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17 COVER STORY
Josh McRoberts: Rejoins the CHS Pack as an Assistant Coach Who are those masked men on the cover, you ask? It’s former CHS standout Josh McRoberts—a 2005 CHS graduate, and senior members of the CHS varsity basketball team. McRoberts was the 37th pick in the 2007 NBA draft. Having retired after a solid NBA career that included a short stint with the Indiana Pacers, McRoberts has rejoined the CHS Greyhounds as an assistant coach. We talked with McRoberts about growing up in Carmel and what brings him back to his hometown to coach at his alma mater. Good luck to McRoberts and the CHS Greyhounds this season. Cover Photo // l-r 1st row Wil Leary, Conner Gioia, Bryce Beery; 2nd row Josh McRoberts, Kentrell Richardson 3rd row Nick Frische, Brian Waddell Cover Story Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photo // Laura Arick
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Sam’s Wish Spreads Kindness and Goodwill Body Outfitters: Connected Workouts Boost Fitness, Health and Accountability During Pandemic Alchemy Spirit House’s Toast to Valentine’s Day
14 Cupid Versus COVID-19: A Perspective on Dating During a Pandemic
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Spreads Kindness and Goodwill Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Sam’s Wish
It doesn’t take much to feel overwhelmed by all the bickering and negativity that’s out there on social media these days. And so, it was beyond refreshing to see a post from Carmel resident and founder of Sam’s Wish, Heather Stephenson, that encouraged spreading kindness and caring over 21 days in January.
HAT IS SAM’S WISH?
The story of Sam’s Wish begins in 1993 when Stephenson [then Heather McNew] started a Special Olympic program so that her brother Sam could participate in sports. They were called the “McNew family delegation.” In 1994, they opened the program to more people with disabilities and became Hamilton Heights Special Olympics. The program became Special Olympics Hamilton County in 1999. Stephenson served as the county coordinator as a volunteer until 2012.
21 DAYS OF KINDNESS AND KINDNESS CAMPS “I’m one of eight children—I have four older siblings and three younger siblings, and the youngest is my brother Sam,” Stephenson shared. “Sam has Down syndrome. He was born when I was in 6th grade, and he stole everybody’s heart pretty quickly. When Sam turned 8, all he wanted to do was participate in sports. I was in college at the time, and I looked into getting him involved in Special Olympics. There wasn’t a program in Hamilton County at the time, so I started one.” Balancing her work/home life as a volunteer, wife, mother and teacher, Stephenson passed over the reigns and
refocused her energy on her family and career. Stephenson and her husband, Derek, are raising three children of their own. She teaches kids with severe disabilities in grades K-5 for Carmel Clay Schools. By 2014, Stephenson had come to realize that volunteerism was a big part of who she is and that engaging our youth is a critical part of raising future philanthropists and community volunteers. “I realized that volunteering was something that I need to be doing and is something that I want my kids to be involved in,” Stephenson expressed. “I ended up starting Sam’s Wish, and we became a 501(c)(3) in 2014. Our mission at Sam’s Wish is to help people in their time of need and provide more opportunities for people with disabilities to live happier and healthier lives. It’s become a bigger organization than I ever dreamed.” Sam’s Wish has helped those who need a hand up by funding adapted equipment (communication devices, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.) for people in need, offering healthy eating/cooking classes for adults with disabilities, starting a parents night or day out event for parents of children with disabilities, and the list goes on. Amid the pandemic, the organization has continued to push through and has been finding creative workarounds to continue to help community members. Stephenson and her board of directors remain focused on their short- and long-term goals, which include developing new and educational programs and activities that will be offered at no cost.
Stephenson began hosting Kindness Camps back in 2015, which continue to grow in both numbers of participants and popularity throughout the community. “I really wanted to do these camps for my own children to teach them how to live philanthropic lives,” Stephenson said. “We started out doing things with them and their friends, and as more people signed up, I opened up the camps—as of 2016—to anybody that wants to participate. Up until last year, I did about 20 Kindness Camps, and most were during the summer. We would usually meet at the Carmel Clay Public Library or we
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a bag of items needed for the various acts of kindness and has been responsible for doing at least one kind act a day. Some of these acts have included giving flower bouquets or bags of candy to people the kids know or to a total stranger, writing encouraging letters to children who are ill in the hospitals, writing to their principals on behalf of their teachers expressing their gratitude and placing pennies—face up—around the community so that whoever finds them might have good luck in 2021.
