Aerospace and Aviation, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities

NGPA Commences Pride Month by Giving Back: 2022 Scholarship Cycle Opens

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. -- Today, the NGPA is proud to announce the opening of its most comprehensive scholarship offering in the organization's history. NGPA is excited to announce that this year the organization is providing over $300,000 in scholarship dollars, which is doubled from 2021. This is possible due to the generosity of NGPA's members and sponsors. This year NGPA will surpass $1.2 million donated since 1998, furthering NGPA's mission to build, support, and unite the LGBTQ+ aviation community worldwide.

Offerings for the 2022 scholarship cycle are funded through industry partners and membership donations. There are a variety of scholarships available for all levels of flight training and other aviation-related higher educational training. Removing financial barriers to becoming an aviation professional is essential in crafting a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry.

Miriam Williams, Chair of the NGPA Scholarship Committee, says: "If you aspire to work as an aviation professional, please apply. Our scholarship program is one of the most substantive means NGPA can give back to its membership and meet the 'build and support' portions of our mission. The scholarship program means a great deal personally because it is a way for me to plant something good for the future."

The NGPA looks to highlight a new partnership with the United Airlines AVIATE Academy as part of this year's scholarship program. "NGPA is starting off Pride Month by opening our scholarship program. Over $200,000 of this year's scholarship offerings are extended to students participating in the United Aviate Academy through our partnership with United Airlines. We've helped many young people achieve their aviation goals, and we are excited to continue doing that through like partnerships," says NGPA Vice President, Troy Merritt.

Industry Partners offering scholarships through NGPA in the 2022 program include: Alaska Air Group, American Airlines, American Flight Schools, Coradine, Delta Air Lines, Envoy, Epic Flight Academy, FedEx, Flex Air, Netflix, Piedmont, PSA, Republic Airways, Solairus Aviation, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.

NGPA scholarships are awarded regardless of an individual's gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, but all applicants are asked to provide evidence of their contributions to the LGBTQ community. To apply, all applicants must be members of the organization; membership can be purchased or renewed at The application window is open today through July 31, 2022.


The NGPA is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis. Founded in 1990, NGPA is an international organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) aviation professionals and enthusiasts. Our organization aims to encourage individuals to begin aviation careers, foster an environment of equality for LGBTQ+ aviators, promote safety, and establish personal and professional networks. The NGPA makes this a reality through education, outreach, and social events. Our organization is run by a board of directors, executive leadership, and volunteers! For more information, visit

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Business, Free News Articles, Taxes and Accounting

The Importance of Integrity Within the Tax Consulting Industry

SAVAGE, Minn. -- Choosing a tax consulting firm as a trusted advisor is an exceptionally important decision for both businesses needing such services as well as accounting firms who refer them to their clients, says ICS Tax, LLC.

"The right firm can identify valuable credits and planning opportunities to reduce taxes as well as support their positions if audited. Recently, a national tax consulting firm was raided by the IRS Criminal Investigation agents specializing in tax violations and financial crimes. It is unfortunate to see that the IRS felt the need to take such drastic actions within our industry," said Alex Bagne, President of ICS Tax.

The right consultant can be your company's financial partner for life. Consider firms staffed with CPAs, attorneys, and licensed professionals as they can be your best choice. CPAs must follow the Code of Professional Conduct from the American Institute of Certified Public Accounting. Attorneys are governed by the state bar rules and statutes of professional conduct.

Certified Cost Segregation Professionals must abide by the code of ethics of American Society of Cost Segregation Professionals with integrity, honesty, and objectivity as their fundamental principles. Other licensed professionals, such as Professional Engineers and HERS Raters also must abide by codes of conduct.

At the very least when considering a tax consulting firm, first research them on the Internet. See if they have routinely lost tax court cases for overly aggressive positions, are frequently involved in employment lawsuits, or have been sued for racketeering, harassment, misconduct or other serious legal violations.

As tax consultants, ICS always looks after the public interest and honors their trust. The leaders at ICS include Certified Public Accountants, Attorneys, Certified Cost Segregation Professionals, HERS Raters, and Professional Engineers. We strongly advocate for our clients and provide comprehensive deliverables, including audit protection. ICS holds itself to the highest code of ethics established by both professional and industry standards.


