SpendMend Dedicates Bee Brave 5k Fundraiser to Team Member

Written by: Hannah Geelhoed, Community Involvement Coordinator

When I first joined the SpendMend team just over 5 years ago I was given the directive from the executive board to “get SpendMend more involved in the community”. This seemed like a broad venture to take on and I had no clue where to start, so I asked members of my team, “What charities or causes mean the most to you and why?” I gathered their responses and signed us up for Blood Drives, raised money for Kid’s Food Basket, and Toys 4 Tots, but I wanted the team to have one big event each year to go all out for. I searched and searched for a charity where we would be able to see the impact of our efforts and found Bee Brave, a volunteer-run group that is dedicated to finding a cure for Breast Cancer – and better yet, is based in Grand Rapids, MI, headquarters of SpendMend.

Since our first appearance in 2017, SpendMend has been able to fundraise over $35,000 for Breast Cancer Research in Grand Rapids, MI for the Van Andel Institute (VAI). One of the reasons we choose to participate partner with Bee Brave is because 100% of the proceeds go directly to the VAI. Members of our team have been lucky enough to take tours of the VAI labs, see the equipment, and meet the scientists that our donations have been able to fund. This year alone the team raised over $13,000!

When I first chose to support Bee Brave, I was participating on behalf of a family member who battled breast cancer – like many other members of our team were. This year, we collectively dedicated our walk to one of our own, Colleen Kretowicz, an Audit Supervisor at SpendMend. She was brave and gracious enough to let us share her story here:

“I almost opted not to tell and have only a lumpectomy under the guise of a week-long vacation. It was a valid option with the type of cancer I have, but the bilateral mastectomy was the better and most reassuring treatment with only a 3% chance of recurrence!

I was afraid that I would have my clients reassigned or given to someone else to share with me or be moved to another position in the company. As a single woman living alone, loss of income is a very real fear. Its right up there with cancer scary.

My daughter finally convinced me that I needed to do what was best for me no matter what.

When I set up the call to discuss my diagnosis and treatment with [my managers] Travis, Josh and Rob, I was really scared of the outcome but resigned to accept it, whatever was decided and focus on what I had to deal with. They could not have been more supportive and reassuring. Knowing that my employer and my co-workers had my back brought that stress down and let me focus on healing; physically and mentally.

I’m in tears now remembering all the love and caring I felt from SpendMend. We put together a plan to take care of my clients while I was out and seriously – my team and management stepped up and jumped in to make things happen and let me rest. Especially in such a male-dominated industry to have a company be so supportive both publicly and privately is amazing!! I will always be so grateful for that.”

We are so thankful for Colleen’s fighter mentality are proud to have her as a member of the SpendMend team.

While the 5K event happened last weekend, all of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the donation page is still active throughout the month and accepting donations. If you are interested, please use this link: https://runsignup.com/spendmend. Any contribution you or your friend group can make will help in significant ways.

SpendMend thanks everyone who donated and participated in our fundraising efforts. Our team’s donations are creating innovative and life-changing discoveries in the field of Breast Cancer Research.

SpendMend Qualifies for Grand Rapids Business Hall of Fame

Written by: Kylee Savage

I am so proud to report that SpendMend has been selected for the 2021 Grand Rapids Awards for Enhanced Audit Recovery by the Grand Rapids Award Program. SpendMend has received this award for three consecutive years and it now qualifies us for the 2021 Grand Rapids Business Hall of Fame.

The Grand Rapids Award Program annually awards companies for achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. Companies are given recognition for their best practices and programs that have helped expand their business. In addition, it honors small businesses who lead in customer service and community involvement.H

Our mission is to positively impact patient care by delivering unparalleled value to our healthcare industry clients through our innovative solutions. We dedicate ourselves to help hospitals and healthcare systems while always maintaining the highest levels of integrity, morality, and ethics. Currently, we serve hundreds of healthcare clients all over the country. We’ve been fortunate to work with the largest brands in the industry while also receiving high praise and recognition from national industry associations, major GPOs, award outlets, and more.

No matter how we grow or where we serve, we will never forget our local community, and we are so incredibly proud to receive this type of recognition from the city of Grand Rapids.  We plan to work tirelessly for the next year to ensure that we can earn the award for a fourth straight year.

Happy Thanksgiving From SpendMend

Written by: Dan Geelhoed, CEO and Rob Heminger, President

2020 has been an extremely challenging year for all of us and it can be difficult to find things to be thankful for with COVID-19 continuing to impact families and businesses.  In light of these unprecedented challenges, we find it is still helpful to take a moment during this time of year to reflect on the things we have to be thankful for.

At SpendMend, our mission is to help hospitals improve patient care through the delivery of our cost savings solutions, transaction analysis, and improved visibility.  Through our work in 2020, We feel like we’ve been able to make a real difference and provide relief to hospitals in terms of cash flow and key insights for supply chain improvements.  We are sincerely grateful for the opportunity to serve our community.

