Where Would Route Be Without Michaela?
There are people you cross paths in life with and never forget—and we’re lucky enough to have one of those very people on our squad at Route.
Michaela Bond is irresistibly positive, kind, and generous in her words, thoughts, and talents. And as our Communications Manager around here, it’s no surprise to anyone that a conversation with her is an instant day-brightener.
Not long ago, Route was a small startup, and in inherently startup fashion, everyone wore a few different hats. Michaela was one of those people who was unafraid of the road ahead, dipped into every project she could get her hands on, and helped the team grow while helping millions of people along the way. This Route Shout-out goes to the one and only Michaela!
What’s up, Michaela?
I’m a native Texan but a proud transplant, calling Utah home for 9 years now. Growing up in the hot and humid lands of North Texas, I have always enjoyed sunshine, good food, and great company.
I’m currently in grad school, so I don’t always have downtime. When I do have a few spare moments to myself, you’ll find me tending to my garden, hiking with my two dogs, or baking. Once I graduate next year, I plan to return to reading fiction and inventing new pie recipes.
I thrive off human connection, and my friends often roll their eyes at me when I connect with strangers during an outing. I have really stellar people in my corner that make every day an adventure, and I’m fortunate to learn and grow beside them in this life.
What Drew You to Route?
After spending awhile in the foreign exchange side of banking, I was ready to transfer my hard and soft skills to a company that would value me as much as I valued it. I applied and interviewed for a support role, and I joined Route in 2019 as the second support specialist on the team.
The purpose and energy that Route gave me felt natural and exciting, and I quickly plugged into every initiative I could. I worked closely with the Customer Success team, Implementation, Sales, and eventually Product where I discovered my love for product marketing, storytelling, and technical operations. I’m very fortunate that I joined the Route empire early on, and have scaled with our business!
The number one thing I’m most grateful for here at Route, and the thing that still catches my eye, is the unmatched and unwavering dedication my mentors and stakeholders have toward my success. Mike Moreno, our co-founder, is definitely someone I consider to be a mentor and leader. He has believed in li’l ol’ me from day one, and he’s taught me pivotal lessons as we’ve worked together on two teams.
What Pushed You Past the Tipping Point?
I knew I needed to transition my career to the startup world at Route when every employee I talked to (only 40 back then) had the same zeal and passion for life that I did. At Route, we all know that our combined talents, intellectual dexterity, and go-getter attitudes will foster the best environment to get stuff done and do it well. I love the energy that propels projects across the finish line. I also value the autonomy and freedom my leaders entrust me with, it feels so good to not be micromanaged!
What’s Been Most Surprising Here?
I’ve been constantly surprised by the ways in which Route reaches out to employees, celebrates us, and gives us space to showcase our lives, careers, and hobbies. I feel like Route believes in everyone, no matter their background, interests, or walk of life.
Route has become an integral part of my career development, as I’m constantly provided with opportunities that stretch me and keep me dreaming bigger.
What’s Been Your Favorite Project?
One project that I’ve loved facilitating is the Route Insiders program. We invite merchants to sign up for this program wherein they have unique opportunities to jump on calls with our Product Managers. During the calls, we walk through new product releases, experience improvements, and upcoming changes. We gain real-time insights and feedback concerning the merchant and consumer experiences, we educate ourselves on industry pain points, and we ultimately solidify our partnerships with the merchants that make the Route dream a reality!
What’s Your Team and Culture Like?
Although very few of the OG support reps are still with us, I still hold a special place in my heart for the individuals I started at Route with. My current team dynamic is very diverse; in what we do on a daily basis, the education we have, and our taste in music. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Sometimes being the only woman on the team comes with its challenges, but I consider myself fortunate to interact with the fellas on my team each day.
The culture at Route comprises the smiles that welcome you when you walk in the office, the company meetings where excitement fills the room, the after-hours activities that cultivate a spirit of camaraderie, and the whiteboards that host sessions of ideation and creation for our company’s future. It feels cheesy to say we’re a family, but we sure do look out for one another and encourage each other to be better every day.
Celebration is by far my favorite Route value! I remember when I first joined Route, I held the title of “most claims solved,” I attended merchant meetings to ensure customer satisfaction was up to par, and I would pitch Route to any online merchant I came in contact with.
One day, our CRO Charlie used a bright dry erase marker to write on a board: “Michaela Wins.” It was a small gesture, but one that kept me motivated to participate in all pockets of the company. After my first holiday season with Route, the CS department nominated me as employee of the year, and I held back tears as they presented a slideshow with all of the written affirmations from my colleagues. Even now, almost 2 years later, my manager takes every chance he has to call out my name in meetings and highlight my efforts.
I’ve felt thoroughly celebrated here at Route, and in turn I’ve come to love celebrating those around me. At least once a week, I message individuals to congratulate them on a successful task, or drop a line to someone’s manager to boast about how much I cherish the people on their team. Celebrating comes naturally here at Route; it’s the focal point of everything we do!Get on board with Michaela