International Women’s Day in Japan

International Women’s Day in Japan

IWD 2018 in Japan

Highlights from International Women’s
Day in our Tokyo office


The local Comms team worked with volunteers to organize a food- and quiz-filled event for Grouponers in Tokyo.


Groupies from our Sydney office were

present for the festivities! Here, Sandy and Aline,

who are clearly on a world tour since becoming famous

on the People Blog, spent time chatting with

Yoshiko Mizushima, General Manager of

Accounting  & Finance.


Groupon-branded macarons?!

Say no more. The men from the

office prepared and served all of

the food and drinks for the occasion.

🎂 🍥 🍰


Grouponers were quizzed on the topic of women in the

workplace, including a question about President of

International, Julie Szudarek, and what job

she would love to do for a day.

Join the fun in Tokyo!


Everyone watched a short

video highlighting Groupon women

from across the globe speaking to

the importance of International

Women’s Day and what it means

to them.


After a short quiz about women

and the gender gap, the winner

received Groupon bucks and everyone

snacked on sandwiches and sparkling



Yoshiko from our Finance organization spoke about

the importance of recognizing International Women’s Day

and overall gender equality at Groupon,

finishing off the speech with a toast.

Steve Traplin – CEO of APAC

Steve Traplin – CEO of APAC


Sydney, Australia
Joined: 2016

“Steve’s a natural people leader. Since his first day at Groupon—where he sang Purple Rain by Prince (all new hires sing in front of the group)—he’s made it his mission to build a rapport with the team. He gets the most out of his people by getting to know them, their role, and what drives them. He’s the kind of guy that gives handwritten Christmas cards to all of APAC!” Gus Muffet, National Sales Director for ANZ

What was the last influential book you read?

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. An awesome read. It has helped me both in my personal and professional life.

Describe your leadership style.

I am open and personable and some would say enthusiastic, I try and keep things simple. You help create and foster an environment through your actions and behaviors. I do love knowing the detail and I know I am resilient (some may say stubborn), but every day I try and learn how to be a better leader, person, colleague, and team player. I believe in the power of the team.

We have so many talented individuals and teams in the world of Groupon APAC, consisting of Japan, ANZ, and India. There are many days where I just try not to get in the way of them. I am amazed and proud of how solution-focused the teams are.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

With my family—Beck, my wife, and my two daughters, Carla and Bianca—I receive lots of advice! But seriously the best pieces of advice are: always be authentic,  listen, have no regrets, and remember that every day you earn the right to come back tomorrow. Be the best you can be today and repeat as often as you can. It doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, just try and learn from them. 

How has Groupon impacted you?

It has made me feel younger! It also helps me live my passion for helping small business with our awesome team and value proposition.

What have you done when you’ve encountered setbacks in your career?

Normally I just assess why it happened and try to gain clarity if I can then move forward with the lesson learned for next time…which is easier said than done sometimes.

What’s the last Groupon you used?

Yesterday for lunch at Croutons. I think I was the first redemption of the deal!

“Steve is the kind of leader who doesn’t need to diarise time to ‘walk the floor’. He knows his people, enjoys spending time with them, driving them to achieve great results and celebrate their wins. Steve is strong but empathetic and intuitive. He sees the big picture but will delve into the detail as needed. Under Steve’s leadership, we have created a high-performance culture where there is still time for fun and a sense of humour to #makelifelessboring,” Cara Amores, Head of HR for ANZ & Japan

What are the most important qualities in a teammate for your organization?

Listening to understand and empathy are two great qualities in any teammate.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

I have many good memories. One that occurred early in my career here was when I had my first leadership dinner on my 8th day at Groupon. It involved dinner, crab racing, umbrellas, and water spraying, among other incidents.

Let's build local together.

Describe your job in 10 words or less.

Provide an environment for my teams’ growth and deliver amazing results (technically 11 words, but with a 10% OD it becomes 10).

What’s your favorite local business?

A little Italian restaurant called Beppis. Awesome food, great service, and my family and I have been going there for 25 years.

Describe an unusual job you had in the past.

I was a photogrammetrist way, way back. I used to create maps from aerial photography through a calibration. I hope those maps have been updated more accurately since I created them!

Who are your biggest influences?

My kids, family, my work colleagues, and two good mates who keep it real for me.

What do your kids think you do?

My kids think all I do is talk and think about Groupon, make dad jokes, and be their taxi and mobile ATM…..

2018 in Japan: Classy darts and Grouponiversaries

2018 in Japan: Classy darts and Grouponiversaries

Ringing in 2018 with Groupon Japan

Groupon Japan invited teammates from across the country into Tokyo to ring in the new year at a classy darts bar complete with food, drinks, and work anniversary celebrations.

And a darts competition!


