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Karen Roque aims to forge connection as La Jolla merchants group’s first executive administrator

Karen Roque is the inaugural executive administrator for the La Jolla Village Merchants Association.
(Courtesy of Karen Roque)

La Jolla Realtor Karen Roque has been appointed the La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s inaugural executive administrator, a role in which she will help with — as her title suggests — administrative tasks so the executive board can focus on its broader mission.

LJVMA Executive Director Jodi Rudick said the group’s goal is for its president to be “involved in the community ... be a spokesperson, so we don’t want to mire that person in a lot of detail work. So Karen will help keep us organized. She is going to support the strategic planning process and make sure we stay on task. I want to thank her immensely for taking on this role.”

Roque is a licensed real estate agent and escrow manager with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and has been with Team Chodorow in The Village for five years. She was one of 10 new trustees brought onto the LJVMA board during its most recent election.

“I started tagging along at meetings as a curious citizen and decided that joining the board was a great fit for me,” Roque said. “I want to support local business in town, so when I was [elected] to the board, Jodi and I talked about how to best organize some of the administrative tasks the board has. That’s my job at the office, so she felt I could do more, that there was a need for the board to have someone to lean on. Now my role will be to support the executive board by providing organizational excellence while overseeing the administrative deadlines to the strategic plan initiatives and documenting the association’s key accomplishments for the year.”

Roque, a La Jolla Shores resident, said she hopes to bring “an approachable personality” to the position and to the board. “Coming out of COVID, I want to be a correspondent that can answer questions for the community. … I want to help connect the board to the local merchants. I want to make sure they are aware of the services we offer, to be a face and a name for people.”

The San Diego native grew up in Escondido and has lived in La Jolla the past four years. Before moving to La Jolla, she worked at Fashion Careers College and oversaw the assembly of garments for dancers at the Art of Dance by John Malashock (now Malashock Dance). Roque also helped on the production side of fashion shows.

When the fashion campus closed in January 2013, she stayed on the board of Malashock Dance, helping with fundraising and other efforts.

“That was my old self, but the skill sets are the same,” she said.

Staying involved in efforts close to her heart has always been important to Roque. “It’s especially important now to be involved with an organization such as the Village Merchants Association because everyone needs all the support we can get in this new economy,” she said. “It’s important to know your neighbors and create a positive buzz in our community for what is to come in the new year.

“The La Jolla Village Merchants Association is a resource, and I think many merchants don’t know who to talk to. So having someone to ask questions and get support is important.”

LJVMA meets at 4 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month online and at locations throughout The Village. Learn more at lajollabythesea.com. ◆