Monthly Archives: September 2019

Borsheims Creates New Position, Promotes Executive

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Borsheims has promoted Adrienne Fay to Vice President overseeing the customer purchase journey. In this newly created role, Fay will ensure that customers shopping online, by phone, or in person will have the same excellent experience that is a hallmark of Borsheims since its founding in 1870.

In her new position, Fay will bring together every part of the store that interacts with customers and unite them in a true omnichannel approach. It is a strategy Borsheims has been focusing on as it moves toward its 150th anniversary, making several changes including:

• Implementing and converting to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution,
• Developing ‘virtual showroom’ technology to allow the sales team to create personalized selections for retail and business customers,
• Implementing new eCommerce and Gift Registry platforms that allow for ease of navigation and ordering for customers,
• Promoting new customer outreach tools, both in traditional and new media methods,
• Creating a new role, eCommerce Fulfillment Specialist, dedicated to ensuring online orders and customer interactions receive the same instore exemplary customer service, and
• Unveiling a new corporate gifts online ordering functionality, working with companies, educational institutions, and nonprofits throughout the United States to help reward their employees.

Fay is a 15-year veteran of Borsheims, most recently serving as the Director of Marketing and Business Sales. In that role, she led the marketing team, grew and managed Borsheims’ business sales division, and guided the store’s philanthropic efforts. She also oversaw the store’s participation in the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders weekend, including the shareholder-only parties at Borsheims and the mini-Borsheims at the exhibitor’s hall.

Borsheims President & CEO Karen Goracke believes in the importance of serving the customer however they choose to shop. “Customers value Borsheims integrity and quality, and we in turn value making shopping a seamless experience for them – no matter how they come to us,” Goracke said. “Whether it’s an online sale, a live chat that leads to an instore consultation, or research conducted on borsheims.com for a special purchase—we are designing all our business functions with the customer in mind. Adrienne has the ideal skills to lead us in that direction.”

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett echoed, stating, “Borsheims has been in business for nearly 150 years due to its leaders’ ability to adapt to the environment around them. The evolving business focus and Adrienne’s promotion to this new role are evidence of that.”

© 2019 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.

Lubrizol Receives Gold Sustainability Rating From EcoVadis

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As an affirmation of its commitment to sustainability, Lubrizol is proud to announce the company recently received a Gold sustainability rating from EcoVadis. EcoVadis is the world’s most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings, providing detailed assessments of business’ environmental, social and ethical performance.

A Gold rating means Lubrizol scored within the top five percent of more than 55,000 companies rated by EcoVadis and the top two percent of its industry. The company was evaluated on the strengths of its actions and policies relative to Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement. This is the sixth year Lubrizol was part of the EcoVadis evaluations and has seen a steady increase in its scores every year.

“The EcoVadis scores are an important external validation of our focus on sustainability,” says Julie Edgar, Lubrizol’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Lubrizol touches the lives of billions of people every day, and we take our responsibilities to those consumers, our customers, our employees and our communities very seriously.”

Lubrizol’s commitment to inspiring sustainability that improves lives is fully integrated across the organization. The company’s approach includes a broad view of sustainability, including balance among Environmental, Social, Governance and Ethics, and Economic factors, as well as life-cycle thinking to support business strategies.

In addition to its own internal sustainability assessments, the company seeks and incorporates external stakeholder feedback, such as the EcoVadis scores, and applies global trends to identify opportunities in the continued progression of its sustainability strategy and practices.

© 2019 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

BYD Pure Electric Buses Running at Kansas City International Airport

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD now has its pure electric buses running at the Kansas City International Airport.

The Kansas City International Airport added four BYD K7 transit buses to their bus fleet and is now greener than ever.

The K7 seats 22 plus the driver and has a range of up to 150 miles and a top speed of 56 mph.

The buses use BYD’s iron phosphate batteries, and have a charging time of 2.5-3 hours.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value almost ten-fold, and is now worth roughly $1.96 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2019 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’s Wellfleet Insurance Co. Takes Over NGL’s Student & Special Risk Business

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Berkshire Hathaway’s insurance company Wellfleet has agreed to terms with National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) to acquire through renewals its Student and Special Risk business.

Much of that business is processed through Commercial Travelers Life Insurance Company in Utica, New York, a wholly owned NGL subsidiary.

