As a company, we feel it is important to invest in our employees. Everyone has a story, a past, all leading them to where they are now. Every person, every story, has the same value and deserves to be heard. That said, Feynman Group has started a new interview series called ‘What’s Your Story’, giving our employees a platform to share their life, perspectives, and fundamentally, their story. We thought it appropriate to kick off the series by interviewing our Community Outreach Ambassador, Javier Martinez. We hope you enjoy getting to know the people who represent Feynman Group and constitute our company culture.
Welcome to ‘What’s Your Story’.
Questions for Javier:
Being someone who comes from a multi-cultural background, how do you feel like that has provided you with a positive advantage in the workplace?
What’s a quality you convey that is unique to you?
What intrigued or interested you about the business world that brought you to pursue it?
Other than your job, what are other factors that contribute to your identity?
What are some things that you are passionate about?
In February, B Local PDX held the 1st Annual B Corp Day of Service where local B Corp businesses were encouraged to take part in giving back to their community. The Day of Service reinforced the idea of using business as a force for good by utilizing each company’s paid volunteer time to pour back into our communities. It created an opportunity for businesses to be the hands and feet in making a positive change for people within their community while helping local organizations get more support and recognition. B Local PDX noticed that the Portland area has a high concentration of B Corp businesses. They decided that rather than working separately towards a cause, local B Corps could join together to create an even stronger impact. The results of the collaboration between local B Corp businesses that participated in the B Corp Day of Service were tremendous. B Local PDX coordinated 16 local nonprofits with 23 different volunteering opportunities. Feynman Group employees had the pleasure of volunteering at four of these locations during the B Corp Day of Service.
Project Lemonade is a retail store operating out of Lloyd Center Mall that annually provides free clothing to foster children. They offer summer internships to these foster children as a means of gaining work experience while supporting their peers.
Madisen (left) using ‘Business as a Force for Good’ at Project Lemonade
The clothing items at the store are either purchased or donated, but their goal is to provide new items for these children to enjoy. On the Day of Service, Project Lemonade volunteers helped by sorting clothing, tagging and organizing shoes, and managing inventory. Madisen, who volunteered with Project Lemonade stated, “it was amazing to hear the experiences of an employee who had been working with the organization for years and to recognize that this nonprofit successfully functions on almost purely volunteer help”. Many children that are placed into the foster care system don’t have much besides the clothes on their back, so the opportunity to shop at a store where the items are free is an incredible experience for these children.
Javier attended the beach cleanup at Audrey McCall Beach with Human Access Project. Human Access Project is a group dedicated to the conservation of the Willamette River. Hosting ‘The Big Float’ since 2010 to raise awareness, the Human Access Project’s mission is to transform Portland’s relationship with the Willamette River. The February weather could have not been better for the volunteers cleaning up litter from the popular Portland swimming spot.
Javier (front center) with fellow B Local PDX volunteers at Audrey McCall Beach
Javier enjoyed removing plastic with fellow participating companies, including Scout Books and Permanente Dental Associates. Volunteers were equipped with gloves, grabbers, and bags to pick up litter up and down the beach where there are many items adulterating the area, such as needles. After spending a few hours cleaning up, Javier shared, “think about how much we could accomplish as a community if we stopped being selfish and dedicated a bit of time a month towards a bigger cause,” realizing the positive impacts that small investments of regular volunteer work can produce.
In the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, Alex helped clean and fix youth bicycles for The Street Trust, a nonprofit organization based in Northwest Portland.
Alex Working on Bikes for The Street Trust
The Street Trust teaches local kids that do not have access to transportation, how to ride bikes safely. This provides them with the freedom to get around independently and with the correct knowledge to do so. Ten percent of the students they receive have never ridden a bike before; The Street Trust’s program encourages and advocates for safe walking and biking. The volunteers spent their shift repairing the bikes that the organization uses for their program; checking tire pressure, brake function, gear function, and other mechanical needs. After his day of volunteering, Alex proudly noted, “we were able to prepare 50 bikes for the organization, which is the most they have ever received done in a day.”