GETTING INVOLVED WITH SAM’S WISH In addition to spreading kindness, Sam’s Wish hopes to develop a youth board of directors by the end of the year to further expand their engagement efforts and to find a volunteer who would be willing to maintain the organization’s website. “I’m hoping to be able to do more Kindness Camps throughout the year,” Stephenson said. “And hope to get out and to help more people and raise more funds so that we continue helping those
who need it. I dream big, but I hope to eventually get our own [15-passenger] van because we have to rent one every time we do a camp.” Sam’s Wish typically holds two fundraisers every year, but with COVID-19, the organization has been heavily relying on its generous donors and on any grants that it is awarded. If you are interested in learning more about Sam’s Wish or are interested in becoming a donor or volunteer, visit the website at samswish.org. Be sure to follow Sam’s Wish on Facebook and Instagram for updates on upcoming Kindness Camps or other volunteer opportunities.
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would rent a 15-passenger van and go all over Hamilton or Marion counties doing things like pick up trash, deliver flowers to and play bingo with seniors, set up free lemonade stands along the Monon [Trail], make up care packages for hospital waiting rooms and many more other activities.” As with the rest of the nonprofits, Sam’s Wish had to pivot their activities and goals around the pandemic. “This past summer, [COVID-19] changed everything,” Stephenson said. “I did two Kindness Camps over the summer, and we maintained 6 feet of distance while we picked up trash outside or delivered food to a family. Over the holidays, I was racking my brain, trying to think of things we could do, and I decided that since it was going to be 2021, we could start the year with 21 Days of Kindness.” Stephenson posted on Facebook and ended up getting 85 kids signed up for the 21 Days of Kindness campaign. The campaign kicked off Jan. 11 and wraps up on Jan. 31. Each child who registered received
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an equipment standpoint, most of the [virtual] workouts that I’ve built since last March have one [appropriate] weight. That doesn’t mean we can’t progress those weights down the line, but to be creative and consistent with one piece of equipment—that won’t crush the budget—is a simple start.”
Keeping It Simple and Neutralizing Excuses
B o d y
O u t f i t t e r s
Connected Workouts Boost Fitness, Health and Accountability During Pandemic Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted
Perhaps you are one of the millions of Americans who have purchased fitness equipment and technology-based fitness tools for their homes last year—both as a way to stay healthy, relieve stress and build a strong immune system throughout the pandemic.
spoke with Mark Moreland, owner/personal trainer at Body Outfitters Personal Training Studios, to learn more about how he and his staff have been meeting their clients where they are throughout the pandemic and how Body Outfitters is keeping the momentum going into 2021.
Connected Workouts Moreland described his studios’ reaction as proactive rather than reactive to the stay-at-home order. Prior to Gov. Holcomb’s lockdown orders last March, Moreland told me that he and his staff had read the tea leaves and had already begun making a “hard pivot” to virtual training. “It’s been a fun challenge to try to meet people where they are, but that’s what we do all the time at our studios,” Moreland said. “We’re just playing a little bit of an away game right now. We’ve been doing live sessions since March, so we’re dialed in. Our coaching cues are even better, and we know what these [sessions] look and feel like.”
For existing and new clients, Moreland and his staff set up appointments with their clients—either in person or virtually— and develop a customized workout plan. “We set up [virtual] appointments on Zoom or a preferred platform of your choice,” Moreland explained. “There needs to be a visual aspect of [the session] so that we can get body cues, and then we can offer the three things that we specialize in: knowledge, accountability and the appropriate level of intensity. That’s what we bring to the table.” In the first session of the live sessions that Body Outfitters offers, Moreland shared that he or any of his trainers begin with assessment workouts and build a plan that helps their clients progress. Your “coach” gives you body cues to ensure proper movement—which is the foundation to any plan customized for you by Body Outfitters trainers. “We’re going to build a plan for you based on where you are and where you want to be,” Moreland stated. “You don’t need anything super fancy. From
Moreland and his staff utilize another tech tool called “True Coach” for their virtual clients. True Coach is an app that allows trainers and clients to connect and be held accountable outside of live sessions. “We build our programs in True Coach, which by itself doesn’t have value to the client, but we use that to create an account and upload videos and examples,” Moreland shared. “The app also allows us to track when you’ve completed your workout and when you haven’t, so there’s a level of accountability. The difference between this and a live appointment is you can do it whenever you want, and you can do that workout again if you want to. There’s no need to have super unique workouts every time unless that what the client wants.”
