It was 1995 and I was channeling my best Heather Locklear, AKA Amanda Woodward, ad exec power suit, from the Aaron Spelling sudsy drama “Melrose Place”. Lime boucle, I had purchased it at the Bal Harbour shops on a recent business trip to Miami Beach.
Having recently sold (read article) Quadras to the public company Graphic Industries (read article), we were attending our first “President’s Meeting”, where we were two of the only three women presidents in the friendly, yet staunch, boy’s club. Front and center, Sara, chic in Armani, was standing next to “Chief”, Mark Pope, Sr., or MCP Three, as he was affectionately known, and after the photo op we were whisked off to meetings where Chief chewed on a cigar, and interrupted Mark Jr., the reigning President, with loud outbursts, if and when, he saw fit.
Dinner was at the opulent French restaurant, Toulouse, and while Chief told us he had never done well with “girls in business”, he seemed happy with our numbers (i.e. dollars) having the details of our business written on a scrap of paper and stored in his shirt pocket. After the dinner the boys went off to The Cheetah (a gentleman's club), and MCP III asked Sara and me to stay and have a drink with him. Brandy Alexander’s and ashtrays for everyone, the non-smoking rule didn’t seem to apply when Chief was involved.
He told us about his life, his business, and how he had sold his wife’s diamond to help create funds for what would eventually become a $500 million dollar company, that he and his sons sold in 1997 for $260 million to Wallace Computer Services. (I am guessing Mrs. Pope forgave him.)
It was a fortunate acquisition for Quadras, Inc., and for Sara and me personally. Pre-internet for us, I think it was 1997 when we acquired our first computers; I had simply picked up the phone, called Graphic Industries, and asked them if they wanted to buy us. Three months later, and pounds of legal papers, we were part of GI. They were wonderful to us, and we were happy being “the girls” and we missed them after they moved on and we became part of Wallace.
In 2000 Sara and I purchased the company back, and while the 90’s were a special time, today is pretty good as well.
Cynthia A. Morgan