Welcome to the Employee Spotlight Series! This week, we are highlighting Katie Ophoff. Katie is an Auditor and has been a part of the SpendMend team for about ten years! When asked what she likes best about working at SpendMend, she said, “I like being able to solve and resolve issues and see them completed. I also enjoy the support and enthusiasm of my pod and the collaborations with other pods.” Katie is from Hudsonville, Michigan, and went to Calvin College. She was influenced to study Elementary Education because her mom was a teacher and also the principal of Hudsonville Christian. During her free time, Katie loves to be outside! Glamping at Sandy Pines is her go-to summer activity for a chill hangout. She enjoys spending time with her favorite people by the water. A fun fact about Katie is that she has worked a second job as a server and occasional manager for Logan’s Roadhouse for the past 20 years! She loves the chaos and rhythm of the industry and views the work almost like a hobby. Her favorite part about working at Logan’s is the pace and the people, “And of course, the food!” Katie exclaims. Katie recommends the rolls and the NY Strip, but if you’re a seafood lover, you can’t go wrong with the Shrimp Stack Salmon! Be sure to read the full interview below to learn more about Katie’s experience at Logan’s! Another fun fact about Katie is she is a huge fan of the SpendMend community events, and has done the Bee Brave 5K multiple times! She believes it is a great cause and she loves seeing all the familiar faces. The 2023 Bee Brave 5K is on October 7th! If you are interested, sign up to participate and help SpendMend raise money for local breast cancer research!

Katie is a fantastic Auditor and we are grateful for all her hard work. We asked Michele Gort, Data Analyst, about Katie, and she said, “Katie is an absolute gem in my life. Our friendship blossomed when we both embarked on our journeys as auditors at SpendMend. From the very first day, I knew there was something special about her. Katie’s warmth and genuine kindness made it easy for us to connect on a deep level. As we navigated the world of auditing together, we quickly became inseparable. Our shared passion for meticulous detail and our love for coffee, especially from Starbucks, led us to dub ourselves “Starbucks sisters.” She’s not just a friend; she’s a confidant who offers guidance and encouragement when I need it most.” Thank you, Katie, for going above and beyond!

Interview with Katie: 

What is your role at SpendMend?


How long have you been with SpendMend?

I started in 2010, left to do something different in 2016, and came back in 2019.  Altogether, almost ten years!

How did you first learn about SpendMend?

My brother was in the IT department way back in the Business Strategy days, and he brought me in.

What 3 words would you use to describe SpendMend?

Welcoming, Expanding, Driven

Where are you located/from?

I am from Hudsonville, MI, halfway point from Grand Rapids to Holland.

Where did you go for higher education?

I went to Calvin College.

What did you study and why?

I went for elementary education because it made sense to me, with my mom being a teacher turned principal for Hudsonville Christian.

Why do you look forward to coming to work?

I look forward to being able to solve and resolve issues and see them completed.  I also enjoy the support and enthusiasm of my pod and the collaborations with other pods.

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

Well, I’ve worked for hotels and restaurants, so there will always be a story or two! The shortest job was when I was 19, and I tried getting out of the hospitality business. I got duped into selling coupon books for 8 hours in the middle of Rockford. They dropped me and two others off in the suburbs with no car.  We just had our lunch boxes and 50+ lbs of coupon books in a bag. That day was crazy. Ha! I thought that I had applied for a secretarial position at an advertising company!  I learned a few things that day… most importantly, to always wear comfortable shoes to an interview and on the first day. I have been a server and occasional manager for Logan’s Roadhouse for 20 years.  It has been my only job, my in-between job, or my second job. As I do love the chaos and rhythm of it all, the evolution of the industry (like many others) in recent years has been very interesting to watch, as you can imagine.

What piqued your interest in joining Logan’s Roadhouse? 

I was working for Sleep Inn Suites and needed a change.  My bestie was working there at the time and got me in while on my “break” from college and I really enjoyed the industry.

What is your favorite part about working there?

The pace and the people.  And of course, the food.

What is the most challenging?

The pace and the people LOL.  There are many challenges when anticipating the needs of the employees and guests and how the team is set up from the previous shift to the next.  It’s no different than any other challenge in any other vocation.  With that being said, restaurants do need immediate resolutions for the Hangry and that can get a bit dicey.

What dish would you recommend a customer to try?

I know they all come for the rolls but we are a steak house, and the NY strip is a MEAL.  But if you like seafood, the Shrimp Stack Salmon is a close second.

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

I have Disney movies or something like Parks and Rec playing in the background.  It’s something that I’ve seen a bunch of times, but it still good mood ambiance.  If I have music or a podcast on, I’ll get distracted!

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

Nothing really specific like running or sports. I just roll with whatever the group is up to.  In the summers, I like to glamp on the weekends and be OUTSIDE.  It’s kind of a cheat because it has a W-2 form. I use restaurant work as a hobby as it does get me out and into the public.

When did you start glamping in the summers and why? When my grandpa sold the family cottage, I started going more frequently to my bestie’s place at Sandy Pines.  It’s just an easy thing to pack up and go to a site, chill out, and stare at some water for a couple of days with some of my favorite people.  I love it.

Who do you interact with


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

We are always cleaning and resolving or trying to, so it’s hard to think of one specific time.  I feel the most helpful in smaller accounts with older issues that haven’t been addressed, and we are able to provide direct assistance to the client.

What was the best compliment you’ve ever been paid by a client or supplier?

I’m kind of continuing with the last question.  The smaller businesses are appreciative when we are able to work with them in patience, and I have been thanked for giving more explanation on our processes.

What is the best part of serving the healthcare market?

Being aware of the healthcare market as a whole and understanding how it all ties together.  Hearing or seeing a product of a client/supplier that you have worked with in everyday life is fun, too.

What has been your experience with SpendMend community events?

I have done the Bee Brave a couple of times when I am able, and I love it.  It’s just a great cause, and it’s nice to see people out of the office… or at all!

During the Bee Brave events you’ve participated in, where did you walk? We held up the back of the herd.

What people do you love seeing out of the office? What is the most fun part about the event?  I love seeing all the familiar faces and connecting in person and I really like putting faces to names.  So many new employees since we left the offices in 2020!

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

I can’t just choose one! RJ and Kevin G have been so great to work with and learn from.  Our pod is small, but I appreciate everyone and their hard work.  Michele Gort, Jessica Rinehart, and the Research Gals have been the best when I need to ask a quick question or need a minute or two for a mental break and a laugh.

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

ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS.  Training can be short, and there is so much in the process and programs.  In most instances, you can roll with it and learn as you go but ask whatever “small” question you have at the moment.

What has been your proudest accomplishment at SpendMend?

Keeping up.  Learning and growing as SpendMend gets bigger and bigger.

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

Just the continuation of self-growth in my position and to keep watching SpendMend grow.

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