ProfNet Expert Alerts for October 16, 2020

NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Below are experts from the ProfNet network who are available to discuss timely issues in…

NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Below are experts from the ProfNet network who are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area.  


  • Commercial Design
  • Subscription Loyalty Programs
  • Employee «presenteeism»
  • Future of Work
  • Link Between Obesity & COVID-19
  • 5 Steps for Coping With Chaos
  • Still Leaning on Fear-Based Marketing? Consider This.
  • Helping California Pet Families Survive Disaster
  • Help Hero Dogs Find Forever Homes
  • Hiring Tip: 4 Make-Or-Break Customer Service Skills
  • Navigating Your Relationship With Money in Uncertain Times
  • Pregnancy Headache: Dangerous or Just Annoying?
  • What Wildflowers Tell Us About the Health of Ecosystems



  • Policy & Government Journalists: Don’t Miss Out on Election News
  • Blog Profiles: Politics and Policy Blogs

Commercial Design 

Katie Toth

President, IIDA Southern California

IIDA – International Interior Design Association

In addition to my role as president of IIDA Southern California, I’m also a California-based interior designer currently working as a senior interior designer at hospitality firm, HBG Design. With more than a decade of experience, my career is focused on the residential and hospitality sectors. I joined in 2016 after moving back to San Diego and shifting my focus to commercial design.

Toth can speak on commercial design; interior design; interior architecture; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the design of public spaces.


Media contact: David Cumpston,

Subscription Loyalty Programs

Miya Knights

Head of Industry Insight

Eagle Eye

«Subscription loyalty programs are now table stakes for big box retailers. The rise of subscription loyalty, like Walmart+ and Amazon Prime demonstrates that points no longer mean prizes with traditional loyalty schemes. Consumers are looking for more relevance, value and utility from retailers they have an ongoing engagement with. This means traditional loyalty mechanics are being replaced by schemes that help retailers grow brand affinity with their customers. In turn, brands can leverage this affinity to drive increased transactional sales and/or frequency on top of the recurring revenue gains.»

Miya can discuss the launch of Walmart+ from a loyalty angle. Miya can discuss why traditional loyalty programs are evolving, what subscription programs like Walmart+ tell us about how brands view loyalty how retailers can leverage customer data from these programs to pull out key consumer insights, and what retailers need to do to stand out in the crowded market of subscription loyalty programs.

Miya is the co-author of two best-selling business books: Omnichannel Retail: How to build winning stores in a digital world Amazon: How the World’s Most Relentless Retailer will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce

Miya Knights, head of industry insight at Eagle Eye. Miya has 20+ years of experience as a journalist (former editor of Retail Technology magazine), analyst and research director specializing in retail enterprise technology (with Planet Retail and IDC Retail Insights). She is also the co-author of two bestselling business books and is a member of the Retail Influencer Network, where she shares expertise on consumer behaviors, retail technology and commerce strategies.  


Media contact: Janelle Davis,

Employee «presenteeism»

Greg DeLapp


Employee Assistance Professionals Association

Study shows how companies can stem widespread COVID symptom: employee «presenteeism» Presenteeism occurs when ongoing physical and/or mental health conditions prevent employees from being fully productive at work. With more employees working from home, the lack of structure, support and managerial oversight make it a growing problem. A new study sponsored by Morneau Shepell and the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, surveyed over 35,000 cases over ten years and shows that employee assistance programs (EAP) significantly improve an employee’s ability to concentrate, decreasing presenteeism.

«We’ve all been there – whether it’s the tedium of the job, stress, or extenuating circumstances – we’re just going through the motions. When it becomes chronic, it’s one of the most pernicious drags on workplace productivity, because presenteeism can be both a widespread problem and difficult to detect. As the 2020 Workplace Outcome Suite Study documents, EAP consultation and engagement can be an indispensable business continuity tool, particularly for teleworkers who are dealing with all the attendant stressors and distractions.»


Media contact: Charles Epstein,

Future of Work

Miles Everson


MBO Partners

Corporate leadership that ignores the independent workforce is short sighted at best, and a business death sentence at worst. In the wake of a global crisis such as COVID-19, this lack of foresight can cause irreparable damage as well.

