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Charles Brewer: A Phenomenal Leader Redefining the Post and Parcel Sector

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Charles Brewer: A Phenomenal Leader Redefining the Post and Parcel Sector
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Charles Brewer: A Phenomenal Leader Redefining the Post and Parcel Sector

Revolutionary CEO's

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Learn, learn, learn – always be learning. This is the mantra of Charles Brewer, which has helped him establish a successful career and chart a new course for Pos Malaysia. His passion for continuous learning has enabled him to be at the forefront of innovation, making him a profound and remarkable leader. Ever since he began his career as a Customer Service Agent with DHL Express in the UK, he has deeply rooted his self-development on two key pillars; always be humble and never stop learning.

Charles graduated from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. He also holds an Advanced Logistics diploma from Cranfield University School of Management and completed the Advanced Senior Executive Management Programme at Henley Business School in the United Kingdom. He, being a British national, has been serving as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Pos Malaysia Berhad since August 1, 2021. With extensive experience in the supply chain industry, particularly in e-commerce logistics, cross-border fulfillment, first and last mile delivery, logistics and supply chain management, as well as business and digital transformation, Charles is bringing a wealth of expertise to his role.

Prior to joining Pos Malaysia, Charles held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Canada Post and prior to that enjoyed a distinguished 34-year career with DHL Express and DHL eCommerce, assuming various roles in Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and America. Throughout his professional journey, Charles has consistently demonstrated his ability to appreciate diversity and comprehend cross-cultural differences, having spent considerable time in different parts of the world, including working in all continents and visiting or working in more than 120 countries.

Charles Brewer: A Phenomenal Leader Redefining the Post and Parcel Sector
Charles Brewer

A Legacy Bestowed Upon 

Pos Malaysia Berhad (Pos Malaysia), which was established in the 1800s—upon independence, it was known as Jabatan Perkhidmatan Pos. By the year 1992, it was rebranded as Pos Malaysia and listed on Bursa Malaysia in 2001. Nevertheless, it became a privatized company in 2011. Pos Malaysia is present throughout the country with 628 general post offices and over 3,800 retail touchpoints. Pos Malaysia is passionate about building trust to connect lives and businesses for a better tomorrow. With the motto, “We deliver. We connect. We improve lives,” Pos Malaysia has a proud history of more than 200 years, delivering to every city, town and kampong and continuously innovating. It desires to be a great company for its employees and customers, and focuses on having highly motivated, engaged and safe employees, who deliver a great service, delighting its customers, and delivering a profitable network. Its leadership ethos is to strive to be an organization that delivers great results without compromising on respect.

Pos Malaysia is the national post and parcel service provider and sole licensee for universal postal services in Malaysia. With a history spanning over 200 years, the group has diversified beyond the traditional provision of mail and parcel delivery services to also offer retail, logistics, and aviation products and services. It is pivoting from being ‘a mail company that also delivers parcels’, to a ‘parcel delivery company that also delivers mail’. It has the most extensive last-mile reach, delivering to more than 11 million addresses across the nation. This company has a network of more than 3,800 touchpoints with a presence across the country, providing Malaysians with the most comprehensive retail network. It has a delivery service level that is unmatched, with an on-time parcel delivery service level of >96%.

Its purpose stands strong: to be passionate about building trust to connect lives and businesses for a better tomorrow. Charles believes that the company’s customers deserve the very best service level; hence, he has focused on improving the delivery performance. The company’s success has been proven by the most recent ‘Courier Challenge Survey’ completed by MCMC (the country’s regulator) in 2022, where Pos Malaysia scored 96% in Guaranteed Delivery vs. Industry Average of 78%, Non-Guaranteed Delivery of 99% (vs. 94%), and Reliability Delivery Performance of 91% (vs. 83%). 

Charles states that Pos Malaysia’s close ties with the community through ‘Pos Care’, where it carries out various outreach and CSR initiatives, have cemented its position as more than just a service provider. It’s a brand that genuinely cares for the well-being of its team and the people it serves. At the end of 2022, Pos Malaysia collaborated with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) to sponsor the delivery and logistics costs in Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu. Pos Malaysia mobilized four deliveries with a total of 7.3 tons to three different states, consisting of dry goods and daily essentials donated by corporate organizations and members of the public for the affected flood victims due to the monsoon season. 

In February 2023, Pos Malaysia joined forces with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) and the Turkish Embassy as their key logistics collaborators. Pos Malaysia delivered 13 tons of crucial aid, encompassing clothing, baby diapers, infant utensils, and other essential items. This initiative was aimed at providing assistance to the victims affected by the earthquake. Pos Malaysia also has an initiative called Ubat Melalui Pos (UMP), a service that delivers patients’ monthly medicine supply straight to the location of their choice. It is one of the value-added services provided for patients’ convenience to get their medicines supplied. This initiative is aimed at reducing patients’ waiting times at hospitals and pharmacies, ensuring the continuity of patients’ medicine supply, and providing increased convenience and choice.

Digitalization of the Customer Journey 

When Charles joined as GCEO in August 2021, the SLA for parcel and mail stood at ~50%. Today Pos Malaysia has the market-leading delivery service at >96%, ahead of the industry average of 78%. Under his supervision, he has continuously exceeded the monthly 2023 targets set by the Universal Postal Union for global monitoring of the mail system, EMS, and parcels.

He plans to drive the digital modernization efforts at Pos Malaysia, focusing on the ‘customer journey’, with a focus on creating a significantly improved customer experience. For example, Pos Malaysia rebuilt all of their customer interface applications, modernizing, simplifying and streamlining the experience. He states that shifting to cloud-based technology has been instrumental in enhancing operational efficiency and creating a more agile environment. He has introduced a new track and trace parcel system, digitizing legacy processes, and rationalized multiple legacy systems. Simply put, a significantly better customer experience at a lower cost. Charles states that the local and macro-economic environment has impacted the company’s parcel volumes. An increase in in-sourcing of logistics by ‘platforms’, macro-economic concerns that impact consumer spending, and ‘masking’ practices that prevent Malaysians from being able to choose their carrier of choice are headwinds that need addressing. While he and his team continue to sweat its assets, they will focus on adapting and transforming the business to this challenging and changing environment.

