Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis Joins moe. At Jammed Out Double Billing [Gallery]

first_imgmoe. took things over from there, rocking hard through classic originals “Not Coming Down,” “Wormwood” and “Moth” to open the show. They also welcomed Twiddle guitarist Mihali Savoulidis on the set closer, a jammed out version of “Timmy Tucker.” The band also brought out a special guest for set two, when they welcomed keyboardist Nate Wilson to the stage for “Lazarus,” as well as Traffic’s “Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys.” The jam group closed out the night with a rocking “Captain America.” Load remaining images read more

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Pictures as narrative

first_img“I was fascinated by this idea of an impoverished elite,” Lauren Greenfield told a Harvard crowd last Thursday. The photographer and documentary filmmaker was referring to her College thesis, a series of intimate images that captured the daily lives of French aristocrats who had lost their fortunes.Greenfield ’87 explained that the notion of the once-rich struggling to find their way resonated with her and her experience growing up Los Angeles, where glitz and glamour were the norm and a person’s worth often seemed to be less about deeds than income.“Class was defined exclusively by money.”Greenfield’s powerful senior project helped launch her career. The work drew the attention of National Geographic, where she became an intern, her first step in a career that has included work with The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Le Monde, The Guardian, and Vanity Fair. In 2006, Greenfield made her first feature-length documentary. “Thin,” about patients in a center that treats eating disorders, was distributed by HBO.Greenfield’s return to campus was an entry in the Office for the Arts’ “Harvard JAMS!” series. The sessions connect students and members of the Harvard community with alumni who have made a career in entertainment or the arts.Many of Greenfield’s images seem to echo themes from her youth, and her later reaction to materialism and celebrity. Explorations of beauty, body image, and consumerism have been important aspects of her work.Greenfield concentrated in visual and environmental studies at Harvard and produced her first monograph, “Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood,” a decade after she graduated. The project tracked a mix of privileged and poor students who attended her Los Angeles high school.“I’ve always been interested in documenting people in a cultural context … [and] fascinated by cultural values, cultural identity, and ritual,” she said.The impoverished elite was again the focus of Greenfield’s gaze in her 2012 documentary “The Queen of Versailles.” The film follows a couple as their plans to build a 90,000-square-foot palace in Florida, billed as the largest private home in the United States, grind to a halt amid a faltering economy. Greenfield was praised for her ability to reflect the same fear that flooded the nation — albeit on a larger scale — as millions of Americans struggled to keep their homes.“I do kind of try to show their humanity, so that they are a mirror for us,” she said. “I think that is kind of the point; not criticizing different people, but seeing how they reflect the culture and how that affects us.”Greenfield’s early interest in photography had much to do with her exposure to the work of street photographers of the 1960s and ’70s, especially masters such as Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand, whose pictures, she said, commented on society and revealed “something previously unrevealed.”Her time at Harvard also helped her find her artistic path. Greenfield singled out her former professors Robb Moss, the current chair of Harvard’s Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, and Barbara Norfleet for their inspiration and guidance.“What I see, looking back, is that my work has been a process of going deeper and deeper into the photography and the filmmaking and the sociological and anthropological approach that I was introduced to as an undergrad,” said Greenfield, who is at work on a thematic retrospective examining notions of wealth and the American dream.“In a way, the connection to my undergraduate studies has become more meaningful over the years rather than less. And so I am really grateful for my experience here.”last_img read more

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On the digital transformation journey with GTE Financial’s Brian Best

first_imgIt was mid 2016 when Brian Best was handed the top job at GTE Financial in Tampa FL and he’s been charging ahead since.  With over $2 billion in assets GTE Financial is among the nation’s biggest but as CEO Best is busy remaking the institution for the contemporary age.Resting on laurels is not how he sees his job.He said that a lot of his drive to remake GTE Financial grows out of the recognition that it’s in a different position.  He elaborated: “In our community, Tampa Bay – we have a lot of Millennials. 51% of our members are Millennials.  And they really like digital. They like the ease of access. We believe they also like brick and mortar.  But we know we need good digital.”Best dated the start of GTE Financial’s Digital Transformation back to 2015  – he was chief experience officer then – and, he said, the institution’s aim has been to win member loyalty with superior experiences. “We want to make sure our experiences are beneficial to our members. Experiences are what differentiate an institution. Products don’t.”Said Best: “We are 100% focused on what the member experience looks like.”Think about that.  Most financial institutions offer roughly the same products and – hype aside – there often isn’t much that distinguishes the basic products at one institution from those at another. At GTE Financial Best is driven to go beyond the basics and drill into what – really – will captivate members.  That’s at the heart of this digital transformation.Best said a continuing obstacle is that third party vendors “don’t want to give up control of their APIs,” that is, their Application Protocol Interface, which enables communication with the program.  Many tech vendors jealously guard their APIs and, although that is understandable, it also complicates the job of an institution that is seeking to give members a unified experience. Best added that many vendors also don’t get that “we want to give our members a different experience” – meaning that GTE Financial does not want to settle for the same off the shelf tool kit that is in use in dozens, maybe hundreds of financial institutions.“What should digital transformation look like,” Best went on. “We believe a member should be able to access – easily – key information in their accounts.” He pointed to an amortization table as a case in point.  Loan customers should be able to easily access it – that table is crucial to seeing ahead with a loan – but doing so just isn’t ways easy.None of these changes are simple and many aren’t quick. Best said, “Our main competition is ourself.  We have every big bank in Tampa. They are throwing money at digital transformation but their experiences aren’t that great.”He added: “Our true competition is the Amazons, the digital payments landscape.  If we don’t live in that world we’ll lose touch with the future. It will be ugly for us if Amazon gets into the banking world.”“Much like Amazon, the experience needs to be intimate even when it is digital. The artificial intelligence has to really understand what the member is looking for.”“We want to create real intimacy in the virtual environment.”Read that again. What Best is saying is that the companies that are winning succeed in combining great digital with genuine intimacy and personalization.  Getting there just may be critical.Best nonetheless said he is very optimistic, about the future for GTE Financial in particular and for credit unions in general.  “Credit unions have always put the person first – that’s why I started working for credit unions. Night and day difference between our culture and at the banks where I worked. Banks have a different mission. Credit unions will persevere because of that focus. If we lose that focus we have risk.”He also shared a valuable tip. Just about every day GTE Financial gets 100 new members. What produces that steady stream?  Best thought about that before he answered.Here is what he said: “It’s mostly word of mouth. We put a lot of effort into philanthropic givingWe provide $500,000 to $700,000 annually to a lot of non profits in Tampa. We average two financial literacy workshops a day. Word of mouth increases through the right activities. If you are doing the right things, word of mouth happens quickly.”He continued: “70% of the time new members tell us they really like how we support the community.They have a good feeling about where they are putting their money when they open an account with us.”Can you say similar? Do your members? 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Robert McGarvey A blogger and speaker, Robert McGarvey is a longtime journalist who has covered credit unions extensively, notably for Credit Union Times as well as the New York Times and TheStreet, … Web: www.mcgarvey.net Detailslast_img read more

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