12 Mar Mom of the Week – Karen Hopp, Technology & PR Expert
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
I have an 8-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. Maybe it sounds crazy but I love to travel with them. I love their anticipation and planning leading up to big trips; I love how excited they are at every stage of the journey; and of course I love exploring new places and exposing them to as much of the world as I can.
My greatest wish, like all moms I’m sure, is that they are fulfilled, happy and I hope that they always try to make a difference for the better.
What has it been like coming home to Greenwich to raise your children?
Both my husband and I were born and raised here and have wonderful childhood memories from this town. The best part has been reconnecting with old friends. Sure, there is a lot about Greenwich that has changed over the years but we often have fun “blasts from the past” – nice reminders that while it’s a cosmopolitan and vibrant town, it’s also a close-knit community in so many ways. For example, when I was mailing a package to my mother-in-law who now lives in Europe, the postman helping me recognized her name and remembered her well; he even added a little note to the outside of the box. When we were in the process of moving from NYC and my husband called the preschool he had attended to inquire about room for our son, it was his former teacher who helped us through the application process. The bonus is that my parents and brothers are still local, which is invaluable and so fun for my children.
What advice do you have for parents new to town?
Get involved! There is no shortage of wonderful organizations to contribute time and talent to and there are plenty of activities to have fun with. And hit the beach! We are so lucky to have the mini oases of places like Island Beach and Tod’s Point. If you’re new to town and have never taken the ferry out to the islands, go!
Who has had the biggest influence upon you?
On the professional side, a former boss made a huge impact on me and I often think about what she might do in a situation when I’m at a crossroad. When I first started in technology PR, I worked for an agency run by incredible, smart women. I had the opportunity to spend some time outside the office with one of my bosses and I was always impressed by how kind and wonderful her child was. I remember thinking to myself, “How does she do it all so well?” She was able to give her all to whatever she was doing at any given moment, and that’s something I strive for – and struggle with – still.
On the personal side, both my grandmothers were loving, tough and resilient. They never sat still; they never took it easy. I can only hope to have an ounce of their moxie.
What quality do you most admire in a mother?
Patience! I don’t have it and I sure wish I did.
Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed? What do you like about your current job?
I’m really proud of the technology PR business my partner Liz and I have built, Bazini Hopp. What started out from simply wanting to control how we work and who we work with turned into this company going on 10 years. I love that I can work mostly from home and that Liz and I mesh so well. Working in the technology sector, there’s never a dull moment – we are always challenged and learning.
In a very different space, I also work part-time for Putnam Indian Field School as Director of Communications & Development. Many aspects of this job are new to me so it has provided opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have; of course, it’s also a lot of fun – just try walking through PIFS without smiling the whole way. I love being surrounded by that energy, the fabulous teachers and the absolutely adorable students.
And what are your strongest qualities?
I should start by admitting that procrastination is one of my worst qualities but on the flip-side of that, I’m really good at getting it all done under pressure.
Were you happiest in elementary, middle, high school or college? Please explain why.
I liked every step of the way but I was probably happiest in college and had a lot of fun (who didn’t?). I was a cheerleader for a big basketball school and the thrill of being on the floor of Madison Square Garden after a big come-from-behind win is like no other feeling in the world.
What do you like to do for fun and what is your idea of a perfect day?
An absolutely perfect day is a morning round of golf with my husband, leisurely lunch and reading on the beach until sunset. A more realistic great day starts with Angela’s yoga class in Old Greenwich.
What is one of your favorite books? Movies?
My favorite book of all time is Bryce Courtney’s The Power of One (big thanks to my Greenwich High School English teacher who assigned this sophomore year) followed by The Count of Monte Cristo. My favorite movies are The Shawshank Redemption and Gladiator. All sports movies are high on the list as well.
What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook?
I love pretty much anything coming off the grill.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
For several years we have gone to Barbuda but the island was completely devastated by Hurricane Irma. I’d give anything to go back. Hopefully the recovery and rebuilding there will continue and the island will be stronger for it.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms in Greenwich and what’s your drink of choice?
I love nothing more than having dozens of friends and their children in my backyard. Other than that, I love my time with girlfriends on the golf course. Either way, you’ll find me sipping Firefly sweet tea vodka & lemonade.