Everson can speak about the future of work, moving from an hours-based to results based workforce, remote work, independent work. Everson is a Certified Public Accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants. He graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Accounting.  


Media contact: Karen Swim,

Link Between Obesity & COVID-19

David Davtyan, M.D.

Bariatric Surgeon

Davtyan Medical Weight Loss & Wellness of Los Angeles

«The worldwide novel virus pandemic combined with the global obesity epidemic is a dangerous situation. Consumers need to have a comprehensive understanding of the link between obesity and the virus. We encourage our patients to take control of their health by taking action now to reduce their risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness. As medical experts warn that a second wave of COVID-19 this fall or winter could be more serious than the first, now is the time for people with obesity to seek surgical options for losing weight.»

It’s becoming clearer that obesity itself can increase the likelihood of serious complications from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently stated that obesity, defined as a BMI of 30 or above, increases a person’s risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This patient population represents roughly one-third of the U.S. adult population. Recent concerning studies have linked the influence of obesity to COVID-19 cases. In fact, there is a higher prevalence of COVID-19 hospitalizations among those with obesity. Research also indicates that people with obesity have worse outcomes with COVID-19 infection, including respiratory failure, need for mechanical ventilation, and higher mortality. David Davtyan, M.D., bariatric surgeon at Davtyan Medical Weight Loss & Wellness of Los Angeles, is available for interview to discuss: Why obesity may be tied to serious COVID-19; How obesity is one of the most common and manageable underlying conditions that increases a person’s risk for severe illness; That now is the time for people with obesity to seek options for losing weight as medical experts warn that a second wave of COVID-19 this fall, or winter could be more serious than the first. Medical degree from the UCLA School of Medicine.  


Media contact: Laurie Masonson,

5 Steps for Coping With Chaos

Joey Klein

International Corporate Transformation Expert

Conscious Transformation

«1) Distinguish between what you can and can’t control. This means getting to a place where you accept the facts around what is happening: my kids have to do school from home, I have to wear a mask, whatever the regulations might be. It’s okay to disagree with whatever it is, but once we accept what is happening, then we can focus on how we are going to respond to it.

2) Name what you want to achieve. It could be ‘I’m focusing on supporting my family,’ or ‘I’m focusing on togetherness and collaboration,’ or ‘I’m capitalizing on the opportunity to develop deeper relationships with this extra time that I wouldn’t normally have.’

3) Name the emotion you want to bring to the situation. It could be love, caring, or support. Or it might be bringing a sense of calm, peace, and teamwork to your family and the situation you face. The emotion you choose should match your focus.

4) Make a plan to achieve what you want. You might decide to dedicate a certain time during the day to help your kids with schoolwork, and to set aside another time to your self-care routine. Taking time to make a simple plan can help you achieve what you need to do.

5) Lead by example. To influence others, we must first influence ourselves. When you exemplify how you want other people to be, that’s the most powerful way to get them to adopt it.»  

International Corporate Transformation Expert Joey Klein is an internationally known personal transformation expert, world champion martial artist, business CEO, and author of the book «The Inner Matrix: A Guide to Transforming Your Life and Awakening Your Spirit.» He travels the world teaching his technique of Conscious Transformation to support people in living healthy, happy, and more fulfilling lives. Learn more at, and

Online Press Kit:

Website:, and

Contact: Klaudia Simon,

Still Leaning on Fear-Based Marketing? Consider This.

Drew Gerber


Wasabi Publicity, Inc.

«If you’re like me, you open up your email and there’s all these marketing emails. It drives me crazy. You can feel they’re trying to manipulate our emotions to sell their products and services. Well, you can thank a man named Edward Bernays for that. He lived in the early 1900s and was actually the nephew of Sigmund Freud. He realized emotions were a key driver to decision making, and that discovery changed marketing forever.

Now, people use emotions like fear to have people buy their products and services. We’ve all done it, right? You open up that email and you start to get anxious, you get that FOMO — fear of missing out on something. Or you feel like if you don’t have this product or services, you won’t succeed.

We’ve created a world of people that are anxiously looking outside themselves to fulfill some need. And you know, it’s fine that marketers want to do that. I guess there’s a cost to the planet — and it’s one of the reasons we are where we are as a planet. But for people like you and I that are committed to making a difference, it’s just not okay.