"With a history spanning over 200 years, the group has diversified beyond the traditional provision of mail and parcel delivery services to also offer retail, logistics, and aviation products and services. "

Painting a Bigger Picture 

The company is rapidly harnessing new technologies such as generative AI to further drive operational efficiencies and provide an even better service. In March 2023, Pos Malaysia launched its Sustainability Roadmap, with the aim of achieving net zero by 2050, becoming the first logistics company in Malaysia to commit and deliver. It will stand as a ‘lighthouse’ for Malaysia, championing sustainability for both Malaysia and the logistics sector. Charles firmly comprehends that digital disruption has and will bring even greater change, challenges, and opportunity, and that the continued shift towards digital communication has brought further disruption to its traditional mail volumes. This has created diversification beyond the traditional provision of mail and parcel delivery. Charles and Pos Malaysia are building new solutions that will ensure it is fit for the future, with a shift towards providing new, margin-led solutions that further leverage its existing and unrivalled network, whilst at the same time building solutions that meet the ever-changing needs of its customers. Pos Malaysia recently launched its retail transformation initiative known as Pos DiSini, as well as Pos Fulfill, Pos Shop and RedExpress, all aimed at providing a sustainable Pos Malaysia for tomorrow, whilst at the same time delivering on its purpose. 

Charles appreciates that the market is changing, and embrace fair competition, yet considers the surge of new foreign players and specifically how they operate as challenging. Often, these new players play with very different rules, leveraging deep VC/ PE funding to employ aggressive pricing strategies.

Roadmap to Sustainability

Pos Malaysia’s sustainability roadmap is centred on six key workstreams: (a) Revolutionizing delivery methods by introducing 200 e-bikes and 143 e-vans in 2023 (the largest EV fleet in Malaysia), aiming for a 28% green last-mile fleet by 2025 and a 100% Green Last Mile by 2030. (b) Optimizing the fleet through telematics to reduce idle time, fuel use, CO2 emissions, and enhance safety, with the goal of equipping the entire fleet with telematics by 2030. (c) Incorporating solar panels in three existing facilities and planning installations in 19 and 150 other locations by 2024 and 2025, respectively, to promote green buildings. (d) Achieving a 50% reduction in paper usage, deploying recycling bins at 57 sites, and diverting 500 kg± of food waste through a composting machine for effective waste management. (e) Enhancing sustainability in packaging with 80% recycled material in B2B packaging (flyers) and initiating the Courier Waste Exchange Programme. (f) Embracing digital learning by transitioning a significant portion of training to digital platforms.

He recognises that there is much to do as an organization; however, he is confident in the direction they are heading. Pos Malaysia aims to be sustainable, a lighthouse example for Malaysia and the logistics sector, and to deliver ‘clean and green’.

Leading into a New Era of Growth

Charles has single-handedly cultivated a transformative and inclusive work environment that empowers his employees to excel and innovate. He aims to be recognized for leading Pos Malaysia into a new era of growth, marked by operational excellence, technological advancement, and exceptional service performance in a sustainable manner. He will be striving to leave a legacy of a thriving, socially and sustainably responsible, and technologically innovative Pos Malaysia.

Revolutionary CEO's, 2023

Three Top Tips You Can Use To Identify a Steel Fabricator in Your Local Area of Australia

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Three Top Tips You Can Use To Identify a Steel Fabricator in Your Local Area of Australia
Three Top Tips You Can Use To Identify a Steel Fabricator in Your Local Area of Australia

When it comes to finding the right steel fabricator for a wide range of projects in the vibrant landscape of Australia, navigating through the plethora of available options can often be overwhelming. Indeed, you will want to find a fabricating partner in your local area of Australia who not only understands your vision but can also bring it to life with precision and expertise. Moreover, you should continue reading this informative article, because it will explore three top tips that you can use in order to help you identify the ideal steel fabricator in your local area, ensuring your project’s success.

  • Proven expertise that speaks volumes
  • Cutting-edge technology for precision and efficiency
  • Transparent communication successful collaboration

I. Proven expertise that speaks volumes

Firstly, whenever you are searching for a company to carry out steel fabrications, it is imperative to look for a team with a track record of proven expertise in the field. As a result, you must seek out a fabricator who has successfully completed a number of similar projects in your local area, showcasing a portfolio that reflects their proficiency and commitment to quality. This search process is not just about finding someone who can cut and weld steel, but instead, it is about discovering a partner with a deep understanding of your unique needs as well as an ability to turn your vision into reality. Moreover, a reputable steel fabricator in a particular area of Australia should be able to provide you with references from satisfied customers, attesting to their reliability and professionalism.

II. Cutting-edge technology for precision 

In addition, across the fast-paced world of steel fabrication in Australia, technology plays a crucial role in ensuring precision and efficiency at all times. Indeed, a top-notch steel fabricator should invest in state-of-the-art equipment and technology to guarantee the highest quality results for your fabrication project. As a result, you must be aware to look for a steel fabricator who embraces innovation, from the use of computer-aided design systems to advanced cutting and welding machinery. By choosing a fabricator with access to cutting-edge technology, you are not just ensuring the accuracy of your fabrication project but also streamlining the entire process, which not only saves you time but also minimises the likelihood of errors, providing a seamless experience from conception to completion.

III. Transparent communication for collaboration

Finally, communication is the cornerstone of any successful collaboration while the relationship between you and your steel fabricator is no exception. Moreover, you must choose a fabricator who prioritises transparent communication throughout the entire process which this includes clearly defined project timelines, regular updates on progress and a commitment to addressing any concerns or questions you may have.

Therefore, after all is said and done, finding the right steel fabricator in a particular area of Australia is a strategic decision that requires careful consideration of several factors, while by prioritising proven expertise, cutting-edge technology and transparent communication, you will be able to confidently select a steel fabricator who will not only meet but exceed your expectations, turning your fabrication project into a resounding success.

4 Best Practices for Seamless Product Experience Management

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4 Best Practices for Seamless Product Experience Management
4 Best Practices for Seamless Product Experience Management

Are you struggling to deliver a seamless product experience to your customers?

In our digital age, customers are savvier than ever. They know what a good product experience looks like. This makes it crucial to focus on managing and enhancing your product experience.

By doing so, you can boost customer satisfaction and drive your business success. This guide will delve into the best practices for effective product experience management. This ensures your customers enjoy a smooth journey from discovery to purchase.

Continue reading to discover how you can improve your product experience.

  1. Understand Your Target Audience

The first step towards creating a product experience is understanding your target audience. This means knowing your customer:

  • Needs and preferences
  • Pain points
  • Expectations
  • Demographics
  • Buying Behaviour

To achieve this, consider conducting customer research. You can do this through surveys, focus groups, or interviews. Analyze customer feedback and use the insights to tailor your product experience accordingly.

Another way to understand your audience is by leveraging analytics. By tracking customer behavior, you can gain insights into their preferences and behaviors. This allows you to make data-driven decisions when it comes to managing your product experience.

  1. Provide Consistent Branding

Your brand should have a clear identity and visual aesthetic that resonates with your audience. Use this consistently throughout your website. This also includes your packaging, social media, and any other customer-facing materials.

This helps to create a cohesive and recognizable brand image. It also helps customers to build trust and loyalty towards your brand.

Consistency in branding can also improve the customer experience. This makes it easier for them to navigate through your products.

  1. Prioritize User-Friendly Design

Keep your design simple, intuitive, and easy to use. This means providing clear product descriptions and quality images. You should also provide a streamlined checkout process.

Avoid clutter and make sure all elements are well-organized for a seamless browsing experience. Don’t forget to consider mobile users as well. It’s important to ensure your website or app is optimized for smaller screens.

By using a user-friendly design, you make it easier for customers to find and buy your products. This also helps to reduce customer frustration and increase satisfaction.

  1. Personalize the Customer Experience

In a highly competitive market, personalization can make all the difference in PXM. Use customer data to personalize their product experience. This could include recommendations based on past purchases or personalized offers and discounts.

Another way to personalize the experience is by providing tailored customer support. Use chatbots or live chat features to assist customers with any questions or concerns they may have. These customer engagement strategies create a more personalized customer service experience.

Product Experience Management: Optimizing User Journeys

Remember, the journey toward flawless product experience management is ongoing. It requires constant effort and adaptation. With these practices, you can continue to evolve and improve your product experience and stay ahead of the competition.

Always strive for excellence in your PXM, and never settle for mediocrity. Your customers will thank you for it with their continued support and loyalty.

If you want to discover more awesome news and insights, be sure to check out our other articles. We have a range of topics that will keep you updated.

10 Admired Women in Business, 2023

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10 Admired Women in Business 2023
10 Admired Women in Business 2023
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ON THE COVER

Vasyutina LLC

Anna Vasyutina

“Empowerment is not just about breaking barriers; it’s about building bridges of possibility for ourselves and others.”

Jackie Roby

“We seek to understand the intention, value, and team dynamics.”

Erin O’Donnell

“We love our clients, we have fun, and we welcome you to join us in our endeavor to bring the cannabis banking industry the most critical and timely education available.”

Celene Dupuis

“I believe what I have experienced in my life has made me relatable and helped me create human connections with the stylists I've had the honor to facilitate.”

10 Admired Women in Business 2023

Empower yourself and your business to reach new heights with Anna Vasyutina

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    Empower yourself and your business to reach new heights with Anna Vasyutina
    Empower yourself and your business to reach new heights with Anna Vasyutina

    Empower yourself and your business to reach new heights with Anna Vasyutina

    Admired Women

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    Vasyutina LLC

    For centuries, businesses have been passed down from father to son, evolving from humble beginnings to great success. Sadly, due to the dominance of men in society, women have been held back from achieving their full potential. Traditionally, women were responsible for mundane household tasks and caregiving for children and elderly family members.

    However, today, women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs globally. Women-run businesses have long been recognized as a crucial contributor to the economy. Through their entrepreneurial ventures, women create new job opportunities, for themselves and others, and offer innovative solutions to societal, organizational, and business challenges. More and more women are determined to smash through the traditional glass ceiling that has prevented them from reaching leadership positions, regardless of their skills or capabilities. 

    Several studies have concluded that companies led by female CEOs perform better than those led by males. This is because women bring unique demographic skills to the table. They take better care of their staff, improve reward systems, and provide more flexibility. Women-led businesses are also more likely to reduce internal corporate governance turmoil. 

    However, being a CEO is no easy task. It requires a great deal of expertise and experience in the respective field and is an all-consuming role. Anna Vasyutina is the founder of Vasyutina LLC, a Moscow-based business consultancy. She is an accomplished business leader with over 26 years of experience and an impressive track record of managing large projects and multiple roles. Anna has a logical mindset and is a dedicated team player with excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills. Anna is also a skilled mentor, who has helped her mentees to exceed expectations and achieve great results.

    Formative Years

    Anna Vasyutina was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, into a wealthy family involved in business and investments. Throughout her life, she pursued various interests, including singing, acting, modeling, and advertising, across various locations such as the USSR, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Paris, and London.

    At 7, Anna moved in with her more conservative parents, who significantly influenced her life. Despite receiving a commendable education, her natural inclinations towards business and investment diverged from her schooling. Her fondness for her liberal-minded grandparents only intensified this discord.

    Anna’s family faced financial difficulties during the Gorbachev era, losing much of their wealth. Her father’s career also shifted from federal service, while her mother’s role became more subordinate. Their job prospects only improved during Putin’s presidency.

    Throughout her education, Anna demonstrated a passion for languages, arts, and mythology. She developed proficiency in French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin, as well as her native language. Despite her academic success at a renowned school, she experienced socioeconomic disparity within the St. Petersburg community.

