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The Top 40 Over 40 in partnership with the Daily Courier, AM 1150, and KelownaNow features Kelowna’s finest over the age of 40 each week as a means to showcase mentors, champions and role models to help encourage and foster the future leaders of our community. MNP is pleased to congratulate our very own Karen Christiansen on recently being featured.
Growing up in the city of Lloydminster, Karen Christiansen’s volunteerism was instilled by her parents at a very early age. She was a candy striper at the hospital both her parents were Legion members and also helped her mom with various Legion fundraisers.
When Karen moved to Kelowna to start her career, she set her professional and personal goals and volunteering was a very important part of both. After graduating from UBC Vancouver in 1989 and then as a chartered accountant in 1992, she found a job at a firm in Kelowna (now MNP). Professionally, Karen aimed to become a chartered accountant in public practice and a partner in a major firm. She achieved both quickly and by 1996 Karen was a partner in the firm.
While launching her professional career, Karen also started volunteering. Her first involvement was with the Central Okanagan Red Cross in 1993, which was in danger of closing down. It was having a hard time finding volunteers and a board and wanted someone with a finance background. Karen was the perfect fit and helped the branch stay in Kelowna.
She later joined the United Way board and was campaign chair in 2003 when $775,000 was raised to help the numerous charities under the United Way umbrella. Her years on the Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) board were fast-paced and rewarding.
From 2010 -12, the UBC Okanagan teaching hospital at KGH was built; fundraising to help outfit the new Centennial Building addition outstripped the $5-million goal to reach $7.4 million; and KGH became a world-class regional hospital.
All the while, Karen was taking on increased provincial roles with the Chartered Professional Accountants of B.C. as one of the chairs when the accounting professional was undergoing the biggest merger. Bringing together chartered accountants, certified general accountants and certified management accountants under one designation was attempted before, but that didn’t ultimately happen until recently.
Christiansen moderates the Okanagan roundtables for the Chartered Professional Accountants of B.C. to gather input to help the provincial government make future decisions. She’s also the face of the Okanagan economic updates that the Chartered Professional Accountants of B.C. generates annually.
For the future, Karen doesn’t plan to slow down. She will continue to grow with her clients with a thriving business advisory practice that covers tax structure, strategic, compliance, estate and succession planning. She will also continue volunteering, most likely with KGH in mental health and general health because those are projects dear to her heart.
MNP thanks Karen for living the firm’s core values in supporting the communities in which we live and work.
Related Topics:Awards and Recognition
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