When life gets tough, it’s all about adapting. That’s exactly what our founder, Karina Perez, did when she moved from Venezuela to the United States with her family. Their remarkable story was featured on Generation Si!.

Taking a Chance

Ana Gabriela Roosen remembers her mother looking for work when the two of them arrived in the country. Karina Perez had accepted a job with a company that got her in the lake with alligators. Roosen remembers, “She would come in at 9 p.m. So dirty. Didn’t eat all day, just to provide a future for us.”

Talk about adaptability and forging ahead in courage despite obstacles.

Lake Restoration and Management

Karina eventually opened her own lake restoration and management business, working both commercially and residentially. Despite all the challenges, she was successful enough for her daughter to join just four years later.

Now, working in lake restoration is certainly quite different from Karina’s childhood dream job of being a water skiing champion. But with her degree in marketing, she hopes that she will be able to grow the business enough for her to take a break. With her degree in biology, Ana Gabriela wants to help her mother obtain that dream. 

Making the Move

Karina gave up her 17-year career in a marketing research company when she came to the United States. Separating from her husband, she arrived in the country with her four kids, with Roosen being 16 at the time while her youngest brother was only 6.

It was a huge change, but it wasn’t the only change. Karina Perez had spent much of her time in Venezuela in high heels and a dark dress. She was now a laborer mucking around in her boots all day to make sure that her children had food to eat.

Don’t let the love of high heels fool you, because Perez excelled in her job nonetheless. She moved rocks, cleaned the lakes, and then opened up her own company, Karina Lakefront Maintenance.

While it took her time to figure out how to charge what she deserved for her work and to stop undervaluing herself, she never stopped working for the opportunities she needed.

Mother-Daughter Business

With her mother working hard, Roosen came to help. It was difficult to manage everything at first and even to work with each other. However, they found a way to grow the business to now employ 18 people.

Working with her daughter, Perez learned a whole lot about happiness. As a former national water skiing champion, she has been able to enjoy the water and being outside—while being a little dirtier—and spending time with her daughter as well.

With their go-getter attitude, this mother-daughter team will keep reaching for greater heights, growing their business and serving their customers earnestly.