Our bodies need exercise for peak performance and our souls need philanthropy.
Karen R. Mertes turned a life altering tragedy into a life purpose with her organization, Fulfill Your Destiny. Karen is a Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) from our United States Air Force, serving as the Squadron Commander in two back-to-back command tours as well as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for an overseas base.
In 2007, Karen's car was struck by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph resulting in a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This life-changing injury would be the genesis which led Karen to create Fulfill Your Destiny. Its signature program awards ‘Business Builder Grants’ to local entrepreneurs who have experienced life changing events and desire to take their businesses to the next level.
“Your worst day can become your ‘best bad day’,” said Karen. “Embrace this and fulfill your destiny!”
Karen uses an entrepreneurial model to advance her non-profit organization, raising money in several different ways, including offering professional services or products for donation. Karen has inspired thousands across our country with her remarkable story of survival with a TBI. Karen promised if she were fortunate to survive, she’d spend the rest of her life helping others.
Karen donates all her energies full-time to Fulfill Your Destiny and doesn’t take a salary. She pays 100% of the administrative costs to operate it out of her personal funds. Karen also donates an additional 10% in honor of each donor making the donor’s effective contribution 110%.
“Similar to how our bodies need exercise for peak performance, our souls need philanthropy,” said Karen. “Donating our time, talents, treasure or any combinations of these makes our hearts happy!”
In her spare time, she enjoys attending and supporting arts & crafts festivals. Karen and her husband Michael Harvey, (who will be joining her on the cruise), like being outside, taking long walks, and traveling.