McLane Appoints New President and CEO

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice solutions, has announced that Tony Frankenberger has been appointed president and CEO, and that Grady Rosier will retire as president and CEO, both effective August 28, 2020.

Rosier has worked for McLane for more than 36 years and has held the title of president and CEO for the last 25 years of that time. His influence has elevated McLane to its position as a world-class leader in supply chain services for the grocery and foodservice industries.

During Rosier’s tenure, McLane has experienced significant market share growth and substantial annual revenue increases from less than $6 billion to more than $50 billion. Its grocery division expanded from convenience stores to other classes of trade, including drug stores, mass market retailers, warehouse clubs, value stores, supermarkets, and alcoholic beverage distribution. Rosier was instrumental in the sale of McLane from Walmart to Berkshire Hathaway in 2003, and he led the charge for a new foodservice division servicing QSR, fast casual, and casual restaurants that quickly became one of the largest in the industry. He has also provided an unwavering commitment to charitable organizations such as Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and United Way.

“McLane is not just a company to me,” says Rosier. “It has been my passion, and the people at McLane are my family.”

Rosier has made an enormous impact on the supply chain industry and beyond. Prior to joining McLane, Rosier spent more than a decade in various executive roles in the convenience channel. Before that, Rosier had six years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps and several more in the reserves. He was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2015, and currently serves on the board of directors of NVR, Inc. and NuStar Energy. Rosier earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida.

Tony Frankenberger will assume leadership of McLane as president and CEO on August 28, 2020, while maintaining his responsibilities as president of McLane Grocery, a $33 billion business unit providing supply chain solutions to over 70,000 retailer locations. Frankenberger has worked for McLane for more than 35 years. Shortly after he concluded his service with the United States Air Force in 1985, Frankenberger began his career with McLane as a washer, fueler, and mechanic in the transportation department and worked his way up in the company. Today, he has more than 15 years of senior management experience, including various past leadership positions in merchandising, procurement, and operations. Frankenberger holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

“I have personally known Tony for more than 30 years and feel this is a tremendous opportunity for him to continue building the sustainability and growth of McLane into the future,” says Rosier. “He is an exceptional leader with a track record of operational excellence, building high performance teams, and extraordinary customer service.”

Frankenberger’s notable rise through the ranks and steadfast commitment to McLane’s values and beliefs pave his way to success in the new role.

“I am thrilled for Grady, and I wish him nothing but health and happiness in this new chapter of his life,” says Frankenberger. “I am honored to follow in his footsteps at an incredible company with outstanding teammates.”

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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 All-Electric Refuse Trucks to Run in New Jersey

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BYD all-electric refuse trucks will soon be hard at work providing zero-emission collection services to Jersey City, N.J., the first such trucks on the U.S. East Coast capable of working an entire route.

Hudson County Motors and BYD will provide five all-electric, rear-loader collection trucks to the city. The BYD trucks will go to work on normal daily collection routes previously handled by diesel-fueled trucks.

The BYD 8R is the world’s first commercially available all-electric class 8 refuse chassis that can successfully complete an entire route. The BYD 8R’s core technologies include state-of-the-art batteries, controls and motors, which are designed, tested and built by BYD as an integrated system. This allows the BYD 8R to achieve the highest levels of performance, endurance and reliability.

BYD software optimizes power and torque for superior performance in refuse collection operations. Combined with BYD’s advanced battery chemistry, the BYD 8R holds enough energy to complete an entire route with true zero-emissions.

“Jersey City will be a model for what is now possible with zero-emission refuse trucks.” says John Gerra, Sr. Director of Business Development at BYD Motors. “We look forward to helping provide clean streets and clean air for the residents of Jersey City.”

The project is supported by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Sanitation Equipment Corp. of Totowa, NJ.

Hudson County Motors is BYD’s fully authorized truck dealer for Northern New Jersey.

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.

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

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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’s Lubrizol Acquires 3D Printing Company, Avid Product Development

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Berkshire Hathaway’s The Lubrizol Corporation has acquired Avid Product Development, LLC, a trusted partner for engineering and additive manufacturing services.

No price for the acquisition was revealed.

According to Lubrizol, Avid offers a unique blend of 3D printing capabilities, including design for additive manufacturing (DfAM), prototyping and production using powder bed fusion (MJF, SLS), fused filament fabrication (FFF) and stereolithography (SLA), with expertise in various post-processing technologies.

The company note that the 3D printing industry continues to rapidly grow, creating an immense opportunity for companies leveraging 3D printing services as part of their portfolios. Today, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) interested in 3D printing are seeking partners who can assist in their efforts to integrate this new technology into their processes. Lubrizol’s materials, application and testing expertise coupled with Avid’s 3D printing design, prototyping and post-processing know-how will enable development of differentiated solutions for customers and accelerate adoption of 3D printing in key industries.

