IKEA Embraces Freelance Workforce Model with TaskRabbit Acquisition

Becky Catino is the co-chief executive officer and co-founder of GigSmart, a mobile application that connects businesses with gig workers. An accomplished entrepreneur, Becky Catino maintains an interest in effective staffing strategies.

Companies such as IKEA are turning to the potential of the freelance workforce model to create effective solutions to challenges. For instance, some IKEA customers find the process of assembling the brand’s furniture to be a daunting task.

In order to improve the assembly process, IKEA moved to embrace the freelance workforce model by acquiring TaskRabbit in September 2017. A marketplace that matches freelance labor contractors with customers, TaskRabbit offers assistance in completing everyday tasks, such as moving, cleaning, and handyman work.

TaskRabbit and IKEA previously partnered in November 2016 to create a pilot program in London designed to connect IKEA customers with freelance workers who could offer help in assembling their furniture.

IKEA’s acquisition of TaskRabbit allows it to address the assembly issue while avoiding the inherent challenges of creating new departments, policies, and infrastructures required for handing the problem internally.


Bengals Select Wide Receiver John Ross in First Round of NFL Draft


John Ross pic
John Ross
Image: nfl.com

A graduate of Ursuline Academy and a Woman of the Year honoree by the institution, Becky Catino is an entrepreneur and a board chair for Cincinnati’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul. When she isn’t pursuing business opportunities such as her mobile application GigSmart, Becky Catino enjoys attending Cincinnati Bengals football games.

The Bengals missed the National Football League (NFL) playoffs in 2016 for the first time in six seasons and finished outside of the top 10 in teams’ receiving yards. In an effort to boost their offense, the Bengals used their first-round pick, ninth overall, in the 2017 NFL Draft to select the speedy wide receiver, John Ross. Though he had health concerns heading into the draft, Ross was one of the most explosive wide receivers available and should help the team’s offense in 2017.

Ross debuted as a freshman with the University of Washington in 2013 and was used sparingly in his first two seasons. He underwent knee surgery to repair two meniscus tears in January 2015 and later aggravated the injury, which caused him to miss the entire 2015 season. However, he returned healthy in 2016 and had a career year in which he caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. He also rushed the ball eight times for 102 yards and one touchdown.

Ursuline Academy – Merici Model of Education

Ursuline Academy pic
Ursuline Academy
Image: ursulineacademy.org

Prior to becoming the co-founder of GigSmart, Becky Catino attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in retailing. Becky Catino also attended Ursuline Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio where she was named Woman of the Year in 2010.

Started in 1896 by the Ursuline Sisters of Brown County, Ohio, Ursuline Academy is a college-preparatory young women’s Catholic high school for grades 9-12. The high school has a population of about 660 students from diverse backgrounds. The mission of Ursuline Academy is to nurture the imagination, intellect, heart, and soul of the student with a variety of interests and passions. The school program is based on the Merici Model of Education.

Named after Angela Merici, a resident of Desenzano, Italy, in 1474 who founded a company of dedicated Christian women, the Merici Model of Education empowers students to learn from their own choices. The high school campus is designed to give students more freedom in order to benefit from a more student-centered approach to their learning environment.

Three Guided Cycling Tours in Europe

Cycle Greece pic
Cycle Greece
Image: cyclegreece.com

Becky Catino co-created GigSmart, a new way to find odd jobs in today’s gig economy. When not busy developing the mobile job-hunting platform or fulfilling her duties on the board of St. Vincent de Paul, Cincinnati, Becky Catino enjoys touring Europe by bike.

Guided bicycle tours are a great way to explore the world. Below are three popular tours in Europe:

1. The Peloponnese tour by Cycle Greece. This eight-day adventure takes cyclists through some of the most picturesque parts of Greece. Participants can choose from either a 358-mile or a 237-mile version of the tour, which includes stops at many sites of historical significance.

2. The Danube River tour by Experience Plus. A favorite of National Geographic Traveler, this tour spans 526 miles along the Danube in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. Over 12 days, participants pass monasteries, vineyards, and much more on their way to Budapest.

3. The Napoleon Bike tour by Ride & Seek. Much longer than other popular tours, this 2,736-mile adventure takes participants on a 45-day trip through seven countries. Riders begin in Paris and end up in Moscow, traveling through Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia along the way.