Tim Cook Wrote Back

April 28, 2022

Dateline Omaha – Wow!

I just heard from Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, and from Katie Farmer, the CEO of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF).

What’s this all about?

Two weeks ago, I wrote to Tim Cook to let him know that my tie-dyed group of digital leaders from Microsoft, Adobe, Comcast, Target, and a range of startups *and* young people from our free WBRG program were coming out to the Woodstock for Capitalists, Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting (Berkshire owns 5.4% of Apple and Mr. Cook always attends).

I explained that WBRG (Warren Buffett Reading Group) teaches young people the basics of business and finance using Buffett’s Shareholder Letters (and questions we’ve written) as our curriculum. 

And I then let him know that McKenzie Williams, an African American sophomore in high school who started reading Buffett’s letters with us in eighth grade and has now read *every* single letter (and helps to run the whole program as Registrar), will be presenting in Omaha on Buffett’s investment in Apple. 

With that context set, I asked Mr. Cook if he would be willing to stop by during her talk. 

He said he’d love to come, but he won’t be able to make it work.

He did ask, however, if we could send a copy of her presentation so he could take a look. 

I said we could do one better. 

We could videotape her presentation so that he could watch it and then give her any feedback.

So, it’s done. 

We’ll have one more audience member tomorrow in absentia: Tim Cook.

I then had the happy chore of calling McKenzie and sharing the news. 

At Mr. Cook’s request, I probed to see if this was going to create too much anxiety for her. But as I have learned, McKenzie is fearless. She’s really *excited* (as am I).

Go, McKenzie! 

Around the same time, I also received a wonderful email from Katie Farmer, the first woman CEO of a Class 1 Railroad – BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe – owned by Berkshire, it’s the largest railroad in the U.S.).

I had also invited Ms. Farmer to stop by during our event and watch as another student, the daughter of a Council member, presented on *her* company, BNSF.

Ms. Farmer said yes, she would be delighted to attend and, in fact, re-arranged her schedule so she could come.

Wowza Dowza.

Oh yeah, one more thing – as I mentioned last week, Mr. Buffett sent a welcome message for me to share at the beginning of our event.

Wow. Wow. Wow. 


P.S. Yet another big time doo dah, who would like to remain unnamed, will be sitting with us on Saturday for the annual meeting and I’ll get to intro the young people (and adults) to him.

P.P.S. Here are some photos I took at LaGuardia Airport on my way to  Omaha…with sequin hat, Woodstock for Capitalists nails, and blinged out hiking boots (made by my wonderful sister, Allyson Terry-Goldsby). 

Mickey's Harvest

About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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