EPISODE 25: Kathryn Schrader: Kid Entrepreneur to Tax Accountant to Speaker

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I met Kathryn Schrader at one of my very first Networking Today International meetings in Knoxville. She was the Business Spotlight Speaker that day, and as a speaking coach and professional speaker, the moment I see an expert on stage with a giving heart and some public speaking skills, I immediately know, “This is one of my people.” Kathryn is one of my people!

Originally from the Point Pleasant, N.J. area, Kathryn Schrader exhibited entrepreneurial tendencies early in life. As a child, her father owned an auto body shop, and Kathryn enjoyed tagging along with her father’s accountant, which frankly I would have found BORING – so you know she’s special! This unlikely mentor gave her a life-defining piece of advice: “My father’s accountant told me that I could learn any business as long as I understood the numbers,” Kathryn recalls.

At 14, she began selling ice cream by the beach on the Point Pleasant boardwalk. She worked several jobs in high school, and began learning about business management at a skating rink, where she sold tickets, handled concessions, and worked in the skate shop. She also became a skilled roller skater, eventually winning the Southern Regional Silver Medal in her discipline.  Today, she volunteers as an instructor and speed skating coach for the Hard Knox Roller Derby Girls in her spare time (cool, right?!).

After her family moved to East Tennessee in 1978, Kathryn graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee in 1982 with a B.S. in Accounting.  In 1990, she earned her MBA from UT with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Organizational Management, and shortly after became a Certified Management Accountant, giving her the perfect skill set for helping small businesses thrive. During our interview, you’ll hear why Kathryn decided to go against the norm for accountants and earn her MBA.

Before forming Eaton Tax and Business Services, Kathryn worked with several different companies in both public accounting and corporate management positions. For 14 years, she also owned and operated Management Consulting Services, where she specialized in tax and bookkeeping services, fraud investigation, and forensic records reconstruction for corporations, individuals and non-profits.

For over 15 years, Kathryn Schrader served as an Adjunct Professor at Tennessee Wesleyan College, teaching courses in Principles of Marketing, Supervisory Management, Principles of Management, Accounting Information Systems, Administrative Office Management, Personal Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Human Resources Management – yet one more thing we have in common, because for about the same amount of time, I was an adjunct professor teaching communication skills.

You’ll hear all about how Kathryn got her start, and she’ll also share some end of the year tax tips in this historic tax year.