Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What did you do before joining Aries?
I have been with Aries for just over 18 months. Prior to Aries, I was VP of Business Development for 14 years at Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). This is where I was first introduced to Aries Systems and subsequently collaborated with them to develop an integration between Editorial Manager® and CCC’s RightsLink® nearly a decade ago; a partnership that continues to this very day! I also spent six years with Houghton Mifflin Company managing the Technical Sales team responsible for selling educational solutions to school districts. Of course, I have to mention that I began my career as a promoter for Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus traveling throughout the United States promoting The Greatest Show on Earth!
How have your previous roles helped you in your current position?
I have learned something from every job I have ever had, and so much of it is transferrable. Learning to listen is certainly high on my list. This is especially true with customers, as it is crucial to have a clear understanding of their wants and needs in order to deliver solutions that help them resolve or satisfy those needs. I have had the very good fortune of working with some terrific leaders throughout my career, and aim to lead by their example. They have taught me that good leaders empower the people they manage, and create a collaborative atmosphere and a sense of purpose for every member of their team. Bad leaders, on the other hand, tend to point fingers and lead by fear. Good leaders make you want to work harder and produce results, which is the type of leader I strive to be. I thank all my previous roles (and leaders!) for this lesson.
How do you stay up-to-date with customer needs?
As I mentioned, active listening is imperative to staying up-to-date with customer needs. Getting together with customers and having an open dialogue, whether in person or virtually (especially these days!), is important. The Aries Sales team often meets with customers directly at industry events such as the Frankfurt Book Fair or at Aries user group meetings. We frequently engage with customers over the phone for preliminary and in-depth workflow discussions or through online demos. To understand their specific and unique workflow requirements, we have to be engaged with customers, listen to them, ask questions, and not be afraid to solicit honest feedback. How else will you know how to best serve them? The Aries Client Services team does a terrific job on this front and it is so incredibly important to maintain engagement with our customers.
Tell me about your department and the people you work most closely with.
The Aries Sales department is includes terrific Client Development Managers and Technical Solutions Consultants. These sales representatives support the team with their deep knowledge of Aries’ workflow solutions and by conducting product demos to customers. My team operates globally – in the UK, Germany and the US. Our team has a wide range of experience in publishing and at Aries. For example, Bob Donegan and Rose Nottebaum each have over 10 years of experience at Aries and are known and extremely well-liked throughout the scholarly publishing community. In addition, Natacha Tapoulal is fairly new to both Aries and the publishing industry, but she is quick to learn and has absorbed all this newness like a sponge! Our team is very collaborative and always willing to help each other with product demonstrations, staying up-to-date on the latest Editorial Manager and ProduXion Manager functionality, customer interactions, and general industry information.
How do you collaborate with other departments at Aries?
Outside of my team, I work closely with both the Product Management and Client Services teams. Aries truly has very knowledgeable industry veterans who are very close to our customers and completely dialed into the industry. For instance, Tony Alves, Aries Director of Product Management, knows just about every new industry start-up and has forged relationships with them all!
Describe your typical workday.
There is no such thing as a typical workday at Aries! That’s why I love it! The morning hours are focused on my overseas team. There is a 5-6 hour time difference, so I try to get things resolved with them first thing in the morning. When consulting with my team on a daily basis, we may be conducting a demo or meeting with a prospect, getting a proposal out the door logging important customer information into SalesForce, or negotiating a contract. Lately, I have been in discussions with several new vendors in the market looking to collaborate with Aries in one way or another. This is particularly interesting work for me, as I get to learn about great new services that can tie into the editorial workflow and make things easier for our customers using Editorial Manager or ProduXion Manager.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
The people! Aries is full of interesting, earnest and wonderful people. I could be working with Rob Harrington on the IT/Ops team who solves all my computer system issues, or discussing a late payment with Trisha Pulver in Finance, or strategizing with Carol Anne Meyer in Client Services on a vendor partnership opportunity. Across the entire company, the people are so willing to help each other, get engaged with other departments and are fun to work with. They are what makes Aries a special place to work!
What are you currently reading, listening to, or watching?
I am currently reading Who Rules The World? by Noam Chomsky and watching the television series Better Call Saul. As for what I am listening to, I’d have to say my wife in the next room! (haha!)
Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?
I dig watching Harry Potter movies with my three kids who are growing up way too fast! ’m a lifelong ice hockey enthusiast and still lace them up with a bunch of over-the-hill players each Monday night during the winter. But my real joy of hockey comes from coaching and watching my kids play. My youngest daughter is a junior in high school and plays for her school’s women’s hockey team, which is tremendous to watch and is growing rapidly. Beyond that, I love basketball, golf, skiing, scuba diving, boating, horseshoes and woodworking. I am a former collegiate runner (half mile and mile) but my hip replacement years ago put an end to that! I enjoy micro-brewed beer and a fine single malt scotch partnered with a Perdomo cigar!