We are also extremely thankful to frontline workers and healthcare staff from every corner of client population (and every other healthcare network, for that matter) that continue to meet the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 every single day.  They are all facing the impacts of the virus directly and we thank them for their courage.

On a more personal note, We are also very thankful for the kind and open hearts within the SpendMend organization.  Many charitable organizations have been hit hard by the pandemic and have greater needs than in previous years.  We were impressed by the way our staff stepped up, in 2020, by supporting Van Andel Institute’s Bee Brave 5K and Kids Food Basket- Grand Rapids when those organizations really needed support.

We have another chance to make an impact with our Toys for Tots drive starting next week.  We are so fortunate to be in a position to help others and I am thankful (and inspired) to have a team that really cares about others.

The novelist, James Lane Allen once said, “Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.”  We reflect on this quote from time to time as we look back over the past year and think about all the ways in which so many people have stepped up to face the challenge in front of them.

Like many, we are ready for 2020 to be over, but we are still thankful for all of the great people who have worked so hard to do amazing things through this difficult time.  It has us feeling very hopeful about what lies ahead in 2021.

Happy Thanksgiving!

SpendMend Supports Bee Brave Fundraiser To Help Raise Funds For Breast Cancer Research!

Written By Hannah Geelhoed, Community Involvement Director

Over the past several years we have been fortunate at SpendMend.  Our business has grown and we have added many new and talented team members that share our work ethic and our values.  Success is not something that we take for granted and we believe in fostering a culture of community, humility, and gratitude.  Wherever possible we encourage our team to “give back” to several charities that we support including Bee Brave, Purple Community, Kid’s Food Basket, Toys 4 Tots, American Red Cross Blood Drives, Boys and Girls Club, and others.

One of the many charitable fundraisers that we support is the Bee Brave 5K Race in Grand Rapids MI.  Bee Brave stands out to us because one hundred percent of the proceeds go to the Van Andel Institute, a Grand Rapids based research facility fighting Breast Cancer and Neurodegenerative diseases.

In just the last three years our generous staff and management team have donated nearly $20,000 to the change-making organization. I have personally been able to take tours of the Van Andel facility and have gotten to see the machines and meet the staff that Bee Brave’s donations have been able to purchase and hire.

As everyone knows, 2020 has seen many cancelled and postponed events, but fortunately we will be able to continue our tradition next weekend and once again support Bee Brave as a platinum level sponsor for their October 10th fundraiser.  Based on the guidance provided by our state and through strict enforcement by the leaders at Bee Brave, I am certain we will be able to do our part to help support this worthy cause, all while keeping everyone safe.  The Bee Brave community is faithful, strong, and loyal.

Bee Brave founder Pat Ringnalda offered the following sentiments to help outline the importance of the event, “The Bee Brave charity organization consists of like-minded people who have a passion for a community cause. 100% of what we raise, including race registrations, go directly to the Van Andel Institute for local breast cancer research! SpendMend has been a HUGE contributor to our success, not only as a Platinum level sponsor, but also by creating energy to support our team fundraising efforts!

Please come join us on Saturday, October 10-either virtually or in person!  Click HERE to register and/or donate today using the SpendMend team’s fundraising page.  Any contribution you or your friends/family can make will help in significant and meaningful ways.

SpendMend Employees Save 75 Lives in One Day

Written By: Amanda Geelhoed Papach, Marketing Director

Seven years ago I was tasked with finding a way for our employees to give back to our clients. The same week that I was given this project Super Storm Sandy hit the east coast. There was a nationwide call for blood donations. While I sat in the chair donating blood, I spoke with the nurse who said they have a traveling bus that can go anywhere for donations. This was a light bulb epiphany moment for me.

Our first corporate blood drive was held in a bus outside our old office building. Our goal was to collect 15 units. That February morning the bus arrived, and then, in true Michigan fashion the heavens opened with a polar vortex of snow. Local high schools cancelled class at noon, our employees went home early, and not a soul was walking around the city. That day we collected 10 units and 18 inches of snow. I was sad that we missed our goal, but our donation manager was so excited. I didn’t understand why she was so happy. We failed, we missed the goal. She was excited because we saved 30 lives. Those ten donations were given to local hospitals to save lives.

Now, my sister, Hannah Geelhoed, heads up all community outreach events for SpendMend. She has grown our outreach to new levels (check out the Bee Brave 5k) with the support of the incredible SpendMend team. I am so pleased to announce the latest blood drive surpassed the company goal of 18 pints and the Red Cross goal of 21 pints. Drum Roll Please…We hit 25 pints saving 75 lives!!!

I could not be more honored to work for a company that supports all aspects of healthcare from finance through patient care. It’s not very often you see a conglomeration of auditors, callers, HR, and executives saving lives. Thank you to all employees who donated.

SpendMend blood drives are now open to the community as well. If you are in the Grand Rapids area our next drive will be held January 6, 2020 at our corporate headquarters located at 2680 New Horizon Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Sign-up for a specific time here and type in sponsor code BSI. We look forward to saving more lives with you!