ICS Tax, LLC is a nationwide consulting firm providing innovative tax planning strategies. We collaborate with taxpayers and their advisors to identify credits and incentives that reduce tax liabilities and increase profitability. Visit for more information regarding incentives such as the R&D credit, 179D deductions and many more.

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Business, Free News Articles

Bravo Protection Products Celebrates Over 20 Years of Providing Excellent Clear Bra Paint Protection Film in the Twin Cities

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Bravo Protection Products is celebrating an incredible milestone in 2022. An industry leader in the Clear Bra and Paint Protection Film installation business, Bravo is celebrating over 20 years of proudly serving Minneapolis, the western suburbs, and St. Paul.

According to Tommy Prezioso, the owner of Bravo Protection Products, "Our constant focus on innovation and use of the latest available technologies has helped us stay ahead of the curve in Paint Protection Film installation and window tinting. At the same time, we have always focused on providing excellent service to all our clients, building long-lasting customer relationships and loyalty for long-term success."

He further explains, "We are one of the few XPEL-certified film installers in the Twin Cities and one of the country's largest installers of XPEL. We believe in providing the finest products to all our customers. As a top-level Clear Bra installation company in Minneapolis, we apply high-quality XPEL Paint Protection Films to protect your car against damage caused by rocks, gravel, salt, insects, small debris, and other dangers."

From the Basic Protection Package, which offers partial protection for your hood, fenders, and mirrors, to the Full Car Protection Plan, which covers every square inch of your paintwork, Bravo offers flexible PPF solutions to fit your preference.

Getting complete PPF or Clear Bra coverage for your vehicle can help your car look its best for years. At the same time, it also endows your vehicle with the ability to combat the elements and protect your paint finish from chipping from small rocks or small debris on the road.

Another critical element that sets Bravo apart is its incredible team with over 50 years of experience in the automotive and window tinting industry.

Prezioso explains, "When we talk about Paint Protection Film installation, there's no substitute for experience. My team has perfected our processes using the knowledge and practice gained over decades of PPF installation and window tinting jobs. The level of expertise and the attention to detail that comes with it is hard to find anywhere else."

Apart from its excellent human resources, the company also channels advanced technological tools, including the XPEL DAP or Design Access Program. The program offers a database of over 80,000 patterns from XPEL to apply Clear Bra Paint Protection Film accurately for every car, every time.

Another distinct advantage that distinguishes Bravo Protection Products from the rest is the company's world-class dealer network with certified installers in over 55 countries.

Additionally, the importance of ensuring a positive customer experience is high up on Tom Prezioso's list. He states, "One of the key factors that have been instrumental to our success is our referrals. These arise from a high level of customer satisfaction. At Bravo, we display a strong commitment to the client because we are attentive to our clients' every need. We dedicate ourselves to every job, taking pride in doing business the old-fashioned way."

While Clear Bra or Paint Protection Film installation is the company's primary focus, the company offers an incredibly diverse bouquet of services.

Prezioso adds, "We get extensive work in the automotive sector due to our stellar reputation. Aside from our extensive Clear Bra or Paint Protection Film installation services that help protect your car's exterior paint and maintain its factory sparkle, we are also the top choice for window tinting. Our experts are frequently called to commercial buildings and private residences for specialized window tinting and security window film jobs."

With Bravo Protection Products, you can get XPEL Window Film installed on the windows at your home and office, thereby cutting out nearly 99.9% of the sun's UV rays and reducing heat absorption by up to 80%, saving you a fortune in energy costs. Lower UV exposure further helps reduce the fading of your interiors, including hardwood floors, carpets, furniture, artwork, etc.

Bravo Protection is extremely proud of reaching the milestone of 25 years in business. And we will continue to focus on providing the best products and the best service for the greater Twin Cities area for the next 25 years as well!

About Bravo Protection Products

Established in 1997, Bravo Protection Products has built a name for itself in the Clear Bra and Paint Protection Film installation industry.

Each of the company's products is meticulously tested and proven to perform under the harshest conditions while adding additional gloss and depth to your vehicle's appearance that far exceeds your expectations.

The company's confidence in the longevity of its products is reflected in its warranty. Bravo offers its clients a 10-year warranty on all its installations, guaranteeing that it will be free from defects like bubbling, fading, cracking, etc.

