Karen Leatherman became the CEO Executive Assistant and Compliance Officer for Petersburg Medical Center in May 2022. She enjoys the variety of work and tasks associated with the position, which can be both very rewarding and very challenging, depending on the day. Most recently, Karen worked with the Missouri S&T Small Business Development Center, helping businesses navigate how to stay open and access SBA loans and financial relief during COVID.

Karen first moved to Southeast Alaska 15 years ago. She met her husband, Robin, on the ferry along the way when she was moving to Sitka and he was moving to Glacier Bay National Park. Both fell in love with each other and with the area. Positions with the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have taken them from coast-to-coast to exotic and remote locations like Dry Tortugas National Park (halfway between Key West and Cuba), Cape Hatteras National Seashore (ship graveyard of the Atlantic) and Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (famous for really large brown bears!).

Although the couple has lived all over the country, they kept returning to visit Petersburg because of their love for the area and the community. They were in the process of moving to Petersburg when the PMC job became available – a good sign that it was finally meant to be.

Outside of work, she also enjoys a variety of activities and hobbies, especially those that involve being in the great outdoors, including walking, hiking, fishing, boating, wildlife watching, traveling, exploring, hunting and long-range shooting with her husband. She loves to workout, read and write and is a self-published author, currently working on her second and third books. Karen volunteers with the USCG Auxiliary and serves as a member of several advisory boards for companies in the Lower 48.

Karen has two stepsons, one in Kodiak and one in Seward, and two grandchildren. She grew up on a dairy and crop farm in Iowa and is the 12th of 13 children. Such a large extended family makes for some pretty chaotic and fun family gatherings on the rare occasion they are able to get together and for some very entertaining Zoom gatherings throughout COVID.