Moreland continued, “The other thing that we’re doing to meet people where they are is, we have been posting simple movements for people to do at home with simple equipment on our social media channels. One of the videos that I built for my clients during the lockdown is a stair workout. If you have stairs, that’s all you
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that your body adjusts to it. That’s true with nutrition as well.”
Create Your Space, Look and Time
need for this workout. And if you don’t have stairs, a simple step is all you need.” Prior to the pandemic, and at least for me personally, not having “time” was the biggest excuse or barrier that kept many from carving out time for working out. Once the virus rampaged the entire planet, people began looking at their health and fitness as a means of surviving and less as an onerous task. “Most people’s previous excuses have been neutralized,” Moreland said. “Time is not a barrier anymore as many now have a surplus of time. Now that we’ve removed that barrier, it’s about consistency. I would say consistency and fitness are more important than how much it costs and what kind of equipment you have. It’s about doing something regularly enough
For those who want to work out from home and don’t have the advantage of “changing one’s scenery,” instead having to create that mental/physical space within the confines of their home, Moreland talked about identifying your personal “triggers,” creating your workout outfit and carving out time that becomes YOUR care time. “We all need a trigger,” Moreland admitted. “I own a gym and have been training for 23 years, and I still need a trigger some days when I don’t feel like working out. My ‘trigger’ is putting on my workout clothes. As soon as I put on my workout clothes, it’s almost like putting on a new identity—now I’m ‘Workout Mark.’ Then once I get moving, I start to feel better, and it helps pump up my energy.”
Body Outfitters Is Ready When You Are For those who are missing in-person sessions and feel comfortable venturing
out, Moreland discussed what measures both his Carmel and Zionsville locations have taken that go above and beyond the recommended safety protocols and pandemic restrictions. “We’re by appointment to begin with, so we have a controlled flow of people,” Moreland stated. “It’s easy for us to stay 6 feet apart, and our coaches and staff wear masks at all times. Our classes and groups are down to a four-person maximum. We have the space to spread people out and give you 8 to 10 feet apart from one another. And our treadmills are more than 6 feet apart.” Moreland concluded, “We’ve added significant air filtration systems at both of our locations. It kills 99.9% of things that come through the air. I can’t tell you that we are safer than your other gyms, but I can show you how we’re controlling our environment, and then you can choose to participate or not.” For more information on Body Outfitters and its Carmel and Zionsville locations, visit bodyoutfitters.com.
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“Our beautiful Cotton Candy Lemon Drop will be available only to go on Valentine’s Day, and the Alchemy Fresh at Home for the month of February will be a whiskey sour and an old-fashioned [kits].”
Fresh Out of the Barrel
Alchemy Spirit House’s
Toast to Valentine’s Day Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Alchemy Spirit House
This may not be the most conventional Valentine’s Day in our lifetimes—thanks to COVID-19—but it doesn’t have to be unmemorable or lacking in zest!
uckily, our friends at Alchemy Spirit House have created some delectable libations and debuted a couple of new selections to set the mood and give us reasons to toast!
Zionsville’s First Microdistillery If you haven’t yet made the acquaintance of Mark Nigbur, founder and owner of Alchemy Spirit House, he is a bit of a “rock star” in the distilling industry and has built a solid reputation—nationwide—for his brands over the years. In my story that was featured in Zionsville Monthly the fall of 2019, I introduced Nigbur, his wife, Laurie, and their young son, Harrison. The Nigburs relocated to Zionsville from Maui to open Alchemy Spirit House. Located on South Main Street in Zionsville, Indiana is a working microdistillery showcasing an intimate, 30-seat tasting room with an industrial speakeasy atmosphere. One master distiller, one distiller/ mixologist and one tasting room director collaborate to serve tasting flights and classically inspired one-off cocktails craft-
ed exclusively with Alchemy’s innovative distilled spirits. Since Alchemy’s official opening in 2020, Nigbur and his innovative staff have been delighting their customers throughout the pandemic—both in-house and throughout surrounding communities—with their impressive collection of incomparable sprits and the Alchemy Fresh at Home cocktail kits. These kits consist of one of Alchemy’s microdistilled spirits, additional ingredients and easy instructions on how to create the specific cocktail, all of which can be ordered inhouse or over the phone.
