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Mark Kelly, President of Safety Marking Inc., Shares 7 Traits to Look for in Prospective Employees



7 Traits to Look for in Prospective Employees

Hiring employees might be a business leader’s most important responsibility. Here, Mark Kelly, Founder and President of Safety Marking Inc. in Bridgeport, CT explains seven important traits to look for in potential hires, detailing why each quality is essential for business success.

In many ways, a company is but the total sum of its employees. This adage is especially true for labor-intensive fields like construction or pavement marking. Employees largely determine the attitudes and opinions of customers, clients, and the public. Perceptions matter, and people’s perceptions of a business are formed by their experiences interacting with the company’s employees.

“At Safety Marking, Inc., we believe that our Core Values of Safety, Accountability, Communication, Teamwork, Integrity, Commitment, and Exceeding Expectations provide focus and direction for every person in the organization,” stated Mark Kelly.

Commitment to Safety

Some may wonder why anyone would include a commitment to safety at the top of the list of desirable traits for employees, but it is the most critical trait a prospective employee can bring to your company. While all the qualities listed are essential, commitment to safety stands alone as the one trait that can significantly impact a business’s success.

Douglas Dolinar, Director-At-Large of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), shared: “Worker safety starts with the employee. Each worker bears the ultimate responsibility to work safely and protect themselves.”

A safe workplace not only protects workers from harm, but it will also lower injury costs, reduce absenteeism and turnover, increase productivity and quality, and raise employee morale. At Safety Marking, employees are aware how crucial safety is for the company’s overall success.


Employees who are willing to be accountable for their actions will not provide excuses when things go sideways. Although it may seem like giving an excuse to a customer for why their expectations were not met is a good idea, often that is counterproductive. Customers, teammates, and managers will be more satisfied when faced with accountability rather than excuses.

Part of being accountable is recognizing the difference between an excuse and a reason. An excuse exists solely to defend a fault with the intent to absolve oneself of accountability. A reason accepts responsibility but explains why the event occurred as it did. Explaining is helpful and does not excuse fault.


All tasks that need to be completed in business requires clear and concise communication. Incorrect communication or miscommunication can lead to disaster. Lengthy and confusing communication is not much better. The best employees will exemplify accurate and concise communication, both verbally and written. The difference between twenty five-dollar bills and twenty five dollar bills is significant, so look for employees that know how to communicate effectively.


Pavement marking, like many construction jobs, is a team sport. One important trait that sets a prospective employee apart from the rest is their ability to be part of a team. Even the most highly skilled employees pale compared to competent workers that can help the entire team function more efficiently and effectively.


Employees that can’t be trusted to tell the truth and do the right thing will never make a meaningful contribution to the company’s success. Furthermore, they are likely to drive away customers and foster disruptive behavior with other employees.

Kelly Lavoie, Human Resources Manager at Safety Marking explains, “We rely on these core values to not only guide our hiring, performance and recognition processes, but also to guide our daily interactions with colleagues, clients, partners, and vendors. With our core values in mind, it is our practice to conduct all business in an honest, professional, and ethical manner, taking a zero-tolerance approach to violations of our workplace harassment, violence, diversity and ethics policies.”


Loyalty from employees is critical and commitment to your employees will promote a lasting work relationship. A person that feels unappreciated and taken advantage of will likely move to a competitor, taking valuable experience with them. An employee for whom management has demonstrated a sense of loyalty cannot be tempted away as easily under most circumstances.

Commitment to excellence

When vetting prospective employees, ask the candidate questions designed to uncover a commitment to excellence in their past experiences. It could be a commitment to learning to play an instrument or learning another language. The “what” is not nearly as important as finding someone that knows how to commit to excellence in what they do. If the business is committed to excellence, such an employee will readily adopt the company’s values and adapt to the work environment.

About Safety Marking, Inc.

Safety Marking Inc. of Bridgeport, CT is a family-owned business founded by Mark Kelly in 1973 to provide pavement marking services in Fairfield County, Connecticut. After almost five decades of service and growth, Safety Marking Inc. is now a nationally respected leader in pavement markings with offices in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. The company’s success is based on premium-quality service, innovation, continuous development, and philanthropic involvement with the community.

I cover national business news and lifestyle for Metic Press. Previously, I've written for TIME, Newsweek, the New York Daily News and VICE News. I am also an editor at HuffPost, a small business news room for a young audience.

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Dino Rizzo Shares How Churches Can Serve No Matter the Size



Dino Rizzo Shares How Churches Can Serve No Matter the Size

Serving should be an integral part of every church community. No matter how big or small your church is, it can play a huge part in impacting the community, according to Dino Rizzo, a 35-year ministry veteran.

Some people may think that in order to serve properly, you need to do something big — run a donation drive, give a lot of money, or chip in to build houses for the needy. But that’s simply not true.

There are many different ways to serve, and all these can be impactful — no matter how big the act of service is or how big the church community is.

All you need to do is follow the words of the Gospel, as it says in Mark Chapter 1:29-39: “Everyone is looking for you. Be mindful of people; look for people who are in need; be a noticer.”

Here are some ways your church can serve, no matter the size.

Fill a Specific Need

The success of donations isn’t measured by the dollar amount but rather by the impact that it makes on the lives of people around you. Church at the Crossing in Dothan, Alabama, is a great example of this.

Pastors John and Brandy Dowdey recently led a back-to-school “Kicks and Cuts” drive to help support families in need as they prepared to start a new school year. They donated 700 pairs of “kicks” (shoes) and provided 300 haircuts for kids who were going back to school. They also collected more than 500 backpacks that were given to children in the community.

