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Karen Lebsanft
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Karen Lebsanft

Karen Lebsanft is the CEO and Co-Founding Director of The Kurrajong Kitchen Group. Growing up in the housing commission blocks of inner Western Sydney, Karen possessed an incredible sense of belief. It was this belief that gave Karen the strength, courage, resilience and determination to forge an amazing life.

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Karen Lebsanft Travels from NSW
Fee Range: POA

Karen Lebsanft's Biography

Karen Lebsanft is the CEO and Co-Founding Director of The Kurrajong Kitchen Group.

Growing up in the housing commission blocks of inner Western Sydney, Karen possessed an incredible sense of belief. It was this belief that gave Karen the strength, courage, resilience and determination to forge an amazing life. Overcoming significant challenges and obstacles, Karen built a successful business empire and now inspires and motivates through her real-life stories and experiences she shares with her audiences.

Kurrajong Kitchen is built on the foundations of family with Karen’s husband Ben and children Jack and Lorna. The company is an institution in greater western Sydney offering employment, career opportunities, training and mentorship.

Established in 1993 by Karen and her husband Ben, the business began as a small restaurant in the Hawkesbury town of Kurrajong, NSW. It is now an established kitchen in Windsor, NSW that employees just shy of 50 and boasts the popular ‘Kurrajong Kitchen Lavosh’, a flatbread that is stocked in supermarkets nationwide, is popular with the food service industry and has placed Kurrajong Kitchen as leaders in flatbread products.

In 2018 Kurrajong Kitchen was awarded the Champion Manufacturing Award at the Australian Small Business Champion Gala Dinner, the only national recognition program for Australian small businesses as well as the Western Sydney Awards for Business Excellence in Manufacturing. Later that year, Karen was identified by the author of Unsung Business Heroes as one of the 50 Unsung Business Heroes in 50 Unsung Business Heroes 2.

In 2019, Karen was approached to share the Kurrajong Kitchen story for Foxtel’s Industry Leaders TV Series. Another highlight being honoured with the Gold Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business in New York. The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honour women executives, entrepreneurs, employees and the companies they run – worldwide. Karen was the only Australian finalist, and ultimate winner, in the Lifetime Achievement Award category.

In 2020 Karen again entered the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and was again successful. Karen was awarded the Silver Award for Woman of the Year – Manufacturing 2020.

Speaking Topics Include

Resilience - Karen shares her challenging moments in both her personal & professional life with a raw & open honesty that will leave you thinking you are capable of far more than you ever imagined.

 

Leadership - What does leadership look like for you? Whether you believed you were “born to lead” or not Karen brings to life her journey of leadership. As a respected community and business leader, her stories are real, peppered with experiences of resilience, confidence, challenges and successes to inspire you to lead forward.

 

The Journey of Success - Building a team of two to a team of 35, from 30 packets per week to over 750,000 pieces per day, served by professional chefs across the nation, found in Australian pantries for over 20 years. Karen shares the stories (not all pretty) as Co-founder and CEO of Kurrajong Kitchen, a proudly Australian made and owned product and business. Supporting Australian wheat farmers since 1993 with the intent to become an iconic brand manufactured in The Hawkesbury Region of NSW.

 

Community, Culture & Connection - Community should never be taken for granted.

This was more evident during Covid 19 than any other time. The desire for connection drives community while culture empowers it. Karen has long believed in the value a community brings, actively engaging in hers for many years. She shares her journey of driving culture through communication, the benefits of creating purpose and the joys of bringing people together.