Sarah Karlsson is passionate about making a difference in the community in which she lives. That's been River Falls for about six years, she said. For Karlsson, her new job as the city's finance director is an opportunity to do just that.

Karlsson started her new job just over a week ago. So far, she said, there have been a lot of positives.

"I love that everyone that I've interacted with so far truly loves coming to work and truly believes in the work that we do here, and it's all for the benefit of the community," she said. "It's really wonderful to be in a work environment where everyone is truly passionate about their jobs."

Karlsson grew up in a small community in Sweden. Later, she moved to New Delhi, India, with her family. She attended the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management, and earned an MBA from St. Thomas University. She is a certified public accountant.

Karlsson's background is in accounting and financial strategy. Before joining the city, she worked for Land O'Lakes in Arden Hills.

She said she was happy in her old position, but when she found the posting for River Falls Financial Director, she felt she had to apply.

"I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to do really good work in the community I live in," she said.

Karlsson lives in the town of Clifton with her husband Brian Laule, of Bye, Goff and Rohde, and her three kids, Jack, 8, and Lizzie and Henry, both 5.

Karlsson and her family lived in the Cities before moving to River Falls. She said it's important to her to be a part of a small city with a supportive community.

"We've just been so welcomed here, and we've met so many great people," she said. "We've felt so embraced by the city. It's been all the things I wished for, for my kids."

When not working, Karlsson and her husband keep busy with their kids' activities - hockey and gymnastics. Karlsson is also the treasurer of the Turningpoint Board of Directors.

She also enjoys running and being outdoors.

She said she's excited to help others in her new role.

"I'm really excited to be a part of the city," she said.