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Oroton shares lost as much as a quarter of their value, after the company announced it was losing its Ralph Lauren distribution contract.

The company put out a release after the market closed yesterday announcing that Ralph Lauren Corporation had decided not to extend its exclusive license agreement for distribution in Australia and New Zealand beyond June 30 2013.

Oroton has marketed the high end fashion brand for 23 years, and it makes up around 45 per cent of the Australian company’s total sales and 35 per cent of profits.

However, Oroton’s chief executive Sally Macdonald put a positive spin on losing the distribution rights.

“The release of capital from exiting the Ralph Lauren business will further support the company’s strategy of expanding the Oroton brand in Asia,” she explained in the release.

“It also provides OrotonGroup with the opportunity to consider complementary acquisitions of owned and licensed brands that under the RLC contract we were precluded from pursuing.”

Ralph Lauren is obliged to take over current leases and employees, as well as pay Oroton an estimated $30 million for certain inventory and store assets.

Oroton took the opportunity to provide updated guidance on its 2012 financial year results, which it expects to approximate last year’s $25 million profit.
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Ian Murray finds the real stars of a trip to New Hampshire are the magnificent Clydesdale horses that are the trademark of the famous Anheuser Busch Brewery in Nashua.

Sometimes there has to be an incentive to get him to go shopping. At some malls, it’s the lure of a decent sports bar; in the case of Merrimack Premium Outlets in New Hampshire, it just happens to be a whole brewery.

And what better way to keep the other half tuned into the whole shopping experience than to promise a drop in to take the free hour long tour at the end of a hard day’s ‘self gifting’.

Not that it’s all beer, you understand. Oh no. There’s the history for one thing the Anheuser Busch brewery near the lovely New Hampshire town of Nashua was founded some 100 years ago. Then there’s the mechanics. The whole place is a grown up boys’ wonderland of conveyor belts, brewing tanks, bottling racks and never ending gleaming metal objects that the guides are only too eager to talk about. My favourite spot had to be the bottling hall itself, where thousands of the things rattle their way along what appears to be the most elaborate system of tracks and runners in the world.

There’s beer tasting, of course all guests of age (and it’s still 21 in the US) can enjoy samples of what they do best at Anheuser Busch. But the highlight of the tour is to be found outside the main plant itself. In the adjacent stables not part of the tour but also free to visit are housed in splendid luxury the real stars of the brewery: the Budweiser Clydesdales.

These magnificent shire horses are housed in the Clydesdale Hamlet.

The majestic giants have appeared in some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials that are a famous trademark of Anheuser Busch, and represent a special part of the brewer’s history. For sheer size and strength, the animals are awe inspiring and a must for photo opportunities.

The city of Nashua is a two hour drive from Boston across the state border into New Hampshire. It is a pretty, small city although the second largest in the state and with its Main Street and traditional stores and restaurants, it makes an ideal place to stay and explore the region for a few days.

At its heart is Main Street and the Nashua River, with stores and restaurants radiating out from its core. And there’s no sales tax.

Nashua is rich with culture. Old mills have been converted to gallery space, forming what is now Bilancia Gallery and Framing on Pearl Street, the artistic soul of the city. Nashua has its own ballet theatre and symphony.

Town parks have facilities for nature walks, ice skating, and sledding. There are also excellent facilities for camping, boating, and fishing within the area.

A peaceful stroll along the paths of the 325 acre Mine Falls Park that follows the Merrimack River for 20 miles, makes for a pleasant summer’s afternoon.

For those who enjoy spectator sports, the Nashua Pride Professional Baseball Team plays at the Historic Holman Stadium in town.

The modern Crowne Plaza Hotel at Nashua is an ideal base, and includes a pool and fitness facilities, as well as restaurant and club lounge for business guests. It is just a 20 minute drive from the hotel to the Anheuser Busch brewery and the adjacent Merrimack Premium Outlets mall.