    Empower yourself and your business to reach new heights with Anna Vasyutina
    Anna Vasyutina

    Education and Upskilling

    Anna has a total of 13 degrees, including PG Diplomas in Finance and Investment, Russian-American and UK programs in F&I, an MSc in World Economics from, the Higher School of Economics, a PG Diploma from the University of Padova, Italy; a Philology degree in Italian language, PG Diploma from St Georges International School of London; and Postgraduate qualification in Law & Economics from Moscow State Law Academy, Moscow. 

    In her younger days, her parents influenced Anna to study law at St. Petersburg State University instead of pursuing her inherent expertise in economics and investment. However, she still explored her versatile personality by participating in comedy, including the Club of the Funny and Inventive (KVN). During university, she was successful as a student while working as an actress on the side. She went on to receive several grants and scholarships from international universities in Austria, Paris, and the UK.  

    After completing her postgraduate certificates in UK and US contract law from the Law Centre of International Legal Education, Anna earned an Executive MBA from the University of Warwick, specializing in marketing, strategy, consultancy, and change management. She has also completed several courses, including those for the ACCA and CIMA certifications, and recently received her financial course investment certification.

    More recently, Anna was published in Forbes magazine India-Dubai in 2022. She also completed her master’s in Finance and Investment from Oxford University in 2022.

    Professional Trajectory

    Anna moved to the UK as she grew older, where she successfully completed the IELTS and TOEFL courses. She received her first offer as a professional model and worked with well-known fashion brands such as Banana Republic and Michael Kors. After returning to Russia, Anna secured a job with an IT consulting organization, where she worked as a leading manager and lawyer for five years. 

    Anna’s professional trajectory has included significant roles with prominent firms such as Deloitte, KPMG, Rusal, Mechel, Ritzio Entertainment Group, and White & Case. She has also contributed to the entertainment sector as an actress and comedian. Her move to Moscow led to a series of successful ventures, culminating in her current involvement in IT, Digital Marketing, and Real Estate. Notably, she has contributed to notable real estate companies including Shobha Estate and Damac Properties in various countries.

    Anna’s commitment to fostering independence, both personally and financially, is underpinned by her extensive background and educational achievements. She provides invaluable insights as a top-tier manager with an MBA and a Master of Finance and Investment from Oxford University. Her guidance extends to cultivating a sense of personal freedom, environmental consciousness, and empathy toward others.

    "Empowerment is not just about breaking barriers; it’s about building bridges of possibility for ourselves and others"

    Simplifying Business Outcomes

    Anna empowers her clients with knowledge and practical research to enable them to make the right business decisions. As a business leader, her expertise is derived from her education and experience. This has led to Anna owning and operating several different ventures around the world.    

    While her Dubai-based outlet, Estas offers a vast range of business solutions and consultancy services through its online store, her Moscow-based organization – Vasyutina LLC has been in business for the last 15 years providing business consulting, psychology, and coaching services.    

    Through her company Vasyutina LLC, Anna provides organizations with psychological insights to improve communication skills, team dynamics, and leadership ability. Her company is named after a soviet freedom fighter from the USSR. Her MBA and business experience equip her with executive coaching skills to offer a distinctive blend of psychological expertise and practical business acumen. 

    Anna’s comprehensive understanding of human behavior and cognitive processes allows her to delve into the underlying factors that shape a leader’s decision-making, emotional intelligence, and overall effectiveness. By addressing these psychological barriers, she helps executives unlock their full potential, leading their organizations to new heights.

    Moreover, Anna brings a valuable perspective to the coaching process by examining the organizational context in which leaders operate. She considers factors such as culture, team dynamics, and communication patterns which significantly impact leadership effectiveness. By analyzing these contextual elements, Anna helps leaders refine their strategies, adapt their leadership style, and foster a positive work environment conducive to growth and innovation.

    A Resilient Leader

    Anna has faced numerous challenges in her career as a woman, including racial and gender discrimination. She has experienced these obstacles in different professional fields across the globe, from Russia to Dubai, India, and beyond. Despite these difficulties, her commitment to empowering women remains steadfast. She emphasizes the importance of honesty, prudence, and thoughtfulness in achieving lasting success.

    A multi-faceted leader, Anna possesses expertise in various fields. She is a consultant, director, CEO, accountant, lawyer, manager, financial specialist, planner, and investor. Her roles and responsibilities include identifying investment opportunities and providing advice in various sectors, creating online web schools, educating, training, developing, coaching, and running a bookstore.

    Moreover, Anna engages in extensive consultancy work across various sectors such as telecommunication, banking, technology, mining and coal, oil & gas, and retail. She has helped a furniture retail company by understanding the market for a new product and branding, developed a business plan for an ice hockey school, created contracts and financial plans for clients’ businesses, and sourced and developed new client accounts.

    To stay up-to-date with industry trends, Anna closely follows changes in management, IT, and technical advancements, as well as industrial, environmental, and economic changes.

    Breaking the Glass Ceiling

    Anna believes that women’s roles have evolved globally, including in Dubai where men are starting to appreciate their female counterparts more and more. She thinks that women should respect the company’s culture while also remembering their own identity, culture, and individuality. It is important for women not to lose sight of themselves at work or in life. They should use their knowledge, skills, and experiences to work within the framework of global business practices while respecting everyone, including themselves. 

    Anna strongly advises young women to pursue an MBA and read business and management literature. She recommends authors like Peter Drucker, Richard Daft, and Philipp Kotler, as well as pursuing a degree in philology. She suggests building a career in multinational corporations, where women can implement their knowledge and skills.

    "Women must adhere to the company's culture while also remembering their own identity, culture & entity, and they must never lose sight of themselves at work or in life"

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    Celene Dupuis: Tress’s mistress

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      Celene Dupuis: Tress's mistress
      Celene Dupuis: Tress's mistress

      Celene Dupuis: Tress’s mistress

      Admired Women

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      You are doing exactly what you were meant to do,” Celene’s father said to her while receiving a haircut from Celene. He was at that time, fighting a battle with brain cancer.

