Karen Vadino

2020 NJJA Keynote Speaker

Karen Vadino is a Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Trainer and Consultant. In her thirty-plus years as a human service professional, most of Karen’s experience has been in the field of chemical dependency, both as a licensed clinician and as a certified prevention specialist. She has considerable experience working with children and families, having served as a clinician and supervisor in Children’s Services group homes and a Children’s Psychiatric Hospital. Karen also has been a part-time instructor in Social Work, Sociology, Juvenile Justice and Human Development at Youngstown State University, Penn State University and Westminster College.

Karen draws from her extensive and varied experience to form the foundation of her unique and distinctively humorous approach to life and work. For the past twenty years, she has been a nationally recognized speaker and trainer sharing her inimitable insights with thousands of people – adults and youth – each year. Karen has been described as “one of those rare people who can make you laugh and cry in the same moment”.

Regardless of the topic, Karen’s workshops and presentations are humorous in nature, reflecting her own insightful approach to dealing with life’s daily challenges. She is well known for her “Vadinoan Theories”, including her exhortation to “release your dolphins” and her firm belief that we should never wait until we are entirely happy before we laugh.

Karen is working on finishing a book or two, including a compilation of her original workshop materials and activities.