Our “People POS” series returns with another spotlight on a team member who helps bring Revel’s client-first mission to life. Most recently we featured Vilius, a director of software engineering based out of Revel’s operational center of excellence in Lithuania. Vilius manages a team of software development managers, many of whom work closely with Revel’s product management team to build industry-leading products.
That’s where Cathy steps in. As a seasoned product owner at Revel—more on that later—Cathy has had her hands on almost every system at the company. This level of institutional knowledge makes her an invaluable asset to the team behind the “People POS.”
Upon graduating from Princeton University with a degree in comparative religion, Cathy left the U.S. to teach English in China, and even toyed with the idea of going to law school. After returning home to northern California and watching friends enter the technology startup world, she pursued a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certificate to become a systems engineer. She quickly landed her first role post-certificate conducting quality assurance (QA) testing in Oakland, CA.
“I decided I would rather break things than fix things, which ultimately led me to a QA role,” says Cathy.
Cathy learned of Revel when she began her search for a new opportunity. At the time, countless startups were popping up in Silicon Valley. Revel stood out to her because it had real investment behind it, and she recognized that they had developed a solid product.
“When I joined, Revel was definitely a startup,” Cathy explains. “The team wasn’t quite in someone’s living room at that point, but I believe there were only 16 official employees. While it wasn’t a wildly mature company at the time, the role at Revel seemed like a really promising opportunity.”
Since joining the company nearly 10 years ago, Cathy has moved from a QA role into product management. A stint as a product manager eventually led her to her current role as a product owner. Today, she is one of the many visionaries behind the products Revel clients know and love.
There’s more to Cathy than her thriving career, of course. Each year she tries to make time for one major trip and has been to nearly 40 countries. Although the pandemic cancelled her 2020 travel plans, she hopes to visit Croatia next. When she’s not traveling, you’ll find Cathy enjoying wine tastings in Sonoma, California, and playing multiplayer games online in her free time.
Revel’s product engineering team consists of engineers, solution architects, product managers, product owners, and many other key stakeholders. Cathy, alongside her product engineering counterparts, is responsible for maintaining and enhancing Revel’s existing products, as well as bringing new products to market.
As a product owner, Cathy focuses her efforts on a specific set of products where she leverages her wealth of Revel knowledge to help inform new features and functionality.
“I’m lucky enough to still be able to work with Revel’s core teams where I get to touch almost all of our business-facing products, including the point of sale (POS) and kitchen display system (KDS),” she says.
In response to the pandemic, product owners like Cathy shifted their focus to help Revel clients swiftly adapt to changing consumer demands. Cathy shares that she’s very proud of the work she contributed to Revel’s order pickup enhancements, which help businesses continue serving customers in a contactless, safe way.
“We launched new order pickup features as part of our broader COVID-19 release. We looked at what was available in the market, and looked at how we could build the best pickup experience available for our clients—all while requiring little-to-no contact,” Cathy explains. “I think we hit the nail on the head.”
Revel’s order pickup features include easier ways to facilitate a contactless handoff of orders between merchants and customers. A dedicated queue allows merchants to easily track and manage pickup orders. Contactless communication capabilities—like SMS text via an integration with Twilio—also enable merchants to send SMS notifications about the status of the order.
When Cathy initially moved over to Revel’s product management team, the product manager role was very similar to how Revel defines product owners today. At the time, product managers focused less on market research and engaging with clients for product feedback and more on what Revel product owners focus on today: designing features.
“Some years ago, Revel added the role of product owner in addition to product managers. I found myself more comfortable on the technical and design side of the product as opposed to the strategic side, so I happily transitioned to the product owner role I’m in now,” says Cathy.
Over the years, taking on new roles within Revel’s walls has helped Cathy hone in on the qualities that make her such an asset to the company.
“In order to test things as a QA engineer, I had to describe what they should do before I could say whether they were or were not performing correctly,” she explains.
The experience of testing expected behaviors helped her realize that she enjoys understanding how Revel’s products are built. She credits her experience as a QA engineer with why she is the successful product owner she is today.
In 2021, Revel celebrated—and continues to celebrate—its 10th anniversary in business as the pioneering iPad POS platform. As Cathy approaches year 10 with Revel, she holds the title of Revel’s most tenured employee. She is also Revel’s very first product manager on staff. Both markers cement Cathy as a Revel powerhouse, making her a go-to connection for new and tenured colleagues alike.
When asked what’s kept her at Revel for so long, Cathy explains that the people are a huge driving factor, paired with her genuine interest in the products she helps bring to market.
“It’s the people, and it’s the work,” Cathy explains. “The combination of good people and good work have always outlasted any negative situation. A number of the people on my team—we’ve been working with each other for over eight years and we understand each other. I still enjoy designing solutions, listening to client needs, and trying to figure out a way to fulfill those needs.”
As Cathy approaches a decade-long career spent with Revel, she is constantly reflecting on how much positive change has taken place since she first joined Revel as a 16-employee startup.
“The difference between the early days at Revel and today is amazing. We’ve become laser focused on selectively onboarding clients that are truly the right fit for our solution, and I enjoy helping Revel evolve to fit today’s client needs,” she says.
Tenured, passionate colleagues like Cathy make the “People POS'' what it is today. We look forward to seeing what she’ll deliver for Revel clients next!