Our Marketing Guru Used to Travel the World as a Loadmaster in the Air Force

by Michelle Young June 18, 2019

Michelle Young in Air Force

Hi, I'm Michelle and I am the marketing coordinator at KNOW Foods. I feel super lucky to have found this job. Well, to be honest, I feel super lucky that this job sort of found me.  

Until recently, I was working in the marketing department of a B2B SaaS company. It was my first marketing job and I really loved it, at first. I was having fun coming up with creative ways to attract customers but, after 3 years, I started running out of steam and feeling like I wasn’t making a difference or doing anything of real importance. I think it stemmed from something a bit deeper than not feeling passionate about the product/service we sold. 

In conjunction with my civilian career, I was also serving in the Air Force Reserve as a C-130 loadmaster. It was a super cool job, loading and unloading airplanes, airdropping troops, supplies and vehicles, aeromedical evacuations — all kinds of awesome things, including traveling to exotic and desolate places around the world. However, a little more than two years ago, after serving over 22 years, I made the tough decision to retire. I wanted to spend more time with my husband and dog, Maisy. I knew I’d miss that life but didn’t really anticipate how leaving that job would make me feel a bit empty, career-wise. I felt like I needed to do something important, that made a difference and I didn’t think a marketing career was it.  

It was hard looking for a job when I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Almost out of the blue, my friend Lauren called me and asked me to be a part of her marketing team. And oh, could I start on Monday? (Did I mention this call was made on Easter Sunday?)

She and I had talked a few months prior and I knew a bit about KNOW Foods, but not much. But I did know Lauren, who is smart, fun and awesome. How so you ask? She organized a surprise flash mob with the bridesmaids, groomsmen and guests at my wedding as a gift. Yes, that kind of fun and awesome. So, yeah, getting to work with her seemed like a great idea.

I started that Monday.

I was expecting to work in the marketing department for a company that sold healthy, whole foods. I could do that. What I wasn’t expecting was how this job would start filling that hole the military left.

I feel that I am doing something important. I am working with people who believe in what they do, who are trying to make a difference by improving the lives of others. Our team is passionate and truly believes in our mission. They (I mean “we”) hear from our customers daily that our grain-free food has improved, or in some cases saved, the lives of their children living with this sensitivity or that disease. 

The thought process in the “war room” (named before I came along) isn’t how we can make more money, it’s how we can improve our products. How we can improve the eating habits and lives of our current and potential customers. How we can do better.

So, while I am not deploying for months on end in a C-130 filled with soldiers and supplies halfway around the word with my crew anymore, I once again feel like I am doing something important. 

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