Executive Director, Apprenticeship & Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW)
Karen Dove's role as executive director is to plan and execute the overall strategic and operational responsibility for ANEW’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. Dove is a dedicated servant leader and has a passion for social justice issues. She is committed to developing collaborative partnerships resulting in systemic change. Throughout her career she has utilized her entrepreneurial spirit and skills to create and implement new and innovative programs aimed at moving people toward family wage jobs. Dove is also a published author and when not serving her community, likes to spend time on the beach. She counts her three children as her proudest accomplishments.
"I was adopted, so from an early age I always wanted to be accepted and successful. I never wanted to disappoint anyone and was always trying to be what everyone else wanted me to be. It took me quite a while to separate my identity with the way other people felt about me."
"I believe being adopted always made me insecure. I was constantly worried about whether someone needed me so they wouldn’t leave me. I tried to take care of everyone else so I didn’t have to have my own feelings. After a traumatic personal event I realized I couldn’t control other people and the only person I had control over was myself. From this point forward I began my quest to become a strong, independent woman."
"I was lucky enough to have mentors from a very young age. There was one who was very impactful in my leadership development. She took a chance on me, believed in my abilities and gave me the space to become confident. She embodied the strong, independent women I desired to be, so I knew I could learn from her. But she also taught me it was okay to be strong and vulnerable at the same time. First and foremost, my mentor listened. When I needed to vent, when I was hurt, when I was excited – she was always there for me."
"My mentor gave me the confidence to follow my dreams. She told me to take chances and risks and to not be afraid to fail. I took this advice and followed non-traditional career pathways from starting and building a trucking company, to leading a financial securities team, to starting my own business. Sometimes I was more successful than others, but I was never scared to take a risk and try."
"I have a great history and I am very proud of my accomplishments. While I could have stayed with the State of Montana and probably be retired by now, instead I took a road which was less traveled and more treacherous. I take risks, I continually strive to learn and grow, and I work very hard to make a difference in the world."
"I believe I live my life to the fullest. I do not want to look back and wish. Wish I had done this, or gone there, or experienced that. But it took me a long time to get to this point and I have less security than friends who took the safe route. But when I look back I want to believe I made a difference, I experienced life and I left nothing on the table."
"My life is dedicated to making sure others have the opportunity to achieve success. I try to lead an organization which is true to its mission. I work hard to give women their voice. Someday I hope to hold a public office where I can try to make systemic changes, but until then I strive every day to make a difference to the people I touch."