A Duck In And Out Of The Oracle Water

Posted on 14-Sep-2016 by Katrina Shallahamer / Co-owner of OraPub / katrina@orapub.com

When I was growing up, anytime I was asked the question, “If you could be any animal, what would it be?” I would always answer, “A duck!” Why? Because ducks get to swim AND fly. How cool is that? To this day a duck will always be my answer. Little did I know that this metaphor would come into play in my professional life.

I never thought I would be a part of the IT world. That was always my husband, Craig Shallahamer’s, job. When we started OraPub in 1998, I took on the usual tasks of doing the finances and administration. We had two young daughters so they took most of my time. As they grew older I began to take on more responsibility. Finally, in 2012, the youngest one left the nest and I was free to invest more time into OraPub.

Trials And Success

We decided I should do marketing, since that was my major in college. Surely this would be a great fit for me. However, I began to feel like a duck out of water. When I was in college in the 80’s, the main focus was direct mail marketing. The Internet was non-existent. Fast-forward to today and now besides some direct mail, which is not used nearly as much these days, you have social media, e-zines, digital newspapers, blogs, email, texting, cable, Google, Adwords… How does one traverse such a varied landscape when it comes to getting the word out about your business? Not only that, but now there are untold numbers of competitors all trying to do the same thing. The Internet exploded with business opportunities. I was a duck out of water, and to make matters worse, I couldn’t fly either.

In the midst of the struggle, I discovered I loved to interact with customers. Engaging with people needed to become my priority, which I realized by going to Oracle conferences with Craig. I may not know what an Oracle trace file is, but I can speak and listen to DBAs about their job issues, successes, families and interests. I couldn’t do that at first, but I can now! Together Craig and I have forged such a strong partnership that I can enter the Oracle IT world and operate in areas of my strength even though I might not know what a wait-event is. (Just so you know, I do know the concept of queuing theory thanks to Craig’s teaching about his burger stand. You can watch the intro video below.) I can be at home in the Oracle waters.

It’s Better Together

Another discovery has been with more freedom and less “mommy” time needed, I have been able to travel everywhere with Craig. The adventures we have had, people we have met, and colleagues that have now become our friends, have all been so amazing. Craig and I have truly become business partners more than ever before. We run OraPub together and that makes it stronger as a company and creates a more personal atmosphere with our customers. That is what makes OraPub unique. Our customers become colleagues and then become friends!

Our skills complement one another and that’s what makes it work. We have now been running OraPub together for 18 years and have never regretted it. Through the highs and lows we have continued to pursue offering the best for our customers and building friendships with people all over the world. It’s what sets us apart. We hope you will join us if you haven’t already. Let’s swim and fly through Oracle together!


If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me directly at craig at orapub.com.

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