Karen Marshall was in the newspaper business 18 years before she joined Hill and Knowlton's St. Louis office as an account executive in 1984. There she quickly rose through the ranks, serving as interim general manager of the local office when called upon to do so. From there she went to Monsanto, serving as the manager of their public relations efforts to introduce plant biotechnology. She commuted to Europe for 11 months working on regulatory approval for the company before returning full-time to the corporate headquarters. In 2000 Karen moved up to the position of Director of Public Relations, followed by a move to Director of Industry Affairs. She retired in 2008. In 1990, Karen served as the president of the St. Louis chapter of PRSA.