www.acquisition-international.com • Issue 4 2023 North Star Communications Consulting: A Guiding Light
2 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 From our Editor Welcome to the April edition of Acquisition International magazine. Recognised as a voice of modern business, we are passionate about providing vital updates to corporate readers so they can always be one step ahead. Spring is upon us and with it comes a new sense of optimism and motivation for welcoming new opportunities and challenges. Thus, there is the desire and requirement to better ourselves so we can take these prospects on to the best of our ability, whether this be, for example, through training or by implementing the latest technology. In this issue, we celebrate the businesses that are expanding the horizons and capabilities of others, and this could be in the form of delivering corporate training, digital infrastructure solutions, app development, or business communications consultancy. These businesses are innovative through and through, driving change, surpassing expectations, remaining ahead of the curve, and excelling across the vast corporate landscape. We are delighted to be showcasing their hard work and the exceptional solutions and services they have on offer to enhance the operations of fellow companies. We hope you enjoy reading through this issue and here’s to a wonderful month ahead. We look forward to seeing you again next month for more exciting and inspiring stories from the world of business. Rebecca Scotland - Editor Contents 4 News 6 Best Multi-Sector Virtual Assistant Company 2023 - USA Anequim 7 Best Life & Teen Coach 2023 (Catalonia): Goldie Uttamchandani Goldie Uttamchandani Coaching 8 Save Time and Money with Clinical Maestro Strategikon Pharma 11 Shaping the Future Minter Ellison Rudd Watts No information contained on or in this website constitutes investment advice or an offer to invest or to provide management services and is subject to correction, completion and amendment without notice. Neither AI nor any of its associated entities are authorised to give financial advice of any nature nor are they regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Prior to making any investment, AI recommends that any prospective investor should consult with its own investment, accounting, legal and tax advisers to evaluate independently the risks, consequences and suitability of that investment. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. Editors Sofi Parry, Senior Editor Rebecca Scotland, Editor Alejandra Garcia, Writer Izzy Mifsud, Writer 12 A Guiding Light North Star Communications Consulting 14 Upwardly Mobile MG International Mobility 15 In the Blink of an Eye OneBlink 16 Leading by Example Evelyn R. Campos Diaz 17 Data-Driven Consulting for a Sturdy Future Maximize Value Consulting Emily Godbold, Writer Michelle Strozykowski, Writer Designers Daniela Levinte, Graphic Designer Lauren Baldwin, Graphic Designer
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4 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 News: from around the world Dell Technologies appoints Steve Young as Senior Vice President & General Manager for the UK Dell Technologies has appointed Steve Young as Senior Vice President (SVP) and General Manager (GM) for Dell Technologies in the UK, effective 30th January 2023. Steve Young said: “It is an exciting time as organisations accelerate their digital transformation plans and build their digital futures. Having worked at Dell for over 20 years helping customers transform their businesses, I am thrilled to lead the UK through its next phase of innovation.” In his capacity as Company Director of Dell Corporation Limited, Steve is responsible for Dell’s UK business, client satisfaction and employee engagement. He will continue positioning Dell as the partner of choice for customers and partners looking to digitally transform and revolutionise their businesses. Steve’s accomplished career includes managing the EMEA Dell Technologies Select business, driving the Dell full portfolio of solutions with the largest customer accounts throughout the EMEA region. Most recently, Steve lead Dell Technologies’ global cloud partnerships with hyperscalers, solidifying Dell’s position in the multicloud market. Young continued: “Our deep partner and ecosystem connections, combined with our talented team and proven innovation, mean that customers trust us to help them achieve their goals, solve problems and seize opportunities. I’m looking forward to working with our team to deepen our connections with customers, partners and our communities to deliver breakthrough projects and transformations.”
Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 5 ALSO Cloud Marketplace set to automate cloud-based license management for resellers. Switzerland-based ALSO Group, one of Europe’s biggest technology providers, is expanding its operations in the UK, offering direct access to its ALSO Cloud Marketplace (ACMP) platform. The ALSO Cloud platform not only connects over 100 vendors including Microsoft, Adobe, Dropbox and IBM with resellers. It also automates the processes for renewing subscriptions, managing, upgrading and invoicing licences according to the changing needs of customers. As a result, resellers can improve service quality, boost efficiency and reduce costs for both themselves and their customers. “Resellers in the UK don’t want to incur high costs and put up with time-consuming inefficiencies when managing IT licences and provisioning managed services for their customers,” explained Mark Appleton, Chief Customer Officer at ALSO Cloud UK. “The ALSO Cloud Marketplace meets this pressing need – it provides ICT resellers with an unprecedented level of automation. Its subscription renewal feature enables them to align the end-dates of customer subscriptions as a way to automate and streamline the entire renewal process. This improves efficiency for the reseller, increases transparency for their customers, descreased churn and reduces costs as well.” Unlike competitive offerings from other providers, the ACMP is entirely proprietary and has been developed in-house in close collaboration with partners. It has been built from the ground up for the specific needs of channel partners, including easy onboarding, intuitive usage and white-labelling. Appleton points to another ACMP feature that is highly beneficial for customers: “Our platform’s open APIs allow our reseller partners to connect quickly and easily to automate their own ERP and billing systems as a core part of their own IT back office set-up. The ACMP ensures that all relevant information is available from our system and automatically shared with the reseller for them to use for billing and reconciliation.” The platform is fully scalable so that resellers of any size can connect to and use it as part of their service provision systems. It also has the highest level of cyber-security measures in place to minimise the risk of vendor fraud – for example, hackers stealing customer subscription details which they then use to fund crypto-currency mining. Swiss technology provider ALSO expands to the UK ALSO is a pan-European technology provider that is already established in 30 countries across Europe, the ALSO Cloud Marketplace is available in an additional 114 countries around the globe. Commenting on ALSO’s expansion in the UK, Appleton said, “The UK is the biggest IT services market in Europe and represents a significant growth opportunity. It’s a competitive market but we believe we can establish ourselves here – and we have the expertise, experience, resources plus an aggressive five-year plan in place to do so. We’re here for the long haul and are signing up new partners to work with.”
6 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 Best Multi-Sector Virtual Assistant Company 2023 - USA nequim is an essential B2B helping hand. It benefits companies by fulfilling their visions through recruitment of the right remote professionals for their team. Its virtual assistants can help with, to name a few, accounting services, administrative support and property management services. It can also support human resources and customer services for businesses. In many ways, its team is like a secret weapon. Such is the bonus businesses can gain from using them. Anequim was founded in 2016 by Gwenn and Jeremy Aspen. It has since made it its mission to help businesses access and gain the advantages of affordable virtual assistant services. It all began for the couple in 2008, when they hired their very first remote employee. This was a friend and past colleague who came onboard to help with VoIP calls for their property management business. The support the couple received from this first virtual assistant helped them provide better customer service and grow faster than ever before. It was a revelation, and by 2015 they had brought 26 remote professionals onboard. This is what inspired them to help more businesses like their own. Anequim has direct experience of hiring, training and developing remote professionals. Its processes and procedures have been honed, and now it provides effective services to many businesses in the US and Canada. Anequim has a team of experts handling things such as recruitment, onboarding, learning, development, performance and compensation management. Its network of remote professionals is ready to support companies with administrative, accounting, marketing needs and more. The way it works is first Anequim identifies its clients’ unique needs and seeks to pair them with the best virtual assistant talent. It does this by utilizing its own pre-existing talent pool, as well as by posting jobs online, to search out the best qualified candidates. Anequim handles all aspects of the recruitment process, from advertising to offering positions. The next step is to ensure competencies, identifying any learning and development that may be required. Everything can be tailored to the needs of the client, and thus any additional training necessary will be taken care of. Anequim will work with its clients to set appropriate objectives and KPIs for the virtual assistants. Each quarter it will liaise with the clients and their virtual staff to ensure these objectives are being achieved. There is also regular feedback A Jan23807 and coaching provided for both clients and their remote workers to enhance performance management. Anequim will also provide expert guidance regarding annual reviews, bonuses and promotion compensation for its clients’ virtual assistant(s). It recognises the importance of staying competitive but fair over such things. Anequim lives by certain values that underpin all of its actions. It believes in kindness which is relayed by showing professionalism and respect in all interactions. Diversity, shown through its role as an inclusive company. Growth, which is reflected in its intentions to develop others, and also to take risks. Anequim also believes in integrity and will always do what is right. Lastly, the company values owning the outcome. This is shown through producing results to be proud of and precision in execution. With such a strong moral compass and success in their field, it’s little wonder that Anequim has been awarded the Best Multi-Sector Virtual Assistant Company 2023 – USA. Indeed, it is clear its commitment to creating exceptional teams of virtual assistants is winning them scores of happy clients. Company: Anequim Contact: Jorge Ortiz Web Address: anequim.net Virtual assistants are proving to be something of a triumph for many businesses. Anequim, with many years of exceptional experience in the sector, is here to help. It is connecting American/Canadian entrepreneurs, property managers and SMEs with highly skilled bilingual Mexican virtual assistants. This has made Nebraska-based Anequim into one of the largest remote employers in Mexico.
Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 7 Goldie Uttamchandani is an inspirational life and youth coach. She is also a motivational speaker who facilitates workshops within the public school system of Cataluñya, Barcelona. Goldie values justice, authenticity, empathy, and compassion. These are skills she puts into practice every day, when coaching and empowering the youths she works with. Feb23482 oldie Uttamchandani became a coach quite naturally, when seeking a way to share her own story with others. As an exboarding school girl, she experienced the absence of family connections that can sometimes come during the educational years. Instead, during this time Goldie relied on friendships, and fostered her own community support system. The transition from school to university brought with it a further important change in mindset. One that not only led to her own growth and personal development, but to the beginning of her calling to coach others. Goldie always felt an affinity with students who seemed to be suffering. She was especially aware of the challenges faced by students who had joined university from foreign destinations. Goldie possessed the amazing capacity to listen and help others, something that was to later lead her down the path of coaching. Her background, and above all her understanding, acted as a wonderful asset when it came to coaching individuals from different cultures and social standings. Goldie has the compassion needed to excel in this field. As a coach, Goldie is supremely aware of the taxing nature of the work on one’s own mental health. This means she is very careful to ensure her health is maintained to the highest of standards – both mental and physical. Goldie recognises the importance of this, and always practices what she preaches because: Goldie’s award as Best Life & Teen Coach 2023 (Catalonia) is testament to her hard work in youth coaching, and her ability to connect and cultivate meaningful relationships with her clients. She is eager to find solutions for anyone looking for a leadership coach, those who might be asking themselves “what can I do to bring about change in my life,” or persons who might be seeking “help for my teenager.” Goldie knows that sometimes people might feel stuck in their lives, and this is where a life coach can really help. She can also be of foremost help for anyone who is particularly seeking an English-speaking coach in Barcelona. As the mother of two teenagers herself, Goldie can cover all bases. In her 7 years of tenure as a coach she has accumulated over 1000 hours of experience. She has also coached a diverse array of clientele and adapted her coaching style accordingly. Empowering young people to reach their full potential has been one of Goldie’s aims since she first started. She wrote a book – her first of two G Best Life & Teen Coach 2023 (Catalonia): Goldie Uttamchandani – about this in 2013. She toured this throughout schools in Catalonia, promoting her vision through motivational presentations. Goldie has the ability to coach in three languages- English, Spanish and Hindi – which is why she is recognised by the Global Excellence program. One of Goldie’s ambitions is to further explore opportunities to coach internationally, at some point. Goldie’s diverse approach to coaching encompasses use of creativity and even poetry. She feels it is important to dive into emotions and spirituality. It can unlock meaning and understanding for clients. Goldie Uttamchandani was certified as a coach in 2015, and she has been inspiring teenagers for 10 years now. She also uses her skills to connect with parents and sometimes educators too. She finds this approach brings the most fruitful results and is of benefit to all stakeholders involved. Goldie Uttamchandani’s caring and inclusive approach to coaching is what is winning her clients from all ends of the spectrum. She can help youths to find their own pathway, as well as empower senior leadership clients to conquer personal and professional challenges. It is little wonder Goldie is now an award-winning coach. Her experience and positive mental attitude is an inspiration to all, and a help to clients new and old. Company: Goldie Uttamchandani Coaching Web Address: www.goldieuttam.com “You cannot pour from an empty glass.”
8 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 Jan23808 Save Time and Money with Clinical Maestro Strategikon has developed a platform called Clinical Maestro that is able to efficiently budget, source, and manage complex clinical programs. It is expected to transform how business infrastructure is managed, given that over $4 billion is annually spent on these services. We take a closer look to find out more about the company and the emerging new tool. trategikon aims to provide solutions and services to its customers so they can improve the efficiency of their companies. The CEO, Anca Copaescu, works closely with her team to produce ideas that are creative and innovative. The team has an extensive expertise in the pharma and CRO industry, which together with the company’s dedication to innovation, it has adopted unique methodologies and techniques to introduce Clinical Maestro to transform the industry. The steps that usually take significant amount of time and resources, have now been accelerated thanks to Clinical Maestro. It provides modern and secure solutions for clinical business operations. This platform is beneficial for both sponsors and service providers that are involved in clinical trials – there are two editions available to be accessed through the web, one for providers and another for sponsors, each made specially to fit the needs of each client. Clinical Maestro eliminates time consuming manual processes and allow its customers to achieve improved efficiency, reduce costs, maximise tracking, and analytical insight. Its technology ensures that version control issues and human error are minimised or even eliminated. This improves productivity as it allows for more than one person to work together, seamlessly in real time. In addition, it allows its users to work with complete confidence in the accuracy of their data. It is the ideal solution for professionals who support clinical trial budgeting, proposal, contracting, or vendor management. The software is user-friendly which makes it an intuitive and easy to use platform which promotes the user’s adoption, while reducing the need for extensive training. The team at Strategikon follow technology advances closely to be able to provide its customers with continuous updates and refinements. This way they can rely on Clinical Maestro to deliver timely, efficient, and accurate results. S Strategikon has dedicated time into crafting