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sunrising

The Finish Line

Posted On: April 30, 2021 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

The sun is shining in Waterloo, Iowa.  Sixty or seventy people are queued up at our Annex office getting their second dose of vaccine.  A VGM mom, masked, her eight-week-old baby in tow.  Baby knows no other world, yet smiling with delight, taking in all the action, happy, healthy, vibrant.  Two of our people talking in the hallway, spitting ideas, plotting a course for an upcoming pitch.  Two others waiting out their fifteen-minute post-shot hourglass,...
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Tags: end of pandemic, hope, optimism, post-pandemic

blue pinwheels

In Support of Happy, Healthy, and Safe Childhoods

Posted On: April 23, 2021 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary, Work Culture

We began this week with a group of 200+ employee-owners returning to our office.  For many it was their first time back in the office in over a year.  They were greeted by hundreds of blue pinwheels decorating our lawn, adding a celebratory feeling to our return to office. But the pinwheels carry more significance than simple décor. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, so in support of Family & Children’s Council (FCC) of Black Hawk County, we’re using their...
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Tags: awareness, believe the children, child abuse protection, family and childrens council

Reality Check

Reality Check

Posted On: March 1, 2021 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary

The latest census information sounds alarm bells for Iowa.  Iowa’s population declined again in the most recent annual data, due to people leaving our state.  This marks nine of the past ten years where more US born Iowans moved out of our state than moved into our state.  While we are not the worst state for population contraction, we are firmly in the bottom half.  And two trail signs indicate it will get worse over time if we don’t change the trajectory.  We...
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Tags: demographics of Iowa, iowa, population

Van G Miller

Value in Peaceful Reflection & Restfulness

Posted On: November 30, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Opinions, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

I saw Van the other night.  He pointed to me, smiled and yelled across the way, “lowering your handicap, Mikey?” Van is Van G. Miller, founder of VGM and the man who preceded me as CEO of our company.  He passed in 2015 – a faulty heart and too much wear on the tires.  I worked for him and learned from him for fourteen years prior to succeeding his legend.  He loved golf and a reference to a golf handicap was not unexpected. I’m left wondering what...
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Tags: dreams, mindfulness, reflection, restfulness

Healthcare Trends during the Pandemic

Healthcare Activity in Pandemic - Q3 Update

Posted On: November 17, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Healthcare, Opinions, Social commentary, VGM

I continue to watch the pandemic’s meaningful impact on the healthcare business and consumption of healthcare.  With third quarter data now reported, we can assess the trends and what the next few months may hold: The initial heat of the pandemic was mid-March through mid-May.  In the second quarter of 2020 (April-June) there was a reduction in non-emergent and elective healthcare services.  Largely this was considered a deferral of services but in reality a portion of...
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Tags: covid19, future, health, trends, mega-trends, pandemic

cyber attacks

Cyber-attacks by enemy governments.

Posted On: November 13, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Healthcare, Opinions, Social commentary

Last week in my blog I discussed the widespread cyber attacks on US businesses and healthcare institutions being perpetrated by hostile foreign governments.  I believe this is a failure of the US government to meet its obligation to protect and defend Americans from foreign adversaries.  Why is our federal government failing?  I have a few theories.  Our federal government faces a myriad of complex challenges.  Their job...
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Tags: cyber attacks, cyber, data, breach, cybersecurity

cybercrime

A foreign assault right before our eyes

Posted On: November 3, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Healthcare, Opinions, Social commentary

Imagine a scenario where Russian warships approach America’s coast and launch an invasion of Louisiana.  Imagine further the Russian soldiers break into buildings and seize valuables – keeping some of the spoils of the invasion and offering others back to the Louisianans, but only upon payment of ransom.  Finally, imagine the USA, with its vast military, intelligence and economic powers, doing nothing, except to encourage the good folks of Louisiana to resist the invasion...
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Tags: cyber attacks, cybercrimes

team player

Win with great team players

Posted On: September 21, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Employee Ownership, Social commentary, VGM, Work Culture

The other day I clicked on the link to a video of a basketball game played 40 years ago – and had an epiphany - mostly the best teams win, not the team with the best player(s).    The game was Iowa vs. Georgetown, with the winner going to the Final Four.  The Iowa team had no all-Big Ten players that year.  Of their five leading scores that game, four never played a minute in the NBA, and the one that did was a...
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Tags: team, team players, vgm

right to vote

The 19th Amendment

Posted On: August 18, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary, Work Culture

Today (August 18, 2020) marks the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote in America, via ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.  In commemoration of this historic advancement in equal rights, I wanted to share some of the lessons that we might be able to take away from this successful struggle, as best I understand from my reading. Meaningful advancements take time.  Women won the right to vote in 1920, one-hundred forty-four years after the founding...
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Tags: 19th amendment, Carrie Chapman Catt, hard won not done, right to vote, vote, women's suffrage

Crossing the Bridge

Crossing the Bridge

Posted On: August 4, 2020 by Mike Mallaro in: Community & Loneliness, Opinions, Social commentary

My family’s 2020 spring break took an ironic turn that now seems like serendipity. We had planned a Caribbean vacation, but COVID-19 emerged about that time.  Not wanting to leave the country, nor get on a plane, we made a quick decision to drive to the Gulf Coast of Alabama.  We chose Alabama because it had no cases of the virus at that time, it was drivable from Iowa (15 hours!) and it offered an attractive beach substitute to the Caribbean.  We had a wonderful time in Alabama,...
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Tags: crossing the bridge, john lewis, living history, selma