Catalyzer, Inc. Best Leadership Development Company 2023 – Kansas City

Female business leader conducting a meeting

Kansas-based company, Catalyzer Inc, develops world-class programs that are specific to its clients’ organizations and contexts, in order to ensure that effective training and leadership maximizes personal and team growth for businesses. We find out more from the company’s CEO as it is recognised in the Midwest USA Business Awards 2023.

As the war for talent rages across America, turnover is not only disruptive, but also exceedingly expensive. Smart companies with well-developed, effective leadership are much better positioned to mitigate these challenges. It is way more cost-effective to keep current employees engaged than it is to find, hire, and train new ones.

Veteran-owned leadership development consultancy, Catalyzer Inc was established in 2009 and combines rigorous leadership study with unique, high-energy programs that are delivered by a cadre of accomplished leadership practitioners. These relationship-focused programs are personally tailored to each organization and delivered so as to ensure translation from the training room to the workplace.

As a business, Catalyzer involves four primary services, these being: to build and deliver its tailored leadership development programs; to identify, tailor, deliver, and analyze integral assessments that support program development or enhance self-awareness for participants; one-on-one coaching for leaders spanning front-line to the C-suite; and to support organizations with intellectual muscle for a variety of people-focused projects and initiatives (succession planning, retention campaigns, learning and development strategies, etc.).

An experience in 2013 highlights Catalyzer’s primary differentiator against competitors, and President and CEO, Stephan Ingalls, tells us more.

“Catalyzer’s first client organization was a community bank in north-central Ohio,” he begins. “On one visit, we took a new teammate who, at the end of the day, announced that she would no longer work with us. Curious, I asked why. She responded, “You all invest way too much in the relationships here, when what I’m looking for is to show up, deliver what you’ve asked, go home, and get paid. The relationship takes too much time.” How else would we engage? We are unapologetically relationship-driven and never see that changing. People require time and attention – we’re in that business.”

The firm’s core values fiercely uphold this example, being initially identified at its founding and continuing to guide it in everything it does today. They are: Character, Empathy, Trust, and Accountability.

“Back to the aforementioned example for a moment,” elaborates Stephen. “How is it possible to practice genuine empathy, that leads to a trust, and enables accountability, without building strong relationships?”

This ethos is practised company-wide, with the internal culture following this values-based model too and the team works diligently to be the type of organization it is coaching others to be, with the primary focus manifesting itself in transparency about everything, whether future initiatives, finances, or programming.

“Catalyzer maintains focus on continually growing our thinking,” Stephen continues. “That occurs in myriad ways, including recruiting and engaging new thinkers, an aggressive reading program across the team, and sustained dialogue regarding what we see and what’s next.”

The firm’s engagement with multiple industries and differently sized businesses across the county affords it a birds-eye view of the business landscape and enables it to bring solutions from one industry vertical to another, where appropriate.

Being based in Kansas does not hold Catalyzer back from developing and enjoying long-standing relationships with leaders and organizations ranging from South Carolina to California, and from New York to the southern Texas border. However, Stephen tells us that the firm experiences difficulty in building business nearer to home.

“We find ourselves leaving Kansas to do what we do around the country,” he tells us. “We have on average 63.5% of all organizations we engage with inviting us back for an average of 4.5 additional, follow-on programs. As a consequence, we believe that new business, closer to home, will generate similar results while reducing travel significantly.”

Recently, in light of its sheer commitment to upholding its core values to build esteemed lasting partnerships with its clients, Catalyzer gained recognition in the Midwest USA Business Awards 2023 and was bestowed with the title of Best Leadership Development Company 2023 – Kansas City for its efforts.

Having experienced its most successful financial year since inception in 2022, and with 2023 looking to surpass that, it’s safe to say that the future for Catalyzer is looking very bright indeed.

“Our journey is approaching 15 years old, meaning we’ve hit that 10,000 step mark Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book, The Tipping Point,” Stephen enthuses. “We know what we’re doing and have been doing it well for a very long time. Conveying that success to organizations in need is, therefore, a focus.”

