Assessing Cultural Fit – Key to Successful Hiring

Contributed by Howard Fischer Associates

When filling a vacant role, many companies are inclined to promote a current executive. This is not surprising given the number of benefits that make this approach attractive:

  • An internal candidate has established credibility as well as institutional knowledge about key stakeholders, company processes, and the industry in which they function;
  • Promoting an internal candidate can be a relatively quick and cost-efficient process;
  • Promoting from within shows goodwill. Employees appreciate company loyalty. Knowing that internal succession is possible will decrease turnover at all levels of your company;
  • Most importantly, an internal candidate understands your company culture and most likely already fits well within that culture.

External candidates are unknown, so many companies assume that they are making the right choice by promoting within. However, before you fill any role, you should always consider if an external search would be a worthwhile pursuit.

For example, if your company is in a disruptive industry, an external candidate might be the change agent and innovative thinker you need to pivot your company in a new direction. Or, if your company is currently experiencing slow growth, an external candidate may be the turnaround specialist you need to help push reset and find new footing within the marketplace.  Your company may prefer conducting an external search simply because an outsider brings a needed fresh perspective.

One of the biggest concerns (and often the biggest indicator of success) is how well an external candidate fits into a company’s existing culture. If you’ve decided to pursue an external hire, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the risk and find a cultural match.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Vacancy Remains at High Levels in the Philadelphia Central Business District

Philadelphia, PA (October 4, 2017) — Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) has released its third quarter 2017 office reports for the greater Philadelphia region. The reports detail how downsizing by tenants within the Philadelphia Central Business District (CBD), and fewer regional companies relocating to the CBD this year, kept vacancy at high levels. Market fundamentals weakened in both the Southern New Jersey and Delaware office markets, but Suburban Philadelphia continues to record gains in occupancy.

The CBD recorded its highest level of vacancy since the third quarter of 2014, closing the third quarter of 2017 at 13.7 percent. Tenants such as PNC, Wells Fargo and Verizon continued to downsize in the CBD. Downtown has been slow to absorb these large blocks of vacant space. Wayne Fisher, NKF executive managing director relates, “The number of tenants relocating from the suburbs to downtown has dwindled. Also, a decline in leasing activity by co-working firms and Comcast have failed to move space off of the market so far this year.” Year-over-year, Class A vacancy increased 250 basis points to 13.1 percent; over the same time period, the average direct rental rate for Class A space declined by $0.31 per square foot to $32.78 per square foot.

Click here to read the full press release.

Keirestu Forum Mid-Atlantic Creates “Angel Treaty” in Philadelphia

October 3, 2017  – Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic (K4-MA), a global angel investment network, facilitated an “Angel Treaty” among and for the members of the Pennsylvania Angel Network (PAN).

The treaty formalized the already strong spirit of cooperation among the PAN angel investor groups, allowing investors to share critical information that expands deal making opportunities throughout the region.

PAN provides resources and support to the angel community throughout Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic is a member of PAN.

“Seven years ago when we launched Keiretsu Forum in Philadelphia, the angel environment was very different from today,” said Howard Lubert, area president of K4-MA.

“Developing and implementing the treaty created an open syndication environment that expanded funding opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking investments in the region,” he said.

This treaty helped in several areas:
• Open syndication of deal flow between all the groups.
• Ability to share due diligence documents without concerns for liability, as the treaty does not guarantee the deals will be fully suitable to each investor. The provided due diligence materials serve as a baseline for others to do theirs.

“By working together and with the ability to ‘freely’ share materials and information, angel groups can potentially streamline the due diligence process for the entrepreneur,” said Jeffrey Snellenburg from the PAN Network.

Both officials said the goal of the treaty is a cross-funding opportunity for the region.

“The treaty is another resource/tool for the angel groups to build relationships and work together towards funding promising companies. Most funding rounds are too big for one angel group to fund itself. Given that angel groups will most likely be co-investing with other early stage investors, a treaty such as this one helps the parties involved,” Snellenburg said.

“The treaty means more deals are getting done and bigger deals are getting done,” Lubert added.
Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic, is scheduled to host its 5th Annual Angel Capital ExpoTM Thursday, October 19, 2017 at The Union League, 140 S. Broad, Philadelphia, PA.

More than 200 of the Delaware Valley’s most active and respected angel investors are expected to attend this premier gathering of angel investors as well as entrepreneurs seeking funding capital to grow their businesses.

