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Karen Hein

Karen Hein bio pic

Member & Donor Services Associate

(608) 355-0279 ext. 27

As the Donor & Member Services Associate of the Leopold Foundation, it is a pleasure to support the philanthropic efforts of the foundation with my database management skills and background in non-profit fundraising.

Having grown up on a small Wisconsin farm and graduated from UW-Madison with degrees in English and Psychology, I come naturally to feeling a connection to the land here. When I was in grade school, my parents enrolled me in a summer ecology day camp. I remember two specifics clearly: one, using pipe cleaners to make a multi-colored dragonfly and two, discovering which detergent was (at the time) most toxic to our water. While the memory of the dragonfly has little long-term effect other than making me smile, the detergent is another story. It taught me that our land has limits which we must respect. Although my grade-school self would not have articulated it this way, I have since regarded our land, air, and water not as a commodity but as our community.

Most of my life I have had two primary professional interests: database management and music. I had been playing music for several years when I decided to volunteer at the local First Call for Help as a resource referral specialist, which then led to managing their database. I later moved to managing the database for Wisconsin Public Radio and then, in the early 2000s, my husband (also a musician) and I decided to move to Austin, Texas. In addition to playing bass and singing with country, blues, and rock bands, I managed Austin public radio’s database. However, we gradually came to realize that we missed Wisconsin and our friends and family too much, so we moved home in 2013 but continue to play music.

We chose to live in Baraboo to be near Devil’s Lake State Park and the Baraboo bluffs so that we can see and be in its beauty every day. To quote Aldo Leopold, “Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.” It’s very important to me to work for a cause I believe in, and the Aldo Leopold Foundation, with its mission to promote a land ethic, is a wonderful place to be able to share my interests and skills.