Q&A Spotlight with Kate

by Danielle Borges - Marketing & Sales Director

We are pleased to announce our team continues to grow, and another FileMaker community rockstar has joined Codence. 

Kate has a strong background as an accountant, FileMaker developer, and project lead. You might know her solution CurtainTime, a software solution that helps performing arts venues and production companies save time with every aspect of their stagehand labor process.

Enjoy getting to know our newest Tech Lead in the Q&A below.

– How did you get started with FileMaker?

I had just moved to NYC after finishing a master’s degree in piano performance. I didn’t see any jobs for pianists in the Village Voice, so I assumed there were no jobs for pianists in NYC. After weeks of pounding the pavement, I landed the most unusual of jobs, an administrative assistant at a small talent management company for jingle singers. I needed to find a way to track singers, jingle houses, bookings, etc., and there wasn’t an off the shelf software that did that. I discovered FileMaker on the office Mac, and so my FileMaker Love Story began…

– What prompted you to join Codence?

When I noticed on Twitter that my friend and colleague, Martha Zink had joined Codence, I followed the breadcrumbs to the Codence website and found myself looking at the careers page. I saw the posting for Accounting FileMaker Developer and it hit me, “That’s my job!” Everything about it looked so right for me.

I really enjoy having a specialty. Working with Codence, specifically around the Genesis Financial Suite, gives me the opportunity to specialize, working with clients across many different industries on solving their unique accounting challenges.

I was also really drawn to the quality of the team at Codence. There are lots of FileMaker shops out there, but I perceived something really unique about the people at Codence. The company has attracted some of the smartest and most talented individuals I have had the opportunity to work with. Codence’s commitment to diversity in hiring is really important to me as well.

– What made you decide to focus on the niche market of accounting in digital and technology services?

It wasn’t so much a brilliant career decision as just rolling with it and taking the next obvious step. After the jingle singer job, I worked for a digital video post-production startup, which is where I really cut my teeth on solving a wide array of business problems. I love the puzzle-solving that is such a big part of our work, and accounting is a puzzle that comes naturally me, but doesn’t to everybody. The feeling you get when you save someone hours on a time-consuming, repetitive task still gives me a rush, after all these years.

– What advice would you give to businesses who want to transform digitally?

Three things here:

First, know that digitally representing an inefficient process probably won’t give you the improvement you want. This is your opportunity to revisit and streamline your processes before you create them in digital form. It is worth it to take the time to map out your processes and look for ways you can eliminate waste and inefficiency. Observe and talk with the people who are actually going to be using the system when it’s finished. Don’t assume you know their process until you have seen it all the way through and heard what works and doesn’t work for them. Trust their feedback.

Second, understand that change is hard. Help your team believe that this change is designed to improve their experience at work and gain back some of their life energy! At the same time, be willing to question and challenge the “but we’ve always done it this way” mentality, because it will undoubtedly try to show up for the party.

Last, understand that you don’t need to tackle everything at once. Work in phases. Make real, concrete progress towards goals. There is always room for enhancement, but you need a solid, functional foundation to start and build momentum.

– Is there something you’ve learned that you wish someone had told you 10 years ago?

Until recently, I never really understood the concept of “put your own mask on first.” Ten years ago, as a mother of two young kids and a small business owner, there was always something that needed my attention before I felt like I could take care of myself. Taking care of myself seemed selfish.

A couple of years ago, I learned a phrase from a colleague and mentor, Paige Hendrix Buckner, “Protect the asset.” Hearing her describe me as “the asset” kind of rocked my world, and it started to click. If I’m not taking care of myself, I’m no good for anything. It’s my responsibility to make sure I’m taking care of myself so that I can be in a position to provide for others. For me, that means eating right, getting enough sleep, spending time in nature, and creating some time to be alone. Only then do I have a chance of doing anything close to good work.

– Is there a particular female leader you look up to?

I recently came across the work of Christiana Figueres, a leader on global climate change who oversaw the creation of the Paris Agreement. The work she did to bring together so many different parties, with so many different interests, and get them aligned towards a common goal is an unparalleled accomplishment that required an unbelievable degree of collaboration.

A quote of hers I love is, “Impossible isn’t a fact; it’s an attitude. It’s only an attitude.”

– What is some of the advice you’d share with young women entering a male-dominated profession?

For me, it comes down to this one thing: never make yourself smaller to avoid making someone else uncomfortable. As women, we too often minimize our own strengths and talents so as not to outshine anyone. Doing this doesn’t serve anyone. There is room for you to be amazing. Don’t limit yourself.

– What kind of music do you like to listen to when working?

I’m sad to say that I can’t listen to music while I work! As a former musician, having any music on in the background takes up too much of my brain bandwidth, and I find myself following the music instead of the work. I do my best work with earplugs in and an internet content blocker on.

Outside of work, I tend to listen to whatever my kids are into these days, which usually involves my son sharing his favorite new rap artists with me.

– Do you have a secret talent?

Again with the music… I have perfect pitch and can play pretty much any song you name back on the piano. I’m also freakishly good at guessing what time it is without looking at the clock.

– If you could have a special power what would it be?

The ability to help people see through their differences and to find a common ground. The world needs so much more of this.

– Got any good accountant jokes?

Not without Googling them. Let me file an extension on that one.

– Is there something that has made you smile recently?

I saw the Unipiper for the first time yesterday! You’ve got to love Portland for being a place where you can ride a unicycle through the streets while wearing a Darth Vader helmet and playing flaming bagpipes.

– How do you stay hopeful, even during these difficult times?

Another quote from Christiana Figueres here. “There is no way you can deliver victory without optimism.”

I believe that whenever we are trying to do anything, it’s our responsibility to trust that we can and will get it done, despite all odds. Otherwise, we’re working at cross-purposes with ourselves, and that’s just a waste of time and energy, now isn’t it? We won’t always succeed, but believing we can is the best prerequisite for success.

Kate’s amazing personality, and accounting chops is exactly what we needed. We are happy to have her join our team!

Want to learn more about awesome women who have built careers in tech? Check out our Women in Tech Series.

Subscribe to get the latest in your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Built with you in mind

Speak to one of our expert consultants about making sense of your data today. During
this free consultation, we'll address your questions, learn more about your business, and
make some immediate recommendations.


Stay in touch!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.