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Culture 2020 40 Under 40 Karanae Duane

2020 40 Under 40 Karanae Duane

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Where did your first paycheck come from?

Beginning in her college years at Texas Christian University working toward a Bachelor of Business Administration and becoming a Certified Public Accountant, Karanae Duane developed a passion for service to troubled children and families through her regular volunteer service with Ronald McDonald House.

“Because of her volunteer service with children, Karanae decided to target her accounting career professionally toward the specialization in forensic public accounting in order to best serve the nonprofit sector,” said Rattana Mao of Child Care Associates, who nominated her.

She spent more than a decade working with nonprofits at Whitley Penn.

“Karanae made a critical observation. She observed nonprofits suffering day-to-day by lacking strategic senior leadership with accounting expertise. She made a pivot in her career to join the senior leadership team of James L. West Alzheimer’s Center in order to align her professional career more squarely within service to the nonprofit sector,” Mao said.

She continued to volunteer with Ronald McDonald House, Community Hospice of Texas and serve on the Board of Carter Blood Care.

In 2015, Duane joined Child Care Associates as the Chief Financial Officer overseeing $90 million in public funds and private philanthropy.

In her free time, she gives back to other families interested in adoption as she has experienced the joy of adoption in building her own family.

– Paul K. Harral

Where is your first paycheck come from?

Café Aspen, as a hostess when I was 13; technically a cash job because of something called child labor laws, but it was my first job outside of our family farm near Seminole and I was so excited that there was air conditioning.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

Nintendo Track and Field – always working to be better, faster, and smarter to get to that finish line. No one could beat me at that game.

What other profession would you like to try?

Hip Hop dancer

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

Little did I know nine years ago when I stepped into a gym off 8th Street that my life would be beyond blessed by a young man from West Fort Worth. This is a man that who had a tragedy in his life that caused him to lose his way.

He had opened the gym, and he intrigued me greatly because no matter what terrible personal difficulty he was facing, he was always full of joy. He was working three jobs, but his real job is uplifting and connecting people. This man had a tremendous impact on how I perceive loss, grit, perseverance and joy. But most importantly, I have learned it is the most unexpected place that your greatest blessing will come, for this man is our family’s connector to our adopted son, who will be 2 in April.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Can I still be growing up? I think it was 8th grade that I first wrote down for a classroom project a goal to be an accountant. Reflecting back, I didn’t know that I knew what it meant to be an accountant, but I knew I wanted to do really well in business and make a difference. In high school is when I started piloting ideas of non-profit work because I wanted to improve the world. Maybe a World Improver is really what I want to be when I grow up.

What is your favorite song?

Jack and Diane – John Mellancamp

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

Cotton, because you should never forget where you have come from. Sandpaper because it is a symbol in my family for grit. Don’t leave home without it.

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