Team Member Spotlight: Kate Solovieva - Penn-Mar

Team Member Spotlight: Kate Solovieva

Posted on October 20, 2023

Each month, we highlight a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages.

We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the complex work we do.

So, tune in for our #TeamMemberSpotlight, where our team members share in their own words a bit about themselves!

Kate S smiling for headshotWhat is your job title? Application Administrator.

How long have you been with Penn-Mar? Almost 2 years😊 – actually, 1 year and 8 months.

How did you get connected with Penn-Mar? At my previous employer, I met many wonderful Penn-Mar employees who shared the positive feedback from working at Penn-Mar and supporting people with IDD. I also got to know some of the amazing Penn-Mar individuals. Then I heard about the new open App Admin position from my parents-in-law’s friend. As soon as I heard about it, I applied immediately. I always looked at Penn-Mar as a wonderful organization, and a great employer who provides services to people with IDD so they can live their lives courageously. I always wanted to be a part of the team!

What was your previous work experience prior to Penn-Mar and how did it prepare you for your current role? I received the equivalent of the master’s degree in Business Information Systems when I lived in Russia. I worked as a Software Quality Assurance specialist. This helped me to expand my technical, troubleshooting, and collaboration skills. I also had several internships while attending the university and I designed, programmed, and implemented a tracking information system for non-profit Youth Center of Technical Creativity. When I moved to the US, I worked as a front-end customer service at a supercenter, where I really enjoyed working with people, helping people, and finding solutions to satisfy customers. This helped me to improve my English, communication, and customer service skills.

What does your work entail? Helping end users with Penn-Mar software needs, answering questions and resolving issues (finding and fixing issues). Troubleshooting and testing is a big part of my everyday work as well. I meet and communicate with vendors and escalate complex issues to the vendors. I also set up app user accounts and assigning permissions, support all Penn-Mar departments with software needs, and handle application configuration, optimization, and documentation. And so much more 😊 It all comes to down to supporting Penn-Mar and team members with software needs, so they can provide best services to the people we support!

What’s an average day like for you? Busy. There’s a lot of multitasking going on, but I am enjoying it.

What is your favorite part of your job? Helping team members so they can easily and efficiently provide the best service to the people we support.

What’s one thing you wish people realized about your job? Without software we wouldn’t be able to perform our jobs in an easy and timely manner. For example, in our everyday life, can you imagine if suddenly, one day, none of the apps would work anymore? I’m thinking – how would I survive then? I need my email, I need my social media, I need my zoom and skype, I need my phone (yes phone would not work without app/software installed on it!), I need my calendar, I need my TV apps, I need YouTube, I need Google and so on. I am very appreciative and grateful for us having this possibility to simplify our lives with the modern applications and software being offered to us, whether it’s work-related applications or everyday life software we are using. Apps are an amazing thing that happened to all of us!

In another life, your career path is . . . Veterinarian. I have several rescue kitties that were seriously ill, and I help them to recover. Now they are part of the family😊

Why is Penn-Mar’s mission important to you? It is an honor to be part of the Penn-Mar team as its mission aligns with my beliefs that every person should live their best life regardless of what disability they have.

What’s one thing you wished the general public knew about people with IDD? I got to know some of the people we support, and they are absolutely amazing!! Each person is very unique and can teach you things that you never knew! All humans should be treated the same way regardless of their disability.

What is your favorite quote or mantra? “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

Any hidden talents or fun facts someone wouldn’t know about you? I have a GREEN THUMB! I grow and propagate my indoor plants, then share with my family and friends. I also have flower and vegetable gardens that I really enjoying working in. It’s like my place to recharge for the day! And I know a lot about plants, so if you ever need advice – I’m here to help!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, you’d visit . . . Europe, Hawaii, Mykonos in Greece.

In your spare time, you’ll be found . . . Gardening!!! Digging, planting, watering, weeding, pruning, harvesting, canning.. and ENJOYING 😊 I also get together with my family and friends as much as I can. I am enjoying hiking, skiing, traveling, beachcombing and shelling, spending time with my pets, cooking, and I love photography.

A book, movie, TV show, sports team, etc. you love: Favorite sport – Cat lifting 😊

Something fun, interesting, or meaningful about yourself: I love cats. I love all the animals in general. I have several kitties and a bunch of animals who live on or around my property and show up to say hello every day – bunnies, racoons, groundhogs, and hummingbirds to name a few.

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