Ms. Conard has 28 years of experience in the public sector and has built a unique network of connections and relationships, serving in various capacities starting with the Massachusetts State Senate, Office of Governor William Weld, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, Massachusetts Office of Business Development and MassDevelopment, a quasi-public financing authority.
After two years as Chief Operating Officer for a private real estate firm, Karen worked for 11 years as Community Development and Planning Director for the medium-sized cities of Methuen and Peabody, Massachusetts, and then spent three years as Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, one of thirteen Regional Planning Agencies in Massachusetts. Leading this organization, Ms. Conard and her staff assisted the 5 cities and 10 towns in the Merrimack Valley region of northeastern Massachusetts adjacent to the New Hampshire border in the planning areas of transportation, the environment, land use, economic development, housing and GIS mapping.
She served as President of the Board of Housing Support, Inc., a non-profit corporation with a mission to provide housing and related support services to low-income, homeless and/or handicapped individuals and families. In addition, she serves as a Director and Executive Committee member of The Savings Bank, and Chairperson of the Board at First Financial Trust. She is a past member of the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth and was Chairperson of the Massachusetts Gaming Policy Advisory Committee (appointed by Governor Charlie Baker). She was a member and past President of the Peabody, MA Rotary Club.
Ms. Conard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and French from Duke University.