Nancy Parolari Francis, left, and Sherri Shaffer Carr
Sherri Shaffer Carr ’80 and Nancy Parolari Francis ’80, M’82 met as students in IUP’s Home Economics Education program. They shared a dorm, Wallace Hall, and later a house in Indiana along with four other women.
Now, nearly 40 years later, Sherri and Nancy—together—have reached the top echelon of consultants for Pampered Chef, a global company specializing in kitchen tools and food products. They both have earned the title of national executive director, based on the success of the recruits they helped develop and the sales production of their teams. The company has only 24 national executive directors, illustrating the significance of the feat, and annual incomes at this level reach up to $600,000.
Neither alumna intended to enter a career with the company. Sherri taught briefly in New Mexico but moved frequently as her husband, Wayne Carr ’80, was promoted with Amoco Production Company, now BP. A mother of four, she began hosting Pampered Chef parties to acquire products and earn extra income. As she invited others to try out the business, her team of consultants and team sales grew.
“What I found was an amazing opportunity, for me, and for me to help other women have it all,” Sherri said, explaining that consultants can parent full-time, travel for free, and work as much as they want.
Among those Sherri invited was her college friend Nancy. A former home economics teacher, extension agent, and community college administrator at a Naval base in Spain, Nancy had recently returned to the United States with her husband, Joseph Francis M’82, a psychologist in the Navy, and two daughters.
“I was looking for something that allowed me to stay at home with my daughters while they were young but was flexible enough to transfer with me each time we moved,” she said. “I also needed a way to meet new people.”
After more than 20 years with the company, Sherri and Nancy continue to host cooking parties and support and lead their teams. As national executive directors, they also work directly with Pampered Chef administrators on strategic planning. During their off time, they often vacation together along with their families, compliments of yearly incentive trips through Pampered Chef
“Sherri and I feel very blessed that IUP brought us together with a solid education that led to an incredible friendship and business,” Nancy said.