Sports Stars Join Baby Otter Swim School To End Childhood Drowning

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Baby Otter Swim School

Baby Otter Swim School

Andre Dawson and Billy Thompson at Baby Otter Swim School Event

Providing Black Women With The Opportunity To Own Their Own Swim Schools

The more people we put in business the more lives we can save from drowning.”

— Mindy York – co founder of Baby Otter Swim School

ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA, September 13, 2023/ — Four years ago, a chance encounter between two South Florida leaders, Julius V. Jackson, Sr., a former Miami police officer and international businessman (a founder of Pan African Express Airlines, among other ventures) who became a leader in the Black Community, and Keith Wasserstrom, former Hollywood Commissioner, prominent lawyer, and business leader in the Jewish Community. They decided to combine forces, and their extensive connections, into the Alliance of Blacks & Jews, dedicated to restoring the collaborative relationship that previously existed in the Black and Jewish communities. Adding former NBA star, Pastor Billy Thompson, and Jewish activist, philanthropist, and business leader, Liz Brauser, as the head of the for-profit and non-profit divisions of the Alliance, respectively. With an emphasis on providing a “hand up” instead of a handout, the Alliance hoped to bring opportunities, training, mentoring, jobs, financing, and pathways to ownership and investment to the Black community, to improve the lives of underprivileged people in South Florida, the United States, and in Africa.

It was with this intent that the Alliance endorsed a million-dollar pledge to Baby Otter Swim School to help 25 women to become their own boss, as Baby Otter Swim School franchisees, through grants, loans, and scholarships. Baby Otter has been saving lives for over 40 years with their proprietary and ingenious Turn, Kick, Reach® swim program that, as the World’s Fastest Learn to Swim Program®, can teach anyone, from babies old enough to crawl to firefighters and policemen, and even a 50-year old Hall of Fame Baseball star (Andre Dawson), in just five 30-minute lessons. Baby Otter’s founders, educator Marlene Bloom and businesswoman Mindy York, are on a mission to end childhood drownings in Florida, and then the rest of the world. They smartly realized that they could reach more people, and more children, by allowing franchisees to own their own Baby Otter Swim School all over the world.

The Alliance and Baby Otter partnership will allow 25 single mothers committed to teaching minority children–those most vulnerable to drowning risks–to swim, to own their own business, be their own boss, support their family, or make extra money to improve the lives of their families and their communities. As former single moms (now, grandparents to Black and Jewish grandkids), Mindy and Marlene appreciate the challenges and struggles of single moms trying to raise children with little help and limited resources. “Giving these women the opportunity to make extra money and to own their own business is extremely empowering” noted Mindy York. “And, providing more instructors to help the most vulnerable children in minority communities helps Baby Otter to end childhood drowning much sooner than doing it alone,” added Marlene Bloom.

The Alliance is working on providing electricity, clean water, schools, hospitals, and bridges to hundreds of millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Julius, as a frequent visitor over 40 years, has established tremendous deep and long relationships with leaders in many of the African countries. “This million-dollar commitment is right inline with our mission,” said Keith Wasserstrom who sits on the board of both the Alliance and Baby Otter, “improving the lives of our friends in the Black community by providing jobs, opportunity, training, and saving lives!”

For more information about the scholarship program, contact Baby Otter at or call 1-888-SWIM KID (888-794-6543).

Please follow us on our social channels below.

Instagram: @babyotterswimschool


Twitter: @babyotterswim


Mindy York
Baby Otter Swim School
888 SWIM-KID(794-6543)
email us here
Visit us on social media:

Another life saved in just 5 days!

Article originally published on as Sports Stars Join Baby Otter Swim School To End Childhood Drowning

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Hanna Interpreting Services Awarded Comparably’s Best Company for Work-Life Balance

Hanna Interpreting Services, a premier language services provider, is proud to announce its recognition by Comparably as one of the best companies for work-life balance. This honor is a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to employee well-being and its innovative approach to fostering a harmonious work environment.

Comparably’s accolade assesses factors such as employee satisfaction with work-life balance, average hours worked per day, lunch break lengths, and overall feelings of burnout. Hanna Interpreting Services' dedication to creating an environment that melds productivity with personal time has made it stand out in this evaluation.

A significant contributor to this balance is the company's hybrid working model, where employees merge the best of both worlds by working remotely for three weeks and in the office for one week every month. This flexibility allows team members to maintain their personal lives while still fostering in-person collaboration. Hanna also ranked among the top 35% of companies for diversity and in the top 40% for gender balance.

"It's a balance we've been striving to achieve, especially in these dynamic times," says President Tom Elias Hanna. "We understand the challenges presented by both remote work and the need to be in-office."

September is a monumental month for Hanna Interpreting Services. In addition to the Comparably award, the company celebrated its 13th anniversary on September 9, marking over a decade of industry leadership and commitment to bridging linguistic barriers. The month also saw the inauguration of a brand-new office space, showcasing the company’s dedication to growth and serving as a hub for innovation and team collaboration.

As Hanna Interpreting Services continues to evolve and set benchmarks in the industry, the core values remain consistent: a commitment to bridging language barriers, a dedication to employee well-being, and a vision to be the most trusted name in language services.

Founded in 2010 by mother and son duo Jennifer Hanna and Tom Elias Hanna in their garage, Hanna has grown to more than 70 employees, served 1.1 million clients to date in 250+ languages, and has sponsored countless outreach events to serve the local community.

