Henry Marquard – Stanley Consultants Inc.
From putting out worksite fires—sometimes literally—to negotiating with foreign governments and serving on Iowa’s version of the EPA, even advising presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, Henry Marquard says his 26 years of in-house counsel work have opened doors few other positions could.
The company he’s worked for that entire time, Stanley Consultants, also provides him ample opportunity for challenges and growth. It’s one of the largest consulting firms for engineering, construction and environmental services; with 18 offices in the U.S., it has operations in more than 100 countries.
Now the company’s vice president and general counsel, Marquard says if there’s one thing he’s learned in nearly three decades, it’s that being an in-house attorney affords lawyers tremendous opportunity, even the chance to give back to their own community.
Supporting global operations
If someone had told Marquard, when he was in law school, that he’d help manage an engineering enterprise in China, he would have said that was crazy. But through Stanley Consultants, Marquard did just that. It was one of the many opportunities Marquard had to experience other cultures from legal, business and social perspectives.
Marquard joined Stanley Consultants in September 1991. By January 1992, he was in Kuwait negotiating deals with the Kuwait government as it worked with the U.S. military to repair Kuwait’s military defenses after the Gulf War.
He asked his new boss when he’d return from Kuwait—when the job was done, his boss said.
Marquard spent three weeks in Kuwait, and it was the first of several trips he’s made with Stanley Consultants to the Middle East, where the company has offices in the United Arab Emirates and operations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
Stanley Consultants had a team Marquard could turn to for what he calls the rudimentary questions—How do you get to Saudi Arabia? And how do you act when you get there?—but much of the learning was done on the job.
Marquard also benefited from a construction background. As a construction attorney he became part owner of a small construction company in the Chicago suburbs and wowed the Stanley Consultants hiring committee with his ability to read a blueprint. But he only had a little—“and I stress the word little”—experience negotiating international deals for business clients in previous law firm roles.
“What I really encourage anyone in an in-house [position to do] is to look at ways to use your position not only for your company but for your community.”
That didn’t hold Marquard back from another opportunity: the chance to help organize and manage a partnership between Stanley Consultants and another U.S. engineering firm to open a company in China, that did environmental and transportation work. Marquard was closely involved in that company for the nine years that it operated.
In Asia, he also helped counsel the Japanese government on construction trade issues.
“I pride myself in being part of an organization that makes a difference in how people live,” Marquard says. “Like bringing fresh water into places that don’t have fresh water, or improving transportation or providing rural electrification.”
Domestically, Stanley Consultants provides engineering pertaining to highways, power plants, electrical transmission, environmental retrofits, flood control and large freshwater and wastewater projects. Its ventures range from building hydroelectric dams to supporting the development of smart car infrastructure. In the U.S. and abroad, Stanley Consultants is a defense contractor.
Belief in American excellence
Marquard’s time abroad gave him confidence in American businesses. He believes, given an equal playing field, American companies can outperform any competition, and he’s translated that confidence to Stanley Consultants’ clients in the U.S. “Sixty years of working overseas makes us a better American company,” he says.
Marquard supports American businesses outside of work, too. He serves on the Iowa District Export Council board and tries to impart his confidence in American business and work ethic to Iowa-based exporters. “Our object is to help local companies understand that their markets are global.”
Marquard also served on the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission from 2005 to 2009; he was chairman from 2008 to 2009. He’s an active member on three Iowa State Bar Association committees: corporate counsel, international law and environmental law. He was a member of the Iowa Supreme Court’s Civil Justice Reform Task Force, and he’s a member and former vice president of the Iowa chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
“Being in house offers opportunities for personal growth, through service to the organization, but also through the political and public service and community arenas, so there are a lot of opportunities.”
“I think the four years I served on … the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission were huge because we did a lot of work in terms of water conservation and water pollution control, especially given Iowa is a major contributor to the nitrate pollution in the Gulf of Mexico,” Marquard says.
That was “an intensely political job,” he says. “I’d always been active in politics but to sit down and be in the government at that level, as being the person who handled the negotiations with the legislature, gives you a unique perspective to see how the legislative process really works.”
Marquard’s other political work is no less impressive. He served as a manager or advisor to the presidential caucus campaigns of senators Bill Bradley, John Edwards and Bernie Sanders and advised former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.
He attributes his commitment to public service work to his parents. “They really pressed the idea that the more successful you were, the more you needed to use your skills and to [contribute] to the public service.”
Marquard’s father, also an attorney, was active in the bar association and legal organizations and encouraged Marquard to follow those footsteps.
Had Marquard remained partner in a law firm, he’s not confident he would have had the opportunity to give back as much as he has.
“Being in house offers opportunities for personal growth, through service to the organization, but also through the political and public service and community arenas, so there are a lot of opportunities,” Marquard says. “What I really encourage anyone in an in-house [position to do] is to look at ways to use your position not only for your company but for your community.”
Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in Vanguard” badge that links directly to your article!
Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing