Speaker Name: Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito
Presentation Title: Star and Storyteller
Description: If your life were a novel, how would your next chapter begin? You are the protagonist in your own story—and you’re also the storyteller! Using the framework of memorable storytelling, we’ll explore what defines you as a leading character, plot key aspects of your journey—with all its twists and self-discoveries—and begin writing your next chapter.
Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito will share the crisis point that led her to think of her own life as a novel, and how this metaphor steered her to a place where her personal and professional life intersect in a meaningful career reflective of her passions, talents, and beliefs.
Key Takeaways: You will plot milestones and dreams from your life story and career so far, and use storytelling techniques to imagine how the next few chapters of your life’s novel may unfold. With partners and small groups, you’ll engage in fun exercises to reflect on struggles and triumphs, discover your own personal mission, stretch your imagination, and raise your confidence and courage as the storyteller of your own story.
- Learn a fun way of pulling together your key talents, passions, and perspectives that form the foundation of who you are as a woman and leader, personally and professionally.
- Use a novel/storytelling metaphor to create a framework for imagining and exploring possibilities for your extraordinary life story.
- Write the beginning of your next chapter, setting yourself up to grow into the meaningful life you envision.
About Karen: Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito is a successful business leader with more than 30 years in corporate and entrepreneurial business and publication management.
As a publisher, Karen has grown Elva Resa Publishing (a company she founded 20 years ago) into the leading US independent publisher of books for military families. Elva Resa’s mission is to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
Before becoming a fulltime entrepreneur, Karen directed the global corporate e-business program at Imation (a former 3M-spinoff data storage market leader), where she oversaw the strategy and management of more than 30 web and e-commerce programs in 25 languages serving 60+ countries. Prior to Imation, she spent twelve years as the editor-in-chief of various newspapers and magazines, including Camping Magazine and Web Guide Magazine.
An award-winning author, international speaker, hall of fame athlete, and devoted mom and stepmom, Karen strives to make a difference in all she does. She consults with national nonprofits, television and movie producers, and health care organizations to create books, films, and web sites for adults and children. She develops spiritual enrichment materials and programs, educates policy makers and support organizations about the challenges facing military families, and volunteers to serve underprivileged children and families in need.
Karen’s personal writing projects reflect her life experience, covering topics like grief, military life, faith, and family. All nine of Karen’s published books have won national awards.
Karen loves photography, traveling, a colorful sky, and the challenge and blessings of her blended family life.
We had the opportunity to speak with Karen to get to know more about her career path and passions. Here’s what she had to say!
Q: How did you discover your purpose?
A: In a span of two years, my husband died of cancer (our son was 3 years old), I was laid off from my corporate job in a restructuring, my book distributor went out of business, and my dad died suddenly of a heart attack. I had already been reflecting on my personal purpose, but the convergence of these major life events propelled me to be more intentional about it. As I looked back at the work and play that brought me joy throughout my life, I realized that my passions and talents have always revolved around creativity, acting on positive ideas to help others, and nurturing relationships. These three elements fit together perfectly in my role as a writer and publisher of books that make a difference in people’s lives. In that moment of crisis, I turned my part-time publishing venture into a full-time business, expanding it into a meaningful ministry.
Q: Describe how you connect your work to what you are passionate about.
A: Before becoming a fulltime entrepreneur, I spent much of my free time writing, designing, and coming up with business ideas. So deciding to run a publishing company was like deciding to fill my workday with everything I love to spend my time doing. I also knew I wanted this work to impact others in a positive way.
My husband Bob had served in the US Marine Corps. When he became sick with cancer and died, Marines came from all over to support our family—and they are still in our lives 14 years later. That kind of commitment has instilled in me a strong sense of community that sits at the core of my personal and professional life. Being able to serve military families is a privilege, a ministry, a way for me to give back some small portion of what military families have given to my family and my larger community. That intersection—where my passions and talents align with the needs of my community—is where I am able to use my experience to make a positive difference.
Q: Why do you think it’s important for leaders of all levels to invest in their own professional development?
A: Professional development is a form of self-care. It’s about more than gaining skills or networking. Professional development is a retreat from our regular everyday view of the world, a time to allow ourselves to see new perspectives, gather ideas, renew our own self-confidence, and remember that we are not alone on this journey.
Q: Tell us your best networking tip for people who are planning on attending The Leadership Imperative.
A: Many times I’ve seen people only look to network with others who can benefit them in some way. I encourage you to consider how you can bring value to someone else. By looking for ways you can immediately add value, you positively impact our community of women leaders. Also, remember that it doesn’t need to be about mentoring or benefitting each other’s businesses.
Leadership can start to feel lonely as you become more senior and have fewer colleagues in similar positions. I would encourage attendees to think about who you might like to have coffee with in the next six months, to invite into your circle of women leaders to encourage one another.
Before you come: Assess where you are in your leadership journey. Think ahead six months, two years down the road. What are some of the leadership experiences you anticipate for yourself? Look back over the past year. What are some of the key leadership lessons you’ve learned and could share with others?
When you attend: Listen. Pay attention to other women’s stories. Are there women you feel connected to who may be going through similar leadership experiences? Successful women leaders learn how to build good support systems. Look for one or two women with that potential to be part of your leadership circle. Making time for coffee every few months gives you a chance to build valuable friendships with other women who live and lead with intention.
Q: What skills do you feel are most needed in professional women as they work to advance their careers?
A: I think one of the hardest skills for women in general is setting good boundaries in a way that makes them feel respected. Some women feel they need to harden their approach to be more like male leaders. But I believe a key ingredient for professional women leaders is graceful confidence.
Women leaders tend to be under more scrutiny—by men as well as other women. To be an effective leader, you must lead with intention. Know what you know and what you don’t know. Surround yourself with competent people you trust to balance your strengths—and let them do their jobs. Be the same person at work and home—have the courage to maintain your values no matter the environment. By bringing your true self with you wherever you go, you inspire others to do the same. Be kind, respectful, and compassionate, and expect the same of your team. Be perceptive and discerning. Communicate clear expectations and boundaries, demand quality work, and wisely choose when to be flexible. Be fair and consistent. Trust your instincts when you believe you’ve made the right choice.
Learn more about Karen through the following channels:
- Website: KarenPavlicin.com