Junior Achievement | Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame
Karen Jensen

Karen Jensen

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President & CEO
Farnsworth Group

“Do your best. You might not be the one that wins all the time but nobody can fault you for doing that best that you can do.”

Born in Springfield, Missouri, Karen Jensen discovered her passion for engineering with the encouragement of teachers and the help and advice of high school counselors. A daughter in a military family, she lived in many states while growing up before making her home in Peoria in 1982.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from Illinois State University. Karen serves as President & CEO of Farnsworth Group, a top-ranked engineering, architecture and survey firm headquartered in central Illinois.  Under her leadership since 2006, the company has enjoyed steady growth, both organically and through acquisitions, and today has more than 500 employees located in 22 offices nationwide.

Farnsworth Group recently earned its third Great Place to Work (GPTW) certification by the GPTW Institute.  Karen is credited with playing a major role in the firm gaining the honor, with more than 95% of staff saying they take great pride in working at Farnsworth Group.Farnsworth Group’s clients include some of the largest and most prestigious brand names in the world including Caterpillar, McDonald’s, Marathon Petroleum, Casey’s, Country Companies, Texas Instruments and Anheuser-Busch, among many others. But the company’s passion also lies close to home and making communities better. Farnsworth Group has provided designs for each of the Peoria Public Libraries, upgrades to central Illinois infrastructure, work on the region’s exceptional healthcare facilities and services for numerous schools throughout the state.  Karen is a strong advocate of Junior Achievement and the STEM curriculum and is a champion of Farnsworth Group employees participating in JA programs. Her commitment to central Illinois has led her to serve on numerous boards over many years, currently serving as a Commissioner and Chairperson of the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria; a Director on the Boards of Busey Bank, FTD Solutions, the Peoria Downtown Development Corporation, and the Peoria Riverfront Museum; and a member of the OSF St. Francis Community Advisory Board.

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