“I set out wanting to be in advertising … loved ads and their creativity since I was a kid,” says Karen, who went to high school outside of Seattle. “My mom said that I would stop playing and say, “Shush!” just to watch the ads on TV.”
Talent ran in her family, as a grandfather was a cartoonist and her dad was a graphic artist for Campbell Soup.
Her entry into the creative fields came while she was going to college in New York City and seeking an internship. Someone at an international public-relations agency thought the Ohio native would be good with people and brought her into the fold.
“I literally didn’t have any idea what PR was,” Karen recalls, “and quickly decided it was just sales and I could do it. Later I realized the creativity within it. That position led to a paying internship [back home in Seattle], to a job and to another job.”
The University of Washington grad started her career in Seattle at Evans, Kraft Bean PR, which now is owned by the worldwide public-relations conglomerate Publicis. After Publicis, she went into business with a partner and became co-owner of The Bean Agency, Inc. The Bean Agency grew to become one of the area’s most successful public relations firms with annual billings in the millions and offices on both U.S. coasts. “learning new things every day about new companies/services, and why they were created and what makes them special. Also, I like the people I work with and making clients happy.”
At PSC, Karen says she loves “learning new things every day about new companies/services, why they were created and what makes them special. Also, I like the people I work with and making clients happy.”
It’s not all business for Karen, who is married and the mother of three sons. She’s been on a game show (“The $20,000 Pyramid”), run the New York City Marathon, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and rode in the MS: City to Shore Bike Race (across New Jersey, from Cherry Hill to Ocean City).
Karen says she is “very old-fashioned and traditional woman at heart. I love to quilt, sew and cook for family and friends.”