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October 10, 2017 | 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: WeWork Campus Martius
1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
Cost: 0
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Current Graduate Students, Faculty, Staff

Join fellow alumni in the unique Detroit coworking space WeWork as alumna Lisa Vallee-Smith, CFPCA ’84, president and CEO of Airfoil Group, shares stories of her success as a businesswoman in Detroit. The event also includes a Q&A with Vallee-Smith and opportunities for open networking with alumni professionals. 

About the speaker

A proud alumna of Wayne State University, Vallee-Smith is a public relations and marketing communications consultant with 30 years of professional experience.

Vallee-Smith began her career in nonprofit at Detroit Renaissance, Inc., where she did everything from media relations for the Detroit Grand Prix to producing events such as the world’s largest fruit cup and the world’s longest tug of war across the Detroit river.

After joining the Anthony M. Franco public relations firm in the late 1980s, she eventually opened and managed the firm’s first New York office. While in New York, she took a double demotion in order to lead a multi-million dollar, national consumer education campaign for Ocean Spray Cranberries.

In 1996, Vallee-Smith rejoined Franco as a majority partner, and began her career as a business owner and entrepreneur, eventually enterprising a technology practice that she split off to found Airfoil Group in 2000.

Over the past 17 years, Vallee-Smith has led Airfoil to become the region’s signature technology public relations firm. The agency is known for its longstanding work for Microsoft, as well as its campaigns for dozens of tech startups. Airfoil has been recognized as Technology PR Firm of the Year by The Homes Report, has been honored with a Silver Anvil, and is repeatedly recognized as a Best Place to Work. Airfoil has offices in Silicon Valley and New York, as well as partners in countries across Europe, South America, Canada and Asia.

In her role as CEO of Airfoil Group, she is responsible for account innovation, strategic planning and talent development. The agency provides services to measure, inform and accelerate clients’ marketing communications, digital, social media and brand strategy programs.

Community leadership and philanthropy have been priorities for Vallee-Smith. Over the years, she has served in leadership positions with the Detroit Institute of Arts, St. John Providence Health Foundation and Forgotten Harvest. She is a past president of the Detroit Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has served Wayne State’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts for several years.

While Lisa takes great pride and satisfaction in her career and as a woman business owner, her greatest accomplishment and source of happiness is her husband of 25 years and high school sweetheart, Jeff, and their two college-aged sons, Gerard and Chris.


For more information about this event, please contact WSU Alumni Association at 3135772300 or wsuaa@wayne.edu.