After serving in the military and graduating with her B.A. from Purdue University, Shelly moved to Portland in 1991 to attend Lewis and Clark’s Graduate School in Counseling Psychology. She obtained her Master’s degree and worked as a psychotherapist predominately serving high risk children and their families. In 2002, she became a real estate professional earning her Principal Broker’s license. Shelly was appointed by Governor Kitzhaberthe to the Juvenile Psychiatric Security Review Board and was elected as Chair. She is also a member of Basic Right's Oregon PAC Board.