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Carbondale schools alum to be new financial director for Roaring Fork School District

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Nathan Markham
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A product of the Carbondale public schools is set to become the successor to longtime Roaring Fork School District finance chief Shannon Pelland, who is retiring next year.

Nathan Markham, a 1999 graduate of Roaring Fork High School, has been named as the new director of financial services for the district, which includes public schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.

Markham is a finance professional who is expected to bring experience in budget and strategic planning, risk management and team-building, according to a district news release.

Markham is set to start in the new position in September. The new school year begins Monday for students.

“The interview committee was struck by Nathan’s collaborative manner, deep understanding of budget and finance, and years of business experience,” Rob Stein, Roaring Fork Schools superintendent, said in the release. 

In addition to being a Roaring Fork High School graduate, Markham has deep family roots in the Roaring Fork Valley. Markham’s parents, Joe Markham and Cindy Nett, were both longtime teachers in the Carbondale schools before their retirement. They still reside in Carbondale.

“We are pleased to continue our tradition of hiring homegrown stewards of our financial resources, as Shannon also grew up in the valley and was a product of our schools,” Stein said.

Markham earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Colorado State University and a master’s degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. He has worked for SM Energy Company for 15 years in various capacities, including director of finance, assistant treasurer and manager of financial planning and analysis.

“As the son of two RFSD teachers, I believe in public education and am looking to do my part,” Markham said in the release. “I am excited to move my family back to Carbondale to be close to family, enjoy the small-town life, and experience all the valley has to offer.”

Shannon Pelland

The director of financial services position was created after Pelland announced her intent to retire in March. Pelland intends to stay on through this coming school year until June 2020.

This will allow Markham to work alongside Pelland for the 2019-20 school year. 

“Most districts our size have at least two staff members to accomplish all that Shannon does,” Stein said. “Because of Shannon’s extensive role and institutional knowledge, we want the new director of financial services to have a year of overlap.”

That way, Pelland can spend time creating systems to ensure sustainability of her efforts after her retirement, Stein added.

Pelland has been with the school district for 24 years, and has filled two roles during that time — director of financial services and assistant superintendent.

The district decided when she made her decision not to hire a new assistant superintendent.

“The responsibilities of each position do not inherently overlap,” Stein said at that time, explaining that the assistant superintendent duties would be distributed among other district office executives.

jstroud@postindependent.com



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No renegades in New Economics Party

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Mingkwan Sangsuwan assures the media there are no renegades in the New Economics Party and they all remain loyal members of the opposition bloc – despite reports to the contrary. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Leaders of the six-MP New Economics Party (NEP) on Wednesday denied that four of them planned to support the government camp even though they sit on the opposition benches.

Former party leader Mingkwan Sangsuwan led a parade of the party’s five other MPs, including acting leader Supadit Arkasarerk, at a news conference at parliament to confirm they were all staying in the opposition bloc.

Mr Mingkwan said the NEP remained united, with no rebellious members supporting the Palang Pracharath Party-led administration. However, the NEP was not committed to supporting all motions tabled by the opposition in parliament. It would not blindly back all opposition moves.

Still, Mr Mingkwan confirmed the party’s support for an opposition decision to grill the government in a no-confidence debate.

The news conference was called to end speculation that four NEP members would break ranks to support the government, although they were still with the party. They were, reportedly, the acting party leader and three other MPs – Passakorn Ngerncharoenkul, Manoon Siwapiromrat and Marasi Kajornruengroj.

Mr Supadit said the defection speculation was groundless, but Mr Passakorn admitted he was not completely comfortable with the opposition as it paid too much attention to political issues and ignored economic problems.

Mr Mingkwan resigned as the NEP leader in May but he retains influence and is still seen as the face of the party. 

The government works with only a slim majority in the 500-seat lower house. It has 254 seats after Mongkolkit Suksintaranont, leader of the Thai Civilized Party, pulled his support. The Thai Forest Conservation Party, with two party-list MPs, has also threatened to end its alliance with the government if their policy environmental issues remain on the back burner.



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Target reports fiscal 2019 q2 earnings

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Target’s profit jumped 17% during the second quarter as its in-store pickup and same-day shipping services drew more customers, prompting the retailer to raise its outlook for the rest of the year, the company said Wednesday.

Sales at the company’s stores that have been open for at least a year grew 3.4% during the second quarter, also exceeding expectations. Target said same-day fulfillment services, including order pick up, drive up and Shipt same-day delivery business contributed nearly 1.5 percentage points of its overall same-store sales growth.

Target’s shares surged 13% in premarket trading, on pace to open at a record high.

Here’s what Target reported for the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 3 compared with what analysts were expecting, based on Refinitiv data:

  • Earnings per share: $1.82 vs. $1.62 expected
  • Revenue: $18.42 billion vs. $18.34 billion expected
  • Same-store sales: up 3.4% vs. growth of 2.9% expected

Target and its peers are searching for ways to make shopping more convenient. To compete with Amazon, they are improving their online stores and trying to ship faster. They are also betting that consumers do not mind visiting stores, especially when it’s faster than waiting for delivery.

“By appealing to shoppers through a compelling assortment, a suite of convenience-driven fulfillment options, competitive prices and an enjoyable shopping experience, we’re increasing Target’s relevancy and deepening the relationship between our guests and our brand,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement announcing the earnings results.

Net income rose to $938 million, or $1.82 a share, compared with $799 million, or $1.49 per share, a year ago. That was 20 cents better than expectations for earnings per share of $1.62, based on Refinitiv data.

Total revenue grew 3.6% to $18.42 billion from $17.78 billion a year ago, topping estimates for $18.34 billion.

Sales at Target stores open for at least 12 months and its website were up 3.4%, better than expectations for growth of 2.9%. A year ago, same-store sales climbed 6.5%. Target said traffic was up 2.4% during the latest quarter. Meanwhile, digital sales surged 34%, down from a 42% increase during the first quarter.

Like Walmart, Target is expected to have seen somewhat of a sales bump around Amazon’s 48-hour Prime Day event in early July.

Cornell said the company had “outstanding performance” during the first half of 2019, giving it the “confidence” it needed to boost expectations. Target is now calling for adjusted earnings per share to fall within a range of $5.90 to $6.20, up from a prior range of $5.75 to $6.05.

“Traffic and sales continue to grow,” Cornell said.

Target’s report comes on the heels of its bigger rival Walmart’s, which last week reported earnings that topped expectations and also raised its outlook for the year. That’s despite the ongoing threat of additional tariffs taking effect amid the U.S.’ trade war with China.

Analysts have largely expected Target to continue to see same-store sales gains, while other retailers like department store chains are struggling to draw traffic. Target also suffered a register outage during the latest quarter, but that wasn’t enough to noticeably weigh on sales.

Target’s report comes on the heels of its bigger rival Walmart, which last week reported earnings that topped expectations and raised its outlook for the year. That’s despite the ongoing threat of additional tariffs taking effect amid the U.S.’s trade war with China.

Analysts have largely expected Target to continue to see same-store sales gains, while other retailers like department store chains are struggling to draw traffic. While Target suffered a register outage during the latest quarter, which could end up slightly hitting its same-store sales, its traffic is still anticipated to climb this quarter.

Target this week announced the launch of a new grocery line, called Good & Gather, marking its biggest private-label venture to date. The retailer has been investing heavily in incubating its own brands. It’s also been investing in store remodels, opening small-format locations in major metros like New York and rolling out curbside pickup for online orders.

Target shares, which have a market cap of $44.2 billion, are up more than 30% this year.

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