Sally Evans – Mare Nostrum Group

Sally Evans: Operations Manager

The first day of the working week is a Tuesday following the bank holiday. Always throws me that. I have two teenage sons at home, so I try to leave the house before they do so they have to be responsible for getting themselves to school on time, and so I avoid the school traffic. 

The dog (Dotty, whippet) has been for a walk. The cats (Teddy & Tigger, rescue Tabbies) have been fed. The kids are sorted. It’s a pleasure to leave the chaos and head into the office!

I’ve recently been involved in establishing a recruitment side to the business, so the day starts with an update meeting with Olivia, our recruitment specialist. She joined us a few weeks ago so there’s plenty to keep us entertained! We have a number of active vacancies, both with external clients and internally. We mainly split responsibilities, where I focus on structure and business development and Olivia (Liv) recruits. We have different and complementary skills so we make a good team. 

Porridge and peppermint tea is then required to fuel the day. Also gives me a chance to catch up with colleagues in the kitchen about their long weekends. See what everyone is up to this week. 

I’m loving the new recruitment challenge. So many aspects to it. One of my priorities today is to follow up with a client about our recruitment service, so I’ve done some research on their DEI policy so I can demonstrate how we align with their culture and core values; I’ve checked out open vacancies on their social media and website; and I’ve looked at their LinkedIn profile to get an understanding of their history and experience. 

Quick on-line pilates session at lunchtime with one of our employees based in Germany. Then a brief lunch in the staffroom (named “Below Stairs” after a favourite local wine bar in Leeds.) We discuss how ridiculous today’s Wordle was with double vowels! 

It’s the start of a new month, so there are sales and financial reports to prepare for the previous month of sales for all our presses and reps. For the CAP side of the business there are sixteen American University Presses and thirteen reps. For Mare Nostrum we have a number of clients to whom we provide sales, marketing & distribution services, plus seven reps covering our global territories. On and off this will take a couple of weeks. There are intricacies to it that add complication; forward buying currency, variable commissions, ebook and print sales, exchange rates and payment terms… Each press receives detailed unit and value information about their monthly sales and stock movement, with a statement summarising turnover, commission payments and any other financial adjustments for that period. 

We have thirteen additional clients that employ our sales & marketing services. After quarter end I will also receive quarterly sales reports from each client, from which we invoice for our commission. This covers both print and ebooks sales across Europe. 

I add all the financial data from CAP and MN clients and reps to various spreadsheets so we can track unit and value sales, profitability, comparisons with the previous 12 months etc. to be used by David (Pickering, our Managing Director) in financial planning and analysis. 

Mid-afternoon I had a training session from one of our Sales managers on using Podio as a CRM tool. Organisation, structure & reporting are right up my street, so I’ll be creating a Podio workspace for the Recruitment business in the coming days. Must write that on my To Do List. 

I’ve just phoned BT who provide our Cloud Voice system. We’ve had a small reshuffle of where people sit in the office which means I need to reassign the phones. Ordinarily this should be a simple task but it has been two years since our previous reshuffle so it feels like re-learning how to use the BT portal all over again. 

Last meeting of the day is with the Youth Upskill Initiative Charity committee. Set up by David Pickering, the committee selects two charities per year on which to focus our fundraising events and pro bono work. This year our charity partners are Career Ready ( and Speakers Trust (, both of whom support young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure they get the right support in education, work and life. We have a JustGiving page to launch and merchandise to buy ahead of the Leeds 10k run in July and a Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge later in the year. We’re a competitive bunch and will throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the challenges. 

(Editor’s note: find MNG’s JustGiving page, and get updates on our progress, here:

Liv and I often finish the day talking about culinary exploits for the evening. Tonight will be thai noodles with pan fried salmon. Then an evening dog walk before relaxing with Dotty in front of the TV. Not exactly the rock ‘n roll lifestyle of some, but it works for me! 

Sally Evans is the Operations Manager at the Mare Nostrum Group. Find out more about the Mare Nostrum Group Recruitment service: