Kathryn Karmin Shafer joined Shafer Architects in 1998 and assumed responsibility for the financial and marketing activities of the firm. Before moving into the architectural industry, Kathy was involved in the financial sector for over twenty years


Kathy graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1981 with a B.S. in Economics and Sociology. She studied economics her third year at Bath University in England. After graduating, she moved to Chicago and went to work for Drexel Burnham Lambert at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. She spent the next four years, first, as a runner, and then as a broker, for their arbitrage desk on a Midwest trading seat. While working at the CBOE, Kathy began her M.B.A. at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. After she had completed half of the program, she left Drexel Burnham and attended Kellogg full time in Evanston, where she completed her degree in 1985. She received her M.B.A. in Finance and Management.


In the fall of 1985, Kathy started working at First Chicago in the Bank's first program in sales and trading within the Asset and Liability Division. There she rotated through each of their trading and sales groups and learned about the financial product sector. In 1987, after completing the program, she joined First Chicago's Foreign Exchange Group. She helped start their Institutional Marketing Group, worked on the spot trading desk and eventually settled in at the Forward Trading Desk of Foreign Exchange. She eventually became First Vice President and Head of Forward Trading. While there, she was tapped on the shoulder to work on a one year consulting program for First Chicago in preparation for the mergers the Bank was about to undertake. The program allowed Kathy to work within all areas of the Bank and across many customer lines. When her work was completed, she rejoined Foreign Exchange as Marketing Head of North America. In 1998 she left the Bank to join Shafer Architects.


Since 1998, Kathy has worked in the financial and marketing areas of THOMAS SHAFER ARCHITECTS LLC and has assisted with interior materials and finishes selections.


Kathy currently serves on the Board of Directors of the GI Research Foundation of the University of Chicago, which funds research at the University to treat, cure, and prevent digestive diseases. Previously, Kathy served as the PTO President for Indian Trail School in Highland Park from 1998-2000. She also co-chaired both the K-5 and Middle School book fairs for over ten years, where proceeds benefited both the PTO and schools in need in Waukegan and North Chicago. She also acted as a Grade Chair at North Shore Country Day School for three years. In 2013, Kathy volunteered as a docent for the Facing History and Ourselves program, where she guided high school students through the exhibit and corresponding discussions on race and prejudice. Currently, Kathy is a Board of Governor Member at the Lake Shore Country Club and a Committee Member for Capital Projects.