Covington Partners: Mentoring ONE Student, Changing TWO Lives

August 23, 2017

OMEGA MVP Making a Difference for Years to Come

Covington Partners Summer Program 2

“Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” – Lady Bird Johnson

We’ve heard it said time after time–children are the future. But have you stopped to wonder just what we are doing to ensure that their (and our) future is bright? For one Covington, Kentucky organization, they’ve made the success of the local children and teens a priority from day one.

In 1999, the Covington community recognized that youth substance abuse and violence were becoming a problem that the schools could not address alone. At that time, Dr. Janice Wilkerson formed a cross-sector coalition to address these topics and Covington Partners in Prevention opened its’ doors.

Their Vision: Covington Partners envisions a future in which all Covington children realize the promise of their full potential.

It didn’t take long for the community to see the benefit of this work, lending more and more support from not just Covington, but the whole Northern Kentucky area. From businesses to schools, law enforcement entities and healthcare professionals, it was clear the success of the youth plays a direct role in the success of the region.

By 2001, Covington Partners in Prevention began a variety of mentoring programs, promoting mental and physical health, family strengthening, and staff training and support. In 2004, the organization became a registered 501 (c) 3 organization and by 2008, their name was officially changed to simply and inclusively, Covington Partners.

“While many youth serving organizations specialize in one activity or program areal, Covington Partners supports the whole child,” said Tom Haggard, Resource Development Coordinator at Covington Partners. “We know our students can achieve anything but they sometimes have barriers standing in their way. Our job is to help remove those barriers through programs designed to support academic achievement, youth development and family and community engagement.”

Covington Partners

Covington Partners programs includes before school, after school and summer learning out-of-school time programs, their one-on-one mentoring programs, a number of wellness initiatives and family engagement activities, and the Leadership and Resiliency Program (LRP).

Mentoring

If you think Covington Partners will simply change the lives of the children, think again. In fact, the tagline of their mentoring program is ‘mentor ONE student, change TWO lives’. Whether it’s playing a game, filling out college applications, lending some advice or simply sharing a laugh, it’s easy to see the positive impact each mentor has with their student—but that impact goes both ways. “Any adult who has been through our mentoring program will tell you that they learn just as much, if not more than the student,” Tom said. “Lasting relationships are built, each unique and special in its own way.”

These relationships are highly impactful on students’ school attendance, behavior, and academic achievement.

Prevention

Another incredibly successful program Covington Partners offers is their Leadership and Resilience Program (LRP). LRP is an intensive substance abuse prevention program designed for ‘at risk’ adolescents and teens. The program consists of resiliency groups, community volunteer experiences, and adventure learning and focuses on three main areas: goal setting, positive coping skills, and healthy relationships. LRP works with short term goals, such as reduced school behavioral incidents, as well as long term goals like reduced substance usage and high school graduation/college enrollment or employment.

The success is all in the numbers. With a 95.6% retention rate, 100% of LRP participants have graduated or are on track to graduate high school. Even more, 99.2% of LRP Seniors have enrolled in a post-secondary institution or the military.

For Tom Haggard, there’s one moment each year he holds especially close—Graduation Day. “You watch student after student walk across that stage to get their diploma and know that the work we do each day has touched their life. The work that we do matters.”

Covington Partners Mission: Covington Partners works every day to keep our community moving forward by eliminating boundaries to learning and success. Through innovation and collaboration, we create safe and engaging environments for our students and families to learn and grow.

Covington Partners Values: We believe our students have the potential for greatness. We create safe and engaging learning environments. We believe that learning has no boundaries. We believe with the unwavering support of schools, families and the community, our students will succeed.

Get involved! To find out how you can join, mentor, or donate, go to their ‘Get Involved’ information section. Learn more about Covington Partners by visiting their website and liking them on Facebook. Covington Partners is located at 257 Pike Street, Covington, KY 41011.

MVP LOGO

The OMEGA MVP program was organized to help recognize, celebrate and promote the Merchants, Vendors and Partners of OMEGA Processing Solutions. Covington Partners has been an OMEGA merchant since 2013.


Black Friday is Coming!

August 18, 2017

There are less than 100 days until Black Friday and the official start of the holiday shopping season. Are your gift card and customer loyalty programs ready? We can help.

Here are just a few ways that OMEGA Processing’s customized gift card and loyalty program can help your business:

  • Add new — and loyal — customers
  • Extra spend — the average customer spends MORE than the value of the gift card
  • Higher margins — consumers are more likely to pay full price when using a gift card
  • Decreased returns — gift card recipients buy what they want, meaning less returned merchandise for you
  • Improved cash flow
  • Customized rewards program to best fit your business

PLUS, with OMEGA Processing’s gift and loyalty program, you can order professionally designed accessories, such as envelopes, display stands, card holders and window clings. And our program comes with a FREE mobile app. Visit our website or contact us today at 866.888.9724 for more information.

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Back to the Basics — Merchant Processing 101

July 26, 2017

As a business owner, a topic you often have to discuss and review is ‘merchant processing’. With so many things on your plate, sometimes it’s good to take a moment and go back to the basics.

What Exactly is Merchant Services?
Merchant services. Electronic payments. Merchant processing. It goes by several different names, but what exactly is it?

Simply put, merchant services is the process by which businesses accept electronic payments, meaning credit and debit cards. In a broader sense, however, Merchant Services includes online ordering, mobile payments, gift and loyalty card programs, electronic check guarantee and processing and point-of-sale systems.