Candy Is Nice but Alchemy’s Craft Cocktails Are Sweeter!
Adding to an already impressive lineup, Alchemy has recently released its Alchemy Spirit House Reposado Agave Spirit No. 9 and the highly anticipated Alchemy Spirit House American Blended Whiskey single barrel. Zionsville’s first and ONLY tequilas are made from weber blue agave from Jalisco, Mexico. While perfect foundations for a margarita, both of Alchemy’s tequilas can be enjoyed neat. “The tequila is an 11-year-old weber blue agave that we ferment, distill and bottle in-house,” Nigbur explained. “Our Blanco is unaged, and our Reposado is aged for three months in French oak. They’re distilled the way tequila was distilled 50 years ago. The Blanco starts out sweet and ends spicey, and the Reposado starts out sweet and ends with spice and a hint of smoke.” Nigbur continued, “The new whiskey is an American blended whisky. It’s an 8- to 9-year-old George Dickel Whiskey from Tennessee. We blend it with our distillate that we have aging, and then we bottle it.” So, step up your game this Valentine’s Day and place your pickup orders or enjoy the evening in-person at Alchemy Spirit House. And indulge yourselves with Zionsville’s best microdistilled spirits! All Alchemy Fresh at Home cocktail kits orders must be placed by 10 p.m. the night before the designated pickup day. Call (317) 600-1858 to place your orders. Visit Alchemy Sprit House online at alchemymicrodistillery.com for hours of operation and additional information.
Let’s face it, times have been tough and more than a little underwhelming. Why not make this Feb. 14 a little (or a lot) better—depending on how you pour—by ordering one of Alchemy’s specialty craft cocktails, available only on Valentine’s Day! “We will be featuring a Godiva Chocolate Martini with an Ovaltine rim, inhouse, on Valentine’s Day,” Nigbur shared.
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l-r Carmel Assistant Coaches: Andrew Foley, Jacob Van Arsdale, Josh McRoberts, Walt Morris, Josh Cole and Rich Conley
Josh McRoberts: R e j o i n s th e CH S Pack a s a n A ssista n t Coach Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick and submitted
We are proud to feature on the first cover of the new year former Carmel High School (CHS) Greyhound and NBA player Josh McRoberts. Upon his retirement from the NBA, McRoberts decided to move back to his previous stomping grounds and return to the CHS basketball program that he evolved in, as a volunteer assistant coach.
UILDING UPON A STRONG FOUNDATION
We spoke with McRoberts about his experiences as a youth with Carmel athletics and the Carmel Dads’ Club. We also asked McRoberts about how his experiences as a power forward in the NBA may be beneficial to
the current generation of Greyhounds Basketball players he’s working with as an assistant coach. “From a career perspective, I think that the coaching that I received through the [Carmel] Dads’ Club throughout growing up and in middle and high school helped me a lot,” McRoberts shared. “The help
from my coaches in high school and having a support system that included my family and the Carmel community as a whole was a big thing for me.” McRoberts graduated from CHS in 2005 and led the Greyhounds in both scoring and rebounding during his senior year. McRoberts was considered the No.
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Bobcats, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks. “I think it would’ve been cool to play the Pacers or with one team my entire career, but I will always be grateful for the opportunity to experience and play in different cities with different teams and coaches,” McRoberts expressed. “I got to play with some of the best players—some of the best of all time. It was an invaluable experience to be able to see the things that I was able to see throughout my career.” Having been drafted into the NBA at age 20, McRoberts shared that he had done a lot of growing up throughout those years. “My career gave me a
1 power forward prospect out of high school. He grew up in a basketball-centric family—his father graduated from CHS and had played on the basketball team as well. Another influential mentor to McRoberts throughout his youth, was the late Mr. Eric Clark—a beloved CHS administrator, teacher and head coach for football, basketball, and track while at CHS. The CHS athletic facilities were
BACK HOME AGAIN WITH HIS PACK With strong roots in Carmel and to be with his family, McRoberts moved back to reestablish himself and start the next chapter of his story. He shared that having been part of a team for as long as he had, McRoberts felt the absence of that kind of inclusion and purpose. “During the 2011 NBA lockout, there was a month that we weren’t playing,”
named the Eric Clark Activity Center upon his retirement in 1997.
