A New and Improved Look for 4checks.com

For almost ten years, 4checks.com has been a leading search portal for personal checks, business checks, and other check accessories. While the existing site served its purpose well, 4checks’ executives decided to optimize the site in order to give each consumer the best possible experience. With this new look and functional enhancements for 4checks, the company hopes to give users a better understanding of the organization and create new and long-lasting relationships among its customers and affiliates.

On March 12, 2009, 4checks released the first version of its new website. The biggest change is the modernized look complete with an updated color scheme and new branding. While the site has become more eye-catching, it has also been changed for more convenience to the consumer. Top selling and newly released designs are now called out on the homepage for users that are looking for a quick purchase, while a category page has been created for consumers that wish to browse for the perfect check design and format. Also on the homepage, special offers have a specific link to show consumers the latest deals on personal and business checks. Additionally, 4checks press releases and blogs have been linked to the new homepage to keep consumers up to date on the happenings of the company. Finally, 4checks is now partnering with EZShield as a fraud protection and prevention measure for not only checks, but consumer identities and credit cards as well. The new homepage provides a link to information about these services.

Whether you have visited 4checks or purchased from its partners before or if this will be your first experience, we are thrilled to have you. Browse through the new and updated features to gain an understanding of the company and then choose a check design that suits you perfectly. Keep checking back for changes and updates to the new site, also. Whatever your purpose, plan a visit to the site soon to find something you love!

About 4checks.com:
For almost a decade, 4checks.com has served as a check search portal for nearly eleven different check printing companies. At 4checks.com customers are able to search by category, specific check type, or checking accessories. With over 800 personal and business checks to choose from, 4checks has a check design for everyone! Visit the site today and search for your perfect check!

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Custom Direct Wins the Gold Award at the 24th Annual Maryland Performance Excellence Awards

The MPEA program serves to support Maryland organizations in their continuous improvement efforts. It recognizes and spotlights role model organizations whose performance is worthy of emulation. Since 1997, Maryland’s awards program has been based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, a national standard for excellence, administered by the National Institute for Standards and Testing (NIST).

Maryland organizations that are progressing in their journey to performance excellence are recognized with Maryland Quality Awards at four levels- Gold, Silver, Bronze and Certificate of Recognition. The Gold award is presented to organizations that demonstrate an effective, systematic approach responsive to the basic requirements of most criteria items. The award application process emphasizes organizational learning and improvement. Applicants conduct a self-assessment of their organization and utilize the written feedback report to improve the way they manage their organization.

Custom Direct’s journey to world class began in 2004 with the integration of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and LEAN principles as the cornerstones for continuous improvement and building a culture of excellence. Custom Direct’s first submission to the MPEA earned them a site visit by a team of Examiners from various industries and this very prestigious award.

Tanya S. Cook, the company’s Director of Quality, who has served as an Examiner for the MPEA and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA), sees this award as a significant milestone in the company’s continued journey to World Class excellence. 

About Custom Direct:
Offering an array of products, Custom Direct is an environmentally friendly company that has been operating since 1992. Initially only producing checks and advertising through 4checks.com, Custom Direct has grown to meet other consumer needs as well. Through GigglePrint.com, Custom Direct produces other stationery products and custom designed and printed items. Finally, Custom Direct has begun offering anti-fraud, credit card protection, and identity protection and restoration services through its EZShield brand. With so much to offer, Custom Direct truly has something for everyone. 

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The Little Search Company and I Want One Of Those Sign Partnership

SEO specialists, The Little Search Company have secured a sought after contract with leading gifts and gadgets retailer, I Want One Of Those. This partnership sees The Little Search Company driving forward the companies online natural search strategy, boosting further traffic to this successful retailing site, whilst raising the profile of the brand within the search engines.

The ecommerce market is becoming increasingly swamped with businesses competing for the online shopper’s pound and the most astute are consulting experts, such as The Little Search Company to help plan their search engine optimisation campaigns. The Little Search Company is working closely with I Want One Of Those to ensure their unique selling point of providing a great collection of fun, interesting and novel products is the unparalleled brand in e shopper’s minds when surfing the web for that special product.

