Monthly Archives: September 2018

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hilton Head Bluffton Realty Announces New Office in Bluffton

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hilton Head Bluffton Realty today expanded its reach into the Lowcountry by opening a new office in Bluffton, one of South Carolina’s fastest-growing communities.

The office, a brand-new facility located on The Promenade in the city’s Old Town historic district, gives Hilton Head Bluffton Realty a second location and immediate access to greater Bluffton’s burgeoning real estate market.

“We already conduct a lot of business in Bluffton so it has always made sense for us to open an office there,” said Broker/Owner Randy Smith. “Bluffton is a wonderful community and strategically important to our company for greater access to the Lowcountry. We’re excited to open our doors there.”

The office, located at 212 Bluffton Road, features Charleston-style architecture with array of modern amenities including open-concept collaboration space, soft seating, coffee bar, a large monitor for virtual home tours and all the supporting technology.

“The office is bright and inviting,” said Bill True, a broker and principal at Hilton Head Bluffton Realty. “Today’s agents can make calls or get online anywhere, but they still need a physical space to network, collaborate with colleagues and meet with clients,” True explained. “Our Bluffton office provides such space and promotes collaboration and interaction with our clients and fellow agents. It’s just a great place to conduct business.”

Smith and True also chose the location for its access to architects, builders, legal professionals and others in the area supporting the real estate process. The Promenade boasts an abundance of restaurants and a vibrant art scene, as well. “There’s a lot of foot traffic on The Promenade – it’s where people want to be,” said Smith.

Hilton Head Bluffton Realty joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in the fall of 2017. Besides Bluffton and Hilton Head, the brokerage serves Belfair, Berkley Hall, Callawassie, Colleton River, Hampton Hall, Hampton Lakes, Oldfield, Palmetto Bluff and Sun City.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Mouser Electronics Becomes First Authorized Distributor to Receive AS6496 Accreditation for Strong Anti-Counterfeit Measures

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Mouser Electronics, Inc., the industry’s leading New Product Introduction (NPI) distributor, has received accreditation to AS6496, making it the industry’s first authorized distributor to be accredited with the aerospace industry’s high standard for anti-counterfeit measures in authorized electronic component distribution.

Mouser received this accreditation from the Performance Review Institute (PRI), as part of the Counterfeit Avoidance Accreditation Program (CAAP). The CAAP audit was based on audit criteria (AC7403) created jointly by PRI, the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) and aerospace OEM representatives.

The AS6496 aerospace standard sets requirements for the avoidance, detection, mitigation and disposition of counterfeit products in the authorized distribution supply chain. This international standard requires authorized distributors to have a counterfeit mitigation policy and a counterfeit electronics parts control plan. AS6496 is geared for all industries and individuals looking to reduce the risk of counterfeit electronic parts entering the supply chain.

“By becoming accredited to AS6496, Mouser demonstrates that we are committed to providing customers with only authorized, genuine components,” said Chuck Amsden, Mouser Electronics’ Vice President of Quality. “At Mouser, we can provide full traceability to the manufacturer on everything we sell. From sales to shipping, Mouser is committed to providing our customers with the right product, on time, every time. Our mission is to be the source most preferred by engineers and buyers to design, prototype, test and manufacture electronics.”

Mouser is also registered to AS9100D, ISO 9001:2015, and ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014, the industry’s gold standards for quality, control, and electrostatic discharge (ESD).

Registration to these standards lets customers know that Mouser is an authorized distributor of the highest quality components by providing traceability, risk management, process control, customer support, product availability and document control.

With growing concerns over counterfeit parts entering the supply chain, Mouser customers can order with confidence knowing that Mouser has rigorous processes in place to mitigate the risk of counterfeit products penetrating its inventory.

With its broad product line and unsurpassed customer service, Mouser strives to empower innovation among design engineers and buyers by delivering advanced technologies. Mouser stocks the world’s widest selection of the latest semiconductors and electronic components for the newest design projects. Mouser Electronics’ website is continually updated and offers advanced search methods to help customers quickly locate inventory. Mouser.com also houses data sheets, supplier-specific reference designs, application notes, technical design information, and engineering tools.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Kraft Heinz Canada Acquires Ethical Bean Coffee

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Kraft Heinz Canada, a subsidiary of The Kraft Heinz Company, has acquired the assets of Ethical Bean Coffee.

