Schaefer audience, meet: Katherine Garner. We huddled up with our accident-prone Account Manager to introduce her formally, given that she’s sat in our office un-introduced for a few weeks. So, for our formal introduction, here’s our interview:
Schaefer: Katherine, tell us about yourself.
KG: That is a vague question. Well, to start, I’m from Arlington, Texas. I studied at Abilene Christian University, where I earned a degree in marketing and a minor in advertising. I’ve played soccer most of my life, and had the opportunity to play on the collegiate level. I’m currently going through a huge transition, where I just bought a house in Aledo, Texas, and am about to get married in October. I have two older brothers – both local – and we are two years apart in age. I’m known mostly for putting Cholula on everything, and tripping over my own two feet.
Schaefer: Can you tell us a hometown story?
KG: I’m not from a small hometown – Arlington is a city! I guess, in this case, I’ll call it a “city town” story.
One day, when my brother and I were younger, we were wrestling like siblings do. Actually, I was only a junior in high school at the time, so we were way too old to be fake wrestling. Anyway, I remember my mom was yelling at us from downstairs to stop messing around. Of course to spite her, my brother and I continued and laughed about it. But at one point, my brother slammed me into the ground so hard that I knew something wasn’t right. My immediate inclination was to laugh – since that’s what I do when I’m embarrassed. I remember saying, “Something’s wrong. I think I broke my rib.” Being a brother, he didn’t believe me. I remember laughing and insisting that something was broken. We found out later – much later – that he did break my rib.
Schaefer: [laughing] How did you find out later as opposed to right away?
KG: It turned out I had to play in a soccer game the following day. I remember being in so much pain, but continually telling myself during the match, “there’s nothing you can do, and absolutely nothing.” I had mentioned to my coach and teammates that I was positive I had broken my rib, but no one believed me. I’m known for getting injured a lot, so I was shocked they didn’t believe me. A month later, I ended up going to the hospital for a different soccer injury, and the doctors told me I had a broken rib that was undergoing the healing process. You can imagine how relieved I felt, and how dumb my brother felt, after that.
Schaefer: So, are you really accident-prone? And, is that really your favorite story?
KG: Like I said, I will trip over my own two feet. It happens. I also realize I need a better story to kick-off with. I guess when I talk about home, I’m reminded of my injuries. [laughs].
Here’s another one: During my senior year of high school, I broke my right wrist in a soccer game and had to wear a cast. The same year, I tore my ACL on my right side, so I was also wearing a leg cast. After my surgery, I ended up going back to school too soon, because my mom insisted I would be fine. One of the first days back, I remember feeling nauseous because of all the pain medication I was on. I knew I needed to see the nurse. So as I was walking to her office, everyone was returning from lunch. At that moment, in the middle of the school hallway, I threw up all over myself in front of everybody. At that point, all I wanted to do was drop my crutches and try to find the nurse. But instead, I just stood in my own vomit as people walked by.
Yeah, I really need to find a better story.
Schaefer: Do you still play soccer?
KG: I went back to Abilene, Texas, and played in a 7 on 7 tournament this past April. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was that sore. Luckily, I survived without any injuries. It would be my luck to break or tear something six months before my own wedding.
Schaefer: Your nickname and where did it come from?
KG: Kat. My name is Katherine. I’m an animal lover, so my guess is the nickname stemmed from my love for cats. Growing up, my friends would call me “Kitty” and meow at me. It was kind of weird.
Schaefer: What’s your favorite soccer memory?
KG: We made it to the Elite-8 in California, during my junior year of college – that was huge. We ended up losing to Chico in a swampy, rainy game. It was a total mud pit and incredibly tough to play in. But we had a private plane fly us out, which was a big perk.
I’m also proud to say eight of my fourteen bridesmaids came from us all playing soccer together. When planning my wedding, I chose to do a lot of bridesmaids. I have two maids of honor and two matrons of honor. You can tell I’m reinventing the wheel on weddings.
Schaefer: What is your interest in healthcare marketing?
KG: It’s a huge market and you’re constantly learning about new products and methods that help people. I would’ve never known how many options are available for people looking for procedures and products, if I didn’t enter into this field. It’s an ever-changing industry and new things are constantly getting approved by the FDA. There’s always opportunities to research something new.
Schaefer: How did you hear about Schaefer?
KG: I’ve always known about Schaefer. Jan Blanchard was a really close family friend– still a really close family friend. We used to do ski trips with her and her family. They also attended our church before they moved to Oklahoma. I would ask her a lot about her experience at Schaefer. When I was in the market for a job in Fort Worth, I immediately reached out to her in hopes she would connect me with someone at Schaefer. At the time, they weren’t hiring, so I pursued another opportunity in Dallas. I was kicking to get back to Fort Worth, and luckily a position opened up here within two years. I jumped on the opportunity right away, and it all fell into place. It felt right at the time, and it still feels right.