Founder & President, UNIQUELY YOU SUMMT, INC.
Who is she: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” This is themantra that guided, Founder & President, Shaleah Laché Sutton to develop the groundwork for UNIQUELY YOU SUMMIT, INCORPORATED (UYS). She has fused her life and international work experience to build the annual platform for hundreds of brown middle and high school girls, to speak freely about self-esteem, abstinence & sexual accountability, and academic success. “In a Beautiful, Brilliant & Brave State of Mind, we can defy the world’s one-dimensional concept of what brown young women and girls should look, act, and sound like; what they should value and seek to attain; and what they should believe in and aspire tobecome,” Sutton says.
As a former magazine Account Executive, Shaleah knows the dedication and commitment it takes to build a brand, after aggressively landing Philadelphia STYLE Magazine’s very first alcohol advertising contract, with Anheuser-Busch, in early 2003. Simultaneously, she helped to revive the, then new, publication’s sales and marketing division. Six years later in 2009, her advertising and sales background would facilitate the launch of the “UNIQUELY YOU” SUMMIT’S first fundraising and sponsorship campaign with brands such as: Hint Water, Carol’s Daughter, and Random House Publishing. She even convinced her former employer, ARAMARK Corporation, to be the first sponsor to buy-in on her new idea.
With a knack for event-planning, Shaleah journeyed to London, England in 2001 for a four-month stay to work with a company called Networking For Industry, where she assisted in the direction of political and social events for British Parliament, MP Barry Sheerman & the Duke of York. While in London, she also attended City University, to continue her studies in Political Science and Media Studies. A few years later in 2004, that overseas experience would allow her to be instrumental in the planning and execution of a thirty-seven city Corporate Communications Tour with former ARAMARK CEO, Bill Leonard, for the corporation’s Mission One initiative.
In 2005, Shaleah experienced a blessed and life-changing event, when she gave birth to twins, Brandon & Island. For the past 6 years, she has committed herself to them as a stay-at-home-mom. “The sacrifice of putting my individual dreams and aspirations on-hold is no match for what I know my children will gain from building a strong foundation for their future. There is nothing that I’m more devoted to than being a mother. Brandon & Island come first.” Shaleah also says her children are her life’s muse. “I am continually reminded by them, at all the right moments, to live life purposefully.”
Most recently in early 2010, she expanded the Summit’s NAASC partnership to the Northeast Region (of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College) to make the “UNIQUELY YOU” SUMMIT for Girls an even bigger reality. In 2011, Sutton collaborated with the Delaware Chapter of the NAASC to encourage and empower 500+ tween and teenage girls, on the campus of Villanova University, to move beyond the social norms and cultural complexities that stand in the way of their ability to be strong, confident, and powerful young women. On June 2, 2011, Shaleah was awarded Proclamation No. 110325 by the Council of the City of Philadelphia for her work to enrich the civic values and leadership skills of young women in Philadelphia. On September 21, 2011, she was also given the honor of “Outstanding Young Leader” by Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes. At the end of 2011, she was presented with the Lady Leadership Award from The Role Model Group for her commitment to leadership and excellence as a real role model.
Shaleah holds a B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA (2002). Visibly, social service is one of her loves. Shaleah is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is also an active member of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College. She currently resides in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania with her 6 year-old twins, where she serves as their First Grade Homeroom Parent.