Thursday, November 15, 2018

Local students awarded scholarships at innovation event

5 Things to Know About Dickens of a Christmas 2018

The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN’s 34th annual Dickens of a Christmas will return to downtown Franklin on Saturday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.

Here are five things to know about the Victoria Holiday themed event.

1.There will be tons of activities. Vintage craft demonstrations, 150 arts and craft vendors, Food trucks and street food vendors, Victorian characters strolling downtown, Photo opportunities, Kids’ zone, Contests- Festive Victorian beard contest, sponsored by Lucky Scruff,  and the Victorian costume contest.

2.There will be lots of music. Live entertainment on the Guitar Center Main Stage, 1st Avenue Stage and 4th Avenue Stage, Roaming carolers, and the popular Town Sing – Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.

3.There’s an app for that. This year, there will also be a new app to help visitors maximize their experience and easily locate different activities. The app will launch in the Google Play store and Apple App Store by Dec. 1.

4.There’s no charge to attend. Dickens of a Christmas is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Some attractions will involve a small fee.

5.There will be plenty of parking. Park n’ride shuttle service locations to be announced soon.

Sponsors and key supporters include First Citizens National Bank, City of Franklin, The Heritage at Brentwood, GSRM Law, Hyundai of Cool Springs, MARS Petcare, Guitar Center, Lucky Scruff, Mix 92.9 and JACKfm.


Citizens Bank Teams with LISC Across Workforce Development Initiatives

NEW YORK & PROVIDENCE, R.I.--()--Citizens Bank today announced an expanded national partnership between national nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) and the Citizens Charitable Foundation. This partnership will fund a range of employment services designed to help people to find work, move up from minimum wage jobs and stabilize their family’s financial outlook.

Fueled by a Citizens Charitable Foundation investment of more than $500,000, these programs will help connect unemployed and underemployed workers in Boston, Philadelphia, and Providence to the education, training and career coaching they need to compete for jobs in fast-growing fields such as health care.

”It is vital that we work together to ensure that people have the skills necessary to reach their potential in the economy of tomorrow,” said Bruce Van Saun, CEO and Chairman of Citizens Financial Group. “This new national partnership with LISC allows us to fund initiatives that will drive economic opportunity and career development in Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia.”

The programs take a three-pronged approach that includes: education for workers who need to build their basic math and reading skills; placement in technical training programs and jobs; and post-employment coaching to help people move beyond entry-level positions and create long-term career paths with the opportunity for income growth.

The services are offered through community-based Financial Opportunity Centers (FOC) sponsored by LISC in these three cities. FOCs integrate employment services with a range of financial coaching to address individual challenges—a bundled approach that has proven to help people grow their incomes and improve their credit. For example, the pre-employment component, Bridges to Career Opportunities, works with clients who, on average, test at the 6th-8th grade educational level—too low to gain entry to coveted technical training needed to move into good jobs. The Bridges program offers basic education to help people reach the levels of reading, math, and English language proficiency required to enter technical skills training programs. This education is contextualized for specific industries—like building a vocabulary around healthcare—in order to prepare people for new opportunities.

To address post-employment needs, funding from the Citizens Charitable Foundation is also helping expand a pilot career development and wage advancement effort. It offers support for ongoing skills development along with financial and employment planning—helping them improve job tenure, increase occupational skill, and understand the path for wage progression. It also helps participants balance the demands of work and home life and to successfully overcome obstacles before they lead to career setbacks.

“Our communities are rich in human capital, ready to work hard and succeed,” said Maurice Jones, CEO of LISC. “The key is opening doors to good jobs that offer a strong financial future. By supporting these programs through the Citizens Charitable Foundation, Citizens is helping us create opportunities for more people to raise their standards of living—and, in the process, contribute to economic growth in their communities.”

The three sites in Boston, Philadelphia and Providence are part of a national network of more than 80 FOCs around the country—all tailoring their services to help people grow their incomes, improve their credit, and save for the future. The employment and financial services they provide are a fundamental part of LISC’s broader work to create economic opportunity and revitalize communities through investments in good housing, businesses, health, safety, education and jobs.

The funding of these programs by the Citizens Charitable Foundation represents a long term commitment the Citizens Bank has made to give back to the communities it serves through the Citizens Charitable Foundation’s Citizens Helping Citizens initiative. Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthening Communities is one component of this program which is focused on giving back by investing in resources that create solutions to the toughest challenges in our neighborhoods: economic development, job training, small business development, affordable housing, and neighborhood revitalization.

About LISC

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $18.6 billion to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit

About Citizens Charitable Foundation

The Citizens Charitable Foundation is a philanthropic organization funded by Citizens Financial Group, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is centered in the belief that citizenship is at the heart of Citizens’ identity, and when people and communities reach their potential, we all thrive. The Citizens Charitable Foundation currently focuses its giving in three key areas: helping people to manage their money, engaging with partners in the fight against hunger, and strengthening our communities. By investing in these important issues, the Citizens Charitable Foundation strives to improve the lives of our fellow citizens through building partnerships with public, private, and community interests to develop neighborhoods, transform lives, and stimulate economic renewal.