With an annual company turnover of around 15 million pounds, I Want One Of Those’ Head of Marketing, Julian Moskov knows how important it is for IWOOT business to maximize the expertise of The Little Search Company to remain a leading online competitor. “I am confident that by contracting The Little Search Company to manage an extensive ongoing SEO campaign, we will continue to grow and develop our online activity and create further awareness and appeal around our reputable brand.”

This partnership continues to develop The Little Search Company’s reputation for being the dynamic and innovative choice of established leading brands to manage their SEO strategies and search engine marketing. The Little Search Company was established in 2008 and is currently thriving after successfully securing contracts with reputable brands within their first six months of business. 

About I Want One Of Those
I Want One Of Those are one of the UK’s leading online retailers (ranked in the top ten by Hitwise). Established in January 2000, the company specializes in a wide variety of gadgets, experiences, toys and personalized gifts with worldwide delivery.

About The Little Search Company
Founded in October 2008, The Little Search Company specialise in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). With over 18 years combined search engine optimisation experience, they have built a small but dedicated team of search specialists catering for a number of high profile ecommerce clients. 

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A Panel Of Respected Business Experts Judging The 2009 European Business Awards Has Revealed That Despite The Economic Downturn, The Entrepreneurial Spirit Is Alive And Well

With the European Business Awards judging process close to completion, Mr Isidoro Unda – chairman of the panel assessing nominees for the Atradius Growth Strategy of the Year Award – believes that Europe’s business scene remains vibrant and forward-thinking in the face of challenging trading conditions.

“The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well throughout Europe. Entrepreneurial is an overused expression – often attributed to maverick businesses – but the word rightly describes these nominees. They are all driven by their own self-belief and ability to engage others in their mission, creating enthusiasm and commitment from those who work for and with them.” said Unda, CEO of risk insurance specialists Atradius.

“Since the commercial landscape has changed radically over the past year, the downturn in the global economy must surely play on every business’ mind when deciding future strategy. But dynamic and creative businesses will always adapt and find new outlets, often when their competitors are being overly cautious or simply looking in the wrong direction.”

Ten companies are in the running for this year’s Atradius Growth Strategy of the Year Award. They include the Ashtead Plant Hire Company Limited, Bright Grey, Petroleum Experts, TotalPDA and Webmart from the UK, Poland’s Mellon Poland Sp.z o.o, French companies GYS and Webhelp, and Dutch firms De Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij B.V. and Huxley Associates.

With all 10 companies demonstrating outstanding growth over the past year, the EBA judges were impressed with the nominees’ proven ability to cope with fluctuating markets. Candidates such as print specialist Webmart – which reported a growth rate of 23.16% in 2008 – have responded to the credit crunch with a range of positive strategies.

“The downturn has created a fantastic opportunity for companies prepared to go out and grab them and we’ve decided to invest faster in our software development and marketing to take advantage of the recession. Each €1 invested now is worth €2 in relative competitive advantage as our rivals are cutting their investment, so by building an increased strategic advantage now we will benefit disproportionately when the inevitable economic upturn begins,” said Webmart CEO Simon Biltcliffe.

About The European Business Awards:
The European Business Awards is an independent Awards programme designed to recognise and promote excellence, best practice and innovation in the European business community, in line with the broad aims of the European Union and business representative groups across the member states.

Celebrating its third successful year, the European Business Awards highlight and promote examples of individuals and organisations that achieve outstanding results across a variety of disciplines – from environmental concern to marketing and ICT – results that set them apart as leaders in Europe.

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First Cuba Trade Expo Conference To Focus On Current U.S.-Cuba Business Climate

The Cuba Trade Expo (www.CubaTradeExpo.com) organizers today announced u p d a t e s to their roster of experts and industry leaders set to participate in this year’s conference, which will take place in Miami, Florida from March 19-20. The two-day conference will feature academic and business luminaries whowill address issues and opportunities related to U.S.-Cuba relations in the face of impending legislative changes promised by the 112 th Congress and the Obama administration.

“The Obama administration brings with it a commitment to change current U.S. policy towards Cuba, therefore it’s not a question of ‘if’ there will be change, but rather a question of when this change will occur and what it means to businesses and consumers in the U.S. ,” said Jonathan Bedard, conference organizer of the Cuba Trade Expo. “The Cuba Trade Expo is a unique forum for experts, companies doing business with Cuba, elected officials and those who are just passionate about Cuba to exchange ideas and opinions, discuss facts and myths and elevate dialogue on this heated issue to the next level.”