To this end, Catalyzer is expanding its exposure on social media, via podcasts, and elsewhere in a thought leadership campaign aimed at sharing its expertise. Also, the organization’s aging sees senior leaders approaching that time when they may wish to take a step back, Stephen included.

“This means our own recruiting, continued retention, and focus on succession is critical,” he states. “This is in order to ensure Catalyzer grows beyond our founders and into a new generation.”


For business enquiries, contact Stephen Ingalls from Catalyzer, Inc. via email – [email protected] or on their website –

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Best Community Safety Initative 2023 – Colorado

Car on the foggy road in the morning sunrise.

Founded in 1980, The Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation (CSPFF) supports the mission of the Colorado State Patrol (CSP). The foundation saves and enhances lives by sharing information and resources with CSP members, their families, and the general public. We find out more about the work of the CSPFF with foundation representative, Jared Andrews.

Safe roadways are the responsibility of everyone, and the more of us that invest in making our roadways less aggressive and healthier places, the better they will be – for everyone. In Colorado, The Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation works to improve driving behaviors and provide a safe environment for all.

The foundation began by supporting the families of fallen CSP officers and providing financial help to officers and their loved ones in times of struggle. Today, the CSPFF also provides opportunities to access higher education through its annual scholarship program as well as a series of defensive driving programs. (Our base is in the US, so please use US spelling).

We ask Jared to tell us more. He says, “Through the efforts of our committed leadership, partnerships, and staff, we’re able to work to ease times of unexpected hardship. By supporting injured or fallen officers and their families, furthering their higher education, and engaging and developing new programmes, we enhance the CSP’s commitment to public safety. By providing the general public with information, education, and technology, we’re able to promote a safer transportation system for us all.”

The state-wide ‘Alive at 25’ program is only one of the defensive driving programs administered by the CSPFF. Aimed at young drivers from ages 15 to 24, the program increases awareness, encourages safe driving practices, and promotes safer roadways for all.

The foundation focuses on being available and informative for all its clients. Jared explains, “Our clients often have questions that need prompt responses. We strive to provide them with accurate information as soon as possible. If an enquiry is urgent, we make sure we treat it as so. We have many years of experience and that enables us to understand what works and what doesn’t. Not everything flows smoothly upon initial implementation, but we persevere to get to where we want to be. Most importantly, we don’t remain stagnant. We always seek feedback and look for opportunities to improve.”

The executive director of the foundation is John Anderson. Jared tells us more about working with John and the culture at CSPFF, “John drives our culture. He makes concerted efforts to make us feel like a family. It’s not all work talk. We discuss our weekends and our families. John encourages us to put our families first. Sure, we work hard, we understand the importance of our work, and we ensure we complete all essential tasks. But we maintain an appropriate work-life balance. We don’t stress, and we know when to accept the end of the workday. John also has a remarkable knack for making us feel supported and empowered. He offers assistance without ever making us feel micromanaged. We trust each other.”

Most of the tight-knit team at CSPFF has been with the foundation for many years and the service they provide has gained a reputation for integrity and reliability. So, looking to the future, does CSPFF have any plans to share with us?

Jared says, “We’d like to continue our steady growth and ensure that we have the funds to offer support to as many Colorado State Patrol officers as possible. We want to increase the number of defensive driving instructors in our Colorado program by 50% by the end of 2023. This will allow us to provide classroom learning opportunities in more areas across the state and educate more young drivers.”

Although headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, the CSPFF offers in-person defensive driving courses  in other states including Kentucky, Wyoming, Idaho, and Texas, and online offerings in both California and Maine.

To find out more about The Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation or to make a donation, please visit the foundation’s website.

For business enquiries, contact Jared Andrews from Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation on their website –

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The United States Remains a Key Player in the Crypto Industry, Despite Recent Regulatory Challenges

United States of America flag and big amount of golden bitcoin coins and trading platform chart.

Will crypto firms seek greener pastures? PayBito CEO Raj Chowdhury discusses the US’s continued role in the global crypto industry, despite the recent SEC crackdown.

The global crypto community is viewing recent US policies as an overreaction to the FTX aftermath. The consensus feels strict crypto regulations can stifle innovations and limit market growth. PayBito CEO Raj Chowdhury however stays bullish on the US remaining a global crypto hub in upcoming years, adding the nation’s talent pool will prevent the scales from tipping.


The US Labyrinth of Regulations:

A notable section of the world’s crypto think tank sees the SEC’s action towards leading crypto exchanges as predatory. Recent bills and legislation had mixed reactions. However, some of them are the right steps in building a transparent regulatory framework.

  • FIT 21st Century Act

The US House Financial Services Committee approved the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act by a vote of 35 to 15. The timing of CFTC or SEC registration for cryptocurrency enterprises is outlined in this measure.

  • Bipartisan Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act

It establishes rules to reduce restrictions and barriers for blockchain service providers and developers. It consists of miners, multi-signature service providers, and decentralized financial systems.

  • Denied Digital Asset Market Structure Bill

This bill got denied by the lawmakers. According to them, this bill heeds the summons of the crypto industry. Also, they consider that it ignores SEC regulatory guidance.

  • National Defense Authorization Act

An amendment for establishing examination standards for crypto. It also included US Treasury involvement in cracking down on anonymous transactions.


The Verdict: Positive or Negative?

Strict crypto regulations can stifle innovations and limit market growth. Strict regulations can limit crypto adoption and mass-market penetration. Growing markets like Singapore and China have crypto-friendly jurisdictions. These regions will have an unfair competitive advantage. Firms might consider relocating or restructuring operations to remain competitive.

PayBito CEO and blockchain pioneer Raj Chowdhury states, “Brokers have solutions that can empower their capabilities and expand their portfolios. Choosing the right platform and tools is the key. With such opportunities, the USA remains a key player despite the regulatory challenges.”


PayBito: Marching Forward with Innovation and Compliance:

PayBito is a global frontrunner in crypto innovation. It debuted as the world’s first white-label crypto brokerage platform. With a strong commitment to compliance, the firm seeks to empower a generation with an affordable subscription-based crypto brokerage. The company ensures regulatory compliance with the following features:

  • Regulatory Team: It has a separate team for regulatory compliance. This legal and regulatory team monitors the changes in the regulatory landscape. Thus, the platform can promptly adapt to the new requirements.

  • Automated KYC/AML Compliance: Crypto brokers need not actively adhere to any regulations. Every process takes place in the back end. The platform has quick KYC compliance and AML procedures.

  • Transaction Monitoring: PayBito uses advanced transaction monitoring systems. They detect suspicious activities. It also instantly reports any violations to respective authorities.

  • Compliance Reporting: PayBito submits regular compliance reports to the respective authorities. These reports are automatic ones that do not need direct interventions from brokers.


Standardizing Brokerage with Cloud BaaS:

Beyond compliances and regulations, the PayBito platform is scalable and customizable. The Brokerage-as-a-Service(BaaS) solution for crypto brokerage removes gatekeeping entry barriers like eligibility, cost, and technical proficiency. Anyone can start their entrepreneurial journey with PayBito with its affordable pricing model. It offers:

  • White-label Solutions: Brokers can create their unique brands. They can choose features and alter the design, as preferred.

  • Diverse Trade Options: PayBito offers several trading options. The platform has high liquidity. It offers several leading crypto coins and altcoins for trading.

  • Security: The platform has multi-layer security features. It offers 2FA, advanced encryption, SegWit, cold wallet storage, and more.

  • Quick Sign Up: The cloud-enabled architecture helps it easier to launch a business. It takes less than three days to get a unique exchange up and running.

  • UI: PayBito has a user-friendly UI with a simple design. It is easier to navigate for both seasoned traders and newbies.

  • AI Tools: The platform offers access to top charting and AI tools. It offers tools for market analysis, predictive analysis, risk management, and portfolio management.

  • Customer Support: The platform has 24/7 customer support in several languages. Beyond that, there are guides, tutorials, and other resources.


