Business, Free News Articles, Software

UniversalCIS Announces Acquisition of SharperLending

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- UniversalCIS, a market leader in technology and solutions to the mortgage industry, is pleased to announce the acquisition of mortgage technology provider SharperLending. The SharperLending transaction, which follows the merger of Universal Credit, CIS Credit Solutions, and Avantus, provides further enhancements to the technology platform for UniversalCIS.

SharperLending provides a product extension into software solutions for the residential and commercial appraisal markets through Appraisal Firewall and related products, optimized settlement and bundled services solutions, as well as direct income verification and mortgage credit reporting technology.

SharperLending will operate as an independent business unit as a wholly owned subsidiary of UniversalCIS. The strategic financial technology initiatives between the combined companies will provide deeper systems integrations, faster loan origination and processing, better leverage to loan operating systems, strong technology partnerships with the GSEs, and other technical integrations to banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and channel partners.

Perry Steiner, Chairman of UniversalCIS, stated, "The acquisition of SharperLending is a critical building block for the UniversalCIS technology platform, and it represents our entry into the real estate appraisal software market. This partnership will provide enhanced workflow tools for our clients, and provide greater value and a deeper level of integration in the mortgage origination process. Our primary focus will be to accelerate the level of technology investment in SharperLending's software products."

David Chiappe, President of SharperLending, stated, "This transaction represents a unique opportunity to combine our software platforms with a technology and solutions leader in the mortgage industry. As an independent subsidiary of UniversalCIS, SharperLending will be able to offer a greater level of resources and investment to all of our clients."

Dave Black, founder of SharperLending continued, "As a private company for over 30 years, we were very careful and deliberate in choosing our partner for our future growth, and we anticipate great things together with UniversalCIS."

Jerry Haftmann, CEO of UniversalCIS stated, "We welcome all SharperLending customers and employees to our business. This partnership represents a natural extension to provide residential and commercial appraisal software, and SharperLending will continue to independently support its mortgage credit industry clients. We plan to integrate and leverage the SharperLending technology in all aspects of our business as we continually strive to increase efficiency in the mortgage origination process."

About UniversalCIS

UniversalCIS is a market leader in mortgage technology, credit reporting, and related products and solutions for mortgage originators. UniversalCIS has over 4,000 clients ranging from the largest bank and non-bank mortgage originators to credit unions and mortgage brokers. UniversalCIS prides itself on the best technology, solutions, and service in the industry. UniversalCIS was created through the merger of Universal Credit Services, CIS Credit Solutions, and Avantus.

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About SharperLending Solutions

SharperLending is a leading technology provider to the mortgage industry. SharperLending provides financial technology software solutions to channel partners and lending institutions to increase efficiency, mitigate risk, and offer affordability. The company's proven technology has processed more than two billion secure mortgage transactions. The company has three major platforms under its corporate umbrella: Appraisal Firewall appraisal platform, the XpertOnline credit platform and the EPN loan origination and settlement service platform.

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Business, Free News Articles, Transportation

Capstone Logistics Named to FourKites’ Premier Carrier List for Q4 2020

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. -- Capstone Logistics, a leading provider of end-to-end supply chain solutions, has earned a spot on the Q4 2020 Premier Carrier List from FourKites, the leader in supply chain visibility.

The Premier Carrier List showcases carriers, brokers, and 3PLs that have achieved the highest standards of visibility-related operational excellence, as demonstrated by their ability to provide high-quality, consistent, accurate data on the majority of their loads. By following these best practices, Premier Carriers provide their shipper customers with data that can streamline operations, increase dock turn times, reduce inventory levels, and better manage labor costs.

"We are thrilled to have Capstone Logistics on the Q4 Premier Carrier List. Capstone is an incredible example of operational excellence when it comes to supply chain visibility," said Jason Eversole, Vice President, Carrier Operations & Strategy, at FourKites. "Their IT and Operations teams work in lockstep to proactively monitor and understand what is happening in their supply chain, and they have taken a very hands-on approach to ensuring that the value of visibility is understood and executed across all parts of their organization. It is an honor to partner with such a committed company, and we are looking forward to seeing continued success for the Capstone team."

Capstone offers end-to-end visibility through a unique integration between transportation and warehousing divisions. The company's interconnected platform allows key data to flow freely, which creates efficiencies and reduces costs for partners. In 2020, Capstone leveraged its visibility services to improve tracking consistency month-over-month, despite a challenging freight environment and tender rejections reaching all-time highs.