WITH EXPERIENCE COMES KNOWLEDGE McRoberts played for a total of seven NBA teams, including the Indiana Pacers. Out of college, he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 37th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft. He also played with the Charlotte
good perspective on things,” McRoberts said. “I really grew up throughout my career, and what I learned has helped me a lot. I’ll take those experiences and lessons with me wherever I go in life.”
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McRoberts said. “At that time, my brother was a sophomore playing on the CHS basketball team. Coach [Scott] Heady was the head coach, and Coach [Ryan] Osborn was the assistant coach at that time. Coach Heady let me hang around the team and help out for a month during the lockout. I built relationships and stayed in touch with now head coach Osborn. He was gracious enough to let me come help out and get a little more involved.” McRoberts tends to enjoy working behind the scenes and emphasized that he enjoys helping the team with the other coaches and working with the student-athletes. “I love working with the kids and am lucky to be learning from them,” McRoberts said.
“I’ve never been in a coaching position, so I’m learning as I go and am getting to experience things for a first time from this side of things. I’ve been having a great time and have so much respect for the kids given what they are going through. It’s difficult enough as adults going through this. I can’t imagine being 16, 17 or 18 years old and having to go through something like [COVID-19]. You can’t repeat your high school years— you only get one chance.” McRoberts continued, “These kids are learning on and off the court right now. They’ll be able to deal with adversity as they go forward and not just in basketball but throughout their lives.” When asked for his best advice to give any young athlete
These kids are learning on and off the court right now. They’ll be able to deal with adversity as they go forward and not just in basketball but throughout their lives.” as they continue to work hard and push through the obstacles that the pandemic continues to present them, McRoberts stated, “First, I would tell the kids, ‘Keep the masks on.’ Then, I’d tell them that their hard work is absolutely worth it. It’s not going to be fun every day necessarily, but their hard work and fortitude will be worth it in the end.”
McRoberts concluded, “I think it’s important to remember to be the best that you can be. Nobody could have predicted the situation that the world is in right now, and there’s a lot of things that are out of our control. But if you work hard, control what you can and stay on a positive path moving forward, it’s going to pay off.”
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John D. Proffitt Retired
Poindexter & Wyatt for Making A Differrence in our community!
Zack Bishop Making a Difference with an Eagle Scout Project Zack Bishop is a Life Scout in Carmel, Indiana, working towards his Eagle Scout rank. Zack plans to place two boxes within Carmel for proper flag disposal. His first box will be placed outside of the Carmel American Legion on Main Street and a second box will be placed at a Carmel Fire station (TBD). Once the weather permits, Zack plans to purchase the steel boxes from Amazon and then have them wrapped in American flags with the BSA logo—in vinyl—before placing them at the fire stations. Following the placement of the boxes and having received donations from the community, Zack will conclude his project with a flag retirement ceremony for the community to attend. After Zack finishes High school, he plans to attend a culinary school. He also plans to pass the maintenance reins of this project onto another local Troop or to the site locations themselves and will follow up with them. Zack is currently raising funds for this project by doing “Dine to Donate” nights and has a GoFundMe page. If you would like more information or to donate, please contact Mrs. Anne Poindexter for contact information.
Family Law/Juvenile Law /Wills, Trusts & Estates/Civil Litigation
2021-01-20 1:57 PM
Morph LLC Brings Quality Trainers to Where You Are Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Laura Arick and Submitted
As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and to illustrate that proverb, many creative and entrepreneurial minds have been making the most out of this pandemic to launch new and exciting products and services to meet their prospective customers where they currently are.
