Home – Sun Connections Travel – Cruises, LLC #mexico #travel

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Welcome to Sun Connections

Travel Cruises, LLC!

See the world your way!

** No hassle, Travel Layaway Plan **

For Honeymoons, Destination Weddings, Vacations, Cruises, and Groups! Just ask us how!

Exotic tropical island vacations, luxury and adventure cruises, romantic getaways, honeymoon packages, safaris, and tours. You need a vacation and we re here to help you find that perfect trip.

Honeymoons or Destination Weddings – Need help with planning, reservations, group travel? We work with any budget, from car rentals to the whole package.

We can help with all of it. Call for an appointment for one-on-one consultations or planning.

Browse or search through our site (which is filled with the most comprehensive and up-to-date specials available) to see the wide variety of trips we offer and then contact us so we can help you narrow in on the perfect trip. We re looking forward to making your next trip a memorable and enjoyable one, so contact us today and get packing!

Future Travel Specials

Upcoming Travel Special flyer

Special Winter Cruise – November 15 – 22, 2015

Cruise Ports: New Orleans, Cozumel, Bay Islands/Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya, New Orleans

Special Spring Break (2016) Cruise – March 19 26, 2016

Cruise Ports: Galveston, Mahogany Bay/Isla Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, Galveston





20/12/2017

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Travel Services, LLC Business Review in Las Vegas, NV – Southern

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Travel Services, LLC

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since 12/05/2011

BBB has determined that Travel Services, LLC meets BBB accreditation standards. which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

3227 Meade Ave Ste 2B

*Travel Services, LLC is in this range.

Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.

BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company’s response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.

Industry Tips for Travel Agencies & Bureaus

What is BBB Advertising Review?

BBB promotes truth in advertising by contacting advertisers whose claims conflict with the BBB Code of Advertising. These claims come to our attention from our internal review of advertising, consumer complaints and competitor challenges. BBB asks advertisers to prove their claims, change ads to make offers more clear to consumers, and remove misleading or deceptive statements.

What government actions does BBB report on?

BBB reports on known government actions that are relevant to the business’s marketplace dealings with the public.

About BBB Business Review Content and Services





26/11/2017

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Compare Business Structures – LLC vs #business #structure, #business #structures, #business


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What would you like to talk about?

Welcome back

What would you like to talk about?

Welcome back

What business type is right for you?

When you re starting a new business, you want to determine the business structure that s right for you. What s the difference between a limited liability company (LLC) and a corporation (Inc.)? And how is a C corporation different from an S corporation? Use these charts to help decide what business type is best for your needs.

LLC vs. Corporation

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Shields personal assets from business liability

Requires separation of business and personal finances

Allowable in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Highly flexible management structure

Flexible tax reporting options

Preferred by outside investors

Preferred for IPO

Recognized outside of the United States

Corporation (Inc)

Shields personal assets from business liability

Requires separation of business and personal finances

Allowable in all 50 states and the District of Columbia

Highly flexible management structure

Flexible tax reporting options

Preferred by outside investors

Preferred for IPO

Recognized outside of the United States

Start my Corporation

What is an S corporation?

After you create a corporation or LLC. you also have the opportunity to decide how you d like your business to be taxed.

Single owner LLCs can be taxed either as a sole proprietorship or a corporation. LLCs with more than one owner can be taxed either as a partnership or a corporation. Income from LLCs treated as sole proprietorships or partnerships is reported directly on the owner s individual tax returns.

New corporations, as well as LLCs considering corporate taxation can choose between filing taxes as a C corporation ( C corp ) or an S corporation ( S corp ). An S corp is considered a pass-through entity, which means the business itself isn t taxed. Instead, income is reported on the owners personal tax returns. Businesses taxed as C corporations are not pass through entities. Income is taxed at the corporate level, and, if dividends are distributed, at the individual level as well.

We can help you understand your options so you choose what s best for your business. Talk to one of our network of attorneys today.

C-corp or S-corp

Here s a comparison of some key characteristics of businesses that choose to be treated as C corps and S corps.

