This is a monthly feature highlighting someone involved with a nonprofit agency recognized as a Charity Champion by TFNB Your Bank for Life. To submit someone for future consideration, email email@example.com.
An inner drive to succeed and a servant’s heart for helping others describes Karen Coleman well.
She has helped many already in a banking career than spans 32 years and is expanding her civic involvement since her election last May to the Bellmead City Council.
It’s a long way from growing up in Parkside Village, the youngest of three raised by a single mom, and it’s something she wears as a badge of honor.
“I’m proud to say coming from a single parent and a low-income neighborhood that it gave me that extra drive to do much better for my kids,” she said.
Karen, a 1982 Jefferson Moore High School graduate, married her junior high school sweetheart, Ronnie Coleman, in 1989. They have one son, TaMarcus Coleman, and three grandchildren.
Ronnie retired a year ago after 38 years at Trane in McGregor. Karen, meanwhile, continues her banking career as an assistant vice president at TFNB Your Bank for Life’s East Waco location.
She has been at TFNB since August 2020, prior to its opening its fifth branch at 715 Elm Ave. Karen had spent the previous 15 years at Fidelity Bank of Texas, and 10 years with Genco Federal Credit Union, where she was the first African American loan officer at the Genco in Bellmead.
She started her career in 1989 at MBank. Among her co-workers there was Dortheia Love, who is now a TFNB senior vice president and oversees the East Waco location.
“TFNB doesn’t just talk the talk,” Karen said. “We’re making a difference in people’s lives financially. I feel like I have a greater purpose in East Waco at this location and we have a good team here.
“I’m able to reach and touch people who may find it more comfortable coming in and talking to me. I tell people, ‘no question is a dumb question.’ I wake up each day with a chance to help someone.
“Whether I touch one person, two people … I’ve accomplished what I need to do. I love helping people.”
She has been recognized for her community involvement, most recently being named a Woman of Excellence in the Waco area.
A 30-year resident of Bellmead, she has served on a beautification committee for the city and was named Woman of the Year by the city in 1999.
She is involved at the civic level even more since her election to City Council in May, representing Precinct 1.
“There’s always a need for change,” she said, adding that she had to summon some inner strength in deciding to run for the position.
Now that she’s in office, the work has begun.
“I want to be a voice for the people of Bellmead,” she said. “It’s important for the city, police and La Vega ISD to be one team.”
The council is tackling a number of initiatives, she said, beginning with infrastructure needs and cleanup efforts, she said.
Karen got involved first-hand with that, joining members of the Heart of Texas Young Marines on a recent cleanup project.
She would love to see a library established in Bellmead.
Karen is excited about the new businesses coming to Bellmead, such as Harbor Freight Tools in the old Bealls store and the QT (QuikTrip) convenience store going in the Luby’s cafeteria.
But she is looking forward to working on getting more industry to Bellmead.
“We need to bring new jobs and opportunities here,” she said.
In June Karen was brought on as a board member for the Bellmead Economic Development Corporation, which will enable her to take an even more active role in that business growth she wants to foster.
Waco Today highlights people whose good works may otherwise go relatively unnoticed. To submit someone for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a monthly feature someone whose good works may otherwise go relatively unnoticed. To submit someone for consideration, email email@example.com.