News Article | May 6, 2017
http://www.kaminskiauctions.com Kaminski’s April Fine and Decorative Art Auction on April 30, 2017 saw many of the top lots climb well above estimates with lively bidding coming from determined Internet bidders. Most notable was a rare firemen’s ceremonial parade hat from the 1700s. The hat was purchased at a local yard sale and was from the Franklin Fire Company of Germantown, Pennsylvania. Made of pressed resin felt with a hand painted picture of Benjamin Franklin, this particular “parade hat” as they were known bears the initials JF on the stovetop. After 100 plus views on KaminskiLive, this rare piece of American history was finally hammered down for $18,000 to an enthusiastic phone bidder. These special occasion hats or “parade hats” as they became known were worn by the fireman in parades, to county fairs, and in pumping competitions. A Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1691-1765) landscape view of Roman ruins, oil on canvas sold to the floor for $12,000. The silver category did very well with a pair of Persian silver vases that weighed 224 oz,. sold for $9000 and a two-piece Persian silver compote weighing approximately 182 oz,. sold for $5400. Both from were from a New England estate. Similarly, a 19th century silver English Georgian solid silver tray with handles, hall marked London sold for $4500. Middle Eastern items featured in the sale did well with a Qajar period enamel liquor set the top lot selling for $5400 and an early Middle Eastern hand-written Quran/Koran selling for $2700. On Thursday, May 11th starting at 6:00 pm Kaminski Auctions will host an evening auction during Brimfield Week featuring the collection of Jonathan Orr Swan, former Professor, and Director at the Museum of Fine Arts School, Boston, Massachusetts. Graduated from Harvard College with a BA and Masters, and an MA from the University of London. Jon had a lifelong passion for the Arts. Best known for his sculpture Jon served as a Senior Faculty Instructor in Sculpture and Multi-Media, Director of the Visiting Artists Program and Director of “Five Evenings” (an avant-garde performance series) at the MFA School, Boston during his long artistic career. In addition to items from the Jonathan Orr Swan collection, the Brimfield Week auction will consist of curated one-of-a-kind lots that evoke the excitement and uniqueness of the Brimfield Antiques Market. Preview for this exciting sale begins Monday – Wednesday, May 8-10, 10:00 am-5:00 pm and day of sale beginning at 9:00 am at the Kaminski Auctions gallery at 117 Elliott Street (RT.62), Beverly, Massachusetts. For more information and to sign up to bid with KaminskiLIVE go to http://www.kaminskiauctions.com
News Article | April 28, 2017
Acosta, 48, joined FIU in 2009. Before coming to FIU, he served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Under Acosta's stewardship, FIU Law has raised its national profile dramatically and earned a reputation for excellence and student success. The college ranks among the top 50 nationally for job placement, according to U.S. News and World Report. "Serving as dean of the FIU College of Law has been an honor and privilege, and I am deeply grateful to have shared in our students' journeys over the years," Acosta said. "Students, alumni, faculty and staff have become an extension of my family, and I will miss working with them. FIU will always remain dear to me, and I look forward to watching it continue to unlock its limitless potential." A native of Miami and first-generation university graduate and lawyer, Acosta earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his law degree from Harvard Law School. After serving as law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Acosta practiced law at the firm of Kirkland & Ellis and taught law at the George Mason School of Law. Acosta has previously served in three presidentially-appointed, senate-confirmed positions. He was a member of the National Labor Relations Board, where he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions. He went on to be the first Hispanic to hold the rank of Assistant Attorney General before becoming U.S. Attorney in 2005. He is the first Hispanic confirmed for a position in President Donald Trump's cabinet. In the coming days FIU Provost Kenneth G. Furton will name an acting dean of the FIU College of Law. The university will conduct a national search for Acosta's successor. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fiu-law-dean-acosta-confirmed-as-us-labor-secretary-300448077.html
News Article | April 27, 2017
The University of San Francisco (USF) today announced the lineup of speakers and honorary degree recipients at the university’s eight commencement ceremonies, taking place Thursday, May 18 through Saturday, May 20. Over 2300 graduate and undergraduate students will participate in the ceremonies at St. Ignatius Church on USF’s main campus. Events will also be live-streamed via the university website (http://www.usfca.edu). Hailing from the front lines of real estate, medicine, academia, politics and the Catholic Church, commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients include: Renowned director and playwright Carey Perloff from San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater and Maureen Orth, an award-winning journalist and education leader, will receive honorary degrees and address USF’s College of Arts and Sciences. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will speak to USF School of Law graduates. All ceremonies are invitation only. Journalists interested in covering the commencement events at USF must register by contacting Jennifer Kriz at (415) 422-2697 or jkriz(at)usfca(dot)edu. Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker: The Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy, Catholic Bishop of San Diego Named the sixth bishop of San Diego in 2015, Bishop Robert McElroy has served in parishes throughout California, and was appointed auxiliary bishop of San Francisco (2010-2015) by Pope Benedict XVI. In 2008, he served as the Lo Schiavo Chair in Catholic Social Thought at USF. McElroy is now the vice president of the California Catholic Conference and serves at the national conference of bishops. He is the author of two books: “The Search for an American Public Theology” and “Morality and American Foreign Policy.” A native San Franciscan, McElroy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, and his master’s degree from Stanford University, both in American history. He also holds a licentiate in theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, a doctorate in moral theology from the Gregorian University Rome, and a doctorate in political science from Stanford. Friday, May 19, 9 a.m. College of Arts and Sciences, undergraduate students for humanities and sciences Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker: Karl W. Eikenberry, Ambassador and Lieutenant General, Retired, U.S. Army Karl W. Eikenberry, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from April 2009 to July 2011, is currently the Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow and director of the U.S. Asia Security Initiative at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. He is also a professor and faculty member at Stanford University’s FSI Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and The Europe Center. In addition to his work at Stanford, Eikenberry is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he co-directs the academy's multi-year project on civil wars, violence and international responses. He serves on multiple boards, including The Asia Foundation, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for International Relations and Politics, and the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, which aims to regenerate Afghanistan's traditional arts and historic areas. He also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Council of American Ambassadors. Eikenberry is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and received master’s degrees from Harvard and Stanford universities. Friday, May 19, noon College of Arts and Sciences, undergraduate students for arts and social sciences Carey Perloff, an award-winning director and playwright, is celebrating her 25th and final year as artistic director of A.C.T., San Francisco’s largest theater company. Known for her innovative productions of classics and new works, Perloff has directed more than 50 productions at A.C.T. Perloff’s play Kinship premiered at the Théâtre de Paris in October 2014. Prior to A.C.T., Perloff was the artistic director of Classic Stage Company in New York and served on the faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her memoir, “Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater,” about her time at A.C.T., was published in 2015 and was excerpted by American Theatre Magazine. A recipient of France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the National Corporate Theatre Fund’s 2007 Artistic Achievement Award, Perloff received a B.A. Phi Beta Kappa in classics and comparative literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Oxford. Friday, May 19, 3 p.m. College of Arts and Sciences, graduate students Maureen Orth is an award-winning journalist, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, and the founder of the Marina Orth Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that promotes advanced learning in technology, English and leadership for more than 8,000 students in Colombia. As one of the first female writers at Newsweek in the early 1970s, Orth went on to publish profiles in Vanity Fair on heads of state, business leaders and celebrities, as well as acclaimed investigative reports. She has been a contributing editor at Vogue, a network correspondent for NBC News, a senior editor for New York and New West magazines and a columnist for New York Woman. She is also a contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. For her commitment to the education and success of the youth of Colombia, Orth received the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award from Refugees International in 2015. Orth has also published two books, the best selling “Vulgar Favors” about the murder of Gianni Versace and “The Importance of Being Famous: Behind the Scenes of the Celebrity Industrial Complex.” Orth attended San Francisco College for Women/Lone Mountain for two years and completed her bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a master’s degree in journalism and documentary film at the University of California, Los Angeles. Orth’s late husband, Tim Russert, received an honorary degree from USF in 2001. Friday, May 19, 6 p.m. School of Nursing and Health Professions Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker: Rev. Jon D. Fuller, M.D., S.J., Physician, Center for Infectious Diseases and Associate Professor, Boston University School of Medicine Founding president of the National Catholic AIDS Network, Rev. Dr. Jon Fuller is the attending physician for the Center for Infectious Diseases in Boston and manages Boston Medical Center’s program for HIV/AIDS care. He also coordinates the Research Thursday AIDS Conference series. As a Jesuit priest, Fuller has focused on how HIV prevention approaches can be analyzed and supported from the context of Catholic moral theology and serves as a consultant to international Catholic development and relief agencies on HIV-related policies. He teaches at Boston University School of Medicine, Weston Jesuit School of Theology and Harvard Divinity School. Fuller attended medical school at the University of California, San Diego, and completed his residency training in family medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He served on the University of San Francisco Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2010. Saturday, May 20, 9 a.m. School of Law Prior to being elected as California’s attorney general this year, Xavier Becerra was a member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 34th congressional district, representing downtown Los Angeles in Congress from 1993 to 2017. Becerra also served as a deputy attorney general in the California Department of Justice from 1987 to 1990, and the California State Assembly from 1990 to 1992. Born in Sacramento, Becerra is the son of working-class immigrants from Jalisco, Mexico. He attended the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain from 1978 to 1979, and earned his B.A. in economics from Stanford University. He was the first in his family to graduate from college. Becerra