Karen Brieger

Cues and Views

People and strategy focused human resources leader Karen Brieger, in brief.

Karen Brieger

Home: Southeast New Hampshire.  Birthplace: Harrisburg, PA.  Profession: Human resources, industry agnostic.  Title: Chief People Officer.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Significant other: My husband and absolute best friend, Mike.  Alma mater: Widener University.

Recent recognition: Told by a former direct report, “you’re the best boss I ever had, hands down!” Latest accomplishment: Getting my youngest off to college in a relatively smooth transition with only minimal tears.  Latest contribution to others: Meeting one-on-one with women executives in transition, offering encouragement, network introductions and a much-needed laugh.  Recent travel or adventure: The tiny, remote village of Cabo Pulmo, Mexico.  

Personality profile: Sarcastic, action-oriented, influencer.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Bulldog.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Trust, empowerment and the ability to safely fail.  What is your guilty pleasure? Reality TV, especially on Bravo.  What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? On a fabulous dinner with my husband at an amazing restaurant.  How do you relieve stress? A walk with my two dogs in the woods, followed by a soak in the hot tub.  What is your go-to workout? Beach Body on Demand.  I love some old school Shaun T, Focus T25.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Great food, great people and the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation.

What was your first paying job? Toll collector on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  What was your favorite college course? Philosophy 101 with Prof. Serembus.  Loved his stories about WWF tryouts as a wrestling duo with his brother.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? My ticket from Derek Jeter’s last game.  Only bummer was that it was at Fenway!  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My husband, who introduced me to vegetables other than steamed broccoli; who made me a mother; who gave me the support and encouragement to become the professional I am today.  What’s the best advice you received in your career? You won’t get it unless you make it known you want it.  What is your go-to source of news and information? NPR.  I’m a junkie.  

What is your big idea?

Fostering more career growth paths that don’t include directly managing people. We should then celebrate and reward them comparably to those that do.

What change would you like to see in the world? For everyone to stop picking sides and alienating the other, whether politics, religion, gender, race, sports.  We should all spend more time together in the middle.  What message do you want to send out into the world? There are at least three sides to every story: yours, mine and reality, which is generally somewhere in the middle. Keep seeking reality and stop trying to always be right.  What mega-trend most concerns you? The Metaverse.  I just don’t get it.

After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? Assuming my dogs count as loved ones, then the years of photos I never got around to putting in albums. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Laughing with my husband and kids around the dinner table.  What advice would you give your younger self? It really does get better.  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? College freshman year.  I hid, rather than putting myself out there.

Personal mission: Helping the people around me be the best they can be.  Together ,we will lift each other up.  Personal motto: Life is like a kaleidoscope.  Turn things just a little in either direction for a whole new perspective.  Favorite quote: “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one” (Mark Twain).

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