Get to know Wheel Head of People, Gabby Lorestani!
What’s your role at Wheel?
At Wheel, my role is Head of People. My job is to create an employee experience for our Wheelies that is safe, inclusive, and allows both them and the company to achieve their goals.
My team and I do this in a few ways, including: creating people programs and initiatives that help our Wheelies develop their careers, connect with others in our distributed environment, and recognize and reward their hard work.
What’s your background? What did you do before working with Wheel?
I'm a proud New Jersey native and moved to Austin, TX in 2017 with my husband and our rescue cockapoo, Henry. We welcomed our son in January 2020, just eight weeks before the pandemic. So, as you can imagine, the new-parent transition was basically a breeze. ;-)
During undergrad at Providence College, I studied psychology with plans to become a therapist. In fact, I was accepted into graduate school to pursue a Master's in Clinical Social Work. In the last semester of my senior year, I took two classes that turned my plan on its head: organizational psychology and business management. I wanted to combine my fascination with people, problem solving, and organizations, and I knew HR was the best career path to do that.
Ten years later, I haven't been proven wrong. And more than that, I'm genuinely grateful to do this type of work that truly has an impact on people.
Why did you join the Wheel team?
I have to give credit to a friend of mine who sent me the job description and encouraged me to apply. Wheel was definitely on my radar but as a new mom, I wasn't sure if I was ready for this type of role.
That question was quickly answered after speaking with the recruiter, our CFO & COO, and CEO. The role and the company checked so many important boxes. Mission and product I felt deeply connected to? Check. A role focused on creating and building? Check. A manager and CEO I respect, trust and would learn a lot from? Check, check.
And here I am a little over a year later! It's cliche to say, but it's so true: no two days are alike at Wheel. Typically, though, my day involves a good mix of building for the future and managing the day to day needs. That might mean spending time to design what performance management looks like at Wheel, meeting with leaders to understand their talent and organizational priorities, facilitating training, all the way through helping someone troubleshoot a benefits question.
What’s your recent Wheel Moment of Reward?
One of the Wheel Moments I will never forget took place nearly a year ago, when Texas experienced one of the worst snowstorms in its history.
Dozens of Wheelies lost power, lost water, or both. Witnessing how we quickly came together as a company to support one another was truly remarkable.
Our CEO paid for hotel rooms for those who needed a place to stay. Wheelies with power were offering their homes to those without it. Two coworkers actually met for the first time when one was dropping off bottled water to the other.
I still get chills thinking about it.
What do you think the future of healthcare holds?
I'm hopeful that we will see access to high quality healthcare expand, regardless of where someone lives or their socioeconomic status. Delivering care virtually has already removed the physical barrier of a traditional doctors office or clinic, and I cannot wait to see how this evolves over the coming years.
Thanks, Gabby, for all your hard work with The Wheel Team! We appreciate everything you do.
Interested in joining our team? Check out the latest career opportunities with Wheel!
Get to know other team members through prior staff profiles with Tulsi Dharmarajan - Head of Product, Alan Kopetman - Software Engineer II, and Drew Johnson - Head of Finance & Business Operations.