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Gender: Male
Hometown: Kentwood, MI
Home country: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 22,817

Journal Archives

Economist: The Pope as Turnaround CEO

BUSINESS schools regularly teach their students about great “turnaround CEOs” who breathe new life into dying organisations: figures such as IBM’s Lou Gerstner, Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne and Apple’s Steve Jobs. Now Harvard Business School needs to add another case study: Jorge Bergoglio, the man who has rebranded RC Global in barely a year.

When Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter as CEO, just after being appointed, the world’s oldest multinational was in crisis. Pentecostal competitors were stealing market share in the emerging world, including in Latin America, where Francis ran the Argentine office. In its traditional markets, scandals were scaring off customers and demoralising the salesforce. Recruitment was difficult, despite the offer of lifetime employment in a tough economy. The firm’s finances were also a mess. Leaked documents revealed the Vatican bank as a vortex of corruption and incompetence. The board was divided and weak. Francis’s predecessor, Benedict XVI, was the first pope to resign for 600 years, amid dark rumours that the founder and chairman, a rarely seen elderly bearded figure whose portrait adorns the Sistine boardroom, had intervened.

In just a year, the business has recovered a lot of its self-confidence. The CEO is popular: 85% of American Catholics—a tough audience—approve of him. Footfall in RC Global’s retail outlets is rising again. The salesforce now talks about a “Francis effect”. How has a septuagenarian Argentine succeeded in galvanising one of the world’s stodgiest outfits? Essentially by grasping three management principles.


Guy urinates in reservoir, forcing Portland to discard 38 million gallons of water

Portland, Oregon is flushing 38 million gallons of drinking water down the drain because a 19-year-old man urinated in an open reservoir early on Wednesday morning, city water officials said.

Three teens were observed at the reservoir in a Portland park at about 1 a.m. Wednesday, Portland Water Bureau spokesman David Shaff said, and one of them was filmed urinating through an iron fence into the water.

The other two tried to climb the fence and one got into the secure area around the reservoir, but Shaff said it is not clear what he did then.

The 50-million-gallon reservoir was taken off line and was tested for possible contamination and the results will be known Thursday. But in the meantime, the city has decided to "discard" 38 million gallons of water and clean the reservoir, Shaff said.


Florida man claims to be Canadian Mountie; threatens to arrest people; gets arrested himself

A man was arrested for disorderly intoxication at the Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix over the weekend, after a witness told a deputy the suspect insisted he was with the Canadian Mounted Police and that he was going to arrest people.

A Charlotte County Sheriff's deputy made contact with 48-year-old David Tersigni, who reportedly said he was not allowing people into the north entrance of Englewood Beach, unless they had a blue band.

Tersigni was wearing a green volunteer shirt and was asked by the deputy to leave the beach. Tersigni allegedly became disorderly by yelling and cursing, at which time the deputy could smell alcohol on his breath.

He was then arrested for disorderly intoxication. Tersigni was handcuffed and searched, at which time the deputy reportedly found 1.2 grams of marijuana and rolling papers on him.


"FOOD! I want FOOD!" (Florida)

A Lake Worth man is in the hospital after investigators said he went on a violent rampage through a grocery store, damaged property and assaulted a young woman.

Greenacres Police said they were called out to the Monterray Supermarket on Thursday at the 5100 block of Lake Worth Road about a "combative man."

When the officer arrived, he found Noel Torres, 35, on the ground screaming, "FOOD! I want FOOD!"

Officers said his veins were bulging from his neck when he began fighting with police with strength that appeared to be "inhuman."


Florida suspect to officer: I'll paint and pressure-wash your house if you let me go

A 36-yera-old Acreage man arrested Sunday night for allegedly groping a bar employee threatened to shoot a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy after he was apprehended, according to an arrest report.

Blair Kelli Kaluahine then changed his tactics. Kaluahine offered the deputy $3,000 and volunteered to paint and pressure wash his house “if I let him go without charging him,” the deputy wrote in the report.

Kaluahine is facing charges of disorderly intoxication, simple battery, threatening a public servant and bribery of a public servant. He was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on Monday after posting an $8,000 bond.


