Karen Ondrick

Senior Director, Corporate Relations

My parents grew up during the Depression era.  Being their youngest child and having two older siblings, I learned early on the importance of a good education, a strong work ethic, and creating an affordable path towards success (aka a bright future).  My high school business teacher helped guide me with charting my course, although it took many twists and turns along the way.  After high school and then business school in Connecticut, I set my sights on a Fortune Global 500 path.  First a job at Allstate, which was a great environment to learn and be challenged.  When IBM called, I earnestly pursued opportunities to succeed through staff, management, and leadership roles in business operations, sales support, marketing operations, and client satisfaction programs. When IBM sold its global PC business unit to Lenovo, I suddenly found myself with a new employer.  At Lenovo, I created the strategy and built the community relations and employee engagement segment for the company’s North America business.  In many ways, my roles at Lenovo helped bring me back to my roots.  I was able to merge my dedication to helping underserved youth in vulnerable communities dream big and reach for the sky with my passion for building and nurturing relationships and partnerships for maximum mutual benefit.  I am honored to continue my professional journey at NAF, helping connect students with employers while empowering and inspiring students to chart their path to Be Future Ready!