Grass Roots chief says it’s time for a change

David Evans, who retired as chairman of Tring firm The Grass Roots Group PLC in early 2013.
David Evans, who retired as chairman of Tring firm The Grass Roots Group PLC in early 2013.

The driving force behind of the annual Spirit of Tring live concert has stepped down from his post as chairman of a multinational company based in the town.

The Grass Roots Group was based in a small High Street office when it was launched by David Evans in 1980 – but it now has offices in 15 countries.

The performance improvement company operates from the USA, Brazil, Australia, India, Singapore, Mexico and elsewhere – but still has an office in Tring, although it is now based in Station Road.

Mr Evans, who was given an MBE by the Queen in 2008, said: ‘The business will be 33 years old in April, so it’s time for a change. I had long planned to reduce my involvement in the day-to-day running of the business.

“When I reached the age of 65 last year I had to ask myself whether I could keep up the long days, and with the energy that they need. The answer being ‘no’, I have been seeking solutions.”

They include appointing Richard King and David Hackett as non-executive board members of the firm.

Former managing director of Grass Roots UK Andy Lister will return to the firm as chief operating officer.

Mr Evans launched the two-day Spirit of Tring in Pendley Meadow three years ago to celebrate his firm’s 30th anniversary.

Entertainment included the Proms and stars from West End hit We Will Rock You performing The Music of Queen. The event, which has since become an annual event, raised £75,000 in ticket sales in 2010 alone.

All ticket proceeds go to sports clubs and schools in the area as well as Tring’s Pendley Court Theatre.

Grass Roots helped Pendley Court Theatre reopen in 1993 after an agreement with Dacorum Borough Council and the Tring Arts Trust.

Mr Evans’ retirement comes after a period of ill health, which he is being treated for and expected to recover from, the firm said.