Brokering World Hunger Away:

PayBito aims at a holistic financial inclusion environment. The platform helps brokers become financially independent. At the same time, it uses this growth to empower a better tomorrow. The platform donates a dollar for every dollar earned by its brokers. It donates it to any cause helping to end world hunger. Brokering World Hunger Away is PayBito’s sole contribution and not from the broker’s cut.


Looking Forward:

The policies and regulations are quite a hurdle for the crypto ecosystem. But, with constant innovation, the US will remain the top player. Crypto firms might look to expand to newer markets. But the USA will always have a significant share of this growth.

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How to Keep Your Finances on Track

From managing your credit to budgeting to investing, you might have much to do when it comes to your finances. That’s why it’s so important to create a strategy that will help you become more efficient at managing your money. Taking the right steps can help set you up for financial success.

Increase Your Retirement Savings Each Year

Increasing your savings toward retirement, even by 1 percent, can really increase your nest egg. Even though this does not sound like very much, it only impacts your paycheck a little, and if you get a raise each year, you might not even notice it. Generally, you want to be setting aside at least 15 percent or more of your income each year, and once you are older, you should be setting aside an even larger percentage. If you do not have a job where you feel like you can earn enough to comfortably do this, it might be time to enter the job market again to find an employer who can offer a high enough paycheck. Consider networking, interning, or even getting another degree to increase your chances of getting a higher-paying job. If you are thinking about getting a graduate degree, you can get a student loan with different repayment options available to help cover the cost.

Put Money into Savings Before Spending

Managing personal finance during inflationary times is challenging but not impossible. As soon as your paycheck hits your account, you might be using it to pay your bills and other expenses before you put the rest into your saving account. If you have anything left, it might go toward something you want, like a vacation or going out to eat. However, paying your savings first is the opposite. It involves putting some money aside into your savings account before you pay your bills. After the bills are paid, you can put the rest toward discretionary spending or into savings. But the method of paying your savings account first helps you prioritize your goals. This does not have to be a difficult process. All you must do is set up a recurring automatic transfer from your checking account to the savings account. This is an especially good method if your income fluctuates from month to month, like if you have any freelance earnings.

Set Regular Reminders

You can use your phone and money management apps to help you keep your finances on track. Calendars are often used to help you keep track of appointments and events, but you can also set alerts for things like bill due dates, so you do not miss a payment and impact your credit score. These are helpful if you have one-time bills that you might not remember since they are not part of your regular routine. You can also set a reminder to regularly check on your budget. Even if you run it effectively, you still need to look at it every now and then. You could check it every other week or whenever you get paid. This helps you avoid expenses you didn’t know about or had forgotten about. Checking on your plan regularly will keep you from spending more money than you have.

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Thinking Different: Redefining the Office

Group of diverse colleagues working on the computers in the modern office or coworking space

The impact the last few years have had on the office space needs no introduction. The necessity to work from home and remotely changed the shape of the workspace as we know it.

Recent news has told us that 18% of the United States’ office space lies vacant, with 300 million square feet expected to be obsolete by 2030 as firms battle with the economic downturn and a rise in popularity of home working in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

However, while office space may well be reduced as we move into the future, there will always be a place for it. Not every company can work remotely, and a lot of the new working days we see are a hybrid blend between office and home working.

Innovative office designs and a rethinking of the traditional office space have been seen across the world, with many businesses taking a different approach to the workday.



Collaboration and communication are key elements of businesses, and features that are important to remain in place wherever people are working.

Of course, where people are working remotely, technology has enabled us to keep in touch with colleagues across the businesses and even the globe, however, in the actual office spaces themselves, we’re seeing some different approaches to the regular traditional office.

Coworking spaces are something that allow collaboration between not just employees in your company, but also across businesses.

Elements of coworking spaces can be brought into the traditional office, with creative ways for teams to meet, including kitchen areas, break out spaces and even informal areas such as 8-ball tables and beanbags – all of these provide a way for people to meet each other, collaborate and if nothing else, get communication flowing across the business.

