Meet Sarah Arana-Morton, Commercial Director

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Hello. Tell us about who you are & what’s your role at OpenCorporates.

I recently joined OpenCorporates as its first Commercial Director. Because nearly all OpenCorporates’ revenue comes from commercial income, the more successful we can make it commercially, the more public benefit we can bring.

Previously I worked with for a company called Dunnhumby in the U.K, Europe and Asia, which provided insight to retail and consumer data, with clients such as Tesco and Coca Cola. Though our clients at OpenCorporates are in areas such as financial services, due diligence, and business intelligence (all of which are new for me), I can still see many similarities.  We’ve got a great story to tell and a unique approach that will work as well for our commercial clients as it does for our not for profit / public interest ones.

 

What drew you to OpenCorporates?

Lots of reasons.

It is a nimble, entrepreneurial business with an inspiring public mission and big commercial ambition – a rare combination that is very exciting to me.

I’m keen to meet new people, build relationships with new clients and work with the talented team at OpenCorporates.

I’m also happy to have the opportunity to learn from OpenCorporates’ CEO and Co-Founder Chris, who is a respected thought leader in open data and transparency space..

 

Where did you grow up?

By the sea in Sandgate, near Folkestone, on the South Coast of England in Kent.

After over 20 years living in London, I’ve recently moved back there (Eurostar has meant that the high-speed train now makes this possible). I’m enjoying the contrast of working in the city and escaping to the sea. It is a hidden gem that I recommend to everyone.

 

What’s your favourite childhood snack?

Pickled onion Monster Munch and mint ice cream.

 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

It has to be by the sea where the weather is good all year round and still near to a vibrant city. Los Angeles would qualify, maybe Hermosa beach or somewhere similar, plus my sister lives in LA. There may be many other places that qualify; I’m open to suggestions….

 

What was your first sale/deal?

I feel like I’ve been doing deals all my life but if I had to think back, my first deal would probably be with my dad. He was a businessman and he taught me you ‘never get something for nothing’.  I spent lots of time negotiating with him for something or other and I probably did my first deal with him for something I wanted when I was a teenager.

 

What do you like doing in your spare time?

Spending time with my family – my two children Severiano who is 4 and Margarita who is 1 and my husband Jonathan. As well as my mum and sisters.

We all spend time outside on the beach, sometimes swimming in the sea and last summer I started paddle-boarding.

After having Severiano I discovered marathon running and I’m hooked. Training takes up quite a lot of time and I run with a club called South Kent Harriers. I like to travel to marathons to see new places and make an exciting event of it. I’ve done Edinburgh, London, Long Beach and Los Angeles so far. I’m also due to run in London 2018.

 

What’s your favourite book/movie/tv show and why?

TV – I recently watched Big Little Lies which I enjoyed – it is all about mothers and their young children in California, and has a really great cast and dark storyline. But let’s not forget Peppa Pig and Octonauts, I don’t have time to watch much else these days!

Movie – About a Boy is a classic and more recently Joy, which shows you can achieve anything that you put your mind to with passion and work hard.   

Book – The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.   

More recently factual books such as ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’ by Haruki Murakami and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, Marie Condo. I am still trying to shed as many material items as possible, although I have a long way to go.  

I love reading my son my favourite childhood books, stories by Roald Dahl.

 

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