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Logo for Children's Service Fund

What Is Your Role At CSF?

I’m the Director of Communications at CSF.

When did you join the CSF team?

I started at CSF three weeks before the COVID-19 Pandemic. I was first hired as the communication and community outreach coordinator and was then promoted to my current position.

In a few sentences, describe your professional background.

CSF is the start of my second career. Before this I was a newspaper reporter, editor, and managing editor. I loved being a journalist, especially as an editor when I was able to help train and shape young reporters.

What drew you to work for CSF?

After leaving journalism I knew I wanted to work for an organization that had a purpose and positively impacted the community. I was also looking for something with better work/life balance.

What about your background prepared you to work at CSF?

My training as a journalist definitely prepared me for my job at CSF. As a reporter I was able to take complex issues and write about them in a way that was engaging an easy to understand. Being a reporter I also had to juggle multiple stories at a time, which is a skill I use a lot at CSF. However, my time as an editor is maybe the job I pull from the most. As a managing editor I had the pleasure of developing a brand new publication to cover three counties in Southeast Iowa. Thinking through the logistics of how to cover such a large area, with different needs and stories, as well as defining beats (jobs) for our reports was such an experience and something I pulled from when CSF rebranded in 2022.

In a few sentences, describe your position at CSF.

As the director of communications I oversee and manage the communication channels and content for CSF. I oversee a team of two and support their vision for communication and outreach, making sure our campaigns align with and lift up CSF’s strategic plan. I also get to make silly videos for social media sometimes.

What keeps you passionate about your work at CSF?

Not to sound cheesy, but its our mission and our team that keep me passionate. I’m really proud that the work I do is a tiny component of an organization that has done so much good for our community and that our team at CSF is always striving to make our work more impactful and do the best we can for the kiddos and families of St. Louis County.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I have two, maybe three favorite parts of my job. I’ve been so blessed that our leadership team has allowed me try new things. Test out new strategies. My favorite part is imagining a new event or campaign in my head and then several months down the line, seeing it come to life and be successful. My other favorite things are the friendships I’ve developed with my coworkers and the snacks in the office.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

One of the most challenging parts of my job is the volume of work we have. Our team are masters of juggling lots of plates and it can be hard to make sure you’re paying the right amount of attention to each plate to make sure they don’t go clamoring to the floor.

What is a project you were heavily involved with at CSF that you’re most proud of?

There are so many projects I’ve been able to pull off in the four years I’ve been at CSF, but there are two I’m especially proud of – rebranding and our speed networking event.

Rebranding was a HUGE project and felt like a lot of weight on my shoulders to get it right, because it’s the organization’s brand. But it turned out beautifully thanks to our team, board, and consultants Lambert and Cork Tree Creative.

In February of 2024 we held our first speed networking event for our funded partners – A Date With CSF: A Speed Networking Event. This gave all 100+ of our funded partners an opportunity to sit down for a brief time and learn more about one another. Our goal was to try and pair organization that might not know of each other as well as organizations that could possibly collaborate in the future. I learned a lot from this event and hope to bring back another version in the future.

What’s your favorite lunch spot?

If I have a free moment, I pop over to Poke Doke for a toppings bowl.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work I spend most of my time with my dog, Dug. He’s a pittie/lab mix and the best guy in the world. My partner, Ryan, is also pretty great. I love traveling and will be going to Ireland this summer to see Taylor Swift. I also adore her. At home in St. Louis I love exploring the city, as I’m a transplant, and trying new restaurants, coffee shops, and I’m also ways on the hunt for the best margarita. When I’m feeling outdoorsy the boys and I enjoy hiking and kayaking is one of my favorite activities.

See Karyn’s bio to learn more about her professional background, and see what a typical day is like for her on our Instagram page!