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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Getting Ready

Nov 28, 2023 10:16AM ● By Donna Walker

Winter Ready Guides Provide Steps For Property Owners to Avoid Costly Damage When Freezing Temps Arrive

With winter fast approaching, officials said now is the time for home and business owners to take action and prepare their properties for severe winter weather.


Guidance from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) can help prevent costly damage and disruption when freezing temperatures and wintry precipitation arrive. 


"Due to El Niño, this winter will be unlike those experienced in recent years across the U.S., which have been driven by three consecutive La Niña events," says Sarah Dillingham, senior meteorologist at IBHS. "NOAA predicts above-average precipitation and a more active weather pattern across the Southeast and above average temperatures in the northern tier.”


IBHS's Winter Ready—Home and Winter Ready—Business guide property owners through critical steps to take before, during and after severe winter weather strikes, including:


Keep water out: The roof is the first line of defense against severe weather. Start here, ensuring the roof, gutters and downspouts of your home or business are well maintained and clear of debris. This will allow water to freely run off the building and reduce the chance of leaking that leads to costly interior water damage.


Next, cover outdoor plumbing, insulate water spigots and winterize sprinklers to reduce the chance of pipes freezing and bursting.


Keep warmth in: In the event of a power outage, indoor temperatures can drop quickly to dangerous levels. Proper insulation is key to keeping your home or business warm, so ahead of cold temperatures, check insulation in the attic to ensure it is still sufficient.


Seal gaps and cracks that can allow heat to escape by caulking around windows and adding weather-stripping around external doors. On particularly cold days, or if you experience a power outage, open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach pipes adjacent to exterior walls and let faucets drip.


Keep track: Create an inventory by taking photos of the contents of your home or business, including furnishings and personal items, and store them in the cloud so you can access them from anywhere.


Officials said this will make filing an insurance claim easier if you do experience damage due to a winter-related event.


IBHS is an independent, 501 (C) nonprofit scientific research and communications organization supported by property insurers, reinsurers, and affiliated companies.


In 2010, the IBHS Research Center came to life to advance the scientific understanding of severe weather perils and their interaction with the homes and businesses at full scale. It’s located on 90 acres in Chester County, S.C.


Officials said the facility helps to advance building science by enabling researchers to more fully and accurately evaluate various residential and commercial construction materials and systems.

BMW i Ventures Announces Investment in German Software Company Ascon Systems

BMW i Ventures, the venture capital fund of the BMW Group, announced an investment in the innovative German software company Ascon Systems, which officials said is enabling the transformation to the industrial metaverse with digital twins and low-code software solutions.


Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


With this commitment, officials said BMW i Ventures is supporting the next stage of digital production, the potential for the industrial metaverse, and digital shopfloor management in the automotive and supplier industry.


The common goal is to increase flexibility and efficiency in those important industries, the officials said.
“Jens Müller and his team at Ascon Systems have impressed and convinced us with their forward-looking technologies,” said Marcus Behrendt, managing director at BMW i Ventures. “With its digital twin technology, Ascon Systems is opening up completely new and, above all, more efficient ways for shopfloor management in the industrial metaverse.”

Officials said Ascon Systems paves the way for companies to achieve data-driven digital factories and provides support by combining low-code software and high-tech in four steps: automate, simulate, model and render flexible.


The officials said the real shopfloor is connected to virtual digital twins and decisions in the real company environment have an impact on the digital twins and vice versa.


Ascon Systems thus enables the continuous optimization of industrial production processes, necessary maintenance work and training across different locations, the officials said.


Since 2011, BMW i Ventures has been supporting innovative and rapidly scaling start-ups in the automotive environment.


The focus is on sustainable hardware and software solutions from start-ups in the transport, manufacturing and supplier industries.

Michelin Launches Fleet/Trucking Blog Offering One-Stop Shopping For Industry News, Insights

Greenville, S.C.-based Michelin North America, Inc., is hitting the road with a new commercial blog, showcasing the latest news, tips and insights to steer truckers and fleet owners in the right direction.


The Michelin For My Business Blog is intended to be the go-to source for everything trucking and fleet professionals need to know about the industry.


“The Michelin For My Business blog will allow drivers and owners to stay up to date with content focused on their needs,” said Pierluigi Cumo, vice president of B2B Marketing for Michelin North America, Inc. “Content topics will include safety tips, fleet efficiency, sustainable mobility, the latest industry news and trends, and so much more.”


Initially focusing on long-distance trucking fleets, the Michelin For My Business blog will expand to include content on urban trucking, mining, construction and agriculture.   

“Users of the blog can expect content including podcasts, white papers, videos and a variety of articles,” Cumo said. “The blog will be updated regularly, with subscribers notified when new content is posted.”


The Michelin For My Business blog will launch in Canada in both English and French in early 2024.

Truist Names Beau Cummins Chief Operating Officer, Dontá Wilson Chief Consumer and Small Business Banking Officer

Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC) announced what it said is continued

progress in the company's transformation journey with the creation of a chief operating officer position, the naming of a new chief consumer and small business banking officer and the hiring of a new chief wholesale banking officer.


Truist Vice Chair Beau Cummins will assume the COO role immediately. His responsibilities in the new role include leading enterprise strategy, transformation, operations, and payments as well as a new governance and controls group.


Since 2021, Cummins has served as vice chair with responsibility for Truist's corporate and investment banking, commercial real estate, wealth, and national consumer finance services and payments businesses, in addition to Truist's corporate strategy and enterprise operations.


He previously was head of Truist's corporate and institutional group. He had held several leadership positions at a Truist predecessor as well as other leading financial services companies.


He serves on the board of directors of Atrium Health Foundation and the Owen Graduate School of Management board of visitors at Vanderbilt University.


Dontá Wilson has been named chief consumer and small business banking officer. He is responsible for the consumer, premier, and small business segments serving clients through mobile and online banking, multiple virtual client service centers and more than 2,000 community banking branches across the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Texas.


Wilson also oversees core deposit and loan products, consumer capital markets, national consumer finance businesses, enterprise marketing, client experience strategy, digital banking, and innovation.


He has held several leadership positions through his career at Truist. He serves on the board of directors for Signet Jewelers, the board of trustees for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and on the board of Samaritan's Feet.


Kristin Lesher will be the new chief wholesale banking officer, overseeing corporate and investment banking, commercial banking, commercial real estate, and wealth management businesses.


She comes to Truist from Wells Fargo, where she has held key leadership positions for more than two decades, most recently serving as executive vice president and head of commercial banking coverage.


She is a former board chair of Girls on the Run International, where she served as a board member for seven years. She will join Truist in her new role in February.


Until that time, Cummins will lead the company's wholesale banking business.


The three roles report directly to Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers.


Truist announced a number of other organizational changes, including that Brian Dowhower will lead Truist Wealth. Dowhower succeeds Joe Thompson who will assume the role of chief governance and controls officer.


In addition, as part of its ongoing transformation work, the company announced the evolution of its executive leadership team.


A new Truist Operating Council will be formed to expand leadership opportunities, ensure inclusive feedback, and break down silos to enable the company to more effectively pursue its goals.

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