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Neverblue Celebrates a Decade in Victoria

Jul 16, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Victoria’s first performance marketing company is proudly celebrating its ten year anniversary in the Victoria community.

In 2004, four local Victorians started Neverblue. Ten years later, Neverblue has grown to become one of the most recognizable names worldwide in digital and performance marketing. With offices now in London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles, Neverblue employs nearly 200 people with headquarters remaining in Victoria, B.C.

“With the digital space constantly changing, celebrating ten years in digital marketing is such an extraordinary accomplishment in the industry, as well as in the community,” said Bjorn Hougaard, Vice President of Neverblue. “Victoria has a thriving technology industry that we’ve proudly been a part of and contributed to over the last ten years.

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2014 CARE Awards Finalists Announced

Jul 16, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — The finalists for the 2014 Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence (CARE) Awards of Vancouver Island were announced today by the Victoria Residential Builders Association. The finest in sustainable West Coast design and construction is represented in new homes, renovations, kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor living spaces.

“The CARE Awards is the industry’s premier event showcasing outstanding West Coast design and craftsmanship,” says Wilf Gorter, Chair of the 2014 CARE Awards. “These finalists demonstrate the range of possibilities through innovation and sustainable building practices.”

CARE Awards finalists are selected by a panel of industry professionals using criteria such as architectural design, quality workmanship, creative use of space, and energy efficiency. The categories are Residential Planning, Design & Construction; Interior Design; Commercial Planning & Design; Customer Service; Sales & Marketing; Special Achievement; and Special Interest.

The Gold winners will be announced at the CARE Awards gala on Friday, September 26, Fairmont Empress Hotel. The public will select the winner of the People’s Choice Award from finalist photos displayed at Tillicum Centre from August 25 – September 7, and online at www.careawards.ca until Sept 14. Voters are entered to win a stay at Long Beach Lodge Resort, 2002 CARE Awards Project of the Year.

“The People’s Choice Award offers the opportunity to view the very best in West Coast living,” says Casey Edge, Executive Director, VRBA. “From affordable family communities to waterfront dream homes, we invite the public to vote for their favourite."

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Angel Investor Group Establishes Local Loan Fund

Jul 16, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — For the past eight years, a group of local investors has been lending money internationally through KIVA.org helping micro startups around the globe. Now, they’re bringing their money home to Victoria.

The Victoria Micro Lending Association – a group of local angel investors – is ending its global lending program and donating all cash that has been invested to date to Community Micro Lending to create a Local Micro Loan Fund. Local business leader and founding member of the lending group Cedric Steele says, “We have watched Lisa Helps over a number of years and we are impressed that her organization has grown and it has helped many local entrepreneurs.”

Vu Ndlovu, Community Micro Lending Executive Director is thrilled with the creation of the loan fund. “This fund will supplement our peer-to-peer lending process,” says Ndlovu. “And it will help ensure that the loans are filled faster and get more small businesses off the ground more quickly.”

As global loans are repaid over time, those monies will be added to the Local Micro Loan Fund to support micro-entrepreneurs in Greater Victoria.

The local investors will present a cheque to Community Micro Lending at a Golf Tournament this Friday July 18. Prospect Lake Golf Course is turning 40 and is holding a fundraising tournament in support of Community Micro Lending. Shawn Steele, Cedric and Dorene’s son and golf course manager is also a big supporter of small-business start-ups through micro loans.


Join Community Micro Lending and their supporters to golf this Friday. Spots still available. The 9-hole, best-ball “Texas Scramble” format starts at 3:00pm - no experience necessary! And, at almost every hole you'll get to meet one of Community Micro Lending's entrepreneurs also known as great community success stories! Register here: http://communitymicrolending.ca/events

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B.C. Welcomes New Flight Simulator Training Centre to Victoria

Jul 15, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — B.C.’s Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond has released the following statement today to congratulate Pacific Sky Aviation Inc. and Viking Air Limited on their announcement of a new training centre at the Victoria International Airport:

“Pacific Sky Aviation and Viking Air are investing in B.C. and in the future with their state-of-the-art Twin Otter simulator training centre at the Victoria International Airport. This is great news for the local economy and it means 20 new jobs for the area.

“The Asia Pacific region is expected to see major growth in aircraft sales and flight traffic in the coming years and B.C. is a major hub for the aerospace sector. In fact, we are a preferred North American gateway for the industry. British Columbia’s aerospace and defence sector is recognized worldwide for delivering highly specialized products and services.”

