Kailee joined the Scientific Bioprocessing, Inc. (SBI) family in 2020 as the company’s Office Manager. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and has a degree in Hospitality Management. Prior to joining the SBI staff, Kailee worked extensively in the hospitality management and customer service fields. She brings tremendous energy, a positive outlook, keen attention to detail, and a love of learning to her role in SBI’s back-office operation.
Her addition to the SBI staff has been a boon to SBI’s internal teams, allowing them to focus exclusively on doing what they love, while SBI’s vendors benefit from her tremendous commitment to delivering a consistently outstanding partner experience.
We interviewed Kailee for this next installment of the SBI Team Spotlight Series. Our discussion included looking back at her career, her role at SBI, and what it’s like to work in a new field.
Tell us about your career journey leading up to joining SBI?
I graduated from Eastern Michigan with a degree in Hospitality Management. My career leading up to SBI was primarily in hotel management with a stint in a customer service role for a company that manufactured products for open-heart surgery.
The last position I had prior to joining SBI was as an Assistant GM at a Courtyard hotel. In that position, I had to do a little bit of everything, and I loved that job so much; the team was great and the job was very fulfilling. I was able to do accounting and payroll, and I helped the GM oversee different departments and budgets. I learned a ton in a really fast-paced environment. I then took four years away from the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom. My job at SBI is my first jump back into a full-time role.
I found the SBI position during my job hunt for office manager jobs…I came across a job posting and applied to it, and I’m a little old school, so I still write thank you notes and make phone calls to follow up. I wound up calling Scientific Industries, SBI’s parent company, to follow up and hit it off with the HR person, who referred me to SBI. It just so happened that someone at SBI knew my grandmother-in-law in Pittsburgh and from that connection things developed from there. It was a crazy, whirlwind process. And it still amazes me that a mutual connection with my grandmother-in-law, who is a remarkable woman, helped things turn out for the best!
What are your core responsibilities in your current role?
I am just so excited to use my skills and to learn about a different industry. It’s great to get to apply what I loved to do in the hotel industry to a new field. My core responsibilities are to improve SBI’s back-office operations, manage human resources duties, streamline vendor coordination, and facilitate accounts receivable and accounts payable. I am also building systems and standard operating procedures, so we have a strong foundation moving forward.
Walk us through a day-in-the-life at SBI.
Oh my gosh, I don’t know if I can. I walk in every day with a to-do list. I am very much a list person, but our environment is so fast paced, there’s a lot that needs to happen on the fly. And this is where my hotel experience really translates to this position.
We are developing an inventory system, so I might need to have a meeting that I need to hop into on short notice. Or I could be conducting screening interviews for new hires. Or I might get called in to help unload a big shipment we just received.
The key is being able to prioritize tasks that have deadlines versus longer-term projects. A lot of the day-in-the-life is looking at the day, prioritizing, and then making sure you’re ready for anything.
What are the most important factors to providing a consistently great experience for your internal teams and external vendors?
I often joke with people that I have a passion for forms. I just love filling out forms. What I’m trying to provide our vendors is something that is standardized: here is all the information you need, neatly presented, and I’m going to be here for you if you need anything at any point. I’m the point person between our vendors and our internal people. I’m focused on fast response times, having a sense of urgency, providing complete information, and I’m not afraid to ask a lot of questions at first to learn as much as I can about each vendor. I don’t want to be a scary, grumpy accountant; I want to find out what our vendors need and say, ‘yeah, let’s do it’.
Internally, it’s just great to work at a place where people depend on me and care about what I do. I’ve earned the nickname the ‘Office Mom.’ I want to make sure people trust me and they can come to me if there’s something in their job that I can take care of for them. That fills me with a lot of pride.
I want to take things off our internal team’s plate so I can alleviate this pressure so they can be innovative and creative around the products they’re developing. At SBI it’s so fast-paced, it’s so fun, and I get so much joy working here because every day is different, and I can learn.
How would you describe the workplace culture at SBI?
Our culture is one of our biggest assets. We are all about family and fun and hiring the right people to continue to develop our culture.
When things happen here, they don’t happen to just one person, they happen to all of us. We all support one another. We all push one another and want to see everyone succeed. I think this sets us apart.
It’s a big responsibility, especially on the hiring side, to protect our culture by making sure new hires are the right fit and have the intangibles to be successful here.
What’s the last really good movie or series you streamed and why?
I’m a huge fan of the Bachelorette franchise. I’ve also been watching The Crown. I listened to a five-part, in-depth podcast on Princess Diana before watching The Crown and it’s been fun to see the podcast come to life. The casting for The Crown is amazing and it provides a lot of intimate detail about the royal family and English history.
What’s one thing that your coworkers don’t know about you that would surprise them?
I don’t know that there’s a lot that would surprise my co-workers. I am a pretty open book.
Oh, but maybe…I am terrified of birds. Like phobia level. One time I went to a Nature Center with my kids, and they brought an owl out. I said, ‘I’m out’.
Birds know when you don’t like them. Hard pass on birds. I am not a fan.