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After spending 10 years at Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn Michigan as a mechanical engineer in powertrain systems, Karissa made a radical career shift to serve with the non-profit organization Teen Challenge. This ministry is a Christ-centered outreach and recovery program for youth and adults addicted to drugs and alcohol. The move came after a series of mission trips to Jamaica to help build a women’s Teen Challenge center. In 2003 she moved to Ocho Rios to serve as the women’s and men’s Program Director, and eventually Executive Director, until 2007.


The leadership experience in Jamaica led Karissa to a passion for leadership development and staff training and an opportunity to help develop the Emerging Leaders Program with Teen Challenge Southeast in Columbus, GA. Until 2015 she served as the Director of Corporate Training, overseeing all aspects of corporate training, leadership development, and corporate I/T, communication and events.

With a growing interest in the area of organizational health, Karissa launched out on her own in 2015 to start Redwoods Consulting. She is dedicated to seeing organizations create healthy cultures, effective leaders and empowered people resulting in the best possible service to the mission and to the customer.


Karissa resides in Lee’s Summit, MO with her husband Pete, a principal engineer with Honeywell.

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