After traveling the globe, Karina found her calling much closer to home when she joined us in our Morristown, NJ office in October 2018. Originally starting with us as an associate adviser, we soon saw how Karina’s “techie” background and strong organizational skills were key to maintaining and enhancing our client relationship software, and to streamlining processes and procedures. So we launched a new role for Karina as an Operations & Client Service Associate and we’re excited to see all that she will accomplish.
Upon graduating from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Karina joined Johnson & Johnson’s internal auditing group in 2008, conducting worldwide internal audits and compliance reviews. Once she determined her professional passion was to be a financial planner, she transitioned her career accordingly, first as a financial advisor for a nationwide insurance company and, now, here with us.
Karina is currently studying to pass the CFP® exam. She spends the rest of her free time on three primary passions: her human family (Mom, Dad and husband Dan), her dogs Bailey and Luna, and preparing tasty meals. Having immigrated from Peru when she was 7 years old, she grew up in Mahwah and now lives in Lake Hiawatha, NJ. She still enjoys Peruvian cuisine, but she also has a soft spot for Italian. And (of course) chocolate.
When I was 7 years old, my parents and I immigrated to the U.S. from Peru. I’ve been traveling ever since. In high school, I participated in the American Music Abroad program, playing the clarinet; we spent a month one summer performing all across western Europe. After graduating from Penn State, I joined Johnson & Johnson’s internal audit division, visiting nearly 40 countries during my six-year tenure.
South Africa was one of my favorite assignments. I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, and also visiting a national park where I got to see big game wildlife like rhinos and elephants, up close and personal. For an animal lover like me, it was a powerful experience. The lions were close enough to jump into our vehicle; I’m very glad they did not.
My family is very important to me too. I love spending time with my mom, dad and cousins. Plus, I’m now a godmother to one of my cousin’s daughters and one of my uncle’s daughters. My husband Dan and I are raising Bailey, a black-lab mix we adopted from St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. We knew it was fate when we met her: Her shelter name was Carina – almost the same as mine! She jumped right into my lap, and we were done for. In February 2021, adorable Luna became the newest member of our household, adopted from Safe & Sound Satos, an organization dedicated to rescuing and finding forever homes for the forgotten street dogs of Puerto Rico.
I am an only child, and neither my parents nor I spoke much English when we arrived here. In Peru, I was in accelerated math classes. Here, I had to start from scratch with my ABCs, and take on a lot of early responsibilities. After college, I reached out to a financial planner to help me tackle my student debt. I not only learned how to manage my own budget, I helped my parents fix a few financial loose ends as well. That felt so good, over time, I realized I wanted to help others in the same way.
Dan and I recently bought our first home together, so we are busy planning and working on several home and DIY projects. Now that we have a bigger space and a grill, we are also having fun cooking and entertaining.