Valerie Sheppard is an inspirational keynote speaker, published author, university lecturer, certified Laughter Yoga instructor and member of an award-winning professional improv comedy troupe! She teaches life-mastery skills, featuring her 4-Step Happy to Be ME!© process, and is helping people have more happiness, fulfillment and success. She loves to work with the 17-25 age group, and is partnering with the University of California, Irvine to pilot her Consciousness-raising content in a class called Living 101: Being Happy and Whole. Valerie also intends to take her work to underserved populations through the 501c3 non-profit she founded called Hearts Awakening.

As the Founder and CEO of The Heartly Center for Mindfulness and Self-mastery™ (formerly The Heart of Living Vibrantly™), Valerie has taken a “radical sabbatical” from her highly analytical, stressful and competitive corporate life, and transformed from her driven, drill-sergeant demeanor. The softer, more conscious and fun Valerie now provides one-on-one and group coaching, workshops, tele-seminars and special events to help clients transform their lives. Her signature 4-step process helps them release “emotional junk-in-the-trunk,” integrate their hearts with their heads, design a new way of being, and establish personal practices that support them as they create more fulfilling lives and profitable businesses. As a professional improv comedienne, Valerie’s specialty is finding ways to keep it light, incorporating improv tips and games, and Laughter Yoga into her work. Her goal, as Valerie puts it, is to “ guide clients to uncover subconscious blocks and gain clarity that helps them make better choices, overcome obstacles, strengthen relationships, embrace their life purpose, and create success and fulfillment.”

Born in Quantico, Virginia and raised across seven states, Valerie was called “bossy” as a child by some of her peers. She may have been expressing the command-and-control style of her career U.S. Marine father. However, what appeared as bossiness turned out to be great leadership ability. She graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication. She later went on to receive a dual concentration M.B.A. in Marketing and Transportation and Distribution Management from the respected Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, where she graduated with honors. “I’ve been blessed with an ability to quickly get below the surface of situations and help people see themselves and the outer dynamics more clearly,” says Valerie.

However, in 2006, Valerie realized that what she could do for others wasn’t coming so easily for herself. After spiritual exploration, metaphysical study, soul-searching and working with her own transformational coaches, she uncovered subconscious beliefs and rooted ways of thinking and being that were holding her back. Valerie’s journey of discovery helped her trace the limiting beliefs to feelings of fear and sadness she experienced as early as in the womb. Add to that the dynamics of being raised as a Black child in the 1960s, and despite her parents proving to be loving and supportive when she was born, Valerie became a driven overachiever in all aspects of her life trying to prove to the world that she was worthy of being here. As she shares in her book, Living Happy to Be ME©, “I learned early in my life the feelings of never being good enough or lovable enough to be accepted and happy. I knew something wasn’t right, but I thought it was with the world around me. I had no idea the trouble was within.”

She began her 28-year marketing career working in cause-related marketing, helping nonprofits strengthen communication and grow their memberships. She later worked in line management and consulting with Procter & Gamble and Zyman Group. She topped off her marketing career as a vice president of marketing in the $2.5 billion dollar Grocery Division of ConAgra Foods, managing a portfolio of national and regional brands.

Having worked in fields including business strategy and marketing, creative and performing arts, event planning and production, and personal development, Valerie has a diverse professional background. Valerie’s interest in acting and dance blossomed when she was just a toddler. In 2004, she earned the title of Ms. American Queen 2004, recognized for “beauty, accomplishments and community service.” In 2006, as Mail Carrier Carla, she was a recurring cast member of the Emmy-nominated children’s show “Hip Hop Harry,” a favorite on Discovery Kids and TLC. She also performed for over 5 years as a regular cast member in the multi-award-winning, professional improvisational comedy troupe, ImprovCity, where she was voted Player of the Month.

Despite a lifetime of accomplishments and recognition, Valerie was discontented with and restless in her life. She felt as though something important was missing and decided to work through this painful feeling in order to transform herself. Her path to self-discovery eventually led her to leave the corporate world and launch her own unique business, The Heart of Living Vibrantly™. Certified Professionally Qualified to teach by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Valerie also teaches marketing classes at the Paul Merage School of Business at UCI .

She is a certified Sacred Contracts coach, and has been trained in compassionate communication, spiritual direction and HeartMath. Her clients and students are healing past wounds, overcoming obstacles, and empowering themselves to create more vibrant lives and thriving businesses. “My purpose now, is to help others be free from limitations, reconnect to their essential nature they already are, and step into their full power and potential to create the lives they really want!.”

Valerie is recipient of the 2016 Spotlight Award (The Dynamic Women of UCI), the 2016 BLAC Excellence Award (Black Advancement Leadership Coalition at UCI), and the Excellence in Service Award (National Society of Leadership and Success). Other prestigious recognition includes the 2015 Evolutionary Business Council's Unstoppable Award, a 2015 nomination by UCI students for the Staff Ally of the Year Award; the 2013 Life Enrichment Award (Rock Life), and a 2012 nomination for both the Outstanding Woman in Business Award (Orange County Business Journal) and the Rising Star Award (National Association of Female Executives).

She was featured on the August 2016 cover of MY Authentic Life Magazine, has been published in award-winning 11:11™ Magazine, and is a Featured Luminary on InspireMeToday.com™. She has also been featured contributor to numerous leadership and heart-centered living radio shows, podcasts and tele-summits. 

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