Kathryn Simshauser Oplinger became involved in her professional because she was a student of chemistry and was considered for a scholarship to John Hopkins University. However, her husband-to-be was from the U.S. Naval Academy at the time of the Vietnam War. She decided to support her husband and education had to take a backseat. Ms. Oplinger comes from a family of inventors, who were all equals in arts and sciences. Her father only had a fifth-grade education, as he was German in World War I and wasn’t allowed to finish school. The family tradition that they have is never giving up and trying to contribute back for what they have been given in life.
Since 2019, Ms. Oplinger has been the president and chief executive officer of Spring Valley Farm at Jamco Trailers in North Carolina. Prior to this role, she served in the same capacity at Dawn Enterprises, Inc., CMAS and Tiller Stewart & Co. LLC in Atlanta between 1981 and 1997. In addition to this tenure, Ms. Oplinger has consulted in management information systems for Procter & Gamble in Atlanta since 1989. She was also a spokesperson and daughter for Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide from 1981 to 1986, and a software expert and programmer for Novell Network & Accounting.
Prior to the start of her professional career, Ms. Oplinger studied at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, from 1969 to 1971 and Kennesaw State University in Georgia from 1988 to 1989. A 1969 Firestone Foundation scholar, Ms. Oplinger founded the Young Rider Advancement Program (YRAP) in 2001, which she still remains active with to this day. The president of the Woodstock, Georgia, chapter of Lions International from 1986 to 1987, she is also affiliated with the National Association for Female Executives, the American Business Women’s Association and the United States Inventing Association, and is a sponsor for the Retired Racehorse Project.
Ms. Oplinger was a U.S. Pony Club member and a B-level graduate, and has handled horses since she was 10 years old. She used to ride with Nicki Walsh, who was a Steeplechase icon. Her horse, Exclusive, is the great-grandson of Secretariat. The highlight of her career was becoming a venture partner at the CPA company, Tiller Stewart & Company. She is also very proud of leading the Young Riders in Georgia, who had seven states and 240 students that participated. They also won the national championship and team challenge. In light of her exceptional undertakings, Ms. Oplinger was selected for inclusion in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and Who’s Who in the World.
Notably, Ms. Oplinger’s brother, Walter Simhauser, was the chief engineer of the GPS program. He also was the chief engineer on the stealth plane. Her brother carries on the tradition of inventors.