branch but the legislative branch.”The proposed law, which recommends a 10-year statute of repose, would refer the timing of when a lawsuit can be filed to a summer study committee.Two other parts of the bill, if enacted, could have an immediate impact on the Indiana cases pending in Marion Superior Court.One would require plaintiffs, within 30 days, to file a form with the court detailing any settlements they might have received from the national trust funds set up when asbestos makers went bankrupt decades ago. Current lawsuits have been directed against other businesses whose employees might have become sickened by asbestos exposure.The other part of the bill would bar a plaintiff from filing a lawsuit over asbestos exposure until they actually become sick. Proponents said it would make sure that sick people get their cases heard first.Mark Behrens, who represents the U.S. Chamber Institute of Legal Reform, said HB 1061 would create transparency and fairness for those affected by asbestos. Photo by Abrahm Hurt, TheStatehouseFile.comMark Behrens, who represents the U.S. Chamber Institute of Legal Reform, said plaintiffs’ attorneys delay filing trust claim forms because they don’t want the jury to hear about other asbestos exposure they may have had.“The average person with mesothelioma will file 20 different trust claims and recover about a half a million dollars,” Behrens said during his testimony. “That is relevant information that the jury should decide if a local small business is a defendant in a case, but by delaying the filing of those claim forms they can hide that information from the jury.”Behrens is also a lawyer for Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Washington D.C. and co-chairs their public policy practice group.Farinas said the legislation is not necessary because she is already required to give the defendants the trust claims that she files for her clients. She also disputed his claim that lawyers delay filing trust claims to hide information from the businesses being sued.“We just firmly believe there’s a big difference in what’s discoverable versus admissible and making these trust claim documents prima fascia evidence of wrongdoing that goes to a jury can only confuse them,” she said.Farinas said she is most concerned about efforts to change Indiana’s statute of repose to 10 years, which hurt her clients’ ability to sue to recover damages for asbestos exposure.“Science shows that asbestos diseases will never show up within the first 10 years of exposure,” she said during her testimony.Farinas said the bill also contains language that says a physician is not allowed to diagnose an asbestos-related injury unless 15 years have passed from exposure to diagnosis.Farinas said the statute of repose portion of the bill is unique to Indiana and not included in other states that have passed similar legislation.“This bill is a national model that is being, I like to say, a square bill trying to be put in round Indiana hole,” she said.FOOTNOTE: Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
After nine years as president and 15 with the University of Southern Indiana in total, Dr. Linda L. M. Bennett has announced plans to retire effective June 30, 2018.“I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve this great institution,” said Bennett. “The essential strengths of USI are not contained in buildings, though our beautiful campus is a tremendous asset. Those essential strengths are the people of the campus, the power of community and the high quality education our students take with them as they graduate. This December I will be 65, and with that milestone, I believe it is a good time to think about the next chapter of my life. The University of Southern Indiana is well-positioned for a transition, and this is the right time.”The USI Board of Trustees will announce plans this fall for a national search for USI’s next president.“It has been my good fortune to have worked with each of the three presidents of this University, all have exemplified outstanding qualities necessary to captain a ship such as ours,” remarked Harold Calloway, chair of USI’s Board of Trustees. “Dr. Bennett, without exception, has proven to be a transformative leader who was the right person at the right time for our institution, and we will certainly miss her intellect, caring personality, wit, and love and respect for the institution. The Board of Trustees will work to select a leader that will continue the legacy of Dr. Bennett and all of her predecessors.”Bennett became USI’s third president in July 2009, after serving as USI’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs from 2003 until her inauguration. In addition to serving as president, she is a professor of political science and has taught courses in Introduction to American Politics for USI students.In her first year as president, she led the effort to establish the University’s first strategic plan. This plan included an intentional effort to raise the University’s academic standards, admitting students most likely to succeed at a four-year university.In the area of academic programming, she coordinated the