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Profile

Karen Chakmakian is a focused, results-oriented and highly productive marketing professional with a passion for kick-starting new ventures. She has more than fifteen years of experience providing leadership and direction to early-stage companies; her strengths are marketing strategy and corporate communications. She worked as a consultant from September 2000 until August 2006, when she joined Fuzz fulltime as VP Marketing.

Current Focus
Although she has dedicated most of her career to working with technology companies, during her time consulting, Karen began to shift her focus away from technology, and towards areas of deeper personal interest, including wine, music and the nonprofit sector. She continues to serve on the board of directors for Little Kids Rock, a rapidly growing nonprofit that brings an incredible music program and free instruments into the public schools that have lost their music programs to budget cuts. Her work with Fuzz brings her back into the tech sector and allows her to help artists achieve financial and creative independence.

Pursuing Her Dreams
Karen took a travel break from September 1999 to September 2000 to pursue her dream of backpacking through various parts of the world. She kept a detailed journal and wrote travelogues throughout this adventure. During this time she was interviewed for a USA Today cover story, by National Geographic Television, and profiled in Fast Company magazine.

An Entrepreneur in the Internet Arena
Karen was a founder of iPass Inc., which solves the complex issues of mobile workforces accessing their corporate networks, email and the Internet from anywhere in the world. Through an easy-to-use client, iPass enables secure access via wireless and wireline broadband, ISDN, dial-up and other access media, over multiple computer platforms and devices. Karen quickly positioned iPass as the standard for global Internet roaming and corporate remote access solutions.

Karen was involved in all aspects of developing and growing iPass' business from January 1996 until September 1999. She co-developed the business model, validated it through market research, assessed the competitive landscape, identified potential partners and wrote the business plan. She helped raise the company's initial funding from top-tier venture capital firms Accel Partners, Crosspoint Ventures and Asia Pacific Ventures. She also helped recruit a seasoned executive team, a strong marketing communications team, and drove worldwide marketing communications, public relations, demand generation and website development. Through these efforts iPass achieved rapid growth and became the industry leader. The company remains strong with predictable growth today.

Marketing Consultant in Hong Kong
Prior to iPass, Karen lived in Hong Kong where she was a consultant to International Messaging Associates, a provider of Internet messaging solutions for business customers. Her work there included market research, business planning and a new product launch.

Work with Startups in the Semiconductor Industry
Karen's career began in the semiconductor industry; she drove product marketing and marketing communications for Ultra Clean Technology, a leading provider of semiconductor process equipment and services; before that she was an account manager for WaferNet, a broker of silicon wafers and related services.

Education
Karen led consulting projects in conjunction with the MBA Consulting Group at Santa Clara University, where she completed a Masters in Business Administration in 1992. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish.

Personal Interests
Karen loves adventure travel, learning to play the guitar and djembe, and discovering amazing wine. Her favorite sports are kiteboarding, windsurfing, snowboarding and skiing, but she also enjoys a number of others including mountain biking, scuba diving and rock climbing. She also practices yoga and works out often in her home gym.