Onboarding new team members have been an interesting learning process for a project that began with just two people, a husband and wife, and has now grown to nearly 10 full-time people.

Now, nearly two months into training we have two new additions to our support team. I am excited to share with you some background on these newest members here at Paid Memberships Pro.

We are growing - announcing new PMPro Team Members

Mary Job

{drum roll, please}

Mary Job

First up, we have the one, the only, Mary (Mojisola) Job

Mary comes all the way from Ijebu-Imusin, Ogun State in Nigeria. She is a proud girl from the Ijebu tribe in the West. Nigeria is a fascinating country with more than 250 ethnic groups, a vast number of spoken languages, and a highly diverse cultural hub.

Getting started with WordPress

With a background in education, a B.A. in Philosophy, and an MSc in Information Management, Mary has had an interesting start in WordPress. Mary finds that writing is the best way to express herself and during her search on how to share her writing with her community, she stumbled across WordPress.

Fast forward to 2015: Mary was working for a non-profit organization in Ghana as an intern and she learned about the power of WordPress. Not only does this powerful Content Management System (CMS) enable you to build a blog, but one can create a fully customized website with it, too. This made a big impression on Mary and her curiosity drove her to start exploring new ideas and possibilities on WordPress.

WordPress is a wonderful online platform where you can go deeper and make websites with a large variety of customization.

—Mary Job

She learned HTML, CSS, PHP, some Javascript and then started making websites for clients. As the years went by she felt more and more confident in WordPress, although she says Javascript can make a person go crazy sometimes.

WordPress Community

During the beginning stages, Mary made a huge effort to search for a WordPress community and found one in Lagos, Nigeria. Traveling to and from these meetups took a lot of time but it was completely worth it as Mary has made some lifelong friends at these events.

Learning and sharing is a cornerstone of these communities

—Mary Job

The WordPress community in Lagos grew, and with it a need for more community organizers. Mary reflects back to the time when there were only a few women in WordCamp leadership roles. As an African woman, stepping up to one of these roles was most certainly intimidating. However, overcoming these insecurities would mean that two other WordCamps in Nigeria would receive organizational help. Mary learned a lot from her role as organizer, specifically how to manage her time and how to encourage others to step up to the plate when they are needed most.

One of Mary’s fondest WordCamp memories was having the opportunity to travel to WordCamp Cape Town. Mary presented a talk on How WordPress Blogging Gave me an Identity in the Tech World with no Tech Education Background.

Role at Paid Memberships Pro

Mary joined the Paid Memberships Pro team in January 2020. She now works in our Support Team to solve technical queries for our customers. With Mary’s diverse background and love for the WordPress community, we have gained a great new addition to the Paid Memberships Pro team.

This role allows me to help customers understand the system. Because I was self-taught, I can explain things in layman’s terms, especially to the portion of our customer base without a technical background.

The PMPro is a plugin is not in terms ‘easy’, but once you get into it, it becomes less complicated, and I can now explain the instructions better and better.

—Mary Job

Mary’s Top Tip: Following instructions and Google can help you go very far!

Kim White

{a round of applause, please!}

Kim White

Please give a warm welcome to Kim White.

Kim White brings deep community development and customer service experience to the Paid Memberships Pro table. As a veteran WordPress Meetup and WordCamp Organizer, Kim always has an interesting WordCamp experience to share. These valuable experiences come in handy, especially during our weekly team meetings. Kim currently lives just outside of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the USA.

A little backstory…

After receiving an education in child development, Kim began working as a part-time preschool teacher in Chicago. She made the decision to pause her career outside the home and focus on her own family as a full-time stay at home mom.

As her children grew, and with her husband away at work, Kim decided that it was time for a challenge. It was during this time in 1990 that she began exploring ASP, Microsoft’s server-side script for dynamic webpages (similar to PHP). She learned about web application builders and photo editing, including cropping, resizing, and optimizing images. This curiosity opened some doors for her, and soon Kim was ready to offer web development services for local businesses.

In 2007, Kim was looking into blogging and came across WordPress. She already had a few devoted customers, and because WordPress was designed to manage content, Kim recognized that with WordPress these customers would be able to update their sites themselves. This felt like a revolutionary time: because of WordPress, anyone could build their own website.

Kim reflects on this time and recalls feeling a bit nervous. Would this put an end to her website development business? To her relief, it turned out that she would always have a customer-base that would rather pay for website development than do it themselves.

Passion for People

Kim found her passion for working with people while she was volunteering in an inner-city community in Chicago. When she moved to Pennsylvania, she found WordPress communities to fulfill her passion for helping others through volunteering. Before long, she attended her first WordCamp in New York.

