Retired Air Force Officer, Speaker, Philanthropist, Award Winning & Best Selling Author, Leadership & Business Consultant

Member Contact

Email: karen.mertes@yahoo.com or karen@fulfillyourdestiny.org

Website: http://www.fulfillyourdestiny.org Phone:  813-533-1963

Note: Clients are invited to contact our members directly (contact info listed above) or contact Info@WomenVeteranSpeakers.com 240-298-3940

Speaker Videos



  • Entrepreneurism
  • Inspirational
  • Sales Strategies
  • Leadership
  • Philanthropy
  • Triumph Through Tragedy

Member Profile

Karen R. Mertes is retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and she served as the Squadron Commander in two back-to-back command tours as well as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a $169 million-dollar budget at an overseas base. Karen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Boston University, MBA from Strayer University and a Master’s degree in cost estimating and analysis from the prestigious Air Force Institute of Technology.Karen has been recognized and presented numerous awards throughout her distinguished career including the Major T H Baca Award for her contributions to women in the military.

In 2007, Karen turned a life altering tragedy into a life purpose. He car was struck by a drunk driver and Karen suffered a traumatic brain injury. Facing the consequences of this life-changing injury led to the creation of Fulfill Your Destiny, a unique non-profit that unites local businesses and citizens.  Its signature program awards ‘Business Builder Grants’ to local entrepreneurs desiring to take their businesses to the next level.  Karen is dedicated to enriching the lives of others by bringing business and community together.

Karen uses an entrepreneurial model to promote and advance Fulfill Your Destinyin several unique ways, many of which involve her offering a professional service or product for donation.  Karen and Fulfill Your Destiny was honored by the Florida West Coast Public Broadcasting Inc. (WEDU) in 2014 with the Be More Entrepreneurial C1 Bank Engaged Philanthropistaward. Some of Karen’s other notable honors and awards include:

  • 2017 Cabot Community Celebrity
  • 2015 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
  • INSPIRE 2015 Woman of the Year for the Iconic Woman
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal 2014 Heroes at Work Honoree
  • 2014 Spirit of Philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • 2012 Tampa Bay Business Professional Woman of the Year

Karen’s book, Plaintiff 101 The Black Book of Inside Information Your Lawyer Will Want You to Know, debuted as a #1 Amazon Best Seller in its category. It is a survivor’s story which educates all drivers, inspires injured victims and assists them through litigation. All proceeds are donated to Fulfill Your Destiny.

Karen has appeared in local and national TV markets including WTSP’s ‘On the Road’ with Bobby Lewis, ABC’s ‘Positively Tampa Bay’ with Lissette Campos, Bay News 9 ‘Everyday Heroes,’ as well as on the nationally syndicated show ‘Daytime’.  She’s been the featured guest on a number of local and national radio shows.

Speaking Programs


Karen Mertes shares all the valuable tips that led to the success of her book, Plaintiff 101.  When asked, most people have a desire to write and publish a book.  Why not make it a Best Seller?  Karen shares the secrets of her successful strategy, explains the process and answers any questions so you too can become an Amazon Best Seller.

5 Key Points that Audiences will Learn:

  • What’s an Amazon Best Seller?
  • What’s an Amazon Hot New Release?
  • How to Write a Book that can become an Amazon Best Seller?
  • What to Consider when Designing and Creating your Amazon Best Seller Campaign?
  • Increase your Bottom Line with an Action Plan for Leveraging your Book’s Success for even Greater Profitability


Plaintiff 101 is a survival story, which educates all drivers, inspires injured victims and assists them through litigation. Plaintiff 101 answers the common question, “I’ve been in an accident.  What do I do now?”  It’s a Must Read for Every Driver!

This groundbreaking book is written from the combined efforts of an attorney who has been a member of trial teams that have earned million dollar verdicts and settlement and a plaintiff.  It gives you much of the information from inside a personal injury lawsuit from a lawyer and the plaintiff who was successful in her litigation.

Plaintiff 101 The Black Book of Inside Information Your Lawyer Will Want You to Know provides 50 Takeaways and Checklists some of which can be implemented immediately to save you time, money and energy.


Karen Mertes was driving the speed limit on the interstate when she was struck by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph.  He had a blood alcohol level of nearly three times the legal limit. Both vehicles were totaled.  Her axle snapped in half, with brakes and steering inoperative.  Karen made a futile attempt to regain control of her vehicle as her car slid sideways down the interstate, with cars in the remaining lanes traveling by her at highway speeds.  During these split seconds, as her life hung in the balance, Karen made a bargain and promised that if she were fortunate to survive, she would spend the rest of her life helping others.  This was the genesis for what has become Fulfill Your Destiny, Inc.


Karen turned a life altering tragedy into a life purpose with her organization, Fulfill Your Destiny.  A car accident in 2007 when Karen’s car was struck by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph was the genesis that led her to create the organization that helps people whose careers have been altered by injury or other unforeseen circumstances.

Karen uses an entrepreneurial business model that she’s overlaid onto a non-profit organization, raising money for Fulfill Your Destiny in 11 ways, 5 of which involve her offering a professional service or product for donation.  Karen is dedicated to enriching the lives of others by bringing business and community together.


Karen shares leadership tips and life lessons appropriate for the sole entrepreneur through corporate CEO through the acronym, INSPIRE.  Revealed during her speeches, Karen shares how you can INSPIRE yourself and others to live the life you’ve always envisioned.

*Attendees at presentations receive a complimentary take-away of 35 Leadership and Life Tips that are easy to implement for immediate, positive results. 


Karen’s Mom passed away very suddenly from a massive heart attack.  Karen was the executor, personal representative and trustee.  Combing the internet for resources to help, Karen didn’t find all that she needed so she created two checklists:  What to Do When Learning of the Passing of a Loved One, and The Asset Map which helps you find the treasure in your business and personal life, map your assets, and prepare your family for financial freedom.

**As an added bonus, Karen provides each attendee with a checklist of everything that must be done on the day, and during the first week and month upon learning of the passing of a loved one.  Special Tips for Executors are included as well.


Karen sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) when she was hit by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph.  The impact upon her head and brain were multiple G-forces.  Karen’s brain literally cracked and bled inside her skull.  She is living proof of how only one concussion can change a life forever.  During this collision, Karen suffered multiple brain bleeds that impacted her memory, cognitive executive functioning and personality.  In a split second, that drunk driver had pushed the reset button on her career, family relationships and upon her whole life.

Karen was no longer the same person as she was before the crash.  Karen saw a different person when she looked in the mirror.  Karen now openly shares these insights as a TBI survivor and inspires others by explaining how she made gallons of lemonade out of that big lemon!