Harnish – meeting the man

October 31st, 2012

I had never heard of Verne Harnish until my coach recommended that I read his best selling business development book “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits”. This week I flew 5,000 miles to meet the man.

At the end of the first day of the Fortune Growth Summit Verne Harnish  shook my hand firmly and welcomed me to Phoenix. He wished me success with the growth of our law firm, agreed to a photo shoot next day and exchanged continental style kisses with my wife. I thought he would be taller. I liked the cut of his suit.

For two days Verne presented an array of top class business leaders and thinkers. This was the Super Bowl of corporate gatherings sponsored by Bank of America.

Verne ( we were now on first name terms) had agreed to a photo but who would take  the picture? The next day I tracked down the event photographer who slipped me details of Verne’s busy schedule. After Verne had completed a press interview we sprang our ambush. It went well the cameraman set up the shot, my wife crossed examined Verne on living in Barcelona and we both switched on the smile.

The meeting with the man was captured on digital film – see above. My wife commented that he was a little taller than me. I falsely alleged that he was wearing Cuban heels. It didn’t matter: I felt six feet tall. More importantly I had  walked amongst giants of US commerce and back home our law firm will continue to take huge strides to provide our clients with an awesome service.

Graeme Quar


By the time I got to Phoenix after a 10 hour flight and an impatient wait at US Immigration all I wanted of my hotel was my room key. No chance. Here the customer is king and a regal welcome is what he deserves.

Instantly we were relieved of our luggage and the desk clerk rolled out the red carpet. Within five minutes we were given a free room upgrade; spa discount confirmed; the daily Wi-Fi fee waived; and I had been admitted to the Preferred Guest Club.

At the bar the Joe mixed for us a cocktail not on the drinks list; recommended the Keebo beef; and took 10% off the bill because the hotel was celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Perhaps all these extras and discounts are offered to every guest. But who cares. They offered them to me and I feel good. This hotel has made me valued and special.

The experience continues. Ice is delivered to our room. Every member of staff smiles and says hello. I get free coffee refills at breakfast and for this afternoon’s riding our wrangler will be greeting us in the hotel lobby.

Most of these extras are costing the hotel very little but the positive impact on my enjoyment is awesome.

To stay ahead of the competition we must keep going the extra mile for our customers and clients. The rewards are repeat business and satisfied customers who recommend us.

So if you find yourself in Phoenix and want to be treated like royalty head for the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort. Mention my name to Joe and ask for two mojitos.


Graeme Quar

GLASS ACT: GRP Tools’ factory near Southampton

GLASS ACT: GRP Tools’ factory near Southampton

A manufacturer bucking the recession through the expansion of exports to more than 20 European countries is investing in the future with a new five-year lease on its factory near Southampton, Hampshire.

GRP Tools – – specialises in laminating rollers bought by end users, via distributors, to consolidate layers of fibreglass for a range of products from yachts and flat roofs to decorative flower pots at airports.

Led by husband-and-wife team Peter and Debbie Hussey, the firm renewed the lease terms through solicitors Graeme Quar & Co –

The commercial law firm helped the couple buy the business six years ago and provided the legal support for the original five-year lease.

Since then GRP Tools, which has a 279 sq m (3,000 sq ft) factory at Unit 12 Trinity Court, Brunel Road, Totton, has grown from four staff to 10, with plans to create more jobs within the next two years.

GRP Tools derives its name from the industry abbreviation for fibreglass – GRP: glass-reinforced plastic.

Peter, the managing director, said European sales have risen from 4% to 25% in the past three years alone, largely thanks to an “impressive” marketing drive by sales director Debbie, a former paediatric nurse.

He added: “The renewing of the lease through Graeme, following GRP Tools’ substantial investment and development in new equipment, shows our confidence in the future.

“It is heartening to know that British manufacturing excellence is fending off Chinese imports and that our products are being used in more than 20 countries across Europe.”

