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Cultivating Success: Sara’s Passion for Helping People and Plants Thrive

Welcome to the Life at Procore blog, where we shine a light on Procorians across the globe who are living our values of ownership, openness and optimism as we work to improve the lives of everyone in construction. They are Groundbreakers in every sense of the word, and these are their stories. Today’s post features Sara, a Minnesota-based manager of customer support whose passion for cultivating success led her to Procore.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up on a farm about 23 miles southeast of Willmar, Minnesota. I love to farm and garden—I’m always outside in the dirt and geek out when I talk to people about their plants and gardens. In terms of my other hobbies, I like to say I’m an 80-year-old woman at heart because while I enjoy hanging out with friends, I mostly get my jam from staying home to read, embroider or relax with the family.

I went to school for business management and finished my degree online before remote learning became mainstream. I’m also married—I met my husband at The Home Depot, where we both used to work. I’d like to say it was love at first sight, but he mostly just made fun of me for reading “Harry Potter”. We have two kids, a nine-year-old daughter named Noelle and a four-year-old son named Nikolai. They are both very different personalities and are the joys of my day. You learn a lot about yourself when you have kids and catch glimpses of yourself in the little things they do.

From left: Garlic, moon flowers and morning glories from Sara’s garden.

What is your current role at Procore?

I’m a manager of customer support. I oversee a team of 16 representatives who are the first point of contact for Procore users needing immediate assistance, troubleshooting and technical help via live chat, email and phone. They all do such a great job and really fuel my days.

What has your Procore journey looked like so far?

On November 9, 2016, I began my Procore journey. I started in the customer support department and worked Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with my team and then Saturdays by myself. I quickly learned to be resourceful because it was just me taking chats and emails on the weekend. Six months later, I moved to the custom solutions team, which helps to develop custom fields, forms, tools and workflows to enable our customers to leverage the Procore platform to its fullest. I was in that role for about a year before I went on maternity leave. When I returned, they offered me the role of queue admin since there was a need for someone to streamline and optimize the ticketing process. From there, I became a team lead for two years before I returned to the customer support team in October 2021 as a manager of customer support—my current role today.

When I think about the future of my Procore career, I hope to work internationally and go to Scotland one day. I really enjoy building internal relationships, teaching people and helping them get to where they want to go. Even though Procore doesn’t currently have a Scotland office, they do have locations in Dublin, London and many other countries around the world. As the future of work evolves and Procore continues its global growth and expansion, I’m optimistic about what’s in store.

What energizes you about your career?

I get a lot of energy from seeing people pursue their passions and succeed. I truly believe that Procore’s support team could be a great talent pipeline for the rest of the company since we have so many skilled, smart and kind individuals coming in all the time. They might not have specific technical certifications or experience, which is why they start in support, but they’re willing to go above and beyond. When I can, I try to reach out to other departments to let them know I have a team member interested in learning about a new area or career path. For instance, someone on my team is interested in video editing. He doesn't have much experience with that yet, but I’m helping him find Procorians to connect with to learn more about the pieces of training and tools he needs to get that exposure. Helping people grow in their careers and pursue their passions really fuels me. My people make my day, and I love to help them.

What is a fun fact about you that others might not know?

I’m slightly fascinated with Scotland. I’ve never been there, so I can’t explain the connection, but I just feel it. I spend a lot of time learning about Scotland—I have over 70 books, watch lots of documentaries and read tons of blogs. I’m also learning Scottish Gaelic on DuoLingo—my current streak is 413 days so far! I do it because languages are the heart of culture, and so many nuances communicate different things that might not have words or direct translations in other languages. Once I have Scottish Gaelic under my belt, I want to learn Scots since they are both native languages.

Sara embroidered her favorite pair of yellow Chucks with Scottish heather and thistle.

How do you do your best work?

I work best when I split my time between Procore’s Willmar office and home. Typically, I will come into the office two days a week, so I try to schedule most of my meetings then to get face-to-face time. I also like to book walking one-on-ones with my reps and anyone else willing to do them. There’s a nice trail around the campus, and I find that the fresh air helps me verbalize things better and think more clearly.

How has the Willmar office grown over your six-year Procore career?

When I started at Procore, the Willmar office only had two floors, and we had just moved into the second one. Even though Willmar isn’t a major metropolitan area, that community vibe you feel when you’re here is part of why I love coming into the office.

Although Procore Willmar is predominately a customer support hub, there has still been a lot of growth over the years, and new roles have come over—we now have customer support managers, customer success managers, a developer and members of the revenue operations teams. I’m excited to see how the office will continue to evolve in future years.

Sara and her son playing kickball at a Procore Willmar office event.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t be afraid to fail. I’m a very black-and-white type of thinker and like to have as much information as possible going into a decision. Sometimes that’s not going to be possible, though, because fires will pop up, multiple things will happen at once, other parties will need quick answers and so on. Learning to be comfortable with not having 100% of the information and knowing that every now and then things won’t work out is vital. In some cases, moving forward and making a decision is the best thing you can do.

How has Procore helped you feel a sense of belonging?

I came to Procore from the retail world, where I wasn’t supported and felt like just a number. I don’t feel that way here—I genuinely feel like a person with the opportunity to make mistakes, try new things, learn and grow. This genuine sense of caring and support is something I haven’t felt anywhere else. For example, my boss knows about my dream of going to Scotland one day and has been very encouraging. He even connected me with international colleagues in various roles.

I’ve also never worked at a company where it’s okay to share your feelings or frustrations with your boss to find a solutions-focused answer. I carry that forward with my team as well and make a point to ask them if it’s something they want help finding a solution for or if they just want someone to listen. I’m okay with either, but I always want to understand how I can best support them.

Your team described you as an incredibly wonderful, supportive, authentic, kind and hard-working manager. What is your reaction to being nominated as a Groundbreaker?

I was surprised, but I’m also humbled and extremely grateful for the recognition. As a Midwesterner, I come to work hard, try my best to improve where I can, help others and get things done. That’s my job, but having this acknowledgment makes me want to work that much harder to live up to it. It warms my heart to know I’m doing my job to support my team, and that’s all I can ask for at the end of the day.

Any tips for aspiring Procorians?

When I interview candidates for my team, it’s always nice when people have a bit of a construction or tech background, but it’s not everything. When I came to Procore from The Home Depot, I wasn’t the most tech-savvy person to hire, but they took a chance on me anyway. If you’re willing to work, have excellent soft skills and know how to support clients and make their day, that’s what I’m looking for. If you’re considering applying to Procore, do it—you won’t regret taking that leap.

Conclusion

A big thank you to Sara for sharing her story!

We’re always looking for Groundbreakers like Sara to help us continue to improve the lives of everyone in construction. Explore a career with Procore today, or join our Talent Community to stay connected.