received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1980. Saturday, May 20, noon School of Management, undergraduate students in business administration Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker: Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin served as the 18th United States surgeon general, appointed by President Barack Obama in July 2009. As surgeon general, Benjamin oversaw the operational command of 6,700 uniformed public health officers who promote and protect the health of Americans in locations around the world. She is the first chair of the National Prevention Council and a former associate dean for rural health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. She is also the past chair of the U.S. Federation of State Medical Boards. In 1995, Benjamin was the first physician under age 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. Prior to becoming surgeon general, Benjamin served patients at the rural health clinic she founded in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, keeping the clinic in operation despite damage inflicted by hurricanes George (1998) and Katrina (2005) and a devastating fire (2006). Benjamin earned a B.S. in chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana, an M.D. degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an M.B.A. from Tulane University. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Georgia. Saturday, May 20, 3 p.m. School of Management, graduate and professional students, Masagung Graduate School of Management Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker: Mark Buell, President, San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission, Class of 1964 Mark Buell is a graduate of USF, a native San Franciscan and a decorated Vietnam veteran. Intrepid in the world of politics and philanthropy, Buell has spent 35 years in public and private real estate development. Buell was San Francisco’s first director of economic development under Joseph Alioto and later served as the first director of the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency from 1977 to 1985. He was a founding member and first president of the California Association for Local Economic Development and has served on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission under Dianne Feinstein. Buell is active on the boards of many nonprofit organizations including the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the San Francisco Conservation Corps, the Bolinas Museum and the Chez Panisse Foundation. About the University of San Francisco The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” For more information, visit usfca.edu
News Article | February 15, 2017
Today CyberScoutTM (formerly IDT911) announced additions to its senior management and communications teams as it gears up for aggressive growth internationally and into new market segments. CyberScout, which recently changed its name from IDT911 as part of a global rebranding, has gained a reputation as the best-in-class provider of identity and data defense services – from proactive protection and education to successful resolution. As threats to cyber security reach unprecedented levels, the company’s expansion addresses the growing and urgent need for innovative, trusted, effective services. Andrew J. Centauro joins CyberScout as executive vice president, finance & strategy, bringing to the company extensive experience in corporate finance and business transformation in a number of industries. In COO and CFO roles, Andy has provided strategic guidance to technology start-ups on their paths to high growth companies, leveraging both domestic and international partnerships for business growth. Andy has also been responsible for several M&A deals that have resulted in significant year-over-year growth. Residing in Sudbury, MA with his wife Eileen, Andy earned his MBA at Boston College and a BA at Boston University. Chad Eaton joins CyberScout as vice president of business development. He brings to the company a deep understanding of the cyber protection market, including seven years in senior management positions at LifeLock. As vice president of SMB sales and partner management at LifeLock, Chad directed the inside sales and partner teams and under his leadership, LifeLock’s partner business saw tremendous growth. Prior to Lifelock, Chad held management positions at Microsoft and Verizon Wireless. An Arizona native and current resident of Scottsdale, Chad holds an MBA from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management and a BSBA in Management from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. Carol McGarry joins the company as director of communications. Previously executive vice president at Schwartz MSL, Carol brings to CyberScout more than 20 years of award-winning communications campaigns for technology innovators. Her communications counsel has guided public relations strategy for dozens of innovative companies, including LexisNexis, KORE Telematics, MicroStrategy, Netegrity (now Computer Associates) and Recall. She began her career in technology publishing and in marketing communications at high tech startups. Residing in Sherborn, MA, Carol holds a BA from Harvard College. Available to millions of consumers through leading insurance and financial companies as well as employers, CyberScout’s services are provided by 16 of the top 20 U.S. property and casualty insurance carriers, and six of the top seven Canadian insurers. In a cyber world of dangerous, complex threats, CyberScout sets the gold standard for identity and data defense services. In annual customer surveys, CyberScout earns 99% satisfaction ratings, year after year. In addition to its corporate headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, CyberScout has North American operation centers in Phoenix, Arizona, and Montreal, Canada, and in Galway, Ireland, serving Europe. About CyberScout As the industry leader for over 13 years, CyberScout has been setting the gold standard for identity and data defense services – from proactive protection and education to successful resolution. Formerly IDT911, CyberScout combines boots-on-the-ground experience with high-touch personal service to help commercial clients and individuals minimize risk and maximize recovery. To learn more, visit http://www.cyberscout.com.
