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Karen Troester

Karen Troester came to Grand Junction in 1992 from Alaska. Her good friend who still lives there, has Huskies that have competed as top performers in the Iditarod. Karen now has two of those huskies which often join her hiking Rabbit Valley, Grand Mesa where she's always in search of new and interesting places to explore.

Recently honored as Citizen of the Year at the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet, Karen has been deeply involved in serving within the community here since she made this place her home.

Her three daughters joined in often helping with things like the Riverside kids camp and countless other service programs as they grew up. They now serve regularly in their own communities as adults.

After 22 years with US Bank she began looking for a change of pace from the tempo of the corporate world, where she managed the local commercial banking team. Following some consulting conversations with board members from Grand Junction Federal Credit Union, and some long consideration, she accepted the role as CEO with the credit union. She has found a great fit with her own commitment to community and the community focused culture there.

When talking about her favorite things to do for recreation she often returns to the programs she is part of such as the Young Entrepreneurs Academy held each year by the GJ Chamber which helps middle school age students develop a business idea from concept to legal entity and sometimes well beyond.

She also loves to explore new places and has sought out many adventures within Colorado and throughout the United States. She also shared the idea that since there are so many great things to discover right here at home, maybe seeing more of our own surroundings should be as high a priority for education and adventure as foreign travel.

Her legacy of service extends from work with start-up business through the Business Incubator to numerous SD-51 initiatives, JUCO, advisory boards with CMU and the Grand Junction Economic Development Partnership (GJEP). In fact, she's the 2022 Chair on GJEP Board of Directors.

This year as JUCO approaches, her work coordinating security for the tournament for many years stands with her other achievements for our community. Even with numerous roles of far reaching influence, Western Iowa Community College players know that if they have a team competing in JUCO, she'll be making some of her home baked goodies to make them feel welcome while they're here.

Karen was also recognized in 2015 by Western Colorado Girl Scouts as a Woman of Distinction. This seems to be a most apt description, for someone who has given so much, so selflessly for so many community enriching causes.