Karen’s Story

My story starts in college where my first major was Human Resources. I joined a student chapter of a traditional HR association – finding myself completely uninspired.

Bureaucratic compliance-driven HR was never going to get me out of bed for the next several decades. I quickly changed my major. I didn’t see a path for what I thought HR could be.

With all the best intentions to avoid HR, the universe had other plans starting with my first job out of college in executive search, and continuing in some form for the last 26 years.

Fortunately early on, I had a two amazing HR leaders/mentors who were quick to show me there are bright, strategic ways to see businesses through a ‘people lens’, and I have spent the rest of my career doing HR my way.

I’ve been on a mission to recruit, coach, develop and learn from great people leaders ever since.

My belief system is clear:

  • I believe in the potential of great human leadership.
  • Great human leadership starts with understanding human behavior and motivation.
  • I believe when leaders have genuine care for their team members, their team members care more about the business.
  • I believe humans thrive when given opportunities and tools to succeed.
  • I believe in simple solutions. It’s what makes them stick.
  • I believe HR has the responsibility to not just understand the business, but be actively involved in it and move it forward.

If you want to see my “fine print,” please check out my LinkedIn profile. Click on Connect while you’re there. I would love the opportunity to learn about you too!



What our clients say about
HumanSmarts Consulting


"Karen is a strategist and an inspirational people leader. She can crystallize business and people challenges quickly and create a plan of action to drive positive change."

Tim Palmer

"I love Karen's passion for Human Resources - especially her drive to make advanced HR solutions available to small businesses!"


“Your class on Situational Leadership was fantastic!!!! I really enjoyed how you presented the info!!! Can’t wait for the next one!”


“Karen is in her element facilitating this program – it’s definitely her sweet spot. You feel her passion to help managers grow into great people leaders!”