      Earlier, in 2003 when Celene had told her family that she wanted to be a hairstylist they were supportive but hesitant. Her father, a business owner, said “I will support you, but I’m worried you won’t be able to pay your bills”. His validation that the hairstyling industry is full of opportunity, was a defining moment in Celene’s life, inspiring her to prove that hairstyling could be a lucrative and rewarding job.

      Celene’s Journey

      SFA Board Director and CEO of Revamp Salon Company in Saskatchewan, Canada, Celene Dupuis describes herself as a “survivor, passionate, weird!” However, Celene is an award-winning stylist and Redken International Artist who is a leading mentor and educator in the hair industry on a global level.

      She inherited the attributes of being passionate, creative, and determined from her parents, which have helped her become a successful sought-after stylist, educator, and entrepreneur. As a teen, Celene always loved everything about beauty. Opening Revamp Salon Company in 2014 was her opportunity to create an environment where she could mentor the industry and teach stylists to provide amazing guest experiences, give back to their communities, and help others see their true beauty. Revamp, thus, was created as a space committed to providing top-notch stylists and a remarkable client experience. It is a space where both clients and stylists feel safe and comfortable.

      The Redken Experience

      Two years into her career, Celene joined forces as an educator with Redken, which opened a new world of never-ending inspiration and education. She worked in Las Vegas for several years as a facilitator for the Redken Symposium, and Exchange Facilitating the 2018 Redken exchange, in New York City. Celene performed 3 times at the Redken Symposium as a mainstage artist for an audience of 10,000 people. In 2022 Celene became a trained Little Voice Mastery coach.

      Inspiring students as far away as Dubai remains one of Celene’s career highlights. Her guidance and knowledge are sought after as a Business Mentor at High-Performance Salon Academy helping 10,000+ stylists globally to earn, learn, and live their best lives through education and coaching. Celene has been published in magazines worldwide including Canadian Hair Dresser, Flare, Hairdressers Journal London, and The Kit. She continues to be the official Color Ambassador for Redken Canada and is a sought-after facilitator in Canada and the United States. Celene mentors salon owners from across North America to achieve profitable business through High-Performance Salon Academy.

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      Celene Dupuis

      Uniquely Revamp

      Revamp Salon Company INC has one goal in mind. To help you feel like the best version of yourself. We do this by helping you love the skin you’re in one head of hair at a time,” states Celene.

      Revamp provides an amazing work-life balance to the stylists. “We breed 100K hairstylists on a 30-hour work week…We believe in growing people,” she shares. Although Revamp works on skill with a revolutionary associate program, it also provides education on personal finances, mental health and personal wellness, and business and personal development to ensure that not just the skill set, but the whole person is taken care of.

      Celene’s leadership style which is inclusive, democratic, and honest, is rooted in personal tribulations. “I have experienced a lot of personal traumas. My sister was killed by a drunk driver at 16, my father passed away 6 years later from brain cancer. In 2016 my husband was in an ATV accident and suffered a spinal cord injury leaving him paralyzed.” These experiences changed her goals to wanting more than just an incredible career. It has been the driving factor in helping foster stylists to grow as humans and professionals. “Healing and thriving despite all my trauma have caused me to be a more vulnerable coach, person, and leader,” she says. “I believe what I have experienced in my life has made me relatable and helped me create human connections with the stylists I’ve had the honor to facilitate.

      Celene’s Brand of Leadership

      For Celene, a great leadership experience starts from the top. “We are only as good as our leader, so be willing to be accountable. Be willing to be radically accountable. If you are unwilling so will your team. Get comfortable with not being for everyone,” states she. “Not everyone will like you or be meant to stay with your company and that’s ok! Be unapologetic about your culture, and don’t accept anything less- this means you may outgrow certain people because they can’t commit to playing full out – that’s ok! Stick to your values and you will attract a team that 100% gets the vision.

      Celene believes that the biggest challenge in the industry is competitiveness. In her experience, the hairstyling industry has the potential to be cruel and competitive. “This can be a vain industry – and we know that beauty is much more than skin deep. I have always believed the only person you compete with is yourself. You choose what kind of person you want to be.

      "I believe what I have experienced in my life has made me relatable and helped me create human connections with the stylists I've had the honor to facilitate."

      Celene’s Growth Orbit

      Revamp opened its doors in 2014. Over the years, the organization has included e-commerce, online booking, email marketing, and social media marketing to help serve its customers and increase revenue. While growth and promotion of the business are essential, the core motivation for Celene is to provide the customers with convivence and an exceptional experience.

      Expanding Revamp’s footprint, Celene is ready with a second location- BLNDE beauty bar by Revamp scheduled for launch in March 2023. “We are currently under construction for a second location called BLNDE beauty bar by revamp. Same company whole new experience. We will offer a blowout bar, express color bar bridal services, and more,” she shares. BLNDE is positioned to provide customized experiences for clients, especially on important occasions. “Nothing like this currently exists in Saskatoon and we are so excited to offer a private bridal suite as well! This new venture will drive our growth by providing the ability to hire up to 20 new employees,” says Celene.

      Pro-environmental Choices

      Revamp prides itself on making its clients beautiful with a conscience. It is Saskatoon’s first Green Circle salon, ensuring that 98% of all salon waste, including foils, hair, and the excess color is recycled. Owing to its sustainability initiatives, Revamp is a recipient of the Waste Minimization Award from the Saskatchewan Waste Minimization Council. “We continue to strive to do our part to erase our carbon footprint on the environment. We are happy to offer vegan and cruelty-free haircare and make-up lines.” Revamp believes in inclusivity and is committed to breaking down toxic beauty standards.

      Inspiring Words

      Taking time for your health is more than just physical. It’s about spiritual health, mental health, and your body. I do the Miracle Morning SAVERS routine every morning to stay grounded and make sure I am taking care of every aspect of myself. Regular exercise and living a healthy lifestyle are something I work on daily and am working to keep improving.

      Celene’s goal as a leader in the industry is to continue to grow and serve people. “My wish is to create a company that grows people, and a brand that lives on well after I am gone. We are currently working on bringing two shareholders into our company, and we want to be able to work on a succession plan so that when I’m done serving the next generation will be able to continue to inspire future beauty professionals to live big!

