Karen Wagaman

Strategic Planning, Project Management, Marketing, Public Relations, SALES, communications, writing, Budgets, Graphic Design

Career Summary

Accomplished marketing and project management professional earning regional and national awards for fundraising campaigns and adult education programs. Areas of expertise include market development, customer relations, program development and event planning.  Polished negotiating skills resulting in significant event cost savings. I am an energetic, results-oriented professional with excellent organization and communication skills and an inquisitive and collaborative nature with a track record of generating revenue, reducing expenses and streamlining processes. Established track record developing positive business relationships. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Market Development
  • Marketing and media strategy
  • Project Management
  • Team building and leadership programming
  • Community Outreach and Development
  • Sales and Client Development
  • Event/Campaign Management
  • Graphic design and website management


Master of Business Administration, Washburn University, Topeka, KS, 4.0 G.P.A.
Graduated with academic honors

Bachelor of Arts, Drury College, Springfield, MO, 3.45 G.P.A.
Double major: Business Administration and Studio Art; Minor: Economics

Professional Experience

VP of Downtown Development, Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce 5/2016-Present
Serve as the first point of contact and liaison between business owners, developers, building owners and the City of Rogers regarding activities related to Downtown Rogers economic development and implementation of the Downtown Master Plan.

  • Implemented business resource guide to facilitate opening a business in Downtown Rogers
  • Meet with entrepreneurs, developers, and building owners to encourage Downtown Rogers development
  • Facilitate meetings between developers and city staff to address changes to development codes and to activate key areas for future development in and around Downtown Rogers
  • Promote Downtown Rogers as an ideal place to live, work and play

Professional Development Director/Project Manager, Kansas Society of CPAs 1/2015-1/2016

  • Planned and executed statewide conferences to provide CPE credits for CPAs.
  • Managed logistics, wrote requests for proposals and facilitated contracts
  • Developed project plans to ensure volunteers, speakers and staff adhered to timelines
  • Defined AV and staging needs audio video professionals for conferences and videocasts
  • Used outside of the box thinking to reduce expenses and enhance member experience
  • Created graphics, PowerPoint presentations, brochures and content for website

Director of Marketing, Kansas Contractors Association, Topeka, KS, 8/2006-10/2014

  • Developed regional and statewide marketing plans to promote initiatives of the KCA
  • Assessed changing needs of workforce education developed a state-wide construction education program earning 3 national awards, non-dues incomes and good will of KDOT, board of directors, and heavy highway contractors and elected officials
  • Managed and marketed internationally certified education programs
  • Implemented conferences, fundraising campaigns, golf tournaments and business expos
  • Administered $560K of a $1.8M budget statewide association budget
  • Secured $400,000 annual grant for training program generating $100K annual income
  • Rebranded 80 year old association, logo, newsletter, print collateral and website
  • Developed copy, graphics and photography, PowerPoints, fundraising letters, newsletters, direct mail, videos, brochures, web, outdoor, social media, newspaper and specialty advertising
  • Negotiated with facilities and hired subject matter experts to provide instruction

Executive Recruiter, Premier Personnel, Topeka, KS, 2/2005-7/2006
Marketed recruiting & staffing services to local and national corporations
Recruited, evaluated and coached job candidates and negotiated employment offers

Marketing Manager, QuVIS, Topeka, KS, 3/2000-2/2005

  • Directed marketing for leading provider of digital imaging technology for post-production and digital cinema applications through national and international initiatives
  • Promoted brand awareness through traditional and guerilla marketing resulting in earned media coverage in major entertainment and display publications
  • Developed market analysis, marketing plans, technical support materials, advertising concepts
  • Assisted VP of Sales and Marketing with strategic marketing plans in support of market breakthroughs and numerous “firsts” in digital cinema display technology
  • First deployment of digital cinema technology under an approved standard
  • First digital transfer of content via satellite from NY to Cannes Film Festival
  • First digital cinema pilot deployment w/Texas Instruments, Disney, Warner Bros. & Technicolor
  • Responsible for trade show exhibit logistics including exhibit design, press kits, earned media, shipping, set up/tear down and staff travel and product demonstrations
  • Researched installations and wrote application articles for national publications

Director of Development, Washburn Endowment Association, Topeka, KS, 9/1995-3/2000

  • Developed creative award winning annual giving campaigns breaking university giving records and earning high profile media coverage
  • Planned and implemented fundraising campaigns to significantly increase annual gifts
  • Led the software conversion to the Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge contact management database
  • Overhauled fundraising campaigns achieving growth in faculty and staff participation with contributions growing by 559% from 1995 to 1997
  • Earned gold, silver and bronze awards from CASE District VI four consecutive years
  • 245% increase in annual giving funds raised over previous year

Facilities Use Coordinator, Washburn University, Topeka KS, 12/1991-9/1995

  • Scheduled 5000 classes and published class schedules
  • Led conversion to automated scheduling resulting in greater efficiency and accuracy
  • Implemented focus groups leading to redesigned class schedules that were more user friendly and visually appealing
  • Special assignments included: 

          Acting Director for the Division of Continuing Education

          University Commencement Coordinator

Computer Software Proficiency:

Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Photoshop, web design software, Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge

Awards and Activities

National AGC Education Excellence Award for Craft Worker Training by an AGC Chapter
National Partnership on Highway Quality Bronze Award for Partnering
AGC of America Business Development Advisory Council Website Planning Team
Downtown Topeka Rotary Club, Membership Committee, Red Badge/Blue Badge Chair, Crossroads Committee and Walking for Water Project
ABWA Scholarship Planning Committee, “The Many Faces of Grace” reception and auction
KC3 Construction Education Learning Center (Pre-K and K-12 event at Kansas State Fair)
KDOT Youth Construction Career Day
National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certified Master Trainer
Kansas Society of Association Executives, Membership Committee
Topeka Chapter International Association of Business Communicators, Membership Co-chair
Downtown Topeka Touch-a-Truck planning committee and volunteer
Downtown Topeka Incorporated, Yarn Bomb Downtown Topeka Committee and volunteer
YWCA Construction Career Assistance Network steering committee and MAGIC Camp Team Member
Washburn Tech Commercial and Heavy Construction Program Steering Committee
American Heart Association Circle of Red, Chair
Up with People host family and promotions committee volunteer
SWUMC Member: Finance Committee (4 years), Board of Trustees and Staff Parish Relations
(3 years each), Foundation committee (2 years)
AGC of America Training and Education Development Steering Committee
Member Leadership Greater Topeka
Topeka Chapter National Association for Women in Communications, Rising Star Award,
VP Membership Recruitment, and VP Member Retention, Press the Press Fundraising Chair
Recipient CASE District VI Conference Awards, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000
Recipient of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity National Certificate of Merit