Karen Musson is managing partner of Gar Tootelian, Inc. (GAR) established in 1949 by her parents, Gar and Esther Tootelian. Located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, GAR is a Crop Care Retailer providing water, nutrition, regulatory and crop care advice, products and services to 1500 valley growers from Chowchilla to Bakersfield. CropLife Magazine ranks GAR as 52nd and, also, the largest, single location Crop Care Retailer in the United States. GAR’s leadership in environmental stewardship, sustainability and community outreach has earned the company the Agricultural Retailer Association’s (ARA) National Ag Retailer of the Year Award and DuPont Crop Science and CropLife magazine’s North America Environmental Respect Award (ERA). GAR has also been recognized by: Tulare County Farm Bureau (2019), Orange Cove Chamber (2018), Reedley Chamber of Commerce (2003 & 2017), and Fresno Chamber of Commerce (2013).
Karen leads GAR’s media, marketing and community outreach activities and is the CEO of the Gar & Esther Tootelian Charitable Foundation established in 2003 to engage, develop and direct philanthropic gifts promoting agricultural literacy, careers, and awareness. She produces, writes and records GAR’s marketing messages on local talk radio station KMJ 580 promoting agriculture and making consumers aware of agriculture’s vast contribution to the health and freedom of our daily lives. Under Karen’s leadership, the Foundation and GAR have granted more than $2.75 Million in scholarships and gifts in support of agricultural activities, community enrichment and educational programs it considers critical to the sustainability and future of Central Valley agriculture.
Karen is an active member of numerous community and philanthropic organizations. She is a member of the Central Valley Community Bank’s Board of Directors serving the valley with 21 branches from Sacramento to Exeter. She is the recipient of Marjorie Mason’s 2017 Top Ten Professional Women and is a 2011 Ag One Common Threads recipient. She raised $25,000 in the 2010 San Francisco Nike Women’s Half Marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and her 2012 challenge to recognize “Central Valley Farmers and Families” at Clovis Medical Center’s Emergency Room expansion raised over $1.5 million. The “Feeding Families Fund Drive” supporting Central California Community Food Bank has raised a total of $965,000 since 2013 and, more than $150,000 has been raised to support Habitat for Humanity projects helping local families earn homes.