Citizens Bank Leads $41.2MM Credit Facility for Chelten House Products

Citizens Bank announced that Citizens Commercial Banking is providing a $41.2 million credit facility to Chelten House Products, Inc., a family-owned manufacturer of private label organic and conventional salad dressings, marinades and sauces that primarily sells to supermarket chains, food distributors and natural and organic stores throughout the United States and Canada. Citizens is the sole lead arranger and administrative agent.

A new Citizens client, the Bridgeport, N.J.-based manufacturer will use the funds for working capital requirements and to provide a more flexible structure to finance recent and future capex initiatives. 

“Citizens bankers are trusted strategic and financial advisors who delivered valuable, clear and objective advice,” said Ken Pawloski, Chief Financial Officer of Chelten House Products, Inc. “The industry expertise that the Citizens team brought to our transaction made for a seamless and timely execution.”

“At Citizens, we try to think about the needs of our clients from their point of view and offer holistic solutions,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, President of Citizens Bank, Mid-Atlantic Region and Head of National Industry Verticals. “Partnering with our Business Capital product team, we were able to provide a great solution for Chelten House Products that offered them a more flexible capital structure. Providing asset-based lending solutions is just one of the ways that Citizens delivers substantial value for our clients at every stage of their business life cycle.”

Citizens is a trusted strategic and financial advisor, consistently delivering clear and objective advice. The Citizens Commercial Banking approach puts clients first by offering great ideas combined with thorough market knowledge and excellent execution to help our clients enhance their business and reach their potential.

Q&A: Citizens Bank Security Chief Holly Ridgeway on Keeping Hacking at Bay

Security professionals should also be deploying data analytics, overlaid with cultivated and vetted threat intelligence and sound workflows that allow for timely and effective response actions. Automation and orchestration are key components, but all alerts and triage actions need to be conducted by a trained analyst with intimate knowledge of the organization’s network.

BIZTECH: Beyond hackers, are there other obstacles facing businesses when it comes to protecting their networks?

RIDGEWAY: There continues to be a shortage of cybersecurity professionals, which leads to a competitive recruiting environment where top talent can be lured away from an organization. Depending on the resource being lured away, a significant amount of institutional knowledge may leave also, leading to deterioration in a team’s effectiveness for a period of time. That’s why it’s so important that organizations cross-train and mentor junior personnel in the event that resources leave. All organizations should have succession plans in place, and security programs should establish and document repeatable processes, procedures and playbooks to ensure continuity of operations.

Employees are one of our front-line defenses and one of our most vulnerable sources of exploitation by threat actors. It’s important to train employees to recognize and report suspicious phishing emails. It is challenging, as the threat actors utilize social media to craft tricky and sometimes personalized phishing schemes. Creating a training program that utilizes different phishing scenarios that educate employees on how to recognize and report suspicious activity is an important part of a successful security program.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Many security pros straddle good and bad hacking practices.

BIZTECH: What do you see emerging, techwise, that’s starting to help in the battle to protect data? Artificial intelligence? Automation?

RIDGEWAY: Organizations do not have an unlimited supply of resources. The nature of cyberdefense involves numerous events of interest that could eventually become incidents. Automation of repeatable, easy-to-resolve issues frees up an organization’s valuable cybersecurity resources to focus on the more difficult investigations of anomalous activity. Automation allows organizations to focus on identifying the new and ­emerging threats as opposed to devoting resources to everyday issues.

Artificial intelligence is still immature in the security space. Many cyber professionals are skeptical and taking a wait-and-see approach. Predictions are that it will eventually become a mainstream foundational element for cyberdetection and defense.

BIZTECH: Do you have any advice for IT ­professionals in smaller companies about maintaining data security with limited resources and few dedicated security professionals?

RIDGEWAY: The first thing that any organization should do is identify the most important data and assets it has and prioritize mitigation techniques around the protection of these crown jewels.

Organizations face a vast number of threats, and in a perfect world, as security professionals, we would like to say we can stop any threat targeted at us. However, with limited resources, it is imperative to prioritize what is most sensitive and what could have the largest impact on revenue and business continuity.

There are many managed services that can provide protection to small organizations. A managed service can afford to hire expert talent and deploy advanced systems. This spreads the costs among many organizations. This is the most economical way that smaller organizations can have top talent and defenses at an affordable cost.

Additionally, small organizations should leverage sharing communities as much as possible and collaborate with peer institutions and government agencies.

Threat intelligence shared among these communities is timely, relevant and purposeful, allowing organizations to protect critical systems and assets from cyberthreats. There are many organizations that are free, such as the FBI’s InfraGard program, and state-run organizations, such as the Rhode Island State Fusion Center.

KSP investigating bank robbery in Bath County