With more than 100 outlet stores, Merrimack is a shoppers’ paradise. Premium Outlets specialises in the very best at the best of prices. The company’s promise is that you can expect to pay at least 25 65 per cent less at least for top name brands than you would expect to have to pay at High Street stores.

The draw is obvious. With the promise to offer high end quality goods at a fraction of the recommended tail prices, the malls draw huge custom.

As the Americans say, it’s sight seeing for serious shoppers.

Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren, Adidas and Calvin Klein, Gap and Guess, J Crew and Juicy Couture the list of must have fashion, jewellery, audio visual goods, home and gifts designers goes on.

So what can you expect to find? And how real are the bargains?

The ultra high end goods on offer tend to be in season, but last year.

Some designers will actually make goods that are specifically for the outlets market, but these are not usually the top premium brands.

Bargains I spotted included suits reduced from $799 (499) to $499 (312) with a further 30 per cent reduction for a spot sale. Calvin Klein shirts were going for $34.99 (29) and jeans at 39.99 (25).

So if you are heading for New England and want to visit Merrimack Premium Outlets here are my tips for a true shopping experience (and I speak from first hand worn out feet).
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Who knows for certain if The Breakers’ 1896 founder Henry Flagler and his then wife Mary Lily adored sweets, but why wouldn’t they? As now, virtually everyone else did, which makes the nature of a new shop at the resort hotel a perennial draw.

The Breakers new Mary Lily shop is decked out for Valentine Day.

Mary Lily’s, an emporium of sweet indulgences for all ages, opened last week at The Breakers, 1 S. County Road. The shop includes a selection of craft ice cream, frozen custard, locally made Italian gelato, specialty chocolates and candies.

The shop’s opening coincides (give or take) with the 100th anniversary of Mary Lily Kenan Flagler’s death in 1917.

>> SEE MORE PHOTOS: Mary Lily ice cream and sweets shop at The Breakers

She was active in Palm Beach’s social and cultural life during The Gilded Age, when husband and Standard Oil magnate Flagler extended his railroad south and built The Breakers on the ocean two years after opening hisneighboring (and gigantic) Hotel Royal Poinciana on the lake.

Mary Lily shop Mary Lily’sfeatures custom made displays and a color palette of sea blues and bright white. From the ceiling hang a pair of white glass balloon chandeliers.

The shop, around 410 square feet, is part of The Palm Courtyard fountain area at the southwest side of The Breakers’ main building.

The Palm Courtyard, near the hotel’s grand lobby,
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features a stretch of shops that, in addition to Mary Lily’s, include Lilly Pulitzer, Guerlain, Mix at The Breakers, Match at The Breakers, Absolutely Suitable, Polo Ralph Lauren,Signature Shop,News Gourmet, and Coconut Crew.

As Mary Lily’s the shop initially was taking shape late last spring, The Breakers’ CEO, Paul Leone, told the Palm Beach Daily News,
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“Naming the store in Mary Lily’s honor is a small but meaningful way to remember the very important role she played in the unique history of The Breakers.”

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From what I can tell the Royal Blue Grocery from Austin will take the all the street presence facing Preston and some around the corner where goop was held. (HPV map for reference Highland Park Village Store Listings The Premier Shopping Experience of Dallas, Texas) I am also quite excited to see who they add as retailers in the coming months because quite a few new spaces are open. I am predicting that Prada/Miu Miu will make a return to Dallas or Marc Jacobs and also possibly Van Cleef Arpels or Moncler who both seem to be expanding in southern cities. A long shot that would really elevate the Dallas shopping scene would be a boutique from one of the following: Givenchy/Dsquared2/Maison Margiela/Goyard/Dolce Gabbana/Vera Wang/Loewe.

For more on the Patrizio spot it seems to be up in the air as different articles are stating different plans.

“He said to expect new tenants soon: A clothing retailer will replace Marquee Grill Bar. Patrizio will move out to make way for a family friendly grill. And a gourmet grocer will move into renovated space on Preston Road.

Washburne said he can’t reveal business names until contracts are signed. He said Tom Thumb plans to close at the end of the year and Patrizio will move out in February.”

this article is already out of date as the Marquee Grill Bar was not replaced with a boutique but another restaurant.

