Ndamukong Suh, the defensive tackle on the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins and former star at the University of Nebraska, joined the board of a publicly traded company with the blessing of one of the college’s most famous fans, billionaire Warren Buffett.
Suh, 29, was named a director at Ballantyne Strong Inc., which manufactures projection screens, monitors networked equipment and has clients in the cinema, retail and financial industries, according to a statement Tuesday from the company, which is based in Omaha, Buffett’s hometown. The company cited his leadership ability, and Suh said in the statement that “this is a great responsibility that I do not take lightly.”
Buffett has befriended a number of professional athletes including basketball player LeBron James and Bob Gibson, the Omaha native and former pitcher who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The 85-year-old billionaire had an arm-wrestling match against the 320 pound (145 kilogram) Suh on CNBC and has been seen on the Dolphins sidelines wearing a Suh jersey, according to ESPN.
“I once said that I was glad he’s not running against me for a board spot. I meant it,” Buffett said in Tuesday’s statement about Suh’s appointment to Ballantyne Strong’s board. “I believe that Ndamukong has a bright future as a businessman and I look forward to hearing about his many successes.”
Ballantyne Strong climbed 5.9 percent to $4.51 at 12:41 p.m. in New York, the biggest increase since August. The company has advanced about 4.6 percent over the past year.
Chairman Kyle Cerminara said he’s worked with Suh through a venture called Fundamental Global Investors. One of Cerminara’s co-founders there is Joe Moglia, who is also chairman of Omaha-based TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., football coach at Coastal Carolina University and previously an adviser at Nebraska’s team.
“We’ve known Ndamukong for a long time at Fundamental Global and at Ballantyne Strong,” Cerminara said in a phone interview. “He’s certainly well known as a football player, but we’ve come to know him perhaps even better as a really intelligent businessman, and we’ve been working with him on a number of different business deals over the years.” Continue reading