We need to market in a way that has people feel grounded, safe, secure, and know they matter. And from that place, when they’re ‘home’ for themselves, they can actually choose to buy your product and services. And that’s ultimately going to make the difference that you’re committed to for them. And it’ll also make you feel good knowing that the way you’re marketing is putting good energy into the world and really making a difference with every aspect of your life.

At the end of the day, that’s what we really want. We want to make a difference. We want our lives to matter. We want everything we do to be aligned. So don’t go along with status quo. Find your own beat and really find a way to market that. It’s fine if you tap into people’s emotions, but tap into their joy, their hope, and not their fear.»

Drew Gerber, «Nomad CEO» of Wasabi Publicity, is on a mission to change global conversations and challenge industry conventions. He lives to spark «aha» moments, helping people discover new ways of thinking to create positive change. Recognized by PR Week and Good Morning America for its innovative business practices, Wasabi Publicity helps clients expand their impact through top media. A member of Forbes Agency Council, Drew is author of «Destination Aha! Becoming Unstuck in Life and Business.» He lives in Budapest, Hungary, and Serbia, where he started an IT training center and employs locals as part of Wasabi’s international team. Find Drew at and

Online Press Kit:

Websites:,, and

Contact: Michelle Tennant,

Helping California Pet Families Survive Disaster

Dr. Cristie Kamiya

Chief of Shelter Medicine

Humane Society Silicon Valley

«2020 has been quite a year for California pet families and animal shelters. … [T]his year forced us to shift and expand in significant new ways. We are meeting the needs of families dealing with not only the coronavirus pandemic, but in some cases simultaneously coping with displacement from area fires and economic hardship.»  

Dr. Cristie Kamiya (say Kuh-ME-Uh) serves as Chief of Shelter Medicine at Humane Society Silicon Valley and is one of only a handful of residency-trained veterinarians in the specialized field of shelter medicine. She completed her three-year shelter-medicine training program at University of California – Davis and now oversees both Shelter and Medical Operations for HSSV. She holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Colorado State University. A member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV), Dr. Kamiya led the HSSV initiative to become the first model shelter in the nation to meet all the ASV Guidelines. She travels all over the country and the world providing volunteer veterinary support to organizations in need. She also fosters underage shelter kittens and loves spending time with her adopted shelter dogs. For more information, visit

Online Press Kit:


Contact: Klaudia Simon,

Help Hero Dogs Find Forever Homes

Kristen Maurer


Mission K9 Rescue

«Any retired working dog that has served humankind in some capacity has earned and deserves a good retirement, a loving home, and lifelong care. Together, we can commit to our nation’s working dog heroes to ensure their service to our country and communities is never forgotten.»

Kristen Maurer is the president of Mission K9 Rescue, an animal welfare group dedicated solely to rescuing, reuniting, rehoming, repairing, and rehabilitating American working dogs. Since 2013, the group has provided a wide array of services to working dogs in an effort to offer them a comfortable and peaceful retirement. Mission K9 focuses on retrieving dogs both from overseas and national shelter situations where they are suffering without proper care or medical attention. Their work has been featured numerous times in the national media, including appearances on «America with Eric Bolling» and «Pit Bulls & Parolees.» Learn more at

Online Press Kit:


Contact: Anita Jakab Kovacs,

Hiring Tip: 4 Make-Or-Break Customer Service Skills

Ken Crowell

Founder, CEO


«1) Patience/Grace Under Pressure: Customers may be confused, frustrated, or angry when they contact your company. Customer service staff must be able to handle stress, including when customers take it out on them. They must be able to remain calm and take the time to patiently listen so they can make sure that the customer’s concerns are acknowledged and handled with the appropriate amount of care.

2) Flexible Problem-Solvers: Great customer service representatives go out of their way to find creative solutions that work for the customer. They ask questions and seek help when needed, exploring all options to help address and satisfy the customer’s concerns. This may mean they move away from their standard ‘script’ and guidelines, with the goal of a happy customer.

3) Willingness to Learn: Someone who thinks they’re always right or is hesitant in new situations may not be the best candidate for a customer service representative. Inquisitive representatives who are up-to-date on the latest policies and industry information can be a valuable resource to the customer, helping to ensure their repeat business.

