ProfNet Experts Available on Home Automation, Housing Sector, More – PR Newswire (press release)


  • Employers Under Fire for Improper Use of Independent Contractors
  • Benefits of Working in the Disruptive Healthcare Franchise System
  • Home Automation Technology
  • Housing Sector Improvements Creating Options for Senior Homeowners
  • How Businesses Gain From Eliminating Pain


  • Content Manager – Meredith (AZ)
  • Digital Editor – Virginia Living Magazine (VA)
  • Retail and Consumer Reporter – Thomson Reuters (NY)


  • The Election Endorsement: Why Do News Agencies Still Bother?
  • New Federal Regulations Raise Opportunities for Newsgathering Drone Journalism
  • Blog Profiles: Home Improvement Blogs


Employers Under Fire for Improper Use of Independent Contractors
Audrey Mross
Labor & Employment Attorney
Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas
Two Gulf Coast oilfield services and marine staffing firms recently agreed to pay more than $500,000 in fines to settle federal lawsuits that alleged they skirted employment rules and overtime laws by improperly paying workers as contractors to reduce overtime costs. The penalties are a result of an initiative where 34 states agreed to share information and aid in identifying and punishing employers who fail to properly classify workers as employees. “Businesses that are not on top of this issue are operating in perilous territory. Any employer using independent contractors should analyze whether workers are properly classified and regularly re-evaluate those relationships. Violators face a long list of economic penalties, including fines, back pay, IRS penalties and legal fees.”
News Contact: Robert Tharp,

Benefits of Working in the Disruptive Healthcare Franchise System
Christine Dura
Chief Development Officer
OrthoNOW Orthopedic Urgent Care Center
“Many people find that they thrive when working in an environment that offers unique challenges, opportunities to flex their entrepreneurism muscles and employing processes that disrupt traditional delivery methods in order to bring products/services to market. It presents entrepreneurial leaders and disruptive thinkers with an opportunity to build wealth while driving change.”
Dura holds a master’s degree in training and development from UGA and over 25 years of executive management and franchise-related leadership experience within the U.S. and internationally with notable franchise startups in the service, technology, retail, food, health and wellness, financial service, medical care, technology and professional services.
Contact: Andrea Plasencia,

Home Automation Technology
Greg Rhoades
Director, Marketing, Energy Management, Controls and Automation
Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
“There’s no debating that the proliferation of technologies provides application-based solutions. There’s something for everything an automation customer is trying to accomplish, and some technologies accomplish the task better than others.”
Rhoades is a 10-year veteran of HAI/Leviton and the home automation industry. His specific certified expertise is in sustainability and accessibility applications. He’s a Certified Green Professional and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (National Association of Home Builders).
Contact: Cherokee Hubbert,

Housing Sector Improvements Creating Options for Senior Homeowners
Peter Bell
President & CEO
National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association
Housing wealth continues to grow for U.S. homeowners aged 62 and older, providing seniors with added financial security in their retirement years. The aggregate value of senior home equity reached $5.9 trillion in the second quarter of 2016, an increase of $135.2 billion over Q1. As more baby boomers are leaving the workforce financially underprepared for retirement, home equity has become an even more valuable asset. The Bipartisan Policy Center recently suggested that financial instruments such as reverse mortgages will be useful tools for senior homeowners who seek additional funds for home modifications and services to stay safe and independent in their own homes as they grow older. Says Bell: “Healthy improvements in the housing sector are creating more financial options for senior homeowners who want to stay in their home as long as possible but who may need to make structural modifications or coordinate care services to manage living there safely and independently.”
Contact: Jenny Werwa,

How Businesses Gain From Eliminating Pain
Kevin Lombardo
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) — pain in the back, neck and upper limbs — affect 25.5 million people in the U.S. MSDs also affect a large segment of the workforce, from sedentary workers with carpal tunnel syndrome to plant workers with lower back pain. Companies are starting to realize the value of worksite pain management programs from both a risk management and wellness perspective: they help employees alleviate minor aches and discomforts before they become chronic without having to leave their desk or factory floor, improving both productivity and morale, while minimizing exposure to worker’s comp claims. Says Lombardo: “An effective worksite pain mitigation program helps employees identify and address pain early. We have seen great adoption rates, with companies reporting higher productivity, a significant reduction in medication usage and overall high morale.”
DORN provides early intervention/prevention programs, delivered at the worksite, to treat employees who have painful muscular conditions. The programs quickly, safely and effectively reduce employees’ pain before it becomes a costly workers compensation claim, healthcare claim or OSHA recordable.
Contact: Charles Epstein,


Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board:

  • Content Manager – Meredith (AZ)
  • Digital Editor – Virginia Living Magazine (VA)
  • Retail and Consumer Reporter – Thomson Reuters (NY)


Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line.

  • THE ELECTION ENDORSEMENT: WHY DO NEWS AGENCIES STILL BOTHER? The news industry takes pride in its objectivity, but picking a horse in a political race is a tradition many of the country’s newsrooms still maintain. Whether news agencies should continue endorsing candidates is becoming as heated as this year’s presidential election. Read more:
  • NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS RAISE OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEWSGATHERING DRONE JOURNALISM. As many as 600,000 commercial drones will fill the air within the next year. That’s the prediction from the Federal Aviation Administration in the wake of its Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule, which went into effect at the end of August. That includes news organizations and the journalists they employ. Although it’s unlikely to ground news choppers, Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations may change the way television stations gather footage — particularly during breaking news coverage — in the near future. Read more:
  • BLOG PROFILES: HOME IMPROVEMENT BLOGS. Each week, PR Newswire’s Audience Relations team selects an industry/subject and a handful of sites that do a good job with promoting and contributing to the conversation. This week, they profiled home improvement blogs:

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