For more information about Hanna Interpreting Services or to schedule an interview, please contact Sean Spicer, Revenue Operations Manager, at

Contact Information:
Sean Spicer
RevOps Manager
(619) 963-2331

Original Source: Hanna Interpreting Services Awarded Comparably's Best Company for Work-Life Balance

With Nearly 2,000 Athletes, the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games & Access, North America’s Largest Jewish Teen Sports and Community Building Event, Leaves a Lasting...

With Nearly 2,000 Athletes, the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games & Access, North America’s Largest Jewish Teen Sports and Community Building Event, Leaves a Lasting Impact
Boys 16U Soccer Finals

The Fort Lauderdale Maccabi Soccer team won their gold medal match against the Philadelphia team.

The 2023 JCC Maccabi Games® & Access, hosted by the David Posnack Jewish Community Center (DPJCC) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, have concluded with resounding success and heartfelt gratitude to the community that made it all possible. This week-long celebration of sports, camaraderie, and inclusivity has left a lasting impact, thanks to the dedicated efforts of our generous supporters.

Close to 2,000 Jewish teen athletes aged 12-16, representing communities worldwide, gathered in Fort Lauderdale to experience the joy of sports and the power of inclusion. The Games, presented by the JCC Association of North America, offered an unforgettable Olympic-style experience filled with competitions, opening and closing ceremonies, community service, social and cultural events, and opportunities to create Jewish connections that will last a lifetime.

One of the highlights of this year's event was the introduction of JCC Maccabi Access, brought to you by UKG and presented by the Posnack Family Foundation. This program is designed to provide athletes aged 12-18 with intellectual and developmental disabilities an inclusive Maccabi experience. This three-day program, held in conjunction with the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games®, exemplified the event's commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

Scott Ehrlich, CEO of the David Posnack Jewish Community Center, reflected on the Games, stating, "We were overjoyed to welcome Jewish athletes from all corners of the world to Broward County for the 2023 JCC Maccabi® Games & Access. Our heartfelt appreciation goes to our JCC Maccabi Team led by our Co-Chairs, Lori and Mitch Green, Debby and Dennis Eisinger, Davia and Jim Mazur, and Missy and Dan Longman. Their unwavering commitment contributed significantly to establishing an atmosphere that nurtured camaraderie, inclusiveness, and the genuine essence of the Games."

The Games' success was significantly bolstered by the support of honorary co-chairs Scott Scherr, founder of Ultimate Software, and Scot Hunter, co-founder of Emerald Multi-Family Office. Their encouragement to business owners and the backing of corporate and community partners played a pivotal role in the event's success.

Supporting Corporate Sponsors:

  • Emerald Multi-Family Office
  • Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits
  • Official Torch Sponsor: Duty-Free America
  • Kent Security
  • Official Beverage Sponsor: Coca-Cola 
  • The Meltzer Group
  • Official Transportation: Sponsor Comcast 
  • Official Media Partner: Clear Channel Outdoor 
  • Official Produce Sponsor: ProEx International
  • Official Pun, Pass, and Kick Sponsor: Miami Dolphins
  • Official Basketball Sponsor: Miami HEAT
  • Official Baseball Sponsor: Miami Marlins
  • Official Cleaning Company Sponsor: AK Building Services
  • Official Swimming Sponsor: Blavatnik Family Foundation 
  • Northland Investments
  • Official V-VIP Dinner Sponsor: Aroma Market & Catering
  • Custom Outfitters LLC
  • FP&L
  • Greenspoon Marder
  • Manne Foundation for Homeless Prevention
  • Official Mitzvah Sponsor: Children's Services Council of Broward County

The 2023 JCC Maccabi Games® & Access were not just about competition; they were also about giving back to the community. The JCC Cares Mitzvah Projects showcased the spirit of service, assembling over 1,000 Rosh Hashanah food baskets for Goodman JFS Seniors and Holocaust Survivors, donating over 2,500 pairs of new sneakers to students, in partnership with Children's Services Council of Broward County, and repurposing 340 medals for the "We Finish Together" organization, spreading kindness to ill children and adults in hospitals.

Among the highlights:

  • Approximately 10,000 spectators attended the Opening Ceremony at FLA Live Arena.
  • 1,620 visiting athletes.
  • 21 Access participants.
  • 375 Coaches & Chaperones.
  • 850 Community Volunteers.
  • 600 Host Families.
  • 215 Local Athletes & Access participants representing Team Fort Lauderdale.
  • 64 delegations, including international representation from Israel, Ukraine, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, and 53 cities throughout the USA.
  • 100 Local businesses and individuals generously supporting.
  • 110,000 bottles of Dasani water, Powerade, and soda provided by Coca-Cola.
  • 47,000 pounds of ice used.
  • 20,000 meals served.
  • 300 athletes and coaches wrapped tefillin daily.

As the Games came to a close, the resounding message was one of unity, inclusivity, and the power of community. The 2023 JCC Maccabi Games® & Access will be remembered not only for the athletic achievements but also for the lasting friendships, cultural exchanges, and shared experiences that will continue to enrich the lives of all those who participated.

For more information about the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games® & Access and how you can support future events, please visit

Contact Information:
Rixys Alfonso
Corporate Sponsorship Consultant

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954-434-0499, ext. 313
Related Images
Boys 16U Soccer Finals
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The Fort Lauderdale Maccabi Soccer team won their gold medal match against the Philadelphia team.

Ukrainian team with Stanley
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The Ukranian team, sponsored by the David Posnack JCC, poses with Stanley C. Panther at opening ceremonies of the JCC Maccabi Games & Access.

JCC Access Games Athlete & Coaches
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Original Source: With Nearly 2,000 Athletes, the 2023 JCC Maccabi Games & Access, North America's Largest Jewish Teen Sports and Community Building Event, Leaves a Lasting Impact
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