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Fabulous People: Karen W. Hertz

Karen W. Hertz is the Chief Brewista at Holidaily Brewing Company, the nation’s largest dedicated gluten-free brewery. Karen opened Holidaily Brewing in 2016 after surviving both melanoma and thyroid cancer, leading to a treatment regimen including a gluten-free diet. She struggled to find a great tasting, 100% gluten-free beer and was driven to solve this problem. After years of research and testing, Holidaily Brewing Company was born. Learn more about Karen W. Hertz…

Hometown: Golden, Colorado

First job: In 1998 I was an intern at Enterprise Rent A Car. It was fun to be a part of a team and there was a large focus on customer service. After college, I worked in a variety of roles including human resources, finance, project management, supply chain, distribution, sales and marketing. In 2003, I landed at Coors Brewing Company and found a home in the brewing industry and the community built around it. A second cancer diagnosis in 2008, with a treatment plan that included being gluten-free led to the start of Holidaily Brewing Company. Holidaily opened in February of 2016 and is focused on producing world class gluten-free beer. Holidaily has grown exponentially in Colorado and we are excited to expand our distribution to Phoenix and surrounding areas.

Favorite AZ restaurant: Flower Child. They make everything from scratch and can accommodate all different dietary restrictions without compromising flavor.

Person who has impacted your life the most: My Dad. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like him. His positive attitude is contagious. He’s always prioritized his marriage and family. He is a retired physician and I remember going to do rounds at the hospital with him when I was little. Every single person in the hospital – nurses, administrators, doctors, patients and their families all pulled me aside to tell me how much they admired and respected him. His actions make me think about what legacy I want to leave behind and how to build a life I can be proud of. And he is funny – very, very funny.

Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: My biggest accomplishment is raising two happy, smart, strong, independent girls. I am the mom of 12 year old twin girls. With constant pressures and changes in social media and the balance of building a company and raising kids, I think my husband and I have done a good job of prioritizing our family and teaching them strong family values. 

The biggest obstacle you have overcome: In November of 2008, I had one year old twins and was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I had to endure a thyroidectomy and radiation treatment. The surgery, recovery and the emotions around all of that while trying to keep us all alive was very difficult. It was a very long and emotional road. As a family we overcame it and I would say we are thriving because of it.

Someone who inspires you: Julie Ertz on the US women’s soccer team. She was born in Mesa, Arizona! Julie plays defensive midfielder and recently won U.S. Female Soccer Player of the Year in 2019. She inspires me because she is consistent, persistent and fearless. Her level of play never changes. She impacts every game she is in and is a force in the midfield. When interviewed or published, she is poised and  well spoken.

Favorite quote: “Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we’re going to relentlessly chase it because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not interested in just being good.” – Vince Lombardi

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: The craft beer industry is growing and even becoming saturated in certain areas. If you are interested in becoming a part of it, find a true niche and be persistent about sticking to it.

What you think makes someone fabulous: Being well rounded. Just being good at one thing in your life doesn’t make you a fabulous person. To me, being fabulous means you have a number of priorities and leave a positive mark on the world in a number of areas, all while having fun and being nice to people.

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