C Designation

Owners pay personal income tax on profits

Business must pay corporate income tax

All business income/loss is passed through to owners each year.

No more than 100 shareholders

Shareholders must be U.S. citizens or resident aliens

S Designation

Owners pay personal income tax on profits

Business must pay corporate income tax

All business income/loss is passed through to owners each year.

No more than 100 shareholders

Shareholders must be U.S. citizens or resident aliens

You don t have to decide about S corp status right away. You have 75 days after the formation of your business to file with the IRS. If you re still not sure what to do, you may want to consult with one of our attorneys or tax specialists .

Step-by-Step Guide on Starting Your Business

Easy as 1-2-3

Ask away. We have answers.


09/10/2017

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Delaware LLC Formation – Delaware Limited Liability Company Forms #incorporate #delaware


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USLegal Forms

Delaware Limited Liability Company Forms and Services

Corporate Voting – How Shareholders Get Heard

Annual shareholder meetings are the primary place for exercising shareholder voting rights. Corporations are legal entities who can enter into contracts, sue, and be sued. Although, a corporation is an entity under the law, the corporation’s business is conducted through its board of directors. The directors in the board are elected by the shareholders of the corporation. An important right of a shareholder is to vote in corporate elections of the corporation the shareholder has invested in.

More

Once the board directors are elected by shareholders through exercising their corporate voting rights or shareholder rights, the directors of the board can vote when making corporate decisions. The bylaws of the corporation will stipulate the procedure for holding a corporate vote.

A proper quorum will be required in corporate elections as per corporate bylaws. A certain number of people will be required to be present to conduct a corporate voting, and this is called a quorum.

Generally, shareholder voting rights are stated in a corporation’s bylaws or in the shareholder voting agreement. However, there can be situations where a shareholder is unable to be present to cast the shareholder vote. In such situations, the corporation allows the shareholder to use a proxy. A proxy is a person who makes a vote on behalf of a shareholder(s) based on an agreement. This is called a proxy vote or proxy voting.

Apart from voting and electing the directors of the board, shareholders can also exercise their shareholder voting rights on decisions that are fundamental to the corporation, for example, merger. If a shareholder or a group of shareholders wants to change a procedure or a policy of the corporation, they need to make a shareholder proposal. A shareholder proposal is a recommendation presented by the shareholder(s). Generally, a shareholder proposal can be voted on in a corporation’s shareholder meeting conducted annually.

Apart from voicing out through proposals, shareholders can keep a tab on the corporation’s management through corporate governance. Corporate governance is a set of rules and practices the board of directors are to abide by to ensure accountability and transparency to the corporation’s shareholders, customers, clients, employees, management, and community at large.

Preemptive rights are exercised by a majority shareholder(s) with large capital amounts invested in a startup corporation. Through this right, a shareholder can ensure their voting power isn’t diluted in the future. As a vigilant shareholder you should be sure that you have included clauses relating to preemptive rights into you shareholder voting agreement with the corporation. Click here for a sample shareholder voting agreement. However, shareholders with preferred stock cannot claim preemptive voting rights as preferred stock does not have voting rights.

When discussing voting rights, we need to keep in mind that a non profit organization works differently from a for-profit organization. In a non profit organization, any excess revenue made by the organization will be used to achieve its goal, rather than distributing the profit with shareholders.


26/09/2017

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Advantages Of Using Structured Settlement Brokers #structured #settlement, #sell #annuity, #selling


A Look at the Advantages to Using Structured Settlement Brokers

Selling your structured settlement gives you access to a lump sum of cash immediately. This can be enormously beneficial, particularly if you are facing serious financial difficulties. Whether you’ve lost your job, have mounting medical bills or need to get your creditors off your back, that lump sum can be essential. However, you should never attempt to sell your payments on your own – you need to work with an expert. Using structured settlement brokers offers a number of essential advantages.