Highland Park Village owner backs away from big changes Dallas Morning News

Another article says both a restaurant and new boutique are coming.

“Washburne acknowledged that he has other plans for the space, which measures about 5,000 square feet. It will be sectioned off to make room for a “Houston’s type” family restaurant, Washburne said, and a high end women’s clothing retailer.””He said to expect new tenants soon: A clothing retailer will replace Marquee Grill Bar. Patrizio will move out to make way for a family friendly grill. And a gourmet grocer will move into renovated space on Preston Road.

Washburne said he can reveal business names until contracts are signed. He said Tom Thumb plans to close at the end of the year and Patrizio will move out in February.”

this article is already out of date as the Marquee Grill Bar was not replaced with a boutique but another restaurant.

Highland Park Village owner backs away from big changes Dallas Morning NewsMost Common Industries Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining (%)

Most Common Industries Agriculture,
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forestry, fishing and hunting (%)

Most Common Industries Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (%)

Most Common Industries Construction (%)

Most Common Industries Manufacturing (%)

Most Common Industries Wholesale trade (%)

Most Common Industries Retail trade (%)

Most Common Industries Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (%)

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Most Common Industries Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (%)

Most Common Industries Finance and insurance (%)

Most Common Industries Real estate and rental and leasing (%)

Most Common Industries Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (%)
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ATHENS, Alabama Sometimes, you just need a shopping day with your girlfriends. I totally understand. You bored with the shopping mall scene. You looking for something local and unique. Huntsville has much to offer in that department.

To get you away from department stores, we have compiled a series of crawls. Each shop crawl is a list of locally owned boutiques and shops, conveniently located in the same neighborhood. We also included some of our favorite places to eat, so you can shop and grab some lunch, all in one place.

Crawford Gifts, located at 203 West Washington Street, is a great place to get a personalized gift. With sizes for all ages of children, you find clothing brands such as Amanda Remembered, LeTop, Zoodles, Baby Lulu and Kate Mack Swimwear. Grasshopper Fashions also carries a variety of toys and dolls, as well as baby gifts.

Is your shoe collection running a bit low? Stop by Shoe Gallery 2, located at 109 South Marion Street. Clarks, Merrells, Aerosoles and Pierre Dumas are all brands you can find at the shoe boutique. You can also find other accessories, such as jewelry and handbags.

Michelle Blansit of Athens, Ala. browses through Trinity’s Vera Bradley selection. Trinity is the only store in Athens to carry a full line of Vera Bradley products. This adorable shop also carries personalized gifts, indoor and outdoor decoration and accessories such as jewelry and scarves. White Mercantile, you find basically everything but the kitchen sink. White isn necessarily a boutique, we had to include it in this shop crawl because it necessary that you stop by, just to check it out. On the bottom floor, you find kitchenware, camping supplies, old fashioned candy, birdfeeders and much more. Walk up the stairs and you find clothing for both men and women. White carries brands such as Patagonia, Woolrich, Mountain Hardware and Stormy Kromer. Here you find frames, Spartina 449 handbags, indoor and outdoor decorations, kitchen ware, candles, hand made pottery by southern artists, artwork, personalized jewelry, home fragrances and much more.

For southern style and class for the whole family, visit Bennett located at 215 West Washington Street. Women, men and kids can find dressy and casual southern brand name clothing, such as Southern Marsh, Vineyard Vines, Columbia, Coastal Cotton, Polo Ralph Lauren, Bird Dog Bay, North Face and Patagonia. You can also find classic shoes such as Sperry Top Siders, UGG Boots, Chacos and Rainbow Sandals. Don forget to check out the cute accessories by Kavu, Ray Ban and Costa.

For a coffee break, visit Pablo on Market, located at 216 Market Street. This book store/coffee shop offers a resting spot while shopping on the square. Enjoy some coffee, tea or a smoothie while looking through the wide variety of books.