Accredited angel investors may register online at



ORS Partners Provides ‘White Label’ Recruiting Solutions to Support Liquidity Events for Ten Fast-Growth Clients

ORS Partners Provides ‘White Label’ Recruiting Solutions to Support Liquidity Events for Ten Fast-Growth Clients

AUDUBON, PA, September 20, 2017 – Sizable investments warrant expert support, according to ORS Partners (ORS), an outsourced recruitment solutions firm that partners with venture capital and private equity backed companies to provide strategic talent acquisition programs. Since 2012, ORS has been providing employers in the Mid-Atlantic region the talent they need to build their businesses successfully.

Talent acquisition is a core business function for all growth organizations, yet most companies are not experts in the acquisition and retention of human capital. ORS is comprised of over 70 talent acquisition experts that become the outsourced, ‘in-house’ recruitment consultants and brand ambassadors for their clients.  Over 140 organizations have trusted ORS to carry their business card and act as an extension of their team to deploy best practices in attracting and hiring talent.

Click here to read the press release.

SC Lab’s Cyber Security Test Names NIKSUN “Best Analytics Tool”

Princeton, NJ – October 2nd, 2017 – NIKSUN® Inc., the world leader in developing real-time and forensics-based cyber security, network performance management, and financial data monitoring solutions, has been rated as the “best analytics tool” in the industry after SC Lab’s cyber security group test.

NIKSUN was highlighted for its unique ability to record all data and perform real-time and retroactive analysis on it. According to Dr. Peter Stephenson, Technology Editor of SC Magazine, “The tool alerts on suspicious traffic based on [real-time generated] metadata content, for immediate notifications on policy violations, data exfiltration, malware and cyber attacks and records all data at the highest rates without dropping a single packet, and at the same time, also index all the data in real-time to allow for extremely fast searching. The tool provides robust analytics.”

Click here to read the full press release.

Lovoco and GoVivace launched Stenopoly – instantaneous bilingual subtitling AI invention – in unity, and now gaining critical mass.

Startup and market leader collaborate on new technology benefiting the disabled, effective communicators, and learners.

UNITED STATES, September 25, 2017 – Lovoco and GoVivace combined core competencies to invent the first real-time multilingual captioning SaaS powered by artificial intelligence.  Lovoco (Philadelphia, PA) and GoVivace (McLean, VA) partnered up and co-invested high-tech R&D to engineer Stenopoly – automated polylingual stenographer – with advanced speech recognition, hybrid machine translation, and customizable captioning typography.  This system automatically generates live subtitles in multiple language pairs, transcription, and post-edit video captions, summary, and analysis.  Plus, their protocol, buy one, gift one, passes on pro bono ed tech to local primary and or secondary schools across communities.

In essence, an orator presents with the software system, and whatever is spoken displays live in two languages as augmented reality.  This A/V Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) SaaS integrates into keynote speaking engagements, live streaming, webcasting, and web conferencing.


Stenopoly serves multinational corporations, NGOs, and governments with globalization and localization solutions for solidified strategic cross-cultural communications.

Stenopoly serves the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions industry with event technology solutions for greater inclusion, engagement, and satisfaction in experiential environments.

Stenopoly serves academia with statistically significant higher learning outcomes through visual-auditory efficacy, rapid language learning, and multimodal instruction.

Stenopoly serves the media and entertainment industry with closed loop production efficiencies.


About Lovoco

Lovoco, social enterprise with triple bottom line focus, specializes in translation and interpretation AI services and international trade and commerce.  Lovoco innovates to solve:

  • Accessibility via Assistive Tech
  • Communications via Language Tech
  • Education via Ed Tech

About GoVivace

GoVivace earns its competitive advantage every day in speech technology and natural language understanding.  GoVivace evolved postdoctoral level R&D to cutting edge human language technology and expert consultancy in:

  • Speaker Identification
  • Speaker analytics – Language, Gender, Accent, Age, and Emotion
  • Speech Processing
  • Speech-to-Text
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Call analytics
  • Deep Learning

About the Partnership 

The two strategic partners heighten capabilities and capacities in key departments: computer science and information technology and marketing and sales management.

Initial Launches

Sep. 29, 2015- Lovoco pitched at Rise of the Rest/Blackstone Charitable Foundation Student Speed Pitch.

Oct. 25, 2016- Lovoco pitched at Learning 2016 Barracuda Bowl.

Apr. 24-26, 2017- GoVivace presented and demoed Stenopoly at SpeechTEK 2017.

Apr. 25, 2017- Lovoco presented Stenopoly at Milken Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition.

