Valerie Ann Wilson, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc., was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After graduating from high school in Iowa and the Chamberlain School of Retailing in Boston, she moved to New York City to pursue a fashion career and within two years, Gant hired her to establish the ladies shirt division.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, she devoted her attention to family and the volunteer community in New York and London serving on numerous committees and boards fundraising for not-for-profit organizations. As a founding member of the Junior League of London, she created and edited "Living in London: A Practical Guide," still considered an indispensable guide for people moving to London.
Valerie's three years in London fostered much of her passion for travel. Unable to find a travel agency that met her needs and expectations, she did her own research and planning for personal travel. On September 8, 1981, Valerie Wilson Travel was born, opening in New York City with a commitment to create the most professional and knowledgeable travel consulting firm possible.
Today, under Valerie's leadership, with her two daughters, Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg and Kimberly Wilson Wetty, Co-Presidents, Valerie Wilson Travel is one of the largest privately owned and managed travel agencies in the United States. Annually since 1998, the agency has been counted among Travel Weekly's "Top 50 Travel Agencies," most recently as the 29th largest in the United States. Both Valerie and Valerie Wilson Travel have earned a reputation for discerning advice and impeccable customer service.
Valerie is actively involved in the travel industry as a key participant in industry discussions and serves on numerous travel advisory boards, including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company; Luxury Board of Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Oberoi Hotels & Resorts; Société des Bains de Mer, Orient-Express, and Abercrombie & Kent USA. Valerie Wilson Travel is a proud and active member of Virtuoso.
She is often honored with travel industry awards such as being named as "The Most Powerful Women in Travel" by Travel Agent Magazine, as well as Travel+Leisure's "A-List" annually since 2003, as one of top "Power Brokers" in the industry. Luxury Travel Advisor honored Valerie with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
It was in 2001 that Valerie became a published author with the publication of Valerie Wilson's World... The Top Hotels & Resorts. This coffee table book on the world's best accommodations is filled with inviting text and luscious photographs of her favorite properties. The Second Edition will be released in early 2012.
Valerie's greatest passion continues to be travel; particularly when she is sharing her knowledge or stories while planning and coordinating client's travel plans. Valerie resides in Bronxville, New York.