Introducing Morph LLC
ow many of you have had your workout routines completely uprooted by the pandemic? Many of us have resigned to working out at home but miss the one-on-one experience of working with a certified professional trainer. Well, Carmel resident DeShaun Holder, CEO and founder of Morph LLC, has figured out the solution—one that may revolutionize personal training as we’ve known it well beyond the pandemic. Some of you may recognize Holder as an instructive assistant (teacher’s assistant) for the Life Skills department at Carmel High School. For the last four years, Holder has also been an assistant coach on CHS’ football and basketball teams and coaches track at the middle school level. “When I’m not coaching, I’m assisting kids who are on the spectrum and helping them with daily activities,” Holder shared. “The Life Skills department [at CHS] is one of the biggest special needs programs in Indiana.” Holder has also been a personal trainer and nutrition specialist as well as a devoted husband and father of three. During the lockdown in March of 2020, Holder recognized a void in the industry as a direct result of gyms and workout facilities being shutdown due
to COVID-19 restrictions. Owning a gym had been a dream of Holder’s for years, but now he had an idea that would be completely unique to the industry and one that would set him apart from any other available fitness services. “The company is called Morph LLC,” Holder said. “It’s a technology platform that connects customers to trainers using the app. Within the app, customers can connect to a community of trainers that will be ready to train them on demand wherever and whenever they choose.” Holder describes the app as being similar to third-party service apps such as Uber and Lyft. Once launched, people can download the app that will be available on both Google and Apple platforms and create a user account. Then users will select a trainer based on their biography, availability and training preference. And unlike virtual appointments, the Morph trainer comes to where you are at home, work or if you’re a guest at a local hotel and trains you for 60 minutes.
Specialized Training by Credible Trainers Holder explained that Morph trainers are independent contractors that go through a thorough background check and onboarding process before being set up on the app as a trainer. “In between the time that they [trainers] set up an account and get approved, they’ll have been through an onboarding process with either me or an onboarding director,” Holder explained. “Then from there, we make a decision as to whether they’re approved or not. Unlike a gym, we can’t write a trainer up or set up disciplinary actions. Everything is about ratings, so we have a standard of rating that if a trainer gets below a certain rating, we’ll disconnect them from the app.” Once customers have completed a training session, they will rate their trainer through the app.
The Initial Launch Plan Once the app has been launched, Morph LLC will be servicing Carmel, Fishers, Zionsville, Noblesville, Westfield, Pendleton, Anderson, Greenfield, Greenwood, Geist, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Lafayette, Muncie and Crawfordsville. Holder is looking to expand beyond these areas as he continues to develop and grow the brand and the app’s features. “The categories that we are initially offering are personal training [and] sports-specific training for football, soccer, basketball and swimming. We also have yoga, Pilates and massage therapy,” Holder stated. “We’re trying to do big things out here. We’re trying to create better opportunities for more people out here as well as create opportunities for the community as a whole. There’s been a lot of late nights and early mornings, and [developing the app] has definitely been a challenge, but it’s one I’m most appreciative of because of the support that I have from my family.” Holder shared that the app has been developed by a talented family member and that the experience has made him more tech savvy. Holder added, “My mind’s been blown a few times where I’ve been like, ‘Oh wow, that’s how it’s done!’” The plan is to have the prototype app ready for the official launch party on Jan. 31. In the meantime, Holder and his team are working to finish the website build and establish their social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Holder concluded, “People can expect full access by mid-February. I’m excited for the communities to know that there is a new way to train!”
For more information on Morph LLC, how to become a Morph trainer and other general questions, email DeShaun Holder at email@example.com. Visit the website at morph2you.com and be sure to follow Morph LLC for launch updates and other information on Instagram at @Morph2you, Facebook at Morph LLC and Twitter at @llcMorph. CARMEL MONTHLY
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A cool feature for Morph is the trainer-share. It allows customers to “share” a trainer and split the cost. Each category has a minimum share requirement. A benefit for trainers and coaches who may be interested in signing up with Morph LLC is the fact that they can work independently and keep their own schedules. Holder added that another couple of perks for his trainers are that they will never be decommissioned like they can be at gyms and they can accept tips from their customers—which is usually prohibited at gyms and fitness centers.
2021-01-20 10:58 AM
on Providing Support for Small Businesses Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Staff
A new year has commenced, and though we’ve flipped the calendar to 2021, the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have not ceased to impact businesses— particularly the small business community—nationwide.
An Essential Membership
neZone continues to work fervently to support all of it members and has recently rolled out an online store called shoponezonecommerce.com that gives retail and restaurant businesses a platform within the OneZone organization to have an online store. I spoke with OneZone President Jack Russell, who discussed his organization’s latest initiatives and programs set for 2021. “Like most businesses, we have moved parts of our organization to a digital platform,” Russell shared. “We have created
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online events and programs to help our businesses stay connected. One event we are proud to offer is a ‘Virtual Business Cards Over Breakfast’ event. This gives you the ability to speed network with other businesses. Our initial event had over 70 businesses in attendance. It is a great way to connect with other businesses in the community.” Additionally, OneZone has partnered with Bankable—a nonprofit small business lender with a flagship in Anderson, Indiana—to support businesses that are not yet ready or able to qualify for traditional financing options.
