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Spotlight on Michelle Lewis: Ushering Travel into the Modern Era

June 23, 2023
By Gus Torrey
Categories Life at Spotnana

Michelle Lewis is Spotnana’s Director of Travel Operations under Spotnana VP of Travel Operations Bill Brindle. She oversees four teams: Customer Experience, Seat 1A, Testing, and Training. It is her responsibility to ensure that new features from our Product and Engineering teams are tested and trained in order to deliver the best customer experience.

Michelle refined her travel support skills with an American Airlines Admirals Club internship and an education at Pacific Trade Academy in San Jose, California. Prior to Spotnana, she held roles at Diplomat Tours, Global Star Travel, Casto Travel, Mezi, and Navan. At Mezi, Michelle created the Marco app. At Casto Travel, she served concierge clients at the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, and Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday; at Global Star Travel, she coordinated travel for numerous Silicon Valley-based corporations, Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics, and Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes.

Applying deep travel industry expertise

Director of Travel Operations Michelle Lewis

Director of Travel Operations Michelle Lewis

While Michelle has enjoyed each chapter of her career journey, she realized that corporate travel, supported by antiquated infrastructure, needed fundamental change. When she joined Spotnana, she seized the opportunity to help usher the industry into the modern era. Her own vision of modern corporate travel, with simplicity and superior service at its core, aligned with those of Spotnana Founder and CEO Sarosh Waghmar.

“I have firsthand experience with travel’s pain points, whether it’s being stuck at an airport, losing luggage, having to cancel trips, or attempting to exchange tickets that can’t be exchanged,” said Michelle. “That’s why I was attracted to Sarosh’s vision for reinventing an old industry and catalyzing a new era of travel. His vision aligned with what I ultimately wanted to see.”

Recognizing Michelle’s travel industry expertise, our Sales and Customer Success teams often ask her to join product demos. She uses her deep understanding of travel’s architecture to offer crucial context for potential customers and partners.

As she works regularly with Spotters from other industries and departments, she finds that they are quick to work with unfamiliar concepts and create features that directly address persisting travel pain points.

“I am amazed at how knowledgeable our Product and Engineering team members are, given that they generally come from industries outside of travel,” said Michelle. “They created superior exchange and miscellaneous charge order (MCO) features with what I mapped out for them in a single whiteboarding session.”

Envisioning a traveler-first future

Part of what drew Michelle to Spotnana was her belief that company leadership and the product are well-equipped to tackle the future of travel booking, content distribution, and servicing. One of Spotnana’s major strengths lies in what it can offer to Travel Management Company partners, large and small.

“I think we have found the proverbial golden goose when it comes to what we can provide to potential partners,” said Michelle. “Where can the agencies of the world go for major airline NDC connections, an open platform that can integrate with favorite solutions, tools, and new technologies?”

As Spotnana continues to build for the whole industry, she believes that our Travel-as-a-Service platform’s capabilities can bring the best personalized service to TMC partners and empower them to immediately deliver a seamless experience to clients around the world.

“Given what I have witnessed during my years of supporting travel, I would encourage anyone to use our Travel-as-a-Service platform,” said Michelle. “You can use our technology to grow your businesses, access modern support tools through our Agent Desktop, and immediately access a global platform without investing considerable resources into building something on your own.”

Belonging to one global, supportive family of Spotters

Michelle with Spotnana Founder and CEO Sarosh Waghmar

Michelle with Spotnana Founder and CEO Sarosh Waghmar

Michelle has found that Spotnana’s strength is rooted in close cross-functional relationships. She loves that problem solving with her colleagues in India is powered by light-hearted fun and a sense of kinship.

“The collaborative camaraderie between Spotnana teams is unbelievable and something that I have never experienced before,” said Michelle. “I enjoy banter and jokes as well as brainstorms with my colleagues around the world as we find what works and doesn’t work.”

Michelle discovered that Spotnana camaraderie even transcended work during a difficult period of her life.

“Last fall, I experienced a tragedy which threw my life upside down,” said Michelle.

When tragedy struck, Spotters answered the call to support their colleague. As many came forward with offerings of love, prayers, empathetic conversations, and Uber Eats meals, she discovered that the company that she joined only two years ago had become her extended family.

“Sarosh, Bill, Shikhar and all of the Spotters have been more than just work colleagues to me,” said Michelle. “They have been an extended family who have stepped up to support me during these last six months of hardship.

“It takes a special company to go above and beyond when horrific events occur in your life. Spotnana did that for me, and then some.”