Shelly Ulaj is the Founder and CEO of Women Empowered and responsible for the development, oversight, implementation and evaluation of all strategies and activities related to the organization. As the visionary of the organization, Shelly continually thrives to bring in new and innovative programs and events to enhance and further the organization’s mission. Shelly is also responsible for fundraising, event management, recruitment of board members and volunteers, and building relationships and creating partnerships. She studied Philosophy as an undergrad and subsequently earned her law degree. She is currently enrolled in the Nonprofit Management Certificate program through UCLA Extension and is fluent in Albanian. She was also recognized as “Woman of Philanthropy” in the 2012 Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards Program through the Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles is now home but New York is where her heart lies where her two nephews and niece reside. Fun facts: rescued two cats, huge Lakers fan, taught herself to drive, and enjoys reading memoirs. What makes her feel empowered? Being authentic and staying true to who she is and not what is expected of her.