NewsWire - Stories & News from Abroad

Jackson's Walton Insurance Names O'Malley New President


Winners of the 2019 UN Global Climate Action Awards Announced


RetailMeNot Predicts the Top Toys of 2019


Dana Announces Recipients of 2018 Supplier Awards


Health Alliance Plan Acquisition Of Trusted HP - Michigan Approved


Walton Insurance Group Names Kyle O'Malley as President

JACKSON, Mich.  - Walton Insurance Group, an independent brokerage agency headquartered in Jackson, Michigan, recently announced the appointment of Kyle O’Malley as its new President. O’Malley joined Walton in January 2018 as Executive Vice President of Sales & Operations; he has served in the insurance industry for 16+ years. O’Malley has focused his energy on enhancing the customer experience, market development, and insurance company relationships as well as agency policies, procedures, processes and profitability.

"l am excited and humbled for the opportunity to lead the Walton Team with Ric and will continue to deliver excellence in the industry as we’ve done for nearly 70 years. The Walton Insurance Group’s reputation in this community, as well as our great State, is that of excellence and professionalism. We have some of the best human capital in this business and we will continue to build off this and deliver a world-class experience no matter who the customer is,” O’Malley said.

During O’Malley’s time at Walton, he has been able to transform many systems inside the company that has yielded tremendous results. “Kyle has brought a fresh perspective and positive energy to our organization,” added Ric Walton, owner and CEO of the Walton Insurance Group. “Our agency strives to not only deliver world-class insurance solutions but deepen the relationships within the communities we serve. Kyle is aligned with our mission here at the agency and we are excited for the days to come.”

O’Malley serves on the Board of Advisors for the Judson Center, one of Michigan’s largest not for profit human services organizations.  He is also on the Investment Advisory Committee of Worth Investment Group and Board Member of Worth Holdings, a financial holding company based in Hillsdale, Michigan. In addition, O’Malley founded and currently serves as a board member for Hockey Has Heart, a not for profit organization supporting those involved in hockey, past or present, who have suffered some unforeseen tragedy in their lives.


Winners of the 2019 UN Global Climate Action Awards Announced

The recipients of the 2019 United Nations Global Climate Action Awards were announced today, helping to shine a light on some of the most practical examples of what people across the globe are doing to combat climate change.

The award-winning projects range from an in-app mini program that’s helped plant 122 million trees, to a “climate positive” burger that’s taking the fast food industry by storm. 

The announcement of the award winners comes shortly after the UN Climate Summit in New York, convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and in parallel with Climate Week NYC.

“The recipients of the UN Global Climate Action Awards are leaders from communities, governments, businesses and organisations, and they are from all corners of the globe and all levels of society,” said Niclas Svenningsen, Manager of the UN Climate Change Global Climate Action Programme. “It is crucial we celebrate all actors who are leading the way. Their award-winning initiatives send a strong political signal to all nations – and through their leadership and creativity, we see essential change.” 

Today’s announcement is part of the wider effort to mobilize action and ambition as national governments work toward implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Announced against the backdrop of nations signalling their renewed determination to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, these awards shine a light on 15 incredible examples of scalable climate action around the world,” added Mr. Svenningsen. “These inspiring examples of climate action serve as beacons, guiding us towards a more resilient, more sustainable and more prosperous future for all.”

The UN Global Climate Action Awards are spearheaded by the Momentum for Change initiative at UN Climate Change. The projects are recognized as innovative solutions that not only address climate change, but also help drive forward progress on many other sustainable development goals, for example, innovation, gender equality and economic opportunity. 

The 2019 awards were selected by an international Advisory Panel as part of UN Climate Change’s Momentum for Change initiative, which is implemented with the support of The Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum, donors supporting the implementation of the UN Climate Change's Gender Action Plan and Climate Neutral Now.

“This year, we had over 670 applications from all over the world ranging from local governments, global companies, grassroots development initiatives and multi-million dollar impact investment projects,” said Gabrielle Ginér, Chair of the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel. “This year’s winning activities are amazing examples of innovative, scalable, and replicable climate action. We hope they will inspire others as we look to tackle one of society’s biggest challenges.”

The 2019 winners of the UN Global Climate Action Award are: 

Planetary Health: 

  • Impossible Foods | Singapore, Hong Kong, USA, Macau: Creating plant-based alternatives to meat. 
  • Alipay Ant Forest | China: Using digital technologies to scale up climate action. 
  • Ghent en Garde | Belgium: Creating structural change through local food policy.  
  • Electriciens sans frontières | Dominica: Providing “emergency pockets” of solar energy to health centres. 

