(KUTV) Karen Gunn is the Associate Provost of Economic Development and Business Partnerships at Salt Lake Community College.
She recently received the ATHENA Award from the Salt Lake Chamber, which is given to someone who has demonstrated creativity, excellence and initiative in business.
Gunn always knew she wanted to have a career, even at a young age. "I never saw myself not being a professional," she said.
Gunn's job as a corporate manage and executive laid the foundation for where she is today.
She also took a risk to be an entrepreneur and ended up building a company from the ground up and eventually selling it.
She was then looking for something to do, and found her way back into education.
She has been with Salt Lake Community College for 23 years--20 years longer than she expected.
"I fell in love with the mission of a community college," she said.
Gunn has seen a lot of change when it comes to women in the workforce.
Although great strides have been made, Gunn believes there is more work to be done.
"We need to not have women making 73 percent of a dollar for every man," she said. "We need to have them both making a dollar."
Gunn said women can find an identity in being educated and having jobs, and it can help them become better moms, sisters, and spouses. "If we can do that for women, then we've accomplished a lot."
Gunn spent part of her career as a single mom.
Although it was very challenging, her circumstances helped push Gunn to succeed.
"In many ways it helped me know that I had to finish," she said. "I had to finish my degree, I had to make this company successful. I had to do right by my kids."
For more on Karen Gunn and what has influenced her, watch her "Person 2 Person" interview with Shauna Lake.