"Visibility has become increasingly critical given the supply chain challenges of 2020. The FourKites Premier Carrier List highlights carriers that have truly made visibility a priority during these unprecedented times," said Bill Kropf, Vice President of Client Management at Capstone Logistics. "At Capstone, we've made visibility part of our DNA because we understand the end-to-end value it brings to our partners, and ultimately to their customers. We are excited to do our part in reducing supply chain waste."

"It is an honor to be one of the few non-asset-based providers on the Premier Carrier List," said Jon Ackerman, Executive Vice President of Carrier Sales at Capstone Logistics. "We owe our success to our top-notch network of carrier partners, who have continued to provide excellent service, and our team for driving opt-ins on every load."

Click here to see more of the Premier Carrier List for Q4 2020:

About Capstone Logistics

Capstone Logistics is the leader in providing specialized, technology-enabled solutions for the most challenging supply chains. Powered by an interconnected platform, Capstone creates end-to-end efficiencies and cost-savings that help suppliers, distributors, and retailers exceed customer expectations. From performance-driven labor solutions to high-touch transportation and fulfillment, Capstone delivers the scale, accountability, and continuity that enables modern supply chains to compete in an ever-evolving environment. Learn more at:

About FourKites

FourKites is the largest predictive supply chain visibility platform, delivering real-time visibility and predictive analytics for the broadest network of Global 1000 companies and third-party logistics firms. Using a proprietary algorithm to calculate shipment arrival times, FourKites enables customers to lower operating costs, improve on-time performance and strengthen end-customer relationships. With a network that spans millions of GPS/ELD devices in 176+ countries and covers all modes, including truckload, LTL, ocean, rail, air, intermodal and parcel, FourKites has 1 million loads and over $100 billion in freight under management at any given time. The platform is optimized for mobile and equipped with market-leading end-to-end security. To learn more, visit

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Business, Education and Schools, Free News Articles, General Editorial, Product Launches

Rahoo Baby allows all parents to feel confident about their baby’s developmental milestones with new virtual offerings via ‘Rahoo U’

BOSTON, Mass. -- Boston startup Rahoo Baby, a baby product company made up by a team of physicians and pediatric therapists, is launching "Rahoo U," an online classroom for parents. Launching January 25, Rahoo U teaches parents the most effective techniques for helping babies master the skills they need at each stage of development, and offers guidance on how parents can incorporate these techniques into their daily routines.

Courses, which cost only $49.99 are led by a team of licensed pediatric therapists with experience from the most competitive hospitals and clinics in the Boston area.

As developmental delays become increasingly more common, today's parents know the importance of learning and overall brain development during a child's first year of life. Unfortunately, though, 90% of parents still don't receive support from qualified healthcare professionals who know how to provide the most developmentally rich early learning experiences for infants.

In the course "Mastering Baby Milestones," parents are taught specific, clinically-validated activities and techniques that help babies master the skills they most often struggle to develop on their own. Topics covered include skills such as crawling, independent sitting, and tummy-time (which 75% of parents report as a stressor at home). Mastering Baby Milestones also contains discussions about the subjects parents don't learn about until it's too late, such as how to prevent flat-head syndrome, and why it's so important that babies learn to move!

"As pediatric therapists, we've spent nearly a decade working hands-on with infants, and coaching parents on how to get the most out of their baby's first months of development," says Co-founder and CEO Matt Breen. "We're focused on bringing this information to parents from all walks of life."

As Americans spend more of their lives online in new ways, the team saw an opportunity to create Rahoo U. "The best part is being able to reach more families without having to leave their homes. Our goal is to make sure that access to early childhood development tools becomes more equitable, and this is just a starting point," Breen adds.

About Rahoo Baby

Rahoo Baby is on a mission to ensure that all parents have access to the tools and information that spark infant development. Rahoo Baby provides uniquely designed, meaningful baby products that have a lasting impact on early childhood development. Founded in 2018 by pediatric occupational therapists Matthew Breen and Erica Costa along with Physician Thomas Quinn, the group of healthcare professionals came together to play their role in making sure babies can have the best possible start in life.

The award-winning Rahoo Baby Learn & Lounge can be found online at Buy Buy Baby, and launches with Target in March 2021. Rahoo Baby plans to launch their second and third products in the Summer of 2021.

Learn more at or on Instagram at @RahooBaby. We also encourage you to reach out directly to Matt, our CEO at

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*Caption: Pediatric occupational therapists Matt and Erica leading the "Mastering Baby Milestones" course at Rahoo U.

