Pinkberry Chief Executive Ron Graves says that working for the frozen yogurt purveyor gets his adrenaline pumping. Of course, it can't compare to Graves' old job flying fighter jets.
Graves piloted an F-16 for the U.S. Air Force for 10 years, before bailing out in 1995 to focus on a career in business.
"There is a lot of adrenaline with the early stages of a startup," said Graves, who joined Pinkberry in October when the venture capital firm Maveron invested in the company. Graves has been working to expand Pinkberry, which was founded in 2005 and already has 55 stores.
He says that he eats Pinkberry every day, but doesn't have a favorite flavor. When he grabbed a cup of it earlier this month at the company's shop at Farmers Market at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, Graves opted for coffee yogurt with shaved coconut and chocolate chips. That kind of uncertainty when it comes time to order also provides some excitement.
"It is obviously a different form of adrenaline than flying a fighter jet," he said.
"Tonight Show" host Jay Leno faced a tough crowd last week when he emceed the annual awards dinner hosted by non-profit Los Angeles law firm Public Counsel. Entertaining more than 1,300 local lawyers and businesspeople, Leno offered somewhat stale jokes about old news Don Imus' infamous racist comments and Hurricane Katrina. But Leno wasn't the sole comedian of the night.
Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP managing partner William Quicksilver joked that his acceptance speech was going to be short and humble, but funny. "Believe me, I'm no Jay Leno," he said. "Worse, I'm the managing partner of a law firm, and we don't know anything about being quick or humble." After Quicksilver's speech, Leno quipped back, "Now I see why my attorney charges so much. I'm paying for him to do pro bono work."
The L.A.-based firm received the law firm pro bono award for the free legal counseling its attorneys provided in 2007.
Got His Goats
Even when you have billions to spend, some things work better the old-fashioned way. The Getty Center has hired a herd of 60 goats to help clear the brush on the hills surrounding the 110-acre Brentwood Hills museum. The goats will be on site for about three weeks as they graze on the flammable shrubbery.
They are owned by goatherd Hugh Bunten, who runs an Oregon-based business. The herd eats its way across the West every year. He brings his dogs, Steve and Boo, along to help protect the herd from coyotes and mountain lions.
The good thing: Passing motorists probably won't need to slow down to see the goats since most will be on the notoriously poky San Diego (405) Freeway.
Staff reporters David Nusbaum and Alexa Hyland contributed to this column. Daniel Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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