It only takes one person to make a positive difference for the rest of us.

Take the winners of this year’s “We Shield Moms Contest” hosted by Blue Shield of California, for example.  After we scoured California for inspiring moms who make it their mission to promote health and wellness, it came down to two mamas who left a truly lasting impression.

Grand Prize Winner Karen Kalan

Nominated by Heather Burbink

Karen is extremely passionate about teaching health and fitness to others. After working for Whole Foods Market for 4 years where she educated a community on leading a healthy lifestyle and eating right, she decided to pursue her passion for fitness 2 years after the birth of her second child.

Currently she works for Students Run LA and Moms In Motion, along with volunteering at Girls on the Run Los Angeles and leading other fitness classes and runs throughout the week. Through these organizations she’s able to inspire individuals of all ages, from early childhood to adults, to run and make a lifetime commitment to fitness.

Karen in truly exceptional in her passion for spreading education and inspiring others to stay physically fit throughout their lives. It is completely ingrained in all aspects of her life, work and play. Despite being a busy and active mom, she still always seems to find ways to squeeze in volunteering with numerous fitness based non-profits in the region. I don’t know how she does it all, but she does. She is truly deserving of an award such as this to recognize all of the hard work she does and how much the community appreciates her dedication.

Get more inspired!  Read about runner-up winner Jane Gould