Justine volunteered at Urban Gleaners in the SE Industrial neighborhood. Joining fellow B Corp volunteers from New Seasons and Scout Books, she helped repackage food donated by various local restaurants, corporate campuses, such as Nike World Headquarters and grocery stores like New Seasons. These meals were repackaged into well portioned, nutritional meals for low-income families.
Justine (top right) Sorted Food for Low Income Families at Urban Gleaners
Not only does Urban Gleaners provide fresh and healthy food for local low-income families, but they also allow people who are hungry to eat without having to show proof of low-income status. After her experience volunteering at Urban Gleaners and learning about the intentional support they provide, Justine stated, “I would like to volunteer at Urban Gleaners on a regular basis – I had a great time sorting and reapportioning fresh, high-quality food for people who are hungry that would otherwise go to waste. It was a friendly, welcoming volunteer environment and the people who run this organization are wonderful.” Nonprofits such as Urban Gleaners, not only see a need but they find solutions to fulfill that need in ways other resources might overlook.
After the B Corp Day of Service, a celebratory party was held at Shine Distillery & Grill where the volunteers collectively gathered. Participants enjoyed complimentary drinks supplied by B Corps, Sufferfest Beer and Brew Dr. Kombucha, and dinner from local food carts. It was an exciting time for everyone to greet the familiar faces of those they had been volunteering with that day and sponsoring businesses that came together to support their shared community.
B Corp Day of Service After Party at Shine Distillery & Grill
As a group, B Corp Day of Service volunteers contributed 1,256 hours with 314 registered volunteers and an economic impact total of $31,261. This is an example of how B Corps are mindfully directing their collective power towards leaving a positive thumbprint on society. February 21st was the first of many B Corp Day of Service events to come, with the goal of expanding and bringing together other businesses in the Northwest region who desire to join the B Corp movement of using business as a force for good.
Researchers in the UK have successfully broken the previously unbreakable WPA2 Wi-Fi security protocol.
This is a major announcement because the WPA2 protocol is used in almost every Wi-Fi network, meaning countless computers, smartphones, “internet of things” devices, and others are vulnerable to attack.
Feynman Group has the following proactive suggestions for our customers and partners to avoid exploitation:
This particular security risk is only available to the Wi-Fi coverage area. A potential hacker must be within range of your wireless network to take any action.
Where possible, connect to the network using a network (Ethernet) cable instead of wireless.
If you have Wi-Fi installed at your home or office, check with the manufacturer to see if/when an update may be available.
Websites which are secured with HTTPS (such as Google.com) are generally still secure even when browsing over a public / vulnerable network.
Some Wi-Fi vendors have already provided patches for this security issue, and many others will follow in the coming weeks.
WannaCrypt, also known as “WannaCry,” is a ransomware attack that made international news headlines for hijacking computer systems across the globe last week. WannaCrypt infiltrated thousands of computer systems and held their files hostage. Hackers demanded $300-$600 worth of Bitcoins for users to reclaim access. Its reach was massive, with over 150 countries falling prey to the malicious software. Businesses in China, UK hospitals, and Russia’s interior ministry were among the victims.
How Does WannaCrypt Work
WannaCrypt is believed to initially breach systems via email attachment – from there, it spreads quickly. The malware exploits a security vulnerability in Windows software called Server Message Block, which is used to transfer data between trusted computers. WannaCrypt employs EternalBlue (an exploit believed to be created by the United States National Security Agency that was later leaked by a hacker group) to spread throughout a business’ system in a matter of seconds, no user activity necessary. Meanwhile, a portion of the code called DoublePulsar installs a backdoor into the infected systems, giving the hacker remote control of the computers.
Reports of new infections have come to a halt, thanks to a malware researcher who discovered a web domain in the code. But this outbreak serves as a wakeup call to businesses and organizations everywhere: protect your IT systems.
The Consequences of Malware
Being the target of a malicious software attack can be costly. It puts sensitive information in the hands of hackers, puts you at risk for losing crucial files, leads to a pricey recoup process, and diminishes customer trust in your business. Your computer systems are home to the very information that keeps your business running – if they are compromised, it can be difficult to recover.
