Karel brings to her position an extensive and wide-ranging educational background, including a bachelor’s degree in business-finance, another degree in creative studies, a certified meeting professional certification, career development through business organizations and even a 200-hour yoga training certificate. Prior to joining IEEW, she spent 20 years with an Oklahoma-based meeting and incentive travel company, serving as an independent planner who helped corporations and associations conceptualize and organize major programs and events. Much of Karel’s time involved working with suppliers from around the world, and many of those people were from emerging countries. She had the opportunity to watch several of the latter individuals grow their businesses over the years.
Coming from a long line of empowered women, both of Karel’s maternal great-grandmothers ran away from their husbands and started their own businesses to make ends meet. Her grandmother ran her own business until she married at age 26, and her mother, a valedictorian, went to college at age 49, the year of the Oklahoma oil bust. Her mother, who is now 74, is still working and volunteering.
Karel’s responsibilities as the Director of Operations at IEEW include developing, implementing and managing programs. Among her many duties she also books speakers, matches mentors and hosts with the students, recruits volunteers and outlines the agenda for the summer PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Leadership Development program.
Karel and her husband are members of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the Myriad Gardens, and enjoy going to the movies and stage productions. Her leisure pursuits include teaching three yoga classes per week, cycling, hiking, reading books; traveling, and trading healthy, superfood inventions with a few close friends. Each day, Karel walks her shepherd mix, Fate, in downtown Oklahoma City while black cat, Lila, tags along. She is also responsible for the office cat, Skooter. a feral black and white character that hangs out waiting for her to feed him each morning.
Contact Karel at email@example.com