Here are the key reasons why Clear Bra or PPF is the best protection that you can get for your vehicle:

* Best-in-class Products: After trying and testing most of the products in the market, the experts at Bravo are well conversant with what works and what doesn't.

Bravo uses XPEL Paint Protection Film to protect your vehicle's finish from road debris, scratches, weather hazards, and regular wear and tear.

* Exceptional Clarity: XPEL PPF is specially-designed to elevate your automobile's look. It acts as an invisible shield protecting your vehicle from harm while providing a clear finish.

* Comes with Self-Healing Properties: Another reason to go for XPEL PPF is that its innovative film comes equipped with a self-healing material capable of repairing all scratches on its own without requiring any assistance from the vehicle owner.

* High Durability: Bravo has been taking care of Minneapolis' Paint Protection Film needs for over two decades. Our team has installed Clear Bra on thousands of automobiles, allowing owners to keep their vehicles in pristine condition with minimal effort.

Our XPEL Paint Protection Film packages are backed by lifetime manufacturers and offer long-lasting world-class surface protection for your vehicle's paint. In fact, our XPEL Paint Protection Films can last you for an entire lifetime with proper maintenance.

As Tom Prezioso states, "We're incredibly proud of how far we have come as a company and aim to continue providing our clients with the finest products and services in the years to come."

For more information on Bravo's Clear Bra Paint Protection Film and Window Tinting Services, visit their website:

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Business, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Free News Articles

Oral Vaccine Boosts COVID Immunity: study conducted on nonhuman primates is published in the journal Vaccine

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Vyriad, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing oncolytic virus therapies to treat a wide range of cancers, today announced results confirming the activity of an oral vaccine formulation for boosting immunity against SARS-CoV-2. The full study conducted on nonhuman primates is published in the journal Vaccine accessible at http:

The article describes the evaluation of an oral COVID-19 vaccine built on the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) platform. Oral administration of the VSV based vaccine induced antibodies that could neutralize SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. More importantly, the novel oral formulation powerfully boosted the levels of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-COV-2 in previously vaccinated monkeys. The oral vaccine was shown to be safe and did not cause clinically significant adverse effects.

"By tweaking the way we generate the VSV-SARS vaccine, we created a new oral formulation that worked remarkably well to boost virus neutralizing antibody titers when administered into the cheek pouches of cynomolgus macaques whose immunity was waning after they had been primed with an intramuscular vaccine," stated Kah-Whye Peng, Ph.D., Chief Technical Officer of Vyriad, and first author of this publication. "Oral dosing is convenient and more likely to be accepted by people who are reluctant to receive yet another intramuscular injection to boost their immunity."

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over and there is a continued need to deliver vaccines to a much of the world's population. An effective oral vaccine/booster has the potential to dramatically improve vaccine uptake rates by addressing some of the key barriers to effective deployment such as logistics of distribution to remote populations, fear of needles, and administration to young children.

"We are excited by these groundbreaking findings. Vyriad has cGMP manufacturing capabilities and is running clinical trials using an engineered VSV for cancer therapy. We are therefore actively seeking partnership to help bring this promising platform to human testing," stated Stephen J Russell, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vyriad.

The publication is a collaboration between researchers at Vyriad, Imanis Life Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and the University of Minnesota.

About Vyriad, Inc.

Vyriad is a clinical-stage company developing virus-based therapeutics, focusing initially on proprietary oncolytic virus therapies for the treatment of cancers with significant unmet needs. Founded by scientists at Mayo Clinic and the University of Miami, Vyriad is working with VSV, measles and picornavirus platforms, programming their viruses to selectively attack cancer cells, thereby igniting antitumor immune responses that can complete the process of tumor destruction and prevent disease recurrence.

Our lead platform, derived from vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), is being evaluated in ongoing Phase 1-2 clinical trials addressing multiple cancer types. Vyriad and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) have a well-established broad-based strategic agreement for the discovery and development of new oncolytic virus treatments for cancer leveraging Vyriad's VSV platform and Regeneron's PD-1 inhibitor Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwic) as well as its unmatched antibody discovery capabilities. Vyriad is a privately held company based in Rochester, Minnesota.

