KAREN MARIE FRANCONE earned her BS degree in Nutrition, Foods and Dietetics from San Jose State while working full time. She has been an active member of the 12 Step Programs since 1986. She helped open the first Hope House in 1990, a residential treatment program for women of San Mateo County. While working at Hope House Karen went on to become a Certified Drug & Alcohol Counselor in order to be effective with this special population of incarcerated women. She began at Hope House as the Substance Abuse Counselor and worked hard to help start this small program to help inmate women in the county. She worked day and night to set up the drug and alcohol component of Hope House. In 1998 she was promoted to the Director’s position and since then has opened two more houses. Now she runs all three. Karen has spent over a decade working with the women of Hope Houses helping them stay clean and sober, re-uniting them with their children and showing them how to stay out of jail. Karen also works part-time as a Smoking Cessation Specialist for the county. She helps women who are pregnant or post-partum cut back or stop smoking. Karen received the Award of Excellence for Hope House from the Criminal Justice Council on October 26, 2001.