Karen's professional background began in the hospitality industry's cafe scene. After completing her Diploma of Hospitality Management, at the age of 19, she opened Rivers Cafe located in her family's garden centre, Rivers of Yarrambat (in Melbourne's North East).
After building the business successfully over 15 years, she diversified into a business development role and planned for an expanding business opportunity in order to build a Health and Wellbeing Centre as a part of the expanding footprint at Rivers. This included a day spa, fitness studio, activity centre and holistic health centre with practitioners. At the completion of this project, she took over as Managing Director of the family business in 2009, overseeing all facets of the Lifestyle Centre which includes retail, function and events, conference and administration divisions. She is a board member of the Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria and Vice President of the Garden Centres Association of Australia.
Karen is a passionate, accomplished cook, gardener and avid nature lover. She lives on a rural farm where she keeps bees and grows a diverse range of fresh produce. She also practices yoga, pilates and enjoys running to keep fit. Once you meet Karen, you will discover a warm, friendly and extremely caring individual with a lively personality and genuine enthusiasm for living life to the fullest.