Meg Berol – Manager, Project Management in Palo Alto

Meg Berol – Manager, Project Management in Palo Alto


Manager, Project Management
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2016

Preferred pronoun: She/Her

What do ancient Egyptian goddesses have to do with GDPR? Meg fills us in and talks about her career bringing different perspectives together in order to solve technical problems at Groupon.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

For a summer in college, I taught English classes at an elementary school in Yichang, China. It was an amazing experience to immerse myself in Chinese culture, travel through the stunning Three Gorges area before the dam was completed, and work on my Mandarin. While I haven’t retained much of the language, the experience shaped my global perspective.

Have you won any awards during your time here?

I was honored to receive the inaugural Ownership award from our CTO Colin Bodell for my support of GDPR. It’s an obnoxiously large statue of Atlas holding up the world – definitely how I felt sometimes during busy times of the project because there was so much to do! The difference would be I was definitely not holding things together alone, as we have a great core team supporting each other. I also received a lovely monogrammed pen.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

This is tough! I was thrilled to be part of the Groupon team at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing last year. We sent an amazing group of women and allies from across our teams and sites to the conference, and it was an awesome experience to connect in person with my Groupon colleagues and talk to great candidates about why we love Groupon. One of my favorite keynotes focused on the gaps in AI performance when the development teams lack diversity. The critical importance of different viewpoints in developing technical solutions really resonated with me. I love bringing another perspective to our problem solving!

Tell us about your job! What do you do exactly? What do you love about it?

I’m the manager of an awesome team of Engineering Technical Project Managers based in Palo Alto, California. We make sure the big, important stuff gets out the door to our customers. Our Project Management Office (PMO) team members utilize their unique knowledge, skills and experience to manage complexities, resolve issues, and keep engineering team members engaged, ensuring successful execution and delivery. We have a broad breadth of knowledge across the Engineering organization and significant ownership of the high-profile work of the company. I love bringing together so many passionate folks in different cross-functional teams towards a single goal and accomplishing it together!

Let’s talk about Engineering at Groupon. What’s unique about the culture here?

We have extremely passionate people in Groupon Engineering. Folks are encouraged to speak up and often. I love the excitement we bring to work every day and am constantly amazed by the teams I work with going above and beyond.

What’s your favorite part about your team’s Software Development process?

As a project manager, guiding my team through each stage of the project or development cycle is really interesting. My favorite part is the relief and pride of a successful Go Live. Seeing a feature on our platform that is new or creating a better user experience because of our efforts is really exciting and motivating.

Where were you before joining Groupon? What brought you here?

I previously worked at several great corporations with very interesting challenges in IT project management and business analysis, but I wanted to move faster. I love the autonomy of Groupon. The opportunity to make a significant impact with each project or individual I manage has been amazing.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?

I’ve been managing our internal project to ensure compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) since last year. We love code names at Groupon, so we call this “Project Bast.” Bast was a goddess in ancient Egyptian religion, a major protector deity represented as a cat. Cats in ancient Egypt were revered highly, and Bast represents our project goal of protecting data privacy and security. And, she is a cat and at Groupon, we like cats.

Project Bast has been an overwhelming but amazing opportunity to revolutionize our approach to data privacy and security at Groupon, and so rewarding to work with intelligent and dedicated folks across every department in the organization. I’m incredibly proud of our accomplishments, and could not have done it without my team. We have implemented ongoing best practices throughout the company that are the right thing for our customers, merchants, and employees.

How does your work connect to Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

My team of Engineering Technical Project Managers ensure that the important features, products, and platform initiatives are completed to improve our customer experience, making them come back again and again. We are the bridge between the engineering development teams and business requirements to prioritize the critical work. We remove cross-functional blockers and enable team success. Project managers make things happen!

Can you talk about your involvement with Groupon’s ERGs and volunteer program?

I’ve been engaged with PRIDE@Groupon, Women@Groupon, Parents@Groupon, and Groupon Volunteers.

I recently became engaged as a team leader for our Grouponsultation cohort. I’m organizing a team of Groupon volunteers across our locations to solve problems for a nonprofit over the next three months. We’re supporting Culinary Care, who provides free meal programs to cancer patients, as well as their families, during their treatment journey. Our team is helping them best utilize their new platform to continue to grow and impact more people. It’s wonderful to have company support to organize and utilize our skills for a great cause.

What do your parents think you do?

