We recently talked with Sarah Ryals, Senior People Operations Analyst at OPIE Software to learn more about her and what she loves about Gainesville's Innovation scene. [Click here to read more]
We recently talked with Sarah Ryals, Senior People Operations Analyst at OPIE Software to learn more about her and what she loves about Gainesville's Innovation scene.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born and raised in a very small town about 45 minutes away, but because my dad primarily worked in Gainesville, I would consider Gainesville to have always been home to me! I received my A.A from Santa Fe College in Psychology followed by my B.A.S in Health Services Administration some years later. Like most recruiters, I kind of fell into this profession by chance but am so glad I did! I have always felt passionately about helping others and recruiting allows me to play a fundamental part in helping individuals reach their career goals and that to me is extremely rewarding. The startup community has always intrigued me because everyone seems so ambitious and passionate about what they do. Without a tech background myself, I was able to get my foot in the door at OPIE Software by sending them an email explaining who I was, what I could bring to the table, and what intrigued me about the company. That proactive outreach landed me a job at OPIE and the rest is history!
What do you do at OPIE Software and what do you love about the company? I am a Senior People Operations Analyst; I do a little bit of everything in my role from onboarding to offboarding and everything in-between! Our department is rather small, so I have a hand in every aspect of people ops. What I love most about our company is the work we do. We are a patient management software company that serves the Orthotic and Prosthetic profession. Our software handles a wide variety of administrative processes that O&P clinicians need to get through their workday. This includes electronic health records, prescription information, ordering prosthetic limbs off our software, medical insurance billing processes, and much more! We serve over 900 independent O&P facilities across the United States, Canada, and Australia. We enable clinicians to spend more time with their patients and less time with paperwork
How did you find out about startGNV and how long have you been on the Board of Directors? I discovered startGNV through a good friend of mine (shout out to Jon Branch) who suggested I check out the website when I told him I was looking for a job in tech. Coincidently, I found my job at OPIE Software through the website's jobs portal, and I think that speaks volumes to the success of this. I have been serving on the board for just a few short months now but am SO excited about what is to come!
What do you love about the Gainesville innovation ecosystem? I think what I love most is how everyone cheers each other on. Companies support and celebrate one another and really care about the success of not only their own business, but everyone else’s as well, which I find to be rare and beautiful. It's just one of the many aspects that makes Gainesville truly unique and special.
What do you hope to see in the ecosystem in the future? I hope to see more entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams and succeeding here in Gainesville. I think we are on the right path of growing our ecosystem to eventually be a well-known, sought-after location for professionals in tech to seek employment and set down roots. The University of Florida is what Gainesville is most known for, so my hope is to have that coincide with our impressive innovation ecosystem.
What are the best things about living and working in Gainesville? The community is by far the best part about living and working in Gainesville. Everyone really comes together as a whole to keep this place beautiful, full of opportunities, and an inviting place to live. The natural springs, farmers markets, local music, and people are just a few of the best parts about living and working here.
Any suggestions for anyone who'd like to get involved in the innovation scene here? First and foremost, check out startGNVs website! Whether you’re looking for a new job or an opportunity to network, there are some great resources on there. This community is very welcoming and helpful so don’t overlook the networking events that occur around town for a chance to introduce yourself. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how nice everyone is and how easy it is to make those connections. I have also found connecting with local companies via LinkedIn can open a lot of doors as well because we like to share career opportunities, events, and webinars. My best advice is to put yourself out there!