When you love people and have the desire to make a profound, positive impact upon the world, then will you have accomplished the meaning to live.
- Sasha Azevedo
Andrea Herman | Pam Krassin | Brenda Utz | Andrea Browne | Lisa Petite | Stacy Kurtz | Kris Orstad | Lisa Daley | Sydney Berry
Andrea puts great emphasis on living an active and healthy lifestyle. She has been in education for 14 years, and has taught Physical Education for the past decade. Andrea lives for her 3 boys, who keeps her challenged, active and a little bit crazy. Her favorite pastimes are watching her kids participate in sports, spending quality time with her dear friends and family and playing an active role in Wings of Karen, where she is the volunteer coordinator.
“This beautiful organization is very dear to my heart because of my relationship with Kristi Blair and her experiences with breast cancer. She has inspired me as well as our community and many others! It is with great joy that I connect our community to this cause”.
Pam joined Wings of Karen in spring of 2012 as support and direction for their first Pink Carpet Gala, and was immediately struck by the passion and drive that WOK demonstrated. Her role now is Community Outreach co-coordinator. Her previous experiences as a small business owner and elementary school teacher have given her expertise in passion, organization, and attention to detail. “Wings of Karen has grabbed me by the heart, and I plan to be involved for the duration. Moral of the story: Don't mess with a bunch of talented, determined women with a fearless leader on a mission.” Pam is an avid runner and is perpetually planning her next trip and would travel anywhere! She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Masters in Educational Administration.
Brenda joined Wings of Karen in 2013 and is now Committee Chair of Community Participation for our 5k Bra Dash event. In this role Brenda will be working closely with our sponsors, participants, companies and schools to create outreach programs and team building.
“I met Kristi Blair and heard her amazing story and vision for Wings of Karen and knew I wanted to be part of this team that is changing lives. As a breast cancer survivor I have compassion for helping others in the community”.
Brenda currently works at New Community Church as an office manager, where she oversees the Community Care Ministry and supports senior leadership with office administration duties. Community Care Ministry (“CCM”) consists of working with partner care ministries including Vine Maple Place, Maple Valley Food Bank and running New Community’s Prayer, Care and Cancer Ministry.
Through love, serve one another.
Andrea Browne is the Treasurer for Wings of Karen. Andrea is responsible for all the bookkeeping duties, preparing financial reports and annual budgets, and helping with fundraising efforts. Andrea attended school at Washington State University where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. She brings to Wings of Karen her expertise of accounting practices, as she has successfully managed her own company for almost twenty years. Andrea lives in Maple Valley with her husband and three boys. Andrea has a personal connection to the mission of Wings of Karen as she has had several women in her life affected by breast cancer. “I’m humbled and energized to be surrounded by individuals with the same urgency and desire to fund and find a cure within our lifetime!”
Lisa grew up in the Seattle area and attended the University of Washington. She is a wife, a mother of two daughters, a soon-to-be grandmother and a twelve year breast cancer survivor. Since retiring from Tahoma School District she has spent time traveling, golfing and participating in various breast cancer fundraisers. After Lisa's sister lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009 she decided to intensify and refocus her fundraising efforts. She was introduced to Wings of Karen in 2012 and connected strongly with their mission. Since then she has volunteered her help with the Bra Dash and the Pink Carpet Event auction. Lisa plays a very active role through community outreach for Wings of Karen. She is proud to dedicate her time in the pursuit of a cure.
Stacy Kurtz is a wife and a mother who has a passion for helping others and strives to be a positive influence in her community. She was a Sophomore in high school when she first learned of her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis and little did she know she would witness her mom face this battle with breast cancer two more times in the following 20 years. Proud to call her mother a three time breast cancer “thrivor” she works by her side daily at their family owned distributorship as their Brand Development Manager. Witnessing the effects of breast cancer not only through her mother’s experiences but now within her own girlfriends ignited her drive to fundraise for breast cancer research.
Last year she was thrilled to find Wings of Karen to be the best match for her passion to raise funds and awareness towards local breast cancer research. She was excited to help support two Wings of Karen fundraising events with Wings of Karen last year including last year’s Pink Carpet event and the second annual Bra Dash!
She lives in Maple Valley, enjoys traveling, hiking, living a healthy lifestyle and creating memories with her family and friends and dancing whenever the mood strikes!
Kris is the wife to Russ and mom to two teenage daughters Erika and Melissa. Kris grew up in Issaquah and now lives in the Maple Valley area. Kris is the Accounting Manager for a manufacturing/construction company in Maple Valley. She loves spending time with her family and friends, an occasional golf game and loves watching her daughters at their chosen sports.