For more information, visit

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles

Approximately $100 Million Available for Wildlife Habitat Projects

SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) last week issued its annual Call for Funding Request from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. Approximately $100 million will be available for both metro and statewide grants to aid Minnesota habitat restoration, preservation and enhancement.

Requests are due to the LSOHC Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 4 p.m. The funds for approved programs signed into law during the 2023 legislative session will be available Friday, July 1, 2023.

Since the Outdoor Heritage Fund's creation in 2008, $1.3 billion in on-the-ground habitat programs has been allocated by the Minnesota legislature and over 1 million acres of Minnesota forests, prairies and wetlands have been restored, protected and/or enhanced. The latest set of recommendations for $159 million is currently before the Minnesota legislature.

The process is competitive and open to all who wish to apply. "These monies have funded wildlife habitat projects in every corner of the state, both rural and urban," said Mark Johnson, LSOHC Executive Director. "If you have a potential project proposal but are unsure, contact us. LSOHC staff are always open to discussing ideas and answering questions. We are here to help."

Proposal requirements and terms of funding are outlined in the Call for Funding Request. To view details or learn more, visit:

For answers to specific questions, contact LSOHC Staff:

About Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council

The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council is composed of eight citizens and four legislators and makes annual recommendations to the Minnesota legislature for use of the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The Outdoor Heritage Fund is one of four funds established as a result of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment, passed by Minnesota voters in November of 2008. The amendment established a dedicated sales tax increase of three-eighths of 1%. One-third of the dollars raised are deposited in the Outdoor Heritage Fund and expenditures must be used to restore, protect and enhance Minnesota's wetlands, prairies, forests and habitat for fish, game and wildlife. Current LSOHC members are listed on the LSOHC website members page:

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Alliances and Partnerships, Business, Free News Articles, Software

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency partners with ACES Quality Management & Control

DENVER, Colo. -- ACES Quality Management® (ACES), the leading provider of enterprise quality management and control software for the financial services industry, today announced the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency has selected ACES' flagship platform ACES Quality Management & Control® software to support its mortgage origination compliance and quality control (QC).

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency finances and advances affordable housing opportunities for residents with low and moderate incomes throughout the state. The agency offers products and services to help Minnesotans buy and fix up their homes and supports the development and preservation of affordable rental housing through both financing and long-term asset management, all of which help build stronger communities and stabilize the lives of Minnesotans who are financially challenged.

"Minnesota Housing has helped build communities by providing affordable housing and finance options for over 50 years," said ACES CEO Trevor Gauthier. "We are proud to partner with them to ensure quality is built into the loan manufacturing process and their customers receive the highest quality lending experience."

ACES Quality Management & Control software enables financial institutions of all sizes to adequately manage the volume peaks and valleys to ensure quality and compliance throughout their operations while providing the flexibility to scale as volumes change. With ACES Flexible Audit Technology®, QC providers can configure the system to meet its specific needs to improve productivity and quality while controlling costs and risk.

About ACES Quality Management:

ACES Quality Management® is the leading provider of enterprise quality management and control software for the financial services industry. The nation's most prominent lenders, servicers and financial institutions rely on ACES Quality Management & Control® software to improve audit throughput and quality while controlling costs, including:

* 3 of the top 5 and more than 50% of the top 50 independent mortgage lenders;

* 7 of the top 10 loan servicers;

* 11 of the top 30 banks; and

* 1 of the top 3 credit unions in the USA.

Unlike other quality control platforms, only ACES delivers Flexible Audit Technology®, which gives independent mortgage lenders and financial institutions the ability to easily manage and customize ACES to meet their business needs without having to rely on IT or other outside resources. Using a customer-centric approach, ACES clients get responsive support and access to our experts to maximize their investment.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-858-1598.

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Advertising and Marketing, Business, e-Commerce, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government

115 Sponsors Step Up to Engage Communities in Shop Local Campaigns

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- In pandemic years 2020 and 2021, more than 100 of Yiftee's almost 400 communities who use its Community eGift Card platform ran dedicated gift card grant or bonus programs to benefit their small businesses, helping them stay afloat. Who were the "hometown heroes" that sponsored these programs during tough times, and continue to do so?

Yiftee surveyed its communities and found some expected and some surprising results when they asked, "What was the source of funding for your community gift card bonus and grant programs?"

