Hugh Maloney, 34, is business development manager Leeds for the Greene King Pub Company, which is the managed arm of Greene King, the regional brewer that has transformed itself into an industry heavyweight in the past few years.
His role sees him in charge of 20 pubs, much of Maloney's job involves getting the right people in to manage each site.
"A major component of my job is recruiting the right people for the right pub. Being an astute judge of character is essential. Having the right person running the pub day-to-day makes my role much easier," he says.
Another facet of the role is the ability to be both mentor and friend to colleagues working with him.
"Pub managers typically live and breathe their job, with little escape," he says. "Unsurprisingly, they sometimes appreciate having someone they can talk to. It's something that as a young manager I ignored, which meant I wasn't as good an area manager as I could have been."
Maloney, who describes his management style as direct, has obviously learnt from his mistakes, and in April won the coveted Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers' Area Manager of the Year title, beating 50 other candidates.
Maloney started out in the industry at a Pontin's holiday camp in Devon in 1990, working as a bar manager, initially around his studies. This led to a position at Pontin's Weymouth in Dorset as a trainee administration manager.
Brewer Scottish & Newcastle was the then owner of the holiday camp chain and this led to a job as a stock controller for its pub division in 1994, based in Weston-super-Mare, north Somerset. By 1995 he was on the company's trainee managers' scheme.
After a stint at pub company John Barras, Maloney was headhunted by Whitbread and worked as an area manager, continuing in his role after the leisure giant divested itself of its pub estate and it was taken over by the newly created Laurel Pub Company.
Laurel's estate of 432 neighbourhood pubs was bought by Greene King in August 2004.
His parting advice is to "concentrate on the things you are good at, and don't get hung up on the things you aren't."