Stephen was born and grew up mainly in New Zealand, apart from spending three years living in the Solomon Islands. After returning with his family to New Zealand, Stephen attended Auckland University. After less than 12 months, it became apparent to him that the university environment was already light years behind computing progress in commercial organisations, so he left to pursue the lucrative financial rewards of supporting local law firms and software development. During his summer holidays, he worked at what was then the Regent Hotel, where he developed a passion for quality and superior service - something he had seen in his family's businesses but never really appreciated until then.
He moved to Xerox in Brisbane, a small move geographically but in all other respects, a world away from the smaller, mainly family New Zealand business he had experienced in the past. At 20, Stephen was one of the youngest sales reps Xerox had employed. They provided him with the best and worst of what a large corporation can offer. He learned to “think big”, “to plan” and, in a round about way, that the way information flows through an organisation can be the difference between success and failure.
During this time, and well before CRM became a buzz word, he pushed Xerox to consider development of a Sales Automation System. This would improve what the company was doing at the time with a manual card system and mainframe computers. After six years at Xerox having known what it was like to be the best (and also one of the worst) performing reps, Stephen decided it was time to once again join the family business.
In 1995, along with his wife Sonya and sister Adrienne, he joined his parents Heather and Ian and, in so doing, effectively doubled the energy available to the management team at Queensberry. He set about working with them to bring the best of big business and apply it to an already successful but small Auckland photograph album manufacturer and take the company international.
Today, his family business is in a rapid growth phase with exports to Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and USA. Their albums are considered to be the finest in the world and sell for up to £700 wholesale each. CRM and the internet are a crucial part of their business that has allowed the company to “think locally but trade globally”.
Stephen is a very proud Kiwi and is passionate about business. His special interest is the bond that must be created between the mission, the people and the technology if there is to be success. Having had an internet presence for at least eight years now, he also has a special interest in helping people develop strategies for their own organisations. This involves assisting in workshops and mentoring roles with a number of other businesses, both big and small.
• Business mentoring
• Customer Relationship Management