Founded in 2003, Ethical Bean Coffee is a leading roaster of 100% Fairtrade, certified organic coffee. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ethical Bean is committed to social responsibility, global awareness and environmental accountability.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Carlos Piani, President of Kraft Heinz Canada said: “Kraft Heinz Canada is continuously looking for ways to deliver superior quality, extensive variety, and finer products to Canadians. We believe quality coffee starts at the source, which involves responsible sourcing and supporting the hard-working dedicated farmers at origin. The acquisition of Ethical Bean Coffee reinforces our pledge to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company.”

Lloyd Bernhardt, co-founder of Ethical Bean stated: “We are proud of what Ethical Bean has been able to accomplish over the past fifteen years, building a brand with a solid reputation across North America for great tasting coffee, that is sustainably sourced. With Kraft Heinz’s expertise and scale, we’re confident that Ethical Bean Coffee will continue to deliver on that reputation to a much wider audience.”

Ethical Bean Coffee is a leading roaster of 100% Fairtrade Certified Organic coffee. Co-founders Lloyd Bernhardt — recognized by Business in Vancouver’s “Top 40 under 40”, and Kim Schachte — an award-winning graphic designer, are committed to social responsibility, global awareness, and environmental accountability.

Their journey to Guatemala in 1999 to adopt their daughter forever changed their lives, sparking a passion for the culture of the country and inspiring a desire to better the lives of the farmers and families living and working in the coffee industry. The couple returned to Vancouver and in 2003 launched Ethical Bean Coffee. What began as a small operation with one employee has grown into an international success.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty Adds Top New Hampshire Sales Group

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty has announced that the Chadd Dempsey Real Estate Experts team, one of New Hampshire’s most productive real estate sales groups, has joined its brokerage.

The team, formerly of Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan in Hooksett, includes Chadd Dempsey, wife Caren Dempsey, Mark Hammond and Anne Anctil. It generated more than $28 million in closed sales volume in 2017 and is a fixture in Bedford, Bow, Londonderry, Manchester, Hooksett, Goffstown, Merrimack and Auburn.

“We’re proud to welcome the Chadd Dempsey Real Estate Experts team to Verani Realty and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network,” said Gino Blefari, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “This team is professional, hard-working and flat-out good at what they do. We expect the group to grow its business to new heights representing Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty.”

Added Giovanni Verani, president of Verani Realty: “For many years we’ve appreciated the work Chadd Dempsey and his team do for clients – they’re tough to compete against. We’re glad they’re now a part of our brokerage and we’re ready to help them achieve even more success in the service of clients.”

Chadd Dempsey said Verani Realty’s family culture and marketing support were significant factors in his team’s move, as were the brokerage’s superior technology and long-standing reputation in the marketplace. “We’ve found a terrific new home at Verani Realty and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand is second to none in real estate,” he said. “With new tools, resources and support available to us through Verani Realty and the brand, we expect to win more business and reach new markets.”

The Chadd Dempsey Real Estate Experts team builds lasting relationships with clients through relentless service and expertise. In fact, a full 75% of its business is generated by referrals from existing clients. Trust and care help form the foundation of each client relationship. “We simply care about our clients and want the very best for them,” said Caren Dempsey. “Our motto sums it all up: ‘We are in the business of helping people. We just happen to sell houses.’”

Chadd Dempsey entered the real estate business in 2004 after a successful career in health club sales and as a certified personal trainer. His business accelerated quickly and later Caren, a registered nurse, made a career change to help out. Hammond brings more than 30 years of real estate sales experience to the Chadd Dempsey Real Estate Experts team, and Anctil provides important administrative support.

The group is active in the local community and supports the ROCA Kidz Club in Manchester, which provides a fun and safe environment for local kids where they can have hot meals, a place to play, and access to homework help and activities.

Chadd Dempsey said he and his team expect to exceed last year’s volume total as they step forward to a new era with Verani real estate. “We are excited, and our clients are excited, that we’re a part of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty,” he explained. “Through our new relationship we’ll be able to serve clients better and enhance the customer experience overall.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

GEICO Named a Top 5 Company for Women in IT

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GEICO has been recognized as one of the Top 5 Companies for Women Technologists by AnitaB.org, a global nonprofit agency that recognizes companies building workplaces where women can thrive.

Using a rigorous methodology that looks at representation, employee experience, programs and policies, AnitaB.org analyzed data from 80 companies. The five companies with the highest cumulative scores in their respective workforce size categories earned placement on the 2018 Top Companies for Women Technologists Top 5 lists. GEICO was recognized for companies with a technical workforce of between 1,000 and 10,000 employees.