Clinical Maestro to bring its customers great advantages. To begin with, it has taken unformatted dormant data sets and turned them into structured data that can be analysed – this gives its customers access to unlock trends and analytics that are key to make informed decisions. This means that studies can start sooner instead of having to wait longer because the data is normally processed manually. It overall speeds up the process as then the study will finish sooner than it would have otherwise, meaning that the product will go into market a lot quicker. In addition, its planning and budget is powered by benchmarks that stem out of blinded bids and contracts. Together with machine learning technology it teaches the system certain behaviours which leads to predictions to be increasingly more accurate. It is able to deliver 95%+ budget accuracy. Lastly, one of the most notable features is the end-to-end modular approach. It connects sponsors’ internal organizational functions, including clinical outsourcing, finance R&D, clinical operations, and project management. This enables transparency and collaboration between pharmaceutical sponsors and clinical service providers. Clinical Maestro has proven to be a great success to many customers so far. If you are considering utilizing this great tool for your business, Strategikon’s website gives you access to case studies where you can request a sample budget comparison, videos and articles with a great deal of information, and much more to help you make up your mind. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate in contacting them! Strategikon has been able to bring into the industry a tool that accelerated and facilitates various aspects of the clinical process, saving time and money for sponsors while also allowing service providers to make products available at a faster rate. Strategikon’s innovative and solution driven approach has been recognised – it now holds the title of Best End-to-End Clinical Trials SourcingBudgeting Solutions Provider 2023 – USA. The future awaits many more releases from Strategikon, and we look forward to seeing what those are! Contact: Karen Wills Company: Strategikon Pharma Web Address: pharmatechoutlook.com “Can you really imagine a world in which cars are self-driving and multi-million-dollar RFPs are STILL run in Excel? We can’t either.”
Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 9 Save Time and Money with Clinical Maestro
10 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 Feb23406 Best Digital Infrastructure Partner 2023 - Brazil Green4T is a Brazilian company that offers technology solutions and digital infrastructure for businesses and cities. The company operates throughout Latin America from its offices in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Costa Rica. It is focused on developing digital products that transform processes for companies, but also enable a more sustainable future for the planet. reen4T was founded in 2016 to support the digital transformation ecosystem. It develops IT infrastructure solutions with high energy but low environmental impact. Its mission is to support the public sector with affordable and widely available systems that revamp processes. It aims to help companies and industry to improve whilst ensuring sustainability, efficiency, availability and security in their digital systems. The company develops solutions according to best practices and trends, working alongside customers to fully discern their needs. In this way it intends to innovate and provide digital transformation for the whole market. It also develops products that make IT infrastructure more resilient. Recently, driven by the COVID 19 pandemic, digital services have been growing in popularity and demand. Green4T tackled the increased pressure for data processing with rapid responses. This corresponded with the launch of a new portfolio of services such as ‘Life Extended’ – a post warranty maintenance amenity for storage, network, and servers. It also introduced ‘Cloud Orchestration with Cloud Services.’ The company created a ‘Centre of Excellence’ online support tool. This comprised a team of senior experts and helped increase the knowledge of the ‘Data Centre Lifecycle Services.’ This in turn improved customer services as it meant that the connection between technicians and experts was boosted. The company also introduced a multidisciplinary action plan known as ‘Data Centre Carbon Zero.’ This scheme should be capable of reducing data centre energy expenditure by up to 60%. Once this pathway is consolidated the relationship between the minimum energy expenditure required for date processing and the energy actually G spent should be much more favourable. Data centre energy efficiency will therefore improve exponentially. The Co-Founder and CEO of Green4T, Eduardo Marini, has been recognised three times as one of Brazil’s top IT leaders. As a Yale graduate with a master’s degree in business administration, the YPO (Young Presidents’ Organisation) member serves on the boards of directors for companies in tech, healthcare and financial services sectors. His counterpart, Co-Founder, and Executive Vice President, Antonio Bob, is similarly well regarded. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the Latin American data centre market. He is a national and international reference in the modular data centre segment. He is also a participating member of Euro Norma (VDMA) and Brazil delegate in the ICREA (International Computer Rooms Experts Association). The Vice President of Green4T for Latin America is Marcio Martin. He has more than 28 years’ experience in the IT field and has been a leader in facets such as solution development, engineering, pre-sales and sales at huge technology companies such as Dell, EDS-HP, HPE and DXC. It is clear Green4T has extensive experience and competencies from the top down. Interestingly, they also champion appropriate and ethical standards within the company’s governance practices. This admirable and unique principle is built in participation with institutional leadership and meets all regulations with regards to dealing with stakeholders. It includes the Code of Ethical Conduct and AntiCorruption policies. The company’s policies are based on principles of ethics, integrity, transparency and respect for human rights. The policies also include compliance with all laws and regulations in the countries Green4T operates in. There is zero tolerance for fraud or corruption, and responsibility to social communities and the environment is integral. The demand for data processing is ever growing. This puts Green4T in a unique position to offer complete service solutions. Its portfolio of technology