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“In addition to awareness, Bankable and OneZone’s new partnership will streamline the process in which a small business can get connected to Bankable and apply for a capital solution,” Russell shared. “Beyond lending, Bankable’s Growth Ready program can offer many free services to borrowers that range from basic website design to business coaching in order to help them reach their goals, grow and become ‘bankable.’” In addition to the financial spoke in OneZone’s “Small Business Hub,” Russell discussed the educational piece that will offer members additional resources pertinent to their businesses’ growth and exposure. Some of these fee-based programs will be available at member and nonmember prices. “In the upcoming months, [OneZone] will offer SCORE webinars along with a new program called, ‘Grow with Google,’” Russell shared. “This is a partnership with Google where we will be doing
workshops for small businesses to make sure you are utilizing Google and your [business’s] technology the best way possible.” OneZone will also offer legal webinars, and over the next couple of months, it will offer virtual small business roundtables to its members. “We’re looking at three different groups right now,” Russell said. “We’ll have a person who will help run those [roundtables], and it will be an opportunity for small businesses to not only meet other small businesses but to discuss specific topics relative to their specific industries. We’ve got a lot going on in the small business side of things.” Make your membership to OneZone part of your 2021 business plan. At the basic level, an annual OneZone membership is less than a dollar a day at $300. You get out of it what you put into it, and if you take advantage of the resources that a membership to OneZone provides,
your membership is an investment opportunity with a guaranteed ROI.
Save the Date OneZone’s annual Taste of the Chamber event has been changed from Thursday, Feb. 18 to Wednesday, April 28 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana. This networking event that displays businesses from a myriad of industries is open to members, nonmembers and the general public—adults only please. Attendees will be able to enjoy tastings from restaurants, caterers, breweries, bakeries and wineries. Tickets are available online at https:// web.onezonecommerce.com/events/Tasteof%20the%20Chamber%202021-4148/ details. For more information on OneZone, visit its website at onezonecommerce.com.
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2021-01-20 4:35 PM
ANSWERS YOUR FINANCIAL QUESTIONS Which is the correct spelling: Advisor or Adviser? As it turns out, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) doesn’t care as long as the “advisor” doesn’t spell it b-r-o-k-e-r. Regulation Best Interest restricts the use of the word Advisor
The SEC issued a ruling known as Regulation Best Interest to reduce investors’ confusion. The regulation restricts the use of the term “advisor,” regardless of its spelling, to companies who operate as Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). Brokers and others who manage personal finances who are not RIAs have been asked to remove the term “advisor” in their marketing. The ruling went into effect on June 30, 2020. According to a CNBC article (“Your financial advisor may not actually be an ‘advisor’”), a joint study conducted by the Rand Corporation and the SEC’s Office of the Investor Advocate estimates that more than 40% of investors think “broker” and “advisor” are interchangeable titles and believe both are required to act in their clients’ best interests. So just what is the big deal here? What’s the distinction between a broker and an advisor? Simply put, it is the difference between selling and advising.
What does a Broker do?
A broker performs transactions on behalf of a client and receives a sales commission for facilitating the transaction. Brokers may also personally benefit from commissions paid by companies to incent the distribution of a specific product. These products could
include annuities, certain share classes of mutual funds, long term care, and life insurance. The only requirement is that the product must meet the low bar of being “suitable” for the client. It could be said there is a conflict of interest innate to this arrangement.
What does a Registered Investment Advisor do?
Conversely, RIAs are paid a fee for the advice they provide rather than sales commission on products sold. Financial advisors are held to a higher standard than “suitable”: they work in “fiduciary” capacity, which means they must act in the client’s best interest when providing advice or recommendations. In a fiduciary capacity, advisors typically have fewer conflicts of interest embedded in their recommendations. Earning compensation by providing sound advice mitigates the potential conflict of interest inherent to those living on commissions from product sales.
