Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero Karen Mertes

Posted by on Apr 2, 2012 in Local News | 0 comments

Karen R. Mertes is a Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) from our United States Air Force and a lifetime member of the Military Officer’s Association of America. Having served for over 20 years in the Military Intelligence and Air Force Comptroller career fields, Karen is often asked to give presentations sharing key leadership tips she has learned in her Air Force career. Her leadership experience includes having had the rare opportunity to serve in two back-to-back Financial Squadron Commander positions. In an overseas assignment, LtCol Mertes served as Comptroller or Chief Financial Officer of a military base with a budget in excess of $169 million dollars. Serving at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Lieutenant Colonel Mertes was the only female Squadron Commander (out of 18 Commanders) and she led her Squadron to an “Outstanding” (the top) rating during the 2005 Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Unit Compliance Inspection, the only Squadron to earn an “Outstanding” rating during this inspection; a feat matched in only 4 of 216 comptroller Pacific Air Forces inspection reports since 1970. Karen has been recognized and presented numerous awards throughout her distinguished career including the Major T H Baca Award for her contributions to women in the military.

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