Maverick The Team

Michael Ross

Affiliate Senior Associate

Michael Ross is the President/Founder of Ross & Associates LLC, an educational publishing and technology consultancy. R&A’s clients are based in the U.S., U.K., the Middle East, and Asia, and comprise nonprofits, private equity firms, publishers, content developers, universities, marketers, and corporations.

Before establishing Ross & Associates in 2017, Michael was the SVP and Education GM at Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., where he led the sales and marketing activities in North America and EMEA and ran the product development and technology teams. He led the expansion of the company’s institutional products and databases in the K-12 and higher education channels. Prior to joining Britannica in 2002, he was the EVP and Publisher of World Book, Inc. and previously held executive positions at other global publishing companies. He began his career as an editor for Time-Life Books, including three years in Tokyo.

Michael’s products and publications have had worldwide circulation, have generated substantial revenue over decades, and have won the highest industry awards, including: The Distinguished Achievement and the Golden Lamp Awards from the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP/AAP), and the Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) prestigious Codie Award.

Michael has written and spoken extensively on digital publishing and educational technology. In addition to articles in textbooks, journals, and blog posts, he has authored three books, most recently Dealing with Disruption: Lessons from the Publishing Industry (2016, Routledge). He has been a keynote speaker at global conferences such as: The Licensing Executive Society; the Hammond Organization; Book Expo America; BookTech; The London Book Fair; SIIA; the Shanghai Book Fair; and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Michael was inducted into the PrintMedia Production Executives’ Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Association of Educational Publishers’ Hall of Fame in 2009. He has served on several boards, including the Board of Directors of the Association of Educational Publishers, and one year as president.

Michael holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota; an M.A. from Brandeis University; and a certificate from Stanford University’s Advanced Management College.

Mark Lane

Affiliate Associate Partner

Mark began his career in magazine and book publishing, where he worked for twelve years, progressing to become General Manager and Publisher responsible for the launching and/or profitability of both magazines and directories (alongside numerous conferences and newsletters). Since March 1988 he has worked as a consultant offering coaching, management training, organisation development consultancy and group facilitation for a wide range of organisations including banks, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, publishers, societies and exhibition organisers.

As part of his MBA, which focused on strategic management issues and organisational development, he undertook a research project on UK business publishing and the World Wide Web.

In addition to training he has been involved in a range of consultancy projects including organisational change and Sales + Marketing team development; Executive Coaching; M+A integration; and executive recruitment.

Recent clients include: London Stock Exchange, Institute of Physics, Elsevier, Lexis Nexis, Costar, FTSE, Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Springer Nature, Thomson Reuters.

Alison Jones

Affiliate Associate

Alison Jones is a business coach, consultant and independent publisher. She is passionate about supporting people and books that make a difference.

She has enjoyed a prestigious 22-year career in trade and scholarly publishing working with major publishers such as Chambers Harrap, Reader’s Digest, Oxford University Press and Macmillan, most recently as Director of Innovation Strategy for Palgrave Macmillan. Throughout her career she has pioneered digital publishing of reference works, ebooks and apps, delivering award-winning online products such as The Statesman’s Yearbook Online and Palgrave Connect.

In 2014 she left Macmillan to set up Alison Jones Business Services and establish a new model: position, or brand, publishing. She works with entrepreneurs wanting to build their brand and take their business to the next level, focusing on clarifying the strategic purpose for the book, coordinating content creation and publication with core business activities, and creating superb books with professional, polished editorial and production standards under the imprint Practical Inspiration Publishing. She also offers consulting and training services to traditional publishers and societies, especially those seeking to diversify and/or upskill their workforce.

A trained small business and corporate coach, she combines extensive publishing expertise with coaching, facilitation and training skills. Her focus is on business strategy, content marketing, innovation and digital publishing.

Chris Baker

Affiliate Associate

Chris Baker has been involved in digital publishing for over 20 years, initially as an editor and then as a project manager, requirements analyst and consultant. After 7 years at Oxford University Press, finishing as Web and Electronic Development Manager, Chris founded his own business in 2002. Since then he’s worked with a range of well-known publishers including Oxford University Press, Pearson and Professional Engineering Publishing. He has managed a string of successful projects from CD-ROMs and websites (with various platforms and online hosts) to content management systems, databases, xml production processes and usage statistics systems.

Chris began his career as a molecular biologist, being awarded a PhD in Biochemistry. While he no longer often needs to extract RNA from frogs’ eggs, the analytical skills and insight into publishing from the academic’s point of view have continued to be useful.

David Ball

Affiliate Associate

David is a consultant with many years’ experience, specialising in scholarly publishing, Open Access, e-books, virtual learning environments, design and management of academic libraries. Recent projects include: research in the area of open access publishing for Public Library of Science (PLOS) and the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (see http://edoc.bbaw.de/frontdoor.php?source_opus=2515); a full library service review for City University London; an e-books contract for Jisc Collections; research on approaches to collection management by universities for a major serials agent; training in Open Access for SPARC Europe and UKeiG (UK Electronic Information Group).

As University Librarian at Bournemouth he created a vibrant library service, chiefly electronic in delivery, both for research, through the institutional repository and e-journals, and for teaching, pioneering the integration of paid-for and open educational resources into the virtual learning environment. He also won two prestigious national awards: the quinquennial SCONUL Library Design Award 2007 and the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award for the Outstanding Library Team 2009. David has a strong record in procurement, having led six ground-breaking national and regional tenders for journals, books and e-books, with individual contracts worth £10m per annum.

Previous experience includes the private sector, as information manager for the Glasgow Herald and Evening Times, where he was responsible for transforming a cuttings library into a full-text electronic archive. He was also responsible for negotiating the sale of rights to text and pictures, publishing the first digital newspaper in Scotland on CD-ROM. He has a strong publishing record; including a major book, Managing Suppliers and Partners for the Academic Library. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences, particularly on e-books, VLEs and procurement. For a list of major publications click here.

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