Attending WordCamp NY was a huge inspiration for me. It drove me to continue in this great line of work.

—Kim White

It proved challenging to reach the meetup communities in the larger cities, so Kim needed a way to have a more local WordPress-focused meetup. In 2014 she started the Lehigh Valley WordPress Meetup, just outside of Bethlehem, PA. These meetups have been especially wonderful because WordPress contacts became true friends.

Kim is a frequent contributor to WordPress through her role as a Meetup Organizer and WordCamp Organizer. She has most recently been involved in the Sponsorship Team at WordCamp US in 2019. Kim remarked that WordCamp US, held in St. Louis, MO, has been the best WordCamp experience for her to date.

One of the best things about the WordPress community is that so many people are so generous with their time. I feel surrounded by people whose passions match mine, regardless of if they are a developer or have a non-technical role. You do not need a programming background to be involved in a WordPress community.

—Kim White

A Place in the PMPro Team

Kim looks forward to staying on as a long time member of the Paid Memberships Pro team. During her work so far, she learned that there is no such thing as a small or insignificant question. Customer support work keeps her focused and helps to give her consistency in the sometimes chaotic remote work environment.

The team has been very encouraging and compassionate.

—Kim White

Kim’s Top Tip: When looking for a subject to speak on at meetups, find something that sparks your passion—what are you intensely interested in?

Ansie Lima

Part-time to Full-time

Ansie Lima

Wait, what? Another Lima? You heard it right, our full-time team is expanding with another Lima. Ansie has recently joined the full-time Marketing team at Paid Memberships Pro.

All the way from sunny South Africa, Ansie grew up in the West Rand of Johannesburg. Needing more direction after school, Ansie traveled to Scotland for a few months and worked as an au pair for a small family. After returning home, it was clear to Ansie that she wanted to help people. She decided to pursue a career in nursing and it suited her personality like a glove. After her studies, she soon worked her way up to a management position in the hospital she was working in.

Just like Kim White, Ansie soon realized that her needs as a mother to her son Luke deeply outweighed the importance of her nursing career. Long days of nursing shifts coupled with the emotional investment that goes along with a nursing career were taking their toll on her small family and, more importantly, herself as a new mom.

I needed flexibility that would make it possible for me to take care of my son. PMPro gave that to me.

—Ansie Lima

During this time, it was her husband’s WordPress business that made it possible for her to stay at home with her 18-month-old. This gave Ansie the breathing room to figure out what her next move would be.

A bit of a different WordPress background

Ansie joined her husband for his first speaker session at WordCamp Johannesburg (Joburg). She spent the whole day surrounded by welcoming, friendly people and quickly realizing that you do not need to be a developer to be part of this wonderful community.

About a year after this event, Ansie applied for a Human Resources position at another remote-first company. Who could do a better job caring for your team than an actual registered nurse, right? When Jason and Kim learned that Ansie was interested in remote work, they quickly interviewed Ansie and offered her a trial position with Paid Memberships Pro. This would be Ansie’s first experience working in a remote team; the trial position gave both her and the company a chance to make sure it would be the right fit.

I had to let go of my insecurities and give it a shot—all in.

—Ansie Lima

Ansie worked alongside Travis and Kim to handle pre-sale emails and respond to minor support queries. Her sensitive nature has always come through in this customer service role. She quickly took full responsibility for our pre-sales inquiries, allowing Travis and Kim (Coleman, not White) to devote more time to video development, frontend design, and content development.

Not only is Ansie a whiz at customer email support, but she also has amazing organizational skills. In 2019, she worked alongside Kim to organize our first team retreat. Juggling complicated visa and travel arrangements, they managed to get most of the team safely together and enjoyed a wonderful meetup at the Coleman residence in Pennsylvania, USA.

Her next move?

Marketing this ever-changing, ever-expanding Membership plugin is demanding a lot more time from the team. Ansie, being more confident within the WordPress space, was happy to join the team on a full-time basis and take on this new challenge. Remote work gives her the day-to-day flexibility to have a career, while still giving her family the level of attention she would like.

Nursing is still a part of who I am, and I will always find a way to bring it up in conversation, but learning new skills with WordPress has been a wonderful and fulfilling career move.

—Ansie Lima

Ansie’s Top Tip: If you don’t understand something, just keep reading the documentation. Even if you don’t understand what you are reading, it will make sense eventually.

Thank you for following this journey of three unique women and how they “arrived” on the Paid Memberships Pro team. While their stories are deeply different, there is one common thread: a passion for helping others. We hope that each and every one of you have a chance to experience their enthusiasm and positivity.