A native of the Dominican Republic, Karina Calderon received formal training as an IT Technician and was three years into a degree as an architect at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra prior to making the journey to the United States in pursuit of more opportunities for herself and her young daughter. Like so many aspiring first-generation immigrants, Karina brought with her a basic grasp of the English language, limited personal networks, and a whole lot of ambition, resilience and work ethic. Those ingredients have proven a successful combination.
Beyond initial work in the service industry, Karina began her career in the mortgage industry, which brought her to the Lawrence community. Despite strong performance and a growing loan portfolio, the recession of 2008 required Karina again to make a career pivot. Ultimately, Karina decided to apply her skills to the health care distribution industry, starting with Conlin's Pharmacy and Home Medical Equipment in 2012. Karina grew with the company and ultimately helped establish a new role managing referrals and partnership. Through her work at Conlin's she worked closely with a broad diversity of healthcare institutions throughout the region and helped develop new business relationships for the company.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Karina always kept close to heart the idea that education is the key that opens all doors. While working full time and raising a family, she continued her education, gaining formal education in Computer Drafting and Design as well as a degree from the Business Transfer Associates program at Northern Essex Community College. "In addition to being driven to accomplish for myself, I always know that the example I set for my daughters is a lasting one," Karina reflects. "They see my work ethic, my commitment and positive attitude, and they see the limitlessness of my aspirations. I want to inspire them to also know that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to."
Karina's high aims will continue through her work at the Partnership. We are grateful to bring Karina's passion, skills and community-spirit to the Partnership as we scale our impact and capacity to generate IDEAS, compel ACTIONS, and invite INVESTMENTS to support the Lawrence economy and its residents.