Renee Castonguay: Ballet Experience

by Renee Castonguay

Renee Castonguay began her training at Southland Ballet Academy in Fountain Valley, CA, a suburb of Huntington Beach, at the age of five. Castonguay began training with an increased focus and even began participating in competitions, like Youth America Grand Prix where she was invited to compete as a finalist in New York City.

After training exclusively in Russian Vaganova style, Castonguay joined Cincinnati Ballet for their 2017-2018 season. From there she went on to dance at Colorado Ballet for two seasons and is now a current company dancer with Ballet Des Moines.

The True Power of On-Demand Pay

By Kevin Phillips, VP of Growth

On-Demand Pay (ODP) is clearly the future — there’s no turning back now. But ODP’s success is based on much more than just transferring money before payday.

A successful ODP program is only achievable when the product, technology and experience speak to the needs of both the employer and employee. When that happens — it’s a win-win.

The first win is employees who love the ODP program. A great ODP program results in high adoption. Employers only get value out of the ODP program from the users who adopt.

DailyPay has 300+% higher adoption than any other ODP vendor in the industry. As a result, unlike the Walmart program, DailyPay’s partners show significant turnover improvement (two of our largest partners reduced turnover by 44.7%and 35.6%, as of Jan 2021).

Why does DailyPay have such high adoption?

On the surface, it may sound pretty straightforward. Under the hood, it’s only possible through an extremely complex network of people, integrations, payments, data, technology, partnerships and much more. 

The key to a successful ODP program is not earned wage access, savings, bill pay, etc – those are just use cases. It’s the employee’s available balance that holds all the power.

Employees visibility and transparency into their daily earnings (available balance) is the true revolution of the ODP industry. With this visibility, employees can monitor and utilize their future expected income like never before.

Every minute an employee works, they’ve technically earned their money. Pay schedules and paydays are confusing. Until recently, employees have never been able to view or access their earnings as they work. 

At DailyPay, we serve a wide range of client partners and employees. Our goal is to maximize value for all types of employees by allowing them to leverage their available balance in real-time, however they need to.

DailyPay’s available balance is the gold standard. 100% of employees eligible for DailyPay can sign up for free and track their earnings as they work.

Our most popular DailyPay feature is not earned wage access— it’s balance alerts. Over 80% of employees who enroll in DailyPay subscribe to balance alerts to receive an update when their employer reports new earnings after each shift.

On average, employees receive five balance updates per week, and will transfer 1-2 times. 20% of employees who subscribe to balance alerts never transfer their earned pay early.

Imagine an employee completing a long, difficult shift. As she leaves work, she receives a push notification, “You have an updated available balance in your DailyPay account.” This little dose of daily satisfaction can go a long way to increase motivation.

After receiving the balance alert, the first thing she does is plan. Do I need this money now? Do I have enough cushion this month to save? Do I need to pick up another shift before payday?

She can transfer her balance, save it, track it and more. The available balance is what provides financial security and confidence for all types of employees, regardless of salary or financial situation.

74%of DailyPay users say having visibility into their earned income has helped reduce their financial stress, making them more productive and motivated at work.

However, not all ODP available balances are created equal. Employees only get value from their available balance if it’s 100% of their daily earnings. That is great information.

No employee can plan financially with only 50% access or a fixed amount each pay period. That’s like trying to complete a puzzle with only half the pieces.

The other major differentiator of DailyPay’s available balance is upcoming paydays. For employees who transfer early, it’s critical they have full transparency into what their remaining balance will be on payday.

DailyPay is the only ODP vendor in the industry that does not deduct or debit employee accounts on payday. In those models, employees have to guess their remaining paycheck amount on payday, and manually connect the data together among multiple systems.

Besides being the only 100% compliant ODP solution, DailyPay’s patented integrations platform allows all employees full visibility into their upcoming paycheck amount — days ahead of payday.


Payday clarity is a game-changer. Employees who use DailyPay no longer have to stress each payday morning trying to guess what their paycheck will look like. Employers have less friction and fewer issues to deal with on payday.

This is the power of a gold standard available balance. Real-time earnings and payday insights in the palm of every employee’s hand. That’s the win-win.

For the employer, this win-win creates a positive growth impact that compounds over time. Winning employees help their company win. Similar to compounding interest in investing — the sooner a company launches an on-demand pay program, the greater the ROI in both the short and long term.

In 2021, we’re expanding our available balance into a larger feature called TRACK. More insights, tools and resources to even further help our valued client partners and their employees.

Common Myths of Accountability – Debunked!

By Mark Samuel

Accountability is one of the most misunderstood terms in organizational development. When people hear the word “accountability,” they often think of being the only one responsible for a project or of letting down the team and being punished for it. And for many, this is how accountability plays out in their organization. But this is a huge misinterpretation and misuse of the concept. 