News Article | March 2, 2017
STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Land & Buildings Investment Management, LLC (together with its affiliates, "Land and Buildings") today issued the following letter to shareholders of Taubman Centers, Inc. (NYSE: TCO) (“Taubman,” “Taubman Centers” or the "Company”) announcing the nomination of two highly-qualified director candidates for election at Taubman’s 2017 Annual Meeting. The full text of the letter follows: At Land and Buildings, we are focused on long-term solutions that maximize value for all shareholders. In 1992, I attended the Taubman IPO roadshow at the Plaza Hotel in New York, and my prior firm acquired shares at the IPO. For 14 years I published investment opinions on Taubman, oftentimes documenting the numerous missteps of this management team. For the past eight years, since I founded Land and Buildings, we have continued to meet with management and analyze the investment opportunity at Taubman. Since the first half of 2016 and as recently as last week, we have had an active engagement with Taubman Chairman, President and CEO Bobby Taubman, and implored him to take action to address the deplorable state we find the Company in today. Unfortunately, Bobby Taubman has made it clear to us that he prefers to dig in his heels against shareholders rather than reach an amicable resolution that addresses the level of change that we believe is necessary at the Company. As such, Land and Buildings has nominated two highly-qualified director candidates for election to the Taubman Centers Board of Directors (the “Board”) at the 2017 Annual Meeting: We believe the crux of the matter is this: Bobby Taubman, the Chairman, President and CEO of Taubman Centers, runs Taubman Centers as if he is the only shareholder – despite having what we view as a de minimis economic interest in the Company – and has a demonstrated history of running roughshod over the Taubman Centers independent Board members and common shareholders. Bobby Taubman’s history of disenfranchising Taubman Centers’ common shareholders is well documented and includes (among other transgressions): Unfortunately, the independent Board members have not held Bobby Taubman accountable, which has resulted in horrible total returns when compared to peers. The poor track record of the independent directors includes: Changes by the Company since our initial engagement have solely been cosmetic and have only occurred to preserve the status quo, in our view: We estimate about 50% upside in the shares to close the gap to our and other analysts’ net asset value estimates of approximately $106 per share. We believe Taubman’s malls are insulated from many of the broader issues facing brick and mortar retail as its malls are highly sought after by retailers, resulting in strong sales and rent growth. Our highly-qualified nominees, Charles Elson and Jonathan Litt, have the right mix of governance expertise and sector experience to address the numerous issues that have persistently plagued the Company and unlock significant long-term shareholder value, in our view. Common shareholders have suffered under the leadership of Bobby Taubman as poor capital allocation, bloated G&A, inferior operating margins and abysmal corporate governance have caused sub-par returns. Over the past 1, 3, and 5 years, Taubman has underperformed its high-quality class A mall REIT peers by 4%, 29%, and 57%, respectively.8 Troublingly, despite having highlighted many of these issues in recent months, the status quo has continued: 2016 was another year of inferior net operating income and EBITDA margins with bloated G&A costs compared to its high-quality peers. Poor capital allocation decisions continue to plague the Company and development/re-development spending is expected to rise further in 2017 to $400 million. Figure 1: Taubman Inferior Total Returns Stem From Numerous Issues Plaguing the Company, in Our View Note: Reflects total returns for the trailing 1, 3 and 5 year periods through October 14, 2016. Class A mall peers utilized throughout letter are General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP), The Macerich Company (NYSE: MAC) and Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG). Figure 2: Taubman’s Inferior Margins Demonstrate Nearly Total Disregard for Cost Control, in Our View Note: Figures reflect pro rata ownership of assets; Land and Buildings estimates used where the Company does not disclose each metric. Charles Elson is the Edgar S. Woolard, Jr., Chair in Corporate Governance and the Director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. He is also a “Consultant” to the law firm Holland & Knight. He formerly served as a Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida from 1990 until 2001. His fields of expertise include corporations, securities regulation and corporate governance. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Virginia Law School, and has served as a law clerk to Judges J. Harvie Wilkinson III and Elbert P. Tuttle of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Eleventh Circuits. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois College Of Law, the Cornell Law School, and the University of Maryland School of Law, and was a Salvatori Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. and is a member of the American Law Institute. Professor Elson has written extensively on the subject of boards of directors. He is a frequent contributor on corporate governance issues to various scholarly and popular publications. He served on the National Association of Corporate Directors' Commissions on Director Compensation, Director Professionalism, CEO Succession, Audit Committees, Strategic Planning, Director Evaluation, Risk Governance, Effective Lead Director, and Board Diversity and was a member of its Best Practices Council on Coping With Fraud and Other Illegal Activity. He also served on the National Association of Corporate Directors’ Advisory Council. He is Vice Chairman of the ABA Business Law Section’s Committee on Corporate Governance and was a member of its Committee on Corporate Laws. He is presently a member of the Board of Directors of HealthSouth Corporation, a healthcare services provider and Bob Evans Farms Inc., a restaurant and food products company. Jonathan Litt has over 24 years of experience as a global real estate strategist and an investor in both public real estate securities and direct property. Mr. Litt founded Land and Buildings in the summer of 2008 to take advantage of the opportunities uncovered by the global property bubble. Previously, Mr. Litt was Managing Director and Senior Global Real Estate Analyst at Citigroup where he was responsible for Global Property Investment Strategy, coordinating a 44-person team of research analysts located across 16 countries. Mr. Litt was recognized as a leading analyst since 1995, achieving the prestigious Institutional Investor Magazine #1 ranking for 8 years and top five ranking throughout the period. Mr. Litt also achieved a top ranking from Greenwich Associates since 1995. Before moving to the sell-side in 1994, Mr. Litt worked on the buy-side investing in public real estate securities and buying real property during his tenure at European Investors and BrookHill Properties, where his career began in 1988. Mr. Litt served on the Board of Directors at Mack-Cali from March 2014 to August 2016. Mr. Litt graduated from Columbia University in 1987 with a BA in Economics and NYU's Stern School of Business in 1990 with an MBA in Finance. Mr. Litt can often be seen on CNBC or quoted in the Wall Street Journal and other industry publications. He is also the director of a not-for-profit, the Children with Dyslexia Scholarship Fund, which provides children with scholarships to secondary schools that specialize in dyslexia. CERTAIN INFORMATION CONCERNING THE PARTICIPANTS Land & Buildings Investment Management, LLC together with the other participants named herein (collectively, "Land & Buildings "), intends to file a preliminary proxy statement and accompanying proxy card with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") to be used to solicit votes for the election of its slate of highly-qualified director nominees at the 2017 annual meeting of stockholders of Taubman Centers, Inc., a Michigan corporation (“TCO” or, the “Company”). LAND & BUILDINGS STRONGLY ADVISES ALL STOCKHOLDERS OF THE COMPANY TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT AND OTHER PROXY MATERIALS AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. SUCH PROXY MATERIALS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT NO CHARGE ON THE SEC'S WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.SEC.GOV. IN ADDITION, THE PARTICIPANTS IN THIS PROXY SOLICITATION WILL PROVIDE COPIES OF THE PROXY STATEMENT WITHOUT CHARGE, WHEN AVAILABLE, UPON REQUEST. REQUESTS FOR COPIES SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE PARTICIPANTS' PROXY SOLICITOR. The participants in the proxy solicitation are anticipated to be Land & Buildings Capital Growth Fund, LP, a Delaware limited partnership (“L&B Capital” ), L & B Real Estate Opportunity Fund, LP, a Delaware limited partnership (“L&B Opportunity”), Land & Buildings GP LP, a Delaware limited partnership (“L&B GP”), Land & Buildings Investment Management, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“L&B Management”), Jonathan Litt and Charles Elson. As of the date hereof, L&B Capital directly owns 185,600 shares of Common Stock, $0.01 par value, of the Company (the "Shares”). As of the date hereof, L&B Opportunity directly owns 97,600 Shares. As of the date hereof, 435,247 Shares were held in certain accounts managed by L&B Management (the “Managed Accounts”). L&B GP, as the general partner of each of L&B Capital and L&B Opportunity, may be deemed the beneficial owner of the (i) 185,600 Shares owned by L&B Capital and (ii) 97,600 Shares owned by L&B Opportunity. L&B Management, as the investment manager of each of L&B Capital and L&B Opportunity, and as the investment advisor of the Managed Accounts, may be deemed the beneficial owner of the (i) 185,600 Shares owned by L&B Capital, (ii) 97,600 Shares owned by L&B Opportunity, and (iii) 435,247 Shares held in the Managed Accounts. Mr. Litt, as the managing principal of L&B Management, may be deemed the beneficial owner of the (i) 185,600 Shares owned by L&B Capital, (ii) 97,600 Shares owned by L&B Opportunity, and (iii) 435,247 Shares held in the Managed Accounts. In addition, as of the date hereof, Mr. Litt directly owns 436 shares of the Company’s 6.5% Series J Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, no par value. As of the date hereof, Mr. Elson does not own any Shares.
