Maverick The Team

George Farina

Senior Associate (USA)

George Farina has demonstrated his business development and leadership acumen across executive level positions of substantial scope and responsibility both for major global STM publishers as well as distributors. His corporate experience includes senior level sales/marketing and business development positions with iGroup (Asia Pacific) Ltd (marketing and distribution to academic libraries throughout Asia, E-book licensing, US start-up publishing operations and finance support); Joint Commission Resources (healthcare accreditation and patient safety publishing, e-learning and training); Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (clinical medicine/nursing publishing); Thomson International Publishing (university textbooks/professional reference publishing) as well as eight years living in Tokyo and working with Longman/Pearson (ELT publishing).

With a keen understanding of key market and business drivers, George has risen to the level of complete P&L responsibility for business units in excess of $100 million. He is skilled in strategic planning and in developing and executing growth strategies yielding significant increases in revenues and profits.

He has extensive global experience, is well versed in the details of international expansion, distributor networks and global partnering, and is recognized for cost-effective sales expansion into new markets, restructuring and building sales organizations that achieve targets, hands-on development of senior level, high profile customer relationships and excellence in customer service.

Nicholas Weir-Williams

Senior Associate (USA)

Nick Weir-Williams has been in publishing for over 45 years, with experience in the UK, Australia, and in the US since 1992. Most recently he was Senior Vice President of Business Development at Ingenta (formerly Vista and Publishing Technology), overseeing Sales, Marketing and Account Management. In his 18 years at Ingenta he also worked as Project Manager on major implementations at Pearson, HarperCollins, McGraw-Hill, Thieme and Rosen Publishers; as well as with the product development team, particularly in regard to product and rights management.

Previously, Nick worked in many senior management roles including publisher at Continuum (US) and Reed Press (part of RBI); and eight years as Director and Publisher at Northwestern University Press, developing an award-winning list in Literature in Translation and Poetry (Nobel Prize and National Book Award), as well as tripling the sales and bringing the Press to break-even. In the US he also served for four years on the Board of PMA, the largest publisher trade organization in the world (now IBPA), for two years as President.

Nick started his career in the late 70’s as a sales rep and Linguistics editor for Croom Helm in the UK, subsequently opening an Australian subsidiary for them until their takeover by ABP. He was Publishing Manager for Methuen Australia, and then Thomson, where he worked on all aspects of the merger including warehouse and accounts consolidation. He was then the Academic Publishing Director of Weidenfeld and Nicolson in the UK, including the revamping of the Everyman’s Library paperback list and publishing, among others, George Soros.

He has consulted in a wide range of areas for a number of publishers including Routledge, Gower, Columbia University, and as an editor and Rights agent.

Stephen Laverick

Senior Associate

Stephen has over 20 years’ experience in scholarly publishing with time spent working in both the UK and China.

Primarily focused on digital publishing solutions, during his time as Technical Director at The Charlesworth Group, Stephen was instrumental in overseeing the development of robust, scalable and efficient XML-first workflows for OA megajournals for the likes of PLOS, Nature and RSC as well as tailoring solutions around specific publisher requirements. He was also heavily involved in the growth of the Charlesworth China subsidiary through the migration of production work and accompanying training of local staff, to the creation and subsequent management of a dedicated technical development team consisting of Beijing, China and UK based programming support teams.

Stephen later moved on to work with Edanz Editing, again based in Beijing, as Integration Manager. Here, his main role was to ensure that the companies “publication process” based suite of author services met the needs of the publishing community by forming and managing collaborative partnerships with a wide range of both publishers and third-parties to create efficient workflows. Stephen was also able to make use of his experience in XML-first publishing workflow integration, advising on technical infrastructure and feature requirements for the development of an online authoring eco-system aimed at simplifying the publication process for authors who have English as a second-language.

More recently Stephen was a key figure in the setup of the Alliance for Scientific Editing in China, an industry response to the growth in unethical practices in author services in China. He is a member of the Society of Scholarly Publishers, volunteering on the Membership Committee, and is involved in the JATS4R initiative to introduce standardisation in the use of JATS XML. Stephen is also well versed in budget management, cross-departmental reporting and has had ongoing regular involvement in strategic planning initiatives for business development within his organisations.

Stephen has been a regular conference speaker and attendee at industry events such as SSP, ISMTE and ALPSP. He is now based in North Yorkshire, UK offering advice on XML and digital publishing workflows.

Martin Davies

Senior Associate

Martin has over 30 years’ experience of working in the publishing industry. He has worked in a range of sectors including professional, academic, medical, and educational publishing. Before joining Maverick, his latest role was Head of Digital Learning Products at the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) and has previously held e-Learning Director and Publisher roles at Wiley and Editorial Director and Publisher roles at Hodder Education.

Martin has wide-ranging experience from researching and launching e-commerce enabled digital learning platforms, developing textbook programmes for the school, FE and HE sectors in both domestic and international markets as well as the development of professional health sciences book and journal products for global consumption. Additionally, Martin has in-depth knowledge of working collaboratively with membership organisations, digital learning platforms and authoring tools, agile product development, running RFP and tendering exercises and market research projects both in the UK and internationally.

Alison Maclean

Senior Associate

Alison is a publishing operations executive with international experience in concept-to-market editorial and content management in trade, education, reference and professional publishing. She has shaped publishing programs, directed content operations, and marshalled complex project portfolios to deliver significant benefits. Her focus is on bridging from stakeholder priorities to execution, leveraging organizational design, technology solutions and process optimization for scalable results.

