Ariella Tenuta

Ariella Tenuta

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Roadtrip Nation

Costa Mesa, CA USA

You have to know what your core values are in terms of your personal satisfaction and happiness and look for that in the place that you work.


My road in life has taken me all over.
Growing up, competitions were a constant for me, which helped me get comfortable in front of people and to push for success. I also had a very supportive mother who gave me confidence.
I flunked out of my first year of college because I was having too much fun to go to class. I had to work hard to get back into the university and retake all my courses to salvage my GPA.
Despite being back on track in school, I got pregnant and had my daughter with 2 yrs to go. By then, I had figured out how to be a successful student and completed my bachelor's degree with honors.
After graduation, I taught English for a year on French island. Then I waitressed and took administrative jobs until I started building my accounting career, but I didn't care much for the work.
I always regretted not having gone to a top college out of laziness. So after a few years of lackluster work, I decided to go big and got my MBA from University of Chicago Booth.
I’ve since worked for great places but also some companies that were a really bad fit for me. I was distracted by things that seemed good but weren’t the most important in my own personal values
When my daughter went to college I took my gap year to travel India and SE Asia and teach yoga. A lot of people thought I was crazy to abandon money and my career, but I learned a lot on the journey
Now, I’m doing something I really love because I have found a workplace that aligns with my values. As the first CFO of Roadtrip Nation, I'm in a role where I impact our company growth and mission.
Keep following my journey


Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

I oversee all of the financial activities within the organization, as well as lead the HR function.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Problem Solving

Day to Day

Typically, I’d say half to three-quarters of my day I'm in meetings. Those are either decision-making meetings for the organization or meetings with my staff; sometimes though, they’re with outside parties. There’s definitely a lot of time spent interacting and having conversations. The rest of the time I’ll be working on the numbers. I’ll either be working on forecasts for a budget or I’ll be looking at the actual numbers that come in and see how that compares to what we expected.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

If you think you want a specific career, really take time to explore and understand what your day-to-day would look like down that path. There’s such a big difference between what you learn in school and how it applies in the real world. If you truly feel like the finance path is the path for you, you need to like numbers and you should study business. If you want to succeed in an executive role, it’s super important to develop interpersonal skills in order to build relationships and lead.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"Diverging from your career path is irresponsible (when I took extended time off to travel); you're throwing away your potential."

Challenges I Overcame

Single Parent