Employee Spotlight - Karen Horstman

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Dairyland Power Cooperative – Employee Spotlight Series
The right employees are always our greatest asset and as part of our People1st initiative, we want to recognize the people behind the power. Our employees are a major factor in Dairyland being a Great Place to Work and a sustainable and reliable power provider. The employee spotlight series highlights an employee each month and shines a spotlight on what it’s like to be a part of the Dairyland team, what led them here and what their interests are.

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Karen Horstman - Systems Analyst II

What is your job and what do you like most about it?
I work in the Administration Building in La Crosse on the IT Business Applications Services team.  I came on board in January 2022 to assist with the Dairyland Systems Modernization (DSM) D365 implementation project.  My primary focus right now is on D365 security and support. What I like most is learning new technology and how it can be used to support Dairyland’s business processes.

What makes Dairyland a great place to work?
Dairyland provides an environment where I feel I am heard even though I am still learning the business. I appreciate being given the opportunity to grow and learn every day.  My team collaborates very well. I especially enjoy the days when we’re all in the office bouncing ideas off each other out loud. We get a lot accomplished in these impromptu sessions.

What led you to work in this field?
I changed my major three times in college and couldn’t seem to settle on anything that felt right. I kept thinking about prior conversations with my dad where he laid out his frustrations with a new CAD application replacing his drafting table. He chose to embrace the new technology and became a mentor to others on his team. Management Information Systems was the best fit for me to help others work through similar technology “disruptions.”

Life outside of work. Tell us about your favorite things.
My husband and I enjoy hiking, biking and exploring new areas. Making time to spend with family and friends is very important, especially our adult children. We’re also DIYers and renovated our older home room by room over the years.

What motivates you?
My developmentally disabled brother has been my inspiration ever since I can remember. He gets up every day and lives his best life, which includes working at his favorite job that he’s held for 25+ years. His work ethic and perseverance are something to be admired. We all have talents and skills that should be shared with the world.

What’s on your bucket list?
We’re starting to daydream about our retirement adventures. Do we buy hiking/hunting land or a cabin on a lake or roam the country in an RV? Having the freedom to choose is amazing. 

Where's your favorite local spot?
I enjoy hanging out in Riverside Park or Pettibone Park with a book I’m pretending to read when I’m really people-watching. Or meeting friends at local restaurants to enjoy good food and live local entertainment.