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Business, Free News Articles, Restaurant, Hotel and Hospitality

AJ’s 2nd Annual Mardi Gras Brunch at Fort Walton Beach and Grayton Beach Locations

GRAYTON BEACH, Fla. -- AJ's Restaurant Group is celebrating their 2nd Annual Mardi Gras Brunch at two of their locations on the Emerald Coast. AJ's on the Bayou on Sunday, February 7; and AJ's Grayton Beach on Sunday, February 14. Brunch at both locations will begin at 10 a.m. featuring New Orleans favorites such as Mardi Gras Omelette, Beignets, Bread Pudding, Jambalaya, Étouffée, with a crawfish boil starting at 12 p.m.

Each location will also have their Sunday brunch menu available, along with bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary specials. Guest can enjoy live music straight from Louisiana by Dikki du & the Zydeco Krewe starting at 11 a.m.

Guests are encouraged to wear beads, masks, and any festive attire to be part of the Mardi Gras celebration.

Dikki Du is as synonymous with zydeco music as beads are with Mardi Gras. Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe have been playing together for over 14 years. Dikki Du's original funky and hypnotic zydeco style announces that he has arrived, occupying a spot on par with the best. He takes songs from classic zydeco and turns them inside out with fresh and funky renditions, intense and fascinating accordion action, and melodic vocals, innovating and revitalizing zydeco for a unique and incredible experience.

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Awards and Honors, Business, Education and Schools, Free News Articles

Maryland Consultant Sydney Montgomery Honored with IECA’s Inaugural Making a Difference Award

CLARKSBURG, Md. -- The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) has recognized Sydney Montgomery, owner and founder of S. Montgomery Admissions Consulting with its inaugural Making a Difference Award. Montgomery is one of only seven independent educational consultants (IECs) chosen from among the association's more than 2,200 members to receive the award.

The Making a Difference Award recognizes an individual's unprompted and cooperative efforts that have impacted the work of IECA's members during this tumultuous year.

A graduate of Clarksburg High School (MD), Princeton University (NJ) and Harvard Law School (MA), Montgomery has been guiding high school students through the college application process since 2012, and law school students through the application process since 2015. As the first lawyer in her family, and the daughter of military parents and a Jamaican mother, Montgomery aims to increase representation for other first-generation and minority students in higher education.

She uses her platform to regularly offer free Q&A sessions and prayer calls to over 200+ law school applicants through her Facebook group and YouTube channel. "My goal is that nobody feels alone in this application process," Sydney Montgomery said. "I know first-hand how daunting this step can be and I am passionate about helping my students break down generational barriers and step confidently into their future."

Montgomery completed the Independent Educational Consultant Certificate program offered through the University of California, Irvine, Division of Continuing Education and along with IECA, is a member of the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC).

Montgomery received the award for her work sharing resources on antiracism, content marketing, and other topics and participating as an active member of the Black IECs Affinity Group and Graduate School Committee.

The Making a Difference Awards were presented by Kristina Dooley, IECA board president, during the organization's virtual Fall Conference, which was attended by more than 650 independent educational consultants and 400 school, program and college representatives.

"Our seven awardees have stepped up to support their colleagues by sharing resources, information, and ideas that have been invaluable to their IEC practices, especially considering how rapidly the pandemic has impacted the school, college, and therapeutic landscape," said IECA CEO Mark Sklarow. "Their efforts speak to the importance of community within IECA."

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About IECA:

Founded in 1976, the Independent Educational Consultants Association is the nation's leading professional organization for college advisors working in private practice. Families trust IECA's thoroughly vetted members to find a college that matches a student's academic, social, and financial needs and guide them through the search and application process. With 2,300 educational consultant members across the country, IECA provides education and training on admission, ethical practice, and adolescent issues from depression to anxiety to learning differences, to ensure every student is well served.

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*Caption: Sydney Montgomery, Esq.

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Manufacturing, Transportation

Rypos ULETRU Filters Achieve In-Use Compliance Goals for Thermo King and Carrier Transportation Refrigeration Units

FRANKLIN, Mass. -- RYPOS, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of advanced, exhaust filtration systems that reduce harmful emissions from diesel engines is pleased to announce the successful completion of the On-Road In-Use Compliance required by the California Air Resources Board for their entire Ultra Low Emission Transportation Refrigeration Unit active diesel particulate filter (DPF) product line.

The DPF systems, which are verified to the Level 3+ reduction standard by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and have been operated extensively within the refrigerated trailer fleets in California, have recently been retested after years of field use by an independent lab and found to be fully emission compliant.

The Rypos Active DPF is a filter that traps and burns soot reducing particulate matter emissions by more than 85 percent. Unlike other particulate filter technologies, the Rypos system is self-monitoring and completely autonomous ensuring that the filter is continuously clean and able to accept the full exhaust load of the engine in any operating conditions and at any time.

