Cable Blog

Insights, Enhancement and Education on Topics that matter to Women in Business


Name: Karen Johnson
Age: 52
Company: Davidson County Register of Deeds Office
Title: Davidson County Register of Deeds
Brief description of your job responsibilities: Elected Register of Metro Nashville Davidson County, head of department that records, safeguards and makes accessible all documents pertaining to land in the county.
Cable Member Since: 2020 (was a member previously a while back)

Why did you decide to join Cable? Cable is among the premier organizations for professional women, with a well-respected profile in Nashville. Having strong relationships to connectors who influence in every arena gives me the ability to continue to grow professionally and affects my ability to have a greater impact with the work I do in serving the people of our city.

What have you gained/learned from joining an organization like Cable? The women who make up the local chapter are leaders in our community who are driven for positive change and have excelled in their respective fields. I value connecting to women with purpose who empower and invest in other women to close the wealth and opportunity gap. 

How would you describe the benefits of Cable to someone thinking about joining the organization? As we all know, relationships are at the core of everything we do. Cable puts you in the midst of women who will become friends you value for their knowledge, their connections and their camaraderie.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today? The ceiling between us and the top of our professions still exists, and it is still made of glass – we see what’s on the other side, and we must be bold to break through. We still must walk where we are not always comfortable or welcome. We still must work a little later, stand out a little more to make it where men go with ease. But we ARE getting there more often than those who preceded us, inspired by other women who’ve broken through.

What would you say has been the single most defining moment in your career so far? When I was in my first Metro Council race, I won the primary but fell short by only 49 votes in the runoff. I learned that, in public service, you can always work a little harder and gain knowledge through what may appear to others as setbacks. There is no minimum and no maximum in earning the confidence of voters in your community – just that next level of hard work that you must find. I went on to win that same Council seat eight years later, outdistancing four other candidates without a runoff, and I easily won reelection before being elected county Register in 2018 in a very competitive race. Finding that extra level of commitment within myself continues to drive everything I do.

What would you say has been your biggest career achievement? I have been blessed to find success on two tracks: the corporate and political arenas. Having a master’s degree in business enabled me to work at the director level for a number of Nashville’s leading companies. In politics, I was elected to the Metro School Board, the Metro Council twice and now countywide as Register of Deeds.

What would you say has been your biggest career setback, and how did you get through it? It would have to be the aforementioned loss in my first Council race. I took the lessons learned and the votes not captured to make a stronger candidate of myself.

What is your ultimate career goal? To continue in my dream career – that of serving the people of Nashville and running the elected office entrusted to me with integrity, never settling for “the way things have always been.”

What advice would you give to a young woman just starting her career? When you think you are working as hard as you can, work a little harder. When you think you know everyone you need to know, meet a few more because the relationships become richer and deeper as you advance to higher levels in your career.

Who is your professional role model/mentor, and how has that relationship benefited you? Tom Ciggaran, a health care executive and one of the owners of the Nashville Predators. Tom always believed I would excel, and he took the time to tell me so. When he walked into my new office in the Bridgestone Arena and said, “Now THIS is where you deserve to be,” I knew I had taken the right turn.

What was your very first job? Grandy’s Chicken

If you had unlimited funds and could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? My first stop would be South Africa for a visit to the continent of my roots, then I would make my way to the capitals of Europe purely to see their beauty.

If you could have one superpower for a day, which one would you choose? The power of HEALING, to rid hearts and minds of viciousness toward our fellow man.