Wellfleet will immediately assume responsibility for administrating NGL’s special risk policies and collegiate accident and health insurance, which insures over 26,000 students on approximately 100 campuses across the United States. Wellfleet will maintain NGL’s Utica, NY office, employing more than 30 insurance professionals.

“We are pleased that we have entered into this agreement with Wellfleet, one of the nation’s leading providers of health and accident insurance products to the higher education market. This transition provides our customers the ability to renew their business with a highly respected insurer who will deliver quality service. This transaction allows NGL to focus on our other lines of business,” said Knut A. Olson, NGL’s President & CEO.

“Wellfleet’s specialization in Student and Special Risk coverage for more than 25 years, and respected reputation in the market, gives NGL’s talented employees, loyal clients, and growing member base the best possible solution for operational continuity,” Olson said.

Wellfleet President & CEO, Andrew DiGiorgio, noted Wellfleet’s longtime business relationship with NGL and Commercial Travelers, and reiterated Wellfleet’s commitment to a smooth transition for NGL’s clients and members.

“Our priorities are to honor the commitments NGL extended to its customers, and to deliver quality service and customer-centric solutions to clients, members and distribution partners,” said DiGiorgio.

Completion of the transaction is subject to various conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.

© 2019 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.

Strike Over at Berkshire Hathaway-Owned Plant

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The strike is over at a Berkshire Hathaway-owned metals plant in upstate New York.

More than 200 workers at Berkshire Hathaway’s Specialty Metals spent three weeks walking a picket line. At issue were the long hours workers put in at the plant, which runs 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Workers ratified a new contract on Saturday morning and they will be back to work as of Monday.

The Special Metals plant in New Hartford, New York, produces premium quality nickel base superalloys for both static and rotating aerospace and land-based gas turbine applications.

Specialty Metals is owned by Berkshire Hathaway’s Precision Castparts Corp., which is a global conglomerate operating in more than a dozen countries that manufactures complex metal components and products, high-quality investment castings, forgings and fastener systems for power generation, aerospace, space exploration, military and other mission-critical applications.

© 2019 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.

US Solar Fund Acquires Milford Solar Project That Will Supply PacifiCorp

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US Solar Fund plc has closed the acquisition and financing of 100% of the cash equity interests in the 128MWDC Milford Solar Project.

Construction is expected to begin immediately with full commercial operations expected before the end of 2020.

The Company first announced the acquisition on 23 July 2019, however detailed disclosure was subject to financial close.

The Project is in Beaver County, approximately six miles north of Milford, Utah. Milford is expected to be operational in late 2020 and, will sell 100% of the power and renewable energy credits generated at a fixed price for 25 years to PacifiCorp, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

PacifiCorp has contracted to sell all the renewable attributes associated with the Project to a retail customer.

PacifiCorp is a US electric power company that primarily operates regulated utilities with a service territory across the US states of Oregon, Washington, California, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

USF will acquire Milford from developer Longroad Energy Partners, LLC. The Longroad team has a track record of developing and financing more than 5GW of utility-scale renewable energy projects since 2004, including over 1GW in the state of Utah.

The Project will be constructed on a fixed-time and fixed-cost basis by McCarthy Building Companies, one of the largest construction companies in the US with over 2.8GW of solar and energy storage projects designed, constructed or completed since 2013.

The Project will use First Solar Inc.’s high-performance Series 6 solar panels and First Solar Energy Services is expected to provide operations and maintenance services under a separate long-term contract.

Once operational, the Project will generate over 277,500 megawatt hours of electricity annually. This volume of electricity is equivalent to displacing approximately 235,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, powering 31,000 homes, or removing 51,000 cars from the road, every year.

© 2019 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.

BYD to Sell Commercial Trucks to New York Metro Area Through Milea Truck

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Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD, the leader in commercial electric truck deployments, has picked Milea Truck Sales and Leasing (Milea Truck) as BYD’s fully authorized truck dealer to support the New York metropolitan area.

Headquartered in Bronx, NY, Milea Truck is well positioned to support the New York City truck market, including the Port of New York. This major milestone signals that New York commercial trucking fleets and residents can both look forward to seeing more BYD Electric Trucks on their roads, providing clean, quiet, and economical operation.

