Women of Distinction 2019: Shelly Basso

It is Milwaukee Magazine’s pleasure to introduce this special section featuring female business owners, financial and spiritual leaders, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and all-around glass-ceiling breakers!

As a true “self-made woman,” Shelly Basso founded Aspen Homes when she was 19, bolstered by witnessing the success of her parents, who owned a home construction company. Later this year, she will become the third woman in history to serve as president of the Metropolitan Builders Association.

“Buying a house is an emotional purchase. People don’t do it often. They have to really trust you,” she says. “I look at every home as if it were my own.” A mom to seven kids in a blended family, she is hoping one of her children will join the family business when they are grown.

“You get what you give out of life. Be a giver.” – Shelly Basso Founder, Aspen Homes Inc.

Q&A with Shelly Basso

How are you a force within your community?

“I’m doing what every working woman does: juggling a family.”

What is your life purpose?

“I want my children to understand the value of work and leave something in better shape than they started it with. My goal is to have my oldest join us [in the family business] when he’s ready.”

Click Here to Read More of This Year’s Women of Distinction



A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.