1 -- City governments were the first to step up: 26.3%

2 -- Individuals in the community chipped in: 23.7%

3 -- Local banks and other employers contributed: 15.8%

4 -- ARPA and CARES federal programs were used: 13.2%

5 -- Other sources included tourist and hotel tax reserves, Chamber of Commerce/Downtown Association/Main Street budgets, and other county and state funding.

Over the two years, Sponsors contributed $2.7 million for bonus cards, incentivizing additional Community eGift card purchases by town residents of $4.1 million. Grant and employee reward programs added up to an additional $5.4 million. Gift cards and bonus cards can only be spent at local merchants in the Sponsors' communities. These purchases often replaced national brand gift card purchases as Sponsors redirected their budgets to "shop local."

Local financial institutions and employers support their communities

"Both Prudential Financial, Inc. and Audible are strong supporters of the community in which their employees live and work," said Tamara Remedios, Owner of Xplore Communications, who organized the Newark, NJ Community Card program. "When I approached Prudential with the idea of sponsoring a bonus program, they were all in, contributing $25k. They especially appreciated that their contributions incentivized additional purchases by Newark residents of 2.5x more. Plus, the bonus cards get residents into the 100+ shops and restaurants who are participating in the program before they expire - so it's a quick boost to our local economy when our businesses needed it the most. Audible also jumped on board to give $10k to support marketing and special programs for the Newark Gift Card. Both institutions are the benchmark of being true community partners."

Towns multiply their federal grant monies by engaging residents in shopping local

Last month, Yiftee hosted a webinar featuring two live community case studies where CARES and ARPA funds were used as sponsorships. Like Newark NJ, Concord CA hosted 3 bonus program campaigns at the holiday seasons of both 2020 and 2021, and a mid-year summer 2021 program as well. The $40,000 in federal grants were complemented by $80,000 in resident purchases for a total benefit of $120,000 going to 65 local businesses.

Cutler Bay, FL took a different approach with their CARES funding. They distributed $500 Community eGift cards to 300 residents in need, and the cards could only be spent at qualified small businesses in Cutler Bay. They saw 97.3% of the value redeemed within 3 months - a double win for the residents and businesses with the same funding.

The Yiftee survey documented some great advice for other communities considering similar programs, such as "Give them [Sponsors] as many perks as possible! Put their logo on all marketing materials, spotlight them on social media and encourage them to buy gift cards for their employees or raffle them off as prizes throughout the year" and "Have a sign at their [merchants'] cash registers to remind purchasers to use their e-gift card at that establishment."

The Bemidji, MN Chamber of Commerce promotes a locally owned bank, grocery store and telephone cooperative as Sponsors, celebrating their community spirit with logos on the website, and recognition in local press and marketing materials. This way, the community knows and can appreciate that these Sponsors are covering program costs for people who purchase their Community eGift Cards. Their card works at 49 different shops and restaurants in the area, and the program is free for the merchants to participate.

About Yiftee, Keep Local Dollars Local

Yiftee serves almost 400 communities and 13,000 local businesses with simple, secure, PoS-independent eGift Cards that keep local dollars local - more than $27M in pandemic years 2020 and 2021. The company works with Chambers of Commerce, Downtowns, Main Streets, Business Improvement Districts, city governments and other local organizations to create "Community Cards," branded for the community and redeemable at 10s to 100s of local businesses. Organizations and individuals purchase them online and send them via email, text or print to friends, family and co-workers to support their local businesses. There is no cost to the organizers or merchants for the program and it can be set up in just a few days. Yiftee also provides custom-branded cards for individual merchants, franchises, and chains.

More info at and/or email:

Twitter: @Yiftee, Facebook:


VIDEO (YouTube):

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Business, Free News Articles, Taxes and Accounting

IRS Mandates Additional Requirements for R&D Tax Credit Refund Claims

SAVAGE, Minn. -- In 2007, the IRS made the Research & Development (R&D) tax credit a Tier 1 issue, says ICS Tax, LLC (ICS). Tier 1 issues were those of high strategic importance that had a significant impact on one or more industries, essentially meaning that the IRS would audit taxpayers filing amended returns on such issues. To taxpayers' relief, the Tiered Issue Process was eliminated in 2012, effectively placing the R&D tax credit in the same audit pool as other issues.