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      Why your perception of the future may not be accurate

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      Why your perception of the future may not be accurate
      Why your perception of the future may not be accurate

      Why your perception of the future may not be accurate

      Admired Women

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      Science

      Imagine the future. Where is it for you? Do you see yourself striding towards it? Perhaps it’s behind you. Maybe it’s even above you.

      And what about the past? Do you imagine looking over your shoulder to see it?

      How you answer these questions will depend on who you are and where you come from. The way we picture the future is influenced by the culture we grow up in and the languages we are exposed to.

      For many people who grew up in the UK, the US and much of Europe, the future is in front of them, and the past is behind them. People in these cultures typically perceive time as linear. They see themselves as continually moving towards the future because they cannot go back to the past.

      In some other cultures, however, the location of the past and the future are inverted. The Aymara, a South American Indigenous group of people living in the Andes, conceptualise the future as behind them and the past in front of them.

      Scientists discovered this by studying the gestures of the Aymara people during discussions of topics such as ancestors and traditions. The researchers noticed that when Aymara spoke about their ancestors, they were likely to gesture in front of themselves, indicating that the past was in front. However, when they were asked about a future event, their gesture seemed to indicate that the future was perceived as behind.

      Look to the future

      Analysis of how people write, speak and gesture about time suggests that the Aymara are not alone. Speakers of Darij, an Arabic dialect spoken in Morocco, also appear to imagine the past as in front and the future behind. As do some Vietnamese speakers.

      The future doesn’t always have to be behind or in front of us. There is evidence that some Mandarin speakers represent the future as down and the past as up. These differences suggest that there is no universal location for the past, present and future. Instead, people construct these representations based on their upbringing and surroundings.

      Culture doesn’t just influence where we see the position of the future. It also influences how we see ourselves getting there.

      We use space to understand the passage of time, but don’t assume everyone thinks of the future as in front and the past as behind.

      In the UK and US, people typically see themselves as walking with their faces pointing forward towards the future. For the Māori of New Zealand, however, the focus of attention when moving through time is not the future, but the past. The Māori proverb Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua, translates as “I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past”.

      For the Māori, what is in front of us is determined by what can or has been seen. The Māori consider the past and present as known and seen concepts because they have already happened. The past is conceptualised as in front of a person, where their eyes can see them.

      The future, however, is considered unknown because it has not happened yet. It is thought of as behind you because it is still unseen. Māori perceive themselves as walking backwards rather than forwards into the future because their actions in the future are guided by lessons from the past. By facing the past, they can carry those lessons forwards in time.

      Different approaches

      Scientists are not sure why different people represent the past, present and future differently. One idea is that our perspectives are influenced by the direction that we read and write in. Research shows that people who read and write from left to right draw timelines in which the past is on the left and the future is on the right, reflecting their reading and writing patterns.

      However, people who read from right to left, such as Arabic speakers, often draw timelines with events from the past on the right and the future on the left. However, reading direction cannot explain why some left-right reading people think of the future as “behind”.

      Another theory is that cultural values may influence our orientation to the future. Cultures vary in the extent to which they value tradition. Researchers believe your spatial concept of the future may be determined by whether your culture emphasises traditions of the past or focuses on the future.

      In cultures that stress the importance of progress, change and modernisation, the future is normally in front – for example, the UK and the US. However, in cultures that place a high value on tradition and ancestral history, such as in Morocco and indigenous groups such as the Māori, the past is the focus and is therefore usually in front.

      These differences may also have implications for initiatives to tackle global challenges. If the future is not always in front, then western campaign mantras about “moving forward”, “moving on” and “leaving the past behind” may lack resonance for many people.

      Perhaps, however, if we can learn from other cultures’ representations of time, we may be able to reframe our understanding of some of the world’s most pressing problems. Approaching the future with regular looks over the shoulder to the past could lead to a fairer future for everyone.

      How increases in the minimum wage will impact the early childhood education and childcare industry

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      How increases in the minimum wage will impact the early childhood education and childcare industry
      How increases in the minimum wage will impact the early childhood education and childcare industry

      How increases in the minimum wage will impact the early childhood education and childcare industry

      Admired Women

      |

      Economy

      The early years sector – nurseries and childminders who offer services to children under the age of five – waited expectantly for news of investment in the UK chancellor’s recent autumn statement. But this was not delivered, even though Jeremy Hunt presented 110 economic measures designed to boost UK growth and productivity.

      Expanding access to early years care is vital for addressing socio-economic inequality, educating society’s youngest members, enabling early interventions in children’s lives and helping more parents access the labour market or increase their participation in work.

      In his 2023 spring budget, Hunt announced a significant extension in entitlement for “free hours” of early education and care for parents of pre-school children. The government has committed an additional £4.1 billion by 2027-2028 to fund the expansion, which includes £204 million in 2023-24 (from September) to bring funding closer in line with the cost of provision.

      The basis of this expansion must be high-quality early years education and care, which can only be delivered by committed professionals who are highly trained, recognised and rewarded. These working conditions lay the foundation for the learning conditions of our youngest citizens.

      Even with the additional financial input from the spring budget, however, the CBI has estimated that the full cost of this expansion will be more than twice as much, at £8.9bn. The early years sector had high hopes that the autumn statement would bring further announcements to close this funding gap and support early years providers in delivering this expansion.

      Providers we interviewed for a recent study, for example, put increased base funding rates per child at the top of their wish list for the support needed to fuel the expansion. But that wasn’t announced in the autumn statement.

      The autumn statement failed to deliver for the early years sector, which will struggle to deliver an expansion in childcare promised in the 2023 spring budget.

      Minimum wage boost will help childcare workers

      The government did increase minimum wage rates, however. These rises are welcome: they support the lowest-paid workers to improve their standards of living and experiences of work. Enduring low pay remains a structural feature of the early years sector.

      Our recent research showed that low pay and lack of pay progression over time were seen by staff as a key reason for job dissatisfaction.

      But many providers are already struggling to pay the wages of their staff while also affording other inflation-linked pressures. Minimum wage increases will push up the wage bill for many nursery providers and may lead to further compression of pay scales, which could drive more workers out of the sector.

