bevanddara

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Archive for June 2013

Another Obsession

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I have another obsession to add to my list . . . our bed.  We have been sleeping in a lot of other beds lately (Jamestown, Hamptons, Kate & Kevin’s guest room) and nothing compares to the Tempur-Pedic Cloud Supreme Breeze . . . NOTHING.  I never thought I would spend that type of money on a mattress . . . but I don’t care . . . it was worth every single penny.  If anyone is looking for a new bed out there . . . GET IT NOW (and you can thank me later)!

Speaking of Kate and Kevin’s, we are staying there while our bathroom is getting gutted (and while Kate and Kevin are enjoying the beautiful California coastline!)  They have a rug in their living room that Chet has grown very fond of . . . I guess because it looks like just like him! 🙂

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Our pup is POOPED from hanging out with you ladies this weekend.  POOPED!

Written by bevanddara

June 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits

Happiness In The Hamptons

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Had a great weekend in the Hamptons with a great group of friends.  We played games, went to a gallery opening and out to dinner . . . for long bike rides and spent a day at the beach.  But mostly we just laughed and laughed and relaxed and laughed some more . . . it was perfect.

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Written by bevanddara

June 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

How Cool Is This Girl?!

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A Rising Star Emerges at Berkshire

Wall Street Journal

ANUPREETA DAS

June 11, 2013, 2:59 p.m. ET

When Tracy Britt arrived in Omaha, Neb., in 2009 to meet with Warren Buffett, she brought a Harvard M.B.A., a glittering resume and a boatload of ambition. But she also brought the famed investor a gift to highlight their shared Midwestern roots: a bushel of corn and a batch of tomatoes.

The seed Ms. Britt planted that day yielded quick results: a job for Ms. Britt as Mr. Buffett’s financial assistant at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Almost four years later, it has blossomed further, with Ms. Britt emerging as one of Mr. Buffett’s top lieutenants and even serving as chairman of four companies within his $284 billion conglomerate.

Warren Buffett lieutenant Tracy Britt, photographed around 2007.

Ms. Britt, now 28 years old and more than five decades younger than her boss, occupies a role unlike any other within Berkshire. With an office next to Mr. Buffett’s at Berkshire’s headquarters, Ms. Britt helps with financial research, accompanies Mr. Buffett to meetings and occasionally drives him around town. The billionaire gradually tacked on additional responsibilities.

The firms in which she serves as chairman, including building-products company Johns Manville Corp. and paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore & Co., total more than $4 billion in annual sales. In March, a few weeks after Berkshire and Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital said they would buy ketchup maker H.J. Heinz & Co. for $23 billion, Mr. Buffett sent Ms. Britt to Brazil, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal was Berkshire’s largest acquisition since 2010, and Mr. Buffett wanted her to know more about 3G’s operations, including how the Brazilian firm had turned around Burger King Worldwide Inc., BKW -1.82%the people said.

Ms. Britt is one of the executives the 82-year-old Mr. Buffett is grooming for senior positions after he steps down, say people familiar with the matter and Berkshire analysts. And she isn’t the first person that he picked out of relative obscurity: His investment managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, were little-known hedge-fund managers before Mr. Buffett tapped them to handle big slices of Berkshire money.

Ms. Britt is also one of the most influential women within Berkshire, which has three women directors on a 13-member board and five women CEOs out of 81 operating companies.

Ms. Britt “takes care of all kinds of things that come up,” Mr. Buffett told college students in Omaha last month.

Ms. Britt and Mr. Buffett declined to comment on her role at the company.

Others familiar with the company say Ms. Britt is increasingly serving as a conduit between Mr. Buffett and the CEOs of Berkshire’s various businesses.

Although Mr. Buffett is famously hands-off when it comes to running Berkshire’s far-flung units, some CEOs had requested more interaction with each other, wanting to tap other executives as a resource to learn about management practices and other potential ways to collaborate, according to people familiar with those discussions. Ms. Britt facilitated some of those discussions and arranged Berkshire’s first-ever CEO roundtable on the sidelines of the annual meeting in May.

“She’s got this wealth of information about what’s going on at the Berkshire portfolio companies,” said Sam Taylor, chief executive of Oriental Trading Co., an online retailer that Berkshire bought in November. “She knows exactly what’s going on and where Warren’s head is at.”

Mr. Taylor, 52 years old, said Ms. Britt is “wise beyond her years.”

Others say she always has stood out among her peers.