“Lubrizol continues to invest in opportunities that bring new differentiated solutions to our customers,” says Gert-Jan Nijhuis, General Manager, 3D Printing Solutions, Lubrizol Engineered Materials. “The acquisition of Avid Product Development greatly enhances our ability as a 3D printing solution provider, offering complete product solutions from material development to printing and post processing services, delivering end-use products for our key markets.”

“As a result of this acquisition, we will have vast opportunities to demonstrate our capabilities in engineering, design and manufacturing with the support of an industry leader in materials development, applications and testing” added Doug Collins, founder of Avid Product Development.

Avid is headquartered in Loveland, Colorado and serves customers in the footwear, consumer goods, industrial and medical markets. Avid won the 2019 Colorado Company to Watch award, and continues to create innovative solutions, including designing and 3D printing of critical personal protection equipment (PPE) to meet the urgent needs of healthcare workers and essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

© 2020 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 Appoints Property Leadership in Middle East & Asia

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has appointed Kapil Palathinkal as Head of First Party Lines, Middle East, and Carlos Beltran as Head of First Party Lines, Asia, overseeing General Property, Energy and Construction.

“We are pleased to round out our regional property leadership with the promotions of Kapil and Carlos, two experienced leaders who will further build on their valuable contributions to BHSI and our customers,” said Marc Breuil, Head of Asia Middle East, BHSI. “Along with our financial strength, underwriting acumen, and CLAIMS IS OUR PRODUCT philosophy, BHSI offers customers the advantage of a consistent, stable approach to energy, construction and general property risks worldwide.”

Kapil, who is based in Dubai, joined BHSI in 2018 as Head of Energy & Construction. He has more than a decade of experience with construction, energy and engineered risks and is trained as a chemical engineer.

Carlos, who has more than two decades of industry experience, came to BHSI in 2018 as Head of General Property for the Middle East. In his new role, he will be based in Singapore.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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 Energy Forms New Business Unit

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Berkshire Hathaway Energy has announced BHE Compression Services, a newly formed Berkshire Hathaway Energy business that will offer natural gas compression services focused on large horsepower with the patent pending technology known as CleanMachine™.

CleanMachine™ technology was developed to eliminate or capture raw methane emissions and minimize combustion emissions. The technology ensures the company’s fleet has the lowest total compressor package emissions, with targeted methane intensity rates of less than 0.2%. With this performance, BHE Compression Services will become the industry leader in responsibly sourced natural gas compression services.

Industry veterans Michael Robbins and Peter Strezo, co-founders of TCB Energy Services, will serve in key leadership roles at BHE Compression Services and will work at the company’s headquarters in Houston, Texas.

“We are excited to partner with Berkshire Hathaway Energy to build a new, environmentally sustainable compression company,” said Robbins, president and CEO of BHE Compression Services. “The company’s long-term focus of investing profits back into its people and businesses creates a unique opportunity to build lasting strategies, culture and relationships well into the future.”

“It is an exciting time for BHE Compression Services, and we are committed to building a business that is focused on customer service, employee commitment, environmental respect, regulatory integrity, operational excellence and financial strength,” said Strezo, vice president, technology and environmental. “Being part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy expands access to knowledge, resources, suppliers and strategic partners in the areas of methane emissions reduction technologies, engineering expertise in the energy industry, cybersecurity, and pipeline operations and maintenance.”

Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s formation of the new company and investment in CleanMachine™ technology are a natural continuation of the company’s commitment to using natural resources wisely and to reducing emissions at their source. The technology will be an important asset for BHE Pipeline Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy business that owns and operates the largest interstate natural gas pipeline system in the U.S.

“I am excited to collaborate with Mike and Pete on the launch of BHE Compression Services at a time when the industry places paramount importance not only on safe and reliable service, but also on environmentally sustainable business practices,” said Mark Hewett, president and CEO of BHE Pipeline Group.

BHE Pipeline Group is an industry leader in methane emissions reduction programs as one of the first 14 members of ONE Future, a founding partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Natural Gas STAR methane challenge program and a partner in the EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program since 1994.

© 2020 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 Utilities Save $13.19 Million in Q2 2020 Thanks to EIM

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Two of Berkshire Hathaway’s utilities, PacifiCorp and NV Energy, saved a combined $13.19 million in Q2 2020 through the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has released its western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) 2020 second-quarter benefits report that shows total savings have reached $1 billion since the market’s launch in November 2014.