self-study, which led to the approval of USI’s first doctoral program—Doctor of Nursing Practice—by the Higher Learning Commission. She also oversaw the expansion of the Bachelor of Science in engineering degree program with the addition of Manufacturing Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The manufacturing engineering degree was the first of its kind in the state and one of only around 20 such programs in the country. Additionally, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) has recently expanded to be available both on campus and in an entirely online format with areas of concentration that include accounting, data analytics, engineering management, healthcare administration and human resource management.During her tenure, the University continued to see monumental growth with the addition of numerous building projects, including the Business and Engineering Center, Performance Center, Lenny and Anne Dowhie Ceramics Center, Applied Engineering Center, Griffin Center, renovation of the University Center and the USI-Burdette Trail, as well as the start of construction on the Physical Activities Center expansion and renovation, and the Fuquay Welcome Center.In 2015, she launched the University’s second strategic plan, which will continue through 2020. Also under Bennett’s leadership, enhanced admission processes have been implemented and the University’s brand and image have seen updates and increased visibility across the region. Additionally, the USI Foundation led a successful Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence, a $50 million capital campaign that exceeded its goal at its conclusion in 2016.During her time as president, Bennett has led initiatives at USI focused on enrollment and retention management, outreach and engagement, faculty development, the retention of intellectual capital, accreditation renewal, and long-range planning.In the broader higher education community, she has served with the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the national organization representing public institutions, as an advocate for qualitative and quantitative comparisons of campus environments and degree-granting practices nationwide. She has been an evaluator for regional accreditation of institutions and a voice for accreditation standards nationwide. She is a leader of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference Council of Presidents, past chair of the Indiana Campus Compact Board and has been a member of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities Executive Committee. Bennett has been a strong advocate in strengthening the relationship with Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane) in support of nationally recognized best practice in technology transfer from the Department of Defense.An active civic leader, Bennett has contributed to a variety of organizations such as Joshua Academy, Holly’s House, Aurora, Leadership Evansville, the Diversity Lecture Series, Southwest Indiana Network for Education, Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Mesker Park Zoo Planning Committee, Indiana University School of Medicine Advisory Council, Chair of the WNIN Public Broadcasting Board of Directors, Deaconess Health Systems Board of Directors, the Red Cross, the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, director of the Welborn Baptist Foundation, the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, the Mayor’s Education Roundtable and the Rotary Club of Evansville. She was recognized as the 2015 Rotary Civic Award winner. In 2016, she received the Indiana Commission for Women Torchbearer Award and Trailblazer Award and in 2017 the Boy Scouts of America Buffalo Trace Council Distinguished Citizen Award.Bennett is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Cincinnati. She came to USI from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, where she served from 1999-2003 as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of political science. At Appalachian State, she established a college-wide Diversity Committee to develop strategies for faculty recruitment and retention. She also led the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council in statewide friend-and fund-raising efforts, including a capital campaign that raised more than $5 million.Additional experience in higher education includes Bennett’s service at two other universities. From 1996-99, she was chair of the Department of Political Science and professor of political science at Northern Kentucky University. From 1983-96, she was associated with Wittenberg University. She chaired the Department of Political Science from 1994-96 and rose to the rank of professor in 1996.Bennett plans to remain in Evansville with her husband, Stephen, and stay actively involved in community service.