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about karen

Karen is a leadership coach, speaker, author & photographer.

I help high-performing folks find purpose in their work and lives, through coaching sessions, keynotes, courses and books.

I'm Karen Walrond, a consultant and coach with a focus on helping you build meaningful business and leadership skills that will help you change the world.  Using empirical, research-based principles of courage, vulnerability, authenticity and positive psychology, I help executives, professionals & entrepreneurs infuse purpose in their lives and businesses.  

I'm a sought-after keynote and TEDx speaker, and have spoken around the United States and abroad to individuals and organizations on the topic of thriving, through leadership development, the magic of creativity, the valuing of cultural and racial diversity and inclusion, and the power of social media.  

My bestselling book, The Beauty of Different, is a chronicle of observations that what makes us different makes us beautiful -- and may even be the source of our superpowers.

And finally, as an avid photographer and journaler, I use creative exercises to help clients discover their own their gifts and superpowers, and how to use them in a way that allows them to thrive.


blogger & podcaster

Chookooloonks &

The Make Light Show.

It’s one thing to talk about “making light” in the abstract, and it’s another thing entirely to actually go out in the world and do it. Dig in to Chookooloonks, the blog where I share my own personal experiences in exploring ways I can practice gratitude, do good in the world and take care of myself and my family; also, check out The Make Light Show, where I provide even more concrete tips and tricks to add meaning and purpose to your life and work.

Work your purpose, change the world, make light.

A friend shared the Make Light Show on Facebook, and because I adore her, I instantly subscribed ... [I] started listening this morning as I cleaned up the kitchen. Well, that was 3 hours ago! I’m feeling like I’ve ‘met’ a kindred spirit who will push me to become more of who I am and want to be ... thank you!
— reviewer of the make light show podcast



One-on-one coaching, consulting, ecourses & retreats.

Whether you're navigating a difficult transition, or want to map out a realistic process toward your goals, I can help.

I'm the former Chief Counsel of Landmark Graphics Corporation, one of the largest software companies in the oil and gas  industry, as well as the former Chief of Staff of Halliburton Energy Services, a Fortune 200 corporation. I am a Certified Daring to Lead™ Facilitator, having been trained in Brené Brown's work on vulnerability, courage, shame-resilience and worthiness, including the teachings of the research underpinning her New York Times Bestselling books, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong. and Dare to Lead.  I'm also trained in positive psychology coaching from the Wholebeing Institute, using the science of well-being and research-based assessments and interventions to bring about greater satisfaction, purpose and fulfillment in life.

In addition, as a self-taught photographer (and journaling evangelist), I use creativity and self-expression to help clients from all walks of life discover their own their gifts and superpowers, develop their leadership skills, and learn how to use them in a way that allows them to thrive.

If you need help figuring out where to go next in your personal or professional life, how to execute an idea that excites you, or leaping into new territory, I’d recommend having a convo with Karen. She asks the type of questions that will get you moving toward the answers you’re seeking, help you construct the steps you need to achieve what you’re after, and offer constructive insight that will propel you forward. Trust me — Karen’s the real deal.
— A'Driane Nieves, artist, writer & activist



Keynotes and workshops.

I am a sought-after keynote speaker on topics including self-empowerment, creativity and innovation, leadership, ethics and diversity.  I've spoken at corporations, high schools, universities, professional legal and medical organizations and many other audiences around the country.  My TEDxHouston talk on the subject of resonance and "looking for the light" has reached over 95,000 viewers, and counting.  Audiences value my ability to connect through storytelling and vivid imagery, while providing concrete solutions that individuals and organizations can easily implement in their lives.

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, Chief Operating Officer, VSCO




I've written and contributed to several books, all of which inspire you to look inwardly, rather than outwardly, for the truth.  My book, The Beauty of Different, features the portraits and stories of people who have discovered their superpowers and learned to thrive, against all odds.  In addition, I've contributed both essays and photographs to other publications, on subjects that include both faith and expression. Each of my writings illustrate and remind us all that our uniqueness, skills and stories have the power to connect in the most beautifully different ways. 

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 shares with us.
— Brené Brown, New York Times bestselling Author of Daring Greatly, Rising Strong & Dare to Lead



Let's connect.

If you'd like me to speak at your next event, help your organization tell a story through words or images, would like to talk more about scheduling a coaching session or otherwise work with me, you can reach me at:

Karen Walrond
Chookooloonks Media LLC
650 W. Bough, Suite 150-108
Houston, Texas  77024
United States of America

Or simply fill out the form below to land directly in my inbox.  

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Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
— Harriet Tubman