Senior editor, travelage west, family getaways, explorer
As a kid, Valerie Chen nearly always had her head buried in a book and was a regular at the local library. As a teen, she added “building amateur websites” and “writing the next Great American Novel” (including various drafts that will never see the light of day, good god) to an already ridiculously cool list of hobbies.
The decision to study journalism at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (CPP) felt like a natural progression. She also took on roles including tutor at CPP’s university writing center; lifestyle editor at The Poly Post, the student-run newspaper; and founding editor-in-chief at ten57, the school’s first-ever student-run magazine.
After internships at publications including LAist.com and COAST Magazine; contributor gigs at California Home + Design, Cracked.com and The Everygirl; and a full-time editor position at media company IAC, Valerie found a home sweet home at Northstar Travel Group — specifically the award-winning travel trade brands of TravelAge West, Family Getaways and Explorer.
She’s thrilled for year no. 2 of The Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, and loves that the event encompasses quite a few of her passions: the travel industry, quality time with nature, learning and career development, delicious cuisine and a bumpin’ dance floor (a la The Retreat’s 2018 closing reception).