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Meet Submittable: Interview with Caitlin Stainken, VIP Accounts Manager


In our latest edition of our Meet Submittable series, we talk to Caitlin from our VIP Accounts team.


Caitlin Stainken

Tell us a little about yourself, Caitlin.

Here are three things:

1. In high school, I won the Texas State Science Fair for a project about a flesh-eating parasite called Leishmania.

2. I’m an alumnus of the Chicago Neo-Futurists, an experimental performance group with the longest continuously running show in Chicago, “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.”

3. I’m having a baby this August.

What do you do at Submittable?

I’m the new VIP Accounts Manager.

How did you come to work at Submittable?

I heard (our CEO) Michael FitzGerald speak on a panel discussion a few years ago and he struck me as a very interesting person. I’d used Submittable as a writer, but hearing him talk made me curious about the company. He said Submittable hires people with unusual backgrounds, which gave me hope that I had a shot here. He was not kidding. I think I was actually hired and valued because of my experience in fiction writing and theater. I can’t believe Submittable is based in Missoula. I would move across the country to work here, but I’m glad I don’t have to.

What brought you to Montana?

In Chicago, I had a day job as a legal assistant to a totally blind federal prosecutor. My boss was an incredible human, but I was not cut out to work in law. My husband convinced me to quit, and we spent an idyllic summer in Montana camping, hiking, and watching cable in his parent’s sweet, sweet Great Falls basement. A year later I got into the MFA program at the University of Montana, and we moved here permanently.

What do you do in your free time?

I love to ferment: sourdough, pickles, kombucha, natural sodas, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, wine…does a baby count? He or she is kind of brewing. I also love to garden, read, and write. I like all the slow, crunchy, homesteady things.

Now that you’re eating for two, what’s your favorite meal or food?

Pasta, and anything fermented. But I’ve also been very drawn to canned fruits and vegetables, especially peaches, peas, and Chef Boyardee products. And I’ve been drinking an amazing amount of whole milk. Like a gallon a week, all by myself.  I can’t believe how good milk is.

What’s your favorite place to visit in Montana?

We recently bought a Sleep Number bed, and it’s one of my top 10 favorite places right now. My number is 35. Also, Louise Lake, in the Tobacco Root Mountains.

When I first met you all I could think was: Mary Katherine Gallagher (aka actress Molly Shannon from SNL).

People mistake me for Mary Katherine Gallagher – All. The. Time. It used to happen more, which is weird because I feel like I look more like her the older I get. Maybe I used to do more armpit touching/sniffing? More extreme victory lunges? I definitely wore shorter skirts hiked up on these pale ass legs of mine. Something.

Caitlin Stainken as Molly Shannon

Caitlin channeling Molly Shannon

Any books you’re reading or have recently read that you’d like to recommend?

A Manual for Nothing, by my favorite writer Jessica Anne. It’s her first novel, and the finalist for the 2015 Noemi Press Book Award. It doesn’t go to print until Spring 2017, but I already know it’s my favorite.

What’s your favorite website(s) to follow?

I like to watch teenage girls do their makeup on YouTube. The videos are so intimate, and it’s fascinating to watch a beautiful young girl sitting in her bedroom, showing you all her special tools, while reconstructing herself into a totally different beautiful young girl. I especially love a bold eyebrow routine.

Do you have any projects coming up, at Submittable or outside of Submittable, that you’re excited to work on?

Lately we’ve been getting more and more large clients with complex needs. These clients need personalized attention, and greater access to development and support. The VIP Account Manager position was created to make sure the transition to Submittable is smooth, organized, and efficient. My job is essentially to ensure that we provide a great experience from day one. I’m very excited to be taking on this role.

This May, I’ll be writing and performing for “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind,” for a few weekends in Chicago. I can’t wait to be back onstage after a few years off.

And then in August, this baby is coming. It’s a big year for work, art, AND family! I’m sort of awestruck by all of it, and so grateful that Submittable supports employees as real people with complex lives.


Thanks, Caitlin. We can’t wait to meet your Mini-Me!