As businesses cut down on the spaces they need, coworking spaces may become a viable option for many. Across the globe there are some very quirky and unique coworking spaces, which bridge the gap between home and office working.

Lisbon’s Village Underground is a space which promotes collaboration and culture, and as well as workspaces includes a recording studio and a restaurant. Of course, different businesses have different requirements so what works for one may not work for all, but options like this highlight the changing attitudes to the workspace.


Work-Life Balance

A phrase all of us will have heard and tried to take heed of is the work-life balance, and this is something at the heart of many workplace changes we are seeing. As things have changed in the past few years, and many have worked from home, a full time return to the office for people that was expected hasn’t fully materialized. 

Research from Knight Frank showed the expectation that “employees will work at least some of the week from home for the foreseeable future”, and just a third of businesses still pushing for a full-time return.

Balancing the work and free time of employees can be tricky, particularly when office visits are essential to the job. Clever workspaces have begun introducing more opportunities for downtime and screen breaks, as seen in Google’s Zurich space. Slides, cinema rooms and places to even have a dance are all part of the office, and elements of this can be implemented in offices for smaller companies too.

Having fun in the office can of course improve communication but above all the wellbeing of the workforce. As the workplace changes, work is not so much a place people go but a thing that they do, and that they do from anywhere. With this in mind, when employees need to go to the office, their welfare is important and employees that can have fun in the office are likely to be up to 20% more productive than those who aren’t.

A no-brainer then, to incorporate some interesting areas into an office where employees can take a break. Coupled with flexible options when available, providing a work-life balance while in the office too can result in happier, and in turn more focused and productive members of staff.


Remove the Office Feeling

One approach to the office space we have seen is to be clever with the design of the space. This can be simply making sure people have enough power sockets in which to plug in laptops, phones and printers. Aesthetics are important too, and by incorporating this into the design of the office from the get-go, a reputable supplier can ensure practical elements such as wiring and electrical enclosure boxes are considered as part of the overall build.

Removing the traditional office feeling though, can of course go much further than being practical with layouts and ensuring a flow of natural light. Bark, a company that create dog toys and treats, have a unique workspace which is designed for both humans and dogs to be side by side during the working day.

Using dog-friendly materials, the space allows employees to work at their will around the office, and has importantly been completed using cost-effective materials to show that this way of thinking can be commercially viable too. While naturally, this may be a step too far for many, the unique way of thinking again showcases how businesses have changed workspaces into something that works for them.

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Best Family Business 2023 – South Carolina

Real estate agent or realtor signing mortgage agreement for new home with couple of happy young clients

William Paul Brown and his wife Mini pursued their passion for the cattle industry by opening Brown’s Packing Plant in 1945. Located in Gaffney, South Caroline it grew to be a thriving business and meat market. In 1962, it expanded its capacity by purchasing 250 of land and rebranding to what it is known as today, Famoda Farm.

The passion that was present in William and Mini was passed down to their daughters, as they both insisted to have their own calves. In 1955, the girls came across the American Angus Association and began showing their cattle. Both achieved great success and proved that there was room for women in the fitting business. 1962 was a great year for the family, as they grew, they also got to celebrate Doris being named American Angus Queen and Shirley serving as the Shorthorn Princess.  

Famoda Farm carries the first two letters of Father, Mother, and Daughter as each played a key role in the business. Things have changed as time has evolved but the core values around faith, family, and farm remain strong as ever. Now, the girls, along with the newest generation, continue to drive what their parents started as they focus on family and breeding top Angus Cattle.


“We specialize in a gentle disposition, the highest quality, and unforgettable taste.”


Famoda Farm expertly breeds the most elite Angus genetics by prioritising their health and well-being. It doesn’t use hormones, additives, or unnecessary antibiotics to ensure optimal health. These techniques have delivered its customers with yield tender meat of exquisite taste and superior cuts. When it comes to its other animals, Famoda Farm uses the same approach as the animal’s wellbeing and health are protected.

