By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media
If you weren’t able to attend the baseball-themed 2014 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders meeting, you can still catch a cool piece of memorabilia, with all proceeds going to charity.
We have a limited supply of Berkshire Hathaway Sluggers baseball pennants available online for just $3 each or $5 for two.
Business Wire’s team was in force at the show, with more than a dozen of us representing a wide range of departments and bureaus, engaging with shareholders and raising money for an amazing organization that supports at-risk youth,
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Douglas County, Nebraska.
Once again, Business Wire covers the cost to produce the keepsakes, donates all money raised to CASA and matches funds raised, ensuring at least $5,000 heads to CASA.
CASA for Douglas County, Nebraska is a voice for abused and neglected children via trained citizen volunteers. When juveniles appear in front of a judge, it is the CASA volunteer that becomes the advocate for children within the court system.
To purchase a pennant online, visit: http://bit.ly/BRKPennant
Read the Business Wire-CASA press release
Read the Business Wire Blog about the event
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.
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.
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.
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)
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 50th. Cathy 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
Warren Buffett and Business Wire bring cheer to Wall Street
Happy 50th anniversary, Business Wire
Warren Buffett, Business Wire Celebrate 50 Years at the NYSE
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)
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.
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.