In order to process electronic payments, a merchant (or business) must have a merchant account with a credit card processing company or bank. Many banks have a referral relationship with a credit card processing company for their customers. OMEGA Processing Solutions has been providing merchant processing services since 2003.

Credit Card Processing Process
It sounds simple enough, but the processing itself can be complicated. Here’s a graphic explaining the process of how credit cards are accepted for payment and merchants are credited for their sales. For more information on credit card processing, visit www.omegap.com

Credit Card Cycle 2

Benefits of Partnering with OMEGA Processing:

  • Guaranteed lowest total processing costs
  • Billing and fee transparency
  • The latest hardware, software and point-of-sales solutions
  • 24/7 local service and support
  • Friendly, knowledgeable sales and service professionals
  • A referral bonus up to $100 per account

Gift and Loyalty: We Have an App for That

July 19, 2017

MobileApp_background_slider_OMEGAOur gift and loyalty program has gone mobile. You can now perform gift, loyalty and promo transactions, as well as voids, using your mobile device.

The Gift Card and Loyalty Program mobile app is available for FREE for both iOS (iTunes Store) and Android (Google Play) devices. Search OMEGA Processing Gift and Loyalty within the app stores to find the app.

Informational videos are available for both versions of the app. Follow these links to view the videos.

Android: https://youtu.be/Lkm_K74pXyY

iOS: https://youtu.be/hBdLkvioi_E

Want a reference guide for the new app? Email info@omegap.com or call Support at 866.888.9724 Ext. 7.

TRANSACTION TYPES
GIFT
You can view the gift card balance and perform either a Gift Issuance or Gift Redemption.

LOYALTY
You can view the loyalty points balance and perform either a Loyalty Issuance or Loyalty Redemption.

VOID
Transactions can be voided.

PROMO
The Promotional Currency balance can be viewed. You can perform either a Promo Issuance or Promo Redemption.

LOGGING INTO THE APP
1. When logging in, you will see a screen asking for information. The Client ID is 4107 and should already be pre-loaded into your app.

2. The app will next ask for your Location ID, Terminal ID, Employee ID and Password. This information should be available in your mypgoramadmin (MPA).

3. Click “Login” at the bottom of the screen.

After the initial login, you will only need to enter the Terminal and Employee information to enter the app.


Parades, Baseball and the Fourth of July

July 5, 2017

Congratulations to all of the OMEGA Processing knothole youth baseball teams on wonderful seasons. It was great to see you in the July 4th parade!

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OMEGA Processing Solutions Adds Merchant Analyst Role

July 5, 2017

 

Industry veteran, Kim Polark, fills newly created, vital position at locally based payments processor 

OMEGA Processing Solutions announced today the hiring of payments industry veteran, Kim Polark, in the newly created position of Merchant Analyst. Kim works at OMEGA’s Fort Thomas, Kentucky, corporate office and reports to Director of Merchant Operations, Daena Sprafka.

With the increasing complexity of EMV/Chip Card technology, PCI and data protection regulations, Point-of-Sale system migration and new, non-traditional competitors, the need for an analyst with a specific skill set has become increasingly important.

“It’s essential for us to quickly analyze merchant data, reach decisions based on that analysis and adjust quickly. We can then use that knowledge to make decisions that positively impact our customers and their businesses,” explains Todd McHugh, President, OMEGA Processing Solutions.

Kim has over nine years of experience in various roles within the payments industry. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband and daughter.

About OMEGA Processing Solutions

Founded in 2003, OMEGA Processing Solutions is a premium provider of electronic transaction processing and data delivery. The company offers electronic payments processing, B2B and e-commerce solutions, mobile payments, point-of-sale system integration, short-term capital funding and gift card programs to thousands of businesses across the United States. OMEGA has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the BBB Center for Marketplace Ethics. OMEGA Processing Solutions has made four recent appearances on the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies. For more information, please visit www.omegap.com or call 866.888.9724.

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Facts You Might Not Know (or May Have Forgotten) About Memorial Day

May 24, 2017

Now held the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is a day set aside for remembering the people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces.

The remembrance originated as Decoration Day and was established as a time to decorate the graves of Civil War Soldiers with flowers.

The holiday became officially known as Memorial Day in 1967, by Federal Law.

The first Memorial Day Ceremony in Arlington Cemetery on May 30, 1868. President Ulysses S. Grant presided over the ceremony, and the principal speaker was Civil War General and future U.S. President, James A. Garfield.

It is customary to fly the United States flag at half mast until noon on Memorial Day and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.

Memorial Day was originally observed every May 30 until the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which took effect in 1971. The holiday was then moved to the last Monday of May.

It’s estimated that 32 million people travel by car over Memorial Day weekend.

The tradition of having a red poppy a symbol of tribute to veterans originated from John McCrae’s 1915 poem, “In Flanders Field.” The sale of artificial poppies supports the work of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The 30th Rolling Thunder Run will be held on Sunday, May 28, 2017 in Washington D.C. The Rolling Thunder Run mission is to educate, facilitate, and never forget by means of a demonstration for service members that were abandoned after the Vietnam War. Rolling Thunder has also evolved into a display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country.

The first Indy 500 was held on May 30,1911. The winning driver, Ray Harroun, averaged 74.6 m.p.h. throughout the race. In 1974, the race was moved from Memorial Day to the Sunday before.

memorial day