John Lister introduced Karen as the CEO at GBGH and said it's an honour to have her join us.  It turned out, when he mentioned it to her, that she had already decided to join as part of joining the community.

Karen said she was born a Mahoney in St. John's Newfoundland.  Her parents were John and Carmel.  She was the first and an only for 7 years and found that adjusting to having a sister, Erin, was a shock.  Her mother and her aunts were known as The Galway Girls and were dancers and instructors so Karen and her sister had their Saturdays scheduled from the ages of 3 to 16.  Her paternal grandfather was Thomas and had lost a leg in WW I but he never talked about it - he went to the Legion instead.

After Erin her parents got into a rhythm and in short order there was Lynn, Tom, Dennis and John.  As an only child she had gone to private school but she was moved over to the Catholic system.  Her uncle had a Volkswagon dealership and that's what her parents drove - this crowd in a beetle to school - there's pictures to prove it.

She attended the Regional High School for girls - 1,200 of them - and was a debutante at the Lieutenant Governor's in 1970.  She graduated that year and went to Memorial.  Her dad was a Liberal in Smallwood's government so there was always politics at the table, along with smoking and rum, and she has been a keen observer of politics ever since.  Her father served as Attorney General.  She received a BSW in 1975 and continued working, having started at the Y at 16.  At 17 she met her future husband and they married in 1974.  Her wedding photo showed her in a dress that Margaret Trudeau later copied.

Tom was born in 1979 and Bob in 1981.  In 1989 Karen went back to school for an MBA and graduated in 1995 with the help and support of her family.  As the kids got older she and Bob went on cruises but he became ill and died in 2011 after 37 years of marriage.  Karen retired from Central Health in Newfoundland in January of 2013 and looked for a post retirement job.  She wanted to live in Ontario but not in the sprawl of Toronto so finds Midland a good location for a new adventure in life.  She has committed to 5 years and then - ?