Help Choosing the Right Path

You’ll find that not all structured settlement offers are the same. Some companies might only want to buy part of your payments. Other companies might charge you a steep percentage of your total amount, leaving you with less money than you should have. Still other companies might not have a particularly good reputation. Working with structured settlement brokers ensures that you have help choosing the offers that best match your specific situation and financial needs.

Get Your Offers Fast

Another advantage to working with structured settlement brokers lies in the speed you’ll have in getting offers. If you’re attempting to do this on your own, it can take a very long time just to find reputable buyers, much less start receiving offers for your settlement. When you work with a quality broker, you can start receiving offers almost immediately. This increased speed is highly beneficial for anyone struggling with a less than ideal financial situation. Obviously, the sooner you can get offers, the sooner you can begin the process and receive the cash you need.

Protect Your Interests

There are many different companies that buy structured settlements, and not all of them are ideal for your needs. Some are less than reputable, while others might not offer the terms you need. Working with structured settlement brokers ensures that you are able to protect your interests and find a buyer who is not only reputable, but also dedicated to protecting your best interests.

Working with reputable brokers will help ensure that not only do you have access to the widest pool of qualified buyers, but that you have the information and help necessary to navigate the sales process. Selling structured settlement payments is not a simple process, no matter how tantalizing those late night commercials make it look. You need expert help to get through the process and a broker can offer exactly that.


26/09/2017

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Trust Capital, Flexible Funding Solutions, merchant capital funding llc.#Merchant #capital #funding


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merchant capital funding llc

Merchant capital funding llc

Let’s talk funding!

Merchant capital funding llc

Small businesses.

Merchant capital funding llc

Fresh-brewed financing.

Merchant capital funding llc

More dough for bakeries.

Merchant capital funding llc

Funds for now.

Flexibility for tomorrow.

Let’s get to know each other.

You’re passionate about your business. So are we. Our team at Trust Capital Funding specialize in providing funding to small businesses with big dreams. That’s why our funding solutions are personally-tailored to each of our clients. Solutions that gives you the flexibility to grow your business and the freedom to love doing it.

Trust Capital is a direct lender offering funding solutions based on your company’s revenue, not your personal credit. It’s faster. It’s easier. It’s a smarter way for small businesses to get the crucial funding they need to grow.

Recent Closings

  • $85,000 Industrial Automation, New Hampshire
  • $20,000 Delivery Service, Massachusetts
  • $112,000 Granite Tile, Massachusetts
  • $45,000 Restaurant, Florida
  • $60,000 General Construction, Virginia
  • $15,000 Landscaping, Delaware
  • $23,000 Daycare, Massachusetts
  • $47,000 Flooring Company, Florida
  • $10,000 Home Health Care, North Carolina
  • $40,000 Trucking Transport, New Jersey
  • $20,000 Tax Preparations, Massachusetts
  • $90,000 Insurance, Rhode Island
  • $28,000 Auto Dealership, Alabama
  • $100,000 Limousine Car Service, Florida
  • $750,000 Flooring Company, Arizona
  • $500,000 Masonry Company, Virginia
  • $250,000 Roofing Company, Colorado
  • $290,000 Technology Software, Arizona
  • $257,000 Real Estate Brokerage, Massachusetts
  • $90,000 Security Services, Georgia
  • $24,000 Lock Smith, South Carolina
  • $190,000 Paving Sealing, Texas/Maryland
  • $18,000 Driving School, Ohio
  • $46,000 Grocery Store, Florida
  • $40,000 Medical Supply, Texas
  • $35,000 Fulfillment Center, Oklahoma
  • $325,000 Touring Company, Washington

Merchant capital funding llc

Revenue Based Financing

Trust Capital offers funding solutions based on your company’s revenues.

Merchant capital funding llc

Freedom Flex Financing

Freedom flex funding is Trust Capital’s version of a business line of credit.

Merchant capital funding llc

Traditional Banking Products

These banking products are based on your total gross revenues.

Merchant capital funding llc

Merchant Processing

Trust Capital is the premiere company for all of your processing needs.