My mom actually knows what I do! “While at work, you lead a team who is assigned various projects to manage for Groupon. Ultimately, you need to make sure all projects managed by your team are moving forward and if they’re not, how that can be facilitated. At that point, you become the advocate for your team member so they can successfully complete the project on time and on budget. Then you celebrate success! (You excel at celebrating!)”

What’s your favorite local business?

My favorite local business is La Fondue in Saratoga. It’s a splurge but definitely more affordable with our Groupon deals! La Fondue is a fun and unique fondue restaurant with an over-the-top atmosphere and delicious exotic menu choices like wild game and signature chocolate combinations. It’s one of our go-to places for a special date night or celebration.

Where can we find you outside work? What are your hobbies, side projects, or interests?

With my family! I have two young boys that fill my life with adventure. We love to travel, read books, go to the zoo, play football, and walk our dog, Hershey. We went on a cruise in Japan last year. Sushi is their favorite food, so they were in heaven.

Jason Rubacky – SEO Program Manager

Jason Rubacky – SEO Program Manager


SEO Program Manager
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

“I’m not that interesting…” says Jason, just a low key SEO Program Manager who was the #4 DJ (turntablist) in America in 2001. NBD.

So tell us what it means to be an SEO Program Manager! What does a typical day look like? What’s unique about your role here?

The goal of an SEO Program Manager is to have our pages rank #1 in Google search organically across the board. What do I love about it? It’s different every single day; Google is constantly changing and updating their algorithms and to me it’s kind of like playing a video game. It’s always changing and keeps me on my toes. So there’s no such thing as a typical day. My priorities can change multiple times throughout the day; all of a sudden we could be working on a project for one section of the site but all of a sudden, Google will say “as of X date, you can’t do X on your website or you will be penalized” so we have to adapt and make those changes as they come. It’s fun because it allows me to work closely with our Engineering team, since I do have a programming background.

As far as what’s unique to my role at Groupon as an SEO Program Manager, I’m the only SEO person in the Chicago office. This means I’m getting a lot of opportunities to make an impact on other teams, learn more about the business, and establish myself as a go-to resource for folks who have questions about SEO.

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on at Groupon?

Before I even started, I did an audit of the entire website and came with that information to my interview. One of the things I brought up was the speed of the site.

Once I started, I was trying to work with Engineers to give them a better understanding of how speed impacts ranking factor. In order to do that and create a proof of concept, I went home one weekend and re-built the coupons site myself. They went from 4.5 seconds to 650 milliseconds on desktop and from 7+ seconds to 2 seconds on mobile. I showed this to the VP of my org and the engineers and from there, they took my code and put it up on the Groupon test page to see if it worked on Groupon’s servers. It worked and from there we rolled it out to the Coupons pages after some testing.

Since rolling it out, our rank has continually improved week over week since January of this year.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

We had a team outing at Headquarters Beercade, which was the first time I got to get to know the team and talk to people outside of work. Another time, my team and I worked to create some video content around Shark Week—we even bought a shark costume. It was fun to be able to see the creativity throughout the team that I work with. There are some very talented people on the team.

So what were you up to before you joined Groupon? What brought you here?

I was running my own SEO agency. I got tired of working out of my home office for four years and I wanted to work with people again face to face. One day, Groupon Recruiter Laura Hicks reached out to me on LinkedIn (she was great) about the opportunity at Groupon. At the time, I had been applying and interviewing with more corporate environments. I didn’t feel like the culture was great anywhere I interviewed. What sealed the deal for me? My chat with Laura, my interview with the General Manager at the time, everyone I met with was great, the office was cool…I knew then that Groupon was the spot for me.

And what was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I was super excited to come work at Groupon. The people are amazing and it’s very welcoming. My team is great because they not only welcomed me like I had been here forever, but they’re seasoned Grouponers who have all put in a lot of time here, so I know I was in good company.

What inspires you?

What inspires me is to rank #1. I just want to be the best at what I do.

What’s the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon?

Being able to see the performance increase due to the speed changes that I referenced earlier (so far) has been my proudest moment.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Creative Thinkers – –
Analytical Mindsets – –
Make Great SEOs

Have you won any awards during your time here?

I won a team award: “Provides the Best Gifs”

Obviously we’re going to ask what your favorite gif is.

Thank you.

What keeps you fulfilled outside of work?

I like to play video games, spend time with my kids, and occasionally I’ll volunteer to paint art on businesses’ buildings, which helps spread positive messages and vibes, makes people feel safer, and revitalizes communities throughout the neighborhoods on the south and west sides.

What do your kids think you do?

My kids think I’m rad. They think I work for a really cool place. I’m the “cool dad.”

