Karen Laksamana is one of our volunteers that works behind the scene. She has been involved with Furry Friends since about 2008. She designs our yearly print newsletter and she works on the fall auction fundraiser committee every year and volunteers at the event along with her mom Cherry Berry taking care of the data input. We asked Karen a few questions, here are her answers.
How I got involved: In 2008, one of our clients at Formations—Iron Gate Storage, a primary sponsor of Furry Friends—asked if we would be willing to overhaul the Furry Friends’ website pro-bono. Since I’m a cat lover and it’s always fun to do a project that isn’t limited by budget, I jumped in. I soon got involved in other aspects of the organization. I later handed over the reins to the website to another developer who created a new WordPress site for Furry Friends, and I now help with design work instead.
Why I give back: Initially it was because I just really felt like I could improve their web presence and give them more credibility as a non-profit to help them attract sponsors and donors. But I love the work they do and how committed they all are to the welfare of cats. I have three cats of my own and two of them are rescues.
Proudest moment as a volunteer: Overhauling the bid tracking and checkout system for the annual Furry Friends auction and getting feedback that the process goes much smoother now that we use computers!
Current employer or place of business: I started working at Formations Design Group in 1997 when I was still in college, and I became co-owner in 2006. I’m now the sole owner as of 2021! We do web development and graphic design for small to large businesses, non-profits, and government agencies.
What local challenge or issue are you most passionate about? As a local small business owner, I’m really interested in the drive to ‘buy local,’ to support local businesses, especially as we recover from the pandemic shut-downs. We were fortunate that we had moved our business to our home offices a year before COVID hit, so we didn’t have that initial challenge to overcome, but a lot of our local businesses are still struggling.
Just for fun: What are your hidden talents, hobbies or interests? Well, I’m actually a pretty good pool player, and I love to play softball (both have been on hiatus for a while, unfortunately). I’m planning a lot of camping this summer with my husband and our 8 year-old daughter, and we’re gearing up to add a puppy to our cat-loving family (we haven’t told our cats yet).