Executive at Santa Rosa’s Becoming Independent wins North Bay Influential Women Awards – North Bay Business Journal

Written by Amanda

Paula Finley is a 2022 winner of North Bay Business Journal’s Influential Women Awards. Here’s her story.

I enjoyed 10 years in the banking industry, learning the ins and outs at Bank of America and ultimately helping consolidate banking services from branches into centralized facilities focused on specific functions.

I left B of A to raise my three children and to homeschool them.  It started as a simple plan to homeschool one in kindergarten while the other two were in the toddler/infant stage and evolved to their entire K-12 education.

During that time I kept some personal skills polished by working as a proofreader for court reporters and tutoring math for high school juniors preparing for the SAT/ACT. Going back into the workforce, I began working with Sonoma County Office of Education, assisting in classrooms from K to12 to those for transitional students (age 18-21) with disabilities.

This led to my discovering BI, and the rest is a story of falling for a mission and a purpose and following a professional journey that has been more than I could have imagined.

What is a personal achievement you are most proud of and why?

Personally, the most rewarding thing for me has been raising my children.  My husband and I held out through 7 years of infertility and were ultimately the proud parents of three amazing children.  Being a mom was the single most satisfying work of my life. The fact that they are all amazing adults is a bonus.

What were the biggest obstacles you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

The biggest obstacle was self-imposed: Learning to be okay with being an introvert in what seems to be an extroverted world.  I have had the privilege of working over the years with some very outgoing, persuasive and gregarious individuals. Knowing and accepting my own methods of receiving, processing and delivering information has been both a challenge and a gift. I have learned when and how to use my voice in my own way.

And I have learned not to try to be someone else; instead, to keep working on being the best version of me.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?

We are all familiar with imposter syndrome and I think it plagues many young women in various areas of life.

Not feeling confident in their own gifts and abilities and comparing themselves to others is self-defeating.  I would remind them that they are unique and that their talents, their story, their voice is needed and not to discount the value they bring to all areas of their lives.

Source: northbaybusinessjournal.com

About the author


Hi there, I am Amanda and I work as an editor at impactinvesting.ai;  if you are interested in my services, please reach me at amanda.impactinvesting.ai