The Women of Berkshire Hathaway: BW CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz Interviewed by Bloomberg TV

May 8, 2013

During Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Shareholders meeting on Saturday May 4th, 2013, Bloomberg TV’s “In The Loop” host Betty Liu interviewed three female CEOs from Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiary companies; Cathy Baron Tamraz, CEO of Business Wire, Mary Rhinehart, CEO of Johns Manville, and Susan Jacques, CEO of Borsheims. The three women speak out about the role of females in business and the vast opportunities now available for women.

When Liu commented that, to someone looking in, five female CEOs is not an impressive number for Berkshire Hathaway, Business Wire’s Cathy Baron Tamraz said, “Change comes slowly. [Warren Buffett] didn’t buy these other businesses because there were men running them . . . He is always looking for the best person for the job.” Watch the full interview to hear more from the women of Berkshire Hathaway.


Business Wire Sponsoring the 2013 PYMNTS Innovation Project

February 7, 2013

PYMNTS.com is the number one B2B information platform for the payments industry, and Business Wire has been closely involved with it since its inception. This year, we’re proud to be a sponsor of their invitation-only event, The Innovation Project.

The Innovation Project

This two-day event, being held March 20-21 at Harvard University, promises to be the payments industry’s most exciting and interesting event of the year. Over 2 days, 100 speakers and 500 senior industry members will assemble to kick the conversation about innovation up to an entirely different level. Speakers and delegates are among the most senior executives from literally every established payments company worldwide, along with the CEOs of the most innovative start-ups from Adyen to iZettle.

The keynote speaker for this year’s event is Warren Buffett; other speakers and participants include Eric Reis of The Lean Start Up; former US Vice President Al Gore; Steve Levitt, author of Freakonomics; US Treasurer Rosie Rios; Russell Simmons of Rushcard, and many more. Among the activities to be featured:

  • The First Look Innovators Expo will assemble the newest and most exciting innovators in the payments and commerce space, who will compete for grants and “best in show” recognition. Briefing Rooms and Product Launch Pads bring the experience of innovation to life for all participants.
  • In the ThinkAThon™ fifteen teams will compete in front of a panel of expert judges for the title of Payments Guru as they devise the best practical solution for five of the industry’s most vexing problems. Team captains are given the floor to deliver a keynote that makes their team’s case to the judges and to the audience and an opportunity to publish their solution in a ThinkAThon™ eBook.
  • Seven “Up Close and Personal” Live Sessions will pair celebrated thought leaders with prominent CEOs to share how they have applied the very best principles of innovation in their own organizations. Several lucky audience members will have a chance to join them on stage.
  • The 2013 PYMNTS.com Innovator Awards will once again celebrate the sectors’ most innovative players. (More than 500 submissions for awards have already been received.) The award categories have been expanded from five to fifteen this year – and a Lifetime Achievement Award will honor the special contributions of an innovator in this space. Actor/producer B.J. Novak of The Office fame will be the emcee for the night.
  • Finally the Crystal Ball – more beer bash than ball – will celebrate the achievements over the two days and cement the friendships and networks that the Innovation Project™ has helped to foster.

There is limited space available for both attendees and exhibitors, so request an invite or get an exhibitor space today.


NYSE Opening Bell with Warren Buffett: A Day in the Life of SVP of Marketing Tom Becktold

October 10, 2011

Here’s a glimpse into one of the best days I’ve experienced in my 23 years at Business Wire. This is a recap of my experiences planning and participating in the Business Wire 50th Anniversary NYSE Opening Bell events on Friday, September 30.  (Learn more about Tom Becktold)

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We had planned for months – event details, contests, timing, logistics, media interview scheduling.  When the most famous investor in the world accompanies you to the NYSE Opening Bell under the gaze of media, employees and clients to honor the 50th anniversary of your company, you want to get it right.

It was an incredibly exciting day as dozens of our staff were on hand as Warren Buffett joined Business Wire on our big day.

The NYSE hosted a breakfast for the Bellpodium guests in their historic board room, which has played host to heads of state and business leaders for the past century – impressive to say the least.  Joining us were executives from Barclays Bank, including Berkshire Hathaway market maker Jimmy Maguire, who’s been on the trading floor for more than four decades.  NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer welcomed us and presented Business Wire with a framed proclamation honoring our 50thCathy Baron Tamraz and Warren Buffett each made remarks, with Warren pulling out a copy of the letter Cathy sent to him that started the process of Business Wire being purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 2006.

