About Karen Putman Watson

About Karen Putman Watson

Karen Putman Watson, MSW grew up in Fort Myers, FL. She is married to Fred Watson and has two adult daughters and three grandchildren. Karen and Fred are members of Mount Hermon Ministries and serve on various committees.

Fueled by frustration and optimism, she returned to higher education to earn a Master’s Degree in social work from FGCU. Through her years of working with the School District of Lee County and regular home visits, she came to believe that poor parenting was the root cause of impoverished students’ social, developmental and nutritional obstacles. Karen wanted to teach the parents to be the best parent they could be and give children a winning start before entering school.  With graduate studies focused on mental illness in women and children, a former professor who saw the concern and commitment she had for children and women in her community inspired her to volunteer at Our Mother’s Home. 

  • 2008 alumni of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), where she acquired a Master Degree in Social Work.
  • Child Development Associate Degree and Director’s Credential.
  • Worked 22 years for the School District of Lee County where she taught Head Start, working with pregnant moms, infants and toddlers.
  • For 10 years, she was devoted to modeling best practices, providing resources, advocating for moms and children 0-3 years and teaching moms to be their child’s first best teacher while providing tutoring and operating a Family Home Child Care. 
  • Served one year as Vice President of Our Mother’s Home and one and a half years as President.
  • June 2011 to present, Executive Director of Our Mother’s Home
  • 2012 graduate of The Greater Fort Myers Chamber Leadership.
  • Served as Health Chairperson for The National Association for Advancement of Colored People
  • Volunteers for Red Cross
  • Mentors single young mothers at Footsteps to the Future.
  • 2015 awarded the Golden Baby Shoe Award for her contribution of social service to help give babies a healthy start in life  
  • 2016 was recognized as an Excellent Administrative Professional and FGCU Soaring Eagle.
  • 2016 founded Impact Dunbar, an initiative to impact women and children in the Dunbar Community through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.
  • 2018 Southwest Florida 25 Most Influential Diversity Leader Award by Cape Coral Community Foundation and Top 10 Non-Profit Fundraiser by Cape Coral Community Foundation and News-Press.
  • Currently serves on the Curriculum Advisory Committee of the School District of Lee County and the Board of Directors of RICO (Redeeming Influence Community Outreach).
  • She has been featured in several magazines such as E’Bella, Pinnacle of FGCU, Gulfshore Life, Parent and Child and Grandeur.