Karen de Vries
Business Owner – Essential Business Technologies
Karen spent 35+ years in the financial industry focusing on Information Technology and its relationship to the “end-user”. During her tenure, she achieved the level of Vice President of Operations. Together her team worked to design, develop and implement systems, system training and wrote and developed instructional material for the end-user. Realizing the emerging PC and MAC markets was an untapped opportunity to work with small businesses and individuals, Karen opened Essential Computer Technologies, teaching all who were eager to learn to use the new equipment, software, and Internet.
In 2007, Karen began exploring the artistic and creative side of her personality. Having entered her teenage years focused on the arts, but never really developing that creative interest, Karen determined it was time to take her passion off the shelf and see where it would lead. Today, as an emerging Metalsmith artist, Karen enjoys exploring the use of metals as she works to find her artistic voice. Currently, her metal of choice is silver, which she uses alone and in harmony with color, allowing each design to speak to her. She is still working to find that unique voice; experimenting with techniques, methods, and materials.
Karen is passionate about serving others and always excited to help people achieve their goals. As a Distinguished Toastmasters and Past District Director of Toastmasters International District 12, she has used the opportunity to mentor members as she watches them grow and achieve their personal and career goals.
Karen is a second-generation native Californian, having grown up in Pasadena, California. She attended Pasadena High School, Pasadena City College and for a short time, USC; she holds a certificate in Business Management. Today she lives in La Verne, a suburb of Los Angeles. She enjoys close relationships with her family, plays bridge, paints, and sews along with her metalsmith passion, and participates in her church, Life Bible Fellowship, and various social activities.