To the Bellpodium we headed at 9:20 am, where we saw BW colleagues and traders cheering us on.  It was a tremendous honor to be among the group on the podium representing the amazing Business Wire team around the globe. Duncanput us all at ease by demonstrating some entertaining clapping styles.

We then headed to the trading floor, which was a frenzy of activity.  Traders wanting Warren Buffett’s autograph or to shake his hand – really everyone there was in awe of him, and he couldn’t have been more gracious.  A trip to the Barclay’s trading desk, and then to a photo op for wire service and news photographers quickly followed, along with a video interview by the NYSE, conducted by their senior media relations manager (and former BW colleague!) Annmarie Gioia.

From there, we split into teams.  Most BW folks headed up to the Board Room or luncheon along with many of our trade press for interviews that have or will be appearing soon.  I stayed with Cathy,Warren and a couple NYSE reps on the floor as we did four live and one taped interview in about an hour – Fox Business, CNBC, Bloomberg, Nightly Business Report and CNN.  Cathy did a fantastic job summarizing our anniversary and fielding questions along side Buffett (see links to coverage below).

Our luncheon then took center stage, with more than 225 in attendance, including BW staff, Berkshire colleagues, executives at our top clients and agencies, executives and reporters from our trade media and major media – Fortune, CNBC, industry influencers like Jeff Morgan, head of NIRI, among others.

The luncheon opened with remarks by Cathy where she introduced our College Video Contest winner, Jenna Marie James.  Jenna has become quite the celebrity as a result of winning our contest to come to NY to meet Warren Buffett.  She’s been interviewed by newspapers and radio stations in her home state of Indiana (she’s a senior at Ball State University), and did a live interview with the CBS Early Show on the morning of the event.  She’s pretty amazing and her videos are great fun to watch.

We then played our 50th Anniversary Video, produced for the event, featuring interviews with BW execs, and followed with a toast by Gregg Castano.

After lunch, Cathy did an interview with Warren Buffett and then opened the floor to questions from the audience.  The subjects covered were timely and Buffett’s comments were informative and in his disarming style.  He touched on the European debt crisis and his thoughts on the Euro surviving (they need a more unified monetary policy or need to break up) to the “Buffett tax” (he jokingly said he always wanted a tax named after him) to our economy (watch housing starts – we need to the number of households, which will take time, to absorb the available housing; when we have a million new housing starts a year, the economy will be back).

The luncheon wrapped at about 2:30 with Buffett signing autographs and posing for pictures with our clients.  The feedback, tweets and blog posts we’ve received indicate that Friday was a resounding success!

Happy 50th Business Wire!

Television Coverage Highlights

CNBC Squawk on the Street (CNBC link)

CNN Newsroom (CNN link)

Fox Business News (Fox Biz link)

Bloomberg In the Loop (Bloomberg link)

PBS Nightly Business Report (PBS link)

CBS The Early Show (CBS link) interview with our College Video Contest Winner Jenna Marie James, also covered on local television stations, including ABC-Channel 8/Omaha, CBS-Channel 5/San Francisco, CBS-Channel 8/Indianapolis.

Trade Coverage Highlights

IR Magazine/Inside Investor Relations

http://www.insideinvestorrelations.com/articles/ir-tv/18503/warren-buffett-and-business-wire/

Warren Buffett and Business Wire bring cheer to Wall Street

Happy 50th anniversary, Business Wire

PR Newser

http://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/warren-buffett-business-wire-celebrate-50-years-at-the-nyse_b28023

Warren Buffett, Business Wire Celebrate 50 Years at the NYSE

PR Week

http://www.prweekus.com/buffetts-communications-advice-keep-it-simple/article/213288/

CommPro.biz

http://blog.commpro.biz/irthereforeiam/?p=1094

Great Partners: Warren Buffett Helps Celebrate Business Wire’s 50th Anniversary at NYSE

PRSA Tactics and NIRI IR Update are planning pieces for their print editions.

Feintuch Communications (client/guest, Henry Feintuch)

http://prniblets.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-lunch-with-warren-buffett-and.html


Happy Birthday Business Wire: Looking Back, Forward…it’s STILL All About Relationships

October 5, 2011

by Mike Maguire, National Editorial Supervisor

The big day has come and gone.  Business Wire is 50 years old and we celebrated in grand style  with company executives led by Chairman and CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange with Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway – our parent company.

