Karen Yolton – Making time for Change

Karen is a communications executive with nearly four decades of corporate experience in stakeholder engagement, speech writing, public relations, marketing and executive coaching throughout the Bay Area.


In retirement, she has uncovered a passion for volunteering with nonprofit organizations that create a better quality of life for underserved populations.


Karen was a founding Board Member of Asante Africa Foundation, an educational nonprofit created to provide education and resources for youth in East Africa.  She was also named 2017 Volunteer and Mentor of the Year for Students Rising Above, an organization which invests in low-income, first-generation college students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education and strength of character.


The ability to support deserving organizations with transformational projects is what drew Karen to Impact 100.  In addition to this service work, her love of dogs and cooking led her to become a volunteer dog walker for Guide Dogs for The Blind and to make and deliver hot meals for Lasagna Love.


Karen is embroiled in a wonderful love affair with her family, particularly her four grandchildren which include 10-month-old identical twin granddaughters.   She also loves travel, wine, reading and live music of almost every genre.


What’s one hobby you’d love to get into?  

I decided upon retirement to learn more about wine, so I worked part time as a wine pourer in a tasting room in Livermore and began my education there. Today I’m an intern at The San Francisco Wine School where I take classes and assist sommeliers with events.


“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”  – Barack Obama