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Spotlight on Jessica Lewis: Building our finance organization from the ground up

November 08, 2023
By Gus Torrey
Categories Life at Spotnana

Spotnana VP of Finance Jessica Lewis’ mission to build and maintain the finance organization of a generational company like Spotnana is one of the most thrilling challenges of her career.

Jessica started her career in public accounting working at Ernst and Young. She then joined Concur, where she held a number of roles in financial reporting, revenue accounting, and finance during a period of high growth. Sometime after Concur was acquired by SAP, she received a call from Spotnana Executive Chairman Steve Singh, who was looking for a finance leader to help Spotnana grow in the wake of substantial funding rounds.

Jessica, inspired by the style and vision of Spotnana leadership and Founder and CEO Sarosh Waghmar, was thrilled to join our executive team.

Forging a personal connection with Spotnana’s mission and vision

During Jessica’s early conversations with Spotnana Founder and CEO Sarosh Waghmar, it was clear that their working relationship would not hinge on the traditional employer-employee dynamic.

Spotnana VP of Finance Jessica Lewis

VP of Finance Jessica Lewis

“Sarosh is a very humble leader, and it was obvious from the beginning that we would operate as partners,” said Jessica. “He spent the majority of our one-on-one meetings explaining the ‘why’ behind the Spotnana vision as well as the more complex elements of travel so that I could better understand.”

Spotnana was built to challenge the status quo of broken travel systems by powering unparalleled experiences for business travelers. During Jessica’s first days at Spotnana, she took a firsthand look at the industry’s underlying architecture and developed a deep appreciation for our mission to modernize travel’s infrastructure.

“I thought I understood quite a bit about corporate travel until I joined Spotnana,” said Jessica. “I discovered that there was a lot to learn about building and facilitating the perfect traveler experience.”

Laying the groundwork for financial success

Jessica, our first finance leader, devoted her initial year at Spotnana to strengthening our finance organization’s base. 

“Last year, I was focused on building out structure and processes as well as putting the right systems in place,” said Jessica. “This year, we are working through an ERP reimplementation, which is a massive undertaking from a finance perspective.”

In June, we announced our Travel-as-a-Service platform’s global partnership capabilities; in August, we scaled our R&D teams as part of our Hiring Blitz campaign. Given this year’s exciting developments, Jessica’s focus has shifted to meeting the demands of our continued growth. “We are at an inflection point, and it’s important to make sure that we adequately support the business as we scale,” said Jessica. “We have been thoughtful with our roadmap so that we’re fully ready for enterprises with thousands of business travelers based around the world.”

Ultimately, Jessica plans to put Spotnana on the long-term track to becoming a publicly traded company. This will require gradual execution that mirrors our Founder and CEO’s views on how we can reach our ultimate destination.

“While this may be years away, there are so many steps that we need to take together to get ready for that,” she said. “It’s all about running a purposeful marathon so that we can avoid a demanding sprint.”

Understanding travel as a human emotion

Jessica appreciates each opportunity to build deeper relationships with her colleagues in person in New York City, Jaipur, and other parts of the world.

“I believe that there is absolutely no substitute for in-person meetings,” said Jessica. “It’s not just about better whiteboarding and roadmapping sessions; it’s really about the coffee breaks, meals, and team-building excursions where you can really get to know someone.”

Above all, Spotnana champions the belief that travel is essential to business and every relationship we have. For Jessica, travel is a crucial component of how we continue to grow and move forward as a company.

“People here take the time to understand and connect with each other across distances and differences, even when they’re working at a 100-mile-per-hour pace.  We are able to ground ourselves by hosting team and company offsites so that Spotters can all devote the necessary time to have intentional moments of connection,” said Jessica.  

“It’s proof that travel is a human emotion.”