Karen joined the F.I.T. staff in August 2013.

While she enjoyed the coaching aspect of rowing, she didn’t enjoy traveling for events and recruiting. So, Karen decided to venture into the strength and conditioning community.

While she was researching the industry and studying for her certification, she discovered F.I.T. and found her thinking was similar to F.I.T.’s philosophy of training and functional, mindful movement. She also abides by the philosophy of Functional Movement Screen co-founder, Gray Cook – “First move well. Then move often.”

Karen is also an instructor at Inner Fire Yoga and has been certified as a yoga teacher since 2007. Karen believes yoga and strength training go well together. Yoga has taught her a great deal about finding strength in stillness and performing movements the proper way, even if the positions are difficult to achieve.

Karen earned a silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and a bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney in the women’s pair division for rowing. She was inducted into the United States Rowing Hall of Fame in 2010.

Karen served as an assistant coach for UW’s women’s rowing team from 2008 to 2013. She was the NCAA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010, when the Badgers claimed the Big Ten Conference title.

Karen earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture at CalPoly in 1991.

She was born and raised in California and moved to Wisconsin for graduate school in 2001.