Chicago Cubs Sign Reliever Brian Duensing to a Two-Year Deal

Brian Duensing pic

Brian Duensing

Since 2016, Michael Erin has served as a partner and associate consultant with Progressive Management and Associates in Chicago. He also holds leadership roles with PacificRock, LLC, and The Economic Club of Las Vegas. Outside of work, Michael Erin spends his free time traveling, following politics, and cheering for the Chicago Cubs.

In an off-season move to further improve the bull pen, the Chicago Cubs signed veteran reliever Brian Duensing to a two-year deal worth a reported $7 million. By securing Duensing through 2019, the Cubs will head into the 2018 season with at least two strong left-hander options to turn to for late-inning pitching.

Entering his 10th year in the majors, the 34-year-old Duensing was drafted by Minnesota in 2005 and spent his first seven seasons playing for the Twins. After a brief stint in Baltimore, he joined the Cubs in 2017. Despite starting last season on the disabled list, Duensing returned to the mound to appear in 63 games. He put up very respectable numbers, maintaining a 2.05 ERA and holding opponents to a .232 batting average.

Alongside Duensing, the Cubs will have lefties Mike Montgomery and Justin Wilson in the bull pen. The team’s other relievers include Dario Alvarez, Brandon Morrow, and Steve Chishek.


National Association for Business Economics Hosts 2017 Conference

National Association for Business Economics pic

National Association for Business Economics

A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute’s undergraduate program in economics and business, Michael Erin serves as associate consultant and partner for the boutique consultancy firm Progressive Management and Associates in Chicago. To help him remain current with industry trends, Michael Erin belongs to the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

Established in 1959, NABE is the professional affiliation for business economists and others in the economics industry. Represented fields range from academia to business. NABE presents a variety of conferences and educational sessions, as well as numerous networking opportunities.

One of the sessions hosted by NABE is its annual conference, with the 2017 conference occurring on September 23-26 in Cleveland. With a theme of Prospects for Growth: Reassessing the Fundamentals, the 2017 annual meeting featured leading economists and policymakers to share information about global trade and mercantilist tensions. Some of the speakers included Federal Reserve System chair Janet Yellen and president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Loretta Mester. Those in attendance had an opportunity to garner 20 continuing education credit hours during the four-day event.

Three Travel Tips for First Time Hong Kong Visitors

Octopus Card  pic

Octopus Card

From 2001 to 2012, Michael Erin served in the United States Army, reaching the rank of Captain in 2009. He currently works as a principal and managing partner with boutique consultancy firm Progressive Management & Associates, located in Chicago, Illinois. Michael Erin has also traveled extensively in his free time, visiting multiple destinations worldwide, including Hong Kong.

With over 7 million people densely packed into the 427-square-mile city, visiting Hong Kong for the first time can be overwhelming. These three tips will help first-time visitors get around the city.

1. Airport Travel – Getting to and from Hong Kong Airport is a breeze with the Express train, which will take you to either Hong Kong Island or Kowloon. According to travel writer, chef, and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, the Airport Express gets you into the center of the city in less than a half hour, with tickets starting at just $13.

2. Octopus Card – Available for purchase at the Hong Kong Airport, an Octopus card is a prepaid debit card, meaning you load money onto the card to use in place of paper money and coins. The Octopus card makes traveling much easier, as you do not have to fumble for change to catch the subway or bus. As an added perk, many Hong Kong retailers accept Octopus cards.

3. City Center – The “Central” area of Hong Kong Island provides the ideal base of operations. From the city’s center, you will have quick access to shopping, restaurants, and attractions. For activities outside of the city’s center, the Central MRT station will easily get you there and back.

Top Cubs Prospect Ian Happ Enjoys Impressive MLB Debut

Ian Happ pic

Ian Happ

Michael Erin is a principal and managing partner of Progressive Management & Associates, a boutique consultancy firm that specializes in valuation, marketing, comprehensive practice management, and brokerage services. When he is not working, Michael Erin enjoys watching his favorite MLB team, the Chicago Cubs.

In mid-May, Triple-A Iowa player Ian Happ got the chance of a lifetime when he was called up to play for the Cubs amidst several team injuries that left the ranks thin. Though the Cubs ended up losing the game against the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3, Happ’s MLB debut impressed both fans and team staff.

In the game’s seventh inning, the 22-year-old player made sure his first time at bat in the majors counted, hitting a two-run home run. As only the fifth Chicago player in 25 seasons to hit a homer in their MLB debut, Happ joins the ranks of Javier Baez, Willson Contreras, Jorge Soler, and Starlin Castro.

Joe Maddon, the manager of the team, praised Happ as a “calm and a confident young man,” saying that nobody on the Cubs staff was surprised to see Happ perform so well. After the game, Ian Happ took to Twitter to thank everyone for the “overwhelming” support.

The International Economic Development Council

International Economic Development Council pic

International Economic Development Council

The managing partner at Progressive Management & Associates, Michael Erin often dedicates his free time to multiple charitable, nonprofit, and professional organizations. Among those Michael Erin belongs to is the International Economic Development Council.

Supporting those in professions related to economic development, the International Economic Development Council has some 5,000 members. The goal is to create a stable tax base in communities and to foster a stronger and more inclusive economy with the creation of jobs. The Council also aims to instruct its members on how to advance their careers.

Members come from all walks of life, and represent an increasing number of industries, from workforce development to international trade. Membership provides the opportunity to work with leaders in different fields and offers access to yearly conferences and publications dedicated to economic development. In 2016, the Council commemorated its 90-year history with the first-ever Economic Development Week, encouraging the celebration of economic development in local communities.