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Today, all of the biggest names in popular music make their way around the world on tour by way of large outdoor stadiums, filling the enormous structures with tens of thousands of fans. Playing to a packed, screaming stadium crowd, on the ground usually occupied by the world’s greatest athletes, is a “holy grail” dream for every aspiring musician. But that wasn’t always the case. The stadium rock show dream was born with an historic bang 52 years ago today, August 15th, 1965, when The Beatles headlined Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets.The Beatles at Shea Stadium: An Interview With Dave Schwensen, Author Of The 2013 Book On The First Ever Stadium Rock ShowThe concert has been documented at length for its historical significance, from books, to editorials, to a documentary film produced by TV icon Ed Sullivan, a sprawling 14-camera snapshot of the de facto peak of “Beatlemania” in the U.S. In his 2013 book The Beatles at Shea Stadium: The Story Behind Their Greatest Concert, author Dave Schwensen details all the surrounding circumstances and cultural significance of the band’s Shea Stadium debut. Live For Live Music’s Bob Wilson spoke to Schwensen ahead of the legendary show’s 50th anniversary, and the writer doled out countless astounding anecdotes about the show and history surrounding it. (You can read the full interview here). On the anniversary of The Beatles’ 1965 Shea Stadium show, we’ve gathered a few of the best story lines from the fabled event. Here are 5 things you may not have known about one of the most influential rock concerts of all time, courtesy of Dave Schwensen:On the enormous risk of booking the show, and the balls-y promise that sealed the deal:Dave Schwensen: “A subtitle for [my] book could’ve been (and almost was) ‘The Birth of Stadium Rock.’ Nothing on this scale had ever happened before in rock/pop music. Elvis Presley had played six stadium shows in 1956 and ’57 before going into the army, but nothing even remotely close to Shea Stadium. His largest audience was just over 26,000 fans at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Beatles had to more than double that number to fill Shea Stadium’s 55,600 seats. No one knew what to expect or even if they could do it. They were the biggest act in showbiz and their concerts were sell-outs, but they were mostly in smaller sports arenas for 10,000 to 15,000 fans. In England they were still playing large theaters. So promoters knew more tickets could have been sold for almost every show, but filling a major league baseball stadium was unheard of.And you had the generation gap in full swing back in ’65 – as it was with Elvis in the 1950’s and even now with Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus and others. You know as well as I do that it’s mostly the older generation that puts down many of today’s pop acts, and they wish these kids would fail and disappear into pop culture footnotes. It was the same with the Beatles. A lot of adults made fun of them and complained about their long hair and loud music and that they were corrupting the younger generation.[Manager Brian] Epstein’s biggest worry in making the deal with promoter Sid Bernstein [was that] empty seats could hurt their image. Bernstein only convinced him to accept the show by guaranteeing a sell-out. Whatever seats weren’t sold, Bernstein would buy himself at $10 per – almost twice the highest ticket price. After that, Epstein’s biggest worry was how to protect “his boys” from so many fans. He was afraid they wouldn’t get out of Shea alive. Again, no one had even attempted this before. It was a huge risk in 1965.”On the keen instinct and determination of promoter Sid Bernstein:“From what everyone told me, Sid Bernstein was a hard working, honest and decent guy. No one I interviewed had a bad thing to say about him. What I liked most was that he wasn’t afraid to take a chance. He would think outside of the box – know what I mean? Without getting into too much detail, he took a chance in 1963 – almost a full year before their appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” – and booked them for two shows at Carnegie Hall. No one in this country had even heard of The Beatles at that time – not even Ed Sullivan. He rolled the dice and hit. For that reason Brian Epstein was loyal to Sid.So when Sid approached him just after the 1964 North American tour about playing Shea Stadium, Brian listened. He wasn’t exactly sold on it for the reason mentioned earlier, but he gave Sid a chance. That’s all he needed. It’s in the book because his main obstacle was not being allowed to advertise the show before giving Epstein a deposit, which he didn’t have. But he did it and put the whole thing together. All the Beatles had to do was show up and play.”On the diverse support lineup that led up to the Beatles’ headlining set:“It was like a variety show, which was pretty standard in those days. Now opening acts are supposed to compliment the headliner is some way, but this one was a real mix. The opening act was The Discotheque Dancers. They were five girls and a guy that demonstrated popular dances like The Frug and The Watusi while The King Curtis Band played instrumental medleys of pop songs, including a couple by The Beatles. Can you believe that? Cannibal and the Headhunters sang “Land of 1,000 Dances,” and another instrumental group Epstein represented called Sounds Incorporated were on the bill. The King