Meet the newest addition to the HAPPY team, Carrie Papke! Carrie brings vast and valuable expertise to HAPPY from her previous roles in the U.S. military and her entrepreneurial spirit as a retail owner.

What experience are you bringing to the HAPPY team?

I am very excited to bring my passion for branding and strategic growth to HAPPY PR. My career as both a military officer and a retail owner has trained me to be “comfortable with the uncomfortable” while maintaining a very high-level attention to detail.  My innovative problem solving and ability to pivot (when needed) help drive successful results with HAPPY clients.

What inspired you to serve in the military? 

I was drawn to the military back in high school.  I wanted to serve my country and also liked the opportunity for training and the physical and mental challenges. My mom, however, insisted that I go to college, so we compromised and I attended the Virginia Military Institute.

After college, I was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, where I spent seven years and left as a Captain.

As a Marine Corps officer, we are trained to lead Marines without expectation of job roles. Simply put: we go where we are needed. I have been placed in many roles without previous experience and have been expected to quickly become the subject matter expert while leading a team. It has made me very comfortable with chaos and tackling new environments, concepts, and aggressive schedules. 

My military career took me to Beaufort, South Carolina, as the Marine Aircraft Group S-6 Communications Officer. From there, I was deployed to Djibouti, Africa as a Global Force Management where I planned out mission requirements for future operations. Then, I worked at the Pentagon where I was responsible for submitting the Information Technology (IT) budget and investment programs for the Marine Corps. With my unique roles and master’s degree in project management, my work experience has trained me to look and prioritize the big picture and vision on any project I am working on.

What’s your HAPPY place?

My happy place isn’t a location per se, but being able to relax and spend quality time with my family. Our family schedules can be pretty chaotic at times, which makes distraction-free family time even more cherished.

Any fun hobbies?

I love working out in my local gym, GritLife, and running in Spartan Races. I also love crafts and picking up new skill sets – hand embroidery, modern quilting, large-format vinyl work, graphic design, etc.

What is your favorite quote?

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Rapid-fire favorites:

Drink: Fresh orange juice
Candy: Milk duds
Restaurant: Maru, Hop Cat, Anna’s House
Sport: Spartan Races/GORUCKs
Color: Mauve