Senior Program Manager, Engineering
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED with Todd Webb.
What was your first role here? How did you get to where you are now?
I started as a Product Manager with a charter to automate our merchant payments processes with zero lines of code and two stellar senior engineers. I worked with that team for six years building new systems, growing the team, and cultivating a strong team culture. As my team evolved, I took on a Senior Product Management and Senior Engineering Manager role and we delivered many important new capabilities. Throughout those six years, I had tons of opportunities to learn and grow. In fact, I’m a big believer in continuous learning, so it was a no-brainer when I jumped at an opportunity to work on a multi-year program with our global sales and service teams. That’s the team I work with today, as a Senior Program Manager.
Tell us about your job! What do you do exactly? What do you love about it?
As a Senior Program Manager, I serve as a leader, guide, strategist, and connector on a multi-year effort to level-up our sales and service processes around the world. I love being able to connect the right people, to help colleagues discover new ideas and ways of thinking about the problems we are trying to solve and to help avoid hidden obstacles and overcome big roadblocks.
What’s your favorite Groupon memory?
My favorite moment was when my team hung a giant 25-foot—and very presidential—”Mission Accomplished” banner when we reached a major milestone toward the end of a big new release (but we actually weren’t completely done yet). We still have the banner and hang it up now and then.
Where can we find you outside of work? What are your hobbies, side projects, or interests?
I’m a husband, dad, and avid reader, so if you found me outside of work I’d probably be with my family or buried in a book. I’m also a passionate supporter of Montessori education, and if you caught me in Northern Michigan I’d either be sailing or snow skiing.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve worked on?
The biggest challenge I’ve worked on was building a great engineering team and building a global merchant payment system with a dozen different services, paying billions of dollars to merchants, all from scratch.
What was your first impression of Groupon?
I’ve known Groupon from day one. I was an executive at a small consulting company and we helped augment Groupon’s early engineering staff (when there were less than 10 employees). I knew it was fun and crazy, and that was my first impression when we joined forces and I became an employee.
What do your parents think you do?
They think I build great teams that build complex systems.
What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?
Groupon’s engineering culture has evolved a lot as we’ve grown, but the part that stays the same—and that I appreciate most—is the openness and willingness to help each other.
Name your favorite programming language.
Clojure, because I really dig code-as-data and immutable data structures.
How does your work connect to Groupon’s mission of being the daily habit in local commerce?
My work has always been about doing the right thing for merchants. That’s where I really connect with Groupon’s mission.
What’s your favorite local business?
My favorite local business is A Toda Madre in Glen Ellyn, IL.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I can juggle and ride a unicycle*. Or at least I used to ride one, it’s been a long time. I learned when I was about 14 at a community center where a lot of local professionals used to practice. It was my first experience with a community of people who loved to teach their craft. One of them was a fella named Paul Kyprie, AKA Zeemo. Look him up. He’s amazing!
*Editor’s note: another Grouponer in tech, John Stokvis, can balance three chairs on his chin. So many talents!
What ERGs are you a member of?
Women@Groupon and Parents@Groupon.
Why did you join? What do you enjoy about your participation?
I led Parents@Groupon for a few years. It’s a great group of people who are eager to learn from each other.
Vim or emacs? Why?
Spacemacs (best of both worlds).