"Aerospace is part of the Transportation sector in the BC Jobs Plan. The strategies in the BC Jobs Plan leverage B.C.’s advantages in eight key industry sectors to enable job creation and maintain investor confidence. In B.C., we are protecting our economy from global economic uncertainty through low taxes for families and business, controlled spending and balancing our budget, and our Skills for Jobs Blueprint.”


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Viking Delivers Twin Otter Series 400 at Farnborough International Airshow

Jul 15, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — In a delivery event held today at the Farnborough International Air Show, Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, officially handed over the keys to MSN 898, the second of a total four Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft purchased by Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles.

Viking production serial number MSN 898, alongside MSN 899, underwent back-to-back aircraft acceptance procedures with Air Seychelles representatives at Viking’s corporate headquarters in the weeks leading up to Farnborough, and will be available for viewing on static display for the duration of the airshow.

The two new aircraft will join the first Air Seychelles Twin Otter Series 400 delivered in 2011 as 19-passenger regional commuters operating as pillars of tourism for the domestic carrier throughout the Seychelles archipelago.  The fourth and final Air Seychelles Series 400 Twin Otter is scheduled for delivery in mid-2015.

Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles’ CEO, said, “As fully backed by our shareholders - the government of Seychelles and Etihad Airways - Viking are without question our preferred supplier and partner in the 19-seat aircraft category.  This delivery of new Twin Otters to serve the inter-islands is a win-win for Viking Air, Air Seychelles and the thousands of passengers who fly on domestic services in Seychelles every year.  Island hopping by air in Seychelles is growing in popularity and the new aircraft will be a terrific addition to our fleet.  They are the right tools at the right time for Air Seychelles.”

David Curtis, Viking president & CEO, stated, “We believe that Air Seychelles’ selection of the Twin Otter Series 400 will not only positively impact their ability to service travelers throughout the island nation, but as a strategic partner to Etihad Airways, will help to expand the Series 400 brand presence throughout the entire Middle East / North African region.”


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Diversity Driving Major Project Activity to New Record Highs in B.C.

Jul 10, 2014

(News Release) VANCOUVER – Total capital cost of major projects in B.C. continued to rise in the first quarter of 2014, exceeding the record high set in the previous quarter, according to the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – British Columbia (ACEC-BC)’s BC MPI Review, released today. The BC MPI Review is a quarterly report that provides analysis on the Province of British Columbia’s Major Projects Inventory.

Total capital cost of major projects in B.C. were up 0.9 per cent to $311.8 billion in the first quarter of 2014, a 13.3 per cent increase over the same period last year. Total capital cost represents the combined value of projects identified as proposed, construction started, completed and on hold. Total capital costs have been on a steady upward trend since the third quarter of 2012.

The largest quarterly increase, at 140.7 per cent, occurred in the resort sector with the addition of the new proposed Valemount Glacier Destination Resort, tagged with an estimated capital cost of $800 million. In addition, there is the large upward re-estimation of capital costs for the Garibaldi at Squamish Ski Resort by $2.4 billion to $3.3 billion. On a year-over-year basis, the resort sector was up almost a third (27.9 per cent).

“Unlike the previous quarter, new proposed projects in the first quarter were not just dominated by large resource projects, but showed the wide diversity of projects that are coming down the line in B.C.,” said Sashaw. “The outlook for major project activity and investment in B.C. remains generally positive in the medium and long term, with improved global economic growth expected after 2014.”

Diversity was also highlighted by hospital projects such as the $300 million Penticton Hospital redevelopment; residential projects, including the $250 million Skaha Hills residential development; and utilities projects, especially the $240 million Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel, one of the Lower Mainland’s largest new projects.

LNG and mining projects in the North Coast and residential projects in the Lower Mainland-Southwest still remain significant contributors to capital cost totals. The North Coast region continued to be the location of the most major projects in capital cost at $117.4 billion in the first quarter, down slightly from the previous quarter though 35.3 per cent higher than one year ago. The vast majority of projects are in the proposed stage putting the region with the highest proposed total in the province at $101.8 billion, with the bulk of these proposals in LNG and mining. The Lower Mainland-Southwest region has the next largest project total at $82.4 billion, which was up 2.9 per cent from the prior quarter.  However, it continues to have the higher capital cost under construction at $40.3 billion, up 5.2 per cent from $38.3 billion in the fourth quarter. Residential and Residential Mixed-use projects were the largest category under construction as well as in the proposed stage.