True accountability is not only a nice thing to have within an organization; it’s essential. Below are four myths about accountability and the truths that should replace them.

Myth No. 1: Accountability is an individual “sport.”

The Truth: Accountability is a team “sport” where success depends on team execution, support and transparent communication.

When it comes to organizations, success involves multiple teams, both functional and cross-functional. While individuals do have their own responsibilities and must carry their own weight, there are many responsibilities that intersect between different individuals. Everyone on the team must work together toward common desired outcomes, taking responsibility for their habits as a collective team to make sure customers are clients are well served and business goals are met.

Myth No. 2: Accountability is about keeping promises and completing the tasks you’ve agreed to.

The Truth: Accountability is about accomplishing the deliverables and outcomes that the team has agreed to.

The belief that individuals and teams are accountable for completing tasks, doing what they said they were going to do and keeping commitments is a short-sighted view of accountability. What if your tasks and commitments aren’t achieving your desired outcomes or business results? Then you are only accountable for activity without a clear purpose. Many organizations are stuck in busyness that wastes time, energy and effort because the focus is on doing instead of outcomes. 

Myth No. 3: Being held accountable means being punished when you don’t do what you’re supposed to do.

The Truth: Being held accountable means surfacing issues before they impact the outcomes you’re looking for.

Human error, as well as external, uncontrollable forces, will always have a role in accountable organizations — and that’s OK. A crucial part of accountability is forgiveness, as is flexibility when things don’t go as planned. Punishment and shame negatively impact an individual’s ability to perform their job and create an unsafe environment where issues are hidden instead of surfaced due to fear (of being held “accountable”). An accountable organization creates a safe environment for people to ask questions, raise concerns and surface obstacles, knowing that the team is responsible for problem-solving and creating innovative solutions for effectively reaching the deliverables and outcomes they’ve agreed to. 

Myth No. 4: Accountable leadership means having all of the answers.

The Truth: Accountable leadership means providing direction, guidance and mentoring to help individuals come up with their own answers.

When leaders think they have all the answers, they tend to make decisions in isolation and develop a dependency on their direct reports. This approach is actually a form of control, not accountability. It doesn’t teach critical thinking to others, a skill that is necessary if they are to understand the basis of decision-making or be able to ever think for themselves without asking permission. Ultimately, this results in a bottleneck, hampering the team’s ability to achieve desired outcomes and leaving the organization vulnerable and without future leaders who can be promoted. The accountable leader’s role is not only to achieve desired outcomes but to build their team members’ competency and critical thinking so they can ultimately rise in the organization to their highest potential.

Boustead Securities Client, UTime IPO Evokes Dot-Com Era’s Giddiness With Early 2,600% Rally

Boustead Securities

Vivianne Rodrigues and Kristine Owram

(Bloomberg) — Every quarter or so in the U.S. equity capital markets, there’s at least one debut by a tiny company which completely blows up charts and traders’ minds. This current contender? UTime Ltd.

The Chinese maker of mobile phones and accessories went public on Tuesday in New York at $4 share. By Wednesday, the stock hit a peak of $107.33, up nearly 2,600% from its offering price. The company, valued at about $33 million at its debut, now has a market capitalization around $430 million even after the stock retreated Thursday.

At 875%, its first-day “pop” — as the debut session is known — gave UTime the best debut in the U.S. since Internet service provider Freeserve Plc jumped by 1,261% during the dot-com frenzy in 1999, according to data compiled by Bloomberg for companies that raised more than $10 million.

Representatives for the company didn’t immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

UTime is off the charts, but it’s not the only IPO darling in recent years.

The company was the latest of 22 IPOs in the U.S. to surge by at least 800% in their debuts over the past decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. These firms are fairly small — UTime was the largest of the group raising $15 million. Their listings also tend to be managed by boutique banks. Boustead Securities, Brilliant Norton Securities and Fosun Hani Securities handled the UTime IPO.

While it’s showing signs of slowing, the IPO market registered a record quarter in the first three months of the year with $215 billion of proceeds, but nearly $100 billion of that came from the record wave of issuance by special-purpose acquisition companies.

One trader defined the price action seen with UTime as mind-blowing, but also an indication of investors’ desire to find and snatch “early on,” what could become a new hot stock. The stocks that fit this profile — small in size with the deal managed by smaller banks – tend to be highly volatile. True to form, UTime is already making its way back down to earth. By 1 p.m. in New York, shares were trading at $52.89, down 36% on the day.