News Article | February 21, 2017
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) announced that its board of directors has elected James G. Niven, former chair of Sotheby’s The America’s and a director of several nonprofit organizations, and Joseph J. Plumeri, senior advisor to Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. and vice chairman of First Data Corp., to be co-chairs of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA). Founded in 1992 by former US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA is the premier substance abuse and addiction research and action center to inform the American public and leaders about the costs and dangers of drug and alcohol addiction and abuse, and to identify effective actions that public officials, parents and other individuals and institutions can take to combat this scourge and treat its victims. Messrs. Niven and Plumeri succeed Jeffrey B. Lane who has been chair of CASA since 2012. “ This is a great day for CASA and for all those who work to combat drug and alcohol abuse and addiction in our nation,” said Califano and Lane in a joint statement. “ These two new leaders bring a deep commitment to the nation’s battle against substance addiction and abuse and the experience and commitment to take CASA to a great new stage.” Mr. Plumeri said, “ It’s a pleasure to be co-chair of CASA with Jamie Niven. Together we will provide new leadership and vision to the organization. We intend to do all we can to get parents, public officials, schools and all Americans to recognize how serious the epidemic of drug addiction has become in our nation and take the actions needed to combat this scourge.” Mr. Niven said, “ I am delighted to serve as co-chair of CASA with Joe Plumeri. This is a special institution that celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Drug addiction has reached epidemic levels and we will focus CASA on doing all it can to encourage public officials and all citizens to work to end this crisis.” Mr. Plumeri has been on the CASA Board for 20 years. He has been chair & CEO of Willis Group Executives, and a leader of First Data and other global corporations. Before joining Willis, he was CEO of Citibank North America, chairman and CEO of Travelers Primerica Financial Services, vice chairman of the Travelers Group, and president and managing partner of Shearson Lehman Brothers. A generous philanthropist, Mr. Plumeri is involved with a wide number of nonprofit institutions. In 2015 Mr. Plumeri published his first book, a national best seller, The Power of Being Yourself: A Game Plan for Success – by Putting Passion into Your Life and Work. In his book, Mr. Plumeri offers simple yet profound guidance on how to stay positive, motivate others, and achieve success in life and work. He has said, “ I consider CASA among the causes closest to my heart.” During his years on the CASA board he has helped drive many of its initiatives and has said, “ My commitment has become even stronger since the death of my son Chris, who struggled with addiction throughout his life. Now I have the time to act on that commitment and I intend to do that.” Mr. Niven has been on the CASA board for four years. He attended St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, and the Lycée Jaccard in Lausanne, Switzerland. He graduated from Harvard College in 1967. Mr. Niven has strong ties to the nonprofit community and is currently on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and a trustee of The Museum of Modern Art (28 years), The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention (10 years) of which he is the chairman, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (38 years). He has also served on the Boards of Directors of The Central Park Conservancy, The Children’s Aid Society, The Neil A. McConnell Foundation, AMREF, The Parrish Art Museum and The National Center for Learning Disabilities. As an auctioneer at Sotheby’s, he volunteers his time at benefit auctions worldwide. Founded as The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, CASA is the only national organization that brings together under one roof all the professional disciplines needed to study and combat abuse of alcohol, illegal and prescription drugs and nicotine and to inform Americans of the costs of substance abuse and addiction and what they and public and private institutions can do to combat and treat this disease, eliminate the stigma of substance abuse and replace shame and despair with hope.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are brief spurts of radio emission, lasting just one-thousandth of a second, whose origins are mysterious. Fewer than two dozen have been identified in the past decade using giant radio telescopes such as the 1,000-foot dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Of those, only one has been pinpointed to originate from a galaxy about 3 billion light-years away. The other known FRBs seem to also come from distant galaxies, but there is no obvious reason that, every once in a while, an FRB wouldn't occur in our own Milky Way galaxy too. If it did, astronomers suggest that it would be "loud" enough that a global network of cell phones or small radio receivers could "hear" it. "The search for nearby fast radio bursts offers an opportunity for citizen scientists to help astronomers find and study one of the newest species in the galactic zoo," says theorist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Previous FRBs were detected at radio frequencies that match those used by cell phones, Wi-Fi, and similar devices. Consumers could potentially download a free smartphone app that would run in the background, monitoring appropriate frequencies and sending the data to a central processing facility. "An FRB in the Milky Way, essentially in our own back yard, would wash over the entire planet at once. If thousands of cell phones picked up a radio blip at nearly the same time, that would be a good sign that we've found a real event," explains lead author Dan Maoz of Tel Aviv University. Finding a Milky Way FRB might require some patience. Based on the few, more distant ones, that have been spotted so far, Maoz and Loeb estimate that a new one might pop off in the Milky Way once every 30 to 1,500 years. However, given that some FRBs are known to burst repeatedly, perhaps for decades or even centuries, there might be one alive in the Milky Way today. If so, success could become a yearly or even weekly event. A dedicated network of specialized detectors could be even more helpful in the search for a nearby FRB. For as little as $10 each, off-the-shelf devices that plug into the USB port of a laptop or desktop computer can be purchased. If thousands of such detectors were deployed around the world, especially in areas relatively free from Earthly radio interference, then finding a close FRB might just be a matter of time. This work has been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and is available online. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe. Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.
