Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the 2008 Annual Meeting for my favorite young company, Western Sizzlin’ (WEST). As you all know pretty well by now, I’m an unabashed fan of what Sardar Biglari is doing with Western Sizzlin’, and a shareholder myself. The meeting took place is mid-town Manhattan at the St. Regis hotel during the afternoon.
The company is still small, and thus the meeting was relatively cozy, with not more than 50 people in attendance by my guess. Sardar was right there at the door greeting those of us who entered the ballroom where the meeting was to be held. With a couple of Coke glasses and microphones at the front, and seats for Mr. Biglari and his partner Mr. Cooley respectively, the meeting had the charm of a young Berkshire Hathaway.
As the meeting carried out, this notion was proved true. For more than 3 hours, Biglari and Cooley bantered with every shareholder willing to ask a question, with topics ranging from capital allocation to how he splits his time between entities. Interspersed were presentations and short speeches from various managers and directors of the company, as well as comments from a Steak N Shake (SNS) founder, Sue Aramian.
It was an enjoyable experience for myself, a friend I sat with, and I presume, the rest of the shareholder base. Biglari did not hold back in answering all of our queries.
Note pads and pencils were aplenty, and I was able to take down notes during the meeting. Luckily, I found a set of notes already done by a shareholder in attendance, posted on the MSN Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders group. Instead of starting from scratch, I took his notes and filled in the gaps where I saw them, from my own notes and memory. I hope you all enjoy the collected notes from the meeting, as I think they present a complete picture of what took place. If you have any questions, send me an e-mail. Enjoy!
Disclosure: I own shares in WEST and SNS
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