Q1 2014 Major Project Inventory Highlights:

Project total capital costs by project status, Q1 2014 vs. Q4 2013:

  • Proposed: 0.8 per cent increase to $206 billion
  • Construction Started: 2.5 per cent increase to $84.2 billion
  • Completed: 58 per cent drop to $1.3 billion
  • On Hold: 4 per cent increase to $20.4 billion
Project total capital costs by industrial category, Q1 2014 vs. Q4 2013:
  • Accommodation/Food sector: 0.4 per cent increase to $4.7 billion
  • Arts & Entertainment & Recreation sector: held steady at $6.7 billion
  • Commercial sector: 7.7 per cent increase to $9.6 billion
  • Education sector: 3.2 per cent drop to $3 billion
  • Health sector: 10.3 per cent increase to $2.9 billion
  • Manufacturing sector: 0.2 per cent drop to $30.8 billion
  • Mining sector: held steady at $38.4 billion
  • Oil & Gas Extraction sector: 0.2 per cent increase to $46.5 billion
  • Pipelines sector: 1.1 per cent increase to $28.2 billion
  • Public Administration sector: 12.5 per cent drop to $1.3 billion
  • Residential sector: 0.9 per cent increase to $25.3 billion
  • Residential mixed use sector: 1.3 per cent increase to $26 billion
  • Resort sector: 26.4 per cent increase to $15.3 billion
  • Transportation & Warehousing sector: 5.5 per cent drop to $24.9 billion
  • Utilities sector: 1.1 per cent drop to $48.3 billion

The BC MPI Review is a quarterly report prepared by ACEC-BC that provides insight and analysis on the Major Projects Inventory, published by the British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour. The Major Projects Inventory, which is published quarterly, lists all major projects that are proposed, planned or underway in British Columbia. These are projects with a capital cost of at least $20 million each within the Lower Mainland and projects valued at $15 million or more apiece in the rest of B.C.



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SendtoNews Signs Worldwide Distribution Agreement with MLBAM for Digital Video Content

Jul 10, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA/NEW YORK - SendtoNews is pleased to announce it has signed a multi-faceted, multi-year agreement with MLB Advanced Media (“MLBAM”) for the global syndication of Major League Baseball (“MLB”) and Minor League Baseball (“MiLB”) short-form digital video content.

Under the terms of the agreement, SendtoNews will have digital distribution rights to MLB game highlights, interviews, top plays and other MLB-related video to local news sites throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, the agreement provides for expanded digital rights to distribute MLB video content globally, excluding certain territories where MLBAM has existing digital distribution partnerships.  The agreement also includes archived content, long-form original programming and global rights for the distribution of MiLB short-form digital video content.

“MLBAM has long been one of the most prolific sports content creators in the world and its vast library of content generated throughout the 2500 game baseball season is the holy grail of sports video highlights,“ states Greg Bobolo, CEO. “MLBAM is one of the most successful technology companies in the world and to become a global syndication partner is another huge market validation for SendtoNews and a strong statement about the capabilities of our syndication platform, our business model and our people. We are excited and honored to enter this partnership.”

“This partnership is reflective of our long-standing commitment to bring baseball content directly to fans across a variety of platforms, specifically leveraging the SendtoNews syndication platform to reach our fans through their preferred news sites,” states Alexander Pigeon, VP, International, MLBAM.

“There is an enormous wealth of highly sought-after content available to SendtoNews through these two properties,” continued Mr. Bobolo. “This inventory will prove invaluable to our publishing partners for attracting readers and developing readership loyalty.”


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A Good Time to Buy or Sell in Victoria as Steady Market Conditions Continue to Create a Balanced Market

Jul 02, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its monthly report on real estate activity in the Victoria area for June 2014.

680 properties sold in the region in the month of June 2014 compared to 664 in June 2013 – an increase of 2.4% year over year. Compared to last month in May, there were 5% less sales, which follows a common seasonal trend as summer approaches. Compared to 2013, 2014 shows an 8.9% increase in year-to-date sales.

“We continue to see slow and steady growth in our overall sales numbers,” Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres says. “May and June represent the top two sales months we have seen since spring 2010.”

“Once again we see balanced market conditions in June – as we did in March, April, and May this year,” adds President Ayres. “Market conditions track the ratio of sales to available inventory and indicate supply and demand. A balanced market is advantageous to sellers and buyers – pricing is more stable and predictable and there is less pressure on price either way.”

The MLS® Home Price Index benchmark value for single family homes in the Victoria Core area for June is $556,200, which represents an increase in value of 1.8% over last year. The most common price range for single family homes in the entire region is $400,000 - $600,000. 48% of sales in June were in this range.

Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres is available for comment. More information on the June 2014 report and the MLS® HPI is available from the Victoria Real Estate Board.

