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Chinese online payments giant Ant Financial raises $14 billion for global expansion

VentureBeat has so many interesting articles, this one is true to form. Virtual payments are worth studying…. there are so many flavors and so many surprise$. Learn, train, be ready for this … it is more than a trend and more than just money in the clouds!

(Reuters) — Ant Financial Services Group, operator of China’s biggest online payment platform, on Friday said it raised around $14 billion in what market watchers called the biggest-ever single fundraising globally by a private company.


The cash will boost Ant’s firepower ahead of a widely expected initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong and mainland China as early as next year — though the company has neither publicly set a timetable nor chosen a likely stock exchange.

The exercise amounted to the largest confirmed single fundraising round in history, according to data provider Crunchbase.


Field Guide To Alternative Payments

10th Annual Field Guide to Alternative Payments

Digital Transactions  lists 37 entries this year, of which only three appeared in our original Guide nine years ago…

  • Amazon Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Bitcoin and more.

$$ Alipay and WeChat – Moving Money in the World

Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares

“The future of consumer payments may not be designed in New York or London but in China. There, money flows mainly through a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking—all run by two of the world’s most valuable companies. That contrasts with the U.S., where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments. Western bankers and credit-card executives who travel to China keep returning with the same anxiety: Payments can happen cheaply and easily without them.”  — Bloomberg

Consumer transfers money into their wallet at Alibaba’s Alipay  with 520 million users or Tencent’s WeChat Pay app  (WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging used for many types of social media conversations, mobile payments and collaboration.)


Memorial Day – Honoring our fallen

It is a three-day weekend, celebrated by Americans with BBQs and backyard family events.

If we look at the reason for the holiday, it is somber: Honor the Military Personnel that died in service, in war, often far from home. This day has great importance to our country, our military and our families. We remember you.

There is a service held every Memorial Day at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, CA.

Golden Gate National Cemetery
1300 Sneath Lane
San Bruno, CA 94066
(650) 589-7737
Ceremony: May 28 at 11:00 a.m.

Memorial Day across the United States.

There is a saying, “If your Dad (Mom, Son, Brother, Sister or other family member) was in the military on active duty, the ENTIRE family is in the military.” It’s true. So, for every military family I thank your for your service, and especially our ACTIVE DUTY Military heroes.  — the editor

Operation Gratitude    |  Wounded Warriors Family Support   |  Give an Hour

Picture:  NoBarriers Veterans Challenge Mountains  No Barriers Warriors Stories

Groups Supporting Veterans

There are thousands of groups supporting veterans. They range from 1-1 help and mentoring to group support in the challenging life to be able to “come home”. Find one that resonates with your abilities and time. Volunteer, this is the most meaningful and profound service that you can offer your country. America needs us to be involved and stay involved.

The Ride Home, which is the largest multigenerational gathering and tribute event for former POWs and MIA families held in the United States. It takes place on the third Friday in September — the designated POW recognition day every year — in Andersonville, Georgia, near the National POW/MIA Museum and the grounds of a Civil War prison camp. Volunteers serve in many aspects of the event —  hotel hostess, merchandise coordinator, program speaker, logistics coordinator, and honored guest escort.

Additional support is given POWs and MIA families year-round as well. We take POWs to their doctor appointments and clean their houses. Volunteers are also involved in the honor of giving some soldiers their POW medals.

nPOWER – providing technical training here in the SF Bay Area, to enable veterans to be ready for the transition to civilian life and a great career. This program provides training and support in several local colleges in the Bay Area. Volunteers are invited to help in the transition process, to review resumes and linked in postings, to discuss future plans, to help implement mentoring and technical interviews and jobs in their workplaces.

NPower creates pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities.

In today’s economy, over 50% of all jobs require some degree of technology and digital skill, and this is expected to grow to 77% by 2020 in the U.S. Yet the job market is not keeping pace. Of the nearly 6 million jobs expected to require tech skills in the future, labor statistics project a candidate pool of only 3.2 million.

NPower currently operates in New York City, Texas, California, Baltimore, Toronto, New Jersey, and St. Louis.

May is Military Appreciation Month – Charity Navigator lists of ways to support our Veterans and military families.

Maybe you’d prefer the one to one outreach…. a few suggestions that can really help:

  • Shoveling snow / mowing the grass of a family with a deployed service member.
  • Visiting a VA Hospital to read to a recovering soldier or have a supportive conversation.
  • Giving a meal to a homeless Vet (this is the hardest service for me, heart-breaking), Thousands of Vets are on the street in SF.

The list of helpful service is long and only limited by your imagination. Won’t you consider Volunteering to Service those that Serve?



Wells Fargo/KNBR Step up to the Plate for Education

$100,000 to be awarded by Wells Fargo and KNBR Radio

You can do your part by working with your local K-12 schools to apply for “Wells Fargo/KNBR Step up to the Plate for Education” grants so that teachers receive extra funding to help create better opportunities for our children.

For the past 16 years, Wells Fargo has partnered with KNBR to provide $100,000 in grants to Bay Area schools. Professional baseball player Brandon Crawford is the spokesman for the program and has featured ads on KNBR broadcasts promoting the grants. Wells Fargo will also be encouraging our customers to submit school nominations through special advertising messages on over 1,000 Bay Area ATM screens.

Please visit http://www.knbr.com/stepup to learn more about the program, its rules and to apply for the education grants.

ArtSeed! Tenth Annual Earth Week Art-a-thon in SF


ArtSeed wants you!