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New Greenprint initiative threatens to undermine regional housing efforts

By Jeff Montejano

It’s no secret that Southern California housing costs have skyrocketed over the past year. According to the California Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing single-family home in Southern California’s five-county region increased by an astounding 18%, reaching an all-time high of $649,000. In turn, there’s been a decrease in the percentage of households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home.

While low interest rates have certainly played a major role in the region’s costly housing market, the underlying driver continues to be a drastically low supply of homes. As part of the effort to increase the number of new homes in Southern California, the region’s designated planning organization recently voted to adopt a new housing plan that will require local cities and counties to plan for a massive increase in new housing.

As mandated by the state, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) approved a new regional housing plan that will require municipalities to collectively zone for over 1.3 million new homes by the end of the decade. Governed by an 86-member board made up of city and county elected officials, the region covered by SCAG is massive, encompassing all of Southern California, minus San Diego.

Despite numerous objections by local governments that SCAG’s new housing requirements are unfeasible, cities and counties now must update their general plans to ensure that there’s enough zoned land to build their assigned share of new homes. Local municipalities are also under added pressure due to Sacramento’s top-down approach to housing policy, which is fueled by a misguided focus on building expensive high-density housing similar to San Francisco.

Full article here


Pinwheels for Hope

The Literacy Project

April is here! And so is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. We invite to join us in bringing awareness to the devastating impacts of abuse on the individuals, families, and our community overall. The Priority Center works to bolster families’ efforts to build safe, loving and nurturing homes for their children through our prevention, intervention and outreach programs.

We hope you will consider partnering with us in our work by making a gift of $25 or more to The Priority Center. In appreciation of your generosity, we will plant a pinwheel in your honor in our Pinwheel Garden, which will be displayed at Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach on April 24. Pinwheels are the national symbol for Child Abuse Prevention, and each pinwheel represents a child that together we will save from the negative impacts of abuse and neglect, once and for all.

Click here to make a gift:

Thank you for giving light and hope to our most vulnerable children.

The Ronald Mcdonald House of the Central Valley reveals a brand new day room in partnership with Tangram Interiors

Families staying at the Rondal McDonald House while their kids get critical care at Valley Children’s Hospital now have a beautiful, new space to relax in.  

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley unveiled a brand new day room thanks to the Frank and Evelyn Schmidt Family, who donated a grant for the project.  

In partnership with Tangram Interiors the day room now provides a comfortable and tranquil space for everyone staying at the Ronald McDonald House.  

The Ronald McDonald House is a cornerstone of the Ronald McDonald House Charities®. It provides a “home away from home,” a refuge for families who are trying to cope with the physical, emotional, and financial burdens of having a seriously ill child.  

The house accommodates 18 families for a nominal donation which can be waived if the family is unable to pay.

View full article here

How to Design Your Distribution Network for the New Normal

By Tompkins International

While COVID-19 caused a significant surge in online sales, e-commerce was already on the rise prior to the pandemic, forcing many businesses to reevaluate their distribution and fulfillment networks to accommodate higher volumes and different delivery methods. Distribution centers (DCs) that are used to handling bulk orders with fixed delivery routes and schedules are now having to shift their operations to fulfill individual customer orders within tighter timeframes.

As businesses continue to explore new ways to expand fulfillment operations, here are eight factors to consider when designing an optimal network:

Network structure impacts revenue

The network structure impacts customer service, which in turn drives revenue. In addition to proximity to customers, companies should also evaluate locations based on distance from other links in the supply chain, including suppliers, manufacturers and modes of transportation like railways and airports.

Optimize for profits, not cost

Many network designs are centered on cost reduction. While minimizing costs is important, today’s network designs should focus on maximizing profits.

Start with the strategy

An optimal network design delivers value by supporting the overall business objectives. The first step is to develop the business and operations strategy which will drive the network design.

More than just data 

In addition to data, companies must also have a thorough understanding of the flows—material, information and cash—that occur in the supply chain and the business rules needed to run the network before beginning the optimization process.

Cycle times are important

While customer service times are critical for driving revenue, cash-to-cash and order-to-cash cycle times should also be evaluated and factored into the overall network design.

DC operations and design reviews are necessary

Utilizing a model based on non-optimal facilities can lead to poor network designs. An in-depth analysis of economies of scale, process improvements and new technologies is necessary to properly account for capabilities, capacities and costs.

Labor limitations and costs

An important element of any network design is labor. Unemployment rates, skilled labor availability, unions and costs must be included in all network scenarios.

Don’t forget about incentives

An often overlooked but substantial element of network analysis is financial incentives offered by state and local governments. Be sure to check if your business qualifies for grants, tax credits, rebates or other financial assistance.

Check out other resources to learn more about how to optimize your supply chain during these uncertain times.