Climate Neutral Now: 

Women for Results: 

Financing for Climate Friendly Investment: 

The 15 award-winning projects fall within four focus areas: Planetary Health,Climate Neutral Now,Women for Results, and Financing for Climate Friendly Investment. All activities will be showcased at a series of special events during the second week of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Santiago, Chile (2-13 December 2019).

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Marchildon, UN Climate Change
Team Lead, Momentum for Change

+49 (0) 228 815 1065 

 Neneh Darwin, UN Climate Change
Communications, Momentum for Change 


RetailMeNot Predicts the Top Toys of 2019

Every year, RetailMeNot practices and masters its toy tracking abilities to predict the ones that will be topping the wish lists this holiday season. From forecasting Hatchimals and the NES Classic Edition back in 2016, Fingerlings and the SNES Classic in 2017, and Pomsies and Rainbocorns in 2018; the RetailMeNot radar has proved strong, acting as a guide for parents trying to navigate their children's wish lists.

As the retail landscape has changed this year, shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot, Sara Skirboll, advises, "With Toys R us out of the picture this year, shoppers can look to 3 big retailers as they are toy hunting this year: Amazon, Target and Walmart. In fact, according to a recent survey by RetailMeNot, 28% of shoppers plan to shop at Amazon with 26% of shoppers planning to shop at all 3 locations." Skirboll adds, "All have released holiday toy guides showcasing the most popular items for children, so be prepared to shop early and buy them while you can!"

Parents, get ready for the holiday toy hunt, and check out the RetailMeNot blog, The Real Deal, for the full list of holiday toy predictions and how to get them.

A peek at some of the top toys of 2019:

  • Owleez ($49.99) at Target
    • Spin Master's Owleez is an interactive pet that you can rescue, take care of and teach to fly. It's a nurturing toy, which will show children to care for it by feeding it, petting it, rocking it to sleep and more. It is a drone-like flying owl, but to get it to take off, you need to train it. Shoppers can pre-order this one now, plus get cash back on your purchase: Activate 1% cash back at Target.

  • Skyrocket Blume Doll ($9.88) at Amazon
    • Say hi to a new collectible toy as Blume Dolls have been anticipated all year. They come in a flower pot, and when you add water, they sprout and grow. It's a surprise as to which Blume Doll you'll get, and spoiler alert: There are 22 to collect. Their hair is made of soft foam that can be taken off and put on other dolls—same goes for the outfits. Each doll comes with a mini friend, and you can decorate the pot with included stickers.

  • Pomsies Lumies ($17.99) at Amazon:
    • In a nutshell, Lumsies are light-up Pomsies that change colors, play games and make music. Pomsies were one of the most popular toys in 2018, and Lumies are here to steal the show. There are three different Lumies to choose from (purple, pink and blue).  When you take one and place it over a colored object, it will turn that color and will react to being "fed" with color, with over 100 sounds and phrases depending on their mood and the colors you find.

Tips for finding these hot toys:

1. Utilize online product trackers: zooLertI4U and NowInStock are some of my favorite trackers to follow for instant updates when toys are available on sites and in stores.

2. Monitor social media: Be sure to follow the above toy trackers and retailers like GameStop, Target and Walmart on Twitter and Facebook for in-stock alerts and updates for toys.

3. Keep your eye on Black Friday and Cyber Monday doorbusters and surprise promotions: In prior years, stores like Amazon, GameStop and Walmart have released limited supplies of hard-to-find toys to capitalize on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping craze. It's safe to say stores will do the same this year, and you need to be ready to act fast.

4. Call local stores: A good old-fashioned phone call pays off. If you want to save yourself the time and hassle of driving to the store only to leave empty-handed, pick up the phone and call your local stores to see if they have toys in stock or plan to.

5. Follow RetailMeNot: Hit that follow button on RetailMeNot's Facebook and Twitter. We'll be posting updates when we see hot toys available.

6. Think twice before purchasing through a third-party marketplace: This is a last-resort tactic, as you're almost certain to pay more than market price if you buy a hot toy through a third-party source. Be sure to pay attention to the retailer, packaging and customer service before you buy. Otherwise, you could fall victim to a counterfeit product. This was an issue last year for Fingerlings purchased through third-party sellers on Amazon.

7. Wait until January: This isn't ideal for kids hoping for toys under the tree in December. But prior years prove that stores typically have plenty of hot toys in stock once the holidays pass. So if you can wait until 2020, you might not only easily snag a variety of popular toys, but you might also get a great post-holiday deal on them.


