Vice President, People Services
Awana features a complex work culture as a worldwide organization serving more than 100 countries. In her role as vice president of People Services, Karen Schliep plays an integral role in shaping the organizational culture toward an increasingly global focus. In addition to overseeing the People Services Division, Karen is also a member of the Global Leadership Team.
As a successful business executive, Karen lived a comfortable life with her husband, Lloyd. But after their children were born, something was still missing.
Sensing a spiritual void in their lives, the Schlieps accepted a neighbor’s invitation to church. Over time, Karen and Lloyd each made decisions to trust Christ for salvation. They’ve been active in their local church ever since.
“I love our church’s emphasis on outreach,” Karen said. “It’s all about reaching adults and kids far from God.”
For three years, Karen also served on the staff of a church in suburban Chicago, where she gained valuable ministry training. Desiring to further use her work and ministry experiences, Karen joined Awana in 2004.
A heart for people
With a staff of 400 Awana employees, Karen’s primary focus is on the people side of the organization. “Awana is one of the most complex companies I’ve ever worked for,” Karen said. “We have several sub-cultures and structures in our company that make my job exciting and challenging.”
During her tenure, Karen has successfully managed several projects, including:
• Payroll system overhaul and transition to new provider
• Cost savings of $500,000 per year due to new healthcare benefits
• 401k transition to new provider
• Implementation of volunteer applicant tracking system database
• Annual labor laws and child protection compliance
Her role on the Global Leadership Team provides a voice for the Awana staff as she regularly asks the team how decisions will affect the workforce.
“I hope to assist the leadership team in thinking about the people element in all of our decision making,” Karen said. “I know this will further strengthen our culture.”
President/CEO Jack Eggar values Karen’s expertise and viewpoint on the leadership team. “Karen offers a people-first perspective that provides a critical element to our leadership team's short- and long-term decisions,” Jack said. “She strives to create a culture at Awana where our staff are equipped, encouraged and enabled to do their best work for the churches and families we serve—and with a healthy life-career balance.”
Education, achievements and professional affiliations
• B.S. in Office Administration, Northern Illinois University
• M.S. in Management and Organizational Behavior, Benedictine University
• Pursuing Ed.D in Adult Education, Northern Illinois University
• Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
• Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)
• Member of the Society for Human Resource Management
• Member of the Academy for Human Resource Development
How to contact Karen
To schedule an interview, contact Media Relations Manager David Bunker at (630) 540.4695 or e-mail email@example.com.