Curtis Band also did a set and then backed Brenda Holloway. Marvin Gaye was introduced, but didn’t perform.On the reasons why the Beatles’ set was much shorter than you’d expect:“The Beatles played for just over half an hour. Once again, no one knew what to expect, but that was pretty much the length of all their shows once Beatlemania became a scream fest. In fact, and I can’t remember who mentions this in the book, the Beatles could’ve just walked onto the field, stood there and waved for half an hour and everyone would’ve been thrilled. The fact that they played was almost like a bonus.”On the “expensive” ticket price:“[Tickets cost] $4.50, $5.00 and $5.65. You know, we laugh about that now when you have to pay a few hundred bucks to sit in the nosebleed section to see The Rolling Stones and others. But that was a big chunk of change for the average teenaged Beatles fan back in 1965. There are memories in the book about kids who couldn’t go to the concert because their parents thought it cost too much.”You can watch a few assorted video clips from the performance and the big buildup to the Beatles’ headlining set on 8/15/65 at Shea Stadium below:
Harvard Professor Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, is among the 10 recipients of the 2014 National Humanities Medal.The White House announced the distinguished recipients of the award on Friday. The awardees include historians, writers, a philosopher, scholar, preservationist, food activist, and an education course. President Barack Obama will confer the medal in a Sept. 10 ceremony in the East Room.The National Humanities Medal honors an individual or organization whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience, broadened citizens’ engagement with history and literature or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to cultural resources. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) manages the nominations process for the National Humanities Medal on behalf of the White House.Each year NEH invites nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. The National Council on the Humanities, NEH’s presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory body, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the president, who selects the recipients.The NEH is celebrating its 50th anniversary beginning Sept 29.“The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to join President Obama in celebrating the achievements of these distinguished medalists,” said NEH Chairman William Adams. “The recipients of this medal have sparked our imaginations, ignited our passions, and transformed our cultural understanding. They embody how the humanities can serve a common good.”In addition to Higginbotham, the recipients of the 2014 National Humanities Medal include: * The Clemente Course in the Humanities, institution; Annie Dillard, author; Everett L. Fly, architect and preservationist; Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, philosopher and novelist; Jhumpa Lahiri, short story writer and novelist; Fedwa Malti-Douglas, scholar; Larry McMurtry, novelist; Vicki Lynn Ruiz, historian; and Alice Waters, author and food activist.* For the past 15 years Tim McCarthy, adjunct lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, has been heavily involved in The Clemente Course in the Humanities, which is among the recipients of the National Humanities Medal being awarded on Thursday.
Dell Technologies and Altiostar partner to accelerate adoption of open and virtualized RAN Over the last several years, 5G has been a cornerstone of the telecommunications industry technology development – defining a radio air interface and technology architecture for the core network. Now that the promise of 5G is becoming a reality, industries looking to transform are implementing new use cases for 5G that are defining new network “edges” that foundationally change traffic flows and data analytics pipelines in Telecom networks.The snowball effect of the NFV transition started in 2012 with a focus on 4G core networks. There is now growing interest in the containerization of virtual functions led by Kubernetes. There is also significant focus on the separation of control and user plane functions with user planes utilizing various forms of accelerators, such as FPGAs, SmartNICs and GPUs, to reduce latency and improve bandwidth.NFV is also being extended to the Radio Access Network (RAN). RAN implementations have traditionally been proprietary bundles of hardware that are expensive to build and maintain. A recent paper by ACG Research entitled, “Economic Advantages of Virtualizing the RAN in Mobile Operators’ Infrastructures” shows that centralized vRAN architectures enable up to 44 percent lower TCO than conventional distributed RANs in 4G networks. The use of vRANs in 5G networks will provide the operational and capital efficiencies required to support smaller deployment models required for private and enterprise networks as well as the increased radio density to support higher bandwidth.Dell Technologies is focused on extending its leadership in providing the essential infrastructure for network virtualization to the