Friday, December 19, 2014

IME Wins Bid for CATS of Montgomery County, Maryland.

IME has been awarded, along with its partnering co-chairs, a Consulting and Technical Services (CATS) contract with the Department of Technology Services within Montgomery County, Maryland.

For Immediate Release

IME ( has been the partial recipient of a contract award with Montgomery County, Maryland. The company will service the Department of Technology Services for the county as part of its CATS program. The bid award announcement came in early December with a 2015 service date.

“My team is thrilled to be a part of this bid win. We are going to co-chair it with some of our peers which is always fun and a tremendous collaborative experience for the client,” said IME’s President Twyla Garrett. “IME is invested in providing solutions to our clients with challenges and I’m pleased to help drive this project forward with cost-effective results in mind.”

IME is an innovative leader within the technology services industry- among others. The company has spent the greater part of a decade dedicated to solving complex problems in support of its clients. IME was also recently featured on America Now, Politically Incorrect, and in Business Journals DC Edition. IME also provides government agencies, private sector organizations, and commercial business with IT support services and IT solutions to maximize resources and efficiencies.

“My team and I are proactive. We like to fully engage our clients with options and ideas, as well as explanations as to why some strategies work or will be setting a scenario up for failure. It is our goal to provide a full picture of risk versus results and then implement unique solutions that really solve problems and provides a great service and or product,” finished Garrett.

IME recently launched its new multi-media capable website with amplified service and capability options. Members of the media are invited to speak with Twyla Garrett about this opportunity and IME’s other capabilities.

Media Contact for IME:
Helene Vece
702-749-5925, Ext. 210

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Interview... Con't

Should I write about what a waste of resources and money "The Interview" movie is costing the Department of Homeland Security. Nevermind the fact that since 8am this morning CNN has done nothing but cover the story. I understand the threat that was made. I'm not downplaying its seriousness at all. I just can't believe that a movie has now turned into an international incident.

In case you've been hiding in a cave, "The Interview" was scheduled to open Christmas Day, but Sony canceled its debut following a threat from a group that claims it hacked the studio. Despite speculation the comedy might be released digitally after this whole series of nonsense and threats of been put into motion, studio Sony Pictures said in a statement that it "has no further release plans for the film."
Variety calls "The Interview" an "alleged satire that's about as funny as a communist food shortage, and just as protracted." Yet this "comedy" about two TV guys tasked with assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has sparked a cyberterror campaign that amounts to extortion.

So where do we go from here? Well, I'm not sure. The DHS and the FBI have to handle things on there end. The DHS did state there was a credible threat and so they are moving in accordance to policy to seek out who made the cyber attacks, etc. I do agree that this country shouldn't put anyone in danger over a silly James Franco / Seth Rogan movie but what kind of message are we sending to the world by pulling the movie? We teach our kids to stand up to bullies and the minute the big bully pushed us as a country, we fell. Sure, the movie is silly and probably not that funny- but I think we are missing the principle. We shouldn't back down from bullies- period. Our country exists on the premise of freedom of speech. We just showed how much we, as a country, are willing to retract that freedom because of a threat. I think that is a real shame.

Share your thoughts with me on Twitter of Facebook.

Twyla N. Garrett

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stop. Think. Connect. Are You Aware of This Campaign?

Today I want to cover the Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign being run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Not many people are aware of the campaign, which is counterproductive to why it was initiated in the first place. As a leader on Twitter for being a Homeland Security resource, I thought it would be a good idea to update everyone on what exactly this campaign is.
According to the National Retail Federation, 141 million people spent $57.4 billion dollars during Thanksgiving weekend last year, and consumers spent nearly $600 billion during the 2013 holiday season. The biggest shopping season of the year comes with great deals and benefits to shoppers, but it also comes with certain risks.
Stop. Think. Connect. Is an online security campaign, which ties into how much money people are spending online. The DHS launched the campaign to help consumers shop safely and keep their personal information and financial accounts private. The campaign offers tips on how to do this, some of which I have noted below;
1. Use and maintain anti-virus software and a firewall. Protect yourself against viruses and Trojan horses that may steal or modify the data on your computer and leave you vulnerable.
2. Beware of deals that sound too good to be true. Use caution when opening email attachments and don’t follow web links included in unsolicited email messages. Watch out for extremely low prices on hard-to-get holiday items. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Keep a record of your order. Retain all documentation of your online orders in the event that your purchase does not ship or there are unauthorized charges on your credit or debit card. Also, be sure to review your credit card statement each month for irregularities.
4. Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots. Limit the type of business you conduct when using public Wi-Fi networks. Avoid shopping online when using public Wi-Fi as your information can easily be accessed by hackers on a public network.
5. Shop on reliable websites. Take a look at the website’s trademark or logo to make sure it’s valid. Also, pay attention to the website’s URL. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate website, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net).
Since our social media culture is so 24/7, we often forget that (like the real world) bad people exist. Don’t allow yourself to become vulnerable during this holiday shopping season- or anytime. Follow the tips noted above and connect with the DHS directly for more information on the Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign.
Until tomorrow,
Twyla N. Garrett