products means it can offer services capable of delivering maximum availability and security for the IT infrastructure. This ensures continuity of customer operations whether performed via data centres, cloud, edge computing or the internet of all things. Best of all, thanks to its robust IT environments Green4T offers all of this in a way that’s efficient, inter-operable and sustainable for the planet. Award winning Green4T is key to the digital transformation of Brazil and Latin America. With its experience and knowledge, it is the ideal partner for accelerating the digital future for its clients whether they be companies or indeed whole cities. With Green 4T behind the wheel, digital services look ready to fly. Company: Green4T Web Address: Green4T.com Available. Efficient. Sustainable. Its mission is to support the public sector with affordable and widely available systems that revamp processes. It aims to help companies and industry to improve whilst ensuring sustainability, efficiency, availability and security in their digital systems. Join 85,000 Readers in Over 170 Countries Subscribe: www.acquisition-international.com/subscribe
Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 11 ith a purpose to help shape New Zealand’s future, leading, full-service law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts (Minter Ellison) works alongside its clients, its people, and its communities seeking to deliver value by listening and understanding, and providing practical and innovative commercial solutions, to tell companies achieve their business goals. With access to internationally recognised, experienced legal and business advisers across a wide range of practice areas and industry sectors, Minter Ellison works to provide a seamless experience, both in its homeland of New Zealand and around the world. Christopher Young is a widely recognised intellectual property expert with an extensive international practice and network. Known for his technical expertise and pragmatic advice, Christopher is consistently ranked as a leading IP lawyer in legal directories, and he assists with all aspects of IP through its lifecycle including development, protection, transfer, enforcement, and commercialisation. He has significant experience in media, film, and television production, and regulatory work in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors. Head of the IP team at Minter Ellison, Christopher specialises in IP, brand strategy, trademarks, commercial IP, licensing, franchising, marketing, sponsorship, privacy, IP disputes, enforcement, and IP audits. Christopher has significant expertise handling the IP aspects of M&A and other corporate transactions. Commercial IP is a key part of Christopher’ practice. With more than 20 years’ worth of experience in licensing and commercialisation, franchising, and commercial arrangements, he routinely advises on and develops strategy for IP aspects of corporate transactions. Recognised for both his local and international brand strategy and managing trademark portfolios, Christopher manages risks, launches W new brands, develops strategies to commercialise, protects and enforces brands, trouble shoots problems, and handles counterfeits. He is experienced with sponsorship, marketing, advertising, privacy, consumer protection, and other regulatory areas. Both local and international clients benefit from Christopher’ breadth of experience. He takes time to understand his clients’ businesses and develops strong and ongoing relationships as their trusted adviser. His clients operate in numerous industries including FMCG, fashion/apparel, publishing, food and beverage, liquor, advertising and marketing, retail, TMT, media, aviation, automotive, banking and financial services, entertainment, agriculture/horticulture, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, building, forestry, education, health and ageing, transportation, and energy. Having joined the Minter Ellison partnership in 2005 from Chapman Tripp, where he was a Principal – IP team, Christopher previously worked for Nabarro Nathanson in London and completed post-graduate studies in intellectual property at Queen Mary College, London University. Christopher is recognised as a leading IP lawyer in legal directories, including Chambers, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (Hall of Fame), Managing IP and WIPR. WTR1000 2022 recommends Christopher, noting: “The IP practice at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts is hallmarked by its strategic sophistication and impeccable transactional capabilities. The team can always be relied on to come up with the most commercially viable solution. Epitomising this is the dexterous head of IP Christopher Young, who has extensive involvement with many INTA committees and is always ready to deliver the top-notch brand protection and Trans-Tasman trademark law advice.” Having worked in London, Christopher is actively involved in the International Trademarks Association (INTA) and the International Bar Association (IBA). He has chaired INTA’s East Asia Pacific Famous Marks subcommittee, and been on the Parallel Imports Committee, Internet Committee, and the Asia Pacific Global Advisory Council. Christopher is currently the co-Chair of the INTA Bulletin Asia-Pacific sub-committee. Christopher’ film, digital, and television production work includes the New Zealand film grant regime. He has acted for many years for a range of major US studios on some of the leading productions filmed or produced in New Zealand. With a string of awards under his belt, Christopher recently gained further recognition, celebrating a win in the AI Global Excellence Awards 2023 as he was named Leading International Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year – New Zealand. This latest accolade is testament to Chrsitopher’s dedication to his work, his clients and the community in which he serves. Widely recognised as an IP and brand strategist and for his practical advice, barrister and solicitor Christopher Young, of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, is flying the flag for the international property sector. We profile the eminent figure as he is crowned Leading International Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year – New Zealand. Sep22252 Shaping the Future Contact: Christopher Young Company: Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Web Address: https://minterellison.co.nz/ Jan23217 With access to internationally recognised, experienced legal and business advisers across a wide range of practice areas and industry sectors, Minter Ellison works to provide a seamless experience, both in its homeland of New Zealand and around the world.
