Karen began her association with Jenesse in 1989, serving as a volunteer, assisting with proposal development, special events and as liaison to the board of directors. She became the full-time Executive Director in January 1997. Several of Jenesse’s other achievements include:
- Jenesse Mothers and Children (JMAC), an after school mother/children relationship building program to rebuild bonds broken by abuse and crisis.
- On-site vocational assessment and job readiness program.
- Communities of Faith Program with specific curriculum that works with African American faith-based institutions to educate about domestic violence.
- Comprehensive youth programs focused on prevention – “Jeneration J” Jenesse Style Center, an on-site fully functional professional boutique and salon
Prior to becoming CEO, Karen was Chief of Staff for six years for Assemblymember Marguerite Archie-Hudson. Karen’s responsibilities while working for the California State Legislature included drafting and monitoring legislation, supervising staff, working with constituents and coordinating community events.
Karen assisted with policy development and legislative projects particularly issues impacting women and children including Assembly bills that provided landmark funding for domestic violence shelters after the O.J. Simpson case brought to light the need for more shelter programs.
Prior to working for the California State Legislature, Karen worked as a public relations and government relations’ representative for Rockwell International, serving on the President’s staff, where she was responsible for liaison with federal government representatives, developing special events, and disseminating grants to community organizations. Her duties also included working with military personnel and other agencies associated with aircraft development and sales.
Karen was elected to the board of directors for the California Alliance Against Domestic Violence. She was appointed to the State Domestic Advisory Committee by then Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson. She received the Leadership Award for the Los Angeles Branch of the NAACP. Karen is the recipient of the Rosa Parks Award presented by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles and the Martin Luther King Legacy Association. The African American Chamber of Commerce presented her with a Community Service Award.