Merchant capital funding llc

Franchise Funding

Trust Capital understands the difficulty of securing money quickly.

Merchant capital funding llc

Commercial Real Estate

Funding for Multi-Family Homes, ALFs, and Mobile Home Parks.

Flexible and Personal Funding

Small businesses need to be flexible. So does their funding. That’s why Trust Capital offers financing solutions that are uniquely-tailored to fit the needs of small, growing businesses.

Why We’re Different

While we have national reach, we are a boutique firm that forges individual relationships with each of our clients. Our size allows us to be innovative. We can move faster than larger institutions, and we can adapt and change as you adapt and change. We want to know your business. We want to know your name. We want to help you grow every step of the way.


22/09/2017

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How to Form a Michigan Nonprofit Corporation, setting up an llc


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How to Form a Michigan Nonprofit Corporation

Setting up an llc in michigan Setting up an llc in michigan

Most nonprofits are 501(c)(3) organizations, which means they are formed for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes and are eligible for federal and state tax exemptions. To create a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, first you need to form a Michigan nonprofit corporation. Then you apply for tax-exempt status from the IRS. Here are the details.

Form Your Michigan Nonprofit Corporation

First, you must form a nonprofit corporation under Michigan state law.

1. Choose who will be on the initial board of directors.

In Michigan, your nonprofit corporation must have at least three directors. You can have one or more directors on the board who are 16 or 17 years old, as long as this is stated in your articles and that number doesn t exceed 50% of the number of directors required for a quorum. The initial board of directors will play a key role in determining the purpose and goals for the organization.

2. Choose a name for your Michigan nonprofit corporation.

The name of your nonprofit corporation cannot be the same as, or confusingly similar to, the name of another corporate name on file with the state. To see if your proposed name is available, you can search Michigan’s name database available on the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs ( LARA ) website.

3. Prepare and file your nonprofit articles of incorporation.

You will need to create and file nonprofit articles of incorporation with the state. There is a fillinable articles form available on the LARA website. You should complete the form following the instructions provided. The articles of incorporation must include the following basic information about your nonprofit:

  • its name
  • its purpose (a general statement for all lawful activities is not sufficient)
  • whether it is organized on a stock or nonstock basis
  • whether it is a membership or directorship organization
  • the street and mailing address of the corporation s registered office
  • the name and address of the initial resident agent
  • the names and addresses of all the incorporators, and
  • its duration.

The articles form on the LARA website does not include language required by the IRS to obtain tax-exempt status. To receive 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS, you’ll need to have additional specific language in your articles, including:

  • a statement of purpose that meets IRS requirements
  • statements that your nonprofit will not engage in prohibited political or legislative activity, and
  • a dissolution of assets provision dedicating your assets to another 501(c)(3) organization upon dissolution.

Be sure to include the IRS-required language in your articles. For more information on IRS requirements for tax exemption, see IRS Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization, available on the IRS website.

4. Prepare bylaws for your Michigan nonprofit corporation.

You’ll need to prepare bylaws that comply with Michigan law and contain the rules and procedures your corporation will follow for holding meetings, electing officers and directors, and taking care of other corporate formalities required in Michigan. Your bylaws do not need to be filed with the Michigan Bureau of Commercial Services — they are your internal operating manual.

5. Hold a meeting of your board.

Your first board meeting is usually referred to as the organizational meeting of the board. The board should take such actions as:

  • electing directors (if not named in your articles)
  • approving the bylaws
  • appointing officers
  • setting an accounting period and tax year, and
  • approving initial transactions of the corporation, such as the opening of a corporate bank account.

Be sure to keep minutes of your meeting that properly document your board s actions.

6. Set up a corporate records binder.

You should set up a corporate records binder for your nonprofit to hold important document such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, and minutes of meetings. For more information, as well as minutes forms, consent forms, and other resolutions, see Nonprofit Meetings, Minutes Records, by Anthony Mancuso (Nolo).

