Babbs in the Woods: Barbara Baird asks Karen Lee about her life inside and outside the office at the National Wild Turkey Federation
Maybe you’ve seen her on Turkey Call TV, or maybe you’ve noticed her editor’s letter that appears in the front of every issue of Turkey Country magazine. Or, maybe you don’t know about this energetic go-getter. But know this … she is one of the driving forces behind the success of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s media outreach efforts. (And, we know that she makes great sausage and gravy for biscuits on turkey hunts, too.)
The WON: You’ve held a few titles at the NWTF and lately, you added another (or 2) to the mix?
Karen: I am the Director of Marketing Communications and the NWTF Editor-in-Chief. The editor part ties me to my roots in magazine. But, when other parts of communications and marketing joined my team, it warranted a more comprehensive title. My team includes editorial, graphics, photography, social media, public relations, website, TV (audio/video), advertising and our convention — all tools we use to brand and market the NWTF.
The WON: Did you get a bigger office?
Karen: I’ve had more offices around here than probably most folks who have been at the NWTF twice as long. I’ve settled into what is literally a corner office, not THE corner office, but I like it. No complaints.
The WON: Does your office have a window? Do you have any sun catchers or decals in it?
Karen: I have 3 windows. No sun catchers or decals, but I do have a grapevine and wild turkey feather wreath on one. I also have the only office with a blue wildebeest mount and a signed Def Leppard poster in it.
The WON: What does a typical day in the life of Karen-Lee-on-the-job look like?
Karen: A lot of meetings. Some writing. Some editing. Reviewing others’ work. A lot of listening to members of my team. Problem solving. Lunch … always break for lunch or I get “hangry.” I get in about an hour early for a bit of quiet. And, I do my best to leave soon after 5 p.m. to pick my son up from childcare.
The WON: It’s Saturday morning, and you don’t have to go on a hunt, or a promo for the NWTF. In other words … you just get to stay at home. What would be your perfect Saturday and how would you fill it up? Or not.
Karen: I’m not very good a doing nothing. But I enjoy a couple hours of quiet. If my husband is in town, I may sneak off to the gym. If not, I drink a cup of coffee and throw in a load of laundry or something. I like being home when my little one wakes up and we watch cartoons. A great day would include a couple hours by myself to get a manicure/pedicure or do a little shopping. Then back to the house to hang out with the family.
The WON: Coffee or tea?
Karen: One cup of coffee in the morning, but I’m picky. It’s got to have sugar-free vanilla syrup and lowfat milk in it. (I make mine at home and bring it to work in a to-go cup every day.) Then I switch to tea. Mostly green tea or herbal tea, then unsweet black tea with lunch. If I’m feeling crazy — half sweet, half unsweet. There are 2 restaurants locally that automatically bring me a half and half when I sit down. I have a reputation.
The WON: What’s next?
Karen: When someone asks this question, typically my mind goes to a career move. But for me, what’s next, what’s around the corner, is always what’s the next chance to improve my craft. My goal isn’t to achieve a certain title (although president has a nice ring to it), I’m more interested in being known as one of the best in my field. So what’s next, for me, is the next way to learn something new. That’s what keeps me engaged, what keeps me growing as a person, discovering a new person, project or form of media or business to glean information from and apply it to my life.
Follow Karen at her NWTF blog, “Keepin’ Up With Karen.”
Watch Karen at Turkey Call TV, airing on the Pursuit Channel Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., Thursdays at 1 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10 p.m. All show times are Eastern Standard Time. Check local listings for exact times in your area.
Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. She is a contributing editor at "SHOT Business," and her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com. View all posts by Barbara Baird