This shows that you don’t need to be a megachurch to make a huge impact. By taking the time to understand a need and then doing everything you can to fill it, your reach can be great.

Donate Your Time and Effort

Serving is often associated with money. Whether it’s direct monetary donations or purchasing items for people in need, money is often at the center of people’s minds when they think about serving.

However, donating your time can be as impactful — if not more impactful — than donating money. Your church community could gather volunteers to head to a local park and beautify it. This could be as simple as picking up trash and debris, planting flowers, or installing park benches.

By partnering with local businesses, your church could likely get the tools or resources needed to be donated to the community. A local garden center, for instance, might be happy to donate flowers for you to plant.

In this way, you’ll make a huge impact on the community by dedicating your time and effort.

Be There for People

One of the most impactful acts of service is being there for someone in a time of need. As Dino Rizzo says, lending a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen is sometimes what people need the most.

Churches of any size can play this supportive role for the people in their community. Service such as this goes a long way in helping people maintain their emotional well-being, which is a critical part of living a long, happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

About Dino Rizzo

Dino Rizzo, a seasoned pastor with 35 years of ministry experience, co-founded Healing Place Church in 1993 with his wife, DeLynn, and served for over two decades as senior pastor. A strong believer in inspiring others to serve their communities, Dino Rizzo founded the organization “Servolution.” He’s co-founder and Executive Director of ARC (Association of Related Churches), overseeing 1000+ church plants worldwide while also serving on the Senior Leadership Team at Church of the Highlands.


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The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security: Friend or Foe



The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed numerous industries, presenting unprecedented opportunities for efficiency, innovation, and progress. In the realm of cyber security, AI is no exception, offering powerful tools to detect, prevent, and mitigate cyber threats. However, this double-edged sword brings both benefits and challenges, necessitating a nuanced understanding of AI’s role in cyber security.

The Promise of AI in Cyber Security

AI-driven technologies have revolutionized threat detection and response. Machine learning algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns, anomalies, and potential threats that may go unnoticed by human analysts. This enables real-time threat detection and immediate actions to mitigate risks.

Behavioral analytics, a subset of AI, can create baselines of normal behavior for users and systems. Deviations from these baselines can signal potential intrusions or breaches, allowing organizations to respond swiftly and effectively.

The Dark Side of AI in Cyber Security

While AI empowers defenders, it also offers new avenues for cyber attackers. Malicious actors can exploit AI algorithms to automate attacks, such as crafting sophisticated phishing emails or evading traditional security measures. Deepfakes, AI-generated content that convincingly mimics human voices or appearances, can be used to manipulate individuals or spread disinformation.

Moreover, the reliance on AI can introduce a false sense of security. Overreliance on automated systems may lead to missed threats or vulnerabilities that require human intuition and critical thinking to uncover.

Striking a Balance

To harness the potential of AI while mitigating its risks, a balanced approach is essential. Organizations must invest in AI-powered cyber security solutions while also maintaining human oversight and expertise. Human analysts can provide context, make judgment calls in ambiguous situations, and continually refine AI algorithms to adapt to evolving threats.

Transparency and accountability are equally critical. AI algorithms should be transparent and explainable, enabling cyber security professionals to understand how decisions are made. Additionally, robust testing and validation of AI systems are imperative to ensure their accuracy and effectiveness.

Artificial Intelligence is a formidable ally in the ongoing battle against cyber threats. Its capacity to process massive datasets and detect subtle patterns significantly enhances our cyber security capabilities. However, AI’s potential for exploitation underscores the need for vigilance, transparency, and human oversight. By embracing AI’s strengths while addressing its limitations, we can foster a safer digital environment and empower defenders to stay one step ahead of the ever-evolving landscape of cyber security threats.

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The Benefits of IT Outsourcing Services for Businesses



The Benefits of IT Outsourcing Services for Businesses

In today’s fast-paced and technologically driven business landscape, outsourcing IT services has become a popular choice for companies looking to stay competitive and agile. IT outsourcing involves delegating the management and maintenance of various technology-related tasks to specialized external service providers. Here, we explore the numerous benefits that IT outsourcing services can bring to businesses.

One of the primary reasons businesses opt for IT outsourcing is cost savings. Setting up an in-house IT department can be a costly affair, involving expenses related to infrastructure, hardware, software licenses, and personnel salaries. Outsourcing IT services allows companies to access high-quality expertise without the burden of these upfront costs, as they only pay for the specific services they need.

By outsourcing non-core IT functions, companies can concentrate on their primary business objectives. This shift in focus allows organizations to allocate more time and resources to activities that directly contribute to their core competencies and overall growth, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

IT outsourcing providers specialize in their respective domains and employ skilled professionals with up-to-date knowledge of the latest technologies and industry trends. Businesses can tap into this pool of expertise and experience, gaining access to best practices and innovative solutions that may have otherwise been unavailable in-house.

As businesses expand or contract, their IT needs fluctuate accordingly. Outsourcing IT services allows for easy scalability and flexibility, as companies can adjust the level of services required based on their current needs. This agility enables businesses to adapt to market changes and seize new opportunities promptly.

IT security and data protection are critical concerns for any modern organization. IT outsourcing providers are well-versed in managing and mitigating potential risks, reducing the chances of data breaches, cyber-attacks, and system failures. They implement robust security measures and disaster recovery plans, ensuring business continuity even in the face of unforeseen challenges.

IT outsourcing services present numerous advantages for businesses, ranging from cost savings and access to expertise to enhanced risk management and the ability to focus on core competencies. Companies that embrace outsourcing can position themselves for long-term success in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

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