News Article | February 15, 2017
ASSESSING the part women have played in the development of science is not easy. Historians must navigate by the documents available to them. Often, the best preserved information is financial. So inattentive writers tend to underestimate the contributions of women who achieved recognition from their peers while they were financially dependent on their families, like neurologist Cecilia Vogt or marine biologist Jeanne Villepreux-Power. But if even intellectual celebrities get forgotten, is it any wonder that we forget the women whose contributions are hard to assess for other reasons? Roles and titles evolve, and some jobs that appear mundane to us were not so back then. Once upon a time, “computers” were human, and often female; but these women weren’t drudges. Two recent biographical histories explore the careers of the women who made modern astronomy and space science possible. Theirs were not easy lives by today’s standards, but they were not without light and shade, rewards and recognition. “One calculator was a maid. She went on to discover 10 new stars and classify more than 10,000 stars” Dava Sobel’s The Glass Universe starts in Harvard College Observatory, where Edward Pickering was just 30 years old when he became director in 1877. He was fond of saying that “a magnifying glass will show more in the photograph than a powerful telescope will show in the sky”. It was an outlook that left a legacy of half a million photographic plates and some seminal discoveries. Sobel describes each of these slices as “a little piece of heaven”, 8 inches by 10 inches, which together constituted a universe captured on glass. Men might have taken the photographs, but it was a remarkable and talented group of “computers” who analysed and decoded the information they contained. Pickering, a champion of the new field of photometry, wanted to establish a stellar brightness scale based on observations of stars whose brightness varies over time. Two widowed heiresses, Catherine Wolfe Bruce and Anna Palmer Draper, provided the funds. Draper in particular wanted a catalogue of stellar spectra as a tribute to her husband, an accomplished stellar photographer. Initially, female relatives of male observatory workers were employed as computers, but soon recruits included graduates from the fledgling women’s colleges. One remarkable calculator came from far humbler origins, however: Williamina Fleming was a maid hired by Pickering’s wife. Fleming’s natural abilities were quickly recognised. She went on to discover 10 stars, some 300 stars with variable brightness, and to classify more than 10,000 stars using a system that she devised herself. In 1899, she was appointed Harvard’s curator of astronomical photographs. Two years later, Annie Jump Cannon became the first woman allowed to operate the telescopes at the observatory, and she developed the system of stellar classification that is still used today: O, B, A, F, G, K, M. Generations of students have learned to memorise the disorderly string of letters using the unfortunate phrase: “Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me”. In 1912, Henrietta Swan Leavitt discovered a pattern in the brightness of a group of pulsing stars called the Cepheid variables. This was an integral part of Edwin Hubble’s discovery that the Milky Way wasn’t the only galaxy, and that the universe was expanding. Some members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences wanted to nominate Leavitt for the 1926 Nobel prize only to discover that she had died in 1921. A Nobel prize really should have gone to English-born Cecilia Payne in 1925, for her discovery that hydrogen was the most abundant constituent of stars. It at least earned her the first PhD in astronomy that Harvard awarded to a woman, and in 1956 she was the first female to get a full professorship at the university. “Human computers no longer measured stars, but helped calculate the path to the moon” On 5 October 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first orbital satellite. By then, computers no longer simply took the measure of the stars, but were mathematicians, helping to calculate the path to the moon. Margot Lee Shetterly’s father was a NASA scientist for 40 years and worked at the Langley Research Center in Virginia. He told his daughter stories of the black female computers who did calculations for engineers while segregated from their white colleagues. Young Shetterly “knew so many African Americans working in science, math and engineering that I thought that’s just what black folks did”. Hidden Figures tells their story. It’s an engaging read, and a film adaptation is already on general release in the US. Shetterly weaves together the personal and professional stories of a group of extraordinary women into an account of how they overcame race and gender barriers, while helping to win the space race. “Mississippiitis” looms large – a term coined by The Chicago Defender newspaper at the time to capture the “disease of segregation, violence and oppression that plagued America like a chronic bout of consumption” and which was, for some, the reason the country had fallen behind the Soviets. Shetterly celebrates the skills, achievements and tenacity of women like Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson as they helped launch rockets and humans into space. In 1953, Vaughan was at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the precursor of NASA, heading a department of black female computers. They were joined by Katherine Johnson, the woman who helped put John Glenn into orbit and mapped the trajectory for Apollo 11’s moon landing, among other firsts. There’s an easy moral here: that Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” will only loom larger in our imaginations once we appreciate all the people – men and women – who got him there. The Glass Universe: The hidden history of the women who took the measure of the stars by Dava Sobel, 4th Estate Hidden Figures: The American dream and the untold story of the African-American women who helped win the space race by Margot Lee Shetterly, HarperCollins This article appeared in print under the headline “The women who figured a way to space”