You’re a member of Parents@Groupon; what are some activities you’ve done with that Employee Resource Group?

I’ve already participated in three parents events, which have been awesome. We did a “Walk for the Hungry” event where I brought my entire family. Later, I brought my kid to work for Bring Your Kids to Work Day.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

As a global team, we make a lot of money for Groupon through affiliate marketing and SEO. We carry no overhead; everything is done through affiliate links or paid placements, so we’re highly profitable.

Your role probably exists at other companies, so what’s unique about being an SEO Program Manager at Groupon?

While my job would probably be similar at another company, what makes Groupon unique is the awesome team of writers and engineers I get to work with on a daily basis.

If you could do another job for a day, what would it be and why?

Any job where I could shut my brain off for a day and do menial tasks.

What’s your favorite local business?

Jugrnaut – a great clothing store in Chicago

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

In 2001, I placed 4th for top DJ (turntablist) in the U.S. The contest was called The DMCs. I’ve been DJ’ing since 1988 for 30 years.

Todd Webb – Senior Program Manager, Engineering

Todd Webb – Senior Program Manager, Engineering


Senior Program Manager, Engineering
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2011


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).

Anne Bustamante – Strategic Account Executive

Anne Bustamante – Strategic Account Executive


Strategic Account Executive
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2014

It can be daunting to switch jobs as a parent, especially when you’re a mother of three. But between joining the Parents@Groupon resource group and Groupon’s flexible environment, Anne has settled into a company where she can thrive.

Tell us about your job! What do you love about what you do?

I’m a salesperson for Groupon Getaways and cultivate relationships with hoteliers in the central region of the U.S. Together, we build deals based on seasonality and performance and look to grow the relationship over time. I love that what I put into my job is what I get out of it.

So how does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

I love to travel. I have a running list of places I want to see and plan on visiting as many as I can when I have a little more time. The Getaways home page is up on my computer all day…in part because I’m always looking for new destinations to visit but also because I work in Getaways (it’s a win/win). The work we do inspires travel and as we grow I see markets expand and people looking to Groupon exclusively for the best rates and most interesting locations.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve done here?

Any presentation I’ve given (or have to give)! I’m not a fan of public speaking, so that’s always my biggest challenge.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

There’s so much energy, activity, color, opportunity, and collaboration at Groupon. I noticed it when I started and still see this every day on the job.

I love that since I’ve been here I’ve never heard the statement, “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Instead, I hear “we can do that” or “let’s give it a shot!” and think it’s the best way to grow the company and that’s exciting.

Have you won any awards in your time here?

Yes! I won President’s Club in 2016.

Sales obviously exists at other companies, so why Groupon? Why not sell elsewhere?

I came here because, professionally, I’ve always worn many, many hats and I was at a place in my life where I wanted to focus on one specific profession and do that one thing really well. My experience with Groupon had always been positive and I had heard that the culture was super awesome and collaborative. I love that since I’ve been here I’ve never heard the statement, “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Instead, I hear “we can do that” or “let’s give it a shot!” and think it’s the best way to grow the company and that’s exciting.

Show us your favorite view from the office!

What do your parents think you do?

My dad owned a bicycle store for 25 years and I spent my summers and weekends working at the bike shop. I cut my teeth in sales before I could ever ride a bike. I thought my parents would say that I work with travel or that I work at Groupon (they’re subscribers so they get it!), but when I asked them they responded, “obviously we think you sell.” I think they’ll always think my job is to sell!

Speaking of parents, tell us about your involvement with Parents@Groupon!

I was co-chair of Parents@Groupon from April 2016 until December 2017 and a member of the group since I started at Groupon in 2014. I’m a mother of three and when I started at Groupon, I looked to the group as a resource and as a support system. Honestly, I was a little worried about entering such a young company with a family. What I found when I joined the group was a surprisingly large network of parents and allies and an amazing team that wanted to make Groupon a great place to work for parents.

Backing up a bit, where were you before joining Groupon and what brought you here?

My background is in the arts. After I graduated college I worked as a medical photographer in a hospital in Baltimore, MD., then in Springfield, IL. I transitioned into arts management and worked for several non-profit arts organizations throughout Chicago overseeing membership, sales, and sponsorships. One of the organizations I worked for used Groupon to sell memberships and that was my first introduction to the company. I loved the process and seeing the impact on the organization.

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?

I spend all my time out of the office with my family and dog. I love to cook and eat and I have lots of kitchen help: kids chopping, husband chatting, dog rooting.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

Coffee taster. I took a coffee cupping class once and while I don’t think I have the palette or experience to evaluate coffee, I would love to taste different coffees and learn about their flavors. It’s fascinating. (I was up for almost two days after the cupping class, so I think one day would have to be it!)

What’s your favorite local business?

105F – Chicago. I started going here on a Groupon a couple years ago and it’s still my favorite place for yoga.

Tell us something about you that would surprise us!

I can untangle anything!

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have to admit, I was a huge fan of the candy pit in the enchanted forest. All that candy in the tree stump is the most random thing I’d seen in the office. I didn’t expect to see anything like it and thought I was imagining things! It was so beautiful…

Katie Knox – HR Operations Representative

Katie Knox – HR Operations Representative


HR Operations Representative
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2011

Balancing parenthood and work is an epic challenge, but it helps to feel support everywhere you turn at work. Parents@Groupon co-chair Katie talks about her experience as a working mom at the ‘pon.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory? Or what’s the most “Groupon” thing you’ve experienced at your office?

Having cake and champagne at 8 a.m. on the morning of Groupon’s IPO in 2011. It was an amazing morning and I will never forget it. Another standout memory is when I was returning to work from maternity leave. I attended a recruiting team party called “Christmas in March” which was our team holiday party. I had been gone for almost three months and walked into the party with so many hugs and congratulations! It’s a pretty great feeling to return to such a caring team like that.

The most random thing I’ve witnessed at Groupon has to be when I was in the sales department, and our SVP of Sales came in decked out in a green suit (and top hat) while riding around on an electric cooler. He was tossing out ice cream sandwiches to everyone. So random, but I really appreciated the sugar fix!

You’re the co-chair of Parents@Groupon. Why did you join? What do you like about it?

I originally joined the Parents@Groupon ERG to meet more parents and get more involved. Plus, I loved being able to bring my son to Bring Your Kid To Work Day and our Groupon Trick-or-treating events. Now, I get to help plan those events as a Co-chair of the board!

So what does being co-chair of Parents@Groupon entail exactly?

My role as co-chair entails setting the strategy for the year on what events we do, how much money we budget, and finding new ways to support and celebrate parents at Groupon! We are really excited for our next Bring Your Kid to Work Day, which we host every year near the end of summer where all kids are able to come into the office and experience life at Groupon!

How does Groupon support parents?

Groupon supports parents by providing wonderful benefits such as maternity/paternity leave, mother’s rooms, and by having such a thing as an employee resource group that is dedicated to parents.

How does Groupon support you as a mother?

Groupon has supported me throughout my entire time as a parent. From the time I learned I was pregnant to now (my child is now three years old), my managers have been supportive, flexible, empathetic, and really have seemed to care about me and my family. The mother’s rooms are also amazing and I’ve loved being able to bring my son into work for our Parents@Groupon events.

Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it? What does a typical day look like?

I now work in HR Operations and address all kinds of requests from our employees across the globe. I also look at our processes and communication and try to make improvements.

Who or what inspires you?

I know that scheduling life and workload is a constant juggling act, I am inspired when I see a fellow parent doing the same thing.  And I want to tell all of them that they are doing a stellar job at work and home.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

We all know that people are the most important part of any business. I make sure our behind-the-scenes processes are running smoothly to ensure employees can focus on their jobs.

Have you won any awards in your time at Groupon?

Lots of them… though the names might sound unfamiliar to most.

“Manager Thinks You’re Awesome Award” for continuously exceeding my goals.

“Knighted by the King” award for having the best phone tone on my team.

While in Recruiting, I was given the superlative, “Most Crafty and First Soccer Mom

Where were you before you joined Groupon? How did you get here?

I was in Columbia, Missouri where I worked in social work when my husband casually mentioned that there was a job at Groupon that he was interested in. Fast forward to 2011, we had moved to Chicago and he got a job in the Editorial department. I soon followed by joining the Customer Service team. I’ve now worked in Customer Service, Sales, Recruiting, and HR Operations.

You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work? 

I like to hang out with my little dude, my dog, and my husband. I’m a fan of coffee, cooking (sometimes), chocolate, and Target.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

I always secretly wanted to be a playground designer! I like to think I’m crafty and creative, so I would dream up designs when I was little.

What’s your favorite local business?

Katherine Anne Confections – they have the best hot chocolate in the city, are incredibly friendly, and the owner has kiddos as well!