Business Wire rings the opening bell at the NYSE September 30, 2011

Business Wire rings the opening bell at the NYSE September 30, 2011 (Photo by Ben Hider/NYSE Euronext)

As 9:30 last Friday quickly approached, and our team took the podium, I couldn’t help but think back over the past two decades that I have been a part of Business Wire. We’ve come a long way and to be part of a day that brought Business Wire VIPs in from across the country together with our clients and other distinguished people is a day I won’t soon forget.

After the Opening Bell, media conducted interviews of Tamraz and Buffett, including Andrew Sorkin of CNBC, Liz Claman of Fox Business News and Susie Gharib of PBS Nightly Business Report.   At 11 am, a luncheon took place with more than 200 attendees, including our College Contest winner Jenna Marie James from Ball State University.

A viewing of our 50th Anniversary Video was on tap next, followed by Business Wire President Gregg Castano leading a congratulatory toast. During a Q & A with Tamraz, Buffett and the audience,  Buffett opined on the current state of the economy, taxing the wealthy, doing business in China, President Obama as a CEO, and investor relations.

In anticipation of the day, I had coordinated the receipt of proclamations from the mayors in 17 cities of offices where we conduct business. The proclamation from New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg read in part:

`Throughout our history, New York City has been proud to be an engine for economic growth worldwide. Even during these challenging times, more and more companies are locating or expanding here, including firms focused on international business and financial reporting. Of course, in a former life, I was one such small business owner, and I am proud to say New York’s future looks brighter than ever thanks to its status as a leader in the financial news industry. That is why we are honored to join Business Wire in celebrating its 50th Anniversary.’

Those words, along with a blog post from long time client Gene Marbach from Makovsky and Co. about the relationships between clients and companies sum up the significance of 50 years in business:  it is truly golden!

To see more birthday photos, check out our 50th birthday scrapbook on Facebook.


Woo-hoo! Happy 50th Birthday to Us! Business Wire Celebrates at the NYSE

September 30, 2011

This Sunday, we celebrate our 50th Anniversary as the global leader in press release distribution & regulatory disclosure. And rest assured: we still know how to party.

Today, we ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange with Warren Buffett, Chairman of our parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, and Cathy Baron Tamraz, Business Wire CEO.

The event caps a year of looking back on a wonderful first 50 years, and forward to the future of communications.   And the celebration’s not over yet…we still have local 50th Anniversary events in several cities in October. We hope you can join us!

For the past half century, we’ve been proud to serve thousands of public relations and investor relations professionals with the communications tools and platforms that tell your story in the most compelling way possible. From all of us here at Business Wire, thank you for making the last 50 years special.

Watch video of us ringing the bell & a great interview with our CEO Cathy & Warren Buffett.

Here are some pictures from our big day at the NYSE:

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Business Wire’s College Video Contest Winner Jenna Marie James Gears Up to Meet Mr. Buffett

September 27, 2011

We’re just days away until Business Wire heads to New York city to ring the opening bell with Warren Buffett, chairman & CEO of Business Wire’s parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, at the New York Stock Exchange.   Meeting Mr. Buffett along with Business Wire’s chairman and CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz is our college video contest winner  21-year-old Jenna Marie James, a senior majoring in telecommunications at Ball State University.  Students were asked to answer the question “What is the future of public relations and communications?” and Jenna was chosen based on creativity, originality and appropriateness to theme.  Read press release here.

We asked Jenna how she was feeling about winning the contest and she shared, ” This is all still so surreal to me. I got a golden ticket! I feel like Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory except Willy Wonka is Warren Buffett and the Chocolate Factory is The Stock Market Luncheon. I’m just trying to soak it all in and get everything ready in order to head to New York.”

Check out Jenna’s video below and learn how this superstar is training to meet one of the most influential people in the world:

To see Jenna’s winning video along with all our top ten finalists, visit facebook.com/businesswire.


Warren Buffett Gives Advice to College Students Hoping to Win a Trip to Meet Him in New York

June 17, 2011

There’s still about a month to go in our 50th Anniversary College Video Contest and we’re still looking for entries! We’re sending one lucky student to New York City to meet Warren Buffett, chairman & CEO of Business Wire’s parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, at Business Wire’s NYSE Opening Bell luncheon on September 30.