In 2014, Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s PacifiCorp agreed to become the first participant in the Energy Imbalance Market. Berkshire’s NV Energy, which serves 2.4 million customers in Nevada, commenced participation on December 1, 2015.

The western EIM platform automatically finds and delivers low-cost energy to serve consumers in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Optimizing diverse resources from a large geographic area enables more effective use of carbon-free generation besides reducing costs.

The Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), is operated by the California Independent System Operator (ISO), and is averaging $1 million daily combined benefits for the eleven participating utilities.

ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich, who’s retiring from the ISO later this summer, envisioned the western real-time market to optimize resources and integrate high amounts of renewable energy while improving the reliable operation of the grid. “This milestone demonstrates the Western EIM is providing significant operational efficiencies and greater integration of variable resources for its participants,” said Berberich. “As many entities strive to meet the demands of the quickly evolving grid, the Western EIM will continue to be an important market for supporting a cleaner, greener system in the West.”

“This benefits milestone shines a spotlight on the value of regional collaboration,” said ISO Board of Governors Chair David Olsen. “The ISO will build on this momentum, together with its Western EIM partners, to develop even more efficient ways to share resources and improve reliability west-wide, in order to further reduce costs and emissions for all.”

John Prescott, Chair of Western EIM’s Governing Body, said that as the Western EIM continues to grow, so too will the benefits. “The Western Energy Imbalance Market is helping utilities and participants across the West use their energy resources much more efficiently, while reducing costs to their consumers,” Chair Prescott said. “With the EIM slated to see record growth by adding 10 balancing authorities over the next two years, the Governing Body looks forward to seeing the valuable regional coordination grow tremendously.”

With increasing levels of variable resources on the grid, such as solar and wind, there are times when output from these resources exceed demand for electricity. To balance the grid, those resources are often curtailed. Through the Western EIM and regional collaboration, clean energy resources are transferred across a large geographic area to serve demand where needed, leading to a reduction in curtailments for the second quarter of the year by 147,514 megawatt hours (MWh), and 1.24 million MWh overall since 2015.

With the increased generation of carbon-free energy, the cumulative CO2 emissions have been reduced by 533,381 metric tons, or the equivalent of taking 112,141 passenger cars off the road.

Additionally, operators are seeing qualitative benefits from the increased visibility and resource options available, especially during times such as the evening ramp or the variable nature of storm cloud cover.

© 2020 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 Receives $316 Million Order from California for PPE

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China’s BYD, a world leader in electric vehicles, monorails, and batteries, is now one of the world leaders in PPE. As COVID-19 spiked worldwide demand for facemasks, BYD pivoted and started making both N95 masks and surgical masks. And with the pandemic resurging in California, the state has signed a $316 million deal with BYD to supply 420 million N95 masks and surgical masks for California.

In June, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California-based BYD North America had received certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to produce N95 respirators for the state.

Cal OES had made NIOSH certification of N95 masks an explicit requirement of the contract with BYD so that California’s doctors, nurses and other front-line workers can be confident that the N95 masks they receive from the state are of the highest quality and meet federal health and safety standards.

“Providing California’s front-line health care workers and responders the protective equipment they need is a critical part of our response to COVID-19. This new supply of N95 masks, as well as the surgical masks this contract has already provided, are game-changing and play a crucial role in our state’s public safety and reopening strategy,” Governor Gavin Newsom said at the time of its June combined order for 260 million N95 and surgical masks.

The state has already received hundreds of millions of masks from BYD, and the new order will be significantly cheaper than the previous order. The state will receive 120 million N95 masks for $2.13 per N95 mask and 300 million surgical masks at $0.20 per mask.

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.

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

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

Susan Adzick is New Leader of McLane Foodservice

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice solutions, announced that Susan Adzick has assumed leadership of McLane Foodservice as president, effective July 20, 2020.

McLane Foodservice’s former president, Tom Zatina, has been named executive vice president and chief strategy officer of McLane Company.

Adzick was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of McLane Foodservice in January, as part of a planned transition to president this summer. Adzick has contributed invaluable leadership to the Foodservice division for more than 20 years.

“When Susan Adzick’s promotion was announced in January, I could not have envisioned the challenging circumstances that 2020 would bring to our business and to our country,” says Grady Rosier, president and CEO of McLane. “During these uncertain times, Susan has demonstrated a steady hand, thoughtful leadership, and unwavering stewardship of McLane’s beliefs and values. Her performance this year has reinforced my confidence that she is the right individual to lead McLane Foodservice.”

Zatina, who served as president of McLane Foodservice for 14 years, also began his new corporate role on July 20, 2020. As executive vice president and chief strategy officer of McLane, Zatina will lead key projects that are critical to driving process improvements and will enhance McLane’s capabilities in meeting current strategic objectives.