GRP Tools also produces ancillary equipment, such as stands and taps for drums containing GRP resin, and dispensers for catalyst.

Graeme said: “It is invigorating to hear success stories about British manufacturing, especially ones generating local employment and inward investment such as GRP Tools.

“The way that Peter and Debbie have proactively developed export markets in a tough economic climate is inspirational and I am sure a lot of us in the Solent business community could take a leaf out of their book.”

Peter paid tribute to Graeme and his legal team.

“We were recommended Graeme when Debbie and I were looking to buy the business, and he helped us on the acquisition and subsequent property transactions.

“Graeme is excellent – he is always approachable and gives us confidence because you know everything will be done properly and pleasantly.”

Details of the new lease terms have not been disclosed.

Graeme & Co, a 13-strong firm established 18 years ago and with branches in Fareham and Petersfield, is a commercial law specialist to companies, small-to-medium enterprises, partnerships and sole traders in Hampshire and West Sussex.

Food For Thought

October 4th, 2012

Food For Thought

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Graeme Quar with women from Rwanda who have had their lives turned around for the better by development charity Send a Cow

A fundraising campaign by the UK’s leading organic vegetable box scheme has gained fresh impetus following a moving presentation by  Hampshire businessman Graeme Quar.

Staff at Riverford heard a first-hand account about how a British charity he reports to is helping impoverished families in rural Africa.

Graeme, 54, who owns and runs a commercial law practice with offices in Fareham and Petersfield, had just returned from a 12-day visit in Rwanda on behalf of development charity Send a Cow (SAC).

He gave an insight into how SAC’s work has helped transform lives through better farming techniques and vegetables, with surplus food sold to generate income.

The gifts of cattle, which enrich previously barren soil, play a vital role.

For example, a widow, who initially fled to Uganda after her husband was killed in the 1994 genocide, has now become self-sufficient after she was gifted a cow called Gisibizo, translated as The Answer.

Graeme, among a small fact-finding team looking at eight SAC projects near the capital of Kigali and Eastern Province, shared his experiences with staff at a Riverford distribution depot, which supplies North-East Hampshire and Newbury with home deliveries.

Smiles Better

SMILES BETTER: Graeme Quar, front row right, with fellow ambassadors, from development charity Send a Cow, and Rwandans

Riverford is already supporting SAC’s work in Northern Uganda in order to help with food security and self-sufficiency for smallholders.

Charlotte Tickle, HR Director at Riverford, which is headquartered in Buckfastleigh, Devon, attended the presentation at Riverford’s Upper Norton Farm, near the A303 between Andover and Basingstoke.

She said: “Whilst we are already backing SAC, Graeme’s presentation and sharing of the experiences he had on his travels focused us on how the charity is making such a difference to these communities.

“Like us, they believe in good farming as the source of good food, good lives and good communities.

“It has given us extra drive and enthusiasm to come up with some new and exciting fundraising activities to support them.”

Riverford’s support is expected to directly assist 70 households (420 people) and indirectly benefit a further 770.

Graeme, the managing director of Graeme Quar & Co, said: “What has been achieved to date by SAC cannot be underestimated – the charity is transforming so many lives for the better, freeing families from malnutrition and despondency.

“What’s more, the original donation grows in significance as calves, seeds and training are passed on to neighbours in need – under the multiplier effect nine people go on to benefit for each original recipient.

“We were greeted with singing, dancing, prayers and speeches at the projects and the heartfelt gratitude from beneficiaries is absolutely humbling.

“It was essential to convey that feeling in my presentation to Riverford, that the staff’s fundraising for SAC’s work in Northern Uganda will have the same energising effect.”

Rwanda became infamous in 1994 when ethnic tensions erupted into unspeakable acts of violence on an industrial scale, with one million people killed, women systematically violated, families left homeless and much of the country’s soil-enriching livestock destroyed.

This year nearly 14,000 families are being helped by SAC in Africa.

For more information on how you or your company can make a tangible difference for just a few pounds or more visit