Karen is the Founder & Senior Wealth Advisor for Ellenbecker Investment Group. She began her career in the financial services industry in 1988 as a stockbroker at Robert W. Baird & Co. Her natural ability to connect with people and acknowledge each person’s unique financial needs promptly earned her a Broker of the Year award. Shortly following her joining Robert W. Baird, M&I Bank offered her a Vice President position in their personal trust department. While working at M&I Bank, Karen discovered the importance of viewing her clients’ whole-life picture by combining investment, tax and estate planning. As regulations changed, Karen was forced to choose between maintaining her securities registrations and banking; therefore, she left M&I Bank to join Dain Bosworth, Inc. She immediately implemented the knowledge she had acquired from working in wealth management at M&I. Her forward thinking and visionary spirit ultimately led her to establish Ellenbecker Investment Group (EIG) in 1996, where she began working with clients from a holistic approach. Her goals remained steadfast – to offer a broad array of products and services designed specifically to address her clients’ financial planning needs; to provide a safe environment for employees to grow personally and professionally and to change the perception of the financial industry by providing a model of how business could be done ethically and profitably.
Today, as the Founder & Senior Wealth Advisor of Ellenbecker Investment Group, Karen leads the way for this growing company with locations in Pewaukee and Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin and in Bonita Springs, Florida. Her daughter, Julie Ellenbecker-Lipsky, CFP®, CDFA®, is now the President & Senior Wealth Advisor of EIG.
For close to three decades, she has hosted "Money Sense" radio show on AM1130, WISN’s longest running financial radio segment, where Karen shares her unique financial perspective and interviews local and global economists, lawyers, tax and real estate specialists, authors and other special guests. Many of these same topics are written about in the team’s quarterly newsletter that clients and prospects have come to enjoy.
Karen is founder of the EIG Charitable Foundation, Lake Country Charity Connection and most recently, the Pillows with Wings Foundation. Ellenbecker Investment Group hosts “Milwaukee’s Philanthropic Community” radio show on WISN AM 1130. This show highlights non-profit organizations and helps listeners understand how they can have a personal impact in their community. She also serves on the board for MKE Film. She and her granddaughter, Taelor, have written a children’s book , “My Pillow has Wings” a true story of loss, love and forgiveness. Karen was a presenter for the April 2021 TEDxUWMilwaukee series, Our City, Our Story, with her talk titled The Power of Positive Disruption.
Karen is the recipient of the Inspirational Entrepreneur Award, Women Of Distinction and the Women of Influence Award. Ellenbecker Investment Group is a three-time Torch Award winner of The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau Torch Awards for Ethics and Integrity.
When she is not working, Karen can be found enjoying her family of three grown children, seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Her hobbies include photography, traveling, ballroom dancing, golfing, cooking and spending time with friends and family.