Full-time U.S. and Canadian students attending two- or four-year colleges are invited to submit a video answering the question, “What is the future of public relations and communications?

During the recent 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting in Omaha, we asked Warren if he had any advice for students looking to enter the contest. Check out this video to see what he had to say:

For contest details, visit Facebook.com/BusinessWire & see sidebar for contest page. Deadline for entries is July 15.


Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz Talks Women CEOs, Warren Buffett and 50 Years of Trust on Fox Business

May 11, 2011


Check out this great interview with Business Wire chairman and CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz on Fox Business. Fox Business anchor Liz Claman sat down with Cathy as part of their “Women at the Wheel” series on female CEOs. Cathy discussed her background, working as a cab driver in college before joining Business Wire as an editor in San Francisco in 1979. She also retold the famous story of how she sold the company to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in 2006 after reading an article about him and writing him a letter.

Cathy also talked about how Business Wire has built its business on speed, accuracy and technology for the last 50 years, and how the key to the success of the company is the trust we’ve built with our clients. Watch the full interview at the Fox Business website.


April in Omaha: My Invitation to 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

May 6, 2011
by Deb Subia, Editorial Process Development Manager, Business Wire

Deb Subia


A dozen lucky Business Wire employees from several U.S. bureaus and London joined CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz in Omaha for the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.  I was thrilled to be one of them.

Never having been, I was anxious to attend the meeting – okay, experience the EVENT – I had heard and read so much about over the years. I had heard so much of the “Berkshire Buzz” and the celebratory nature of the event!

Business Wire has long been known as a company with a family atmosphere.  I had the sense being around other Berkshire Hathaway companies that I was part of an even bigger family.

Selling show-themed passport booklets that included “smashed” pennies with images of Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, the Annual Meeting date, and Business Wire’s 50thAnniversary crest to raise money for a local youth charity, CASA for Douglas County, Nebraska, was quite an experience.  It’s not every day you hear a co-worker say, “You want to get Warren’s head smashed on a penny?” Thanks to generous attendees, Business Wire sold out of passport booklets, raising more than $5,500 for CASA, all while having a lot of laughs and meeting some great people.

Cathy Baron Tamraz, Warren Buffett and Business Wire CTO Steve Messick operating the penny press

I was surprised at the diversity of the shareholders and delighted with the young investors-to-be who came by our booth.  One told me it was his first time attending and he was “so excited and overwhelmed and wanting to take everything in at the same time.”  I think he summarized the way many first-timers felt. Certainly learning early about ethics and patience in investing will leave a lasting impression.

The piece of advice I’ll most remember came from Charlie Munger and was about not making important decisions in anger: “You can always tell a man to go to hell tomorrow.”

I was impressed with Buffett’s smile, busy schedule and ability to handle questions hour after hour.  Coupled with the fact that he’s 80 years old, it is mind-boggling.  I’m  seriously considering adding a steady stream of Coke and See’s Candies to my diet.

The Business Wire 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Meeting booth crew

Overall, what I most took away surprised me. It was more universal than investment advice: passion for what you do, the desire to learn more all the time, the importance of becoming a better communicator, patience.  Buffett, at the core, is a teacher as well as an investor.

See more photos from the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder’s Meeting at our Facebook page.


Business Wire Gives Back: Parisian Staffer’s Portrait of Buffett to be Auctioned At Berkshire Meeting

April 29, 2011
Stephane Zovko, a client services representative in Business Wire’s Paris bureau, has long been an admirer of Warren Buffett, Chairman of  Berkshire Hathaway, the parent company of his employer.
When members of Business Wire’s Paris sales team had the opportunity to meet Buffett last year around the time that Zovko was to turn 39, he requested they secure an autograph from Buffett as a birthday gift.  They did.  Upon receiving the autograph, Zovko committed to painting Buffett’s portrait as a thank-you to his gracious boss.

Stephane Zovoko painting Warren Buffett's portraitStephane Zovko painting Warren Buffett’s portrait in his Parisian garden

It took five months to complete, but Zovko, who’s been painting since age 14,  delivered on his promise.

Now that portrait will be autographed by Mr . Buffett and sold to the highest bidder at this week’s Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder’s meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.

Bids start at $2,000 and all proceeds will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Omaha.


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