Meet the Team: Megan Toomey, Director of Product
Since joining Hotel Engine as a Director of Product in early 2022, Megan has witnessed tons of growth, become an expert on the needs of the customers she serves, and built out a powerhouse Product team that thrives on diverse ideas and open feedback.
When she’s not spending time with her two-year-old daughter Diana (better known as Dino), getting dressed up for a Lady Gaga show (she’s looking forward to her seventh Gaga concert later this year) or planning a wine-centric vacation, Megan helps guide her team in prioritizing and moving forward on the projects that will help bring the highest value to Hotel Engine customers.
Read on to learn more about Megan and what life is like for Hotel Engine’s Product team!
Tell us about your role. What does an average day look like for you?
There’s no average day at a startup. But a lot of what I do on a day-to-day basis is trying to figure out how to deliver the best possible experience for customers, as quickly as possible. I troubleshoot and support the team so they can continue to deliver quickly. The cool thing about working with a small company is that you work with everyone at the company. Not just developers and design, but also our business teams, our marketing team.
What do you love about your job?
My favorite thing is that we’re encouraged to be doers at Hotel Engine. We’re all empowered to make decisions, take risks, fail fast and try to execute as quickly as possible for our customers. At a lot of other companies I’ve worked for, you don’t have that freedom. You get stuck with a lot of analysis and reviews and trying to get sign-off.
You’ve worked for two of the world’s largest corporations. What prompted you to make the move to a smaller startup?
I wanted to be closer to a customer. My last role was really abstract, working behind the scenes, and I missed being able to anticipate and learn what a customer needs to make their experience better with your product and how to build that. As a product manager, the dream is to be able to point to something online and tell your parents, “I made that.” Hotel Engine provides that opportunity where you can have an idea and it can become a reality in just a couple of months.
What’s it like collaborating with a team who is spread across the country?
We do a good job of maintaining camaraderie so that people feel comfortable providing feedback. We find fun ways to stay engaged with each other. For example, my team has a happy hour this afternoon, and we’re doing “show and tell.” Bring out something from your closet that you think is funny, or you’re proud of, or you love, and tell the team why. It helps to maintain that connection even when you’re not together in person in the office.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far at Hotel Engine?
I’m really proud of my team. We’ve put together a really outstanding group of Product Managers. I love working with them, and I love the diverse backgrounds and set of ideas that everyone brings. Since I joined, we have grown from one PM to five. And we take the hiring process really seriously here since we want to make sure we’re maintaining our culture and being true to our DNA.
Tell us about you personally. What are some of your hobbies and interests?
My interests and hobbies used to be cycling, baking, live music and live sports. Now I have a two-year-old, so it’s a lot more Peloton, Sesame Street and the park. Priorities have changed since having a daughter, but I am grateful to work at a place where I have work-life balance and I can put her to bed every night. She’s the best, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s her name?
Diana. But she has no idea her name is Diana, she solely goes by Dino, like dinosaur.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I have seen Lady Gaga in concert live six times. I’m going to see her for a seventh time this September in San Francisco. I’m a very proud Little Monster, and I cannot wait to go see her again. I have gotten dressed up to see her several times. Nothing too crazy, like no meat dresses.
What is your favorite travel destination?
Any and all wine country. My husband and I, several years ago, started to learn more about wine and have traveled all over Washington and California, and even road tripped through France for two weeks doing wine tours. Any chance I have to get out in the vines, try new wines and learn about it, I’m there for it.
Cara Meglio is a Copywriter at Hotel Engine. She assists with content creation, researching and writing articles to help businesses improve their travel experience and discover helpful solutions with Hotel Engine. Cara has a passion for travel of all types. Based in Denver, CO, Cara loves exploring the Mountain West as well as international destinations.