      In a report on the workforce co-authored with the Early Education and Care Coalition, we identified retention of staff as one of the key challenges facing the sector. More specifically, this would help support the expansion in childcare places needed under government plans.

      Instead, we found evidence of a growing early years’ workforce crisis: 57% of nursery staff and 38% of childminders are considering quitting the sector within the next year. Even before the announced minimum wage increase, many nurseries told us they were unlikely to offer new entitlements to children under three because they can’t recruit and retain suitably qualified staff.

      Now that providers must manage additional costs to boost employee wages too, the proposed childcare expansion plan is likely to be undeliverable.

      How to help the early years sector

      Retention of current staff and packages to attract committed early years professionals back to the sector are both essential to deliver current places for children and enable expansion in the short term.

      Retaining current childminders is crucial, as many are leaving the sector in order to retire. This leaves a smaller pool of potential “returners”. Our research shows that many people who have recently left are still very committed to the sector and would be willing to return if issues such as pay and working conditions are addressed.

      As the largest buyer of early years provision, through free hours entitlements, the government has a central and defining role in addressing the recruitment and retention crisis by improving these terms and conditions. The chronic underfunding of the free hours programme has left virtually no scope to address low salaries in the sector, both during and since COVID.

      In order to encourage early years professionals to remain or return, pay must be improved across the board. Sufficient increases should track improved training and increasing seniority. Ongoing monitoring of pay and conditions is also needed.

      The early years sector has been held back for far too long because of piecemeal interventions that have short-term effects but fail to address the wider issues its workforce is facing.

      Is it possible to prevent the ad creep?

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      Is it possible to prevent the ad creep?
      Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

      Is it possible to prevent the ad creep?

      Admired Women

      |

      technology

      Ethics lawyers and historians have argued that Donald Trump has blurred the line between his public office and private business interests in an unprecedented fashion.

      In another sense, it’s part of a much larger social trend.

      Commercial entreaties – whether in the form of magazine ads, radio jingles or television spots – have long been a part of modern life. But advertising is now encroaching on public space as never before.

      Cities and states now grant businesses the right to put their names and logos on parking meters, bridges, fire hydrants – even lifeguard swimsuits. Public parks intended to offer a respite from the travails of daily life now allow retailers to advertise amidst historical sites and nature preserves. School boards ink deals with all sorts of businesses to help them meet their budgetary needs.

      It’s not just public space that is filling up with brand shout-outs. In conducting research for a new book on modern marketing and its regulation, I discovered that a host of once ad-free environments – from the living room to our friendships – are now becoming sites for ads or surveillance technologies designed to make them more effective.

      Some might shrug, calling the ad creep an inevitable part of modern life. But there are dangers to this trend, along with legal remedies – if people care enough to actually do something.

      Marketing’s new frontiers

      New marketing techniques and technologies allow businesses to reach consumers in new ways and venues. One space becoming increasingly critical to market researchers is the home.

      Smart technologies – from Microsoft’s Xbox One to Vizio televisions – now come embedded with what could be described as “spying” capabilities. These devices can record activities once considered private, like the movies we decide to watch and even our facial expressions while playing a video game. This information becomes part of a digital profile used by advertisers to get a better portrait of who we are and how we can be convinced to make a purchase.

      Meanwhile, every time we sign on to Facebook or search Google on our personal computers or smartphones, we are adding to vast stockpiles of market research. This kind of surveillance is hard to escape. Marketers have moved past cookies: They can now identify individual users from the number of fonts in their browser or the rate at which their particular computer’s battery loses its charge.

      Even our brains have become fair game for advertising annexation. A landmark 2004 study asked subjects to take sips of Coke and Pepsi while a machine measured blood flow in their brains. When the brand was a secret, participants expressed a slight preference for Pepsi. But when the brand names were revealed before taking a sip, participants, both verbally and neurologically, revealed a preference for Coke. The study was widely heralded as proof of the ability of advertising to actually change our brain chemistry, to instill emotional markers that can trump objective evaluation of the actual product.

      Since then, companies have spent millions to record activity in consumers’ brains to better capture the desires we won’t or can’t articulate. Some major ad campaigns we currently see – from Samsung to Campbell’s soup – reflect the results from this new neuromarketing research.

      Our friendships and social networks aren’t immune. Marketers target “micro-influencers” – often people with modest Instagram or Twitter followings – that can be leveraged to sell products or services on social media. While Federal Trade Commission rules require endorsers to acknowledge the compensation they receive in return for giving favorable plugs for a product, enforcement is minimal.

      A host of spaces that were once immune to commercial intrusion – from parks to our friendships – are now being infiltrated by advertisers. Are we being enslaved by a ‘merciless master’?

      The consequences of ad creep

      Even those bullish about these new marketing gambits do admit that they can be annoying. Still, a common response to complaints about the growing presence of ads is “What’s the harm?” As the argument goes, being annoyed is a small price to pay for subsidized public infrastructure, free online content and exposure to ads more attuned to our actual interests and needs.

      My research shows, however, that there are significant costs to opening up our lives to advertisers. One is a loss of consumer agency. Reliance on brain scans to design more effective commercials strips audiences of their ability to consciously shape the advertising content they see and hear. Market research used to rely on focus groups and surveys, not the unfiltered disclosure of brain activity. The result can be advertising campaigns that celebrate biases or behaviors we would rather keep hidden from view. For example, thanks to data gleaned from brain scans, Frito-Lay launched a series of ads encouraging antisocial practices like intentionally putting Cheetos in another person’s load of white laundry. When directly questioned, sample viewers objected to the ads’ gleeful embrace of vandalism, but MRI readings told a different story.

      Another cost comes from how advertising can change an environment’s character.

      The civic values meant to be instilled by public schooling now must compete with the materialist messages of the sporting goods stores and clothing retailers that advertise in cafeterias and hallways. The use of micro-influencers on social media could make us less trusting, never knowing if that online friend is really a corporate shill.