What happened to the DOL Fiduciary Rule? Before Regulation Best Interest, in an earlier attempt to contain the conflict of interest rampant in the financial industry, the Department of Labor (DOL) approved a fiduciary rule that would require anyone offering retirement investment guidance to operate strictly in the clients’ best interest. However, the implementation of the so-called
“fiduciary rule” suffered a series of delays and was eventually vacated by a March 2018 circuit court ruling. At that time, the DOL laid out a picture of America’s advice crisis in a widely distributed Fact Sheet that highlighted the flaws with the current system, much of which is relevant today: While many advisors do act in their customers’ best interest, not everyone is legally obligated to do so and some do not. Many investment professionals, consultants, brokers, insurance agents and other advisers operate within compensation structures that are misaligned with their customers’ interests and often create strong incentives to steer customers into particular investment products. These conflicts of interest do not always have to be disclosed and advisers have limited liability under federal pension law for any harm resulting from the advice they provide to plan sponsors and retirement investors. (Fact Sheet, United States Department of Labor, April 2012)
Why does Fiduciary matter?
To the advisors at SYM, the fact that so many practitioners resisted the obligation to put client interests first speaks volumes about the size of this problem throughout the industry. While regulatory agencies continue to address the challenge, it is critical that clients understand their professional relationships. Fiduciary duty is the strictest duty of care within the U.S. legal system. We believe strongly in maintaining a client-first, transparent
partnership with our clients. We operate in this manner because we believe it is the right way to conduct business. We do this by pursuing a combination of investments designed to provide the optimal combination of after-fee, after expense, after-tax returns in the context of a portfolio’s risk profile and your financial situation. SYM’s commitment to ethical behavior incorporates fiduciary duty and expands it. Every employee is required to abide by a firm-wide code of ethics overlay designed with the goal to shield clients from even subtle conflicts of interest. At the individual level, many SYM employees are also bound to additional codes of ethics as articulated by the CFP® (Certified Financial Planner®) Board, the CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst®) Institute, the Indiana CPA (Certified Public Accountant) Society, the AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary®) board, the FPQP™ (Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™) board, and the Indiana State Bar Association. It’s in our DNA. If you or someone you know could benefit from a fiduciary relationship with a Registered Investment Advisor, we are here to serve.
Visit us at sym.com and reach out to start a nocost, no-obligation conversation.
DISCLOSURES: The Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation is granted by fi360, formerly known as the Center for Fiduciary Studies. Those who earn the AIF® mark, successfully complete a specialized program on investment fiduciary standards of care, pass a comprehensive examination and attest to a Code of Ethics. Certified Financial PlannersTM (CFP®) are licensed by the CFP® Board to use the CFP® mark. CFP® certification requirements include: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, completion of the financial planning education requirements set by the CFP® Board (www.cfp.net), successful completion of the CFP® Certification Exam, comprised of two three-hour sessions, experience requirement: 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process, or 4,000 hours of Apprenticeship experience that meets additional requirements, successfully pass the Candidate Fitness Standards and background check, agree annually to be bound by CFP® Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, and complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years, including two hours on the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) are licensed by the CFA® Institute to use the CFA® mark. CFA® certification requirements: Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or have equivalent education or work experience, successful completion of all three exam levels of the CFA® Program, have 48 months of acceptable professional work experience in the investment decision-making process, fulfill society requirements, which vary by society. Unless you are upgrading from affiliate membership, all societies require two sponsor statements as part of each application; these are submitted online by your sponsors. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the statutory title of qualified public accountants in the US who have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and have met additional state education and experience requirements. Certification is administered by each state. The Financial Paraplanner Qualified ProfessionalTM (FPQPTM) is a designation covering the financial planning process, the five disciplines of financial planning, general financial planning concepts and terminology. Individuals who hold this designation have completed the 10-module course of study, and then successfully passed an exam. Designees must adhere to the College’s Standards of Professional Conduct and complete sixteen hours of continuing education every two years. The opinions expressed herein are those of SYM Financial Corporation (“SYM”) and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. SYM reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs. This is not a recommendation to buy or sell a particular security. SYM is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about SYM including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. SYM-20-67.
2021-01-21 10:17 AM
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2021-01-19 4:24 PM
Josh McRoberts: Rejoins the CHS Pack as an Assistant Coach Who are those masked men on the cover, you ask? It’s former CHS standout Josh McR...
Published on Jan 25, 2021
Josh McRoberts: Rejoins the CHS Pack as an Assistant Coach Who are those masked men on the cover, you ask? It’s former CHS standout Josh McR...