Steps to Better Security
Since ransomware is an imminent threat, it’s important to do everything possible to protect your business from infection. Here’s a list of preventative steps to bolster your IT’s network security:
Apply available critical and security updates to all computers regularly
Block potentially malicious files from entering your system using email anti-spam, anti-virus, and employee training initiatives
Request that employees only open attachments when they are absolutely necessary, and expected to arrive
Demonstrate additional caution with Microsoft Word for Adobe PDF files delivered by email
Test and validate data backups regularly
You can detect malicious software in your systems by configuring email alerts from anti-virus agent detections, employing network-based anti-virus and anti-malware software, and setting up monitoring on file servers to detect changes to your files.
How We Can Help
Our team here at Feynman Group has years of experience defending businesses from malware like WannaCrypt. We have expertise in preventative protections, as well as recovery solutions. Through our partnerships with Cisco AMP, OpenDNS, Cisco Firepower, and Datto, we can give your business the best chance of surviving malicious software attacks. This past week showed the world that it’s more important than ever for organizations of every kind to strengthen their IT security. If you’re not sure whether or not your business is properly protected, contact us for a free backup analysis today.
Today, we are celebrating the birthday of Richard Feynman — the inspiration behind our company’s name. The American theoretical physicist was known for keeping an open mind, finding pleasure in problem-solving, fostering curiosity, and keeping things simple. These are some of the central values that have guided our business from establishment in 1995 to this very day.
Richard Feynman was not just known for his incredible work and numerous awards in physics, but for his infectious energy and engaging perspective of the world around him. He combined brilliance, curiosity, and influence to change how people viewed problem-solving. Although Mr. Feynman passed away in 1988 after a battle with cancer, his legacy lives on. Here at Feynman Group, we continue to remember and live out Richard’s inspiring values in our daily work.
“The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones that you can really contribute something to. No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.”
With the end of the first quarter of 2017 swiftly approaching, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the year behind us as well as share a bit about our direction in the coming months.
Last year we made a concerted effort to focus on consistency as a theme, and while we experienced new and exciting opportunities – shifts in the industry, our expanding presence in Portland, the adoption of new technologies, and beyond – ultimately our concentration on consistency allowed us to grow alongside these changes. As a result, this growth has molded Feynman Group into a more mature, conscientious company.
Our dedication to community engagement continued in 2016 with our partners at Kids’ FIRST. Together, we raised over $50,000 at our annual 1 Day 100 Holes Charity Golf Marathon to aid children in Lane County. We are eagerly preparing for this year’s marathon in September, and we look forward to serving our community throughout 2017.
As Feynman Group moves forward, we are excited to continue building off of the positive growth we have diligently fostered. Alongside this effort, we are proud to launch our new logo which we feel reflects the progression and evolution of our brand. Finally, carrying us through 2017 is our concentration on acting deliberately and attentively as a company in order to best meet your technology needs. With that in mind, I sincerely thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your organization. Our partnership allows us to do what we love every day by helping your business thrive.
Few people know Oregon’s rivers better than brothers Clay and Ty Holloway. The duo has been fishing since they were young boys, and their love for the sport has only grown over the years. The Holloways eventually decided to share their passion by leading guided fly fishing trips along the beautiful McKenzie River. They were working with an outstanding business idea; however, the brothers recognized their need for a stronger online presence to reel in more clients.
Feynman Group created an entirely new website for Holloway Bros using the newest version of WordPress. Feynman’s web professionals began by gaining a comprehensive idea of Clay and Ty’s vision, and customized the design to fit that vision. The Holloway’s fly fishing business has no shortage of visual appeal, so Feynman harnessed it with stunning photos and a color scheme that captures the beauty of the McKenzie River. “Our primary goal with the Holloway Bros site was to convey a sense of adventure and excitement in order to spark the interest of potential clients,” said Nathan Johnson, a website developer at Feynman Group, Inc.
