The Hitchhiker's Guide to Dayton Tech & Startups

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Dayton Tech & Startups

When in Doubt... Reach Out!

  • Miami Valley Hospital South Cancer Center 2400 Miami Valley Drive Centerville, OH, 45459 United States

How to ask for help even when you’re not sure what you need. Utilizing your contacts, connections, friends and social networks to move mountains and open doors.

Speaker : Karen Carter


In 2004, Karen Carter’s world came to a crashing halt when her oldest daughter, Caroline, was diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer. Karen began the most challenging role in her life, that of medical advocate for her young daughter and family as they navigated three years of rigorous cancer treatments. Sadly, after a courageous battle, Caroline passed away just shy of her 8th birthday. Forever changed by this journey, Karen walked away from her career in 2011, channeling her strengths and expertise to provide those facing life-threatening illness with the opportunity to live life to the fullest.

As the Dayton area director for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society from 2011 - May 2016, Karen translated her personal passion into a profession. Using her business development and sales management background to achieve annual fundraising goals exceeding $1.1 million, she went on to raise over $3.5 million during her tenure with LLS, directly supporting their mission: to cure blood cancers and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Karen recently returned to her professional roots as a vice president of business development for Wunderman Health, carrying on her mission to use her talents to enhance the quality of life of others. 

Aside from her work with LLS, Karen partners with organizations that support research and quality of life initiatives for those facing a life-threatening diagnosis. She served as a board member for The Dragonfly Foundation, which focuses on providing comfort and joy to children, young adults and families facing cancer and blood illness. In addition, Karen is proud to be an advocate for blood donation, speaking locally and nationally about the importance of giving blood and how this precious gift impacted the quality of her daughter’s life…and the many others they encountered along her journey.

Karen resides in Kettering, Ohio, with her daughters, Lyndsey and Carley, and “sons,” the family dogs - Ryan Dinkleman and Kramer - where they enjoy living in the moment and taking nothing for granted.