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Meet Valerie Coleman: For more than a decade Valerie Coleman earned an attractive salary working at one of Ohio’s prominent companies. She’d seen the highs of the automobile industry until the 2007 recession hit. The final blow was a hard one, but Valerie was ready. Find out how she became the bestselling author of Blended Families An Anthology and The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box. Keep reading to learn why Valerie Coleman is on a mission to restore stepfamilies, empower women and equip writers to greater success. This expert problem solver uses personal experiences and proven techniques to re-engineer lives.
MN: You worked at Delphi, a leading automotive supplier, for several years. What role did you fill at Delphi?
VC: I was a senior industrial engineer responsible for implementing cost-savings initiatives relative to manpower, machine processes and material delivery. I saved the company millions of dollars by implementing systems that got the job done faster, easier and cheaper without compromising quality or safety.
MN: Was it your intention to remain at Delphi until you retired? If so, what was your vision for your business career at the time?
VC: Yes, I fully expected to serve the company for thirty-plus years and then retire. However, a few years before the facility closed, it became apparent that retirement was no longer an option. Decreased sales, layoffs and downsizings were the hand-writing-on-the-wall indicators that a change was soon to come.
MN: Valerie, you experienced an event millions lived through after the recession of 2007 reared its head: you were laid off. How did you manage this career shift?
VC: As was the case for most of the salaried co-workers, I was severed from the company with no opportunity for future employment versus laid off. The hourly associates had a layoff option to return to active status if the industry became viable again.
People offered condolences for the “loss” of my job. I replied, “I didn’t lose my job. I know where it is, Mexico.” I had a plan to transition my problem-solving expertise to help restore stepfamilies, empower women and equip writers. With that in mind, I positioned myself as an expert, developed relationships and launched my crusade.
Since 1995, I have been a math adjunct at Sinclair Community College, so I increased my class load and joined the roster at Central State University and Strayer University to offset the earnings deficit.
MN: How soon after you were severed from Delphi did you found Pen of the Writer?
VC: Because I acknowledged the inevitable, I started the ground work for Pen of the Writer several years before the plant closed. In 2004, I hosted the first Pen to Paper Literary Symposium, and by 2006 I published Blended Families An Anthology.
MN: What is the mission of Pen of the Writer, and how do you keep the conferences related to the company viable in today’s changing virtual and brick-and-mortar literary markets?
VC: Pen of the Writer’s mission is to take writers from pen to paper to published by helping experts master self-publishing to make money. To keep my literary conferences relevant, I include topics like e-books, social networking and Internet marketing. I am also conducting webinars and will launch a publishing blog and e-course soon.