To make the Holloway Bros site easy to navigate, Feynman used a modern and clean setup. It’s even mobile friendly, so that potential clients can have an equally outstanding experience viewing from their phones. Since Feynman used the newest version of WordPress, it’s both up-to-date and secure. The site features a blog, photo gallery, personal testimonials, social media information, and more in order to gain maximum traction with potential and returning clients.
After seeing the final product, Ty Holloway said, “Working with the Feynman Group was a real pleasure; they were extremely helpful throughout the entire process. The service was very personal, and any questions that I had were met with a quick response. I would recommend their services to anyone looking to improve their web presence.”
Thanks to Feynman’s website design, development, and hosting the Holloway brothers now boast a modern and user-friendly online presence perfectly tailored to their business.
The end of the year is always a natural time for reflection, and as 2015 comes to a close, I’d like to share a bit of what the past year looked like for Feynman Group. One of the tenets we focused on this year as an organization was strength; strength in our actions, remaining strong through change, and of course strength in the services we provided. We also chose to concentrate on the ways we communicate, both in terms of the technological tools we use as well as how our communication helps us relate to each other as people. In these respects, Feynman Group has grown significantly over 2015 as an organization and as a team of skilled individuals.
With that said, the heart of our strength of course relies on our partners. We say our job is to give your business superpowers, and we truly value the opportunities you have presented us with to help you prosper through technology. On behalf of the whole Feynman Group team, I’d like to thank all of our partners, both new and familiar, for the chance to collaborate over this past year!
Looking ahead, I’d like to concentrate on consistency as a principle in the coming year. Consistency can be a nebulous concept, however to us, this stands for maintaining our high standards for superiority in service, staying present to ensure every detail is thoughtfully considered, and dedicating ourselves to following through on our word. And so my promise to you, as our partner, is to maintain consistency in 2016 as we continue to give your business superpowers!
President and Co-Founder
Adobe has confirmed another major vulnerability in its Flash Player just one day after releasing its monthly security update. The exploit, which affects Flash users across all platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, allows attackers to crash and seize complete control of the user’s system. This grants attackers full access to users’ webcams, files, browsing history, online banking information, and any other sensitive data contained on the machine, opening the door for full-scale identity theft.
Adobe Flash is a software platform commonly used for animations, browser and mobile games, applications, interactive media, online advertisements, streaming video, and more. Though its popularity has dwindled consistently in recent years (in large part due to known security issues), many websites and applications still employ Flash for a variety of uses.
As of the time this posting, Adobe has issued a security bulletin containing an update to the vulnerable version of Flash, however the safest option for all users is to uninstall Flash. Thankfully, most users should be able to get by without the software installed on their machines, as many modern platforms have been slowly moving away from Flash.
Feynman Group is proud to introduce our brand new redesigned website! You’ll immediately notice a fresh look, but this isn’t just a facelift. We completely overhauled the site’s structure, went all-out with modern, innovative visuals, and optimized each page from the ground up. Partially inspired by Google’s so-called “mobilegeddon,” we formed a game plan to thoroughly revamp Feynman Group’s presence on the web.
In order to satisfy the ambitious goals we set for ourselves, we approached this undertaking from a completely new angle. We knew without compromise that the final product had to function flawlessly in all common browsers and on all modern devices. Laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones, including those from Microsoft, Apple, and beyond all required equal attention. On top of that, we needed enough control such that we could tweak each element individually without any kinds of restrictions.
We also took this as an opportunity to revitalize our website’s search presence. It’s no secret that, without proper planning, redesigning your website can negatively affect previous search engine optimization efforts, but we wanted to take our preparations further. This meant carefully organizing our URL structure, thoughtfully shaping our written content, addressing all metadata, and countless other techniques which would boost our site’s search-friendliness.
Going forward, we’re eager to hear your thoughts on our new look! All comments, questions, and constructive criticism is welcome as we continue to improve our presence in the digital space. If you’d like to drop us a line or inquire on how we can bolster your web presence, feel free to visit our new contact page or give us a call at 541.342.5531 (Eugene) or 971.254.9922 (Portland).