Carlos Vale – Head of Diversity Recruitment

Carlos Vale – Head of Diversity Recruitment

Head of Diversity Recruitment
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2017

Rainbow Flag on Apple iOS 11.3

If you see Carlos, give him a high five for snagging a spot on the Latinos 40 Under 40 list—an amazing accomplishment! We’re proud of the work he’s doing to make Groupon a more inclusive work environment. 👏👏🏾👏🏿

Why is it important for Groupon to support and champion the efforts of Pride@Groupon?

Pride gives us all an opportunity to reflect on what we can do for ourselves, and for others. It’s a celebration of not only the LGBTQ community but just community, in general.

How does it feel to work for an organization that embraces the LGBTQ+ community inside and outside the office?

As a gay man, it feels amazing to work for a company that embraces the LGBTQ+ community–it’s one less thing for me to have to worry about, which gives me more time to focus on impact and results. Part of why I do what I do is because I know that there are people out there in other parts of the world that are looking for a place to belong–a place that will accept them as who they are; I want those people to know that there are places and that Groupon is one of them.

How will you be celebrating Pride Month?

I’ll be supporting by attending a variety of Pride-focused events, and of course, attending the Pride parade here in Chicago.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory so far?

I think my favorite Groupon memory so far would have to be going to the Arlington Park Race Track with the Talent Acquisition team. I think I had been here for about two weeks, which provided a perfect opportunity to connect with everyone–it was a blast!

Tell us about your job! What do you love about what you do?

In short, I lead Groupon’s global diversity recruiting strategy in order to build robust pipelines of diverse talent for critical positions across all levels. As an ambassador of Groupon’s dedication to a more diverse and inclusive workplace, my role requires a highly relationship-driven approach to building and sustaining a deep and broad network of connections both inside and outside Groupon. Finally, through working cross-functionally with Recruiting, HR, and Talent Development while driving deeper collaboration with Groupon’s Employee Resource Groups, my role helps provide the framework for all business groups to embrace diversity.

No small feat, we’re sure! What’s challenging about your work?

In this field, building, assessing, and reworking strategy is always challenging no matter how supportive the organization may be. There isn’t a magic solution to this, and sometimes it feels like a shape-shifting puzzle–you think you’ve found the right piece, and surely, it changes shape right before your eyes; now, you are trying to figure out where the new piece fits. I love it, though–I’m a person totally driven by solving challenges!

So what makes your role at Groupon unique?

Although some iterations of my role exist outside of Groupon, the reason why I’m here is that I feel like I am generally given the opportunity to identify challenges/opportunities and come up solutions that are heard by many across the organization, including the CEO and other senior leaders. Most people wish they could have the opportunity to meet with their CHRO on a weekly basis, and possibly meet with their CEO and General Counsel on a monthly basis, but all of those things have been quite normal during my first months here.

Tell us about your first impression of Groupon as an employer.

My first impression…was that this is a great place to build things, as well as build on things. Here, I have the opportunity to create new things as well as build on some of the amazing things that have been previously started/accomplished.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would probably want to be the CEO of Groupon for a day, just to see what a day in their life is like. How early do they get up? How many meetings are they in? How do they find balance during the day to eat, or chat with their family? These are all questions I would love to know!

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Our customers, employees, merchants, and investors come from many backgrounds. Through diversity recruitment, we are able to bring in diverse top talent that can help in the areas of talent, culture, and marketplace–all of these areas help us be better equipped to identify additional opportunities and resolve challenges more quickly through the diversity of thought.

Talk about our ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) and your experience working with them.

ERGs are central to our I&D mission of making Groupon a great place to work for every employee. In my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to do some amazing things with and through our ERGs–I’ll keep it to one example, though. When I first started, I wanted to put together an on-site event where we could invite diverse top talent to network and learn more about Groupon, while also ensuring that they were able to walk away with something. Once going through initial negotiations, I brought it to our ERGs to see if/how they could help–the results were great. In November, we co-hosted an event with the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), attended by almost 100 professionals of all levels that were able to engage with our CFO, folks from our Talent Acquisition team, and employees from multiple departments. The coolest thing is that this was coordinated by Groupon en Espanol, and supported by Groupon4Vets and Women@Groupon!

Who or what inspires you?

I’m definitely motivated by visionary leaders who have overcome odds and have helped to make a difference in some way, shape, or form. I’m also motivated by the desire to be a good role model for my nieces and nephews. Finally, I’m motivated to pay it forward to others by providing and exposing me to opportunities, just as many have done for me.

Where can we find you outside of work?

I looooove playing volleyball–indoors, outdoors, and anything in between!