furthest of telecom edges – the radio access network. Dell Technologies is partnering with Altiostar to help accelerate industry adoption of virtualized and open RAN architectures, built on a combination of Intel® Xeon® servers with Intel FPGA technology. This month, we introduced the PowerEdge XE2420, an innovative short-depth edge server, that is designed to support far edge applications like vRAN that operate in space constrained, harsh environments. The PowerEdge XE2420 is a dense compute server and with its support of up to 4 FGPA or GPU accelerators can meet any other demanding use cases at the edge.Altiostar pioneered open vRAN solutions and is working with some of the largest and most innovative mobile network operators to deploy these solutions in their networks. Altiostar offers an open vRAN solution where service providers deploy a radio access network using best-of-breed solutions. Its vRAN solution disaggregates the hardware and software across the entire protocol stack allowing for different deployment architectures. This allows Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to optimize their vRAN based on their individual network requirements and to choose best of breed options that enable deployment of micro services, automation, applications and services.Dell Technologies and Altiostar have a common vision that vRAN will change the economics and operations of 5G networks and that Open RAN technologies will enable a broader ecosystem of vendors to bring innovation to the telco industry. Initially, Dell Technologies and Altiostar are focusing on developing and validating solutions that provide MNOs blueprints for the deployment of virtual RAN in both 4G and 5G networks. Our engineering teams will collaborate to ensure interoperability, deployment-readiness, and define areas of joint innovation where we can partner to improve efficiency, economics, and performance of Altiostar vRAN software on Dell Technologies infrastructure. This will help our customers improve both their bottom line and their technology as we enable them to become #5GReadyNow.
NEW YORK (AP) — SpaceX’s first all-civilian space flight set for late this year will provide an out-of-this-world fundraising opportunity for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which says it expects to generate $200 million for cancer research and other causes. It’s off to a fast start: $1 million in donations in the first day since the flight’s announcement. Jared Isaacman, the billionaire businessman who will finance and pilot the multi-day mission for himself and three others, will drive the publicity push. Of the $200 million that St. Jude hopes to raise this year, $100 million is to come from Isaacman, with the rest from donations generated by raffling off one seat on the flight.
Related Shows View Comments Neil Patrick Harris, who has won three Emmy Awards for hosting the Tony Awards in the past, won’t be back to emcee the 2014 ceremony. Instead, he’ll hopefully be on hand as a nominee for his performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Harris told columnist Cindy Adams that he can’t host this year because of his gig as transsexual rocker Hedwig, although many Tony hosts in the past have headlined the ceremony while also starring on Broadway (Sean Hayes, Hugh Jackman, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick quickly come to mind). If nominated, Harris will be celebrating his first Tony nod. It’s a stiff race—other possible nominees in the five slots include Eric Anderson (Soul Doctor), Zach Braff (Bullets Over Broadway), Norbert Leo Butz (Big Fish), Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables), Andy Karl (Rocky), Jefferson Mays (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Steven Pasquale (The Bridges of Madison County), Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) and Will Swenson (Les Miserables). Somehow, we think we’ll be seeing NPH at the Tonys one way or another. Hedwig and the Angry Inch Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 13, 2015
By Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaThe adage that one rotten apple spoils the barrel may hit close to home for strawberry growers in the coming year. Only in this case, it’s a few infected strawberry plants that could threaten a whole crop.A highly contagious fungus that causes anthracnose (a plant disease unrelated to anthrax) has infected the plants of a major supplier of strawberry plugs, (the trays of tiny plants that farmers transplant to their fields), said University of Georgia plant pathologist Phil Brannen.This, coupled with the resulting higher-than-usual demand for clean strawberry transplants, could make things tough for Georgia growers. They’re planting next year’s strawberry crop between now and mid-October.Anthracnose began showing up in strawberry plug beds in late August and early September in North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey and Tennessee, according to Fruit Pest News, a Tennessee Extension publication.Now, Georgia planters are finding the unwelcome fungus in recent shipments of plugs.The common source of the anthracnose has been a farm