“In Tom Zatina’s tenure as president, he has been successful in growing McLane Foodservice into one of the largest foodservice suppliers in the industry,” says Adzick. “His commitment has had an immeasurable impact on McLane, our teammates, and our stakeholders.”

© 2020 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.

Johns Manville Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Johns Manville, a global building and specialty products manufacturer, has named Sabine Schmidt as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer, effective on September 1.

“Sabine brings a breadth of financial experience at Johns Manville and in the industry to her new position,” said Bob Wamboldt, President of JM’s Insulation Systems business. “Her expertise will serve JM well as we strive to be the Employer of Choice and Supplier of Choice in the markets we serve. We are delighted Sabine will be part of our leadership team.”

Wamboldt will become JM’s President and CEO at the same time Schmidt assumes her new job. Greg Clarke, JM’s current CFO, will become President of the Insulation Systems business.

“Johns Manville is in great hands with these experienced leaders in their new roles,” said Mary Rhinehart, JM’s President and CEO. “I am confident we will continue delighting our customers, adding value and delivering positive JM Experiences that position JM well into the future.”

Rhinehart will continue as Chairman of Johns Manville when the leadership changes take effect this fall.

Schmidt joined JM in 2006 as the Corporate FP&A Manager. She was later promoted to Finance Director, Engineered Products North America. Schmidt assumed her current job of Director of Finance for JM’s Insulation Systems business in 2012.

In her new role, Schmidt will be responsible for all global financial functions and corporate development activities for the company.

Before joining Johns Manville, Schmidt held several jobs at Fortune 100 automotive supplier Dana Corporation. She began her career in internal audit for both the U.S. and Europe and gained increasing responsibility throughout her six-year tenure there, including jobs as Plant Controller for both an axle assembly plant and unionized drive shaft manufacturing plant. Sabine later worked at Holcim as Corporate Manufacturing Controller and was responsible for all aspects of operations accounting and controllership for 12 cement plants.

© 2020 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.

Pilot Company Announces Leadership Changes

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Pilot Company, the leading supplier of fuel and the largest operator of travel centers in North America, announced today that CEO Jimmy Haslam will become chairman of the board on January 1, 2021, and has named Shameek Konar, the company’s chief strategy officer, as CEO at that time.

As a family operated company for 62 years, Founder James (Jim) Haslam and Jimmy Haslam will remain involved in the business as chairman emeritus and chairman, respectively. The transition of Konar to the role of CEO will continue over the next six months.

“Since day one with Pilot in 2017, Shameek has shown his dedication to advancing our company and the industry,” said Jimmy Haslam, current CEO of Pilot Company. “Shameek has successfully launched and grown our Pilot Energy business and become a key member of our leadership team. His knowledge of the energy sector, including expertise in the acquisition, development and operations of infrastructure assets and resources, and his deep appreciation of Pilot’s culture and values are a few of the reasons why we chose him to be our next CEO. We have full confidence that Shameek will continue to grow the legacy of our family’s business.”

Konar has had a strong track record throughout his career with more than 20 years of experience in the energy and commodity market focusing on acquiring, integrating and optimizing assets. He has a degree in Economics and Mathematics from St. Stephens College in India and a PhD in Economics and Finance from Vanderbilt University.

“Thanks to Jimmy and Ken Parent’s leadership, we are well positioned for what’s ahead and have an incredible team to get us there,” said Konar, chief strategy officer at Pilot. “When joining the Pilot family, I was immediately drawn to the strong culture that Jimmy and the entire Haslam family created. As CEO, I will be deeply committed to keeping those values in place and investing in our team, while also working to better serve our guests, advance our goals and continue to strategically grow the business.”

Effective immediately, Konar will take on additional responsibilities, including the management of technology, HR, finance and legal. The real estate team will continue to report to Jimmy Haslam and the store operations and development teams will continue to report to Ken Parent, president. As CEO, store operations and development will be added to Konar’s role in 2021.

In January, Parent will become senior advisor to the CEO and the chairman, providing guidance on strategy and key priorities for the company. Parent has helped the company achieve significant growth through the development of successful systems and processes, as well as building an outstanding leadership team. The rest of Pilot’s management team will stay in place.

In 2021 and beyond, the Haslam family will continue to be involved. In addition to Jim and Jimmy, Whitney Haslam Johnson will continue to serve as chief experience officer and member of the board, and Bill Haslam will serve on the board.

Berkshire Hathaway and Pilot

In 2017, Berkshire Hathaway made a $2.76 billion investment in Pilot Travel Centers, and Berkshire will become the majority owner in 2022.

© 2020 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 a 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.