For more about AI in computational linguistics, visit  For more about AI in voice recognition, visit

# # #


Calvin Shum


Mobile: +1 717-405-1937

[email protected]


Nagendra Goel


Mobile: +1 703-869-9463

[email protected]

PPC, Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Data Systems Analysts Inc, Awarded 7-Year Contract to Modernize Maryland Enterprise Budget System

McLean, VA – September 21, 2017

PPC announced a newly awarded subcontract from Performa USA to modernize the Maryland Enterprise Budget System (MD EBS). Under this seven-year subcontract consisting of a three-year base period and two two-year options, valued at approximately $5M, PPC plays several critical roles in the development of the MD EBS including building the core functionality in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud and performing operations and maintenance. Using functionality already put into production, MD EBS is currently assisting the state to manage its nearly $43B annual budgeting process from budget planning to development to execution.

The overarching objective of the EBS Replacement Project is to implement a comprehensive Solution to allow for a more efficient and effective budgeting and financial management process. Expected benefits include: 1. Streamlines and improves efficiency through reduction in time required to prepare budget analyses, direct analysis within the EBS tool, and automated processing of multiple fund sources within each agency’s budget development cycle. 2. Allows for the incorporation of capital projects that are part of the operating budget. 3. Provides a user-friendly, intuitive budgeting system that will provide a single standard interface at the agency level for budget submissions, allowing for the overall budget development effort to be appropriately distributed and coordinated between stakeholders during budget development. 4. Creates a central warehouse for budget requests which eliminate unnecessary and repetitive manual data entry while providing agencies centralized budget management repository, interfaces for importing of external data necessary for budget development, and centralized and standardized EBS tools for reports, analyses, recommendations, print content and supporting documentation. 5. Using the EBS innovative tools and functionality to eliminate or significantly reduce inefficiencies encountered during budget creation, printing and publishing. 6. Supports complex budget development with interfaces between the budgeting system and systems of record for pertinent enterprise, as well as, the ability to use previous-year actuals and current-year appropriations as needed during budget development. This advanced functionality eliminates the need for manual incorporation of data from Personnel and Accounting systems. 7. Improve data quality and integrity in the budget life cycle through automation of validation of figures and formulas between multiple data sets and systems. 8. Real-time tracking and reporting of actual expenditures against budget appropriations. Providing the ability to prepare ongoing analysis of actuals vs. appropriations during the budget year. Improved budget awareness will allow budget managers to dynamically create, process and incorporate amendments electronically.

This work expands PPC’s rapidly growing presence in the Performance Budgeting solutions and our partnership with Performa. Together the Performa-PPC team have collaboratively worked together and deployed similar solutions in Virginia and Tennessee. In fact, once Maryland goes live, this solution, integrated using each state’s specific business processes and workflows, will support over $110B of performance budgeting per year.

“PPC is pleased to support this critical project for Maryland. Our work in State Budgeting is award winning and adds to our growing list of mission-critical, agile development, and cloud-based legacy system modernization efforts.” said Paul Strasser, PPC Chief Executive Officer and President.

About the Department of Budget and Management

The Department of Budget and Management helps the Governor, State agencies, and their employees provide effective, efficient, and fiscally sound government to the citizens of Maryland. We support agency efforts to achieve results by helping them obtain the fiscal, capital, and personnel resources needed to provide services to Maryland citizens. They are dedicated to providing advice and assistance with professionalism, state-of-the-art technology, modern management techniques, and teamwork.

About Performa

Performa is recognized as an industry leading provider of government-specific budget management software. BIDS, their flagship product, has been implemented around the world at all levels of government and the public sector, including Federal, State, Local, and government-owned utilities.

About Project Performance Company

PPC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Data Systems Analysts, Inc. (DSA) of Trevose, Pennsylvania is a leading Information Technology and Management Consulting firm, delivering mission critical solutions to Federal, State, and Local governments and commercial industry. We are best known for Energy Management & Environmental Sustainability Consulting, Records and Knowledge Management solutions, Information Systems Development & Integration, and Cyber Security and Information Assurance services. With offices in the DC Metropolitan Area and across the nation, we serve Fortune 500 decision makers and Federal, State, and local government agencies to meet mission-critical challenges. Please visit for more information.

Contact: Paul Meyers, Director, Integrated Performance Management,
(703) 748-7031; [email protected]

Who brings brands like Nordstrom, Forever 21 to social media? Philly’s Curalate

Online commerce has taken the fun out of shopping, Curalate Inc.’s CEO, Apu Gupta, believes. At Amazon, it’s search and purchase, search and purchase, search and purchase.

Convenient, yes. But where’s the serendipitous joy of wandering the clothing racks at Nordstrom or Macy’s and finding something?

PACT President & CEO, Dean Miller, lends words of support.

Click here to read the full article via the Philadelphia Inquirer.