Valerie joined GDC in 1999, became a Chapter Membership Chair in 2007 and Chapter President in 2008. In addition to the Chapter Presidency, in 2009 Valerie took on the role of Sustainability Chair for GDC.
Through the Sustainability Chair role, Valerie and her team developed the GDC Sustainable Values and Principles - the first known sustainable graphic and communication design definition. Her tireless work on this committee continues to provide tools and resources for the Canadian design community today.
Due primarily to Valerie’s efforts, AIGA partnered with GDC in the Living Principles for Design website. AIGA Executive Director, Ric Grefe, had this to say about the partnership with GDC via Valerie:
AIGA is pleased to announce a partnership with the GDC in developing the Living Principles for Design website as a global, trans-disciplinary source of best practices in socially responsible design, considering environmental, economic, social and cultural implications. This open site, which aims to evolve with the participation of concerned designers and environmentalists globally, resulted from early conversations with GDC, recognized by AIGA as a leader in defining the dimensions of responsible design; other partners will be invited to join from among the international design community, although GDC will always be among the most influential of partners as a result of their longtime commitment and pioneering work.
— Ric Grefé, AIGA Executive Director
Valerie’s work and expertise in the field of sustainable design was widely recognized on the international stage and in 2012 when she was appointed as a Juror on the Icograda Sustainability Standard.
In 2014 she traveled throughout Canada giving sustainable design and branding lectures and workshops to students and professional designers alike.
Through her tireless and selfless efforts nationally and internationally, Valerie’s name has become synonymous with sustainable design in Canada. She has made and continues to make major contributions to the field of graphic and communication design and to improve upon the human environment. She has strived to raise awareness of our impact upon the environment and broaden our understanding of sustainable design principles and options.