Karen Hough is the Founder & CEO of ImprovEdge, a company that creates learning experiences, training and consulting using improvisation to teach business skills. ImprovEdge engagements and Ms. Hough's speaking engagements use improvisational exercises to make the experience fun, interactive, and meaningful. Ms. Hough has been a keynote speaker for events such as the PricewatershouseCoopers Metro Women's Initiative conference, the Legal Marketers Association National Conference, and the International Computer Negotiations US Conference, to name a few.
Ms. Hough is honored to have received the 2009 Athena Powerlink Award sponsored by NAWBO and National City Bank. She is a member of American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA), National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), National Speakers Association (NSA), American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), eWomenNetwork, Meeting Planners International (MPI), and Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD).
Ms. Hough is the author of the "Yes! Deck" (2009), Managing Tough Conversations: The Everyday Coaching Model (2008), and the upcoming The Improvisation Edge. She writes articles and blogs for industry media, and is a national conference keynote speaker on diversity, leadership, cultural change, executive growth, communication, negotiation and business development.
Ms. Hough is a graduate of Yale University and La Sorbonne, Paris. She worked for many years as a senior sales executive in the network engineering industry in New York and Chicago. She originated and expanded the sales and management efforts of three technology start-ups, launched partner programs and assisted in East Coast and National expansions. Ms. Hough has been a professional improviser and actor for 20 years. Her improvisational training and performance credits include the Second City of Chicago, Metraform/Annoyance Theatre, the Organic Theatre and the Purple Crayon of Yale. She was formerly the International Spokesperson for Stratacom, and spokesperson for Tivoli and Infiniti, and her TV and radio credits include CBS, Miller, Earthshare, Eli Lilly and S.C. Johnson.
Ms. Hough is deeply committed to volunteer activities and philanthropy. A portion of ImprovEdge profits go each yeaer to support the Women's Fund of Central Ohio, kiva.org, and DonorsChoose. Her volunteer activities include teaching improv classes for high school students in rural Kansas and confidence-building workshops for Chicago inner-city schoolchildren. She is a former board member of the Yale Whim n' Rhythm Alumnae Association, and is a volunteer for the Yale Alumni Schools Committee and the Yale Alumni Fund. She resides in Columbus with her husband and 3 children.