At Grazers, locals can purchase Famoda Farm’s SC-certified products such as 100% Angus beef, Berkshire pork, free range chicken, fresh eggs, pimento cheese, A2 raw milk, butter, cheese, local honey, jams and jellies, and fruit and vegetables. Additionally, it also sells seasonal gifts and handmade products.


“It is our mission to directly connect local farmers with consumers for the purpose of providing the highest quality, healthy, humanely raised farm products available.”


When buying meat directly from the farm, you are offered a unique experience. You get to enjoy the high-quality taste that comes from the animal’s healthy lifestyle that comes with proper care and attention. We are thrilled to share that Famoda Farm’s commitment to continuing the tradition that began 60 years ago has led them to receive the title of Best Family Business 2023 – South Carolina.

For business enquiries, contact Heather Collins from Famoda Farm via their website –

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Howdy Houston – A First-Timer’s guide to H-Town

Downtown Houston, Texas, USA Drone Skyline Aerial Panorama

It’s been more than a decade since Forbes magazine declared Houston the coolest city in America. And while the Bayou City still has its fair share of oil men and cowboys – it hosts the world’s largest rodeo each March – it’s become a sizzling hotbed of arts, culture and epicurean delights. If you still haven’t visited, check out our first-timer’s guide to Houston.



AM Start with breakfast at Barnaby’s in the Museum District, a true Houston classic. Go the full Texan and order the chipotle barbecue pulled pork and eggs.

After a wander through Centennial Gardens, spend the morning hoovering up Houston’s arts and culture in the Museum District from the Houston Museum of Natural Science to the Moody Center for the Arts.

Grab lunch at Cafe Leonelli, a casual Italian restaurant overlooking the sculpture garden at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Don’t miss the world-class art in the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, the new contemporary wing of the gallery which opened in late 2020.

PM Take a peek into the Rothko Chapel, a non-denominational chapel featuring 14 of Mark Rothko’s darkest – literally speaking – works.

After all that culture, cool off with a strawberry buttermilk ice cream from the Fat Cat Creamery, Houston’s artisan ice cream parlour. Find it at 19th Street in Houston Heights, Houston’s hottest shopping district.

In the evening, head to Post HTX, H-Town’s super-cool street food market in the old post office. It has pop-ups of Houston’s coolest restaurants, including Golfstrømmen Seafood Market, the first American outpost from Norwegian chef Christopher Haatuft.

Enjoy a nightcap at Skylawn, Post HTX’s rooftop garden overlooking the glittering Houston skyline.



AM After a quick photo at the “WE HEART HOUSTON” sign on Polk Street in EaDo (East Downtown), wander around the corner and grab breakfast at Koffeteria, a cool Cambodian bakery which serves the best Pau buns and Thai fried omelette croissant.

Venture southeast of the city to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the immortal words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” were beamed around the world from Mission Control. It’s official visitors center, Space Center Houston, is a heaven for families and space geeks, here you can climb inside an actual Space Shuttle, learn about the mission to Mars, and meet a real- life astronaut if you visit on a Friday or Saturday. You can also see the new permanent Artemis exhibit and learn about the space program at NASA that will return humans to the Moon for the first time in over 50 years.

PM For lunch, it’s a short drive to the coast and Joe’s Crab Shack on Kemah Boardwalk. Overlooking Galveston Bay, Kemah Boardwalk with its wooden rollercoasters, carousels and Ferris wheels is like a Texan Coney Island.

It’s back to H-Town for dinner at the city’s most celebrated new restaurant, Jūn – pronounced June – a new concept by chefs Henry Lu and Evelyn Garcia, a finalist of Bravo’s Top Chef. Their ‘New Asian American’ cuisine combines flavours both chefs grew up with forming a funky Texas-meets-the Bronx fusion.



AM After breakfast head to Discovery Green and Buffalo Bayou Park, Downtown’s green lungs. Pick up a B-Cycle, Houston’s public bikes, grab a map and explore these beautiful green spaces at your own pace.

