Capturing The Light: Meet Kelly

One of the faces behind [email protected]

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When you encounter a problem with a product, or want to congratulate a company on a job well done, there is no one more important in that moment than your customer support contact. Their professionalism and charisma often shape your view of the company as a whole.

For Light, the person leading that team is Kelly Van Arsdale, Manager of Customer Success. He considers his team the middle-ground between the company and their customers, which often involves tough conversations they advocate for customers to the larger Light team. We sat down with Kelly to learn more about his role at Light, what drives his passions outside of work and a few fun facts.

Spotlight: What is your role at Light?

Kelly: I’m the manager of customer success. I manage the first responders to all emails received at [email protected] and comments on our social media posts. My major focus right now is to develop a scalable support infrastructure that will sustain additional communication, reporting and technology recommendations as Light’s customer base grows.

Spotlight: What has working at Light taught you about yourself?

Kelly: It’s helped me discover more about what I want to do with my career. I don’t think any little tyke grows up with the dream of becoming a customer success manager, but being here has taught me that taking care of your customers can pay off in many different ways. I really enjoy what I do every day. You’re not just answering queries. You’re reaching out to proactively find out what would make people’s experience better and, in some instances, building friendships over time. It’s fun right now because people really excited about the camera and want to help us make it better in the future.

Spotlight: How did you come to Light?

Kelly: I moved to San Francisco four years ago and wanted to find work in a field related to photography. I found a great position with SmugMug, but the moment someone shared a link to the Light camera, I was hooked. I saw that the company was hiring and without knowing whether they needed someone with my unique customer service skill-set, submitted my cover letter. I was in luck and they were looking to fill the position ASAP. I interviewed for the position, got married, came in to the office for a second interview and was hired, all within one week!

Spotlight: #Bestweekever

Kelly: Agreed.

Spotlight: Alright, enough shop talk. When you’re not working, where would I most likely find you?

Kelly: I spend as much time as possible outside. Though I split my time between two passions:

Ultimate Frisbee: I spend spring and summer months playing professional ultimate Frisbee for the San Jose Spiders.

Hiking with my wife: We’re both avid photographers, so we take to the hills, channeling Ansel Adams, to shoot landscape photos with a giant 4x5 camera.

Spotlight: What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

Kelly: After I graduated from college, I took a road trip to see as many national parks across the U.S. as I could. I literally just slept in my car, woke up in nature, hiked to the least populated places I could find and photographed the beauty. Those were perfect days, so I’d do that again, only this time I would bring my wife.

Spotlight: Is that your ideal photo capturing environment?

Kelly: Yes, I love the idea of taking pictures of places that no one else has seen, where there’s lots of light, and no post-editing required. It’s one of the reasons I still like to shoot film photography, there’s more realism to it, re-creating the scene in front of you.

Spotlight: Do you have any unique health or wellness routines that you swear by?

Kelly: Give yourself a break. Go camping in the middle of nowhere and turn your phone off. I used to live in the Pacific Northwest, so when I moved to San Francisco, I felt a bit claustrophobic. Luckily, I’ve always had a car, so I can escape across the Golden Gate Bridge to hike the Marin Headlands and decompress. If I can’t make it that far, I’ll bike through Golden Gate Park and land at Ocean Beach.

Spotlight: That sounds pretty freeing. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Kelly: Well, of course, I would be able to fly.

There you have it folks, your direct connection to the Light team is unencumbered by traditional boundaries and constantly looking for the next undiscovered landscape to photograph. He and his team stand ready to meet you, so the next time you reach out to say hello to Light, be ready for a friendly response from Kelly and company.

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