Valarie Gelb is the CEO and a founder of TheBarnYardGroup, a digital communication consulting firm. She is a senior financial services global executive with multiple industry experience in consumer banking, payments, institutional investments and retailing with corporate governance expertise and serving in senior management and leadership roles.
Valarie's broad experience within these industries includes sales and marketing, business development, mergers and acquisitions, operations, risk management, collections, training and quality assurance.
Valarie is the Lead Director of Cimbal Inc.; a Silicon Valley venture capital funded payment company. She is a champion and committed mentor to entrepreneurial and innovative women around the world in high growth and sustainable businesses for the state of Connecticut. She currently serves as the President of the International Women’s Forum of Connecticut and is the recipient of the YWCA Spirit of a Woman Inspiration Award for exceptional leadership in advocating women’s empowerment.
She founded and launched the MasterCard Women's Leadership Network and served as Executive Sponsor. Valarie is a champion of senior women and emerging leaders, a valued coach and mentor. She is an international traveler with global business experience, a frequent speaker, panelist and invited guest.
Valarie served as Interim Chief Executive Officer, Executive-in-Residence of the Global Fund for Women at the Board of Directors’ request to join the organization with a three-fold mandate to create the strategy, implement organizational changes to create stability for the culture and incoming permanent CEO and to adapt the organization to the new funding environment. Global Fund for Women is an internationally-renowned, nonprofit grant-making foundation that advances women’s human rights worldwide.
A former Senior Advisor to MasterCard Worldwide, Valarie served as Chief Sales Development Officer and Executive Vice-President, was a Member of the Management Council and one of the 18 most senior executive MasterCard leaders worldwide. She served as one of 12 executives to transition the company from privately held to public. Valarie was a key contributor to the overall strategy development, execution and change management, as well as serving as the Executive Sponsor for numerous cross-organizational developments.
She served on the MasterCard Pension and Savings Plan Committee as a delegate of the Board of Directors Human Resources and Compensation Committee. Valarie led the team responsible for building, developing, executing and managing the way in which the sales force ensures long-term sales effectiveness by driving net revenue, yields and growth for MasterCard Worldwide in 210 countries. Prior to this, Valarie served as Group Head, responsible for the management of the largest global customer which spans Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Canada and the United States, encompassing 58 countries.
Previously at MasterCard, Valarie held the senior management position responsible for a global account that encompassed the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy with responsibility for leadership in strategy, business development and account management. During her tenure, this business grew substantially. Valarie joined MasterCard in 1997, with responsibility for the management of 13 regional accounts.
Prior to this, Valarie held increasingly responsible managerial positions within KeyCorp in Cleveland. As Senior Vice President, she managed all facets of the credit card marketing and operation functions, with P&L responsibility for KeyCorp's credit card portfolio which included co-branding/affinity cards for KeyCorp affiliates and agent banks. Before serving with KeyCorp, Valarie held management posts at Kidder Peabody Investments in Cleveland, with Sears as the Training Manager of Credit and Collections for their Cleveland Credit Center and at A.M. Electric as a Training Consultant.
Valarie holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration and an Undergraduate Business Degree with emphasis in Finance and Economics from Baldwin Wallace University. She completed the Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University’s Women’s Director Development program.