Classic sign of Kreme Delite (contributed by Michelle Blansit)

For a quick sweet treat, you have to stop by Kreme Delite, located at 401 West Washington Street. Enjoy the classic ice cream, shake and sundae selection that easy on your wallet. But make sure you have cash; Kreme Delite does not accept credit cards.

Village Pizza, located at 222 West Market Street, is an Athens favorite. Enjoy a wide assortment of made to order, never frozen pizza and breadsticks. Village Pizza also serves wings, subs and salads.
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Shop at the Op ShopEveryone likes to look good, but not everyone can afford to pay for top designer brands. We all have those friends that spend a lot of money on the latest fashions and present themselves with confidence when at bars and clubs getting attention and phone numbers.

Op shops, also known as Charity shops, are a great place to buy some pre loved apparel for a fraction of the original price. T shirts and polo tops are a couple of dollars each and I have managed to pick up brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Polo Ralph Lauren and Guess. There are also other items besides apparel including books, DVDs, and you may even find some cool retro furniture to deck out your pad.

As well as cool modern labels, Op shops are full of old clothes that can be somewhat dated or even very unfashionable. A great use for these items is to have an Op shop fancy dress party where everyone can enter time warp and come dressed up as a backup dancer from a 70 rock band. Or you might be lucky enough to find some incredible vintage pieces to make your new look even more individual.

The stores are usually located in shopping strips rather than large malls and shopping centres. This makes shopping more fun as on a Saturday morning as you can cruise round the suburbs from shop to shop with friends and can always get a few items from each shop you visit. If you don want to venture out to the shops you can also browse the Op shops online.

Apart from getting some good quality clothing as low prices all the money you spend goes to the causes the shops support. The causes supported include homelessness and heath support. Plus you can also help those causes by donating any clothes you no longer wear, and this also frees up room in your closet for new purchases.

When it comes down to it if you don check out your local Op shops you are missing an to rejuvenate your wardrobe, save some money, and help your community.
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Contact Us,Can you imagine anything cuter than hundreds of youngsters, dressed as elves, marching along Sunset Drive and Red Road? Well, truth be told, we can’t either. In what has become a South Miami tradition, Santa’s Parade of Elves is a glorious start to the holiday season. Heading into its seventeenth year, the parade keeps getting bigger and bigger. Last year more than 80 groups joined in, among them the University of Miami cheerleaders, numerous high school marching bands, and a host of antique car enthusiasts. But the center of attention, as always, is the kids. This is their day, after all. Nearly 500 of them turned out last year in full elf regalia. Adorable, just adorable.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

“If you could call this place something, it would be tantamount, in Spanish, to that sitcom in English where everybody knows your name Cheers,” says Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s Lt. Eddie Ballester. The firefighter and paramedic, stationed five blocks away, is a regular at this window. Over the years Brothers to the Rescue leader Jos Basulto has scarfed not a few pastelitos at this locale while pondering his next move. Miami Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim also has been spotted here, along with several of his assistants. Univision’s answer to Walter Cronkite, newsman Guillermo Benitez, is another familiar face. Policemen, businessmen, plumbers, retirees, and Harley Davidson aficionados all make this their chitchat haven. On a recent Saturday, while waiting for his coffee and Danish, Ballester talked about saving lives with Retavase, a new clot busting medication for heart attack victims currently being tested at his station. You never know what new things you’ll learn at the Universidad de la Carreta.

