After starting her career in health insurance with ahm and hospitality with Accor much loved Wollongong identity Karen Burdett started working in the disability sector five years ago as group marketing, sales and communications manager for Flagstaff Group.
She worked under a great mentor in Flagstaff chief exectutive Roy Rogers.
Ms Burdett always showed great leadership potential in her own right and when Gareth McKeen decided to step down as chief executive of the Cram Foundation she realised it was a good time for her to try and further her career.
This week the Cram Foundation board announced she was successfull and will start in early July.
Cram Foundation chair Linda Wright said after an extensive recruitment process with significant nationl interest the board realised Ms Burdett had the perfect combination of management, operational and marketing expertise.
Ms Wright said her recent experience in the disability sector was ideal at a time when the Illawarra was transitioning into the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“We feel Karen will the bring the skills and enthusiasm required to embed the recent changes implemented at Cram and to position the organisation for the next phase of its growth”.
Karen will the bring the skills and enthusiasm required to embed the recent changes implemented at Cram and to position the organisation for the next phase of its growthCram chair Linda Wright
“The fact that Karen already has extensive disability sector, business and community connections in the region will ensure that Cram continues to be a relevant and important part of the Illawarra community”.
Mr Rogers said Ms Burdett had been a big contributor at Flagstaff in engaging stakeholders and driving excellence in customer service and communications. “This is a great opportunity for Karen to broaden her leadership skills and it gives me pleasure to see Flagstaff as a contributor in developing the potential of its staff and supported employees”.
Ms Burdett has also worked for the Australasian Compliance Institute and recently completed an MBA at University of Wollongong’s Sydney Business School and was awarded the GMAA prize for outstanding student.
She received a Women in Business scholarship to undertake the MBA in 2016.
On Thursday Ms Burdett visited one of the houses where Cram cares for people who have a significant physical or intellectual disability. It has been caring for people with multiple or complex care support needs for more than 80 years.
Ms Wright said a range of changes have been made in the past 18 months to help Cram operate in line with contemporary disability practices. And Ms Burdett will lead Cram to more growth and focus on creating new housing in the Illawarra for people with high disability support needs.