Growing up in New Mexico, Karen’s first vocational plans involved being a librarian since she thought they got to live the dream of reading books all day. When she realized that architects draw pictures all day instead, her career trajectory was set and she continues to enjoy how architecture combines both the creative and practical sides of her personality. She studied at the University of Notre Dame and spent a year abroad in Rome where she discovered a love of architectural history, exploring ancient ruins and gelato.
After several years in New York City, working a block away from Times Square, she moved west to Portland to have more trees in her life. Karen is a major ambassador of Waterleaf holiday spirit and is the esteemed founder of the Waterleaf Paper Snowflake Project and the Annual Mini Pumpkin Carving Contest. The NY Times crossword puzzle is a daily habit, and her current Sunday personal best time is 22 minutes.