What’s your favorite local business?

I would say King Spa is my favorite local business. It’s nice to be able to feel like you can get away, locally. Also, it reminds me of my year in Japan in 2000, and that alone is worth the Groupon to get out to King Spa!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Different people, all coming together here, supporting local

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I lived in Japan for a year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student and absolutely loved the experience!

Israel Pederson – Sales Operations, Reporting and Analytics

Israel Pederson – Sales Operations, Reporting and Analytics


Senior Analyst – Sales Operations, Reporting & Anaytics
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

Photos from international Groupon visits:

Another Groupon veteran with a super unique career path, Israel takes us back to 2010 when Groupon launched its first national deal then brings us up to speed on his journey from customer service to analytics.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I really love to see the way that teams celebrate birthdays. We had a team member who got this helium balloon and it stayed afloat for an impressive amount of time…I’m talking like 5 or 6 months. We had a seriously vested interest in the longevity of that helium Power Ranger balloon.

Tell us about your job! What do you love about it?

I’m on the analytics team in Local Sales Operations. I’ve gotten to do so many amazing jobs at Groupon, and this one I really get to combine my understanding of the business with a lot of the hard skills I’ve picked up along the way to solve interesting problems and drive improvement and change in the local business.

What’s the most challenging thing you worked on here?

My first opportunity to manage a team came during a time of immense change at the company; we were merging two Merchant Services teams focused on different parts of the merchant lifecycle into one, and it required rebuilding many of the underlying operational processes, intense training, and a lot of change management. While it was extremely challenging, the way the teams handled everything is what makes this company so great.

Want to solve interesting problems?

What inspires you?

I’m continually inspired by learning new things and being around people who embrace continued learning.

What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?

I joined as a Customer Service Rep right around Groupon’s launch of the GAP deal (a seminal moment in Groupon’s history). It was so crazy, but what I really remember was how everyone really looked out for each other. There was such a sense of being in it together.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Our sales team is what drives such a unique mix of amazing merchants. We’re working together to continually empower them to bring the best that cities have to offer.

What are you most proud of in your time here?

I’m extremely lucky to have been a part of so many amazing teams at Groupon. My career started in Customer Support. I’ve managed teams, created and operationally managed large-scale processes, and had the opportunity to see a lot of the world as a Global Operations Manager. I’ve had mentors who have inspired me to continue learning more technical skills, which opened opportunities in analytics that have been extremely fulfilling. I’m proud of the fact that, even in a startup company with so much change, I’ve been able to carve out my own career path and continue learning through each step of the process.

“I’m proud of the fact that, even in a startup company with so much change, I’ve been able to carve out my own career path and continue learning through each step of the process.”

So what were you doing before joining Groupon and how did you end up here?

I, like many young Chicago imports, came to explore the world of improv comedy. Although it definitely feels like a past life, I got the opportunity to perform and teach with a ton of amazing people. One of those awesome people had gotten a job at a startup called Groupon, and said he could get me an interview. I am forever grateful for that conversation!

You probably have a life outside of Groupon, what keeps you busy outside of work?

My wife and I have a 2- and a 5-year-old at home. We enjoy but are not limited to trips to the zoo, bounce houses, the aquarium, crafts, and Daniel Tiger.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would love to be on Groupon’s Social Media team for a day. Some of the stuff that has come out of there is absolutely hilarious.

What’s your favorite local business?

Geja’s; my wife and I have celebrated many occasions there.

What’s your favorite view from the office?

You’re a member of Parents@Groupon; what do you enjoy about being involved?

It’s so encouraging to see the way Groupon supports parents, from the maternity/paternity policy to the way you hear our CEO Rich Williams talk about what his family means to him. There is absolutely a culture of keeping family a priority. ‘Bring Your Kids to Work Day’ is truly a sight to behold. The team does such a great job creating engaging activities for the kids, and it’s really fun to bring them to the office!

Your role may exist at other companies, so why Groupon? What keeps you here?

We’re solving really interesting problems in an environment that we’re constantly tweaking. While we are a big company, the ability to make quick changes and always be evolving is something that I really appreciate and embrace.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Catchy portmanteau – internet caught by surprise – building the future

Tell us something about you that’d surprise us.

At Purdue, I got the opportunity to perform with the Purdue Varsity Glee Club, doing over 500 shows across the US and the world. Purdue does not have a school of music, yet Purdue Musical Organizations unlocks a truly professional performance opportunity for collegiate students while getting their education in everything but music. Many of my weekends in college were spent traveling across the country in a bus!