in Ontario, Canada, Brannen said. However, the plugs grown from the infected Canadian runner tips may come from several operations, many in North Carolina.”First, growers will see marginal burning on the edges of leaves, which will start to crack,” Brannen said. “This is irregular leaf spot, the precursor to anthracnose.”In general, he said, the plants will be pale and stunted. Some will die.”In the spring, the inoculum in the leaves will be passed to the flowers and fruit, which cuts back on production tremendously,” he said. “Fruit rot begins before you can get to the market and sell (the strawberries).”The problem with anthracnose, Brannen said, “is that once you bring it in, you’ve got it. There’s no cure for it.”Ideally, growers should carefully inspect all new shipments of strawberry transplants, he said. They should destroy any plants showing symptoms of the disease.”Preventing anthracnose from getting a toehold is ideal,” he said. “But for some growers, this won’t be an option. If a shipment looks halfway decent, they’ll have to give it a try.”That’s because, this late in the season, it’s hard to find a new source of clean plants. And “for those whose bread and butter is strawberries, giving it up isn’t an option,” he said.Brannen and other UGA scientists have developed a fungicide spray program they hope will help farmers pull through. Growers can learn about the spraying regimen from their county UGA Extension Service agent.Not all strawberry growers will be affected.Farmers transplant strawberries in one of two ways: plugs or bare-root plants. Plug plants come in trays and have an intact root ball, like any container-grown plant. They have a higher survival rate and are easier to work with.However, plugs cost more than bare-roots, which are young plants that are simply dug up, placed in a plastic bag and overnighted to the farmer.The anthracnose problem so far has been found in plugs. But most farmers haven’t yet gotten shipments of bare-roots, said Tift County extension agent Keith Rucker.Growers in Tift County produce 45 acres of Georgia’s 280-acre, $4.5 million strawberry crop. Most Tift growers use bare-root plants, Rucker said.Unlike plugs, bare-root plants must be planted almost immediately. So most south Georgia growers haven’t yet received the shipments they will plant this fall.”People planting bare-roots should be on the lookout for anthracnose,” Brannen said. “Although we don’t think the problem will be as severe in bare-rooted plants, we’re concerned that anthracnose could still come in on these plants as well.”(Cat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today announced net income of $2.91 million or diluted earnings per share of $0.48 for the quarter ended March 31, 2009. This compares with net income of $2.66 million or diluted earnings per share of $0.44 for the first quarter of 2008. Merchants previously announced the declaration of a dividend of 28 cents per share, payable May 14, 2009, to shareholders of record as of April 30, 2009.The return on average assets was 0.87% for the first quarter of 2009, compared to 0.88% for the first quarter of 2008. The return on average equity was 14.50% for the first quarter of this year, compared to 13.83% for the same period in 2008.”We were able to continue our strong performance into the first quarter of 2009, with earnings per share up 9%, compared to the same period in 2008, in spite of the continued challenging economic climate,” said Michael R. Tuttle, Merchants’ President and CEO. “We experienced solid growth in both loans and deposits during the quarter. Asset quality remained strong and capital levels continue to be well in excess of regulatory requirements.”Merchants’ net interest income increased $2.70 million, or 28.0%, for the first quarter of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008. This increase was a result of strong growth in both loans and deposits, in addition to lowered funding costs during the quarter. Average interest earning assets for the quarter were $1.30 billion, compared to $1.14 billion for the first quarter of 2008. Merchants’ net interest margin for the first quarter of 2009 was 3.85%, compared to 3.40% for the first quarter of 2008.Merchants’ quarterly average loans were $865.96 million, an increase of $128.35 million, or 17% over the first quarter of 2008, and were $40.57 million, or 5% higher on a linked quarter basis. Loans ended the first quarter of 2009 at $892.58 million, an increase of $45.45 million over December 31, 2008 ending balances of $847.13 million. The increase since December 31, 2008, is comprised of residential and commercial mortgages, and commercial loans. Merchants has hired additional lenders in its corporate banking group, which has led to increased loan production. Tuttle commented, “Our status as the last independent, statewide bank continues to have appeal to business owners and has helped us attract new commercial customers. The combination of lower interest rates and reduced competition in the residential area, coupled with the fact that we do not originate loans for sale, has provided us with a substantial pipeline of new retail customers.”