Groupon Japan had an amazing year in 2017
and they were ready to celebrate the new year in style! 🎉


Japan’s PR Manager, Aki, rented a classy darts bar
(we’re intrigued) with food—including pudding cups
in the shape of the Groupon ‘G’—
and an all-you-can-drink menu. 🎯


Groupon’s CEO of APAC, Steve Traplin,
was in attendance along with APAC’s Head
of HR, Cara Amores. Steve even made a speech
in Japanese to the 100 Grouponers!

Want in on the fun?


A couple regional teams from Japan
were also present to enjoy the festivities;
Grouponers from Osaka and Nagoya mingled
with folks in Tokyo.


What’s better than an all-you-can-drink
menu? Celebrating Grouponiversaries! Yes,
we call them Grouponiversaries here, which is
our Groupon-y way of saying “work anniversary”.
Four Grouponers from our Tokyo office were awarded
with the coveted green Adidas track jacket for having been
with Groupon for over two years. Congrats!


We’re excited to show off more
from Groupon Japan in 2018! Keep an eye out
on our social channels for more updates
from Tokyo! 😀

Azusa Villevieille – Merchant Payment Support Specialist in Tokyo

Azusa Villevieille – Merchant Payment Support Specialist in Tokyo


Merchant Payments Support Specialist
Tokyo, Japan
Joined: 2017

Azusa loves the international aspect of her role on the Merchant Payments team. But what’s cooler than international? Interstellar…she wants to see Groupon in space! So we do, Azusa. So. Do We.

What does Groupon’s impact on local businesses mean to you?

Our former country manager of Japan told us that Groupon can make a positive impact on small- and medium-sized merchants since they often struggle with advertising or finding new customers. These days it is very important to advertise online since it can reach so many more customers. I’m very proud that we are helping these small- and medium-size merchants because it is helping them reach their business goals. For example, there are small and local merchants such as family-owned restaurants who close, though they wish to continue. Thus, we are helping them to survive in this competitive, globalized industry.

Tell us about your job! What do you do?

I make lists of payments and holdings for APAC; every week it changes depending on the number of Groupon redemptions. It is so unique that we pay merchants every week since many other companies only pay once a month. Also, I answer questions regarding payments, such as missing payments or disputes about the payment amount. I like my job because it is very international and I can make a lot of contributions to APAC.

What’s challenging about working at Groupon?

Since Groupon is a relatively young company, things can change quickly as we learn and grow. Sometimes, there isn’t necessarily a set way to solve a problem, but it’s fun and challenging to figure these things out by yourself. It makes things interesting. You can be a pioneer here because there isn’t always a trail blazed, which allows you to try new things.

Ready to make an impact?

Who inspires you?

My coworkers Nelly Chavez and Ruben Calvo Ruiz on the Merchant Payments team. My parents also inspire me.

Where did you go to school?

I got a Master’s Degree from Institut d’administration des entreprises de Grenoble in France. My Bachelor’s Degree is from Chuo University in Japan. Also, I was an exchange student at the University of Copenhagen.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

That it is a new and developing company. Compared to my previous work at, Groupon has a lot more space to grow and people can really make an impact here.

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

I make sure our merchants are supported and paid, which is incredibly important to Groupon’s mission of growing local.

Where were you before joining Groupon?

I was working as a Customer Service Executive at and someone from Talent Acquisition at Groupon sent me a message on LinkedIn about the Merchant Payments role.

And how did you get from France to Japan anyway?

My husband got a job in Tokyo, so we moved here. I’m also originally from Tokyo, though, so why not move back!

What does a typical day look like for you?

Usually, I’m answering questions about APAC merchant payments and taking care of bank details for merchants. I also have weekly meetings with the Merchant Payments teams in Spain and the Emirates.

Describe the Tokyo office!

Our teammates here work so hard that even after our weekly Friday awards party, everyone goes back to their desks and continues working until they finish their tasks.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I like to travel inside and outside of Japan. Last short trip was to Tochigi prefecture where we created traditional Japanese dishes using a wood joinery method, which is a traditional technique using no nails.

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

I would like to work on a space shuttle because it sounds very adventurous and exciting. Then I wish we could create a Groupon to go to the moon one day!

Mario Peterson – Desktop Support Analyst in Tokyo

Mario Peterson – Desktop Support Analyst in Tokyo


Desktop Support Analyst
Tokyo, Japan
Joined: 2016

After studying both Japanese and Information Systems at Loyola, the planets aligned perfectly for Mario when he met a Grouponer at a Chicago networking event who helped him land his current role in our Tokyo office. You can find him doling out life advice to coworkers from his helpdesk perch or slaying it in karaoke during work outings.

Spill the beans: what do you do and why do you love it?

I maintain and optimize the IT environment in order to keep things running smoothly and I also implement changes for improvement. On the local level, I maintain the Japan IT environment and assist users who are experiencing issues related to hardware, software, network, occasional life counseling, and so on. On the global level, I facilitate IT communications between Global IT and Japan, run the helpdesk, and look for ways to optimize helpdesk processes. My favorite part of my role is the satisfaction that comes from solving a complex issue and successfully assisting a colleague with any issues that they may be facing. If your monitor isn’t working, your computer burst into flames, or the network crashes, I am here to help!

