Bernard Lind writes: "I currently split my life between London and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat in France. I worked in financial services in New York for Merrill Lynch, Credit Industriel et Commercial Bank, Midland Bank and National Westminster Bank in London. When I turned 50 I decided to remain in Europe, working as a consultant in emerging markets and doing private investment activities. This led to many interesting experiences including visiting Russia at the time of its financial crisis and helping create and Chair Fidelity Bank in Accra, Ghana. I have served on the boards of several start-up companies as well. I remarried more than 20 years ago to Sonja, who shares my love of France and the wining and dining associated with that culture. I have two sons, a daughter and two granddaughters spread out between the United States, Canada and Switzerland. I have stayed in touch with a small group of alumni and we have our own periodic mini-reunions, the last of which took place in Athens this past fall."
Bill Wheeler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Post a class note...
What, no class notes? Shame!
In this vacuum, I will give you a brief summary of the life of Bill Wheeler. After graduation, I joined the State Department's Foreign Service AID program with two classmates, Ed Howard and Steve Plowden-Wardlaw. Essentially, we were loan officers lending on large infrastructure projects much like the World Bank. My postings were to Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, all countries that were fascinating in their own different ways. I left in 1970 and joined the Bank of America's overseas venture subsidiary, BIFC, in San Francisco.
My next career move, and a distinct departure, was to develop, with my lovely wife, Ingrid, a small vineyard and later the Wm Wheeler Winery in Sonoma County, producing about 25,000 cases of Cabernet and Chardonnay. In 1989 we were approached by Banque Paribas to joint venture with them in the acquisition of California wine properties. I acted as CEO of Paribas Domaines, USA, for two years and then left to begin a new chapter in renovating and developing small real estate projects in the town of Healdsburg and elsewhere in Sonoma County. It has been a special pleasure to see the transformation of Healdsburg from a sleepy agrarian town into a wine oriented, vital one, full of restaurants and independently owned retailers. To my friends elsewhere I describe my job as getting a cup of coffee from our Oakville Grocery and wandering around the Healdsburg Plaza collecting rent checks and picking up cigarette butts in the parking lots.
This is a particularly relaxing job since I now only do it once a week. Ingrid and I divide the rest of our time between our homes in Belvedere and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Life is good and I cross my fingers that it stays that way. I just read about the reverses of Tishman Speyer and am grateful to have settled for more modest goals in my professional life.
No doubt I owe something to Columbia Business School and other fortuitous encounters in giving me the confidence and some of the tools to pursue an independent path. And we mustn't forget the role luck plays. We rode the wave of the ascendent California wine industry and of its real estate in general and I must give credit where it is due.
I see Don Bibeault is our class reunion chairman and I send him and the others on the Committee my warmest regards. Bill Wheeler