Karen Krestensen

Karen Krestensen


I have been a resident of Oakmont for over seven years. My late husband and I moved here from Scotts Valley, near Santa Cruz, where we lived for the 31 years of our marriage.

I have three adult children, four adult step-children, and twelve grandchildren.  I am active in their lives and enjoy my visits with them in Texas, New Mexico and the Bay Area.

I earned an M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology, having re-entered college at age 39. I was a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Jose and Santa Cruz and also taught graduate students, led workshops and did occasional business and nonprofit agency consulting. I retired in 2008. I have served on the boards of two nonprofit organizations and two churches.

In Oakmont I am active in Current Events, Current Events Book Club, Great Decisions, Quilting Bee, OLLI, Oakmont Fitness Center, and playing bridge.



Members of previous nonprofit boards on which I’ve served have told me that I’m good at thinking through an issue, able to be discerning and can come to a decision based on what’s in the best interests of the group.  I’m a good listener.  I can mediate conflict, which I did regularly with couples in my career as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I believe that there don’t have to be “winners” and “losers.” Finding a third solution that all parties can live with is a positive outcome.


The board members are the elected representatives of the community and are responsible for carrying out the duties described in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the OVA.  Among others, this includes–specifically and listed first in the Articles–the duty to “provide athletic and recreational and club facilities for the use of the corporation and their guests.”  “Facilities” seems to be the operational word here, as the Board wrestles with limited available space and the need to expand, e.g., an aging Berger Center, the desire for pickleball courts, etc. Creative thinking will be necessary going forward.  The fiscal responsibility of the board will come into play here. It will require careful thinking and prioritizing of projects.


Board members need to be available to hear the issues confronting the community. This might be at a board meeting, by email, phone, or in writing, as many residents do not use computers.  Addressing the concerns of residents is important, which does not necessarily mean agreeing with them.  People need to be heard and taken seriously. The Oakmont News needs to continue to be a regular vehicle for information.  The new format has helped that. Continuing Cassie’s eBlast is important. The Fireside Chats with board members are a valuable way to communicate one-on-one in greater depth.