ProfNet Experts Available on Team Building, Energy Independence, More

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers, Media Industry Blog Posts

Feb 29, 2016, 12:30 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Feb. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area.

You can also submit a query to the hundreds of thousands of experts in our network – it's easy and free! Just fill out the query form to get started:


  • Building the Right Teams
  • FINRA's Investigation into Culture at Brokerages
  • Looking Beyond Oil for Energy Investment Opportunities in North America
  • Tesla's Future: Not as a Mass-Market Producer
  • Increased Private Jet Bookings a Reflection of Larger U.S. Economy


  • Foreign Editor – Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  • Radio and Digital Producer – Colorado Public Radio (CO)
  • News Reporter – Butler Eagle (PA)


  • Expert Spotlight: John Sweeney, author of "The Innovative Mindset"
  • Virtual Reality and 360-Degree Video Taking News to a New Level
  • Scriptwriting 101: Tips to Get Started on Writing for Video


Building the Right Teams
Cheryl Black
YOU Technology
"Chemistry matters. The only way to partner effectively is with the people who share the same ideals, goals, and styles. Don't ever settle for working with someone you don't know or don't agree with on the basics. Just because they have experience, past success, look good on paper and can attract funding, does not mean you should trust them. If they hide things from you, run."
Black joined YOU Tech in early 2007, when she first acted as COO, overseeing software engineering, IT, product, and customer facing capabilities. In late 2007, she played a major role in changing the direction of YOU Tech, pioneering digital coupons as a new scalable line of business. She assumed the role of CEO in early 2014 when YOU Tech joined the Kroger family. Black began her career in 1982 as a software engineer at Cullinet, a leading database provider. Since that time, she has held leadership positions in numerous organizations, including Digital Equipment Corporation and Cap Gemini. She was bit by the startup bug in 1999, when she moved to San Francisco and started a company in a rented house with 55 employees. She then joined Cariocas, an early competitor to YOU Tech as VP of product and services in 2001. She holds an MBA from the University of Denver. A former ballerina, she enjoys running, reading and international travel in her free time, and was recently charged by an elephant in Tanzania.
Contact: Chris Navalta,

FINRA's Investigation into Culture at Brokerages
Shivaram Rajgopal
Professor of Accounting and Auditing
Columbia Business School
Rajgopal is skeptical of FINRA's new endeavor: "It's very difficult to measure culture. And the results from FINRA's outreach depend very much on the quality of the instrument -- the survey. Who is receiving these question on culture -- is it the CEO or is it the division heads? Because you will certainly get different answers from each respondent. At the top, it's unlikely that the answers will be negative. The more granular you go into the firm, the higher the probability of truthful responses. And overall, regardless of the level of the organization surveyed, respondents are less likely to volunteer negative answers to a regulator. Taking real steps for change within the industry comes with challenges, particularly when the offenders are rainmakers, leaving a message that performance matters regardless of the ethical corners cut. So this effort by FINRA is a soft step to gain a handle on the culture issues."
Rajgopal has done extensive research on corporate culture.
Contact: Carrie Gray,

Looking Beyond Oil for Energy Investment Opportunities in North America
Kevin Mahn
Chief Investment Officer
Hennion & Walsh
"The rise of American energy independence over the last few years is a testament to the true spirt of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship. While America has been hostage to foreign suppliers of energy sources (i.e., crude oil) for years in order to satisfy our overall energy needs, this foreign dependency is now waning. Along with this detachment has come a domestic desire -- which is also shared globally, as evidenced by the climate change initiative that was recently agreed to in France late in 2015 -- to find alternative sources of energy that are cleaner and more sustainable. The combination of these two forces has created attractive investment opportunities in the energy sector overall across North America. While the rise of energy production capabilities in North America has been impressive, the oil market has been mired in a historic decline of crude oil prices. This has largely been due to an oversupplied market in the face of relatively flat global demand."
Mahn is the author of the quarterly "ETF and CEF Insights" and "Market Outlook" newsletters, as well as a co-author of the book, "Exchange Traded Funds: Conceptual and Practical Investment Approaches." He is a member of the Forbes Investor team and a frequent contributor to the Forbes Intelligent Investing blog and the Seeking Alpha website. He has also been published in the spring 2015 edition of The Journal of Index Investing for a byline article entitled, "Fixed-Income Indexes and ETFs," and is scheduled to be published in the summer 2016 edition of The Journal of Investing for a byline article entitled, "The Impact of Sustainable Investing Strategies." He is located in Parsippany, N.J.
Contact: Anne Hveem,