Date: Saturday April 21

Time: 10am-8pm

What: Tenth Annual Earth Week Art-a-thon

Where: Tides Converge in the Presidio, parking lot entrance

1016 Torney Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129

Transit: Take the PresidioGo shuttle (free) & MUNI Lines 28, 30, 43, 45



Call Gino 612-978-3511 or Josefa 415-656-9849

This great group does Art Lesson, Workshops, and Apprenticeships for all ages

Opportunity! ArtSeed is looking for an additional board member for their group. This is a great way to develop leadership skills.

Where & How to Find it?! use a PHOTO


Why type in vague search terms and scroll through reams of results when you can snap a simple photo and immediately find exactly what you’re looking for? That’s the premise behind the rise of computer vision search smarts, which are becoming a more common fixture in the online landscape.

Last March, for example, Pinterest launched a new feature called Lens that lets you use a photo of a real-world item to find related themes and pins, or even recipes based on food you see in the wild. The company recently revealed that it now garners 600 million visual searches each month. Ecommerce giant eBay is also now using computer vision search tools to help shoppers find items using photos.

imagine! This could be APPLIED TO MANY ITEMS! You own an old Eichler mid-century modern home, you need a pipe do0-dad, you don’t know what it is called much less where to find one. Before your garage floods…. what if you could input a picture and find the part?  Same goes for Vintage Airstreams or sportscars, you need a part and it cannot be found, and … you don’t really know when it was last manufactured…. import a picture to find it? That would be soooo gooood!!

Read the VentureBeat article: ASOS lets fashionistas everywhere find new clothes using just photos

THRIVE in your LIFE – Women’s History Month

Valuable Strategies To Help Women Thrive

March is Women’s History Month, which celebrates women’s great contributions to society.  Just like the NASA women celebrated in the film Hidden Figures– there are women that are not acknowledged. Everyone suffers for this oversight.

Here is some advice from Women that took the NEXT STEP! Although opportunities for women continue to progress, studies show there are still obstacles at some companies in this country that limit equal pay and leadership roles.

Here are life lessons that some real-life women have learned about thriving in their career.

Be a Role Model

When I first began my career, I immediately noticed the lack of women in leadership roles – most top level positions were almost exclusively male. Seeing this was challenging, but inspired me to become a role model for other women hoping to enter the finance industry. I have made an effort to network with other women in finance so that we may be able to learn from each other’s experiences and encourage each other to shoot for the stars. I recognize that we have to advocate for ourselves if we want to see a change.

Believe In Yourself

As a woman and working mom, there can often be guilt associated with success. Women sometimes feel as though they have to sacrifice or settle. They ask themselves: “Am I a good mom? Am I successful in my field? Is it possible to have success in both?” Absolutely! Dig deep and use these sometimes two competing forces in your life as your source of inspiration and drive. Every day, be proud and show what is possible when you believe in yourself.

Speak Up

At a pivotal point in my career I was asked to take notes in a very important meeting in my manager’s absence. The meeting involved making decisions on the deployment of new technology by the sales team. It became clear as the meeting progressed that the technology and business teams did not understand each other’s needs. I spoke up –even though I normally did not during this meeting– and helped fix a confusing process. Next time the meeting rolled around, I was more involved with the project team and taking notes for myself. Get out of your comfort zone!

Pay It Forward

As you ascend in your career, never forget your own humble beginnings and REMEMBER those that have helped you along your journey. Be nice and always treat others with respect, no matter what job title they may have. Just like someone did for you, pay it forward by taking the time to talk with young people about their career aspirations and life goals.

Live your Authentic Truth

I come from an extraordinary line of wise, black women who taught me to always live my authentic truth. They emphasized the importance of remaining true to myself and reminded me that my voice matters. Women like my mother, who was a teacher in the juvenile justice system, stressed the importance of embracing creativity as a gift from our creator. She also taught me that leaders have the introspection to help others stretch beyond their limits.

Find your True Self First

Time is the momentum that drives our lives; it does not wait for anyone or anything. We are given one life to nurture, cherish and grow as time passes. As we seek to find new meaning in our lives, we should strive to become more knowledgeable, and even bolder. We often become so focused in our day-to-day lives that we tend to forget the secret ingredient to happiness is knowing who you really are. Always remember to find your true self-first, and the rest of your life will be much easier and more fulfilling.

March 8 – International Women’s Day

On this day we celebrate our achievements. Everyone can celebrate, because everyone benefits when women are superstars in their work and communities. I cannot think of a better way to get engaged and build skills than to join a non-profit board. This work boosts your leadership, community understanding and showcases your abilities. In San Francisco, we can go to Board Match this evening to learn more about the non-profits that help our communities.

The Board Match – Thursday, March 8

The Board Match is an exciting event featuring hundreds of Bay Area nonprofits whose members will be on hand to talk to interested candidates about serving on their board of directors. Each year there are more than 1,100 participants in this annual event. There will be a variety of organizations from large to small, focusing on everything from cultural groups, environment, arts, youth and more. Bring your business cards to share with your potential match. Free! Register at www.theboardmatch.net  Board Match comes to many cities, take a look at their schedule.


And BIG Thanks to the Professional Business Women of California for their many seminars, tweets, and inspiration. This is great organization to check out! Save the Date! 2018 Annual Conference is on April 24, 2018. This organization was founded in 1989 by Congresswoman Jackie Speier. She is a hero to our SF Bay Area community; she is my hero because she has always supported Women and Veterans.