Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a major stakeholder in the RV industry, retained the No. 2 spot on the Forbes list of richest Americans.
Bill Gates retained his top spot on the list with $54 billion, followed by Buffett with $45 billion, according to a Forbes news release.
Bershire Hathaway’s RV holdings are Forest River Inc. and the Scott Fetzer Co., parent of RV industry supplier Carefree of Colorado.
This year’s Forbes 400 reflects an uptick in wealth among America’s 400 Richest, with a total combined wealth of $1.37 trillion. In contrast to 2009, wealth was up for some 217 members of this year’s list while only 85 members saw a decline. Gainers include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (No. 35), whose wealth increased 245%, the largest percentage increase of anyone on the list, and Diane Hendricks (No. 170), one of the 42 women on this year’s list.
Among the decliners are M&M moguls John, Jacqueline and Forrest Mars (No. 26), who keep a low profile in Wyoming. Sixty-four Richest had no change in net worth, including Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder (No. 365). The Forbes 400 welcomed 16 new members in 2010, including two with ties to Facebook: Dustin Moskovitz (No. 290), (he left Facebook in 2008 but still has a stake in the social networking outfit and is now worth $1.4 billion) who at 26 is the new youngest on the list (he’s 8 days younger than Zuckerberg); and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin (No. 356) with $1.15 billion. Sidney Kimmel (No. 365), who earned his fortune in the apparel business and then became a film producer, is one of the 18 returnees to the list.
RANK NAME WEALTH SOURCE $ CHANGE FROM 2009
- Bill Gates $54 billion, Microsoft + $4 billion
- Warren Buffett $45 billion, Berkshire Hathaway + $5 billion
- Lawrence Ellison $27 billion, Oracle $0
- Christy Walton & family $24 billion, Wal-Mart + $2.5 billion
- Charles Koch $21.5 billion, manufacturing, energy + $5.5 billion
- David Koch $21.5 billion, Mmanufacturing, energy +$5.5 billion
- Jim C. Walton $20.1 billion, Wal-Mart + $ 500 million
- Alice Walton $20 billion, Wal-Mart + $ 700 million
- S. Robson Walton $19.7 billion, Wal-Mart + $ 700 million
- Michael Bloomberg $18 billion, Bloomberg LP + $ 500 million
Carefree of Colorado has formed its first dealer advisory council.
“The establishment of this council is part of our ongoing effort to improve our collective business and increase customer satisfaction,” said Mike Farmer, vice president of sales and marketing for the Broomfield, Colo.-based supplier of innovative awnings and sun and shade solutions. “This council is comprised of dealerships from geographically diverse key markets across the country. Their guidance and insight will give us the opportunity to gain valuable feedback on market trends, product needs, service, warranty, training and support initiatives to the dealer community and end users. We are honored that these leaders in their field have agreed to be part of this council.”
The members of the council are:
- Joe Altman, Altman’s Winnebago, Carson, Calif. \
- Brandon Bretz,Bretz RV, Missoula, Mont.
- Jesse Orgaard, Capital RV, Bismarck, N.D.
- Shawn Hubbell, Guaranty RV, Junction City, Ore.
- Randy Ketelsen, Ketelsen Campers,Wheatridge, Colo.
- Pat Leach, Leach RV, Lincoln, Neb.
- Jay Simon, Mantelli Trailer Sales, Lockport, N.Y.
- Brad Outcalt, Orangewood RV, Surprise, Ariz.
- Tom Stinnett, Tom Stinnett RV, Clarksville, Ind.
- Steve Francis, Trailside Camper & RV, Grain Valley, Mo.
- Dave Francis, ROUTE 66 RV Network, Overland Park, Kan.
- Craig Beckley, Beckley’s Camping Center, Thurmont, Md.
- Robert “Griff” Griffin, Albany RV, Albany, N.Y.
Carefree of Colorado is a division of Scott Fetzer, a Berkshire Hathaway Co.