Obtain Your Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Now that you have created your nonprofit corporation, you can obtain your federal and Michigan state tax exemptions. Here are the steps you must take to obtain your tax-exempt status:

1. File your Form 1023 federal tax exemption application.

To obtain federal tax-exempt status from the IRS, you will need to complete and file IRS Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This long and detailed form asks for lots of information about your organization, including its history, finances, organizational structure, governance policies, operations, activities, and more. For line-by-line instructions on how to complete the Form 1023, see How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation, by Anthony Mancuso (Nolo).

Smaller nonprofits may be eligible to file Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This is a much simpler, shorter form that is filed online. Only smaller nonprofits–those with projected annual gross receipts of less than $50,000 and total assets of less than $250,000–are eligible to use the streamlined 1023-EZ application.

See the IRS website for more information on the Form 1023 and Form 1023-EZ filing requirements.

2. Obtain your Michigan state tax exemptions.

Once you have your federal tax exemption, you are automatically exempt from Michigan state income tax. In addition, there is no longer an application process for tax exemption from Michigan sales and use tax. See the Michigan Department of Treasury for more information on state tax exemptions for nonprofits.

3. Other state reporting and registration requirements.

Depending on your activities and the size of your organization, you may need to register with the Michigan Attorney General before doing any fundraising activities. Check with Michigan’s Attorney General website for registration rules.


20/09/2017

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Community Mercy Home Care, how to set up an llc in


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how to set up an llc in ohio

How to set up an llc in ohio

How to set up an llc in ohio

How to set up an llc in ohio

How to set up an llc in ohio

1111 North Plum Street, #4

Springfield, OH 45504

Community Mercy Home Care

We are health professionals with care that is life-changing

Community Mercy Home Care is committed to providing exceptional health care services in the home. A joint venture of American Nursing Care and Community Mercy Health Partners, Community Mercy Home Care has extensive experience and commitment to the highest quality ideals. Our team approach to care provides you and your loved ones with optimal outcomes.

Our Full Line of Home Health Care Services includes:

Nursing Services – Skilled registered nurses and licensed professional nurses assist with your medical needs.

Home Health Aides – Aides help with personal care, meal preparation, light housekeeping and the activities of daily living.

Homemaker – Individuals assist with light housekeeping, meal preparation, grocery shopping and other errands.

Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapies – Therapists provide a range of rehabilitation services aimed at improving the quality of life.

Social Services – Medical social workers assist with financial and social needs and help in connecting with community resources.

Selecting home health care doesnпїЅt need to be difficult or time-consuming. All it takes is one call to Community Mercy Home Care. WeпїЅre close to home, and have been providing the finest in-home care for more than a quarter century. No matter when you call, youпїЅll speak with an experienced associate who can help you with your home care needs. Our team will work closely with you and your physician to coordinate services and develop an individualized plan of care.

Our Chronic Care Management Programs Set Us Apart

v CardioCareLink пїЅ Our CardioCareLink Program was developed to empower and assist the client/caregiver to manage their disease process in the home setting while improving overall quality of life. Our comprehensive program emphasizes ongoing monitoring while clinicians provide education and support for clients and their families. When appropriate, we utilize telehealth to enhance your peace of mind. This system allows you to send your vital sign data daily and provides us the up-to-date information about your condition that we need to help you continue to enjoy the best possible health.

v OrthoCareLink пїЅ OrthoCareLink is a comprehensive program to provide a consistent, therapeutic plan for recovery and rehabilitation following total joint replacement or other orthopedic surgery. It includes comprehensive therapy schedule, physician specific care protocols, a trained and dedicated clinical team, and patient education пїЅ with a focus on continuity of care across the continuum.

v Skin and Wound CareLink – Our care and treatments emphasize prevention, healing, reduction in emergent care and rehospitalizations, and comfort using principles of compassion, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness.