There was much trepidation about the coming of this monster movie theater to our much treasured Road. Would this cold and corporate megaplex shoveling out Hollywood hits put an end to any remaining pretense of funkiness that the mall had? Surprise: The Regal on South Beach has fit in more snug than many thought. First, it lived up to its promise to show alternative movies. At least two screens per week show foreign or gay theme films, or films that otherwise might not have unspooled here. Second, the theaters themselves are comfortable: medium size rooms, plush seats, and good views from every one of them (so often not the case at a megaplex). Parking hasn’t been a problem, either; in fact you can often find a spot right on Alton Road, just a block away. There is a good selection of food, a caf even an outdoor patio and balcony, and absolutely no loud video arcade anywhere on the premises. Finally, before or after the movie you can stroll down the street that, while it has lost much of its counterculture vibe, remains Miami Dade’s most people friendly urban area. Plummer had his re election formula down pat: Raise tons of cash, glad hand voters at community festivals, and have his Cuban friends praise him on Spanish language radio. It had worked seven times before, after all. Upstart businessman Johnny Winton might push him into a runoff, but the veteran’s vast war chest would crush him. Oops! While Miami politics changed, Plummer didn’t. District elections had turned the city’s politically neglected Upper East Side into a powerful force that overwhelmed Plummer’s traditional base in the Cuban community. He also underestimated how badly the city’s scandals sullied his reputation. Most voters, including many in Plummer’s Coconut Grove back yard, didn’t buy his pleas of ignorance as his colleagues were arrested, the city fell into disarray, and taxes climbed. In addition the 29 year incumbent didn’t take underdog Winton seriously. The end result: Plummer maintained his unprecedented streak of seven elections without a runoff. But he was clobbered in the eighth.

It all began here in 1993: salsa classes on Monday and Wednesday nights at the spacious and charmingly down at the heels Blue Banquet Hall. By now the place is packed four nights a week, and Salsa Lovers is a huge enterprise, having expanded to two more locations. But the West Miami Dade scene has a festive, nightclubby quality all its own, and it just keeps getting hotter (sometimes literally; the AC is erratic). Monday through Thursday a large and varied crowd descends on the hall, everyone from senior citizens to families to middle school students, though the 20 to 30 year old crowd dominates. The sheer energy generated by hundreds of slaves to the salsa rhythm is irresistible. Some people skip the classes and instead hang out, flirt, or practice moves with a partner. Oscar D’Leon blares from the speakers, and pretty soon everyone’s in a whirl dile que no,
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dame una, hips going and fondillos shaking, abr abanico, arms rising and feet pivoting, monta balsero, and sometimes the lights will dim and the tacky disco balls will turn. For seven dollars (price per lesson) you get all this, and you might even learn the paseo por el parque.

In many American political plays, a guy (it’s usually a guy) comes onstage and talks. The set, the costumes, the lighting they’re all window dressing, which helps to explain the sorry state of political drama. Doug Wright’s 1995 work Quills, however, dissects the issues of censorship through the trials of the Marquis de Sade. But it’s also a play of images. In the exquisitely designed Florida Stage production, Jim Fulton’s lighting design reproduced the Marquis’s naughty writing as luminescent streaks across the theater walls. Allen D. Cornell’s inventive turntable set gave rise to multiple arresting scenes, not the least of which was the yanking out of the Marquis’s tongue. Suzette Pare’s costumes smartly outfitted the small minded denizens of nineteenth century France as well as the increasingly more disrobed Sade. And Scott Burgess’s sound design created an asylumwide orgy we could “see,” though it happened off stage. At the helm was artistic director Louis Tyrrell, whose fluid hand and wicked sense of humor proved to be assets the Marquis would have loved.

In his many years as the public face of the county’s public schools, Fraind had repeatedly proven himself to be inarticulate, insensitive, and inflexible. When school board members finally got tired of him making them look bad and decided, at their March meeting, to appoint someone else as their spokesman, Fraind demonstrated the wisdom of the decision by offering an upraised arm and fist in the universal gesture for “up yours” to a parent who had questioned his salary level. How ironic that the first candid, straightforward, concise statement from this guy, captured by the television cameras that record each meeting, came only on the eve of his removal as the district’s mouthpiece.

