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Making an Impact

Meet Three Women Making an Impact in Business and in the Community

Karen Shell

For more than 30 years, accomplished photographer and entrepreneur Karen Shell’s life has been all about focus.

“I built my business—Shell Photographics—by being narrowly focused on my clients’ wants and needs and then delivering exceptional results, quite literally in focus,” says Shell. “I have also been focused on helping at-risk children in the community.”

After a life-long pursuit to serve children and families in need via multiple hands-on avenues, Shell founded the nonprofit Kids in Focus in 2012 to teach youth to see themselves and the world with a new perspective.

“Through our programs, we equip children who have experienced trauma such as poverty, homelessness, neglect, or abuse with life skills and mentorship to help them make the shift from surviving to thriving,” says Shell, herself a survivor of abuse as a child.


Paola Embry

Chilean born Paola Embry—an accomplished sommelier who earned the certificat de mérite from Le Comité National des Vins de France and a degree of honor from Les Amis du Vin International Wine Society—believes in honoring the past, embracing the present, and inspiring the future as it relates to the culinary community in her role as CEO and wine director of Wrigley Mansion.

“It has been a time of great transformation for this living piece of history,” says Embry. “The former Wrigley family home recently completed a cutting-edge renovation and ushered in a new era of epicurean adventure while innovating ways to showcase the property’s legacy through events, tea, and tours.”

Embry, fresh off the second Wrigley Mansion Wine Festival and the one-year anniversary of the James Beard-nominated Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion, is not resting on her laurels. She recently earned Wrigley its latest “Best of” Wine Spectator award and Geordie’s its first Wine Enthusiast “America’s Best 100 Wine Restaurants” designation.

Stacy Fuson

Stacy Fuson has been working since she was just 14, Stacy Fuson has been working. She’s been a model, news anchor, actress, and entrepreneur.

However, the successful start-up founder is fueled by more than just business pursuits.

“My mother fought polio,” says Fuson. “The hours we spent in doctors’ offices, coupled with the disabilities she and many other patients in those waiting rooms lived, with have stayed with me.”

Inspired, Fuson sits on the board of the One Step Closer Foundation, which is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting those living with cerebral palsy, and she is the founder and executive director of The Stacy Fuson Foundation.

“We promote inclusivity and—through fundraising and events—create avenues for people with disabilities to participate and stay active in their communities,” says Fuson.