About the Author
Valerie Beck is President and Co-Founder of Women's Innovation Network (WIN), a nonprofit association whose mission is to promote massive business growth for women entrepreneurs, through innovation, inclusion, and inspiration, in a positive and ethical environment. WIN holds business events ranging from Spa + Cupcakes gatherings, to Innovation Circle mastermind meetings, and also provides Members with coordinated opportunities for charitable outreach. In addition, Valerie is CEO and Founder of Chicago Chocolate Tours, Philadelphia Chocolate Tours, and Boston Chocolate Walking Tours. The businesses provide guided walking and tasting tours to select chocolate shops, bakeries, and cafes, where guests sample, learn, and enjoy. The company's Tourguides share fun facts about the history and health benefits of chocolate, and guests meet shop owners and managers while sampling the specialties at each stop. The tours appeal to groups such as client entertainment parties, networking groups, companies planning employee outings, conventioneers, bachelorette parties, family reunions, and locals in search of something new. Public and private tours are available, and the tours are fun, fascinating, and delicious. The companies also offer items and services which include gift certificates, chocolate-colored fine cultured pearls, a Chocolate Travel Club, and cupcake tours, where available. Valerie's businesses have been featured in numerous publications and media, including ABC, NBC, WGN TV and Radio, CNN.com, Midwest Living, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, Today's Chicago Woman, Crain's Chicago Business, the Daily Herald Business Ledger, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Valerie's team of Tourguides, Managers, and Staff - the Choc Stars - join her in enthusiastic support of the mission of Uplift Through Chocolate, including through support of local charities in each market. Valerie graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she practiced as a lawyer in the US and Europe. Today, she is a cheerful chocolate expert in the media, and she speaks at seminars on alternative careers for lawyers, to corporate and other groups on how to create sweet success and live authentically, and to college and other students on entrepreneurship. Valerie lives in Chicago and maintains a daily optimism practice, enhanced by daily reading and daily chocolate.