Dana Announces Recipients of 2018 Supplier Awards


MAUMEE, Ohio, Sept. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Dana Incorporated (NYSE: DAN) recently announced its 2018 Supplier Awards recipients.  Seven companies were recognized for displaying excellence in supporting the key elements of Dana's enterprise strategy. A special ceremony was held to honor the winners at the company's world headquarters in Maumee.

This year's award winners included:

  • Leveraging the Core Award: The ILJIN Group
  • Drive Customer Centricity Award: OMR Group
  • Deliver Innovative Solutions Award:  Ramkrishna Forgings Limited
  • Expand Global Markets Award: Zhejiang Huashou Technology Co. LTD
  • Lead Electric Propulsion Award: Shilla Industrial Co., Ltd.
  • Diverse Supplier of the Year: Acro Service Corporation
  • Indirect Supplier of the Year: Lauffer Pressen

"Dana's supplier awards are about recognizing and celebrating the highest-performing suppliers and the excellence they have demonstrated over the past year.  We are heavily reliant on the support we receive from our supply base to ensure we are delivering superior products and services to our customers," said Craig Price, senior vice president of purchasing and supplier development.  "It is a privilege to work alongside these exceptional suppliers that have been great partners to Dana."

Health Alliance Plan Acquisition Of Trusted HP - Michigan Approved

Detroit - Henry Ford Health System and Health Alliance Plan (HAP), a nonprofit health plan and operating unit of Henry Ford, announced today that HAP's acquisition of Trusted HP – Michigan has received all regulatory approvals and the acquisition became effective on September 13, 2019. 

Henry Ford and HAP announced in June that HAP had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Trusted HP – Michigan, a Medicaid plan based in Detroit, formerly known as Harbor Health Plan, Inc.  The completion of this transaction solidifies HAP's re-entrance into the state of Michigan's Medicaid HMO service area known as Region 10, which includes Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

"Participation in Michigan's Region 10 Medicaid service area is a key strategic priority for Henry Ford and HAP given our geographical footprint, and this acquisition positions us for Medicaid growth in our primary service area," said Wright Lassiter III, President and CEO, Henry Ford Health System.  "HAP and Henry Ford are dedicated to using our joint assets and unique integrated health system programs to improve the quality and access to care for this area's Medicaid patients, which are among our most vulnerable populations."

HAP acquired Trusted HP – Michigan from Trusted Health Plan Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based managed care organization.  Previously named Harbor Health Plan and ProCare Health Plan, the plan has been operating as a licensed HMO in Michigan since 2000.  As a result of this transaction, Trusted HP – Michigan's nearly two dozen employees will become HAP employees.

The terms of the agreement provide for a seamless transition for Trusted HP – Michigan members, who will be able to keep their doctor and continue using their services and current ID cards.  There is no impact to current HAP members as a result of this transaction.  The Trusted brand will remain in place through the end of 2019.  Effective January 1, 2020, all Medicaid members will be under one HAP-branded Medicaid name.

"HAP and Henry Ford Health System are focused on providing Medicaid beneficiaries with a differentiated care model focused on value-based care," said Dr. Michael Genord, interim president and CEO, HAP.  "We are investing in care coordination programs, including those aimed at social determinants of health, to improve the health and well-being of the members we serve.  And we are thrilled that this now includes Trusted's Medicaid members, most of whom are in Wayne County."

HAP serves 570,000 total members across Michigan.  HAP's subsidiary, HAP Midwest Health Plan, offers Medicaid products under the HAP Empowered name. HAP Empowered is currently available in Region 6, which includes Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair and Tuscola counties. Covered Medicaid programs offered through HAP Empowered include health care coverage for people impacted by the Flint water crisis, MIChild, Healthy Michigan Plan and Children's Special Health Care Services.

HAP also participates in the MI Health Link Dual Demonstration Project, serving 4,500 members who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid in Wayne and Macomb counties, including some of the most underserved areas of Detroit.

About Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Health System is a six-hospital system headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. It is one of the nation's leading comprehensive, integrated health systems, recognized for clinical excellence and innovation. Henry Ford provides both health insurance and health care delivery, including acute, specialty, primary and preventive care services backed by excellence in research and education. Henry Ford Health System is led by President & CEO Wright Lassiter III. Visit to learn more.

About Health Alliance Plan
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to individuals and companies of all sizes. For nearly 60 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to enhance the health and well-being of the lives it touches. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid (using the HAP Empowered name), Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP excels in delivering award-winning preventive services, disease management and wellness programs, as well as personalized customer service. For more information, visit