Despite the 47 – year – old embargo against Cuba , the U.S is the still the seventh largest exporter to Cuba (4.3% of Cuba ‘s imports are f r o m the U.S.) according to the CIA World FactBook. The White House’s commitment to change the current U.S. policy towards Cuba and the recent approval of a Congressional bill to do the same, portend a lift of the Bush Administration’s restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba and once again casts a spotlight on this island nation in the waning days of the Fidel Castro era.

In order to prepare the U.S. business community for these and many more expected changes, Cuba Trade Expo will bring expert panelists f r o m across the country with a wide variety of backgrounds to discuss current Cuba business, provide analysis on current U.S-Cuba relations, address the pros and cons of recent policy shifts f r o m a business and political perspective, as well as zero in on key industries likely to be affected, including agriculture, energy and tourism.

Following is an u p d a t e d list of panels, including new presenters set to participate in the 2009 Cuba Trade Expo:

DAY 1: Thursday, March 19

Celebrate Cuba kick-off reception: Event will feature a soon-to-be-named keynote speaker.

DAY 2: Friday, March 20

Panel 1
U.S./Cuba Relations : Session will provide highlights on the current state of U.S./Cuba policy and how businesses and individuals can benefit f r o m the coming changes.

Moderator: Larry Luxner, editor of Cuba News.

Panelists:
Jose Azel , a senior research associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami . Azel left Cuba in 1961 as a 13 year-old political exile via Operation Pedro Pan- the largest unaccompanied child refugee movement in the history of the Western Hemisphere.

Robert L. Muse , an attorney who has testified on legal issues involving Cuba before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and several other international government bodies.

Panel 2
Business in Cuba Today : Panelists will offer a glimpse of Cuba ‘s economic past and a forecast of its future and the potential impact on business opportunities.

Moderator: Johannes Werner, editor of Cuba Trade and Investment News

Panelists:
Jay Brickman , vice president of government services for Crowley Maritime Corporation, who has served on the Latin American Trade Committee of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Kirby Jones , who was described by Newsweek as having, “better contacts in Cuba than any other American,” and by the New York Times as the “man to see about business in Cuba .”

Jake Colvin , vice president for global trade issues at the National Foreign Trade Council.

Panel 3
Cuba Tourism : Panelists will discuss the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act and speak to Cuba ‘s tourism infrastructure and consider future improvements.

Moderator: Larry Luxner, editor of Cuba News

Panelists:
Daniel E. Waltz , a partner at the Washington D.C. law firm of Patton Boggs LLP where he focuses on international trade and transactions, including compliance with U.S. embargoes of countries such as Cuba , Iran , and Sudan and Syria . He worked closely with Members of Congress and their staffs during the drafting and amending of the Trade Sanctions Reform Act of 2000 that authorized licensed sales of agricultural products f r o m the U.S. to Cuba.

John McAuliff , executive director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development. He is the first American to participate in Cuba ‘s annual International Tourism Fair and organized a meeting to discuss US/Cuba educational exchange at the Latin American Studies Association held in Montreal.

Panel 4
Agriculture and Energy : Panelists will discuss trade opportunities for businesses ranging f r o m oil conglomerates to small consulting and supply companies.

Moderator: Johannes Werner, editor of Cuba Trade & Investment News

Panelists:
Jorge R. Piñon , energy fellow at the University of Miami ‘s Center for Hemispheric Policy and international energy consultant.

Dwight Roberts , former director for international trade at the Texas Department of Agriculture and current president and CEO for the US Rice Producers Association.

William A. Messina , an agricultural economist with the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

Panel 5
Cuban Real Estate: The panel will examine how Cuban law addresses property, its ownership by Cubans and examples where foreigners directly own real estate as well as property claims through the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.

Moderator: Jonathan Bedard, Founder of the Cuba Trade Expo

Panelists:
Timothy Ashby , general counsel to Siboney Ltd. and to the Havana Group, Inc.,

Antonio R. Zamora , focuses on foreign investments, real estate and corporate law at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP.

Panel 6
Investing in Cuba ‘s Future : Panel will discuss innovative ways to invest in the future of Cuban business and ways to get ahead of the curve by identifying opportunities that most investors do not understand.

Moderator: Carlos A. Saladrigas f r o m the Cuba Study Group.