For lunch, explore the Houston Farmers Market on Airline Drive, recently renovated it’s home to some brilliant restaurants, including Crawfish & Noodles for Viet-Cajun fusion or Underbelly Burger, which flips proper old-school burgers.

PM After lunch, head over to Arts District Houston on the Washington Avenue Corridor. Potter through the Sawyer Yards artist’s studios, catch a performance at the Site Gallery – housed in a pair of repurposed grain silos – and see awesome urban street art along Art Alley.

Don’t miss a selfie at the famous “Houston Is” Mural on Travis Street.

Aside from barbecue, Tex-Mex is the state’s staple food. For dinner, try Mama Ninfa’s famous fajitas at The Original Ninfas on Navigation, “the best Mexican food since Texas was part of Mexico.”

Say farewell to H-Town with a pint of Houston’s most famous beer at Saint Arnold’s Brewery, Texas’ oldest craft brewery.

There are a number of direct flights to Houston, TX from the UK, including Singapore Airlines from Manchester, and British Airways and United from London Heathrow.

For more information on Houston’s wide variety of hotel accommodations, from the budget conscious to five-diamond luxury to attractions, events, restaurants and to find everything you need to plan your trip, please visit

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American Cruise Riverboat Line makes Waves in Decatur as a Premier destination

cruise boat

Decatur Morgan County Tourism is thrilled to announce a new and exciting partnership with American Cruise Line, one of the leading small-ship cruising companies in the United States. This partnership will see American Cruise Line’s luxurious riverboats docking in Decatur, Alabama for the first time and offering visitors a remarkable travel experience along the Tennessee River.

The first cruise ship arrived in Decatur on June 6, 2023 and kicked off American Cruise Line’s 14 voyages to Decatur this summer.

American Cruise Line is renowned for its dedication to delivering unparalleled cruising adventures and providing guests with a unique opportunity to explore America’s beautiful waterways. By adding Decatur as a docking destination, American Cruise Line continues to expand its reach and provide its passengers with an extraordinary experience in a captivating Southern setting.

Decatur, nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River, offers a picturesque backdrop for travellers seeking to discover the charm of Alabama’s riverfront communities. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, Decatur provides an ideal location for American Cruise Line to introduce their guests to the heart and soul of the South.

“We are delighted to partner with American Cruise Line and welcome their riverboats to Decatur,” said Danielle Gibson, President & CEO of Decatur Morgan County Tourism. “This collaboration opens up new possibilities for both our local community and visitors alike. It presents an opportunity to showcase Decatur’s exceptional hospitality, historical landmarks, and captivating landscapes to a wider audience. We are confident that American Cruise Line guests will fall in love with our city and everything it has to offer.”

American Cruise Line’s arrival in Decatur will not only bring economic benefits to the city but will also contribute to the growth of tourism in the region. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore Decatur’s historic downtown district and experience the city’s local shops and boutiques. From guided tours of local landmarks to visits to renowned museums and art galleries, Decatur promises a delightful blend of history, culture, and outdoor adventures.

Decatur Morgan County Tourism and American Cruise Line are eager to welcome passengers aboard their riverboats as they embark on unforgettable journeys through the heart of Alabama. This partnership marks an exciting chapter for both organizations and reinforces their shared dedication to promoting tourism, fostering economic growth, and showcasing the hidden gems of the United States.

For more information, please visit Website: /

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Exploring the Rise of Trading Platforms and Their Projected Growth

The world of finance has witnessed a remarkable transformation with the rise of trading platforms. 

These online platforms have revolutionized the way individuals participate in financial markets, democratizing access to investment opportunities and empowering users to take control of their financial destinies. 

With impressive market statistics backing their growth, trading platforms are poised to shape the future of investing. 

In this article, we delve into the rise of trading platforms and the projected expansion of this market.

Unveiling Market Growth

The online trading platform market has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, and the trajectory shows no signs of slowing down. 

According to a report published in 2021, the market was valued at $8.9 billion. Furthermore, it is projected to reach a staggering $18.4 billion by 2031, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% from 2022 to 2031. 

