Karen was raised in Carthage, Illinois and is a former elder and deacon at First Christian Church in Carthage. She graduated from Carthage High School and obtained a bachelor's degree in communication and rhetorical studies from Illinois college. Then, Karen completed a master's degree in sport management from Western Illinois University. She has one daughter and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Karen also enjoys supporting local coffee shops too! She has a background working in childcare, human resources, teaching, and coaching cheerleading at the collegiate level.