Aly Orady may have lost seventy pounds, but it was a struggle. He had to devote hours of his day to traveling to the gym only to wait in line for his favorite pieces of equipment. So, the Silicon Valley veteran did what he’s always done when faced with a challenge—he innovated. Orady created Tonal, a fitness company anchored by a smart, space-saving, digitally driven, all-in-one home gym. The adaptive system’s sensors adjust to each user and features guidance, assessments, and dynamic modes. Vice President of Legal Andrea Soria joined the company in 2021. She recently met with AHL to talk about what it takes to support development in wellness and how continuous learning and perseverance have helped her navigate a challenging field.
You’ve worked in law firms and in high-tech companies like Glu Mobile. What drove you to Tonal?
Aly’s story shouted to me. His profile is what I was seeing in my own family. Inaccessible gyms and equipment and certain health issues were part of his story, and that’s been part of mine too. Tonal is creating a sense of empowerment for people who want to guide themselves on their own health journey.
How did you get into law?
My dad is a lawyer. He built his practice around worker’s compensation and helped migrant farm workers and others with serious injuries.
And why have you worked so often in the high-tech space?
It’s just so interesting. I’ve had to learn a lot. Thankfully, I had strong female lawyers mentor me before I went in-house at Glu Mobile. It was a company that evolved and pivoted. It moved to smartphones, and that launched my career in privacy, as I also had to pivot. I had no background in the area but had to roll my sleeves up and dive in. That’s what I love about this kind of work. It’s fun.
Tell me about going from gaming to health and wellness. How did that happen?
I felt like I had developed the legal skills to be helpful in other types of businesses. I started asking myself where I want to be of service in the world and things aligned. I had established my own workout routine, and my role at Tonal is all about how tech and media can help people thrive.
You mentioned your own family story with this journey. Tell me more about that.
My grandmother was a diabetic, as are my mother and aunts and uncles. The same grandmother had a quadruple bypass; one of my uncles had a bypass within the same year. I’ve observed how much of your own health outcomes are in your hands. There are things we can all do to have a better quality of life, but people get lost in options or slowed by barriers. I’m proud to use my legal skills at a company that wants to help people build discipline and make healthy choices that lead to results.
What are your main roles and responsibilities at Tonal today?
I was the first lawyer here. They value legal assistance, and now, we can rely on internal teams that really know how to shape contracts and advise strategy. It was important timing for Tonal since the pandemic was driving sales of our products up.
Has there been that same experience of rolling up your sleeves?
In a company like this, definitely. I never stop asking questions, because I want to understand everything that I can about Tonal and our users and our objectives.
What’s keeping you busy these days?
We’re launching new a new feature called Smart View that helps people improve their workout posture/form.
(Tonal started rolling this out to members on Tuesday, November 15. By December 6, it should be available to all members. The feature is called Smart View.)
You’ve talked about navigating challenging professional times. What’s the secret?
I advise people to do what I’ve attempted to do, and that is to stay dedicated to ongoing learning opportunities. Also, don’t sell yourself short. Remember the previous victories, believe in what you’re doing, keep an open mind, be ready to learn, and keep going forward.
Lastly, what do you most enjoy about working at Tonal?
I know we’re making a difference in people’s lives. We have success stories on our website, and we hear similar anecdotes often. People are taking charge of their fitness and getting stronger, and I get to be a part of that.
Andrea leads by strategically navigating Tonal through an ever-changing—and, as of late, tumultuous—legal and economic landscape. Her work, expertise, and initiatives set a high bar for other companies, as well as their legal counsel, to meet. Durie Tangri congratulates her on this recognition, which is a well-deserved honor.