Janet Hanson, the founder of 85 Broads, a global networking community for women in business and finance, remembers Ms. Britt from when she interned at Ms. Hanson’s investment firm as an undergraduate. “She had some sort of internal guiding system that was propelling her forward,” Ms. Hanson said. “She was on rocket fuel…this was a gal who was going to get what she wanted.”

That summer, Ms. Hanson asked her interns to pick stocks they knew as consumers and thought were good investments. While some of her peers picked highfliers like BlackBerry BB.T -0.50%maker Research In Motion Ltd., among Ms. Britt’s picks was Anglo-Dutch consumer company Unilever ULVR.LN +0.19%PLC, the maker of Dove skin-care products and Lipton tea, the type of nuts-and-bolts company that Mr. Buffett has acquired at Berkshire.

Ms. Britt grew up on a family farm—Britt’s Garden Acres, outside of Manhattan, Kan.—that produces more than 40 different types of fruits and vegetables ranging from radishes to rhubarb.

She first met Mr. Buffett in 2006 after she arranged a trip to Omaha with Harvard classmates from an organization she co-founded, called Smart Woman Securities, which helps women learn about investing.

Some analysts and Berkshire observers said they see Ms. Britt becoming a top Berkshire executive in the next decade, potentially performing managerial functions such as fixing troubled businesses or negotiating deals, similar to what David Sokol previously did.

Mr. Sokol is a former Berkshire business manager who was considered a protégé of Mr. Buffett’s. He resigned in 2011 after disclosures that he had personally bought shares in chemicals company Lubrizol Corp. not long before recommending that Mr. Buffett buy it. Regulators investigated but decided this year not to take any action against Mr. Sokol. Mr. Sokol’s lawyer has said that his client didn’t violate the law or any Berkshire policy at any time, or intend to personally profit at the expense of his former employer or its shareholders.

“She’s stepped into the role of Sokol,” said Robert Miles, who teaches a course on Mr. Buffett’s investing style and has written three books on Berkshire.

For Ms. Britt, none of this is a complete surprise.

In a recent blog post for Lean In, an online community created by Facebook Inc. FB +0.50%Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg as part of her campaign to get women to pursue their ambitions, Ms. Britt shared a line from a business-school assignment she had penned to imagine where she would be at the 10-year reunion. She wrote, “My goal is to work with a great investor, who even more importantly is a wonderful teacher and mentor.”

Write to Anupreeta Das at anupreeta.das@wsj.com

Written by bevanddara

June 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

How an Eagle Exercises a Birdie

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My dog might be as lazy as your dog!

In Eagle’s defense, Birdie has been here for two days, and he just finished chasing her around the yard for about an hour.

Written by bevanddara

June 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Posted in Bev, Pets

June in Jamestown

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Mike went to Boston to see the Bruins (win!) on Friday night . . .

(can you spot him in these pics?  hint, he has grey on).

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so Chet and I drove up together on Sat morning.  He’s some co-pilot!  Slept in his bed in the front seat for 3 straight hours.

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And then he spent some time at the beach.

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And was under my feet the entire time while I was making Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes for Mike’s grandma’s 92nd birthday. YUM.

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We did a million and two other things, of course, but I’m getting horrible at taking pictures!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Written by bevanddara

June 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Catching Up With Jamie

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I haven’t had a chance to look at Jamie Beck’s Website in a while but I do follow her on Instagram so I know that she’s been living the dream this year . . . from Paris and Cannes to Palm Springs to Wyoming.  She has an incredible talent.  Here are some of the pictures that caught my eye after catching up on her site last night.

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Written by bevanddara

June 5, 2013 at 9:23 am

Flowers (and Fauna) on Friday, belated edition

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I WANT YOU TO HAVE A FLOWER FARM. I’ll come and pick the flowers.  I love my flowers, but one acre is too much for me.  However when you have an acre, you have room to add a double trumpet flower.

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I accidentally picked it up at the produce market.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  I also bought the MOST delicious watermelon.
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This is one of the crinium lilies that Judy and Mike gave me.

DSCN2428Momma bird protected her babies…

DSCN2431And provided beauty…the yellow in the lower right and middle left are blooms on this prickly cactus.

DSCN2430 (2)I’m glad we share our love of flowers.  I think it came from this lady: (Marion and Bev in front of our old house at 455 Wilde Ave.)DSCN2371

Written by bevanddara

June 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Posted in Bev, Family, Flowers