Our programs and initiatives demonstrate our commitment to the provision of excellent quality and achievement of outstanding clinical outcomes. These include our Focus on Outcomes program along with our Centralized Call Center and many initiatives directed specifically at reducing avoidable hospital readmissions.

v Focus on Outcomes – This program is designed to encourage and empower each clinician to educate and align themselves with the tools necessary to assist the client in improving specific outcomes. It is a means to set realistic goals, monitor weekly results and evaluate the progress of attaining the goal.

v Centralized Call Center пїЅ Our centralized call center is staffed by our own associates who have access to the patientпїЅs electronic medical record. Calls are answered by these associates 24 hours per day. This allows for rapid identification and early intervention. It provides a stark contrast in quality to other organizations that use an answering service or hospital switchboard for after-hours calls.


20/09/2017

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Home & Auto Insurance – Santa Rosa CA #insurance, #auto #insurance,


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BIENVENIDOS A AUTO SAVER PLUS INSURANCE HABLAMOS ESPANOL

As a family owned and operated insurance company Auto Saver Plus Insurance Agency LLC has delivered quality insurance solutions to individuals in CA, specializing in Auto and Homeowners insurance coverage. Our team of bilingual experienced insurance professionals is committed to helping you find a policy that fits your needs. We focus on providing personalized attention and exceptional customer service to create an experience that s difficult to find in today s market. At Auto Saver Plus Insurance Agency LLC, we ll work with you to ensure that you and those you care about most are protected.

We proudly provide insurance solutions to clients near Santa Rosa, Windsor, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, Marin County, and Lake County.

Testimonials

Accommodating, professional, helpful, and quick. Very comfortable experience and I was impressed by their capabilities. Highly recommended.

I feel lucky to have found an agent willing to provide this level of service. No need to look anywhere else!

Over the years we’ve never once had to worry about our coverage. My husband and I are long-time customers and proud to be.

Surprisingly flexible and in-touch with my needs as a small business owner. Can’t ask for more.

They have strong ties with the community, and it shows. It’s nice to do business with people that really show they care about you and your family.

Our Locations

Auto Saver Plus Insurance Agency LLC

620 Sebastopol Road
Santa Rosa, Ca 95407

Main office: 707-523-1888

Auto Saver Plus Insurance Agency LLC

8465 Old Redwood Hwy. Ste. 210
Windsor, Ca 95492

Main office: 707-836-8988

Copyright 2017 Auto Saver Plus Insurance Agency LLC

Proudly serving Santa Rosa, CA, Windsor, CA, Sonoma County, CA, Mendocino County, CA, Marin County, CA, Lake County, CA, and surrounding areas.


05/09/2017

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Best Travel Agents in Dubai, 4Star Travel and Tourism LLC #travel

#star travel
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Welcome to Four Star Travels Tourism LLC

Expert Dubai Travel Agents

Welcome to Four Star Travels Tourism LLC, the first choice in premium corporate, business and leisure travel in the UAE.

Here at 4 Star Travels Tourism it is our goal to provide you with a smooth and professional travel experience. We understand the stress involved with traveling and making travel arrangements, which is why our expert team devote attention to detail and individual care to ensure each of our clients receives a world class service. It is this winning strategy that has made us one of the top travel agents in Dubai. No matter if you are looking to travel to Dubai, or you plan to visit every corner of the globe, we can help you throughout your journey.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your dream holiday today! Otherwise, for more information call us on +971 56 1012599 and talk to one of our friendly representatives.





31/08/2017

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Mediacom Services, LLC #travel #advisors

#media travel
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Result oriented

The Community

Mediacom Services, LLC provides the platform for a community of those who believe in the unique love and art of entertainment travel. Each member of our fraternity lives by the same creed: the client is number one. Our creative atmosphere allows open discussions and sharing of the most up-to-date travel information and deals offered in the entertainment community. It truly does take a village to raise the bar we try to set in our industry, and we are proud of it.

Method To Our Madness

A specialist consults to gain insight as to the specific needs of the project, including, but not limited to: locations, total travelers, budget analysis, preferences in air/hotel/transportation requirements, tax incentive restrictions, and special needs.

