Cabot Community Celebrity; Karen S Gillman
Karen Gillman’s volunteer work won her the title and a cruise to Alaska.
Karen Gillman may not be famous, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a celebrity.
Just ask Cabot Creamery. On May 1, Gillman was named a Cabot Creamery Community Celebrity, a title given to people around the country who show commitment to volunteerism and other community work. She is the first Plant City resident to have earned the title, which has been an active project of Cabot’s since 2010.
“I was shocked,” Gillman said.
Gillman, 49, is the owner and vice president of On Point Executive Center Inc., a family-owned organization that provides virtual offices and executive suites for small businesses. She is also a co-founder of Charity Chics, a networking group of professional women that links its members with volunteering opportunities and donates money to Tampa Bay-area charities.
“We knew a lot of business professionals who were extremely busy and didn’t have time to find out which boards they should be sitting on … they had money to give, but didn’t know where to give it,” Gillman said.
She is also the creator of After the Band, which allows her to share advice with women looking to lose weight. Gillman had lap band surgery in 2004 and subsequently wrote a book about her weight-loss experience, which caught the attention of women around America.
Cabot Creamery learned about Gillman through its own research in the Tampa Bay area. Gillman said representatives from the company’s Gratitude Department linked up with her last year, attending volunteer events with Charity Chics and learning about her and her work.
“A lot of this comes from just being in the market,” Communications Manager Nate Formalarie said. “We did a three-, four-month focus on Tampa and surrounding areas where we ran all sorts of programs … through that, we met a variety of people that we thought were outstanding people doing great stuff to improve lives.”
Cabot plans to send Gillman on a networking cruise to Alaska, where she and other Cabot Community Celebrities will get to relax, connect and even learn new social media strategies.
The cruise, which will run from June 2-9, is special to Gillman because it gives her the opportunity to complete a “bucket list goal.” Gillman says she has traveled to 49 of the 50 states in her lifetime, and all she needed was to go to Alaska.
When Gillman returns from Alaska, she plans to put her newly gained skills and contacts to use. Whether she gets this level of recognition, she’s committed to helping others around Tampa Bay.
“It’s really something that I do; it’s just part of who I am,” Gillman said. “Helping these organizations with the different skill sets that I have and training volunteers to do the things I do … I just thrive off of it. I love doing it.”
Karen says that next year Community Celebrities will be randomly chosen from volunteers who log their volunteer hours in REWARD VOLUNTEERS. She encourages all volunteers to download the app and start logging their hours starting today!