Florida man sleeping in dumpster gets tossed into garbage truck

According to police, Doug Hall, 47, was sleeping in a dumpster around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 9, at the Majestic Seas Condos at 3740 Ocean Beach Blvd.

A Waste Management driver was lifting the dumpster, and that's when he heard a man yelling from the top of his truck, police said.

When the driver lifted the dumpster into the air, Hall — along with the contents inside the dumpster — was thrown into the garbage truck.

Hall suffered a back injury and was treated by the Cocoa Beach Fire Department.


Florida burglar clogs toilet, eats Doritos, leaves with camera

Most burglars search for cash or jewelry, but police are on the lookout for the person they said went into an Orlando counseling center, defecated and clogged a toilet, drank soda and stole chips and a camera.

According to a report released Wednesday by the Orlando Police Department, employees at the Devereux clinic, located at 5749 Westgate Drive, arrived to work around 7:30 a.m. April 8, to the front door ajar and a foul smell coming from the bathroom.

The suspected burglar defecated and clogged the toilet with paper, according to the report.

Money was also missing from the money can, which was empty. Candy and various chips, including Doritos, were also missing from drawers. The suspected burglar also left behind a half-empty 2-liter bottle of Coke.


February job openings rise to 4.17 million

Source: MarketWatch

Job openings at U.S. workplaces rose to 4.17 million in February -- the most in just over six years -- from 3.87 million in January, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Tuesday. Compared with same period in the prior year, February job openings rose 4%, as private-sector openings increased 5% to 3.78 million, and government positions declined to 393,000 from 424,000. With 10.46 million unemployed people in February, there were about 2.5 potential job seekers per opening, below January's ratio of 2.6. In February 2013, there were 12.05 million unemployed people -- about 3 potential seekers per opening. When the recession began in December 2007, there were less than two potential job seekers per opening. The number of separations, such as quits and layoffs, declined to 4.38 million in February from 4.42 million in January. Meanwhile, the total number of hires rose to 4.59 million from 4.52 million. The level of hires was almost 5 million when the recession began.

Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/february-job-openings-rise-to-417-million-2014-04-08

We're not there yet - but we're getting there.

Florida man starts apartment fire in order to burn bugs

A man pulled from a fire on Sunday night told authorities that he started the blaze accidentally — while trying to burn the bugs in his apartment, the Orlando Police Department said.

Orlando police and fire crews were called to the fire at an apartment building on Lakeview Street, near Lake Concord just north of downtown Orlando, about 11:30 p.m.

The man was rescued from his burning apartment and taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to Orlando police.

An officer who checked the apartment afterward described its "deplorable" living conditions in his report.


Dutch Jesuit priest killed in Syria

Dutch Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt, a priest who lived in the war-torn Syrian city of Homs, was killed this morning. Fr. Alex Basili, Provincial of the Jesuits in the Middle East and the Maghreb confirmed the news to the Catholic news agency Fides. Fides reports that on Monday, April 7 , at around 8 am, Father Frans van der Lugt was abducted by armed men who beat him and then killed him with two bullets to the head in front of the Jeusuit residence in Homs.

In a statement, the Holy See’s press spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said Fr. Van der Lugt “died as a man of peace, who with great courage in an extremely dangerous and difficult situation, wanted to remain faithful to the Syrian people to whom he had dedicated so many years of his life and spiritual service. Where people die, their faithful shepherds also die with them. In this time of great sorrow, we express our participation in prayer, but also great pride and gratitude for having had a brother so close to the most suffering in the testimony of the love of Jesus to the end."

Father van der Lugt had lived in Syria since 1966, after a brief period spent in Lebanon. He was also a psychotherapist and very involved in interreligious dialogue . In Homs in the 1980s, he opened Al Ard ("the land "), a center of spirituality built just outside the city. The center housed about 40 children with mental disabilities from nearby villages .

In the last three years of war, the Dutch religious lived in a monastery that is located in the old city, where civilians were besieged for many months by the regular army . The clergyman had often lamented the lack of medicines, food and aid to the beleaguered civilians, calling urgently for an agreement to intervene on behalf of the civilians caught up in the conflict.


Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord...
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