Kelowna’s QHR Technologies (TSXV:QHR) got a shot in the arm this week when one of Canada’s most respected tech execs, Descartes CEO Art Mesher, joined its board.
The announcement came after QHR had released the results of the annual general meeting, which was held in Toronto Monday.
QHR Chairman, Dr. Ernest Wigmore, said “It is with great anticipation that we welcome Mr. Art Mesher to the QHR board of directors. Speaking candidly at our board of directors meeting prior to the AGM, Art spoke with passion of his industry and public market experiences. His personal enthusiasm demonstrates to me and the entire board that Mr. Mesher’s experience will be valuable and appreciated at all levels of the company.”
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Art Mesher joined Descartes Systems in 1998 and became CEO in 2004. The Minnesota born Mesher had met the management of Descartes Systems Group in 1997, when he was an analyst with the Gartner Group. Mesher had a keen interest in logistics, having specialized in the area when he was with Dayton Hudson, which is now Target. He joined Descartes, he said, because he was “tired of being an astronomer, and wanted to be an astronaut.” Though Descartes was beginning to take off in the early stages of what would become of the dot-com bubble, Mesher was warning that the company’s success was an illusion, and there were tougher times ahead. By the time the stock, which had hit a whopping $100, bottomed at $.92 cents, Mesher had fired every salesperson in the company and began to engineer a now-famous turnaround that placed its engineers in more customer-centric roles These days, Descartes is one of the most highly regarded companies on Bay Street.
QHR Technologies has become an aggressive consolidator in the electronic medical records space. Last August’s acquisition of EMIS Inc, the Canadian division of the Leeds based Egton Medical Information Systems, the U.K.’s largest vendor of electronic medical records, was the company’s eleventh acquisition in just eight years. QHR is clearly gaining critical mass; its revenue has grown from just $5.89 million in 2007 to $23.8-million in fiscal 2011. QHR’s growth is mirroring larger trends. A recent report from MarketResearch.com said the U.S. EMR market is expected to grow from $2.17-billion in 2009 to more than $6-billion in 2015; an estimated compound annual growth rate of 18.1%
QHR’s six-member board of directors now consists of Dr. Wigmore as chairman, Jim Mutter, Gordon (Stonie) Glenn, Mark Kohler, Mesher and Al Hildebrandt, the company’s CEO.