For this month’s Aries staff interview, we sat down with Bob Donegan, Client Development Manager. With ten years under his belt, Bob is an expert on all things Aries (the products, the people, and more!) Packed with his witty sense of humor and industry experience, Bob is known as the go-to-guy for both his clients and his colleagues. Read our interview with Bob to learn more about his life-long career in publishing and his role as a key member of the Aries Sales team.
Tell me a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What did you do before joining Aries?
This is my tenth year working on the sales team here at Aries. My entire career has been spent in scientific, technical and academic publishing, primarily within the realm of sales and marketing. Before starting at Aries, I worked at the American Institute of Physics, Blackwell Publishing (now Wiley-Blackwell), Academic Press (now Elsevier), WebCT (now Blackboard), Addison-Wesley (now Pearson) and Kluwer Academic Publishers (now Springer Science+Business Media). So, I’ve experienced a fair share of mergers and acquisitions, including the recent acquisition of Aries by Elsevier last year.
What have your roles at Aries been?
My tenure here at Aries has been exclusive to the Sales Team. I’ve been fortunate to work very closely with talented colleagues within Product Management, Marketing, Client Services, as well as the overall Management Team.
How have your various roles (if any) helped you in your current position?
My role is pretty much the same as it was when I started 10 years ago: identify, develop and help transition publishers of all types to Aries’ editorial and production workflow solutions. Before coming to Aries, I thought I was a pretty good business development professional. It wasn’t until I was hired by – and spent time with – Aries founder Lyndon Holmes and former Aries VP of Sales and Marketing Richard Wynne, that I realized I had much to learn! Those two gentlemen taught me more than they’ll ever know.
How do you stay up-to-date in your field?
No real secret here – I continue to monitor industry websites and publications, attend and participate in the leading STM publishing conferences and keep in touch with as many former colleagues and current industry contacts as possible.
Tell me a little about your department and the people you work most closely with.
The sales department at Aries has gone through some fairly big changes in the past year. In late 2018, we brought on Jake Kelleher as the new Director of Sales. Jake has a ton of experience within this marketplace and brings to Aries not only a depth of publishing knowledge, but also a terrific sense of humor and a very approachable management style. We’re currently looking to fill a Client Development Manager position in the UK and will also be welcoming our first-ever Solutions Consultant to the team soon. I look forward to being a part of the team-building process as these folks come onboard!
Describe your typical work day.
Frankly, I like that there really isn’t a “typical day” in my job. At any given time, I might be juggling configuring EM/PM sites for upcoming product demos, writing/editing responses to RFPs, traveling to prospective client offices to discuss their current workflow challenges, negotiating agreements with new clients, and/or getting up-to-speed on forthcoming functionality in EM/PM. Never a dull moment!
What do you most enjoy about your job?
I truly enjoy the sales process: introducing publishers to Aries and our solutions, demonstrating how their processes can be optimized using our solutions, assisting them in making the transition from another system to Editorial Manager/ProduXion Manager or starting fresh with their first manuscript submission/peer review/production tracking system.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
My favorite podcast is Disgraceland, which melds true crime with music history. The latest book I’ve picked up is The Mueller Report. The Rachel Maddow Show is my all-time favorite TV show. For “older” music, I am really into Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, Neil Young, and Dylan. For “newer” music…. ah…. I think I need to find some new music!
Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?
My two biggest interests in life are my two sons. My eldest is in the Air Force, just back from a Middle East deployment, and my youngest is about to begin his third year at Boston College. My dog, Jerry (guess who he was named after?) is a six-year-old rescue mutt. He was injured earlier this summer, but I’m hoping he’ll be back in “hiking shape” soon! Music is a big part of my life and I play bass in a Neil Young tribute band (Strangers from Canada – check us out on Facebook!). I also play guitar and drums. What’s coming next is either the ukulele or the banjo… or the harmonica… or the piano…we’ll see!