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9.21.17 – Karen McCarthy
September 21, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Karen McCarthy is a Regional Public Affairs Manager for Consumers Energy, based in Grand Rapids. She is responsible for local government and community relations, economic development and charitable giving in southern Kent County and western Ottawa County, and supervises a team of employees with similar responsibilities in southwest and west Michigan.
Karen was a member of the Ottawa County Economic Development Office Board of Directors until it merged with Lakeshore Advantage in late 2014. She serves on the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Environmental Affairs Committee, Tax and Regulatory Affairs Committee and Public Policy Council. She chairs the Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber of Commerce Government Matters Committee, which was named the Committee of the Year in 2013. Karen was appointed by the Mayor to serve on the City of Grand Rapids Urban Forestry Committee and the River Corridor Plan Committee. She is a former member of planning commissions in Cascade Charter Township and the City of Kentwood. Additionally, Karen volunteers with the Heart of West Michigan United Way, the Michigan Women’s Foundation, and Cornell University’s Project FeederWatch.
Karen has worked for Consumers Energy for 32 years. She formerly chaired the company’s political action committee and was selected as Employee for Better Government of the Year in 2011. She previously worked for the Michigan Legislature, Michigan State University and DeWitt Public Schools.
Karen graduated cum laude from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, and is an accredited member (APR) of the Public Relations Society of America. In her spare time, she enjoys birding, reading and gardening. Karen and her family live in Alto.