Writer: Beth Pacunas

Beth, originally from Maryland, has been living in Minnesota for nearly 30 years. She is a world-traveled director, writer, and producer—storyteller and video maker—with an unbiased and enthusiastic approach to all subjects, genres, and media. Her credits include several shows on History Channel, Travel Channel, and PBS. Her credits include History Channel’s Monster Quest, Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern as well as Extraordinary Acts of Courage for OWN and the Freddie Award winning PBS series, Health Diary. She is most proud of her independent film, Fluid Movement, which screened on the film festival circuit and was invited to the prestigious AFIDocs, formerly SilverDocs  and PBS. Beth’s latest feature credits are as writer and producer for CRACKED ICE. Beth is a distinguished alumna of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women in Los Angeles, a member of the Alliance of Women Directors, and Minnesota Women in Film and Television.

FASD Project Consultant: Jodee Kulp

Jodee, has lived her entire life in Minnesota. Few pioneers must not only pave the path for others to follow...but also must define the landscape to illustrate its existence. Jodee has written and published more books about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders than any other parent advocate in our time. Her work has assisted thousands of families and individuals living with FASDs. She has opened understanding for professionals to help parents and their children. Jodee’s expertise and experience are surpassed only by her creative insight in presenting complicated information uniquely and entertainingly.

Jodee is the illustrator, author, co-author or contributor of twelve books and curriculum supporting understanding, healthy and creative approaches to living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). She is an international and national speaker, trainer and advocate to help families and professionals balance the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual needs of a person with this disability to allow for healthy community living. Jodee and Karl are the parents of Liz Kulp who is also an award-winning author.

Her work through Better Endings New Beginnings, a social initiative, sets the standard for others to follow in creating a place of safety in the community for persons with fetal alcohol brain injury. She is the co-founder of the International Red Shoes Rock. FASD Aware Alliance, developer of the Expanding Mindz with Canines Program and an early childhood Tinkergarten leader to provide hope for children, teens, and adults.

Producer: Richard (Sven) Shelgren

Sven was born and raised in California. He is a successful producer of film, television, and advertising, overseeing multi-million dollar budgets and award winning productions around the world, he brings a monumental cache of industry and living experience to bear on all his projects, with honesty, integrity, and the highest production values. His first feature film, A Single Woman premiered in the U.S. Congress, screening at the Smithsonian and the United Nations, and won the highest award from the National Women’s Political Caucus. The short My Husband’s Son, won Best Actress Festival du Cinema dé Paris. His latest romantic comedy feature, titled Vikes, was released this summer. In all his projects, Sven shows an uncanny ability to generate original, inspired, and successful productions

Project Manager: Gabriel Aviles

Gabriel, originally from Chile, now lives in Tennessee. He is a Growth Strategist and Coach helping to launch and grow digital, media, and faith-based brands.  His areas of expertise include marketing, branding, content, and business development. 

Since 1994, Aviles been launching and growing ideas, products, and nationally-known brands. As an executive, consultant and entrepreneur, Gabriel has developed strategy, led marketing and sales teams, formed partnerships, produced written and video content, worked with creative teams, negotiated contracts, and created new business opportunities in a variety of fields.

Gabriel has also had the opportunity to help others as a certified personal coach, author, speaker, workshop leader, panel facilitator, and radio show/podcast co-host.

He and his wife have three amazing children, that are "Ameri-Chilezean-Belize." On a personal note, he's also an unofficial “Name That Tune” Champ.

For more information, please visit www.fullblastgroup.com

Editor: Jeff Stickels

Jeff, originally from New Jersey, has been living in Minnesota for most of his adult life. He is an award-winning Minneapolis video and film editor with more 30 years of experience. Working in close collaboration with leading directors, creative talent, production companies, and agencies. Jeff has had opportunities to create compelling stories across a variety of mediums. He thoughtfully crafts authentic stories that leave a lasting impression. Jeff was the editor for CRACKED ICE.

Director/Producer: Joel W Sheagren

Joel, originally from Iowa, has been a Minnesotan for over 30 years. He is a veteran director, producer, and director of photography, who consistently has achieved award-winning visual stories across the globe, including a CLIO for a public service announcement titled, Shadowhands. He has served the advertising industry worldwide as the “go to” for his creative visuals, resourcefulness, expertise as a problem solver, and delivering superior production solutions since 1978. His current film CRACKED ICE just finished running on the Hulu network and is currently running on overseas networks.

Joel is the father of a son child with FASD. Embraced will help us all understand the truth about FASD — the risk to a child being born with a life-long brain injury because of prenatal alcohol exposure, how to better identify FASD very early in a child, and how to better understand and manage those with FASD. Embraced is the most exciting project he has been involved with because of the potential catalyst for starting a meaningful national conversation concerning FASD, the number one birth defect in the Western Hemisphere that few know anything about.


Nonprofit Sponsor: Hope & Rescue Foundation

When making a donation to Embraced, you will receive tax exempt notice from Hope & Rescue Foundation (HRF), a federally (U.S.) recognized 501c3 nonprofit. The mission of HRF is to address awareness and education of issues that that drive human trafficking. FASD is conservatively reported to be between 2 to 5% of the US population and comprises 50% of the prison populations for both men and women. FASD contributes to the issue of human trafficking because people with FASD commonly have high vulnerabilities and struggle with understanding how their actions are connected to consequences. With these reported high numbers and issues, the board of HRF decided Embraced was a very worth while project to sponsor. Production is being managed by Sam In A Can [Productions] on behalf of HRF.