12 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 Jan23843 A Guiding Light North Star Communications Consultancy is a consultancy with core capabilities in communications talent development, as well as in employee/change communications strategy. It has provided communications consulting services to a string of prestigious clients over the years. We learn more from Founder and President, Mark Dollins, about his twinkling career to date and the reasons behind the firm’s latest win in the 2023 Global Excellence Awards. ounded in 2011, North Star Communications Consulting (North Star) specialises in creating and executing strategies to keep employees engaged through change, whilst articulating and evaluating competencies and creating development plans to close talent gaps. On top of all this, the firm also offers coaching and training tailored to fit both individual and team needs. With change management communications, North Star develops and deploys leader and employee engagement strategies that deliver measurable returns, and which are connected to business metrics that matter. With talent development, from identification of marketing and communications competencies to deploying assessment tools, change management and coaching for individuals and teams, North Star is uniquely positioned to drive successful talent management capabilities. “The combination of insightful strategy, creative storytelling and metrics-driven communications programming is a powerful, unusual blend of art and science that yields innovative business performance in out-of-the ordinary ways,” explains Mark Dollins, the firm’s Founder and President. “Our values have remained a fixed as the name we chose for our firm: we honor our own North Star. We believe in listening first, delivering solutions that work, measuring what matters to our clients, and honouring our commitments as we strive to make the workplace better than it was before we partnered with our customers.” Mark has been where the firm’s clients work today. As a 35year corporate communications leader, including holding chief communication roles at some of the world’s largest companies, he understands how good communication can deliver results. F Mark began his career in broadcast and print journalism, working with ABC News and other print news outlets. He currently serves on the national advisory council of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, served for eight years on LSU’s journalism advisory board for the Manship School of Communications, and holds a seat on The Conference Board’s Change & Transformation Council. He received a bachelor’s degree in Radio/TV from The George Washington University, and a master’s degree in organizational communications from Purdue University. Mark previously spent 17 years in executive communication leadership roles with PepsiCo. He was SVP and Chief Communications Officer at Pepsi Beverages and PepsiCo Americas Foods, and SVP of global internal communications, among other senior corporate roles. He led communications for PepsiCo’s 2011 acquisition of its anchor bottlers and ran merger communications for PepsiCo’s acquisition of The Quaker Oats Company, where he was VP of Corporate Communications. While at Quaker, he led both Corporate Communications and brand communications for Quaker, Life and Cap’n Crunch cereals, Aunt Jemima syrups and mixes, Rice-ARoni, Gatorade, and Tropicana juices. He also led corporate public
Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 13 A Guiding Light relations, internal communications, government affairs, philanthropy, and community relations. From strategy to resources, competing priorities to disruptive and competitive marketplace forces, he understands the challenges that clients face because he’s literally been in their roles. Mark’s ability to coach and teach further strengthens his ability to partner with clients to develop and deliver solutions that matter. “We’re laser focused on results that matter,” he enthuses. “We move far beyond outputs and focus on delivering outcomes. Change is never-ending in the business world, and communication is central to every successful change management effort. From mergers and acquisitions to digital transformation and cultural change, organisations need both strategies that engage the right internal stakeholders and creative solutions that engage heads hearts and hands of the people they employ. That’s where North Star shines.” As the author of the first full-semester college textbook on Engaging Employees Through Strategic Communication and an adjunct professor at one of the world’s leading Journalism schools, he has deep, proven skill sets that allow North Star to fully understand the unique needs of his clients in driving employee engagement. Today, North Star’s clients range from Consumer Goods (Signet Jewelers, owners of Kay, Zales and Jared brands) and helping develop communications talent and supporting its Chief Communications Officer; the Pittsburgh International Airport and its transformation efforts (building a new terminal, engaging workforce on change journey); Raytheon Technologies (re-defining critical internal communication tools, processes, competencies); and the Responsible Jewellery Council (London- focused on driving communications that shape member understanding of the organization’s global sustainability efforts). “Each of these clients has unique needs that requires identifying best practices, emerging communication technologies and strategic counsel,” Mark elaborates. Drawing from one of the chapters in my new book, there is a chapter on emerging technologies, such as AI and its impact on employee communications. I’ve begun new research to understand what these new technologies can do, and how they can best support my clients, who are always looking to work smarter with the resources they have. AI will give them the opportunity to explore doing that.” Having recently gained recognition in the AI Global Excellence Awards 2023 and being bestowed with the prestigious accolade of Best Business Communications Consultancy 2023 – Northeast USA, Mark and his dedicated team strongly believe that no other consultancy in the industry has the unique, blended experience of strategically running and advising local, regional, national and global employee communication and engagement functions; no other consultancy in the industry has led and/or counselled employee change and engagement