Groupies Hold Pink Ribbon Breakfast to Fight Breast Cancer

Groupies Hold Pink Ribbon Breakfast to Fight Breast Cancer


Groupies Hold Pink Ribbon Breakfast to Fight Breast Cancer

14 November 2017

Enjoying pink baked goods (for a cause)

From the Sydney Office

We all have a special woman in our lives, so let’s support them and each other at the Pink Ribbon Breakfast and Bake-Off Competition!

For winning the Global Volunteer-A-Thon, Groupon ANZ was provided the opportunity to not only celebrate but also give back. Together, we enjoied a cupcake, shared a breakfast and heard some important details around Breast Cancer.

Each Groupon team was invited to bring their best baked goods to the table and go head to head in the Ultimate Groupon Bake Off to find out just who is the Bake Leader once and for all!

It was a great event, organized by our staff, with personal stories shared regarding loved ones who had impacted by breast cancer.

Everyone loves a good “camera timer” joke.

From the Sydney Office

And Breakfast Tea in the Melbourne Office

A Note from the Melbourne Office

Just wanted to share our little Pink Ribbon Morning Tea we had this morning in Melbourne. Thanks for everyone who was involved!

Ryan and Craig outdid themselves in the baking department and there were plenty of tasty treats for a good cause to go round!

We’ve opened the morning tea up to the rest of The Hub office space and hope to raise quite a bit of money by the end of the day! I’ll loop back in with the final count tomorrow 🙂

Great to have Ryan and Steve T in the office as well (and our little celebrity Liam the Cavoodle!) – and what a morning to welcome Daniel to the Melbourne Office as well! Go Tea!!!

We Raised a Massive $1173.30!

Thank you to each and everyone of you who baked (or bought) in some items of food. Thank you to the Taskforce, Women@work (Tina, Amanda, Melissa, Naomi, Ryan, Ang, Kiera, Val & Cara) who organized it all, to Steve who judged the bake off & a massive Thank you to everyone who generously donated!

Stephen – Project Manager, Recruiting Operations

Stephen – Project Manager, Recruiting Operations


Project Manager, Recruiting Operations
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2011 & 2014

Stephen is one of Groupon’s “boomerang employees” who left and returned shortly thereafter due to missing the people and culture. However, he could’ve come back more quickly if he had been on that hoverboard…

Who inspires you?

My wife is an ICU nurse, so she literally deals with life and death situations every day. It amazes me that she’s able to continuously head in and deal with that. It’s really helpful to have that reminder that while our jobs at Groupon are challenging and can be stressful, it’s not life and death. We’re just trying to help make life fun for our customers.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I thought that the office was really big. At the end of my first day, I got a little lost and ended up taking a staircase that let me out in the custodial area. I had to walk around in there for a while before I found someone who could let me out.

How does your role impact Groupon’s mission of becoming the daily habit in local commerce?

My role is to work on systems and processes that are used by our recruiting team. I’m helping make their jobs easier so they can go out and find the best talent to add to Groupon.

So why did you leave Groupon then come back?

I received an offer from another large company that seemed like a logical next step in my career, and I felt that it was too good to pass up. However, I was definitely reluctant to leave Groupon. I ended up staying in the office until 7 pm on my last day because it was so hard to say goodbye. In the end, the things that I missed the most about Groupon were the people and the energy of the office. There’s definitely a sense of team and community that just doesn’t exist everywhere. I was back within three months of leaving.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Groupon, Love Local – –
Just making life less boring – –
A great place to work!

What’s your proudest accomplishment while working at Groupon?

I recently worked on a project that was tasked with onboarding our entire global recruiting function onto one unified Applicant Tracking System. It was a completely new challenge for me and I learned a lot. It has been really exciting to see some of the wins that have come from that project.

If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?

I would love to spend a day as the New York Mets mascot, Mr. Met. Everyone loves him, and it seems like he has a wonderful giant baseball-headed family. It’s a real fairy tale.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

My first job out of college was as a production assistant on the set of a very classy reality show called “I Want to be a Hilton,” starring Paris’ mom, Kathy.

Nominate a teammate (or two) for a superlative!

Groupon World Headquarters

Parents @ Groupon Celebrates 1st “Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day” in Chicago

Parents @ Groupon Celebrates 1st “Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day” in Chicago

A typical Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day might entail kids shadowing their parents as they go about their day, maybe setting up a makeshift workspace for kids to doodle, tinker with desk decor, or play office. At Groupon, we decided to do things a little differently this year. In late April, a dozen kids over the age of nine alongside their parents had the opportunity to spend the day immersed in their area of choice, whether that was engineering, photography, recruiting, design, or even a Shark Tank-themed sales contest.