      And as commercial spying becomes routine, norms change to permit snooping in other parts of our life. Witness the recent use of facial recognition technology by churches to record the attendance rates of their parishioners and the placement of monitoring devices on once-innocuous objects like Barbie dolls and children’s toothbrushes so parents can keep tabs on their children.

      The need for legal intervention

      So what’s to be done? It isn’t realistic for consumers to abandon Google, to drop off of Facebook, to take their kids out of public school or to stop using public infrastructure. Halfhearted measures – like regulations requiring consumers to opt in to some of these troubling advertising practices – won’t do much to change things either. Studies show that such legislative nudges don’t work, that motivated marketers can get us to opt in if they apply enough pressure.

      Instead of defaults, the law needs to create hard and fast rules preventing the entry of advertising and corporate spying into these spaces. This kind of reform doesn’t require a sea change in legal attitudes. The history of advertising regulation in the United States reveals several episodes where lawmakers moved to put an end to objectionable selling strategies fueled by new technologies.

      The American right to privacy emerged in the late 19th century as a response to advertisers using the relatively new technology of photography to take pictures of people without their permission, and then using these photos to sell products. Judges objected to this forced blending of the personal with the commercial, with one court equating the practice to enslavement by a “merciless master.” Similar objections caused lawmakers to act against a barrage of scenery-obscuring billboards in the early 20th century and subliminal advertising in the 1950s. Of course, not every new advertising strategy has met with a legal response. But the historical record shows strong precedent for using the law to keep some areas of life off limits from commercial entreaties.

      A normalization process can easily occur once advertising enters a new territory. Take pre-film advertising in movie theaters. When it was first introduced in the 1990s, audiences howled at the presence of commercials before the trailers and the actual movie. Lawsuits were filed and new legislation proposed to stop the practice. But over time, the lawsuits and legislation sputtered out. Surveys now suggest that audiences have become ambivalent to the presence of pre-film commercials.

      The story of pre-film ads should be a cautionary tale. Without a coordinated effort, this same normalization process will take place in more and more spaces, engulfing them into the vast, existing space of commercial white noise.

      Industry is the route to net-zero emissions.

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      Industry is the route to net-zero emissions.
      Industry is the route to net-zero emissions.

      Industry is the route to net-zero emissions.

      Admired Women

      |

      Enironment

      As government leaders and climate negotiators gather in Dubai for the COP28 United Nations climate conference, an enormous challenge looms over the proceedings: decarbonizing the global industrial sector.

      Industry has accounted for over 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. It is the single largest emitting sector when accounting for its electricity use and heat generation.

      For countries to meet their goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions, stopping emissions from carbon-intensive industries like steel, cement and chemicals is imperative.

      There are promising technologies and innovations that can drive decarbonization in industry: green hydrogen fuel made from clean electricity and water, energy efficiency measures across supply chains, and carbon capture, use and storage to name a few.

      However, these solutions have yet to be deployed at the speed and scale required to slow global warming.

      Global industrial emissions will need to fall by 25% by 2030 for the world to be on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 – a target espoused by many of the world’s largest economies. That’s an extremely steep decline of 3% per year, and it will require a massive mobilization of money, technology and political will.

      The positive news is that many countries are taking steps in the right direction. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, signed in 2022, includes approximately US$80 billion per year for climate initiatives from 2022-27, with provisions to spur clean technology deployment and incentivize emissions reductions across industrial sectors.

      But efforts in developed countries, while commendable, are insufficient to drive global decarbonization at the pace needed to keep global warming in check. Developing countries face enormous barriers to adopting low-carbon technologies, from lack of infrastructure to insufficient skills and capacity.

      In a recent paper in the journal Energy Research & Social Science, drawing from a series of deep dives on specific industries, we set out a comprehensive road map for decarbonizing industry around the globe. Here are some of the key points.

      Scaling up finance

      First and foremost, there needs to be a radical scale-up of financing for industrial decarbonization in the developing world. Annual investments will have to increase at least sevenfold by 2030 to get the world on track to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century.

      Grants, loans, risk guarantees and equity investments provided through public and private institutions can help mobilize both public and private investments to meet that goal. That funding can start with developed countries meeting and exceeding their commitment to provide $100 billion in climate finance for developing countries every year. Developed countries bear the bulk of responsibility for past emissions that have fueled climate change.

      Industry is a leading climate polluter: Our road map shows what’s needed to cut industrial emissions in fast-growing countries.

      More technology transfer

      Decarbonization will move faster if developed countries accelerate their technology transfer to the Global South. That is, making sure that developing economies receive the advanced technologies needed and are included in global value chains.

      With the majority of industrial emissions expected to come from emerging economies by mid-century, spreading knowledge and expertise will be critical. Partnerships between countries and companies can facilitate demonstration projects for new technologies like green hydrogen and carbon capture in developing nations.

      Improved job training

      The net-zero transition will also require a massive workforce with new capabilities, so investing in human capital and skills training is essential.

      Companies and governments can collaborate to develop curriculums and apprenticeship programs focused on green technologies. Building this pipeline of talent to build and install renewable energy such as solar panels and appliances like heat pumps needs to start now. While demand for these technologies is high, one of the key constraints to their rapid growth is workforce development – across geographies and technology types.

      Ensuring a just transition

      Another priority is a just transition for communities that have relied on fossil fuels for generations. As industries transform, some jobs will be lost while new ones are created. Ensuring that the economic and environmental benefits spread across economies will require robust government and industry programs to assist displaced workers.

      Establishing a global treaty

      Finally, a new global treaty to coordinate industrial decarbonization will likely be necessary to move fast enough. The treaty could establish standards, incentivize coordination on policies and avoid unfair competition as countries shift to net-zero industries.

      “Climate clubs” – groups of developed and developing countries working together to reduce emissions from specific industrial sectors – may also foster progress and technology sharing as they jointly implement decarbonization goals.

      In our view, the path to net-zero emissions industries will be challenging but not impossible.

      With smart policy, investments in technology and human capital, and bold leadership from countries in the Global North and Global South, we believe that decarbonizing heavy industry could become the next big climate and economic development success story.

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