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Dr. Karen Hiltz


Dr. Karen was born in Ohio and joined the US Navy after graduating from high school. She spent the next seven years honing her skills in military purchasing and budget management. She met her husband, Chuck (US Marine Corp) in San Diego and they went on to live in London, England, Camp Lejeune, NC, Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, Hawaii, and HQ Marine Corps, Arlington, VA. Once their 3 children were grown, they relocated to Smith Mountain Lake, VA before deciding to call Sebastian, FL home.  Or as Karen says, "bought our 'toes up' home!"  We love our Sebastian community, church and friends.



Dr. Karen holds a BS in Management from Chaminade University, Hawaii and an MBA in Management from Marymount University, Virginia. After completion of her BA, Karen was accepted into the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Outstanding Scholarship Intern program at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Honolulu, Hawaii. A transfer to the Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in northern Virginia allowed her to complete the internship, where she earned her MBA. After moving to the lake, she went back to school and graduated with an Ed.D in Leadership Studies from Lynchburg College, Virginia.


Dr. Karen had a 25-year career in Federal Acquisition and Procurement and was a DoD Contracting Officer. She wrote, negotiated, and managed multi-million dollar contracts that included A&E, Naval Communications Systems, and R&D programs. From her time at the Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command to the Defense Information Systems Agency and as a Procurement Analyst for the U.S. Customs Service, the positions she held continued to afford her more opportunities, both educationally and with enhancing her career. She retired from her career while serving as head of procurement at the U.S. Capitol Police.

"Dr. Karen has a real passion to fight for educational freedom for all. Current choice programs only serve certain segments of the population. We continue to advocate for all children and I know Dr. Karen will continue to support our efforts."

Angelique Contreras

School Board Candidate, Palm Beach County

Retiring from government service, Dr. Karen taught business courses at the undergraduate level, which led her to pursuing her Doctorate. She later taught at the graduate level, published books and articles, and served as a board member for a private K-12 school and at a community college. She was elected to a public school board and continued her public service on commissions and non-profit boards.

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