30 In Their Thirties: Katie Hersh, Vice President of Strategic Finance and Analytics Amrock, Detroit

On Katie Hersh’s bucket list of things to do is to be a teacher. But one semester of student teaching while she was an undergraduate student at Saginaw Valley State University convinced her to give up her early ambition and go into accounting.
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Katie Hersh // Photo by Trever Long

On Katie Hersh’s bucket list of things to do is to be a teacher. But one semester of student teaching while she was an undergraduate student at Saginaw Valley State University convinced her to give up her early ambition and go into accounting.

“I would love to actually be a college adjunct professor, maybe at a community college, teaching accounting classes,” Hersh says. “I have a passion for learning like a lifelong student, but I also love teaching others.”

With her teaching career on hold, Hersh followed her college instinct and spent two years as a public accountant in Ann Arbor before returning to Walsh College to get her MSF in finance.

“I definitely love data,” she says. “Financial accounting is very black and white, just very much about debits and credits that balance out. But with finance you can tell the story of what the actual impact on an organization is and help drive strategy, and I’ve always had a passion for that kind of storytelling.”

Hersh says she found her niche leveraging data and financials with her 30-member team at Amrock, the title-insurance arm of Rocket Cos. in Detroit, where she’s vice president of strategic finance and analytics.

“The team really drives strategy for our organization, which has allowed me to be a part of driving the overall strategy in the title insurance space,” she says. “People don’t usually go to school to get into title insurance, and it’s not a field I thought I would ever see myself in, but it’s been a great opportunity for me over the last decade.”

Rocket’s decision to go public in 2020, when it raised $1.8 billion, provided her with her biggest career challenge. The plan was executed against a backdrop of uncertainty during COVID-19. Hersh and her team were credited with mining, analyzing, and presenting Amrock’s comprehensive data required for the successful public offering.

Tackling such a monumental moment for her employer’s future didn’t faze her. “I thrive under pressure,” she says. “There’s that adrenaline rush of taking something that we’ve never done before and building it, and to be able to really mold it and figure out how to tell that story and drive that vision forward, that’s awesome.”

Hersh, who joined Rocket in 2012, also leads business intelligence and data reporting teams that constantly scan the horizon to discern trends and monitor progress.

In addition, in 2021 she was honored with HousingWire’s HW Insiders Award, given to professionals who are “a company’s secret, yet vital to its success.”