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Victoria-based Beeswax-Wrap Takes Runner-up Prize in 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award Contest

Jun 25, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — BDC today announced that the turning point project Bee Wrapped, submitted by Toni Desrosiers, founder of Abeego Designs, Inc. in Victoria, British Columbia, has won $25,000 in BDC consulting services as the runner-up prize in the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest.

Toni’s reusable, biodegradable and anti-bacterial beeswax-coated fabric food wrap is the practical, environmental alternative to plastic. Her project involves actively pursuing distribution agreements with an environmentally conscious U.S.-based distribution company that will build sales channels by qualifying the best retail partners for the Abeego brand. Toni’s four-step plan includes developing a marketing and promotion strategy, securing a U.S. distributor, and investing in new equipment and manufacturing processes to boost production and quality control. The runner-up prize of $25,000 in consulting services offered by BDC will help move her plan forward.

“We’ve already proven there is a clear market need for Abeego. Now we just need to get our products onto more store shelves south of the border,” says Toni. “BDC’s advice and insight will definitely help our brand achieve our goal of 2,000% revenue growth by 2019.”

“Toni is ready to build on the momentum she has achieved in the Canadian market and firmly plant her flag in the U.S.,” says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. “The runner-up prize will be instrumental in positioning her company as a household name that will empower families to forego plastic and start to Abeego It.”

“I can’t say enough about the fantastic public support Abeego has received during the contest,” says Toni. “I’d encourage any young business owner to consider taking part in the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. Becoming a finalist is a great opportunity to benefit from unparalleled business exposure and reach new customers.”

The contest’s $100,000 Grand Prize winner is the project Cheese Champs, submitted by Shep Ysselstein, owner of Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese in Woodstock, Ontario.

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PISE Announces the Victoria 94 Celebration for the 20th Anniversary of the XV Commonwealth Games

Jun 25, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — PISE (Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence) announced today the celebrations for the 20th Anniversary of the 1994 XV Commonwealth Games that will take place on August 23, 2014 at PISE. The event will acknowledge the organizers, athletes and the 14,000 volunteers who gave their time and commitment to make the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games a success, and provided Victoria with a legacy that continues to benefit the community.

The program will feature an afternoon of activities for the public to participate in, including physical literacy stations and adaptive sports. There will also be sporting events with the Victoria Highlanders F.C. and Rugby Canada. Memorabilia from 1994 will be on display, as well as information on the legacy projects that emerged from the Games.
“The 1994 XV Commonwealth Games transformed Victoria in so many positive ways,” says Robert Bettauer, PISE CEO. “We are honoured to host the 20th Anniversary of those great games to celebrate the wonderful impact it has had on our community and reinforce how ‘The Spirit Lives On’ in the legacies such as PISE.”

Volunteers from 1994 will be invited to take part in a commemorative photo; this will be followed by an official program recognizing the athletes, volunteers and organizers. The event will conclude with an official reunion reception.

“The Spirit Lives On in Victoria. I am excited to gather with the sport leaders, organizers, athletes and volunteers to celebrate the memories and legacies of the 1994 XV Commonwealth Games,” says Jim Reed, former Executive Vice-President of the XV Commonwealth Games. “The ’94 Games were a turning point for Victoria and for sport in the region and country and I am truly proud to have been a part of this special time in our history.”

For more information on the Victoria 94 Celebration go to: http://victoria94celebration.piseworld.com/

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New Victoria Service Helps New Businesses Get Noticed

Jun 25, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA  — Anyone who has ever started their own business knows there are a lot of challenges. One of them is getting the word out about what they are doing, something that’s now even more of a challenge with CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation) taking effect July 1, 2014. That’s where The Press Writers wants to help.

The Press Writers are three experienced Victoria-based businesspeople — entrepreneur/mentor Peter Elkins, communication designer Jordan Clarke, and writer/editor Carolyn Camilleri — who have teamed up to offer their expertise to small and new businesses, non-profits, and social enterprises. The concept is simple: The Press Writers writes and designs a professional press release and helps get it distributed at an affordable price.

“We aren’t trying to be a marketing company or a PR company — in fact, we are happy to refer companies who are ready for that stage,” says Peter Elkins. “This is about helping small businesses and new companies get some attention so they can get established and start generating some real income.”

What distinguishes The Press Writers is that the service is personalized and starts with a real conversation — it isn’t an automated, online service — and that conversation may include referrals and advice.

“Some businesses and organizations just need a little direction or to make key connection to get them on the path to success,” says Elkins. “With our collective expertise and years of experience, we may be able to help with that or tell them who can help — an auto-reply from a media-release website can’t do that.”