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 9.52.44 AM

“When planning the event, we really wanted to make sure we had a variety of departments featured and leading activities. We were excited that we had animation, engineering, and the photo studio, among a few other fun activities with great teams!” Katie Knox, Parents @ Groupon Talent Development & Recruiting Chair.

The National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation explains, “Designed to be more than a career day, the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work program goes beyond the average practice of “shadowing” an adult. Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education and helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future, and allowing them to begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success.”

Later this summer, Groupon will host kids of all ages for Bring Your Kids to Work Day, but first, Parents @ Groupon has both Mother’s and Father’s Day events lined up to celebrate the hardworking parents of the ‘pon.

Want to learn more about our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)? Check out these stories to find out how our employees are getting involved.

Esther – Head of Global Merchant Payments

Esther – Head of Global Merchant Payments


Head of Global Merchant Payments
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2010

Esther may not be president of the United States, but she’s clearly a leader in the Global Merchant Payments world of Groupon.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have witnessed a lot of random and crazy things in the past 7 years. There are so many times that I think back and realize how fortunate I am to have these wild and crazy stories. One notable moment would be the day we went public on November 4, 2011. At 5 pm the day before, we received a company-wide email titled “IMPORTANT: All Chicago Staff Training Tomorrow – 8 AM.” Back then, it was extremely rare to get any emails saying something was “mandatory,” so we all knew the business was not messing around. When we all got in that morning people headed to their designated meeting areas to be met with champagne and cake! The whole day ended up being such a fun celebration. It was even more memorable to have been in Customer Service at the time. All of our phone calls that day seemed less like work and more like thanking our customers for their appreciation and commitment.

What’s your favorite local business?

I love Cesar’s Restaurant that we run periodically on Groupon!

What’s unique about Groupon as a work environment?

Groupon has given me unique opportunities to learn and grow, which I feel are really specific to this company. The investment they have made in hard-working individuals goes beyond what people are qualified to do on paper. I have also met some of my closest friends here and although some have moved on; we all know that Groupon has something special.

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of becoming the daily habit in local commerce?

Being in Merchant Payments, my team is constantly thinking about our merchants. We know that accuracy and timeliness on our end help our overall relationship with our merchant base. We work hard every day to help other teams do their job without boundaries or complications.

What’s your biggest accomplishment here (so far)?

I love watching my team grow. Being a manager in both Customer Service and Accounting, I have managed a lot of people. I love seeing others succeed both inside and outside of Groupon. I have seen some of my former employees become managers, top sales members, project managers, actors, stay-at-home parents, and many others that have gone back to school to become something entirely new and challenging.

Give us a glimpse of your workspace.

“Groupon has given me unique opportunities to learn and grow, which I feel are really specific to this company. The investment they have made in hard-working individuals goes beyond what people are qualified to do on paper.”

Why do you participate in Parents@Groupon?

I love getting to know others throughout the company. As a mother, it has been extremely valuable to meet other through parents at Groupon and see how we are all working through the challenges of work/life balance. It is also amazing to see what Groupon is capable of when we all come together!

What does your mom think you do?

“You manage a crew of people and process a lot of money for your merchants/vendors.”

Have you won any awards here?

Not yet! But in 8th grade, I won “Most likely to become president.”

Who or what inspires you?

My mom is my inspiration. A mother of 4, she has never given up on any of us. She is an elementary school principal who is dedicated to education and the growth of our communities. She is a loving mother who thinks we can never do any wrong and she is the best grandmother to my son. She is the textbook mother and grandmother who still gives us money to spend on our birthdays and spoils her grandkids any second she can. My mother never told us that something was impossible; for her, she worked hard through her years and always looked for the alternative solution when things got difficult.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

I thought Groupon was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

If you could do another job for a day, what would it be and why?

I really want to be a celebrity’s assistant. Not sure why… just seems really busy and exciting.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I started at Groupon on my birthday! Having to write ‘today’s date’ and my birthday on all of the HR paperwork made for some messy penmanship (I kept messing up the years!)

What did you do before joining Groupon?

I went to school to become an English teacher. After substitute teaching for a little bit, it was hard to find a full-time job. An opportunity came up to be a Customer Service Representative and I remember my husband telling me that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I took the job and never looked back!

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Daily payments for –

Merchants who run on Groupon –

Get your deal today