This spotlight features Adam Plachta, who recently joined NeuroNav as Director of Customer Success!
Can you tell us about your education and background?
I graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a bachelor's in Business Administration. I started working as a recruiter at a staffing agency, recruiting people in the biotech and pharmaceutical space. The job wasn’t for me, but the subject matter was inspiring because the companies that we were working with were doing things like trying to cure cancer, creating new biofuels to release us from using fossil fuels, or doing DNA analysis to help people understand themselves and their health better. I worked as a recruiter for a few more years before taking the opportunity to move into Customer Success at a company called Greenhouse—a software built to help companies make better, more inclusive hires. I then went to an insurance technology company called Newfront, and tried to bring customer success experience to corporate insurance. I got laid off from there in April of 2020 and spent about a year with my now 19 month old son. Getting to spend so much time with him was really a silver lining of the pandemic and getting laid off.
What drew you to Customer Success at NeuroNav?
When I was working at Greenhouse, I was part of building a customer success program. The company grew from around 100 employees to 400+. Part of what drew me to NeuroNav was wanting to take all the great practices and learnings from Greenhouse and apply them to something new. I knew I wanted to work at a startup—that was part of what drew me here.
I also knew that I wanted to find something mission-driven. My cousin has Down syndrome and my sister-in-law has cerebral palsy so NeuroNav’s mission really spoke to me from the first conversation. My cousin Tim ran a restaurant called Tim's Place in Albuquerque. He goes around the country and gives motivational speeches. He leads a really incredible life, in part because he and his parents were able to focus on his goals in creating a life he wanted to live. He got to be really creative—he has led this really amazing life and has impacted tons of people. So I see what self-determination can do for you and others.
Another side of it is just trying to create a better structure and service experience for people, which primarily came from my sister-in-law's perspective. She needs 24 hour care and my in-laws have spent years looking for a place suitable for her for when they are unable to care for her physically. So I see the need for the really great services, support, communication, and structure that we're trying to provide for our families and our clients. If we can help a parent know that if anything happens to them, that their child will stay safe and cared for, that's such a huge relief to provide to somebody.
What have you enjoyed about NeuroNav so far?
Working with the clients, meeting people that we had talked about in the interview process, and doing person-centered planning parties with clients and their families has been so much fun. There are some hard moments of people feeling lost and unheard, but with everyone focused on the future and making things better, it's just been really wonderful overall.
The culture of the company has also been fantastic. Everyone is so eager to help everyone else out. People are also eager to put processes in place and build things for the future, for example, so that future Navigators have an easier time navigating the role internally.
What are some of your goals?
With the other Navigators, I want to create a support infrastructure that allows our team to focus almost entirely on our clients. My goal is for each of our clients to come away saying “that was the best service experience I've ever had.”
I want to be part of this group of people who help clients lead happy and healthy lives. I want to help NeuroNav grow into a company that can positively impact a lot more people across the country in a wide variety of ways.
Finally, part of my motivation is to create a really fantastic, diverse and inclusive place to work. I hope that everybody on the team, whether they stay here or not, comes away thinking that this is the best, most inclusive place they've ever worked.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Most of my free time involves hanging out with my wife and 19 month old son. I also like to golf, enjoy building things, and working on my old car—a 1969 Pontiac Firebird.