After the IRS was defeated on two refund claims stating that the taxpayers' claims lacked specificity and they had failed to state a claim, the courts held that the IRS could no longer assert their own forms (Form 6765) were insufficient to constitute a refund claim.

As a result of losing these claims, the IRS announced in a Chief Counsel memo released October 15, 2021 that taxpayers seeking refunds attributable to the R&D tax credit must meet the following five requirements:

* Identify all the business components to which the research credit claim related for that year.

* For each business component:

- Identify all research activities performed;

- Identify all individuals who performed each research activity; and

- Identify all the information each individual sought to discover.

* Provide the total qualified employee wage expenses, total qualified supply expenses, and total qualified contract research expenses for the claim year. This may be done using Form 6765, Credit for Increasing Research Activities.

The new rules go into effect on January 10, 2022. The IRS has stated there will be a transition period for a year and a grace period, giving taxpayers 45 days (expanded from 30 days on January 5th) to "perfect" a claim for refund before it comes mandatory for all refund claims.

What does "perfect" mean? If a claim for refund is determined to be deficient or if information provided was insufficient, the taxpayer will have 45 days to provide missing information. If the IRS does not receive the information requested, the entire refund claim will be rejected.

By issuing this new guidance, it has put R&D refund claims back into the forefront of IRS audit scrutiny akin to a Tier 1 issue, making R&D refund claims more burdensome for a taxpayer. The IRS new requirements further demonstrate the need to utilize a qualified R&D tax credit professional to properly document all refund claims.

Press Release Authors: Lacey J.S. Robb, JD, LLM; Contributing Author: Alexander Bagne, JD, CPA, MBA, CCSP.

About ICS Tax, LLC:

ICS Tax, LLC (ICS) is a consulting firm providing innovative tax planning strategies. ICS collaborates with taxpayers and their tax professionals to identify credits and incentives that reduce tax liabilities and increase profitability. ICS provides nationwide service through its offices throughout the country.

To learn more about the R&D tax credit as well as other valuable tax ideas visit


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Advertising and Marketing, Business, Education and Schools, Free News Articles, Sports and Activities

Emotional Video Campaign Targeting Youth Hockey Associations Stresses the Importance of Coaching Their Young Goalies!

BLAINE, Minn. -- MEGA Goaltending, a company committed to teaching players and coaches the proper goaltending skills and fundamentals, has launched an emotional video ad with a plea from kids talking directly to their coaches. The campaign's goal is to make sure youth hockey associations are properly trained when it comes to coaching their young goalies.

The video features kids talking to the camera asking their coaches to "notice them." The ad depicts that if their coaches pay attention to them; they will like themselves more, have more self-confidence, be more likely to go to college, and learn what it means to be strong. None of the kids in the video are actors. They are all just normal kids who play hockey.

The campaign was the brainchild of Justin Johnson, owner and founder of MEGA Goaltending, and was shot, directed, and produced by Sam Scaman of "Too many times, on too many teams, youth hockey association coaches don't know what to do during practice with their goalies," says Johnson who is also the Minnesota Gophers goaltending coach. "We want to make sure these kids in the net are in a position to succeed and feel good about themselves, and that begins with coaching the coaches."

See the full video here: "I am a Goalie, I am a Kid" -

Too many associations take the 'cross our fingers and hope method' to recruiting and developing beginner goaltenders. They simply hope by sheer numbers that enough kids will want to be a goalie while not providing them with the support or development required to keep them engaged.

For the past 11 years MEGA Goaltending has worked with a variety of hockey associations on how to build their Mite goaltending programs. This has resulted in the Mite Goalie Development Program now available for coaches and associations across the country.

The Mite Development Program is the culmination of MEGA Goaltending's experience in setting up the foundation and long-term plan for mite goalies. According to Johnson, "we set a process in how to attract kids to the position and then how to pay attention to them and their development. The result are more goalies and more kids enjoying the position."

MEGA programs have been designed to develop and refine a goaltender's skills in a challenging and purposeful environment. The dynamic coaching staff includes multiple collegiate goalie coaches. Each of them brings a unique blend of coaching and playing experience ensuring every student receives a quality training experience.