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on here?

The office relocation project was the most challenging and exciting thing I have had the opportunity to work on. It involved working closely with multiple global teams, strong communication between local departments and vendors, and close tracking of project constraints (i.e. deadlines, costs, and human resources). It felt great knowing that all of the planning, coordination, and work paid off as Tokyo had a successful go-live date. A bonus was that I was able to work with the Tokyo communications department in deciding the Tokyo conference rooms theme and names. After a fun brainstorming session, we decided to go with UNESCO World Heritage Sites since they are well known and serve as a daily reminder of our global impact.

What are your favorite Groupon memories?

One of my favorite Groupon memories was in the beginning of 2017 when we migrated Japan to the global network. Our incredible networking team in Chicago, a Japan-based coworker, and I spent a lot of time planning this out as to avoid any disasters and/or downtime. That meant doing the migration on Friday at midnight (JST), or Thursday morning (CST), when the office was cleared out. The thing about Japan is that the last train is usually around midnight, which meant we would be in the office until at least 5 am (if not later) depending on the migration.

In preparation for this all-nighter, I grabbed some dinner in the Shibuya area, took a quick nap at an internet café, stocked up on snacks and caffeine, and made my way to the office. The migration was a success, but we didn’t get out until around 8 am the following day; it was totally worth it though. Since it was the afternoon in Chicago, I decided to give my parents a call and felt very proud to share our accomplishment that weekend in a very slap-happy manner.

Regardless of the time of day, that was one of my favorite memories because 1) the execution was flawless; 2) my coworker and I deepened our professional and personal bonds (being the only two people in the office for ~7 hours at an irregular time of day does something to you!); and 3) it was a significant first step towards migrating our systems to Global. Overall, it was a unique experience, I learned a lot, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with our top-notch networking teams.

Another favorite memory was sometime in early 2017, local Japan IT received an alert that a chassis in our off-site server needed to be replaced. Naturally, these repairs would need to take place outside of standard working hours and preferably on the weekend in case something comes up and we need more time to repair the issue. I contacted both the vendor for repairs and vendor that housed the server to set up a maintenance and repair appointment. Due to scheduling conflicts, it ended up being on a weekday at 3 am but, that’s beside the point.

This was my first time at the data center and the security was awe-inspiring. Access lists, biometric hand-scanners, mantraps, badge readers, security cameras, and I am sure there was more in the background. After navigating through security we made it to the data rack storage area and I must say it was a very neat site. There were hundreds of rows and columns that stretched as far as the eye could see and each path was illuminated by blue LED lights and motion-sensor ceiling lights. I felt both lucky and inspired to be able to access an area like this in my first year at Groupon. Once we located the storage unit, the repair vendor got to work and my coworker and I began planning, coordinating, and scheduling the tasks that would occur over the next 6 months, which all branched from our biggest project, the Tokyo office relocation.

Who or what inspires you?

My family and best childhood friend serve as my bedrock of support and inspiration. Although we are spread out across the globe (Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Tokyo), we know that we can always count on each other to be there for one another.

Can you write a Groupon haiku?

Forever changing – Diversity is our strength — We stand as Groupon

Tell us something about you that might surprise us!

I leave it all on the floor at karaoke 😉

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

Technology is always changing and IT must continuously identify, integrate, and communicate these changes in order to remain competitive and relevant in today’s marketplace and provide employees and Grouponers the best possible experience.

What’s your proudest accomplishment here so far?

My favorite accomplishment was organizing and leading a street cleaning volunteer event at the previous Tokyo office. This enabled the Tokyo office to further contribute towards the local community and living out our Groupon values as well as build stronger relationships and communication between departments.

Have you won any awards in your time at Groupon?

Two Friday Awards! One for my part in migrating Japan’s IT environment to the global platform and one for my part in the office relocation project. It would not have been possible to complete these projects without the excellent teamwork, communication, and dedication from all teams across the board!

So you went to school in Chicago…how’d you get to Japan?!

I was a student at Loyola University Chicago studying Information Systems and Japanese whilst working part-time as a financial analyst at a small company. During my final semester, I spent quite a bit of time searching for jobs and attending networking events, which would eventually lead me to meet former Grouponer Trina Gizel. We immediately hit it off and Trina, knowing my IT background and keen interest in Japan, recommended me for the IT Helpdesk position in the Tokyo office. Following this, I had interviewed with the Tokyo IT manager and was brought aboard the month following graduation. It all happened really fast but I am glad to have taken the leap to work abroad in the Tokyo office.

Where can we find you outside of work?

Hiking, futsal, reading, karaoke, exercising, late-night talk shows; I am looking into testing out a new hobby each month beginning in 2018. The first on the list is ballroom dancing!

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

I would be an English and/or IT teacher for children. Children light up my day with their energy and provide a fresh outlook on the world, boundless creativity, and a reminder to live in the present moment.

What’s your favorite local business?

King Of System