Laura Valenti is an accomplished professor, business woman, entrepreneur, philanthropic volunteer, wife of a professional firefighter and the reigning Mrs. Louisiana International 2013. She placed fourth runner-up this past July at Mrs. International where she competed with 70 women from across the world!
As a marketing professor with Nicholls State University, Laura enjoys enriching lives, building dreams and securing the futures of her soon-to-be graduates. She has been acknowledged each semester for Contributing to Students’ Success, is the Chair of the Internal Relations Committee, Director of the university’s Free Enterprise Week, an Associate Graduate Faculty member, was nominated for her excellence in teaching in 2011 and 2012 and is the recipient of the John C. Daigle professorship award. Her academic accomplishments include earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Business, both from the University of New Orleans. She recently earned the 2012 McGraw Hill Distinguished Paper Award in the Association for Business Communication – Southwest, was recently elected the Board’s Proceedings Editor, and accepted into the Grenoble Ecole de Management Doctoral program in Grenoble, France, where she will research franchise marketing applications. Laura also writes a monthly column based off of her nonprofit corporation, SHE-Selling, for WHAT NOW Magazine. Most recently she has been appointed to the Louisiana State Commission for the Wetlands Discovery Center.
Laura has fourteen years of corporate and executive experience. To name a few highlights, she was the Franchise Marketing Manager and Website Director for Planet Beach Franchising Corporation, the Director of Recruitment for Northwestern Mutual of Louisiana – a Fortune-115 company, and owned a women’s clothing boutique, Briosa. She recently launched her nonprofit corporation, SHE-Selling: Selling Her Everyday, where she teaches personal selling and marketing skills to women beginning their careers; she plans to use hands-on workshops and speaking engagements to finish her book on personal selling. This past year Laura has also worked as a spokesperson at experiential marketing events for Dell, Bounty and Castrol.
Being philanthropically involved is additionally important for Laura as she most enjoys meeting new people and sharing in their cause. Such organizations include Kiva and Heifer International that support third world countries in need of business funding for entrepreneurs and reducing poverty, respectively, the Louisiana Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis, and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. Additionally, Laura serves as the newly elected Board President for The Young Professionals of South Louisiana, a YPO that advances young professionals, their businesses and the community.
Laura has been married to Richard (Ricky) Valenti, Jr. for three and a half years. The couple met on match.com and wed at an engagement party turned surprise wedding at a family savvy golf course on New Year’s Day. (Laura says it’s the best $59.99 she has ever spent!) Though Laura and Ricky do not have children, they enjoy raising their two miniature schnauzer pups, Kodie and Ellie.
Traveling and checking off items from her bucket list are most fun to Laura, though she sincerely enjoys lazy couch time watching Lifetime movies, the color yellow, and wedding cake-flavored snowballs.