We are thrilled to welcome our new Chief Customer Officer, Paula Sobb, to the iN2L + LifeLoop team! We are confident that she will be a major asset to our leadership team as we continue on this exciting growth trajectory that is expanding our impact within the senior living industry.
Paula brings over 20 years of experience working directly with customers and more than 10 years in customer success roles in the technology industry. In this blog, Paula shares more about herself, her experience, and her passion for the iN2L + LifeLoop mission.
Tell us about your education and career journey.
I grew up in a small town in Ohio and attended parochial schools. As a result, I was introduced to a small Jesuit college called Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL. Spring Hill had just started a lady’s golf team and since I played in high school, they offered me a spot as a walk-on. I jumped at the opportunity to leave the snow behind, play golf every day, and procure a great education in the process. Just like that, I was off and running, 900 miles from home. I later transferred to Louisiana State University and pursued a degree in Mass Communications with a focus on Public Relations and Marketing. Reading, writing, and communicating have always been my strongest assets and what I enjoy doing! Lucky for me, they have served me extraordinarily well throughout my career in customer-facing roles. My 10+ years in the customer success industry have helped me hone strong communication skills that allow me to effectively connect with a wide array of people across all industries and around the globe, which is my passion.
If I think back, my CS journey started in my youth. My mom was an entrepreneur and owned franchises. As early as 14 years old, I was helping her in the business and talking and working with customers. I saw firsthand the power of putting your customers first, watching as she built a loyal customer base for 30 years by delivering value and exceptional service to her clients. I started my actual career in medical sales right out of college and later moved into technology where I found my first “customer success” role. Back in 2005, it was called account management, not customer success and it was a new concept. Ganne Howard, the VP of Client Success I worked for, was a decade ahead of her time and a visionary of client success. Her passion for customer experience and mentoring her team changed my career goals and set me on a course to discover a career path I fell in love with, Customer Success. Later, I took a brief corporate hiatus to have a family, pursuing my entrepreneurial spirit during that time.
When I came back to corporate work, customer success as a profession was taking off like a rocketship with SaaS companies. I jumped right back in and was absolutely amazed at how much this role had transformed in only five short years. The conversation had shifted from account management to how critical CS is in driving adoption, value, and growth for customers. Customer success was now helping boost stronger company valuations. I threw all my skill and passion into being the best CSM I could be. Skilled CSMs were highly sought after as the profession was developing, and I soon found myself at a Silicon Valley SaaS start-up running a team of Customer Success Managers. We grew our ARR from $10M to $55M during my tenure. A few years later, I was approached by a global technology company to run customer success. During my two and half years there, the company grew from $800M to $1.8B in revenue and I had the opportunity to launch customer onboarding, customer success, and operations teams. We grew and transformed the team and our customers’ experience during more than six M&A events.
What I loved most was being able to bring a new vision of customer experience to a company that was unfamiliar with the strategies and best practices of CS. I’m incredibly passionate about all things customer success. I stay actively involved in the CS community through peer and advisory groups. I enjoy mentoring others on their CS journey, whether it’s their first CSM job, their first CS leadership role, or they’re just looking for ideas on how to solve challenges. I believe in mastering your craft and I aim to achieve that every day I step into my office.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to travel and try to never vacation in the same place twice so I can see as many new places as possible! I’ve never been to Omaha, Nebraska so I’m super excited to get out to meet our teams there and in our Denver location. On a long weekend or holiday, I enjoy relaxing at the lake or the beach, looking for nature’s treasures along the shores, fishing with my son, and watching my daughter behind the boat on her wakeboard. Time with family and friends is always precious and valued. I believe the best gift you can give to your loved ones is precious memories made together, having fun, and experiencing new places and cultures. Both of my kids play lacrosse, and we have dedicated a lot of our free time over the years to traveling with our teams and having fun on the field. I really like cars – old, new, fast, and slow, and I am always amazed at the technology and innovation that they represent. I wish I had time for golf, but plan to make it my go-to activity upon retirement.
What are you most excited about in your new role as iN2L + LifeLoop’s CCO?
I’m super excited to be joining such a passionate team of industry-leading professionals that understand the importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving value for our customers. When talking with Navin and the Vista team, I knew immediately that customer obsession was going to be at the forefront of all we do. For a CS leader, that is the ideal starting point. Everything else follows when customers come first. I can’t wait to meet our customers so I can bring their perspective back to the company and continually strive to deliver value for them.
How do you align with our mission?
I was immediately moved by iN2L + LifeLoop’s mission to provide senior living communities with technology that promotes healthy aging. Being part of a technology company that’s having such a positive impact on the lives of the people that our country and communities were built on makes me excited to come to work every day. I’m a single mom, and without the unwavering and dedicated support of my parents, I would not have made it to where I am today. I would like to think my contributions here at iN2L + LifeLoop will potentially make their lives and the lives of their friends and family more enriching someday. My dad served in the military as a Marine, and I can’t help but think of all the brave people that have served our country and are now living in a senior community. They deserve to have the most fulfilling senior life available to them. I want to embrace every opportunity I can to leave things better than we found them for generations before us and for the generations after us. Being part of the iN2L + LifeLoop team gives me that opportunity. I can’t think of a better place to continue my personal and professional mission than with iN2L + LifeLoop!