"This important milestone validates the systems original design premise, that it would be an end-of-life compliance solution for the Tier IV interim and less than 25 horsepower engines powering the majority of the installed base," said Peter Bransfield, RYPOS' CEO.

About Rypos

RYPOS ( is a privately held Company with operations in Franklin, Mass. They have designed and developed a number of leading-edge diesel exhaust filtration products for small and large engines that utilize their patented electrical regeneration strategy and technology.

Rypos Contact: Trish Jacobs, 508-429-4552 or email RYPOS, Inc. ( 40 Kenwood Circle, Franklin, MA 02038.

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Business, Free News Articles

ReverseVision Lowers Lenders’ Costs to Originate Reverse Mortgages with Restructured Technology Plans and Pricing

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- ReverseVision®, the leading national provider of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and private reverse mortgage sales and origination technology, today announced it has restructured its technology plans and pricing matrix to ease lenders' entry into reverse lending and support their success. The restructured technology plans will deliver greater value to lenders and align its product offerings with the company's overall objective of enabling lenders to adequately serve senior borrowers with all FHA lending programs.

Under the changes, ReverseVision offers a four-tiered pricing model with entry, retail, premium and enterprise plans tailored to meet the needs of common lender profiles. Lenders at every product tier, from entry to enterprise, will be able to qualify borrowers with RV Sales Accelerator's (RVSA) advanced modeling tools, originate reverse mortgages within RV Exchange (RVX), and measure customer satisfaction with STRATMOR Mortgage SAT, a borrower feedback program that empowers lenders with actionable data and peer-to-peer performance benchmarking.

"ReverseVision announced its transformation as an API-enabled reverse platform to bring reverse lending into technological coexistence with forward lending sales and origination," said ReverseVision Vice President of Sales and Marketing Wendy Peel. "We have both lowered reverse lending's cost of entry and strongly incented reverse lending program growth by restructuring our product plans."

"ReverseVision is a hybrid mortgage lending technology," continued Peel. "While providing a LOS for reverse mortgages, the platform also serves as point-of-sale (POS), pricing engine, rules engine and document engine. Our goal is to create a reverse lending platform that meets the business needs of lenders of every stripe. We believe that borrowers should be presented with all viable lending program options without bias - not steered in any direction."

ReverseVision's pricing matrix can be viewed at .

About ReverseVision

Founded in 2007, ReverseVision, Inc. is the leading national Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and private reverse mortgage sales and origination technology platform, supporting more reverse mortgage transactions than all other systems combined. The company's comprehensive product suite aligns to lenders' unique business and operational models, connecting all lending participants across the entire reverse mortgage lifecycle. A five-time HousingWire TECH100™ company, ReverseVision is a privately held company based in San Diego, California.

For more information, visit

Twitter: @reversevision #digitalmortgage #HECM

Facebook: @ReverseVision

LinkedIn: @ReverseVision

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Business, Free News Articles, Software

ACES Quality Management Charitable Giving Program Makes Impact For Third Consecutive Year

DENVER, Colo. -- ACES Quality Management™ (ACES), the leading provider of enterprise quality management and control software for the financial services industry, today announced the latest results of its ACES CARES philanthropic campaign and matching gift program. The campaign raised funds for 11 contributors and includes donation matching per employee with an additional amount donated to the top three charities of the overall team's choosing.

"The past year has upended the lives of so many people. Our core values included being exceptional, passionate and leading; and this year it's more important than ever to do as much good as possible," said ACES CEO Trevor Gauthier. "With many still grappling with the effects of the pandemic and an increasingly challenging year, ACES remains focused on expanding the ways we serve not only the financial industry, but also the community at-large through positive change."

Established in 2018, ACES CARES encourages employees to make a positive difference in the community through volunteering, outreach and financial contributions to charities and causes close to their hearts. Since the program's inception, ACES Quality Management and its staff have donated a total of $22,747 to 73 organizations through ACES Cares, with this year's causes including hunger relief, equality, homeless assistance and animal welfare to name a few. Offering a dollar-for dollar match of employee donations to U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) charitable organizations of their choice, the program also supports employees' wellness and community involvement programs.

To learn more about ACES CARES and see how ACES team members are impacting their communities with positive change, visit

About ACES Quality Management

ACES Quality Management, formerly known as ACES Risk Management (ARMCO), 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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Business, Free News Articles

Mid America Mortgage Expands Access to Down Payment Assistance Program to Its Correspondent Partners

ADDISON, Texas -- Mid America Mortgage, Inc. (Mid America) announced it has added down payment assistance (DPA) to the slate of mortgage products and services offered through its correspondent division. This is an expansion of the DPA program Mid America created for its retail channel in 2019 in partnership with the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation.

