In Memoriam: Kathie Porter
The worldwide Advantage community was deeply saddened by the sudden death of our friend and coworker Kathie Porter in January.
Kathie was an employee of ACS for 13 years, and was a member of the Advantage user community at Wolters Kluwer Health and J. B. Lippincott for 11 years prior to that. During her years with ACS, our clients and staff greatly appreciated Kathie’s deep product knowledge and hard work. She had a special knack for leveraging her knowledge to address the practical business needs of clients. Over the years, many clients have expressed gratitude for Kathie’s exceptional skills in trouble-shooting and analysis. Kathie also became a close friend of many here at ACS, and was a fantastic team player—always willing to drop what she was doing to help someone else.
She was the recipient of many ACS kudos, accolades and other awards and commendations over the years. Here are selections from some of them (client names have been removed).
- “Kathie continues to go to extraordinary lengths to help [Client] over the remaining hurdles. They recently sent an email thanking Kathie for her dedication and exceptional effort in staying up past 1:30 a.m. to finish fixes to a crucial item on their list. This is just one example of the late nights and early mornings that Kathie has given to this project.”
- “Kathie has been an absolute star working with us on this. She has been all over the project and we would never have hit the tight deadlines without her assistance and expertise.”
- “The accounting folks absolutely love Kathie. They really appreciate being able to have direct contact with her because she quickly grasps their issues and runs with them.”
- “Kathie totally saved me with this issue. I went through two other people and in the end, Kathie was my knight in shining armor. I love that girl! You have no idea.”
- “Above all, it was Kathie who made this project the success it was. She knows the business better than anyone. She anticipated their needs, wrote reports, consulted on how to spec the mods, tested the mods, helped them to verify and adjust their business practices. And to top things off, she was available during her vacation for daily conference calls (sometimes several) in order to keep things moving in the last week before cutover.”
- “Kathie stepped in at the last minute and took charge of the AMB Roundtable at AUG after the original person fell ill. Kathie did this with her usual cheerfulness, enthusiasm and practicability. She is always totally professional, but has a way of seeing things from the user/customer point of view that is unequalled. There was a mixed group of attendees at her roundtable, but she made sure that everyone was able to take something away.”
A native of Connecticut, Kathie received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and lived and worked in the Philadelphia area for more than a dozen years before moving to Michigan and joining ACS. The proud owner of four cats, Kathie never saw a stray she couldn't help, whether human or feline. She loved gardening and cultivated a wild meadow garden and was also an active online gamer.
She is greatly missed.
Several clients sent condolences which included their memories and experiences with Kathie. Here are excerpts from a few of them.
“I got to know Kathie through many email conversations, phone calls and also in person at several conferences and visits to Ann Arbor. There was so much to like about her: on a professional level, she was superb and everything I could hope for from a supplier – knowledgeable, questioning, delightfully frank and honest (I’m sure many people will say that!), communicative, and utterly capable. She was dedicated and professional at all times and yet never took things so seriously that there wasn’t time for a joke. She got me out of trouble on more than one occasion at a conference when I had to lead a discussion group, coming to my rescue with the answers when I got out of my depth!
On a personal level, I enjoyed catching up with her on my visits to the US, knowing that there would always be a cheerful chat or discussion on some topic of interest. Most recently, we debated the merits of Scottish single malt whiskies, arguing whether the best came from the Islands, the Highlands, or the Lowland regions. We never did get that one resolved but vowed to push on with dedicated research.
I will miss her and hope that it might bring you a small amount of comfort to know that far away in England, there will be someone that will on occasion, open a bottle of Scotch and have a silent little toast to a wonderful woman” –Andy Wright, Oxford University Press
“We were shocked and saddened to hear of Kathie’s death. We were privileged to have worked with her and the staff at APA who use Advantage held her in high regard. We were impressed with her knowledge and experience in systems, accounting, and publishing. She knew so much. Kathie helped us design our AMB application and use it successfully in our business. She was always willing to roll up her sleeves to get us through reconciliations and conversions, and to be honest, to figure out and correct the errors we brought upon ourselves. Everything was done with grace, a great sense of humor, and a true dedication to her work. We’ve lost a friend and a colleague and we share in your sorrow and loss.” – Kathy Stein, American Psychiatric Association
“Kathie helped us during one of our conversions and always had an interesting way of looking at the system and life. She always made us laugh and will be missed.”—Michelle VanArman, Crain Communications