1.You recently joined The Matriots PAC. How did you learn about The Matriots and what drew you to our work? As a Corporate Photographer, I saw an increasing presence of The Matriots. Although I am not a ‘political’ person, by way of my upbringing and my affiliations, I have been around game changers all of my life. My father was the first black prosecutor and judge in Dayton, Ohio, back in the ’50s and remained in office for 40 years. I photograph for Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and I am the City of Columbus’ and Mayor Ginther’s primary photographer. So I get to see up close and personal the sacrafices, the movements and the accomplishments of people for the people.
2. You work in City Hall and often have a camera pointed at some of the city’s biggest events. Can you share with our members what drew you to this work? My father and uncle were photography hobbyist. When I graduated from high school I wanted to go to photography school but my parents would not allow it. They said I had to get a “real” education. So, not until 12 years ago did I finally pursue my dream as a full-time professional photographer. As for being the City’s photographer, the opportunity began with Mayor Coleman. I have seen over the years the City’s good works in order to make Columbus the best place to live, work and raise a family.
3. You started your own business, Shellee Fisher Photography & Design, a dozen years ago and you had an office-supply business before that. Why do you think it is important to women entrepreneurs to have more female representation in political office? And how do you suggest that women business owners in particular get more involved in their communities? When I was a Xerox reseller, I was in an all-male environment. It was pretty lonely out there. I had breast cancer twice, divorced halfway through my first business and raised two beautiful children. Fortunately, I had a strong network. However, having more women in political office will ensure that women are continually uplifted and protected as equal and positive contributors to our communities. Plus, we have to be at the table to play at the table. Although I’m not actively involved in politics, showing up in support is essential.
4. The Matriots endorsed 34 women in 2018 and 9 running in May primary elections in 2019. Can you tell our members about a candidate who inspires you and why? I am so inmpressed with (Columbus City Councilmember) Shayla Favor. I love her spirit and her commitment to the community. I see her everywhere and involved. I feel this is just the beginning of her impact on Columbus. She is a shining star.
5. Now for something fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It could be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state! I am a cyclist. The City’s bike trails are amazing! There are so many trails to cycle, walk or run around the city. They are pretty and well-kept and safe. I think trails are one of the signs of a healthy city.