Adhering to preferences, but also suggesting cost-saving alternatives, a specialist proficient in vendor contract negotiations will use company spend data as leverage, along with vendor partnerships to obtain optimal rates.

Team specialist dedicated and familiar to your project will be available around-the-clock for last minute changes, to travel emergencies. Specialist will notify of cost-savings alternatives where applicable, while enforcing any travel policies.

Comprehensive reporting tools aggregate insightful travel spend data vital in vendor negotiations, to identify spend patterns resulting in waste, and provide an accurate budgeting platform. Quarterly evaluations offer any necessary updates to the program.





07/08/2017

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Data Firm Says ‘Secret Sauce’ Aided Trump; Many Scoff – The


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Data Firm Says ‘Secret Sauce’ Aided Trump; Many Scoff

Alexander Nix, chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, at the Concordia Summit for public-private business partnerships in New York in September. The firm claimed to have developed psychographic profiles that could predict the political leanings of every American adult. Credit Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Standing before political and business leaders in New York last fall, Alexander Nix promised a revolution.

Many companies compete in the market for political microtargeting, using huge data sets and sophisticated software to identify and persuade voters. But Mr. Nix’s little-known firm, Cambridge Analytica, claimed to have developed something unique: “psychographic” profiles that could predict the personality and hidden political leanings of every American adult.

“Of the two candidates left in the election, one of them is using these technologies,” Mr. Nix said, referring to Donald J. Trump .

Capitalizing on its work for the man who is now president, Cambridge has pitched potential clients in the United States ranging from MasterCard and the New York Yankees to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Ahead of this year’s elections in Europe, Mr. Nix is promoting the four-year-old United States-based company abroad, too.

Cambridge Analytica’s rise has rattled some of President Trump’s critics and privacy advocates, who warn of a blizzard of high-tech, Facebook-optimized propaganda aimed at the American public, controlled by the people behind the alt-right hub Breitbart News. Cambridge is principally owned by the billionaire Robert Mercer, a Trump backer and investor in Breitbart. Stephen K. Bannon, the former Breitbart chairman who is Mr. Trump’s senior White House counselor, served until last summer as vice president of Cambridge’s board.

But a dozen Republican consultants and former Trump campaign aides, along with current and former Cambridge employees, say the company’s ability to exploit personality profiles — “our secret sauce,” Mr. Nix once called it — is exaggerated.

Cambridge executives now concede that the company never used psychographics in the Trump campaign. The technology — prominently featured in the firm’s sales materials and in media reports that cast Cambridge as a master of the dark campaign arts — remains unproved, according to former employees and Republicans familiar with the firm’s work.

“They’ve got a lot of really smart people,” said Brent Seaborn, managing partner of TargetPoint, a rival business that also provided voter data to the Trump campaign. “But it’s not as easy as it looks to transition from being excellent at one thing and bringing it into politics. I think there’s a big question about whether we think psychographic profiling even works.”

At stake are not merely bragging rights, but also an emerging science that many believe could reshape American politics and commerce. Big data companies already know your age, income, favorite cereal and when you last voted. But the company that can perfect psychological targeting could offer far more potent tools: the ability to manipulate behavior by understanding how someone thinks and what he or she fears.

A voter deemed neurotic might be shown a gun-rights commercial featuring burglars breaking into a home, rather than a defense of the Second Amendment; political ads warning of the dangers posed by the Islamic State could be targeted directly at voters prone to anxiety, rather than wasted on those identified as optimistic.

“You can do things that you would not have dreamt of before,” said Alexander Polonsky, chief data scientist at Bloom, a consulting firm that offers “emotion analysis” of social networks and has worked with the center-right Republican Party in France.

“It goes beyond sharing information,” he added. “It’s sharing the thinking and the feeling behind this information, and that’s extremely powerful.”

Both conservatives and liberals are eager to harness that power. In Washington, some Democratic operatives are scrambling to develop personality-profiling capabilities of their own. But even as Cambridge seeks to expand its business among conservative groups, questions about its performance have soured many Republicans in Mr. Trump’s orbit.