Milea Truck will offer BYD’s full line of Electric Trucks, including all Class 6 and Class 8 Trucks, Refuse Collection Trucks, Tandem Axle Day Cabs, Yard Tractors, and the world’s first All-Electric Refrigerated Box Trucks. Sales, service, parts and technical support will be provided from Milea Truck’s multiple service facilities in New York City as well as Westchester County and Long Island.

“BYD is honored to partner with Milea to bring our state-of-the-art electric truck technology to the New York region. Milea is a true leader in the industry and recognizes that BYD electric trucks are ready to go to work today” said BYD Motors Director of Business Development, John Gerra. “By partnering with Milea, we can put our zero-emission trucks to work immediately, and help provide clean air for New Yorkers.”

“Milea Truck Sales is proud to be the preeminent leader for clean energy trucks in the tri-state area. We continue to partner with New York City Departments, not-for-profits, and local businesses to help drive the transition to clean energy trucks” said Milea Truck Sales President, Barry Milea. “We are very mindful of the fact that the Bronx and the surrounding boroughs have some of the highest asthma rates in the country. We feel we have a social responsibility to do everything in our power to help fight this by putting more low emission vehicles on the road, and BYD will be a valuable partner to help us achieve that mission.”

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value almost ten-fold, and is now worth roughly $1.96 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2019 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’ Glenn Smith Honored as Top CEO

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Glenn Smith, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway’s Mouser Electronics, has been named 2019’s Top Public CEO by Fort Worth Business Press. The prestigious award was presented at a luncheon August 28 at Fort Worth’s River Crest Country Club.

Smith has been a recognized leader in the North Texas business community since 2004, when he was elevated to his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mouser Electronics, a global industry leader that inspires innovation by offering the widest and newest selection of semiconductors and electronic components.

While still a college student, Smith joined the company as a part-time warehouse employee in 1973 when Mouser was essentially a startup operation in San Diego, Calif. Smith rose through the ranks, working in nearly all departments in multiple management roles. Smith’s leadership and tenure has seen Mouser grow from a small distribution company to one of the world’s largest electronic component distributors, with more than 2,500 employees in 26 offices worldwide and nearly $2 billion in annual sales. Acquired in 2000 by Fort Worth-based TTI, Inc., Mouser is one of the TTI family of companies and an industry leader in the successful portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway companies.

Smith learned early on about the importance of hard work, attention to detail and giving the customer a great experience. That focus remains key to the company’s mission.

“It is a great honor to receive this award, and I thank the Fort Worth Business Press as well as all of the Mouser employees who contribute every day to give our customers a best-in-class experience,” Smith stated. “I’d also like to acknowledge our wonderful customers and suppliers. Stocking the widest selection of the newest products from our supplier partners reinforces our commitment to our customers to be a single source for all the components and tools necessary for the electronic design process. There’s a lot of teamwork involved in our business success.”

Smith has served for years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA), working to protect the authorized supply chain of electronic components. In 2011, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the ECIA for leading the rapid launch of the ECIA inventory search website, www.eciaauthorized.com. Smith currently serves on the Distribution Council for ECIA.

© 2019 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.

BYD Key to Making IndyGo’s New Red Line Go

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A fleet of Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD’s electric buses are now rolling through the streets of Indianapolis as part of IndyGo’s new Red Line transit system.

IndyGo’s Red Line began service on September 1, 2019, and feature a 31-strong fleet of BYD’s 60-foot buses that travel along bus-only lanes.

The buses have a stated battery range of 275 miles, but in 51 tests that included Indianapolis’s frigid winter weather, the buses fell short of that performance level. In response, BYD, which has an association with Momentum Dynamics, agreed to provide wireless charging platforms at either end of the route in order to boost the buses’ charge level throughout the service day.

The Red Line is the first of IndyGo’s Bus Rapid Transit systems, providing increased frequency, reliability, comfort, and convenience at a fraction of the cost of light rail.

Unlike far-spaced light rail, the permanence of BRT infrastructure all along the corridor supports increased private investment, contributing to increased economic opportunity and quality of life.

Running for 13 miles, IndyGo’s new Red Line is billed as a milestone in improved capacity, comfort and comprehensive accommodation for every rider’s experience.

The Red Line corridor is the densest corridor of both residents and employers within Marion County.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value almost ten-fold, and is now worth roughly $1.96 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2019 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.