Local Profile | Meet Karen Cline-Tardiff!—Active Volunteer, Veteran & Business Owner!

1. Where (and how) did you grow up? I was born in Dallas, Texas. At the age of 3 DAYS old, I was adopted by my wonderful parents and went to live in East Texas. 5 months later my mom became pregnant with my younger brother. It was the typical childhood of playing ball in the street and going to the local swimming pool, weekends with my grandparents, working in the garden. Just the kind of childhood I hope for my children.

2. How did your upbringing affect what you do for a living now? Early on I was taught the value of education and hard work. My mother's side of the family traces our roots back to my great-great-grandfather. A Confederate veteran and a founder of Titus County, he established a legacy of a deep love of family, Texas, and community. That side of my family is rich in volunteerism, military service, and public service. My family is full of strong women who worked, raised families, and went to college or joined the military years before it was called "women's lib." I believe that is why I made the decision to join the Army. I have also worked in the public sector for many years. I love to volunteer and serve in my community.

3. What brought you to Rockport-Fulton (and how does it differ from where you have lived previously?) They say "Home is where the heart is." Although I was raised in East Texas, I never really considered it home. I have lived all over Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Arkansas. I have been to 37 states (so far). With the Army I had the opportunity to go to Korea for a year. I have had many opportunities to work with and meet wonderful people all over the U.S.; but it was during a conference in nearby Corpus Christi that we finally "found" Rockport. The people were friendly and welcoming. The town was just the right size. The location is unmatched. I could go on about Rockport forever. After procrastinating for a year, we finally made the decision to move to Rockport in 2010. We arrived on Halloween and promptly drove the U-Haul to the Fulton Mansion to take our daughter to Halloween on the Harbor!

4. What are your passions? Before I moved to Rockport I was very involved with affordable housing, speaking at state and national conferences about community engagement and housing issues. That is something I would definitely like to do again in the future. I enjoy reading and writing poetry. I've had a couple poems published, but mostly write just to stay sane. (Most writers understand that.) I am very involved in Rockport Little Theatre, letting my natural drama queen run free. I admin a Facebook group, Rockport Reduce and Reuse, to give people an outlet to share ideas and their "things." My daughter and I have participated in 2 Adopt-a-Beach programs and 1 Aransas County Coastal Cleanup, and we hope to be able to do more in the future! I love to volunteer whenever I can find the time. Aransas County is a wonderful community and I am proud to call Rockport my home.
Karen is also the business owner of the Salty FrogCafe just over the bridge near Holiday Beach.

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