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Meet Submittable: Interview with Natalie Bender, Customer Success


In our latest edition of our Meet Submittable series, we talk to Natalie from our customer success team.

Natalie Bender

Natalie, our customer success wizard

Tell us a little about yourself.

I entered the tech world 20 years ago and have been so fortunate to find and keep work in Montana.

What was the first tech company you worked for in Montana and what was your job there?

CommNet – one of Missoula’s first cellular companies. I trained groups of people to use their cellular phones. I was part of CommNet’s World Wide Web task force. We met monthly to discuss strategies on how to use new technology like THE INTERNET!

What do you do at Submittable?

I am part of Submittable’s customer success team. I spend my days helping customers from all over the country (and the world!) utilize the Submittable software.

How did you come to work at Submittable?

I’ve known the founders forever. I met Michael, our CEO, in 2000 while working at the same software development company. John and Bruce (our CTO and CFO) were also part of that team along with a few other Submittable employees. It was awesome to sit back and watch these kids that I practically grew up with build something so amazing. I jumped at the invitation to join the team two years ago.

How long have you lived in Montana? 

I’m a native Montanan, born in Billings and raised in Missoula. I reside now in the Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula.

What do you do in your free time?

Painting of sunset by Natalie Bender

Florence Sunset, by Natalie Bender

At this point, my life revolves around my kids, and I’m loving every minute of it. Between my children’s academics, sports, and other activities, I keep insanely busy. I love to cook and make it a point, despite the craziness, to always make a nice meal every day so we can sit down to dinner as a family. It’s become one of my favorite parts of the day. I was an artist in my past life and occasionally I find the time to pull out a canvas and my nearly dried out paints.

Your family is so lucky to have a disciplined chef in the house! Do you have any fun meal traditions, like breakfast for dinner, or green French toast on Christmas, etc.?

No, but green French toast is a great idea. Thanks! During dinner every night we do “favorite part of the day,” where we go around the table and tell one another our favorite part of the day.

When you do find the time to paint? What subjects are you drawn to?

Since I’m so short on time these days, I tend to do a lot of landscapes…it’s easy to slap some paint on a canvas and have it look like something when I’m done. I also do a lot of homemade gifts, customized “welcome” signs, family names, signs for kids’ rooms. I also have a new set of watercolors that my daughter and I love to play with. She’s already better than me!

What’s your favorite meal or food?

My family likes to hunt and fish so I have a freezer full of elk and deer. Nothing beats salmon or a steak on the BBQ with a fresh garden salad.

Do you get out there to hunt and fish, too?  

I will fish occasionally, but I leave hunting to the others. This year my son has his apprentice hunting license and a turkey tag.

What’s your favorite place to visit in Montana?

We spend our weekends at Flathead Lake every summer. It’s the best nearby getaway. I love packing a picnic and spending the day on the boat. It’s such a huge body of water that you can pick a new destination every day. Wild Horse Island is my absolute fave.

Natalie Bender family

Natalie and her family on Flathead Lake

What’s your secret talent/superpower?

Patience. I am a great listener and teacher.

Do you have any projects coming up that you’re excited to work on?

I’ve been saving wine corks since college and am looking forward to doing something creative with them. My husband jokes that I have so many I could build a loveseat. I am thinking a backsplash for my kitchen or a piece of outdoor furniture.