Karen Rathke

President and Chief Professional Officer

Karen Rathke is in her 22nd year serving as the President and Chief Professional Officer at the Heartland United Way. Karen received her Master’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Lincoln-Nebraska.

Prior to joining the United Way, Karen served 8 years as a Department Director for a large rural Community Action Agency serving 21 counties in North Central Nebraska. Karen developed, implemented, and administered model programs to alleviate homelessness and to help families build stable lives. Before becoming a part of the nonprofit world, Karen began her professional career as a second grade teacher.

Karen has served on the CHI St. Francis’s Board of Directors, the Hall County Community Collaborative, Rotary, numerous community organizations, and has served at the pleasure of the Governor on the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness. Karen was named the 2012 Woman of the Year for Grand Island and the YWCA 2012 Woman of Distinction.