Annually, ACEC/MD honors a member firm representative that has made a significant contribution to the community by volunteering their time and expertise.

2020 Winner

Karen Kahl, PE

Rummel, Klepper & Kahl

Karen Kahl has been devoted to community service and improving the lives of people for more than 25 years. Her service started in graduate school when she volunteered at a women’s crisis center in Brazos, Texas, and then at a battered women’s shelter in Evanston, Illinois. Since relocating to Maryland, she has supported more than 20 different organizations. Her longest and most in-depth involvement has been with the Tyanna Barre O’Brien Breast Cancer Foundation, serving as the foundation’s local and national treasurer, where she oversaw a donation of more the $1.2-million to Mercy Hospital. At RK&K, from 1998 to 2012, she led the annual Toys for Tots drive. Since 2013, Karen has co-led the toy drive and helped promote the distribution of toys to children near the RK&K office. She has also been active in numerous other community efforts, including raising more than $4,000 for breast cancer research as part of the Avon Breast Cancer 3-day, 60-mile fundraiser walk, and annually collected food for the Assistance Center of Towson Churches food drives, the Maryland Food Bank, and Thanksgiving baskets.

She has collected supplies for the Student Support Network, which helps homeless children in Baltimore County; held the treasurer position for local Boys Scout Pack 750; organized ongoing donations to RK&K’s support of soldiers through the Any Soldier website; annually adopted a local family through St. Vincent DePaul and purchased items for children through Christmas-Time Angel Tree programs; organized events and donated to an education fund for African children; collected clothing for a 60-person group of homeless women; annually participated in a program that send small toys to children around the world and collected books for an inner city reading program.

Karen spearheaded an effort for the Baltimore Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), has been a member of a number of ACEC/MD committees, and served as a panel member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Cooperative Highway Research Program. In addition, she has been an active member of the Transportation Research Board and was an Executive Committee member of the national level Traffic Engineering Council for the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and assisted in developing the Maryland Quality Initiative – Engineering Outreach Program’s Highway Design presentation for high school students.

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