Davos, Switzerland

Everyone knows his name. If your name is Tom or Thomas, it’s fun to walk along the promenade and storefronts alongside Tom Meredith, founder of Meritage Capital in Austin. Seems everyone here already knows the former CFO of Dell, who is now an investor but is also a first-time visitor to the World Economic Forum in Davos.  Michael Dell, certainly: “Hi, Tom!” Even former prime ministers, like Britain’s David Cameron. Here is a picture of Tom and his wife Lynne with Cameron:

Up Perry scope. His boss, The Donald, has yet to arrive, but Energy Secretary Rick Perry has arrived, and by now returned home. Our former Governor was one of Maria Bartiromo’s first guests Wednesday on “Mornings with Maria” on Fox Business and offered a prelude to the President’s expected message to be delivered later this week. “When folks are thinking about where you want to buy your energy from or where you want that next load of LNG

[liquefied natural gas] to come from, we want you to think about America first,” Perry told Maria.  Citing the fracking revolution ushered in by another Texan George Mitchell, Perry said there has been a dramatic shift of energy in the U.S. since 2005 creating an absolute “revolution” in the country’s oil and gas industry, which has completely changed the geopolitical dynamics in the world with America now being at the forefront.

Texas moves on up. Later in the day, the former Texas governor appeared on a powerful Forum energy panel alongside Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak. Combined, the three countries represent more than one-third of global oil production. Texas is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia in the year ahead, and will closely rival Russia in oil production.

Women in business.  Shelley Zalis, who will be a headliner at Austin’s South by Southwest in March, is founder of The Female Quotient.  Shelley is here and hosting the Female Lounge. Women are center-stage this year at Davos and Shelley’s lounge offers three days of high-powered speakers and panelists. One panel in particular showed off some of the rising stars of those who are in motion above the glass ceiling: Joy Robins, Chief Revenue Officer, Quartz (Moderator); Alicia Hatch, Chief Marketing Officer, Deloitte Digital; Bozoma Saint John, Chief Brand Officer, Uber; Lauren Flaherty, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, CA Technologies; Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA, Facebook; Olga Miler, Managing Director, UBS Wealth Management; Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Microsoft. Here’s a photo of the Female Lounge panel:

Hope for the homeless. Austin’s Caroline Boudreaux is making the rounds of the international media and the super wealthy gathered here in Davos, sharing her message of hope for the world’s orphans. Caroline founded The Miracle Foundation on Mother’s Day in 2000 after a touching encounter in India with that nation’s orphans. In 2009, she was invited to join the Young Global Leaders, a community of the World Economic Forum. Ask why she’s at the World Economic Forum today, she says: “I’m going in search of a miracle or two for children without parents.

Russian connections. The most entertaining conversation I had today was with two Russian journalists. Anastasia Levchenko covered Trump’s election night win for Sputnik News Agency and her beat as a global political reporter. Her colleague Elizaveta Isakova is the Geneva bureau chief for RIA Novosti. I teased them both about being spies and complained about the unfair inducements of the abundant caviar available free for anyone visiting Russia House in Davos. They went along with the jokes (even reminding me over breakfast “It’s never too early for caviar”) but both had a keen and somber interest in President Trump’s pending visit later this week. Said Levchenko:  “As I see it Americans can’t accept for themselves it was actually they who elected him as president. They don’t want to recognize that there are actually people who voted for him, so instead they are trying to find the ‘guilty one’ when the guilty one is them.” She did add: “We expected him to be very close to Russia but he is not.”


Crosswind’s President and CEO, Thomas Graham, is in Davos this week during the World Economic Forum.  He will be posting some of his experiences and encounters, with a particular eye for fellow Texans who have come for the lively debates on energy and the environment.