President, CEO, Founder
Transparent Audio, Inc.
Karen Sumner is President, and a founder of Transparent Audio, Inc. She graduated from South Portland High School in 1968 and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with minors in German and fine arts in 1972. In 1981, she graduated from the University of Maine with a Master of Science Degree in Educational Administration.
She broke out of a career in education in 1981, to start Transparent Audio, Inc. with her husband, Jack Sumner, and a close friend, Charlton Smith. Transparent Audio designs, develops, assembles, and distributes cabling and power conditioning products for the purpose of linking all types of media components in home audio and entertainment systems. Transparent Audio distributes their products worldwide to a targeted dealer and distributed network. In 1994, Karen was awarded the Small Business Administration Award for Exporter of the Year for the United States and the regional SBA award for Exporter of the Year for New England. Transparent Audio grew from nothing out of a farmhouse in Hollis, Maine, to become an international, multi-million dollar operation in a more than 17,000 square foot purpose-built facility in Saco, Maine with more than 30 employees.
As one of very few woman business owners in the high end audio industry, she established a more compassionate and inclusive company culture than typically found in any industry, and she transformed her product category from a small target market into a brand that is more universally appealing. Karen is an avid gardener and sailor. Her love of music brought her to her business nearly 4 decades ago and remains a life-long passion. She spends many evenings listening to music of all types on a cutting-edge home audio system with her husband, Jack, and they frequently attend live music events locally and all over the world.