Karen Walrond is a nationally-recognized speakeR, author and photographer. 


Karen is the author of the book The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit, and the creative mind behind the award-winning Chookooloonks, a lifestyle, travel, inspiration and photography site, illustrating how to live with intention and a sense of adventure, and what it means to thrive.  Chookooloonks is visited by tens of thousands of visitors around the world every month, and many say they visit the site each morning for a moment of beauty before starting their days.  

Also, in furtherance of her work to encourage others to continue to “look for the light,” Karen’s TEDxHouston talk on the subject of resonance has reached over 90,000 viewers, and counting.  Karen is a sought-after keynote speaker on topics such as self-empowerment, creativity and innovation; in addition, she has spoken extensively on leadership, ethics and diversity at universities, legal organizations and to many other audiences around the country.  Her client list is wide-ranging, including Getty Images, Child Health Corporation of America, University of Houston, and Fort Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence, among many others. She has appeared on both local and national television shows and other news media, contributing to organizations including PBS, Huffington Post, CNN.com, Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.org and both the Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah.com.  Audiences value Karen’s ability to connect through storytelling and vivid imagery, while providing concrete solutions that individuals and organizations can easily implement in their lives and strategic development.

Because of Karen’s deep experience in delivering keynotes and workshops that include the concepts of courage, worthiness and authenticity, Karen is now also a Daring Way™ Certified Facilitator-Candidate, having been trained in Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability, courage, shame and worthiness, including the teachings of Daring Greatly and Rising Strong.

Finally, as the former Chief Counsel of Landmark Graphics Corporation, one of the largest software companies in the oil & gas industry, as well as the former Chief of Staff of Halliburton Energy Services, Karen has extensive experience in strategy development, change management processes, corporate ethics management and education.  She is an attorney and an active member of the State Bar of Texas.



"The Beauty of Different is a message that we all need to hear! Through her writing and photography, Karen inspires us to claim our voices and own the parts of us that make us authentic, beautiful, and strong. What makes Karen's work so compelling is that she walks the talk -- she lives the principles that she share with us." 
— Brené Brown, PhD, author of Daring Greatly  and The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

"With her passion, intelligence, flexibility and intuition, Karen is able to craft innovative messages that inspires her audience to think less, act more and make immediate impact in their organizations."
— Megan Choate, Manager, Solutions, Child Health Corporation of America

"Karen has the rare ability to engage a large audience just as she would any intimate conversation. Her humor, intelligence and remarkable experience are conveyed to a room of 1000 people just as if we were at the dinner table."
— Bryan Mason, President, Small Batch, Inc.

"Karen is a dynamic, passionate and inspiring speaker. She is able to easily and effectively engage the audience with her brilliance, warmth, compassion and humor."
— Jeannine Harvey, Senior Manager, Strategic Relationships, The ONE Campaign

"Karen has the unique ability to make you laugh, cry, learn and dream at the same time. She's an inspiring and empowering speaker. What a phenomenal woman!"
— Nyasha Smith, attorney and co-founder of Blogalicious, an annual social media conference for women bloggers

"Karen Walrond commands every room she enters. She knows exactly what to say and exactly how to say it. And her comic timing, gorgeous voice, and magnetic presence leave everybody she meets longing for more. She's an absolute star."
— Katherine Center, novelist and author of The Bright Side of Disaster, Everyone is Beautiful and Get Lucky

sample talks


video:  tedxhouston 2012:  resonate

In fall of 2012, I was honoured to speak at TEDxHouston, the local franchise of the internationally famous TED Talks.  My topic was on looking for the light -- and not just in photography. 

Click the image below to watch the presentation (16 minutes).



video:  celebrate your uniqueness on living smart with patricia gras

I was thrilled to be a guest on the Houston PBS show Living Smart with Patricia Gras, where we talked about The Beauty of Different, and how to celebrate your uniqueness.

Click the image below to watch the entire episode (28 minutes).


video:  spokesperson for pbs kids

PBS invited me to talk about our family's media habits, children's media, and my love of WordGirl and PBS Kids.

Click the image below to hear what I had to say (2 minutes).

hear karen speak

Because of Karen's diverse legal, corporate and creative background, she has spoken and is well-versed on topics as wide-ranging as leadership, diversity, self-image, creativity (through photography and journaling), social media and human resource issues.  From intimate gatherings to town halls attended by hundreds, Karen has spoken on a variety of subjects, and can tailor a message specific to your organization's needs.

photograph by maile wilson

photograph by maile wilson


If you're interested in having Karen speak at your next event, please fill out the form below, and Karen will get back to you as soon as possible.

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