Founder and CEO, Airfoil Public Relations in Southfield. Vallee-Smith co-founded the company in 2000 and her responsibilities include strategic planning, sales, and reputation/market positioning. She is active in many of the agency’s accounts, including Microsoft, ePrize, Trinity Health, and Faurecia, among others. Airfoil has seen strong, rapid growth as a PR agency that focuses on technology companies as clients – not exactly a natural client base for a southeast Michigan agency. Vallee-Smith is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and has more than 20 years of agency experience. She is a board member of the Grosse Pointe Academy, Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, as well as Forgotten Harvest. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and public relations from Wayne State. Recently, she received Wayne’s Alumni Achievement Award, and was a finalist in the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program.

WHERE BORN: "Detroit."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My mom for her ambition and devotion to community service, and my dad for his entrepreneurialism and risk-taking."

LAST BOOK READ: "Winning, by Jack Welch."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Decisive, fun, action-oriented, ambitious."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "Public relations is headed toward technology specialization. It will be more and more discrete with tremendous potential in web video, technology for small- and medium-sized businesses, and marketing services-related technologies."


FAVORITE PLACE: "My kitchen."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Kids, kids, kids. Keeping up with all of their activities."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Filet mignon."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Scrapbooking."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As a generous person who took the time to give back and touch the lives of those who needed it."