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Award winning author, museum exhibit designer, inductee into the Women Divers Hall of Fame, and an underwater explorer, Valerie is a maritime interpretor 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.
   Valerie is a partner in Lafferty van Heest & Associates, an exhibit design firm and serves as a director of the non-profit Michigan Shipwreck Research Association where she spearheads the search for ships lost off Western Michigan which has resulted in the collective discovery of more than a dozen shipwrecks. Her books are published by In-Depth Editions.

   

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