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Karen Kochevar

Executive Committee Member
Karen Kochevar

Meet Karen

Karen has been privileged to support YSC's mission for more than 20 years following her own breast cancer journey as a young woman. She previously served on YSC's Board from 2013-2017 and has served as a Board Member and Executive Committee Member since 2020.

Karen currently serves as an Independent Board Director for several public and private equity-owned companies in the U.S. and abroad. She is a retired Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), the renowned New York City hospitality company that created the beloved restaurant brands Shake Shack, Union Square Cafe, and Gramercy Tavern. Throughout her near-decade tenure with USHG, Karen led the company's corporate and strategic business development efforts during a period of rapid growth that transformed USHG from a local, independent restaurant operator into an international hospitality conglomerate and culminated in the IPO of Shake Shack.

Before her career in hospitality, Karen spent a decade on Wall Street working in private equity and investment banking for leading firms, including Warburg Pincus and Lehman Brothers.

Karen cares deeply about her social impact. She is a past Board Chair of Greyston Foundation, a storied social enterprise. During her chairmanship, Greyston was named to Fast Company's prestigious annual list of the World's Most Innovative Companies, and the launch of Greyston's Center for Open Hiring was recognized among Fast Company's World Changing Ideas.

Originally from Minneapolis, now a New Yorker, Karen earned an MBA with distinction in finance from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania and an AB in International Relations from Stanford University.

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