Karen Merz

Karen’s 20+ years experience in a variety of HR and coaching roles bridge a variety of positions at large and mid-sized global companies where she drove the people agenda with executives and managers; led job search strategy and transition coaching for mid-level career clients; and managed career and life coaching in a non-profit focused on helping early in career adults prepare to become a candidate of choice in their chosen careers.  Her industry roles at Microsoft, IBM and Booking.com included building and leading teams in a variety of roles overseeing talent management, leadership development, org effectiveness, succession planning, recruiting, compensation, diversity & inclusion, performance management, and career/professional coaching.   These experiences have helped her guide clients through solving complex business challenges in a matrixed environment while building collaborative partnerships.  She loves coaching clients through a process of self-discovery and awareness to embrace their strengths and identify and overcome barriers to achieving success.

At Coppei Collective: Karen enjoys leveraging her coaching and Microsoft experience as an Onboarding and Career Coach to provide employees the support and guidance to have a successful and thoughtful launch into their careers.   When she is not working she hikes, tap dances, practices yoga, and enjoys quality time with her family – including traveling any chance she gets to experience the world!

Experience:  Karen’s most recent role was as Head of HR for Booking.com, Americas Region.  In this position she led a cross-HR team to deliver a global people agenda for 2800 regional clients and 17,000 employees across 198 global offices at a time of significant growth.  Her 20 year career at Microsoft gave her the opportunity to experience a wide variety of roles across the company including HR Director, Services Division, Talent Acquisition Manager in M&A, Executive Recruiting Director, and HR Business Partner roles supporting multiple divisions.   Karen’s additional professional experience outside of Microsoft has been at Washington Mutual as VP University Recruiting, Customer Support at IBM,  and as a K-8 school teacher.  One of her career highlights was Career Program Manager at Rainier Scholars, a local non-profit dedicated to helping high achieving, low income, under-represented students achieve college success and transition into their first careers.  

Education and Trainings:  Karen is a certified coach, CPCC through Coaching Training Institute and has her ACC through the International Coaching Federation.  She holds a BA degree in Kinesiology and a teaching certification from the University of Washington. 

She has extensive experience in executive and business coaching, change management, job search strategy, effective interviewing, change management, and is a certified StrengthsFinder coach.  She enjoys working with clients to identify and embrace their strengths as they explore their professional goals, with a focus on how they want to show up in the workplace and in their lives.  What personally guides her, and what she explores with clients, comes from a quote from Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Leadership Today: Leadership to her means building an inclusive environment to set an inspiring vision, maximizing the efforts and strengths of each individual to build cohesive and productive teams, and empowering teams to work together to achieve goals. She enjoys coaching leadership teams and individuals to understand their unique strengths and maximize their full potential.