News Article | March 1, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 1, 2017) - Twilio Inc. ( : TWLO), the leading cloud communications platform company, today announced that former Salesforce COO George Hu has joined the company as its chief operating officer, reporting to CEO Jeff Lawson. Hu will be responsible for Twilio's overall operational execution and go-to-market activities. "George helped build Salesforce into the leading cloud SaaS and platform company, growing it to more than $5 billion in revenue during his tenure," said Jeff Lawson, Twilio co-founder, chairman and CEO. "I'm excited to have George's operational expertise and go-to-market skills helping us reach Twilio's next stage of growth." "I'm incredibly excited to join Jeff and the Twilio team in leading the transformation of communications in today's API-driven world," said Hu. "I see this as a massive opportunity that has the power to change how every company engages with its customers and employees, limited only by the imagination of developers and businesses in every industry and market globally." During his 13-year career at Salesforce, Hu served 4 years as chief operating officer where he owned all major shared operational functions for the company. He also served in a variety of other management roles including vice president of product marketing, senior vice president of applications, executive vice president of products, and chief marketing officer. After leaving Salesforce at the end of 2014, Hu founded a workplace feedback startup called Peer that was acquired by Twitter in 2016. Prior to joining salesforce.com, Hu held product management and strategic consulting roles at North Point Communications and Boston Consulting Group. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard College and a master's degree in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 2010, Hu was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. About Twilio Twilio's mission is to fuel the future of communications. Developers and businesses use Twilio to make communications relevant and contextual by embedding messaging, voice and video capabilities directly into their software applications. Founded in 2008, Twilio has over 700 employees, with headquarters in San Francisco and other offices in Bogotá, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Malmö (Sweden), Mountain View, Munich, New York City, Singapore, and Tallinn (Estonia).
News Article | February 15, 2017
The Milky Way’s supermassive black hole could be chewing up stars and spitting chunks back out at us. If so, planet-sized bits of stars may be shooting away from black holes and hurtling across the universe at incredible speeds, according to results presented at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Grapevine, Texas, this week. At the centre of the Milky Way lurks a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Once in about every 10,000 years, a star passes close enough to get caught by the black hole and spaghettified – stretched into a thin noodle by the powerful gravitational field. That stretched-out matter does not end up exactly uniform, so clumps the size of planets coalesce under their own gravity. Those “planets”, with masses ranging from around that of Neptune to several times that of Jupiter, are then flung away from the central black hole at speeds up to 10,000 kilometres per second, simulations by James Guillochon at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Eden Girma at Harvard College suggest. This should happen relatively often – by their calculations, one out of every thousand free-floating planet-sized bodies should be formed in this way. The closest one to Earth could be a few hundred light years away, and could have arrived from 50 million light years away. “Usually, from something that far away, we’re only getting light or maybe high-energy particles,” says Guillochon. “This is a way to transport entire worlds from one corner of the universe to the other.” These chunks of spaghettified stars will have a distinctive composition: each one will be a sample of a different part of its parent star. It’s like dicing a tomato, says Guillochon – some chunks will be all peel and some will be all seeds. Such objects are nearly impossible to detect visually because of their faintness and speed, and no one has seen one so far. We could hunt them down based on how their gravity bends the light of stars behind them, but it will be years before that is possible. Plus, there are several other ways to accelerate similar objects to high speeds, says Avi Loeb, also at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics although not involved in this research. But, Loeb says, this is still exciting work. “It provides us with the possibility of detecting a whole new population of objects that were otherwise unexpected.”