In 2012 Kris was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44. Thanks to great doctors and amazing support of family and friends, she can call herself a survivor. Kris joined Wings of Karen in May 2013. With a strong family history of women’s cancers Kris is devoting her time to Wings of Karen and its mission of finding a cure.
Lisa moved from Southern California, married a local Seattle native and now has 3 fantastic kids, Elyse, Cole and Kara. She has been a Registered Nurse with a specialty in the Neonatal Intensive Care for the past 14 years.
Lisa has been involved with Wings of Karen since its inception. She has been honored to be part of such an incredible vision, one that has already proven to be so valuable to breast cancer research.
“I love working with a dedicated team, with such great purpose. It’s been an incredible experience to watch Wings of Karen grow and make a difference each year.”
Lisa enjoys spending time with family and friends and has a strong desire to see a cure for cancer be discovered during her lifetime.
Sydney Berry is the Co-Owner and President of Salon Services, a distributor of professional beauty salon products throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana. She is recognized throughout the industry for her entrepreneurial spirit, business ethic and dedication to encouraging the personal mastery of her employees, clients and business partners. Her commitment to the profession is demonstrated by her continual volunteer involvement in the Professional Beauty Association as President of the Distributor Leadership & Governing Council. She is also Vice President of the non-profit Justice and Soul Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing cosmetology and vocational training for young survivors of sex trafficking in Cambodia.
Sydney is very motivated to lead the Community Outreach & Corporate Sponsorship Committee for Wings of Karen due to her personal medical history of thriving after three episodes of breast cancer since 1990. Wings of Karen demonstrates the type of grassroots urgency that is necessary to create a cure in our lifetime.
It started with strength, encouragement and support for his wife, Kristi Blair (founder of WOK), when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35 and their youngest of 5 kids was just 2 years old. Chris has an intimate understanding of seeing someone he loves go through cancer, and the toll it can take on the entire family. Chris helped Kristi to found Wings of Karen out of a passion to find a cure, and continues in the drive to find answers for his wife, children and all who are impacted by this disease.
Through love, support and a drive to put an end to breast cancer, Chris Blair has been instrumental in the growth of Wings of Karen. Having participated in the original planning and set-up of the foundation, Chris now assumes a supporting role that includes grant and media writing, editing, strategy consultation and event execution. As the husband of WOK founder Kristi Blair, Chris has lived through the challenges of bringing a family through a breast cancer diagnosis, and is passionate about ridding the world of this disease for his children and future generations.
Chris is a Regional Director at Triumph Group, overseeing customer relationships and business development in the global aerospace market. He has been fortunate enough to explore many parts of the world through his love of travel, and has lived his life being active, with a particular love of sports. Chris now takes pride in coaching his kids, growing WOK with Kristi, and decorating bras every September.
Kristi Blair, director and founder of Wings of Karen is also a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at age 35. First exposed to the difficult realities of breast cancer in 2004 when her mom, Karen Denmark, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, Kristi has made it her mission to learn all that she can about this devastating disease, and do everything in her power to raise awareness and funds to defeat it. Kristi's mom lost her battle to this disease in 2007, and from that tragic event sprang the inspiration for "Wings of Karen", which was ultimately founded in 2012, shortly after Kristi's own diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Kristi discontinued her interior design business to volunteer full time as the director of Wings of Karen.
Kristi has a contagious passion for life that is expressed through this foundation and community involvement. It is this passion that drives Wings of Karen and all those that contribute to its mission.
Kristi is married with five children, and lives in the Seattle area. When not working for WOK, you can find Kristi on the sidelines of a sporting event cheering her children on, learning through travel, and is first to dance to a good beat.
Chito PeBenito has been involved with the building of Wings of Karen from the ground up. First connecting to Wings of Karen through his friendship with Kristi Blair. Chito has enabled the 5k Bra Dash and all events to reach a wide audience through his work as a graphic designer and advertising specialist.
His company Chito Graphics & Design is involved in Web design, brand imaging, social media, advertising and print media. Chito shares his talents with Wings of Karen to help our great outreach through media and maintaining the brand identity of Wings of Karen and the 5k Bra Dash.
Getting involved with Kristi and Wings of Karen was easy. Her passion and unending dedication to her cause is amazing. I'm truly honored to help achieve her dreams and be part of her team. It's very rare that someone has not been touch by this disease, myself and my family included. It's only fitting that I try to help.
Chito and his wife Linda love fitness, are avid outdoor adventurers and athletes as well as having five grandchildren.