Remarkable Leadership: 10 questions with La Sonya Johnson, Director, Client Services Skip to content

Remarkable Leadership: 10 questions with La Sonya Johnson, Director of Client Services

5 min read

Read about La Sonya Johnson, Director, Client Services

There are many ways to lead. It’s immediately clear when talking with La Sonya Johnson that her leadership style is about showing the way forward with grace and listening with empathy. Dynamic and skilled in developing creative solutions to delight clients, La Sonya has a lot to say about what makes a successful team.

La Sonya’s tenure with HealthEquity started in 2018, as she was one of many talented teammates who joined us through the WageWorks acquisition. La Sonya has an impressive career in customer and client support—you’ll want to get a glimpse into her work ethic, hear her advice for aspiring leaders, and find out more about how she devotes her free time to helping vulnerable women find empowering futures. As we celebrate Black History Month and think about why representation matters, it’s a joy to spotlight a leader like La Sonya to show others what’s possible in both life and work.

HealthEquity: It’s wonderful to talk to you today. Thanks for speaking to us from your home office in Dallas, Texas. And thank you for sharing your story as a Remarkable Leader.

La Sonya Johnson: I have to say, I feel humbled by the interview request. There are so many fantastic people who work within HealthEquity. I’m truly grateful that you reached out to me. I told my husband, “Wow, they want to interview me. How cool is that!”

HealthEquity: Mutual admiration is the best! Celebrate People is one of the core values at HealthEquity, so it’s an honor to be able to celebrate you. Speaking of core values, another important value is Make a Difference. We heard you’re making a difference by participating in the African American Black Connections (AABC) group at HealthEquity.

La Sonya Johnson: Yes! It’s such a great group of team members. I have a passion for career development and helping people get to the next level—whether as an individual contributor or as a leader. So being a part of AABC will give me the opportunity to support and mentor teammates of color, plus learn from other leaders. I’m looking forward to our work and excited for what I can do to make a difference.

HealthEquity: What a wonderful way to give back. Let’s jump into the 10 questions.

10 questions with La Sonya Johnson, Director, Client Services

1. What was your first job and what is your role now?

I was born and raised in a very small Texas town. It was there, in Weimar, that I landed my first job at Dairy Queen when I was 15. Let me tell you, I definitely learned the value of customer service and, more importantly, how to make those legendary ice cream blizzards. Heath Bar was my favorite!

When I was 22, I secured my first professional job at a membership-based consumer services organization selling vacation, shopping, auto, dining, home renovation, and financial packages. I was promoted to a supervisory role after only a year of working as a phone representative. I didn’t have any prior leadership experience, but the SVP believed I could lead a team. I believe he was correct, because within 60 days in the role, my team became the top sales team month after month.

Today, as a Client Services Director, I oversee both the Outbound Client and Broker Service Teams. We drive and maximize the client and broker service experience. To say that I’m honored to lead and work with these teams is an understatement. They are truly incredible and keep me motivated each day!

2. What is your guiding principle or North Star?

Serving others. Professionally, I make a conscious effort to live by the servant leadership concept. My goal is to foster an environment in which a team member’s abilities and needs are valued. I partner with them to help them develop and perform at their best. My greatest joy comes from seeing team members advance in their careers while also achieving the company’s objectives.

I practice the art of supporting others through mentorship outside of the workplace, which allows me to lend a listening ear and provide encouraging advice. Extraordinary leaders in my past did the same for me, so now it’s my mission to do the same.

3. HealthEquity has a strong commitment to deliver a remarkable experience—how are we continuing to improve in this area?

Cross-functional teams are bolstering the firm commitment to providing a remarkable experience. In actuality, the activities are directed by the “Commit to Purple” initiative, which is exciting. So much progress has already been made, and more work is currently underway. On an even more positive note, we can already see a reduction in the number of escalation cases received in contrast to last year’s peak season, which is encouraging.

4. What advice do you have for people just starting out in their career?

Own your mistakes. Early in my career, I realized that the mistakes I made offered opportunities to learn and progress. At a previous company, I remember being assigned to the lowest-performing team in the office. I felt deflated and wondered how I was going to coach and lead this team to greatness. My initial approach failed because I took a more directive approach. Instead of “teaching” the team how to accomplish the goals, I did more “telling,” which was a huge mistake.

Once I changed my approach to teaching, building relationships, and collaborating, the results improved tremendously. We went from being the lowest-performing team to one of the top-performing teams. That mistake allowed me to learn. Regardless of how mistakes make anyone feel, they are excellent learning opportunities. Everyone is bound to make a mistake at some point in their profession, but that mistake can be turned into a positive by not repeating it. Learning from mistakes and considering them valuable experiences can also help individuals gain confidence and overcome their fear of failure.

5. What would surprise people to know about you?

I love interior design! Give me a room, house, or an apartment and I will deck it out. In addition, I recently added another project to my list. I started my own Airbnb vacation rental. It was a lot of fun ordering the furniture, dishes, linens, and, of course, decorating it. So far, I have received all 5-star reviews, so I’m assuming I’m a decent host. Check out a photo of the family room.


6. What is a defining moment in your life?

My life changed for the better when I became a mother to my one and only daughter. She is my pride and joy, and I’m so pleased with her life decisions. She is currently a Psychology major at the University of North Texas and will graduate in May 2024. I’m thankful for not only her, but also for my incredible and supportive husband. He keeps me grounded.

7. What book influenced you in your professional life?

Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming” had a significant impact on me. Michelle narrates her experience with boldness and on her own terms. In truth, there were numerous influential passages in her book. To start, she stated that she felt overwhelmed at times and that she needed help, so she solicited the assistance of a few individuals. She taught me that requesting help does not imply that you do not have things under control. It is okay to seek assistance.

Second, she emphasized the need to consider all options before making a decision. When I’m doing this, I now make sure to ask all of the pertinent questions. What effect will it have? What will the outcome be? Finally, this book provided insights into Michelle’s self-determination—I learned about a woman who is constantly striving to be a better version of herself, which is what I’m striving for as well.

8. What cause is closest to your heart?

Ending human trafficking is near and dear to my heart. New Friends, New Life is a Dallas nonprofit that provides a safe way out for women involved in human trafficking. They restore and empower formerly trafficked girls, as well as sexually exploited women and children, by providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health care, and spiritual support. Through this foundation, I’m donating my time and resources to this important cause.

9. What’s your favorite part of helping clients and members reach their goals?

I absolutely love helping clients and members reach their objectives, and HealthEquity makes it easy with its product offerings. More importantly, we have teammates within our organization who genuinely care about making a positive impact in their lives. Whether you’re serving clients, members, or brokers, everyone has a different story and reason as to why they think the way they do and why they want the things they want. In my experience, if you understand what makes each person tick, you will be able to connect with them, thus providing personalized service that exceeds expectations.

10. What absolutely excites you right now about HealthEquity?

I have been with the company for well over 4 years now. The positive direction we’re moving in is amazing. I was able to observe the completion of our platform migrations. While it wasn’t easy and we had some struggles along the way, we persevered as a team and pushed through successfully. Personally, I can characterize what I’m noticing that is contributing to our success and that is Drive, Dedication, and Desire! There is more to come for HealthEquity, and I eagerly anticipate it!

HealthEquity does not provide legal, tax or financial advice. Always consult a professional when making life-changing decisions.

Thank you for subscribing!

Thank you for subscribing!

Are you a business?

Talk to us today to get started.

Talk to us

Are you an individual?

Start building health savings today.

Open account

COBRA/Direct Bill Employer login

Please refer to your Client Welcome email for the URL of your specific COBRA/Direct Bill Employer login page.