4) Commitment: There are many excellent job candidates currently in the market and you may have a larger applicant pool than in previous times. With so many good candidates, you want to make sure you get the best one ¬— an employee who will be committed to your goals and service philosophy. This commitment will ensure the service representative will deliver the right message to your customers.» 

Ken Crowell is Founder and CEO of EmployTest, a pre-employment testing platform that’s helped more than 7,000 corporate and government organizations across the US and globally to remotely pre-screen applicants for the best hiring choices. EmployTest administers more than 60,000 tests to job applicants each year. Learn more at

Online Press Kit:


Contact: Klaudia Simon,

Navigating Your Relationship With Money in Uncertain Times

Ken Honda


Ken Honda

«So much money exists in the world. There is so much money out there right now spreading happiness and love. But so much is spreading sadness and fear, too. Transform your relationship with money from fear to freedom and you will begin to see your life mirror that same transformation.»

Money and happiness expert Ken Honda is a best-selling self-development author in Japan, with book sales surpassing seven million copies since 2001. His latest book is called «Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money» (June 4, 2019, Simon & Schuster). Ken studied law at Waseda University in Tokyo and entered the Japanese workforce as a business consultant and investor. Ken’s financial expertise comes from owning and managing several businesses, including an accounting company, a management consulting firm, and a venture capital corporation. His writings bridge the topics of finance and self-help, focusing on creating and generating personal wealth and happiness through deeper self-honesty. Ken provides ongoing support through mentoring programs, business seminars, therapeutic workshops, and correspondence courses. Ken is the first person from Japan to be voted into the Transformational Leadership Council, a group of personal and professional development leaders. He is fluent in Japanese and English; lived in Boston, Massachusetts for two years; and currently resides in Tokyo, Japan. Learn more at

Online Press Kit:


Contact: Anita Jakab Kovacs,

Pregnancy Headache: Dangerous or Just Annoying?

Dr. Alan Lindemann

Obstetric physician and maternal mortality expert

Dr. Alan Lindemann

«Although most headaches are benign, some aren’t. With sudden-onset, severe headaches — especially when pregnant — seek emergency medical care immediately.»

Obstetric physician and maternal mortality expert Dr. Alan Lindemann has made it his mission in life to see healthy babies delivered from healthy mothers. He teaches women and their families how to create the outcomes they want for personal health and pregnancy.

Dr. Alan is the co-author of «Modern Medicine: What You’re Dying to Know,» a consumer action guide about how to navigate the United States healthcare system. In his nearly 40 years of practice, he has delivered around 6,000 babies and achieved a maternal mortality rate of zero!

He earned his medical degree from the University of North Dakota in 1977 and is boarded by the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association.

Fondly known as the «Rural Doc,» his favorite hobbies are washing his vintage Cadillacs and tending to his pet chickens. He practices medicine and lives with his wife and co-author Diane Haugen in Elgin, North Dakota. Learn more at

Online Press Kit:


Contact: Jennifer Thomas,

What Wildflowers Tell Us About the Health of Ecosystems

Nita Winter

Award-Winning Conservation Photographer

«Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change»

«Wildflowers are like the canaries in the coal mine. Even though they can’t speak, they can tell us a lot about the health of their ecosystems. Wildflowers play a critical role in nature. Without them, the life that depends on them will also vanish, unraveling the balance and important roles wildflowers and native plants provide in our astonishing world.»

Nita Winter is an award-winning conservation photographer who is passionate about photographing and protecting wildflowers on America’s public lands. She and her life and photography partner Rob Badger use art to inspire hope and action with regard to climate change, land conservation, and species extinction. The couple was honored with the Sierra Club’s 2020 Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography. Their book and accompanying traveling educational exhibit are called «Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change.» Learn more at

Online Press Kit:


Contact: Michelle Tennant,



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Policy & Government Journalists: Don’t Miss Out on Election News. 2020 is an election year unlike any other, with Americans living through a global pandemic and a nationwide reckoning on race relations. These dominant news stories are also having an outsized impact on the upcoming election itself, and the news around it is constantly changing. It can be tough to keep up. It’s not too late to start receiving political news. Here’s how to get started:                        

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