Calendar* by Dafne Cholet (Flickr, CC0)The past year has been one of change, collaboration, and innovation for the MFLN. We started 2016 by implementing a new approach to program planning and delivery: identifying timely and relevant issue-driven content reflecting the professional development needs of our audiences. We also shifted to a collaborative planning approach, which helps us address issues from multidisciplinary standpoints. Finally, we began shifting program delivery from lecture-style content delivery to problem-centered learning approaches that rely on our audience members’ participation and experience. These shifts in programming resulted in seven collaborative webinars, five “Lunch and Learn” sessions (discussion sessions as follow-ups to webinars), and two open-forum webinars. Across the network, you may have noticed some of these changes as a part of your participation experience: an increased use of case studies, intentional interaction in webinars and social media, and dedicated “chat times” in webinars; blog posts responding to questions and issues raised in webinar chats; expanding webinar conversations to our social media platforms; and programming topics that reflect your requests. We are just getting started on these new approaches and will continue to refine our work as we move into another new year of programming!We also welcomed several new staff members in 2016: Caitlyn Brown and Bari Sobelson joined Family Development at Valdosta State as information specialist and social media specialist, respectively; Alicia Cassels joined the leadership team as evaluation consultant; Kristen DiFilippo joined Nutrition & Wellness as professional education coordinator at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; and Mitch McCormick joined Community Capacity Building as social media specialist at Cornell. New staff and old have been instrumental in implementing programming changes and also in keeping the MFLN mission at the center of all we do. We are grateful not only to our brilliant and dedicated staff, but also to our colleagues at the Department of Defense and across the Cooperative Extension System for helping to make 2016 one of our most productive and successful years yet.We also want to thank YOU, our audience members, for your continued participation and support! In 2016 alone, 5,725 of you attended our 50 live webinars and 3 virtual learning events. In total, you earned 7,727.5 continuing education credits (way to go!). We ended the year with 26,742 Facebook likes, 3,445 Twitter followers, and 94 LinkedIn group members. Please keep up the pace for 2017, and let us hear from you! We want to know what issues are important to you. We want to hear about your professional experiences. We want you all to have the opportunity to learn not only with us, but from each other. Interact with us during webinars, on social media, and on our blog pages. Contact the staff of the CAs to let them know about your professional development needs, facilitators you would like to interact with, and ideas for future programming. Please let us know how we can continue to serve you as you continue another year of service to our nation’s military families.Don’t forget to check out our upcoming webinars for February! If you do not currently receive the MFLN “Network News” to your inbox each month, we invite you to subscribe.
Click here to claim your free copy of this special investing report now! Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic…And with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.Fortunately, The Motley Fool is here to help: our UK Chief Investment Officer and his analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global lock-down…You see, here at The Motley Fool we don’t believe “over-trading” is the right path to financial freedom in retirement; instead, we advocate buying and holding (for AT LEAST three to five years) 15 or more quality companies, with shareholder-focused management teams at the helm.That’s why we’re sharing the names of all five of these companies in a special investing report that you can download today for FREE. If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away. See all posts by Jabran Khan Jabran Khan | Friday, 30th October, 2020 | More on: VVO Image source: Getty Images Is this FTSE 250 stock a bargain or one to avoid? Here’s what I think Jabran Khan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Enter Your Email Address 5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50 One FTSE 250 stock I like and that is very cheap right now is Vivo Energy (LSE:VVO). VVO is a British company that distributes and markets Shell and Engen branded fuels and lubricants to retail and commercial customers in Africa. It maintains subsidiaries and operations in 23 countries across the continent. Cheap FTSE 250 stockAt the beginning of the year, shares in VVO could be purchased for 125p. When the market crashed, its share price tumbled to a low of 64.5p. As I write this, it has recovered slowly and shares are currently trading at only 75p per share. At its current price point I consider VVO to be quite cheap.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…VVO joined the FTSE 250 in April 2018 and was trading at a high of 172.5p per share. An argument could be made that its reduction in price is not a positive sign. My response to that would be that the recent economic downturn has affected nearly all companies and industries in a negative way. I would not base any investment opinion on share price alone, especially not right now due to the pandemic and crash.PerformanceReviewing Vivo’s longer-term performance across the past three years makes for positive reading. It has seen a year-on-year increase in revenue and gross profit, which is definitely a positive indicator for any investor.VVO today released its Q3 trading update and I feel there are some positive takeaways from it. As expected, Q2 was difficult for many firms in the FTSE 250.VVO recorded a gross cash profit of $187m which is impressive despite the recent restrictions it has faced due to the pandemic. This is only a 1% decrease compared to the same period last year when there were no restrictions or pandemic. Q3 volumes of 2,492m litres was a significant improvement from Q2 although it remained 7% lower year-on-year. VVO’s retail segment saw lower volumes but an improvement compared to the previous quarter. In addition to this, a number of countries it serves returned to year-on-year growth during Q3. Its commercial segment volumes were lower and impacted by a lack of international travel and movement.VVO initially suspended its 2019 dividend of 2.7 cents per share when the economic downturn first occurred. In its update today it has confirmed that it will now pay that dividend in December to shareholders who are on the register by 20 November 2020. This is a positive move as it shows the firm is confident in its financial flexibility and can reinstate its dividend.My verdictOverall, I really like Vivo Energy but there is an element of risk. There are positives, in that longer-term performance has been impressive. Its Q3 trading update shows that despite the market uncertainty, it is getting closer to pre-crash levels of performance and volumes. Due to the ongoing economic uncertainty and potential further restrictions, we could see another repeat of Q2 performance. This is where I believe the risk lies for VVO. At this moment, I would be willing to buy some shares in VVO. I wouldn’t be investing lots of cash but feel it could be worth buying some shares and keeping an eye on developments across the FTSE 250. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.