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YAM Notes: January/February 2009

By Gregory A. Weiss

A recent seminar at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York focused on investing in Africa. Among the six panelists were a former chairman of ExImbank, the current president of OPIC, and Tom Barry. Tom, through his investment firm, Zephyr Management, LP, was hailed as one of the earliest major American investors in Africa. In his interesting and informative presentation Tom said that his firm sought to invest in businesses that African consumers were needing, such as the cellular telephone business, and that he saw the greatest potential for growth in those African countries that were part of regional economic compacts: “It is easier to sell to the guys next door than in the highly competitive markets of the U.S. and Europe.” Tom’s kids are all Yalies. His daughter, Lillian, graduated in 2008; his son, Michael, is a member of the Class of 2009; and his other son, Oliver, is a second-year student at the School of Medicine.

Harry Stone II, MD, is about to join the ranks of the retired: “I plan to retire at the end of June 2009. My wife, Sally, and I will continue to live in Peoria, Illinois, where we have lived since 1977. I plan to continue my interest and activities in nature conservation, reading, and managing my assets to survive for however many years we have left. We will enjoy our two children, Andrew and Maggie, and our two grandchildren, Grace and Harry III (and maybe more in the future).” Michael Busko, on the other hand, sounds like he has no intention of retiring soon: “After teaching part-time for seven years in the public administration department of North Carolina Central University, I am now a full-time member of the faculty. Teaching both graduate and undergraduate students and directing the undergraduate program keep me quite busy, and I am having a great time. My wife, Joan, continues to enjoy her retirement while serving on several boards and enjoying her art projects.”

Toby Kennedy has responded quite nicely to our request that classmates submit their personal websites for listing on the class website: “I recently created a website to peddle my wares—part of an effort to promote my late-in-life acting career. The website (www.tobykennedyactor.com) includes video clips, voiceover demos, and other promotional stuff. To give you a brief update, after 28 years of practicing law on the east coast, mostly in Washington, DC, I reinvented myself as an actor 11 years ago. Since then I’ve been doing stage plays, TV commercials, industrial films, etc. It hasn’t made me rich or famous, but it has been a lot of fun. Five years ago we moved to the San Francisco Bay area, largely to be near our daughters and their families (pictures and bragging available upon request), leaving our son and his wife in New Haven, as the only family reps left ‘back east.’ For a number of reasons it’s been more difficult to find work out here than it was in Washington, but hope springs eternal. In the meantime, I’m trying to gin up interest in a legal-reality TV show, which I hope to produce locally. And thanks to our classmate Jeff Parish, I became a member of the Bohemian Club a few years ago, where I participate in plays and other shows, as well as less serious activities.”

And last but not least, congratulations to Biff Folberth, who received the Outstanding Service Award from the Westchester Yale Alumni Association in November. Several classmates were in attendance at the award dinner. We understand it was quite a show, with former SEC chairman Bill Donaldson ’53 as the featured speaker.