communications for the largest mergers in history (Dow/DuPont and Raytheon/United Technologies Corporation); no other consultancy has developed the unique approach to marketing and communications competency development and assessment that North Star has; and no other consultancy has the research and academic partnerships that North Star has - resulting in first-ever published text books focused on employee engagement and communications. And now, looking to the future, Mark has clear plans of where he wants to be with North Star over the next five years. “Through our connections and partnerships with clients, universities and business schools, we will continue to explore emerging technologies, trends and their impact on employee engagement. From AI to block chain, remote working trends to cultural and digital transformation, we will provide new and future value through insights and anticipatory solutions for our clients and industry. “We believe that’s what true leadership is: to be on the cutting edge of new, meaningful insights and act on them in ways that deliver measurable performance. “We all can use a North Star from time to time – a strong, established guide to help us navigate challenging conditions and complex change.” Contact: Mark Dollins Company: North Star Communications Consulting Web Address: www.northstarcomms.com Twitter: @MrNorthStar
14 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 bidding for several projects in Spain, which it hopes to win soon and be a benchmark company in its sector of global mobility. For now, Danthe is delighted to be recognised in the AI Global Excellence Awards 2023 and crowned with the very well-deserved title of Best Corporate Immigration Services Provider 2023 – Spain. Definitely a huge step in the right direction! Contact: Danthe Menes Company: MG International Mobility Web Address: www.mginternationalmobility.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/mginternationalmobility LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/mg-international-mobility Upwardly Mobile ased in Madrid, Spain, MG International Mobility is a company specialising in international mobility and managing all the legal immigration issues for expatriates bound for Spain. Consisting of a team of immigration lawyers and consultants, with an extensive experience in the area, the firm’s aim is to provide a complete service in the field of international mobility, corporate immigration, and other immigration services and, due to its wide network of international collaborators, the company provides services outside of its resident country too. With more than 10 years of experience working with important industry firms in Spain before creating MG International Mobility, Managing Director Danthe Menes established the company in 2018 as a lone trader. Today, he has a team of eight people joining him, and growing! “The contribution and personal knowledge of each member of the team allows us to create a very strong combination of experience in the global mobility sector, and thanks to this, a quality service oriented to the client is established, through the business approach and the linguistic skills,” explains Danthe, speaking of what sets MG International aside from competitors. “We can assure the quality of our services as we always provide personalised attention, without bureaucratic obstacles, and we are always available to the most important element – our clients.” With a mission to be the leading organisation in the field of global mobility and immigration law in Spain, providing services to individuals and companies, Danthe and the dedicated team are committed to being competitive, innovative and geared to meet the needs of clients. As a fast-growing entity, Danthe is constantly developing strategies in order to attract new clients in the market, proving that the company can guide the way in the Spanish territory by offering the best advice to individuals and companies, along with the best customer service. “We have a lot of potential for being in the short time a great company,” he enthuses. “We’re working on establishing the brand in other countries as a consulting company, plus being the number one with quality services, preferred by our customers.” Currently, the firm is creating networks in Italy, Mexico, Colombia, US, and Argentina in the short term in order to get the MG International Mobility brand starting to work in these global markets. As well as this, the firm is also attempting to further its growth in its native country by B Feb23283 Advising and assisting in all legal requirements pertaining to immigration, MG International is committed to navigating the constantly changing laws and regulations to ensure the continued international mobility of workers for businesses. We find out more from Danthe Menes as the company gains recognition in the Global Excellence Awards 2023. Ianire Gardeazabal and Danthe Menes, Immigration Partners
Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 15 Headquartered in Gosford, New South Wales, OneBlink is a 15-year veteran of the Australian mobile app development sector and has grown to service both corporate clients as well as many State and Local Government entities across Australia and the US. Darren Besgrove enlightens us on the firm’s core product and its innovative offering as it celebrates receiving a Global Excellence Award. Feb23404 elivered as SaaS, OneBlink’s core product Low-code Suite (LcS) is a cloud-based low-code mobile and web app development platform focused on regulatory agencies and regulated industries, as they accelerate their creation of digital inspection forms, checklists, and workflows to meet more stringent risk/compliance obligations. LcS enables non-technical users to rapidly transform their existing risk, regulatory and compliance-oriented processes, for both their internal employee/contractor and external citizen/client solutions. OneBlink’s LcS stands out from other low-code vendors in several ways. Its primary USP is that the one app development platform can equally serve the needs of citizen developers as well as professional developers. Co-Founder, Darren Besgrove, tells us more. “This means that solutions can be primed by business users who are well versed with the issues or problems to be solved, and then further enhanced and refined by technical people with the appropriate skills in user authentication, and back-end system integration. Organisations