Director of Customer Success at StellarWP, Amanda Gorman, on collaboration, connection, and what customer success means to her.
Amanda Gorman was born and raised in Rochester, New York, where she still lives, raising her three-year-old son and fifteen-year-old nephew with her husband. She loves spending as much time as possible outside, preferably visiting a body of water. “I love slowing down, reading, moving my body, and playing with my son,” she says.
Entrepreneurship was a big part of Gorman’s childhood. “My parents are ambitious, hard-working people with big dreams. They’ve created a beautiful life from pretty desperate times when they raised my brother and me,” she says. When she was growing up, her parents owned three businesses at once: A restaurant, bar, and golf course. “I learned a lot of customer service skills back then, which led me down my path towards where I am now,” she says.
She has now worked in tech for just over five years. “My first job was working at my mom’s law firm as an assistant-type, basically doing filing and odd jobs,” she says. “I eventually climbed the ladder there throughout my teens and early twenties to land a part-time position as a paralegal managing hundreds of house closings each week.”
While at the law firm, Gorman was learning WordPress and how to build websites. “I had a deep desire to get into the tech world, specifically the WordPress world, as my mentor and friend, Michelle Frechette, taught me the ways of WordPress when I was attempting to use Adobe Muse to build my first website for my parent’s restaurant,” she says.
Then, after years of planning to start her own agency, an opportunity arose when Michelle asked her to apply to be a Customer Success Manager for GiveWP. “Five years later, Michelle outgrew her position as Director of Customer Success to do what she loves at Liquid Web, and I took over her role as Director!”
Now, Gorman is Director of Customer Success at StellarWP. “My role is to be a champion for our customers, their voice,” she says. “Listening and communication are crucial to my daily work, specifically listening to our customers for what they say and don’t say, then communicating their needs, desires, and pain points across teams. My role is deeply collaborative as my value is only as good as the impact we can create together, across teams.”
What she loves most about having a job in a technology company is the creativity. “I’m surrounded by so many incredibly talented people whose creativity and ingenuity blow me away daily,” she says. But her most significant career highlight so far is stepping into the Director role of the Customer Success department at StellarWP. “Taking the step into leadership felt so right for me. It was the next stepping stone in my journey and the natural next step. It all felt perfectly lined up. All I had to do was leap.”
Instrumental in helping Gorman step into that leadership position was Michelle Frechette. “Without Michelle’s guidance and support, I wouldn’t be here,” she says. “She opened the door and cheered me along every step of the way. She knew I had what it takes to make moves and make things happen, but her guidance and support along the way was the grace I needed to make it all possible.”
What most motivates Gorman is simple: connection. “Feeling connected to others and the whole interplay of life motivates me,” she says. “When I feel like I’m in ‘the flow’ or playing my part, that motivates me to keep going, enduring, and pursuing.”
Gorman says she’s witnessing more woman representation in tech leadership and fully expects that to continue to become the norm. “I’d encourage young creatives to consider how their creative energy can be used in many ways. I never saw myself as an artist, though I always and still deeply appreciate the arts. But I now understand what I do to be very art-like. I flow, I collaborate, I listen and experience, then put forward something new,” she says.
She also encourages young women interested in pursuing a career in tech to remember that there are people who want to see them succeed. “The WordPress community, in particular, is extremely supportive and full of resources,” she says. “The most important thing is to work on your own endurance and perseverance. Know that if you want to make something happen, all you need is the will to do so. The rest will come if you ask for help and keep going no matter what.”