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Karen McCollough knows branding and knows why great brands become great. She worked for respected brands. She studied high performing brands. And she built a successful brand from the ground up. Karen is an inspiring speaker who draws on her varied background as a highly successful educator, businesswoman, entrepreneur, and CEO to enlighten and entertain audiences from some of the world’s top companies, universities, and organizations.
Houston-based, Karen McCullough is a business keynote speaker and consultant focusing on change and generational challenges. Karen loves learning, trending, is open to technology and wants to share her insight with others. Karen believes that her programs set people up for today and future success. Her well-researched content focuses on how people and organizations can evolve, grow and discover their excellence. Karen is known for challenging and motivating her audiences to take the necessary steps to achieve positive results. She has the ability to bring out great leadership qualities in all audiences, no matter their age or position.
Karen innovates through her keen perception and her knowledge of human behaviors, trends and even a little pop-culture. She is known for being on the cutting edge of relevant topics and resonates with audiences of all ages. With her uncanny sense of picking up behavioral traits that motivate and drive professional success, Karen has been able to successfully identify the key differences between the generations and has identified the strengths and prime motivators that drive their success.
Karen began her career as the youngest employee at an upscale department store in Cleveland, Ohio, where her mother worked as the first female credit manager. As a tribute to her infectious spirit, Karen was dubbed the store mascot. She worked her way up in a number of roles for the company, eventually becoming a sales associate in women&rsquos fashion and later in menswear.
Karen’s entrepreneurial spirit ignited and she began pursuing her passion by opening an Art Gallery in San Antonio, Texas while simultaneously raising her young family. She later worked for two of the world’s most powerful fashion brands, Ralph Lauren and The Limited where she first started analyzing the internal culture of large organizations &mdash both what fuels them and what holds them back. She applied what she learned and launched her own retail business, which she grew from one store into a multimillion dollar chain of four stores. In 1997, after selling the business, Karen became a retail marketing and branding consultant.
For the next three years, she energized business owners and executives to approach their work and their life with a fresh, new attitude. Key strategies for growth positioned her clients for future success.
Karen realized that her greatest impact was through developing numerous programs for her clients. She was encouraged to take her message to a broader business audience. Today, Karen’s speaking career has benefited many Fortune 500 companies, associations and small business. She is frequently sought after to coach emerging and seasoned speakers.
Awards and Organizations
In 2006, Karen received the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation, which has been bestowed upon fewer than 7% of the 5,000 speakers who belong to the International Federation of Professional Speakers. She has been honored with multiple awards, including the Toastmasters International Communications and Leadership Award and the John Wolf Award for speaking excellence.
Karen is an active member of the National Speakers Association and served as president of the Houston chapter in 2006. She is active in Dress for Success and The Woman&rsquos Home. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio State University where she also performed graduate work in education.