It’s supposed to feel like a little bit of Nantucket down here on the lower peninsula. A fresh and crisp Northeastern respite from the scorching Southern sun. But really the lobby in the new Beach House is Florida through and through. This is no rectangular foyer, stop over while you check in type of lobby. Instead you get different lounges with different flavors for different moods, all outfitted (if the blue hue didn’t already give it away) by the Polo Ralph Lauren design team. If you enter from Collins Avenue, huge vases of fresh cut flowers usually yellow greet the visitor at the entrance, which is decked out in muted blue and white. But no need to dally here. Head for the bright and playful room to the right the, well, Florida room. Two walls are windows, with views out to the pool and to the ocean beyond. Lime green covers the walls; pink, salmon, yellow, green, and blue cover the cushions and pillows on the white wicker furniture. That may sound noisy but it’s not. The colors combine into a soothing balm, light and airy but well removed from the heat. All the rooms are furnished like a bed and breakfast knickknacks on the end tables, art books scattered about for a leisurely browse. The main lobby is toned down, furnished in brown wicker with blue upholstery, and trimmed with sophisticated Chinese porcelains and paintings (heavy on deep red and gold, adding an extra lush touch). From here it’s also possible to see the pool area, which really should be considered part of the lobby as well, with its multicolor cabanas, ample seating, and hedges sculpted into sea horses. Grab a drink from the bar and choose your mood: There’s no better way to refresh your feeling for Florida.

In a season fraught with top drawer solo performances (Charles Nelson Reilly in Life of Reilly, Kathleen Turner in Tallulah, Melinda Lopez in Medianoche, and Jean Stapleton in Eleanor: Her Secret Journey), Judith Delgado towered over all. Playing fashion diva Diana Vreeland, the actress delivered a performance that lived up to Vreeland’s motto: “Give ’em what they didn’t know they wanted.” Vreeland’s life story garnered 1996 Drama Desk and Obie awards for creators Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson when Wilson starred in it. Elizabeth Ashley did the honors when the national tour passed through South Florida in 1998. Nonetheless Delgado, a genius at transforming herself, turned the tastemaker and long time Vogue editor into something of her own (and director Joseph Adler’s) making. Even the actress’s elegant, oversize hands conspired to become a perfect physical match for Vreeland’s elegant, larger than life personality. It was a performance that reached out and grabbed us by our lapels.

“Have Character, Will Travel.” So reads the business card of Daniel Ricker, self appointed “citizen advocate,” who spent the past year attending county commission meetings, city commission meetings, school board meetings, and Public Health Trust meetings, all in an effort to better understand how government operates. He even sat through the public corruption trial of former county Commissioner James Burke so he could hear firsthand how deals are made at the county level. Why did he do it? Ricker, who made his fortune managing international companies that sell coronary pacemakers, says he became so disgusted with the sleaze and corruption of politics in South Florida that, rather than withdraw into apathy, he became hyperactive in the community. He took a year off work and dedicated himself to his task. A man of limitless patience (a necessary attribute in order to sit through some of those meetings), he says he never became bored and always found the working of government fascinating and important. Simply knowing that an informed member of the public was attending those meetings, watching every move they made, undoubtedly had a sobering effect on Miami’s less than trustworthy politicians and bureaucrats.

In a county with woefully slim public transportation options, Miami Beach planners looked out their windows, past the backed up traffic at the stoplights, and saw the future. It was pretty, environmentally friendly, and didn’t cost a lot. The ElectroWave shuttle buses premiered two years ago and have proven to be a wonderfully hassle free way to navigate the often congested streets of South Beach. And a good thing was recently improved: In April the routes were expanded to cover more city blocks north of the original South Pointe to Seventeenth Street loop. Plus the fleet grew from seven to eleven vehicles, and payment options were increased (you can now use your parking debit card to pay the 25 cent fare). The shuttles are completely electric, with propane powered air conditioning units. “We are the only all electric transit system in the country,” exclaims Judy Evans, executive director of Miami Beach Transportation Management Association. “We’ve become a model for other cities.”
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Our most elegant man, passed away September 5 at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto from complications with MDS/ leukemia. He was 75 years old. Son of Dominic and Josephine, Ron grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, surrounded by his loving Italian family. There he began to formulate his signature iconic style, larger than life tales and authentic love for building intimate rapport with people and animals. Several years as a US Marine Corp reserve made an indelible impact on his life; he proudly embedded Marine values of courage, honor and commitment deeply into every fiber of his being.

