Great minds think alike. For Cathy Goodwin, that saying rings true. As a lifelong equestrian, Cathy searched for ways to keep her barn documents and records organized for years. She even created her own software, Show Barn Manager, that she used and sold to other barn managers. Just as she was tiring of maintaining and supporting Show Barn Manager, Cathy stumbled upon Stable Secretary and knew that she had found something interesting. Read along as Cathy talks about her equine background, her time with Stable Secretary, and how she was introduced to the Software that she is so passionate about today!
Q: What is your equestrian background?
Cathy: I started horseback riding when I was 6 years old. At 14, I started braiding horses for entry fee money, and I officially became a professional braider after graduating from college. As a Junior, I horse showed in the Equitation Finals by qualifying at local shows on my very talented horse. We were 9th at Harrisburg Medal Finals in 1983. After college, I began braiding for Geoff Teall. Geoff let me work off expenses on horses that no one else really wanted to pay for, and from there I was able to have horses to show under his guidance. I moved through Geoff’s program, and eventually ended up working for him as a barn manager before he semi-retired.
Q: How did you become involved with Stable Secretary?
Cathy: As a barn manager, I tried several different ways to keep organized health records – Outlook calendars, Excel spreadsheets, and I eventually realized that I needed to create database software to really keep the records the way I wanted them. I created a system using MS Access and quickly discovered that others wanted it too, so I started selling it. However, with all of the changes in tech (updated hardware, new operating systems, more people using Apple products, Cloud software becoming more common), I ended up short on time and knowledge to maintain and support it. My software languished a bit as I realized I needed to move it into the Cloud. I kept seeing an ad for Stable Secretary software on Facebook and when I finally took a look at it, I realized it was very similar to what I had been trying to accomplish with my own software! To me, that was more of a compliment than a complaint. At that point, Stable Secretary still needed some additional functionality to totally satisfy my needs, but I felt that it was headed in the right direction. I emailed Kate to propose working together on the software, and to my surprise, she replied that she would greatly welcome my help as a collaborator on Stable Secretary.
Q: What is your specific role within the company?
Cathy: I have strong ideas of what I want the software to be for me, so I tend to act like a product manager – I push for new features that would help me (and therefore others) to manage horse records. Kate gets feedback from our current and prospective users, so she integrates my suggestions with their feedback to determine the order of the upgrades to the software. I use the software in my everyday life, so I have lots of input on its strengths and weaknesses. Kate and I may steer the direction of product development from differing sides, but we do always tend to agree on the final direction. Besides that, I assist with everything else associated with running a business – I advise on marketing ideas and implementations, I assist with the bookkeeping, I manage the large minority of our Customer Contact Info tracking, I provide moral support, and help out in whatever way I can.
What is your favorite aspect of Stable Secretary?
Cathy: My favorite aspect of the company is being involved with something I have always wanted to do without being solely responsible for all of it. I get to do something I truly enjoy and believe in, with like-minded people.
Q: Why do you believe that Stable Secretary is such an important part of stable management?
Cathy: Stable Secretary is an important part of Stable Management because it’s nearly impossible to track all of this information without it! It is very easy to use. Once people get started, I think they are impressed by just how easy it is to enter and view information. The really great part is that once the information has been entered, there are so many ways you can manipulate it to get reports, lists, printouts…
Four Fun Facts about Cathy:
1. I trained for and completed a full Ironman for my 50th birthday.
2. My happy place is in the water- either pool workouts, or long-distance open water swimming, or just floating and watching the wildlife below.
3. My husband proposed to me in the mud-pit of an obstacle race – a very perfect moment that is so “us”.
4. I love data- data entry, data organization, bookkeeping/making numbers match (I don’t know how fun that sounds to other people, but it is to me!)
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