Marie Motowylak, GEICO’s director of decision sciences and business transformation, said GEICO is both appreciative and motivated by the recognition.

“We are very proud of the efforts we have made to develop an inclusive environment with a keen focus on training, career-advancement and promotional opportunities for women into leadership roles,” she said. “More and more women are taking advantage of the many IT career opportunities at GEICO, and we will continue to create rewarding career paths for them.”

Even before this latest recognition, GEICO’s efforts to support women in IT had not gone unnoticed. Earlier this year, two of the company’s IT associates were recognized by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Women in Technology, and last year, GEICO was the winner of AnitaB.org’s coveted Top Companies for Women Technologists award.

“IT at GEICO plays a central role in creating seamless, innovative and dynamic insurance experiences for our customers. The inclusiveness and the diversity of our team of technologists drives our innovation and makes us a stronger and better company,” said GEICO Executive Vice President and CIO Greg Kalinsky.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

ReeceNichols Real Estate Opens New Branch Offices in Southern Missouri

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Kansas City’s top residential real estate brokerage, ReeceNichols Real Estate, continues to grow, opening two new branch offices in southern Missouri. The new offices, in Houston and Rogersville, Missouri, are officially open for business.

ReeceNichols Real Estate is a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and a wholly-owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc.

“We are excited to continue expanding our reach in southern Missouri,” President and CEO Mike Frazier said. “We saw the opportunity for growth in these burgeoning markets, and we will be able to provide the consumers in the market with the best home buying and selling experience through our innovative suite of offerings.”

Located 19 miles southeast of Springfield, Rogersville has grown considerably in the last two decades. The office is located at the corner of W. Center Street and S. Mill Street. Meanwhile, the Houston office, located off US Highway 63, between the well-traveled US Highway 60 and Interstate 44, was formerly Bartlett Real Estate.

Shaun Duggins, president of ReeceNichols’ southern region, is the managing broker for the Houston office, and Rick Witeka, general manager of ReeceNichols’ southern region, is the managing broker for the Rogersville office.

“I am thrilled to service these markets under the ReeceNichols brand,” Duggins said. “I look forward to helping our agents grow their business and succeed in these untapped areas.”

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkadia Phoenix Team Arranges $78 Million in Financing for Six Hotel Properties

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The Phoenix office of Berkadia, Berkshire Hathaway’s joint venture with Leucadia National Corporation, has announced the $78 million financing for six hotel properties in a portfolio of eight total hotel properties.

Director Adrienne Kautzman of the Phoenix office secured the acquisition bridge loan through Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE:ACRE). The borrower was a partnership led by PEG Companies, and the deal closed on September 7.

“PEG’s investment thesis coupled with our deep lending relationships and knowledge of the hospitality space allowed us to facilitate flexible and competitive financing on these six hotels to provide various exit strategies for the PEG team,” said Kautzman.

The properties include Residence Inn by Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott hotels located in St. Petersburg, Florida; Sacramento, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Charlotte, North Carolina; Phoenix and St. Louis, for a total of 828 hotel rooms.

About Berkadia

Founded in 2009 as a 50/50 joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation, Berkadia is a third-party commercial mortgage servicer, as well as an approved lender for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD/FHA.

The company is among the top Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae multifamily lenders.

Berkadia owes its origins to GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation, which was acquired in 2009 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. Christened Capmark Financial, the company had $10 billion of originations in 2008 and a servicing portfolio of more than $360 billion before running into bankruptcy in October 2009.

In a deal approved by the bankruptcy court, Capmark sold its mortgage loan and servicing to the newly formed Berkadia in a deal worth $515 million.

The deal brought Berkshire into the heart of the commercial loan serving business, and the company has one of the largest commercial real estate servicing portfolios.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Expands Team in Dubai

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSI) has expanded its leadership team in Dubai with the appointment of executives to fill key product line and service posts.

“Building a strong foundation of servicing capabilities and local knowledge and expertise is critical to BHSI’s long term plans in the Middle East,” said Marc Breuil, President, BHSI, Asia Middle East. “Since DIFC BHSI commenced operations in February, we have established a strong and dynamic team to bring DIFC BHSI’s unmatched financial strength and capital to the Middle East.”

“Our new teammates in Dubai embody the excellent capabilities and strong character that is so valued by BHSI and by our customers,” said Alessandro Cerase, Senior Executive Officer, BHSI Middle East. “They will lead our efforts to bring BHSI’s long-term focus, multi-line underwriting and service excellence to customers throughout the Middle East. We are pleased to welcome them aboard.”

