Karen is a life-long Lubbock resident, and graduated from Coronado High School in 1980. She is proud of her two sons, Blaine and James, daughters-in-law Ashley and Sarah, and especially her granddaughter, Emily, who is the light of Karen’s life. Karen credits her parents, Darvin and Ava Huddleston, for instilling in her at an early age the value of hard work and serving others.
Karen began working in the banking industry in 1982 and worked in financial institutions for more than 10 years. Karen later began working at Gibson's Plumbing Heating & A/C, Inc., and in 2004, became a partner in that business. In addition to owning Gibson's Plumbing, Heating & A/C, Karen is a business partner in Success in Investments, LLC, a property management company. She recently purchased and owns Lubbock Medical Solutions Drug and Alcohol Testing Services. As the owner of several small businesses, Karen has a keen interest in Lubbock business, is familiar with the issues business owners face in their daily operations, and is focused on bringing new opportunities to Lubbock’s business community.
Karen serves the community and believes that public service is not a duty, but an honor. She is a member of the First Baptist Church in Lubbock. Karen volunteers for Buckner Ministries serving as a member of the Ambassador Council and taught at My Father's House. For three years, she served as chairperson for the Madison Hope National Memorial Scholarship Fund. Karen works with Buckner Ministries in Cusco, Peru, and is a house parent for a transition home in that country. Karen is also a member of the Make A Wish Foundation Regional Advisory Council, as well as serving as a Mentor for Children’s Hope of Lubbock. Karen loves community service work, whether the opportunity is here in Lubbock or as far away as Peru.
Karen has served on the Lubbock City Council representing District 5 since 2010. She served as Lubbock’s Mayor Pro Tem from 2012 to 2014. Karen is a member of and is the former Chair of the Lubbock Municipal Planning Organization. She has served on the Texas Municipal League Legislative Committee, the TML Resolution Committee, and served on the TML Committee on Utilities and Transportation. She also serves as the Executive Board 4th Vice President on the South Plains Association of Governments Board of Directors. Karen championed a City Ordinance to ban synthetic marijuana in Lubbock, and subsequently worked with Lubbock’s representatives in Austin to pass similar statewide legislation that would prohibit this incredibly dangerous synthetic drug from being sold in our cities and throughout our state. Karen led the effort to totally rework Lubbock’s Vehicle-For-Hire Ordinance, opening the local market to allow transportation network companies to operate in our city. This Ordinance now serves as a model and has been adopted by other municipalities.
Karen was named the YWCA Woman of Excellence in Government in 2016.