For the very last Associate Spotlight post of 2020, we want to talk about Matt Gunnin! Matt has worked at SpendMend for almost 1 year and has made a huge impression on everyone here. Matt’s lived a very interesting life to say the least, from playing in the band, Flux, to refereeing soccer games for the NCAA (you may have noticed Matt on ESPN before). Soccer is not the only sport that Matt is invested in, as he is a HUGE St. Louis Cardinals fan and has some great Cardinals stories from throughout his life. Chris Mindenhall was quoted saying “I am consistently impressed with Matt’s commitment to delivering high quality for our clients and willingness to run out on the extra mile to do so. He’s been a key player in helping us take our reporting and analytics practice to the next level.” It was a pleasure getting to know Matt better and we think you’ll enjoy reading all about Matt’s interesting life! Thanks for all your hard work, Matt!  

Interview with Matt:

What is your role at SpendMend?

Manager of Data Analytics

How long have you been with SpendMend?

8 months

How did you first learn about SpendMend?

Chris Mindenhall told me about the company in 2019

What 3 words would you use to describe SpendMend?

Effective, Analytical, Growing

Why do you look forward to coming to work?

New challenges and expanding my skill set

Before working at SpendMend, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

NCAA Soccer Referee!

What is one fun fact about you?

I’ve spent 23 years as a NCAA Soccer Referee

How did you become an NCAA referee?

I started refereeing youth soccer as a teenager. In college, I moved into refereeing high school soccer and in 1997 was invited to join NISOA (National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association). In about 2003 I became a National Referee in NISOA and also began working professional matches (A-League, W-League, PDL, etc. Basically the soccer equivalent of minor league baseball.)  Over my career, I officiated in the NAIA National Championship Tournament, The Junior College National Championship Tournament, and several NCAA Tournament matches (Divisions I, II, and III). One of my favorite memories, however, was working a professional exhibition match for the WUSA in which Sun Wen, star of the Chinese National Team in 1999 played.

What type of music or podcasts do you listen to during the workday?

You don't want to know. \m/ \m/

Some of the bands I listen to the most are Rush and Judas Priest. (Just finished Rob Halford’s autobiography.) Although lately, it’s been a lot of Slipknot and Stone Sour!

Do you have any hobbies or participate in any activities outside of work?

Coaching my son's baseball team, music (guitar/sing), soccer official, St. Louis Cardinals baseball.

How long have you been a Cardinals fan for?

Forever! Some of my earlier memories are of Lou Brock, Ted Simmons, and Keith Hernandez playing for the Cardinals. (I’m sure I saw Bob Gibson, too, but can’t remember if I did.) Living in St. Louis in the 1980s was a good time to be a baseball fan, as well. I remember listening to the radio when Ozzie Smith hit his first left handed home run to win the NLCS against the Dodgers in 1985. “Go crazy, folks!” (OK, probably have to be a Cards fan, but if you’re from St. Louis, you know exactly what I’m talking about!)

You said you like to play guitar and sing; what kind of music do you prefer and how long have you been playing?

I started playing guitar and singing along to Beatles records when I about 6. I had an uncle who made a decent living as a Conway Twitty impersonator (true story!) and would always provide me with a new Beatles or Elvis record when I saw him. As I got older, I got into more modern pop, rock, progressive and heavy metal. In the 90s, I sang for a “heavy progressive” band called Flux that toured around the Midwest, opened for Puddle of Mudd, and got some radio play. (yes, our demo is online still. HERE) I was also pretty involved in theater in the 90s, peaking as The Prince in Cinderella and appearing in a reenactment for Real Stories of the Highway Patrol (Yes, its online. HERE ). Lately, however, I like to just play guitar on my own and occasionally brave the karaoke bar. (Last time I did this was because Chris Mindenhall made me.)

Can you describe an interaction when you helped a client or a supplier that stands out in your mind?

Currently I have limited contact with SpendMend clients, however, I view the field (Managers, Supervisors, and Auditors) as the clients of the BRaaS team. One of my favorite parts of this position is being able to meet the special/custom needs for a particular client.

Do you want to shout out a co-worker who has helped or inspired you at SpendMend?

Nick Mercier - He is very responsive, organized, and seems to have an excellent understanding of what the BRaaS team does and our needs from the field.

What advice do you have for perspective candidates who want to join the SpendMend team?

Be prepared to step outside your comfort zone and learn new skills.

What has been your proudest accomplishment at SpendMend?

Getting KBR reporting processes to the point where it runs very smoothly and is effective.

What is something you’re looking forward to for your future at SpendMend?

Continuing to expand my skill set and take on new analytical challenges.