The BHSI appointees include:

• Aisling Malone, Head of Executive & Professional Lines. Aisling was previously Head of Professional Liability Cyber MENA and Senior Underwriter at AIG MEA Limited. Aisling is joined by Joe Saab, Senior Underwriter.
• Emir Erdur, Head of Casualty. He was previously Casualty Leader and Regional Underwriter of Casualty for the MEA region at QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited. Emir is joined by Mohammed Hannoun, Senior Underwriting Manager.
• Carlos Beltran, Head of Commercial Property. Carlos was previously Regional Vice President, P&C Underwriting at Chubb Latin America.
• Meenakshi Srinath, Head of Marine. Prior to BHSI, Meenakshi was Head of Marine (Gulf and KSA) at AXA Insurance Gulf.
• Kapil Palathinkal is Head of Energy and Construction. Kapil was most recently the Energy & Engineered Risk Manager for the Arabian Hub at AIG. Kapil is joined by Anuradha Sekar, Senior Underwriter.
• Pruthviraj More, Senior Risk Engineer. Pruthviraj joins BHSI from Allianz Global Corporate Specialty where he was a Property Loss Control Engineer.
• John Lewis, Head of Claims. John was previously Head of Claims at Zurich Insurance DIFC Dubai.

Earlier this year BHSI announced the appointment of Alessandro Cerase as Senior Executive Officer (SEO) and Neeraj Yadvendu as deputy SEO and Head of Third Party Lines for the Middle East, both based on Dubai. Alessandro also leads First Party Lines for BHSI’s broader Asia Middle East region, which includes BHSI’s other regional hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore as well as BHSI operations in Malaysia and Macau.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Opens New Office in Munich, Germany

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has opened a new office in Munich, Germany, marking the latest advance in BHSI’s steady, strategic expansion of its global footprint and capabilities for customers and brokers worldwide.

“Our new presence in southeastern Germany enhances our ability to bring our full line of specialty insurance products, our financial strength, and our focus on service excellence to the German and European marketplace,” said Chris Colahan, President, BHSI in Europe and the UK. “We are excited to be in Munich, continuing to build our global team of individuals with stellar capabilities and character.”

The new office in Munich, along with the BHSI office in Dusseldorf, will underwrite property, casualty, medical malpractice, marine and executive & professional lines for a broad range of business segments in Germany.

BHSI also announced that it intends to build substantial local underwriting and claims capabilities in the new office and has filled its first two posts in Munich with Lars Messutat, Senior Underwriter, Property, and Florian Biebrach, Senior Underwriter, Financial Lines, both of whom relocated from BHSI in Dusseldorf.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Goes into the Pizza Biz

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McLane Company, Inc., Berkshire Hathaway’s supply chain services company that provides grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions, has announced the debut of a new brand: Fly Guys Pizza.

The brand launched at the McLane National Tradeshow through its private label subsidiary, Consumer Value Products (CVP), in coordination with McLane’s foodservice-at-retail program, McLane Kitchen.

Made with premium toppings on a self-rising crust, Fly Guys Pizza arrives frozen and fully packaged for retailers to serve hot by the slice or by the 12” pizza, or the 12” pizzas can be merchandised for retail sale in the frozen section for consumers to bake at home. Fly Guys combines great taste with incredible value and is offered in three delicious flavors: pepperoni, five-meat and breakfast — because it’s never too early for pizza!

The brand was conceived with a unique story of two Italian skydivers. Legend has it that Luciano Rosso and Frederico Moretti had a shared passion for pizza AND skydiving, and they decided mid-air to join forces to share their love of Italian pies with the world. Thus, Fly Guys Pizza was born.

McLane Kitchen and CVP offer customers Fly Guys-branded packaging including pizza boxes and slice trays, equipment ranging from pizza ovens to serving utensils, as well as signage such as posters, menu boards and banners.

“We are thrilled to enter the most talked about category in convenience with Fly Guys Pizza program,” said Teresa Voelter, general manager of Consumer Value Products at McLane. “With retail and foodservice options, our customers will be enthusiastic about the program and its benefits to help drive their sales.”

In addition to Fly Guys Pizza, CVP is also proud to launch new products for Beau Dacious, its line of pet products, that include leashes and food/water bowls, as well as assorted fruit snacks and dinosaur fruit snacks for the YumBees brand at McLane’s National Trade Show.

CVP’s 240+ products are available to both McLane customers and non-McLane customers and are currently offered at retail locations nationwide.

© 2018 David Mazor


Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.