"DPA programs are a vital tool for expanding mortgage credit access to creditworthy, cash-poor homebuyers," said Mid America Owner and CEO Jeff Bode. "Given the success Mid America has experienced amongst its retail borrowers, we felt the time was right to expand this opportunity to our correspondent customers so that they, too, could help borrowers take advantage of the market's low interest rates and begin their homeownership journey."

The program combines an FHA-insured first mortgage with a five-year second lien up to 5% of the home's purchase price. Borrowers can use the second-lien funds for their down payment and/or to cover closing costs. Interest does not accrue on the second lien, and borrowers do not need to make monthly payments on the second lien. If the borrower remains in the home and stays current on their first mortgage, the second lien is fully forgiven after five years.

"Mid America began this partnership with Rosebud a year ago to offer its direct borrowers another option to realize their dreams of homeownership. Now, by expanding this down payment assistance program to our correspondent platform, Mid America can broaden homeownership opportunities through our correspondent clients to help even more families make this dream a reality," said Julas Hollie, National Sales Director of Mid America's correspondent division.

This product will complement Mid America's current focus on buying loans not eligible for purchase by traditional investors. Lenders interested in participating in this program should contact Hollie at

About Mid America Mortgage, Inc.

Mid America Mortgage, Inc., Addison, Texas, is a multi-state, full-service mortgage lender serving consumers and mortgage originators through its retail, wholesale and correspondent channels. We offer a wide range of residential home loan programs to meet the needs of most home buyers and homeowners and are also the nation's leading provider of Section 184 home loans for Native Americans. Learn more at

In operation since 1940, Mid America has thrived by retaining its entrepreneurial spirit and leading the market in innovation, including its adoption of eClosings eNotes. Click n' Close is Mid America's ultra-secure, digital mortgage approval and closing process that gets home buyers from application to closing within two weeks. With just a few clicks at closing, Click n' Close puts keys in the home buyer's hand in 15 minutes or less. Apply online at

Frequently named a top mortgage employer/workplace by industry trade magazines such as Mortgage Professional America, MReport, National Mortgage News and National Mortgage Professional, Mid America is looking for tech-savvy, service-oriented mortgage professionals to join our growing team. We are dedicated to providing our employees with industry-leading tools and technology to deliver a great package of competitive pricing, programs and knowledgeable service. Want to join our team? Visit

Twitter: @midamericamtge

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Advertising and Marketing, Business, Free News Articles, Insurance

Samuel Howe Tapped as New Alliance Group CMO

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Alliance Group, a national insurance marketing organization (IMO), announced Monday that Samuel Howe has been tapped to succeed Lee Duncan as its Chief Marketing Officer, effective immediately. Duncan had previously occupied the CMO role before his own promotion to President and CEO back in November.

"It's a huge move for Samuel, and one that has been in the works for a while," said Duncan. "I challenged him two years ago to be ready to replace me when we implemented the first phase of our business succession plan at Alliance Group, and it's clear that he's ready."

Since joining the company in 2012, Howe has played an integral role in building out Alliance Group's digital marketing program, which has become the company's calling card. During his tenure, Alliance's award-winning video marketing platform has expanded to include proprietary online training platforms, social media lead generation campaigns, and drip marketing programs.

"It's truly a privilege to work with the unbelievably talented marketing team we've assembled here at Alliance Group," said Howe. "Lee and Jerry Stratton have always put their faith in us and put the team in a position to succeed. I'm humbled by and grateful for this new opportunity, and we're ready to go to work."

The big announcement comes amid Living Benefits Awareness Month (LBAM), a nationwide awareness campaign that Alliance Group conducts with its agents and partners every January. LBAM seeks to educate consumers about modern life insurance products that allow access to their death benefit while they're still alive if they get seriously sick or injured.

"It's been an amazing ride these past eight and a half years," said Howe, "But, as proud I am of our accomplishments as a team so far and what we've built together, I'm even more excited about what's in front of us. We're on the verge of realizing some long-term goals that we've been aiming at for years. The future at Alliance Group is brighter than ever."

To learn more please visit:

About Alliance Group:

Founded in 1998, Alliance Group is the nation's leading IMO in Living Benefits life insurance. With more than 4,500 independent agents nationally, Alliance Group is currently protecting over 130,000 American families with more than $28 billion of Living Benefits coverage.

Peter Goldfine
(678) 969-9000

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