Karen Alvord, CEO of Lilliput Families

Since 1980, Lilliput Families have helped over 9,000 foster youth find forever families. There are nearly 65,000 children in California’s foster care system, and over 16,000 of these children have been hoping to find a lifelong family for three years or more. Karen is an acknowledged leader in the nonprofit and child welfare arenas earning several accolades and awards and serving in a variety of leadership positions including past board member and President of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services.

Name: Karen Alvord

Age: 53

Title: CEO of Lilliput Families

Best Advice You Ever Received: Time heals.

Sacramento Woman You Most Admire? Wendy Phoenix. I met her when I was a new CEO and she gave me sound advice on how to elevate our agency profile and build a strong board. Over the years, I have come to know her as one of the most giving, philanthropic spirits in our region, raising funds and awareness for multiple causes. As a cancer survivor, she has modeled the power of resiliency and a positive spirit.

Fave Local Cause? Our region is rich with great charitable causes, but my passion is for Lilliput Families. No child should have to linger in foster care, and it is Lilliput’s mission to assure every child has the opportunity to be part of a safe, nurturing and lifelong family.

What Do You Want to See in Sacramento in 5 Years? I believe that we are a region that has the opportunity to attract great businesses, maybe even Amazon down the road. We have more affordable housing than other metropolitan parts of the state, and we’re close to snow, mountains, lakes and the ocean. We are blessed with fantastic health care options. We are big, but not so big. To become an economic engine in the state, I would like to see a stronger regional transportation system to get more cars off the freeways, and to watch our downtown continue to flourish and grow. I do have a heart for the homeless and hope that as we grow economically, we will invest in evidence-based programs to address our homelessness issues.

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