Valerie W. Bennett is a native of Georgia and all too familiar with navigating the waters of the corporate, environmental and nonprofit sectors.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Valerie spent 13 years helping to shape Ray Anderson's sustainability vision for Interface, first as Executive Director of the Envirosense® Consortium, then as Director of Communications for Interface Research Corporation and Interface, Inc, where she was responsible for communicating the company’s message and journey toward sustainability. She also worked for Bentley Prince Street (an Interface company) as E-Commerce Manager, responsible for marketing the company's online area rug business.
Prior to joining Interface in 1995, just after Ray's famous epiphany, Valerie worked in marketing communications with Manheim Auctions, a division of Cox Enterprises, and public relations and resource development for Girls, Inc. of Cobb County, a nonprofit youth service agency.
Passionate about Ray’s vision, Valerie served on Interface’s Global Sustainability Council as well as the inaugural board of the Atlanta Regional Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. She also served on the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Technical Advisory Committee for the development of LEED® 2.0 and 3.0.
In addition to her affiliations related to Interface and the Foundation, Valerie has held a number of volunteer positions related to communications, fundraising and community development. She served as the Community Relations Co-Chair for the Hillside UMC Christmas Angels program for nine years, serving more than 500 underprivileged children and their families every year in South Cherokee County, GA with toys, clothing and school supplies.
She served on Special Olympics Georgia's Equestrian Games Organizing Committee for two years for the Georgia State Horse Show, and she served two terms as Communications Chair on the Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) Board at North Cobb Christian School, where she was a room mom for three years. She also served as parent liaison, treasurer and show secretary for the Rose Equestrian Intercollegiate Equestrian Association (IEA) Team and has volunteered for seven years in various capacities for the Georgia Dressage and Combined Training Association (GDCTA) and the North Atlanta Equestrian Center.
Valerie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism (ABJ) degree in Public Relations from the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. She holds an Associate of Arts degree from Young Harris College.
Valerie resides in Acworth, Georgia with her husband Chris. She enjoys camping and fishing and attending college equestrian events where their daughter Caitlyn competes.