Cambridge is no longer in contention to work for Mr. Trump at the Republican National Committee. a company spokesman confirmed, nor is it working for America First Policies, a new nonprofit formed to help advance the president’s agenda.

In recent months, the value of Cambridge’s technology has been debated by technology experts and in some media accounts. But Cambridge officials, in recent interviews, defended the company’s record during the 2016 election, saying its data analysis helped Mr. Trump energize critical support in the Rust Belt. Mr. Nix said the firm had conducted tens of thousands of polls for Mr. Trump, helping guide his message and identify issues that mattered to voters.

But when asked to name a single race where the firm’s flagship product had been critical to victory, Mr. Nix declined.

“We bake a cake, it’s got 10 ingredients in it. Psychographics is one of them,” he said. “It’s very difficult to isolate exactly what the impact of that ingredient is.”

Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s senior White House counselor, has served as a Cambridge corporate officer. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

Drawn to America

Cambridge’s parent company, the London-based Strategic Communication Laboratories Group, has a long record of trying to understand and influence behavior. Founded in 1993 by a former British adman, the firm has worked for companies and candidates around the world, as well as for government and military clients. SCL has studied Pakistani jihadists for the British government and provided intelligence assessments for American defense contractors in Iran, Libya and Syria, according to company documents obtained by The New York Times.

“Their approach was seen as serious and focused,” said Mark Laity, chief of strategic communications at NATO’s military headquarters in Europe, who has taken part in NATO-affiliated conferences where SCL has made presentations.

In recent years, the company has moved to exploit the revolution in big data to predict human behavior more precisely, working with scientists from the Cambridge University Psychometrics Center. The United States represented a critical new market. Europe has strict privacy protections that limit the use of personal information, but America is more lightly regulated, allowing the sale of huge troves of consumer data to any company or candidate who can afford them.

In 2013, Cambridge Analytica was created as SCL’s American operation, and the two companies today share many of their roughly 200 employees, several top executives, and offices in New York and Washington.

To develop its profiling system, Cambridge conducts detailed psychological surveys — by phone and online — of tens of thousands of people, differentiating them by five traits, a model widely used by behavioral researchers.

Uniquely, the company claims to be able to extrapolate those findings to millions of other people it has not surveyed, assigning them one of 32 distinct personality types. Cambridge then blends those profiles with commercial data and voting histories, revealing “hidden voter trends and behavioral triggers,” according to a 2016 company brochure.

Those profiles, in turn, would allow campaigns to customize advertising, direct-mail slogans and door-knocking scripts, each calibrated to prod the targeted voter toward — or away from — a candidate.

The promise of psychometrics appealed to Mr. Mercer, a computer scientist who made a fortune helping to lead Renaissance Technologies, a Long Island-based hedge fund. Mr. Mercer and his daughter Rebekah presided over a growing political empire that included millions of dollars in contributions to conservative groups and a stake in Breitbart, whose nationalist and racially antagonistic content prefigured Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.

The billionaire Robert Mercer, a Trump supporter, is the principal owner of Cambridge Analytica. Credit Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Mr. Mercer became Cambridge’s principal investor, according to two former employees. (Like several others interviewed for this article, they spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing nondisclosure agreements and the threat of lawsuits.) Mr. Bannon, the family’s political guru, also advised the company and served as vice president of its board, according to Delaware public records.

Mr. Mercer has never spoken publicly about his policy views in depth, but his giving is eclectic: He has financed anti-Clinton documentaries, right-wing media watchdogs, libertarian think tanks and both Senator Ted Cruz, a religious conservative, and Mr. Trump, a thrice-married nationalist.

“The genius here is Bob, and the billionaire in this is Bob, and the person with the extreme views of how the world should be is Bob,” said David Magerman, a Renaissance research scientist who was recently suspended after criticizing his boss’s support for Mr. Trump.

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25/07/2017

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  • 22/07/2017

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    Mediacom Services, LLC #around #the #world #travel

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    27/03/2017

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