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Michael Graham

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Michael Neil Graham E-Mail: greysage1@gmail.com Web: www.michaelngraham.com Profile A senior executive with over 35 years of demonstrated leadership and accomplishments in the areas of marketing communications, management and politics. Served on the Board of Directors of several companies. Currently an author whose first book is a biographical humorous account entitled Boss Nova Odyssey of four phases of his business career. Working on a second book now. Professional Experience Greysage, LLC Principal (January 2008-Present) Greysage, LLC currently focuses on consultancy opportunities in a variety of business sectors ranging from marketing services, technology, transportation, and hospitality. East Restaurant Sao Paulo, Brazil (2004-2008) “East” which brought the concept of Pan Asian cuisine to Sao Paulo Brazil in this the third restaurant venture of Greysage. Selected by Brazil’s equivalent of the Michelin Guide for three years in a row as one of the best restaurants in Brazil, “East” has been the place to be for famous people in the fashion industry, TV, movies, advertising, business and government. Created the restaurant, managed all personnel and details of the operation and secured all capital for the project. Other career highlights: WPP Group, plc. World’s largest advertising and marketing services holding company. J. Walter Thompson CEO Worldwide ThompsonConnect Global responsibility for CRM unit for the main agency—my charge had offices in 31 locations worldwide with over 600 employees and $525 million in annualized billings. RTCdirect President & CEO A WPP Group, plc, customer relationship marketing (CRM) agency based in Washington, DC. With 200 employees Targeted Communications Sr VP A CRM agency part of the worldwide network of Ogilvy&Mather Advertising Early Professional Experiences Background ranged from politics to marketing to owning my own businesses. Governor of Utah Chief of Staff for five years United States Senate Campaign (2) -Campaign Director -Head of Fundraising Governor’s Campaign (2) -Head of Fundraising United States House -Fundraising Director City of San Francisco Director of Tourism Development Snowbird Ski Resort, Utah Restaurant Owner Education Windham College, Putney Vermont BA in International Relations and Politics Continuing Education Courses: Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Communications Management Oxford University, England--Continuing Education Born in London, England and holds dual citizenship: UK/US Have worked, traveled and lived in: US, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. Speak Portuguese at the conversational level Articles, Directorships, Speaking -Atticus Award from WPP Group for article on “Knowing your Customer” -Out of the Blue Magazine –Winter 1999 J. Walter Thompson “Leading the E-commerce revolution” -Multiple speaking engagements in: US, Argentina, India, Spain, France, Thailand and Japan -Board of Directors: J Walter Thompson---world’s oldest advertising agency with 200 offices in 90 countries and 4 technology and consulting companies -Boss Nova Odyssey a humorous book about my life/business experiences in the US and in Brazil. Currently working on a second book.

THE BOSS NOVA ODYSSEY Cover
BOOK REVIEW

THE BOSS NOVA ODYSSEY

BY Michael Graham • POSTED ON June 30, 2017

A debut memoir recounts running a restaurant in Brazil.

Graham begins his book with the opening of East, a restaurant in São Paulo that he describes as “Shanghai opium den meets London lounge.” Although he lived in Brazil as a child, he spent most of his career in the U.S. In his 20s, he opened Forklift, a restaurant at a Utah ski resort. Optimistic and impulsive, Graham knew little about business but outlined a seven-step plan, starting with “get inspired” and ending with “live the dream.” Forklift flourished but he soon grew bored: “Work was now drudgery...I needed change.” He became chief of staff for Utah Gov. Scott Matheson and then moved to Washington, D.C., and spent many years in advertising. In each of these jobs, he found success; he was the “new boss.” But again, he grew restless, and after visiting Brazil on business, he decided to open East. The second half of Graham’s memoir details the joys and challenges of operating a restaurant in a foreign country. Tellingly, he never learned to speak Portuguese and seemed constantly in awe of and frustrated by Brazilian life. He recognized inequality and discovered that his staff saw him as a “gringo conquistador.” He aspired to a unique menu and décor but found himself “caving in to Brazilian expectations, sushi,” and open seating so guests could “show off their latest botox treatment.” Through financial, staffing, and menu troubles, East thrived for four years. Graham returned to America to write his memoir yet his chatty book reads like a crowded fusion restaurant, as if he began talking over drinks and stopped only when the establishment closed. His chapter titles suggest a similar pace. His tone is casual and self-deprecating and he offers hard-won, useful advice to would-be entrepreneurs. But the work is unfocused and uneven. He spends several pages on his dog chasing a squirrel, for instance, but mentions his children in just a few words. The volume’s most enjoyable parts focus on East.

A meandering account that delivers some worthy business tips and entertaining anecdotes.

Pub Date: June 30, 2017

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2018

Awards, Press & Interests

Hometown

Salt Lake City

Favorite author

Bill Bryson, Peter Mayle, Karl Hiaasen, Dave Barry, Ken Follett

Favorite book

Boss Nova Odyssey

Day job

cat sitter, animal trainer, political junkie

Favorite line from a book

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed in the things you didn’t do, versus the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Unexpected skill or talent

animal trainer

Passion in life

trying to write good works

San Francisco Book Festival

New York Book Festival

London Book Festival