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Really James Franco?

I can't believe that I have to address the issue of James Franco and Seth Rogan's latest movie scandal- but I do. Homeland Security also had to release a statement about the pair's latest movie project, The Interview, today. Why? Well, the plot of the movie is about killing the leader of North Korea. The Department of Homeland Security said today that it is unaware of any active plot against movie theaters in connection with the hacking of Sony Pictures in spite of many stories circulating the Internet.

That's right, the DHS had to address a James Franco movie because of terrorist plots / rumors online that are making people nervous about heading to the movies on Christmas Day- which is one of the biggest movie days of the year! “We are still analyzing the credibility of these statements, but at this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States,” the DHS official said in a statement. “As always, DHS will continue to adjust our security posture, as appropriate, to protect the American people.” The unsigned note, assumed to be from the hackers who breached the computer system of Sony Pictures last month, is the first threat of physical violence in the on-going drama. (Forbes)

If you're concerned about safety during a movie, please follow the steps below and always report suspicious activity You can always connect with me on Twitter too. Let's continue the conversation.

Steps for Movie Safety;

1. Sit in the back row, preferably on one side or the other. This not only gives you a clear view of everything — and everyone — in the theater, but it also gives you easy access to the door.

2. See movies early in the day. There’s no telling when a psychotic person might open fire in a crowded area, but safe to say it’s more likely to happen at a midnight screening than an afternoon matinee.

3. Keep your cell phone handy. It’s polite to stay off your cell phone during a movie. No one likes seeing that flash of blue screen in a dark theater. But keep your phone on and handy, in case you need to make an emergency call.

Until tomorrow,

Twyla N. Garrett

Thursday, December 4, 2014

3 “MUST” Networking Tips for Women Business Owners

I was recently asked if I had ever felt funny networking at a mixed gender event. Well, first of all, life is a mixed gender event. Second, I never have felt “funny” but I’ve always been a straight forward person who has worked among more men than women. That’s when it occurred to me that new business owners, who happen to be female, may need some tips on networking.
So, I went back and checked-in with the woman who asked me this question. I wanted to know what her experience was that she would ask me such a question. It turns out, she felt that men may have mistaken her business advances as an excuse to flirt. She was concerned about lines being perceived wrong at mixed gender events.

As a result of her question, I’ve put together 3 tips to help females new to business ownership proudly boast their companies, and build professional relationships, without feeling “funny.”
1. Practice your elevator pitch in the car and into a recording device. There are many apps that can record your thoughts while driving. Download one on your smart phone. Practice several elevator pitches in the car on the way into work. 8 hours (or more) later when driving home, listen to them. You will know what sounds great, what makes you cringe, and what to polish.
2. Be a giver. Don’t go into any event seeking a business deal or referral source. Instead, offer to do something for everyone you meet. This way, no single person feels you’re offering an “extra special” incentive because you’re interested in him or her. For example, if you own a bakery- have special business cards printed up with an offer for a free brownie every time the person visits your shop in-person.
3. Don’t drink more than one glass of wine and no hard liquor. This goes for any event at any point during your career as a business owner. No one likes a sloppy drunk and no one will take someone who can’t be responsible with their liquor intake at a corporate event seriously- especially when it comes to signing a contract or referring business to that same person.
Have more questions? Let’s connect on Twitter.

Twyla Garrett

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