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Award winning author and inductee into the Women Divers Hall of Fame, Valerie is a veteran shipwreck explorer who combines her passion for documenting historic shipwrecks with her creative abilities to preserve and promote Great Lakes maritime history. Her mission is to share the stories with adults and children through lectures, museum exhibits, articles, and books in ways to educate, entertain and inspire. She is the recipient of multiple awards for her books, exhibits, films, as well as her volunteer work promoting Michigan’s maritime history.
   Valerie has written for a variety of magazines and appeared on major television news networks as well as the Discovery Channel and is a regular presenter at museums, libraries, and film festivals sharing the dramatic stories of ships gone missing on the Great Lakes. As a director of the non-profit Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates, Valerie spearheads the search for ships lost off Western Michigan in collaboration with author Clive Cussler of NUMA and shipwreck hunter David Trotter, which has resulted in the collective discovery of more than a dozen shipwrecks. Valerie is a partner in Lafferty van Heest & Associates, an exhibit design firm.

   

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