Over the last 10 years Shahla has been associated with Italy. After spending a year in 2007, studying Italian language & culture at the reputable Societa' Dante Alighieri in Rome, and traveling extensively around the country, she founded Women Tour Italy on her return to NZ. This business was born out of her passion for Italy and a vision to accompany as a tour guide those who had a dream of visiting Italy but did not wish to travel on their own.
Prior to 2007, Shahla’s career spanned both the public & private sectors in senior advisory positions in NZ and the US, in the areas of risk management, strategic planning, organisational performance assessment & financial analysis. She worked for the Leadership Development Centre, State Services Commission (including secondment to the Office of the Minister of State Services), Reserve Bank (NZ Central Bank), short term assignments for the IMF (International Monetary Fund), KPMG management consultancy and American Insurance Group; AIG's Headquarters in New York. AIG had earlier awarded Shahla with a scholarship for her MBA studies in the US; this was a competitive scholarship for one graduate student from the Middle East.
Shahla is a New Zealander of Persian origin.