Panelists:
Mark Entwistle , president of Chibas Consulting Inc., and former Ambassador of Canada to Cuba f r o m 1993 -1997. During his tenure, Canada became Cuba ‘s largest trade and investment partner.

Philippe Colombani , is an economic advisor of the French Embassy in Havana and has been stationed there since 2005.

Panel 7
Effects of Embargo Changes: a Crossfire-style discussion between opposing sides of the Cuban embargo debate.

About Cuba Trade Expo:
Cuba Trade Expo is an annual conference with a simple goal: to deliver accurate and in-depth information on doing business in Cuba. The conference provides a venue where business owners, investors and others passionate about Cuba can come together to network, explore and learn about the issues and opportunities in the market. For more information about the Cuba Trade Expo or to register for the conference, please visit:www.cubatradeexpo.com.

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Web Design and SEO Go Hand In Hand To Achieve Best Results With Search Engines

Some businesses think they can attract customers to their business simply by having a wonderful, clean-cut, web design. Unfortunately they are mistaken. The chances of word of mouth spreading the news of their brand spanking new website, that has gadgets and gizmos galore, simply (and sadly) won’t have any impact that these companies may hope to achieve.

Fortunately for companies struggling to have their web site founded by potential customers in the search engines, The Creare Group can offer the solution by giving customers an opportunity to have both a unique web design, as well as providing them with the service of Search Engine Optimisation.

The Creare Group integrate both web design and SEO to provide a full service to maintain good customer relations so all consultants and designers know the customer from a professional level. This all goes towards creating good relations with the customers to understand the results they hope to achieve from their web site.

‘Our aim is to not just create professional and user friendly web sites, but to maximise it’s potential so it becomes in the top rankings of all the major search engines. We believe there is little to gain from having a web site if it doesn’t fulfil it’s purpose; creating interest in a product or service.’ Mike McKinley MD The Creare Group.

The Creare Group’s main theme is merging both web design and search engine optimisation to maximise the potential that a web site holds to making a business successful. With constant SEO tools being found and upgrading the way they market their customers sites, The Creare Group is one of the best when it comes to understanding how a web site succeeds.

Recently The Creare Group has opened up the opportunity to provide their customers with a video file with information about the customer’s service being expressed by a representative. Simple yet effective tools are always being found by the consultants of The Creare Group to push their customer’s sites further up the rankings, making them as successful as they have been.

Contact Details: 15a High Street, 01455 55 00 62, colin@creare.co.uk, http://www.crearedesign.co.uk.

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Lisa Jane’s Fairies On Personal Checks

Check Gallery is America’s earth-friendly check printer. Because it prides itself on this fact, Check Gallery offers a vast assortment of check designs and banking accessories that appeal to the tastes of nature lovers and “green” consumers. The new “Lisa Jane’s Fairies” design gives an imaginative feel to the forest that is sure to catch the admiration of many Check Gallery customers.

For nearly twenty-five years, Lisa Jane’s creative talent and distinctive styles have earned her almost every degree and honor in professional photography. However, the artist simply sees her work as the ability to “capture a moment in the life of one tiny soul and keep it forever in a photograph.” Check Gallery is very excited to offer the work of such an insightful and talented artist to its consumers.

In early March, 2009, Check Gallery released the new “Lisa Jane’s Fairies” product suite on its website, www.CheckGallery.com. In four rotating scenes, the personal checks portray toddler girls dressed as beautiful fairies surrounded by blooming flowers, butterflies, bunnies, and birds. The self-adhesive address labels show the same young girls, but only their angelic faces against pink backgrounds. For the checkbook cover and personal contact cards, only one small fairy is featured with a border and backdrop to match her dress and wings.

Check Gallery’s designs have always spoken to a naturalistic audience. In these fairy tale photographs, customers not only get to enjoy a beautiful landscape, but great photography and adorable little fairies as well. “Lisa Jane’s Fairies” is a wonderful new addition to the Check Gallery collection. Visit the site to view this or another design that you are sure to enjoy.

About Check Gallery:
Known for being environmentally-friendly, Check Gallery has been printing and selling checks and check accessories direct to consumers for years. With a vast selection of beautiful designs and useful products, Check Gallery really has something for everyone. Plan a trip to this site and you are sure to find something that will peak your interest!

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