Humans of Lob is a project dedicated to getting to know our Lobsters on an individual level. We sat down with Danielle Ranoa, our Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer.
So, let's start with your childhood. Tell us a bit about your upbringing and your family.
I was born in Daly City (a suburb of San Francisco) and we lived along the peninsula for most of my early childhood. I am the youngest of two; my sister is seven years older than me and still looks out for me to this day. My parents and their siblings immigrated to America shortly before I was born so they all stuck together while trying to figure out this crazy new life while raising each others’ kids. I spent a lot of time with my cousins and we’re still crazy about each other. In the past six years, we’ve had multiple family trips, including two destination weddings. We’re pretty wild together and I love spending time with them.
How did Lob come into your life? Why Lob?
I was laid off early in the pandemic from my hotel job because of lockdown. Tourism was looking very dim in San Francisco. In the beginning, shelter-in-place was pretty fun because I was so sure I’d be back at work by the summer. Sometime around late summer, I woke up in a panic and realized, “Oh shit, I should look for a job!” I started looking for jobs in tech even though I didn’t have any startup experience and that was hard but I was scared about going back into the hospitality industry with travel still being down. My friend sent me a job posting from BuiltinSF.com that Lob was looking for an executive assistant and amongst the benefits was listed: dog-friendly office. I was sold!
While that was what initially sold me, as I started to meet the team, I really fell in love with the culture at Lob and everyone was so nice. I remember one of my first immersion meetings was with our now Director of People and I was just in awe like, “Did we really hire all the nicest people and stick them in one company, or am I just really gullible?”
As my tenure with Lob has progressed and the company has grown, nothing has really changed there. Still proud to be a Lobster and to work with some amazing people!
Is there something about yourself that you think someone new would be surprised to learn?
I feel like everyone who knows me now knows this because I’m proud of it— I ran 10 half marathons during my 20s just to see if I could do it, basically twice a year from ages 21 to 26. I was working for Nike and everyone was really into running. I was never athletic as a kid but I have major FOMO and wanted to make friends with my coworkers. So one day, I just got up and started running. Next thing you know, I was running in events with those now-friends all the way from 5ks to half marathons and now, none of us run anymore but we’re still cool.
What was a moment in your life that changed your perspective?
It always sucks when this stuff happens but when my dad got sick with cancer and passed away in a few months, it changed a lot of how I thought about people and friends in my life. I’ve always been a little more introverted and standoffish but since then, I’ve been more intentional about who I let stay into my life as well as cherishing those I have.
When my dad passed away, I immediately called my childhood best friend at like midnight even though she and I hadn’t talked in months. She cancelled her plans the next day to watch my sister and I board a plane to return to the Philippines. I remember she waited until we went all the way through security and my sister turned to me and said, “That’s a real friend.” That made me realize I want more moments like that with people that cherish me as much as I do them.
What does your name mean, and why was it given to you?
When my parents immigrated to America, they really immersed themselves in going to church to find a community and my sister (seven years old) was really into the story of Daniel in the Bible. They initially thought I would be a boy so the name was just supposed to be Daniel, meaning “God is my Judge."
In Filipino culture, it’s super common to have two first names and my sister’s second first name is Hope. When they couldn’t figure out what to put with Danielle, my mom was like, “Well the name Danielle is French, and there’s that Stevie Wonder song ‘My Cherie Amour,' let’s call her Cheri so it’s like hope and love together.” First off, cheri means darling and second, we’re not French so I’m pretty sure that was an on-the-fly decision.
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
Disneyland! I used to visit almost every month for like four to five years because it was so close. I purchased an annual pass and would always find an excuse to drive or fly to Anaheim to just be a kid for a day. I’ve gone with my significant other, with groups of friends, with my nephew, and just alone so I've had a whole range of experiences there. I consider it a happy place and I love the chance to escape the stresses of everyday life. Since prices went up during the pandemic, I could no longer justify the cost of going every month but if I could, I’d be there in a heartbeat. I’ve done a lot of other travel since but sometimes, I just want a day trip to ride a roller coaster or eat overpriced churros.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Aside from the usual answers of travel or hanging out with my dog, my friends and I just started having game night once a month and it’s turning out to be a really fun time. We play all kinds of games but we always close the night with Uno at 2 a.m. It’s this huge group chat of 16 people and anyone can show up if they’re free or bring a friend. There’s always a chance that you could get roasted but that’s just the way we show love to each other.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I find so much comfort in sunny side-up eggs with white rice, sometimes a soft scrambled egg. In the Philippines, breakfast dishes are called “silogs” and they always contain eggs and garlic fried rice, most of the time with a meat component to it as well. My dad never liked how his garlic fried rice would turn out so we’d do the same with just regular white rice. He was always a sucker for a soft egg dish and it’s funny how my sister and I now feel the same way.
Who is one artist you have to see in concert before you die?
I’ve been pretty fortunate to see a lot of artists I like. My biggest flex is I was at Beychella and I don’t think I’ll ever come across an experience better than that! I do want to see Usher though and have been thinking about making a trip to Las Vegas while he’s doing his residency.
Curious what it's like to work alongside people like Danielle Ranoa? Learn more about life at Lob by visiting our careers page.
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