When participating in MEGA programs you can expect to learn not only the most current methods of goaltending but also give you the time and repetitions to discover which methods work best for you. In addition, MEGA coaches are passionate about developing the type of mental skills that will not only serve you well in the crease, but later in life as well.

For more information on MEGA Goaltending, you can go to their website at

You can follow them on Facebook at and on Instagram at

About Justin Johnson:

Johnson is the founder of MEGA Goaltending -- a Midwest based goalie training and resource company that works with goalies, coaches and associations of all sizes and skill levels. Johnson is also owner of Minnesota-based training and guidance companies FHIT Hockey and its prestigious programs, MAP Hockey and hybrid learning school TPH in Plymouth, MN. He has published two interactive books, a customized preparation manual for goalies titled "GameDay," and an eBook titled "The Fundamentals of Goaltending." In addition to these works, in 2012 Johnson released the world's first goalie training App titled Read and React, which challenges goalies to anticipate a player's shot placement at various speeds.

Johnson also brought plenty of college hockey experience as both a player and a coach to the Minnesota Gophers hockey team as the Men's goaltending coach for 8 seasons. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Gophers hockey team from 2001-05. Johnson posted a 2.88 goals-against average and 22-8-3 career record during his four seasons with the Gophers. He was named to the all-tournament team at the 2003 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five after stopping 50 of 54 shots, including a career-best 36 saves in the title game victory against Colorado College. Johnson played for the Gophers' consecutive NCAA National Championship teams, including a regional championship game victory against Ferris State as a sophomore on the way to the 2003 title. He was a three-time recipient of the team's community service award.

Johnson played his prep hockey at Blaine High School where he was a two-time all-conference selection and earned honorable mention all-state accolades as a senior. Johnson helped the Bengals to the state tournament consolation game in 1999. He played one year in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars.

Following his collegiate career, Johnson graduated from Minnesota in 2005 with a major in psychology. In addition to his coaching duties, Johnson serves as USA Hockey's Minnesota District Associate Goalie Coach-in-Chief.

Johnson resides in Brooklyn Park with his wife Ashley and their three children, Payton (11) Zoey (8) and Jack (6).

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Business, Elections and Politics, Free News Articles, Government

Sam Stiele recently announced formulation of Raspberry Fund Scholarship

HOPKINS, Minn. -- According to Citizens 4 Stiele, Sam Stiele recently announced formulation of Raspberry Fund Scholarship. Mentoring is one of the most important actions we can take to support a strong city for years to come. Throughout my campaign, I have shared that a focus during my mayoral term will be mentoring others to lead in the future.

Why the Raspberry Fund

Mentoring is one of the most important actions we can take to support a strong city for years to come.

Throughout my campaign, I have shared that a focus during my mayoral term will be mentoring others to lead in the future.

Alex Fisher is transforming Community Education

I had the opportunity to listen to a presentation from Alex Fisher at Hopkins Rotary. Mr. Fisher is the Director of Community Education for Hopkins School District. Listening to him speak about the about his vision for more Civic Programs, specifically education geared toward the young adults in our community, has been inspiring to me. Forwarding thinking is part of how you create excitement to mentor future leaders. Mr. Fisher has mastered creating excitement.

Turning Words into Action

Today I am proud to announce that I will use any funds generated from the office of Hopkins Mayor, typically going to the mayor themself, plus some personal funds, to create a Raspberry Scholarship Fund. Funds will be donated for the lifetime of my service to the Hopkins Community.

I have already connected with Mr. Fisher and this Scholarship will be used to help low-income families pay for childcare costs and to participate in the Civics Enrichment camps and classes he plans to start.

As I have previously shared, my goal is to give as many people access to participate in local government as possible. More participation makes us stronger. I look forward to being able to mentor those in Mr. Fisher's program and see this partnership create new strong civic leaders for Hopkins.

Connecting with Community

I have already started connecting with local banks & community organizations to expand the fund beyond just myself. We are lucky here in the city of Hopkins, MN to have a strong sense of civic responsibility.

I am dedicated to not only showing up, but giving back.

I was taught that those who have the ability have the responsibility and I plan to live up to my responsibility in this community.

Learn more at:

Prepared and paid for by Citizens for Stiele
1010 Mainstreet #221b, Hopkins MN, 55343

Sam Stiele
(952) 208-4995

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