These figures underline the substantial expansion and increasing popularity of trading platforms among investors.

Democratizing Access to Financial Markets

One of the key factors driving the rise of trading platforms is their ability to democratize access to financial markets. 

Traditionally, investing was predominantly limited to institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals. 

However, online trading platforms have shattered these barriers, allowing anyone with an internet connection and a small amount of capital to participate in various financial markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

Empowering Individuals with User-Friendly Interfaces

Trading platforms have transformed complex financial activities into user-friendly experiences, making investing accessible to individuals with limited financial knowledge or experience. 

These platforms offer intuitive interfaces, educational resources, and analytical tools to help users make informed investment decisions. 

Additionally, features like real-time market data, customizable watchlists, and mobile trading capabilities empower users to stay connected to the markets and manage their portfolios at their convenience.

Advancements in Technology and Connectivity

The rise of trading platforms can be attributed to advancements in technology and connectivity. 

With the proliferation of smartphones, high-speed internet, and cloud computing, users can access trading platforms anytime, anywhere. 

These platforms leverage cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, to enhance the trading experience and provide valuable insights for investors. 

Seamless integration with banking systems and secure payment gateways have further simplified transactions and boosted user confidence.

Social Trading and Community Engagement

Another significant factor contributing to the popularity of trading platforms is the concept of social trading and community engagement. 

These platforms often incorporate social features that allow users to follow and interact with other investors, share trading ideas, and even copy the trades of successful traders. 

The ability to learn from experienced traders and engage with a community of like-minded individuals enhances the overall trading experience and fosters knowledge-sharing.

Diversification and Investment Options

Trading platforms have expanded the investment landscape by offering a wide range of investment options beyond traditional stocks and bonds. 

Users can explore commodities, foreign exchange (Forex), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), derivatives, and even cryptocurrencies. 

This diversification of investment options enables individuals to customize their portfolios and explore new avenues for potential growth.


The rise of trading platforms has transformed the investment landscape, opening up opportunities for individuals to participate in financial markets like never before. 

With the market projected to grow at an impressive CAGR of 7.8% from 2022 to 2031, trading platforms are expected to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of investing. 

By democratizing access, providing user-friendly interfaces, leveraging technology, promoting social trading, and expanding investment options, these platforms empower individuals to take control of their financial futures and navigate the dynamic world of finance with confidence.

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Lockton announces acquisition of THB Brazil

Businessman handshake for teamwork of business merger and acquisition

Lockton, the world’s largest privately held insurance broker and consultancy, announced its acquisition of THB Brazil from Amwins, the largest independent wholesale distributor of specialty insurance products in the U.S.

The combination of two leaders in the Brazilian insurance and people solutions marketplace will allow for scalability and profitable growth, and access to an even richer suite of innovative solutions for the clients of both firms.

Eduardo Lucena, chief executive officer of THB Brazil, will assume new responsibilities as Deputy chief executive officer of Lockton in Brazil upon completion of the deal. Other THB executives will also join the combined company’s management team. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We’re delighted to begin a new era for Lockton in Brazil,” said José Otávio Sampaio, chief executive officer of Lockton in Brazil. “As separate entities, Lockton and THB have both performed exceptionally in recent years. Our combined strength will only make us better, enabling us to develop more meaningful and long-term relationships with our clients, insurers and reinsurers, provide development opportunities for our Associates, and achieve our goal of doubling in size over the next three years.”

The acquisition of THB follows other recent investments by Lockton designed to expand its Brazilian operations. In recent years, the broker has focused on attracting and retaining industry-best talent in the country across its Risk Solutions, People Solutions and Reinsurance teams. Adding THB further strengthens Lockton’s commercial team, expands its capacity in Brazil and presents new opportunities for sales and product development.

“The Brazilian insurance sector is expected to grow in 2023 and beyond and staying competitive requires us to continually adapt and innovate to meet our clients’ needs,” said Eduardo Lucena, chief executive officer of THB Brazil. “We’re excited to join forces with Lockton and be a part of its independent, client- and people-focused culture.”

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