Our founder and president, Karen Friese, has spent the past 17 years organically growing her firm and developing a diverse and respected KFA team focused on client service and quality design. Karen is a longtime member of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), having served in national roles and as President of ACEC Texas. In the past few years, she has been instrumental in launching the ACEC Women in Leadership (WIL) Working Group, which helps women grow professionally and connect with other women in their field.
“Recent studies continue to demonstrate a lack of women on boards and leadership roles in STEM fields,” shares Karen. “Promoting the development of women leaders in engineering to help close this gap is one of my strongest passions. Through the ACEC WIL Working Group, we have now connected hundreds of women from across the country. Throughout this process, the need for mentorship was discovered as one of our biggest needs. Over time, I am confident this vehicle will help encourage even more women to engage and develop others within the industry.”
In a recent ACEC interview with women engineering firm owners who have championed the WIL Working Group, Karen offers advice to aspiring business owners: “Focus on the quality of your product and service. Be passionate about what you want to build and why. Find the people who will be honest with you; surround yourself with them.”
As a woman-owned firm, our KFA team celebrates Karen’s contributions to advance diversity and inclusion in our industry. Through her own achievements, Karen demonstrates that the sky is the limit for women in engineering, and she is committed to giving all of her team members equal opportunity to succeed through continuous ways to learn and grow. Read more about the stories of Karen and her colleagues in ACEC’s Summer 2020 issue of Engineering Inc.