My Background

New, visionary ideas and new technologies excite me, as do efforts to promote human potential and evolution. I see tremendous value in helping teachers find their passions in what they teach, so that they then inspire that interest and passion in their students. As a coach, I am naturally affirming and have a talent for seeing the big picture while honing in on the essence, and gently challenging my clients' underlying assumptions and beliefs.

Having been trained in art - mostly drawing and painting - and having left that for a career in government, I have finally come back to it and am painting again, mostly watercolors. Color, paint, paper, brushes, clay... anything to do with creating art gives me a thrill. I understand creative blocks and side-tracks and can help others overcome them. I have a passion for helping people get past self-limiting internal dialogue and expanding opportunities for fun, creativity, inspiration, balance and flow in their lives.

I have received my coach training from Coach University, CoachVille, and The Graduate School of Coaching.


So Who Is Karen?

That’s a good question! And one I had to do some thinking about.

In the past, I would typically answer that question with education and career identity answers,
  • I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with post masters work in Counseling.”
  • I was a manager for 24 years in a large state agency in charge of ‘Performance and Learning Support’ focusing primarily on Instructional Media Production and Technology.”
  • I have been a change agent, a visionary in distance learning, lifelong learning, and educational reform, a lover of accelerated learning and creative training techniques.”
  • And I was fortunate to have had the best staff anyone could ever hope to work with.”
But then an amazing opportunity came along for me, and I left that identity for an early "retirement" and the chance to channel all those passions in a new direction.

So now who am I? Well I’m all of the above. But for the essence of what that is, I find myself looking way back to when I was most joyful and playful, somewhere between the ages of 6 and 12. And what I see is that I was then all about fun, play, joy, creativity, and sticking up for others. These are the words I would use to describe me then:

Dancer and collaborative choreographer (we endlessly made up dance routines to 50’s music!), prolific etch-a-sketch artist (years later I latched onto an Amiga computer - the SUPER etch-a-sketch of the 90's!), carnival act planner/imaginer, cowgirl pretender, advocate for the easily intimidated. Gradually, that joyful child took cover under the pressures of growing up in an alcoholic family. My identity became overshadowed by tending to the needs and demands of an alcoholic and suicidal mother, the “disease to please”, resultant immobilizing perfectionism, and attendant weight and anxiety issues.

I then went off to college where I had the good fortune to be a child of the 60's and early 70's, a time of expansive thinking, open-mindedness and experimentation. I gained a real appreciation for the value of living "in the moment", finding joy in playfulness and in simple things, the unity of all of life (we ARE all one), and the power of choice and intention. I studied art, "organismic" (now called experiential) learning, and co-founded an alternative high school dedicated to inspiring students to be their best.

After spending a year in California testing out "intentional community" life, I got involved in producing media, mostly for social and educational change and co-founded a media production company, the Media Guild. Later, I landed a job with the state where I was able, over 25 years, to promote innovative technology that brought training ever closer to the learner. I worked to inspire creative, performance-supportive learning opportunities.

Now, I'm a wife, and the mother of a beautiful and incredibly bright and independent 18-year old daughter. I also have two grown stepchildren and a 6-year old granddaughter. We have a min-pin pup named Cisco, a turtle named Myrtle and a cat named Kali. We live in a stately Victorian home that was built in 1892. I love to travel, especially to beaches. I'm a jazzercise nut and have been for over 15 years, feeding my need to dance.

Some additional areas with which I have experience and perspective to offer others include:
  • Step parenting
  • Teen parenting/empty nesting
  • Employee affirming management
  • Visionary leadership
  • Empowering self talk