Tesla's Future: Not as a Mass-Market Producer
Brent Goldfarb
Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
"For most car buyers, price is just so important, and Tesla can't compete on price. Tesla is moving from a very high-margin part of the market to a low-margin part of the market. Their margins on the Model 3 are going to be razor-thin, or Tesla is going to be losing money. And here's the thing: The Fords and GM's of the world can afford to lose money on electric cars, because they help them meet emission standards. But Tesla can't. I can see a path for Tesla to survive, but not as a mass-market producer. Maybe they become a smaller, niche, manufacturer, or they get bought by another company and become a division of that company -- although then you have the problem of corporate cultures clashing. But the incumbent car companies have proven their ability to come out with decent electric cars."
Goldfarb's research focuses on the development of new industries with a focus on the implications on the role of startups in the economy. He's also the academic director for UMD's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
Contact: Greg Muraski,

Increased Private Jet Bookings a Reflection of Larger U.S. Economy
Megan Wolf
Vice President of Owner Services
"The private jet industry is an indicator of overall business sentiment. With a mostly stable but slowly growing economy and markets that have shown some fluctuation but remain strong, we are seeing travel grow this year, building on the progress we've enjoyed each year since the financial crisis and recession in 2008."
Based in Cleveland, Wolf can discuss the following topics, and the broader narratives surrounding these topics: 1) year-over-year private jet traffic volumes to major fly-in events (i.e., Super Bowl, Olympics, Masters, NBA Finals, etc.); 2) special accommodations Flexjet makes for owners flying privately on leisure or on business; 3) questions about specific corporate aircraft, or general questions regarding the Flexjet fleet; 4) top five origination cities in the U.S., and top five destinations among Flexjet owners; 5) anticipated popular jet-set vacation destinations for 2016; 6) how increases in private jet bookings reflect the bounceback of the U.S. economy; 7) most popular aircraft among Flexjet owners.
Contact: Nicholas Parmelee,


Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board:

  • Foreign Editor – Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  • Radio and Digital Producer – Colorado Public Radio (CO)
  • News Reporter – Butler Eagle (PA)


Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line.

  • EXPERT SPOTLIGHT: JOHN SWEENEY, AUTHOR OF 'THE INNOVATIVE MINDSET.' Each month, we spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With World Innovation Week coming up soon, this month's spotlight belongs to John Sweeney, author of "The Innovative Mindset" (and the Minnesota Timberwolves' superfan, Jiggly Boy!):
  • VIRTUAL REALITY AND 360-DEGREE VIDEO TAKING NEWS TO A NEW LEVEL. From The Wall Street Journal to The New York Times and Associated Press, news organizations are using new technology to tell otherwise traditional stories in dramatically different ways. Earlier this week, "Good Morning America" used 360-degree virtual reality to take its viewers on an African safari -- live on the air. We take a closer look at what this means for the news industry:
  • SCRIPTWRITING 101: TIPS TO GET STARTED ON WRITING FOR VIDEO. A blank page is to a scriptwriter what a blank canvas is to an artist. Like a painter who pulls from his imagination, you might draft a script drawn from what you already have in mind before you ever head out into the field to shoot and grab the elements. The downside to that approach is you run the risk of tunnel vision -- keeping your eyes peeled for only those "scripted scenes" and overlooking more natural, fun moments you never could have anticipated. Whatever your strategy, creativity starts with writing. Here are some tips to get started:

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