Giving Back and Staying Engaged
As the Founder and CEO of LegacyONE Executive Communications, Karen has crafted her own ideal career as a writer, presenter, and book writing coach. Her
journey to founding and leading her own company is deeply rooted in her experience as an undergraduate student at Seattle University. She was working at
Group Health, managing the Board of Trustees office, when she decided to go back to school to get her Bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at
the College of Arts and Sciences. According to Karen, "I'd always had a desire to help people write about their lives. Seattle U confirmed that desire."
As chance would have it, Karen caught wind of the university business plan competition, which put her to work learning how to start a business. It was during the competition that she began to visualize how she could turn her desire to help people write about their lives into a career. Through her business, Karen helps people write autobiographies and memoirs. Karen further pursued her ambition to assist others in sharing their stories by helping authors to self-publish books. She also assists executives and other subject-matter experts produce and publish content in order to emerge as thought leaders. This was no small feat in the days before Amazon, during a time when self-publishing was frowned upon in the industry. Karen notes, "It has been interesting to watch the transformation of the industry, to help people share their stories in amazing ways. I probably wouldn't have done it had I not studied spiritual autobiography at Seattle U and entered the business plan competition."
Aside from running her business, Karen finds time to serve as the current President of the Seattle University Alumni Board of Governors, where she has volunteered for the past ten years. She is perhaps most proud of her role as a Founder of the Women of SU Alumni Chapter. Almost instantly, this alumni group has become Seattle U's most active alumni chapter, connecting women in the spirit of Jesuit educational traditions by promoting leadership and empowerment, encouraging service and philanthropy, and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth. Like many loyal Seattle U alumni, Karen and her husband, Douglas, are also Legacy Society members, which means they have included a gift to Seattle U in their estate plans in order to support future generations of Seattle U students find the same transformative experience that Karen found.
Karen, as a dedicated alum and volunteer, draws from her education to share what Seattle University made possible for her. Karen's legacy of giving back and staying engaged is a spiritual exercise. "Being involved with Seattle U gives me a way to remember that my life is first and foremost a spiritual life. Staying connected to the university keeps me connected with a community with values that are aligned with my own," says Karen. "It really is about giving back and staying engaged."