Karen Rowell makes change happen in an organization. This ability coupled with a keen strategic view of the dynamic relationships within the organization gives her a unique ability to see and create better and more effective management systems. She has applied this skill in a wide variety of leadership situations over a thirty-year career in the chemical industry and a recent experience as manager of Organizational Development for a large physician practice group. A balance of delivering results and keeping people engaged and focused has enabled tremendous success in her very diverse positions of responsibility.
Karen is a Principle in 8X Consulting, a management and leadership consulting firm she founded. Prior to that she was the Chief Improvement Officer at Holston Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician owned practice group headquartered in Kingsport, TN. She was responsible for leadership development, quality improvement and organizational development. Before that Karen was responsible for Health, Safety, Environment, Security and Global Quality at Eastman Chemical Company’s flagship location in Kingsport, TN. She also led an innovative effort to enhance and upgrade the hiring and training systems for that site’s 4000 person advanced manufacturing workforce. Karen developed a world-class partnership with the local community college to further enhance the training process while minimizing costs. Karen implemented three Behavior Based Safety systems with amazing improvements in safety performance. She also led two manufacturing divisions to initial ISO 9000 registrations and long-term maintenance of those registrations. Karen is always seeking opportunities to learn new systems and find ways to absorb and integrate those methods to create a sum greater than the parts.
Karen has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. She has also trained as a management change agent. She has served as an Examiner for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. Karen is a senior member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the Society for Natural Philosophy. She has served as the leader of the local Workforce Investment Board Youth Council, Junior Achievement and Goodwill Industries.
Karen is married to Bill Rowell, an Auburn Mechanical Engineer. They have one daughter, Diana who is studying Industrial and Systems Engineering at Auburn and a CO-OP at Highland Industries in North Carolina. Bill and Karen live in Johnson City Tennessee. She plants a huge vegetable garden, buys fabric with plans to quilt it all one day and is currently remodeling their house.