avoid the issues of multiple development environments for different teams.” Furthermore, OneBlink is a cloud-native low-code platform built on serverless architecture, which means it offers highly scalable and cost-effective solutions. Unlike other vendors, which require a dedicated infrastructure to run, OneBlink utilises the power of the AWS cloud to deliver low-code solutions. Finally, OneBlink offers extensive integration capabilities, enabling developers to integrate their applications with a wide range of systems, databases, and APIs. This makes it easier to build comprehensive applications that connect to other enterprise systems, which is essential for creating seamless workflows. Over the years the product has been refined in direct response to the changing regulatory landscape, by providing greater agility and ease of use for subscribers to respond to time-sensitive challenges more rapidly. With two Co-Founders, Darren and Alan Williams, there is a great combination of different technical and commercial skills that work towards a shared vision. Communicating this vision, and their passion for successful customer outcomes from great product and services, sets the terms for the company values and how the team and team members all operate. “Leading a small but experienced and talented team involves allowing high levels of autonomy and trust,” explains Darren, speaking of the leadership style which he believes has contributed positively to the company. “The diversity of our team becomes an asset when you allow those diverse viewpoints to have a voice and be considered equally.” D In the Blink of an Eye Darren is keen to highlight a recent success story to further enhance OneBlink’s LcS offering. Using Cumberland City Council’s Waste Management project as an example, he elaborates on how the firm sought to find a solution. “The Council’s ‘pain point’ was lack of reporting and efficient management of their waste management services that included kerbside clean-ups and dumped rubbish pickups,” he begins. “They wanted to rethink the kerbside collection process to provide a better customer experience for booking collections, streamlining the allocation of jobs to Council’s waste services contractor and provide valuable data insights on their performance.” The Council’s solution, utilising OneBlink’s LcS application, was to produce three connected apps: a resident web app to search available time slots and book clean-up services; a council staff app to allow allocation of customer jobs to contractor, and the ability for council staff to book jobs on behalf of residents who call via the phone; and a jobs app for the waste services contractor with real time access to job information - job date, physical location, maps and type of waste collection - and the ability for contractor to confirm completion, or report issues. With launch in just over 2 months, the applications have been incrementally enhanced over the last 12 months to provide additional functionality that improve the user experience for residents. The solution has handled more than 150,000 bookings since launch. OneBlink’s successful expansion into the Local Government market with CivicPlus played a significant role in the firm receiving recognition in the AI Global Excellence Awards 2023 and being bestowed with the prestigious accolade of Best Low-Code Application Development Firm 2023 – Australia. “Entering new markets and geographies can be a challenging undertaking for any business, and doing so successfully requires careful planning, execution, and the ability to adapt to new market conditions,” Darren enthuses. “Our expansion into the US market with CivicPlus demonstrates we have a strong strategic vision, effective management practices, and a highly skilled development team committed to providing high-quality solutions to our customers.” Now, with a firm grasp on State and Local Government in Australia and Local Government within the US, OneBlink’s next goal is to take its learnings with Government regulatory agencies like SafeWork NSW and the Department of Primary Industries NSW and test their applicability in other geographies – both across Australia/New Zealand Local and Overseas – in order to continue progressing down the low-code for Government route. Additionally, there are two innovation goals that Darren believes will further solidify OneBlink’s core product in the upcoming years, these being improving the user experience (UX), and making IoT easy. - Contact: Darren Besgrove Company: OneBlink Web Address: www.oneblink.io/
16 Acquisition International - Issue 4 2023 Feb23540 Leading by Example Based in Leonardtown, Maryland, personal development expert Evelyn Campos Diaz has a successful career spanning more than two decades which she has dedicated to enabling workforces to have a voice and be heard. We learn more about Evelyn as she is crowned in the AI Global Excellence Awards 2023. aving fostered a culture of continuous learning, Evelyn Campos Diaz (BA, JD, SPHR, CEBS) has worked in the employment law and human resources arena for more than 25 years, with an emphasis on the health care, transportation, and utilities industries. Passionate about incorporating human resources into the fabric of every organisation, Evelyn is currently the lead person in charge of all human resources, organisational learning and research, and occupational health for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital – one of 10 hospitals in the MedStar Health system. As an HR pioneer in the health care industry, Evelyn is laser focused on organisational leadership and training and its utilisation as a tool H for transforming individual workforces. Responsible for all MedStar associate issues, she is committed to achieving a truly world-class work force which, in turn, supports and serves its local community. Winner of the 2014 HRLA Leadership Award and, having won the AWE Workforce Excellence Awards no less than five times, Evelyn most recently gained recognition in the AI Global Excellence Awards 2023 and was crowned with yet another prestigious accolade for the trophy cabinet, having been named Best Leadership & Strategy Execution Training Company 2023 – USA. This title is testament to Evelyn’s commitment and dedication to ensuring that her workforces are happy, empowered and leading the way. Contact: Evelyn R. Campos Diaz Company: Evelyn R. Campos Diazwww.acquisition-international.com