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The department-store-cafe-caesar-salad to head-of-an-integration-team-at-a-software-startup pipeline seems rare, but for Michael Drew, it was the only thing that made sense. 

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Michael started out as most late teens do, not passionate about the status quo. He attempted college for a couple of years but switched career paths (to his parents’ absolute delight), and tried his hand in the kitchen. Michael was no stranger to the restaurant industry though, as he started working there at the ripe age of 14 and proudly wears the badge of having held every position at some point in time.

Michael grew up in Ohio, and after graduating high school headed off to the crown jewel of the land of the Buckeyes. He went through the motions of being a college kid, took classes that interested him, some that didn’t, and socialized as a college boy does. Once he reached his junior year, something in him shifted. He felt that school was not fulfilling him the way that it should for the price tag attached to it. He decided to take his talents elsewhere and started working in a kitchen. He loved it. 

Michael learned how to get the perfect medium rare on a steak but also the picked up the people skills he seemed to be missing in the classroom. The kitchen teaches you many unspoken lessons, technical and social alike. Michael worked his way through all different positions, in all different kinds of restaurants. He eventually became a manager where he really found himself. 

Michael continued with restaurants for years, but something in 2020 happened (do I even need to name it?) that caused him to sadly lose his job. With no end in sight, he knew he had to think fast. He had a new wife and a baby, with no clear plan to support them. So as any rational, seasoned chef would, he took a coding boot camp. 

Michael started an intense, 14-week program. He learned to develop database-backed web applications as well as gained many other technical development skills. 

After graduating, he started looking for a new role. His wife also was in the job market so the two of them switched back and forth between their LinkedIn accounts on their shared family computer. One day, his wife, Katie, saw a job posting during her daily LinkedIn scroll that seemed like a perfect match. So, as any proactive potential candidate would, she messaged the CEO. What Katie failed to do was check whose account she was messaging from. 

After the message was sent to our CEO, Bo Davis, Katie realized she accidentally sent it from Michael’s LinkedIn account. Whether it was fate, or a happy accident, Michael and Bo started chatting. Michael was able to share that he had an extremely unique background in both restaurants and development, so he would be perfect to streamline the integration team. He brought the development team insight no one else had from working and operating a restaurant. Katie was also hired, thankfully, onto the onboarding team. 

Michael was brought onto the MarginEdge team as a Technical Support Engineer in April 2021. Since he started at MarginEdge, he has grown and excelled in the role, being promoted to Software Development Manager in November 2022. 

Michael now is in charge of a diverse team, some based in the States and another in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He leads our software integrations, meaning any point of sales system, accounting system, etc. This equates to about 65-70 different integrations, which is no small feat by any means. He adores managing his team and uplifting his people. Early in his career, he had managers and role models that really laid the foundation for him, and he wants to be that as well for his team. 

While successful, his career transition was not a piece of cake. Michael will be the first to admit that it was pretty challenging moving from such a cutthroat, high-intensity environment like a kitchen. “The imposter syndrome is real,” Michael says. Having to strategically think about tasks and maybe even walking away from something for the time being was not something he was used to. This took some restructuring and learning to master. 

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While his work life is very fruitful, it doesn’t slow down at home thanks to his number one guy, his 3-year-old son, Jackson. Jackson is an adorable, vibrant little guy and a MarginEdge celebrity in himself. When not chasing after Jackson, Michael loves enjoying a meal, his favorite actually not even being from the U.S. (the reigning title goes to a steak restaurant in Florence, Italy), and likes messing around on ChatGPT. Some of his finest work is this insane-looking hot dog made of mashed potatoes, fruity pebbles, and cheese. Some might call it an AI delicacy.




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