Ron’s professional life, his greatest hobby, was punctuated by entrepreneurial acumen and natural leadership. His top shelf instincts for building brands and developing, selling and marketing products was legendary in his field. He articulated every business opportunity with sophistication and never hesitated to provide life changing opportunities for others.

Beginning with the cosmetics industry, Ron fueled the success of household names like Clinique, Estee Lauder and Polo/ Ralph Lauren fragrances. Later Ron served as an instrumental member of the early Nike organization. As Vice President of Deckers Outdoor Corp., he had the vision to bring to life the Teva, Simple and Ugg brands, which remain industry game changers today. Most recently, Ron served as CEO of Established Brands, where he created a premium footwear line for venerable Swiss company Wenger, maker of the Swiss Army Knife, and brought in house a multi category license for the US Marines Corp.

Personally, Ron Page was a generous, gracious man. His movie star good looks,
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big brown eyes and giant dimples left a joyful imprint. Always the coolest guy in the room, Ron knew how to live the good life and made everyone around him feel good about the life they lived. An avid sports fan, Ron closely followed tennis and football, particularly the Buckeyes and Cleveland Browns, and kept fit throughout his life. He had a fine aesthetic sensibility, specifically for travel, wine and automobiles.

Ron is survived by the love of his life and soulmate, wife Kathy, his loving daughters Melissa and Jessica, his adored grandsons Max, Leo and Tobin, his devoted sister Sara Marie, his sweet niece Eve, numerous Italian cousins, his best friend and business partner Tom Seavey, and his cats Sugar Pie and Winston who he loved so much. A private celebration of life will be held in the coming weeks. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made In Memory of Ronald Page, Stanford University Medical Center ATTN: Dr. Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309 or the Marin Humane Society 171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato, CA.
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Two Winston Salem design firms to merge

A Winston Salem graphic design firm, Elephant In The Room, said Thursday that it has acquired a local competitor, ShapiroWalker Design.

The firm will use the Elephant In The Room brand and remain based at 301 N. Main St., Suite 2100. It will focus not only on graphic design but also strategic brand development and various brand communication solutions for national, regional and local clients.

Chad Cheek will serve as the president of the combined firm. David Shapiro, a partner in ShapiroWalker, will serve as vice president with the combined firm. John Walker will be retained as a designer. Staff members from both firms will also remain. Arts Council Foundation; RiverRun International Film Festival; Wake Forest Innovation Quarter; and Wake Forest University. 500 study again ranks Wells Fargo Co. as the top brand with a direct operation in North Carolina and the Triad. corporate brands.

Wells Fargo was rated as having a brand value of $41.6 billion for 2016, down 6 percent. Its ranking dropped one spot to ninth.

Google passed Apple for first with a brand value of $109.5 billion, up 24.1 percent. Apple’s value dropped 26.6 percent to $107.1 billion.

Others in the Top 250 with a major North Carolina operations presence include: Bank of America Corp. (18th at $30.3 billion); Spectrum (43rd at $15.7 billion); Lowe’s Home Improvement (47th at $13.9 billion); Pall Mall (91st at $6.4 billion); Camel (114th at $5.8 billion); Newport (131st at $5.3 billion); Tyson (142nd at $4.9 billion); Caterpillar (163rd at $4.4 billion); The North Face (200th at $3.6 billion); BB (212nd at $3.4 billion); and Polo Ralph Lauren (223rd at $3.2 billion).

Asheboro hospital may combine with Cone Health

Two more Triad hospitals are considering a merger, with Cone Health of Greensboro potentially taking over Randolph Hospital of Asheboro.

The not for profit systems are in a due diligence period with a goal of signing a letter of intent by May 31. The systems said they are considering a merger, an acquisition of Randolph by Cone or “some other legal arrangement.”

The merger talk comes nearly a year about Cone took over management of the 145 bed hospital.

Steve Eblin, Randolph’s chief executive, cited continuing changes in health care technology, expenses and lower federal government reimbursement rates as reasons for pursuing the potential merger.
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