When Opportunity Knocks

Cathy Baron Tamraz Chairman-CEO  Business Wire
Cathy Baron Tamraz
Business Wire

Early on in my career while living in San Francisco, we opened an office in New York. I loved living in San Francisco and had not intended to move back home, but an opportunity presented itself when I was asked to relocate to New York and help build the new office.

Although I wanted to stay in San Francisco and was fearful of the unknown, I just knew that this was an excellent career opportunity, so I made the move. Indeed, it was both career and life changing for me and, besides, New York has its own attributes. Lesson learned: When opportunity knocks, answer the door.

Another seminal moment came when I was offered a job with a competitor. I had been working for a former boss, and the offer came with a sizable raise and promotion. It was very enticing, but I had this gut feeling that I should stay where I was and make my own way.

I talked it over with my mom and her words have stayed with me to this day: “You’ve always made your own path in life, so why follow someone else? Business Wire has been a great opportunity and I think it’s only going to get better.” I guess she was right. Lesson learned: Trust your instincts and walk to your own drumbeat.

Perhaps the most defining moment for Business Wire and me was the letter I wrote to Warren Buffett detailing why I thought Business Wire and Berkshire Hathawa y were a perfect match. It took a bit of courage to reach out to the world’s greatest investor, a man I had never met, and make my case for why he should acquire the company. The bottom line is that he phoned, we had a wonderful talk, and a deal was struck soon after. Lesson learned: Be bold, the worst that can happen is they say, “no.”

I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had two strong mentors in my life, the founder of Business Wire, Lorry Lokey, and Warren Buffett, my current boss. I have also been blessed with hardworking and loving parents who set a great example and early on taught me core values.


Cathy Baron Tamraz, cathy.baron-tamraz@businesswire.com

This article originally appeared in the April 27, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.