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Karen Lemke

Center for Exceptional Leadership Coach and Facilitator

Karen K. Lemke specializes in leadership development and strategic cultural growth, for individuals and for organizations. Karen brings more than 25 years of executive-level experience in human resource management for manufacturing and service organizations. Most recently, she was the director of human resources at CMD Corporation in Appleton, Wis., a manufacturing organization named one of the Best Places to Work in the Plastics Industry for many consecutive years during Karen’s 16-year tenure. Karen has also held HR management roles at Plexus, a contract manufacturing and design business headquartered in Neenah, Wis., and at Valmet, a paper machinery manufacturer headquartered in Finland.

Prior to her roles in human resources, Karen served as training director for Valmet. She has also held marketing positions at Valmet and at Duraco Products, Inc., a manufacturing firm in the Chicago area. Although she can be a tough-minded business executive who operates at the C-Suite level, she also recognizes that culture and relationships rule in all aspects of life.

Currently, Karen owns and operates Lemke Leadership, Inc., a small business that provides executive coaching, consulting and training. Additionally, she is a coach, lead facilitator and trainer at the Center for Exceptional Leadership in the Schneider School of Business & Economics at St. Norbert College. There, she works with emerging and senior business leaders to enhance their leadership skills and to provide personal/business development. Karen also serves as chairperson of two Executive Agenda (EA) peer groups in the Northeast Wisconsin area. Karen was a charter member of EA 37, and participated in that group for nearly eight years before becoming an EA chairperson in 2018.

Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism (advertising/public relations sequence) from UW-Oshkosh. She also attained a certificate in HR management from UW-Green Bay. She is certified in the Hogan Personality Assessment, the Hogan 360 Assessment and the CEL 360 Assessment. Karen is co-author of the book, “101 Ways to Enrich Your Life,” which is published in the United States, and is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble (or from Karen, personally). The book has also been translated into Japanese and is published in Japan.

Karen lives with her husband, Bob, in Appleton, Wis. She is the mother of two adult daughters; the step-mother of three daughters; the step-grandmother of seven grandchildren; and the “grandmother” of two dogs and two cats.  She enjoys lifelong learning, connecting with family and friends, shopping, fishing and motorcycle riding.


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