Introducing Stuart Saunders…
In this week’s blog, we would like to introduce you to Stuart Saunders, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at The Ralph. Stuart will be joining us full-time from 3rd December. We wanted to take this opportunity to welcome him to Team Ralph and to get to know him a bit better.
Before we do that, we want to tell you a bit more about what Stuart’s role is and what day-to-day life will be like once we open in January. As COO, Stuart is responsible for the hospital operations. He will be working closely with Shailen (our Founder, CEO and Clinical Director), Iqbal (our Co-founder, Finance Director and Company Secretary) and Tammy (our Hospital Director) to ensure that the hospital operates smoothly, and that all of our processes and procedures are focused on making the experience for our patients, pet-carers, Ralphers and referring practices the best it can possibly be.
We asked a few questions to get the inside track. Here we go…
[TR]: Hey Stuart! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
[SS]: Sure, I was brought up and educated in Hampshire, worked in the city as a trader for 17 years, before moving to Somerset and becoming a Practice Manager, first in a law firm and then in a succession of veterinary practices. I’ve been married for 29 years, have 4 children, as well as a cat called Moppett and a dog called Nettle, who will be 15 on Wednesday.
[TR]: Wow! Sounds like home is a busy place! So, with so much going on…are you usually early or late?
[SS]: Always early which annoys my wife who is usually late.
[TR]: Thinking back to your school days, what was your favourite subject and why?
[SS]: Either History or English – probably English – I had a series of inspirational teachers that left me with an enduring love of language and literature.
[TR]: It’s amazing the impact that inspirational teachers can have isn’t it? What else inspires you?
[SS]: My late father – he was a kind and generous man – a true gentleman.
[TR]: What is your greatest achievement to date?
[SS]: Leading a disaster recovery team in the Serbian flooding in 2014.
[TR]: What are some small things that make your day better?
[SS]: Watching the vet team come together when a crisis or emergency happens on an already busy day.
[TR]: Anything funny happen to you recently?
[SS]: Introducing myself in the recent Ralph AGM to the investors as the new CEO rather than the COO…
[TR]: And who (or what) makes you laugh?
[SS]: My children.
[TR]: What’s your favourite quote and why?
[SS]: Leaders are so often obsessed with their status or position they actually forget their real job. The real job of a leader is not about being “in charge” it is about taking care of those in our charge as quoted by Simon Sinek.
[TR]: If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?
[SS]: Making cocktails.
[TR]: Thanks for your time Stuart. It’s been great getting to know you a bit better. So last question…it won’t be long until The Ralph opens. What are you most looking forward to?
[SS]: Being part of the project, helping form the culture and delivering Shailen’s vision that first inspired me when he explained it to me back in 2017.
Thanks for stopping by and reading Stuart’s introduction. Over the coming weeks, we are looking forward to introducing you to more of our growing team so please check back in soon.
The Ralph team