“We love the enthusiasm and energy new and small businesspeople have for what they are doing,” says Elkins. “We want to give them some good support when they need it most — but can least afford it.”

Contact: Peter Elkins 778-966-1250
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Aimée Ippersiel named Managing Director of Robert Bateman Centre

Jun 24, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Following a successful first year of operation, Paul Gilbert, executive director of The Bateman Foundation is pleased to announce that Aimée Ippersiel will be taking on the role of managing director of the Robert Bateman Centre.

Ippersiel joined the Robert Bateman Centre in April 2013 as manager of marketing and communications, a key member of the opening team for the new centre in the Steamship Terminal location along Victoria’s Inner Harbour in May 2013. Following a successful opening weekend, which coincided with Robert Bateman’s 83rd birthday and saw more than 3,000 visitors in a two-day period, Ippersiel planned a series of community and arts focused events and marketing initiatives throughout the year to help connect the Bateman Centre to the local community and visitors from around the world.

The Bateman Foundation, a national public charity, is the custodian of the largest and most representative body of Robert Bateman’s work in the world, and uses that collection for social dialogue, civic engagement, and experiential learning about nature. The Robert Bateman Centre, an art museum and social enterprise of the Foundation, aims to inspire a love for nature in people of all ages.

“Aimée has an extensive background in museum management including 15 years of experience in exhibit and program creation, project and financial management, creative strategy development, and partner and stakeholder relations,” says Gilbert. “I am delighted that Aimée is taking on this expanded role within our team.”

Ippersiel previously worked at Parks Canada, the Canadian Canoe Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Parliament of Canada, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. An active volunteer in the social sector, Ippersiel was an Arts and Culture Grant Review Team member with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and now acts as an Arts Advisory Council member with the CRD. She has two degrees in cultural anthropology and museum management and curatorship, and this summer will be completing an MBA at Royal Roads University with a focus on innovation in museums and the cultural sector.

Ippersiel will continue to report directly to Paul Gilbert. This new position will allow Gilbert to focus more on strategic planning and development including the establishment of national nature programs that create dialogue, and inspire action about the preservation and sustainability of the natural environment and our interdependence with Nature.

For more information, visit www.batemancentre.org.

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Mel Cooper Receives United Way Honorary Life Membership

Jun 24, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Longstanding advocate of giving where you’re living, local businessman Mel Cooper received United Way’s Honorary Life Membership at their Annual General Meeting this morning for his part in making life better for Greater Victoria’s more vulnerable citizens over the past 40 years.

His contributions to local, regional and national charities, non-profit boards, foundations and community groups are legend. A generous donor himself, Mel also helped yield significant giving increases while serving on United Way’s Campaign Cabinet from 2002 to 2006 and as chair in 2005.

Motivated by the principle where “setting a good example is more important than giving good advice,” Mel believes a richer life can be had when you give more than you take. At 81, his boundless energy, charm, and business savvy give evidence he’s living proof.

Mel will tell you that raising countless millions to improve the lives of many is hard work. When asked how he became such a master marketer, he laughs and says, “It’s just the way my Newfie mind works. I can see past the middle to the end point.”

Proud of his east coast heritage and still partial to living in places with big ocean views, Mel and his family came west in 1945. He pursued a career in broadcasting, rose quickly to lead Western Broadcasting in Vancouver (he was named a Sales Manager at 22), Mel then came to Victoria in 1974 when he purchased CFAX.

Drawn to Vancouver Island long prior, Mel admits, “I always felt there was something special about this place and I felt touched by this city.” Victoria has enjoyed unprecedented benefits as a result.

His decades-long volunteer work has brought too many awards and accomplishments to count (see career highlights in backgrounder, attached). Today, Mel focuses on non-profit board development, mentoring youth, and serving as Chair of the Telus Victoria Community Board.

A career in broadcasting lends Mel a deeper perspective on social matters and the kind of community action that fosters positive change. “Working with kids, enabling schools and universities; I try to focus on helping the good people in our city who are putting everything they’ve got into serving children and youth.”

“Working with United Way allows us to do that and so much more,” he explains. “They cast a wider net of support for our community, targeting the needs that are greatest.” In a word, Mel says, it’s the “we” not the “me” factor that makes all the difference. “We can do more together than we ever can alone.”

“United Way’s Honorary Life Membership recognizes volunteers who have made a significant contribution to furthering the organization’s mission and vision and highlights their outstanding dedication in resolving critical human and social issues in the community,” says Peter Lockie. “Mel’s exemplary record speaks for itself – he has been a long-time community leader and a strong supporter of the United Way. Our Board of Directors is honoured to recognize his achievements through this membership.”

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