Most recently, Alison held the position VP Content Enablement at Wiley. Her brief included defining and executing strategic initiatives to control cost and to make colleagues’ work more meaningful. She led the global team responsible for process design, content technology, editorial standards, accessibility initiatives, data governance, KPI design and reporting, and vendor management. Prior to that, she was a tenured professor and program director of Creative Book Publishing at Humber College (Ontario), guiding graduate students to best practices in book publishing.

With a proven ability to forge successful partnerships, Alison is adept at productive collaboration. Her experience and passion is working with teams to commission, shape and deliver content with clarity and impact.

 

Emma Thomas

Senior Associate

Emma has worked in a variety of editorial, strategy, production and operations roles in academic publishing for the last 27 years. Her experience includes working at major publishers like OUP, Wiley, Emerald and Springer Nature, as well as managing production and peer review for the British Psychological Society.

She specializes in operations strategy and execution; systems and workflows that support Open Access; organizational change management; process design and improvement; delivering operational efficiency and profitability; digital workflows; project management, and business development (journals editorial). She is a qualified coach, experienced facilitator, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and ProSci Change Manager.

Lynsey Haire

Senior Associate

Lynsey is a journal operations leader with deep experience in author services, manuscript submission, content assessment, reviewer engagement and procurement of associated technologies and services. A proven process improvement specialist, she is passionate about supporting partners to optimise journal editorial office efficiency via system configuration, task sequencing and appropriate automation, whilst supporting your staff to upskill and keep pace with emerging research integrity best practice.

Lynsey’s most recent post was Global Peer Review Director at Taylor & Francis (2012-2023). As a member of the senior leadership team reporting to the MD, she led a global editorial operations department accountable for delivery of all content assessment services. Managing a seven-figure annual spend, she led strategic partnerships with software as service and business process outsourcing vendors including scoping, process documentation, contract negotiation, quality management and development of new capabilities. She holds a Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) level 4 diploma.

Michael Geelan

Senior Associate

Michael is an experienced Executive Chairman, CEO and Managing Director with over 45 years’ book industry experience, primarily in the academic, scholarly and STM sectors.

With an early career in marketing at Pergamon Press, working across scholarly monographs and journals, textbooks, reference books and professional medical publications, Michael is best known as Chairman of the Board and majority shareholder at Eurospan Group, where he oversaw its transformation from a specialist sales agency, focussing primarily on UK and Europe, into a class-leading global sales, marketing and distribution agency. During this expansion, Michael established branch offices in India, Singapore and Australia, each backed by sales agents, local stockholding and country-specific marketing, which were further enhanced by later regional entities in both Latin and North America.

A seasoned publishing professional, and skilled in sales and marketing, leadership, business strategy / development and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), for publishers looking to expand internationally, Michael’s extensive knowledge of the processes and pitfalls in doing so is second to none. His experience in identifying and working with regional sales agents and representatives, local customer engagement and marketing techniques, alongside pricing and stock availability, is invaluable to those he assists.

His M&A expertise is in no small part enhanced by the prominent part he played in the acquisition by Eurospan of Electronica Books & Media Ltd, Turpin Distribution Services Ltd and, most recently, Transatlantic Publishers Group Ltd. Subsequently, he was also lead negotiator on the sale of first Turpin, then Eurospan, to United Independent Distributors (UID) in 2020 (whom he then joined as Vice-Chair and Non-Executive Director to support the Board and the Chairman during the transition).

Michael brings to Maverick not just a safe pair of hands in marketing and sales, but also solid experience at planning and delivering profitable revenue growth in international markets.

Gavin Jamieson

Senior Associate

Gavin has over 30 years’ experience working in the publishing industry, primarily in the academic and STM sectors. After graduating with a BA in Publishing from Edinburgh Napier University, he originally started his career in medical journals with Churchill Livingstone. Subsequently he had a variety of senior management roles including Journals and Electronic Publisher with Greenwich Medical Media, Commissioning Editor for books and journals at Cambridge University Press and Hodder Education. Before joining up with Maverick, and establishing his own consultancy company, Gavin was Senior Commissioning Editor with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE Publishing).

Gavin has extensive experience at list building, commissioning new titles and acquiring journals, managing online resources, strategy planning and working with international editors and authors. He has most recently been working with international societies to project manage the publication of conference proceedings, and creating a strategy for journal inclusion in major abstracting/indexing services.

Gavin has been an invited guest speaker on STM publishing at University College London, University of Strathclyde and Edinbrugh Napier University. He is a Director of the annual Cuckfield Book Festival, working with high profile fiction and non-fiction authors, and his Lapwing Publishing Services imprint provides a hybrid publishing route for authors.

Rob McPherson

Senior Associate

Rob adds over 30 years of highly-technical experience in the STM / Scholarly publishing and Distribution industries – together with a track record of calm, pragmatic and incisive lateral thinking – to the Maverick team

From his early career in IT Development at Blackwell Science and then Marston Book Services, Rob quickly moved into project management, business analysis and then senior management with Ingenta, before setting up his own consultancy company and subsequently working with United Independent Distributors.

Rob has worked internationally in India, Sri Lanka, China and Australia; relocating to Sri Lanka for a number of years to set up and run an offshore development centre. He is also the author of white papers on prospective market expansion, third-party representation and M&A projects in China and Australia.

His project management experience includes the end-to-end implementation of ERP solutions, warehouse management systems, B2B/BC2 e-commerce systems, data warehouses, third-party logistics integration and inventory transition projects.

A highly experienced business consultant and corporate trouble-shooter, his areas of expertise include: RFP generation, feasibility studies, lost-revenue recovery, cost-saving projects and post-implementation reviews. Rob also has significant product management experience and has created numerous third-party integrations, reseller agreements and associated legal contracts.

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