Founder of Smile Network International
In 2003, Kim Valentini stepped away from a career as a high-powered corporate public relations and marketing executive to evaluate what was missing in her life. Fueled by the desire to find meaning and to be a voice for people who didn’t have one, she launched a 5-hour a week project that would quickly become a global force in the healthcare industry.
Eleven years and 144 passport stamps later, Kim’s “project” otherwise known as Smile Network International, has resulted in the creation of 24 surgical sites on four continents and more than 2,500 children have received the gift of a life-alerting surgery.
Kim has received many honors for her work with Smile Network including the KARE-11 Eleven Who KARE award, Minneapolis Business Journal’s Women in Business and Inkadacescent Magazine named Kim one of the 100 Amazing Women who are changing the world
In addition to her charitable work, Kim travels the country speaking to all types of corporate and civic organization and at educational institutions and conferences. She tells stories of her life experiences and inspires audiences to dream big, take risks and listen to that little voice inside of yourself to identify your true purpose.
Maureen has been involved with Smile Network for the past ten years, having served as a board member and volunteering on missions. In September 2012, Maureen followed her passion and joined the organization full-time as Executive Director. Maureen oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization, strategic planning, marketing, fundraising and public relations.
Maureen has more than 25 years of experience in business management, leadership, marketing and public relations. She was co-founder and partner of McFarland Cahill Communications, a public relations agency specializing in national and local media relations for ten years working with corporations, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. Prior to that, she was the Director of Public Relations for Mall of America and worked in TV news for media outlets including KSTP-TV and the NBC Today Show.
Rachael interned with Smile Network International during college where she helped coordinate events and volunteered on mission sites as a translator. After graduating from Boston College in Spring 2012, she headed south for a volunteer service year in Guatemala.
She has worked with a team of international volunteers and local staff to mentor and support youth at a home for orphaned and abandoned children where she managed the school’s library and taught English.
Rachael visited us at a Guatemala mission site and soon returned back to Minnesota and joined the staff. Rachael serves as our Spanish translator and handles international mission logistics.
Megan joined Smile Network after graduating from the University of Missouri in December 2014. Megan has a passion for events and brings experience from many major events she has worked on including concerts, galas, golf tournaments, conventions and trade shows. Megan was also the Executive Director for one of the largest student run organizations at the University of Missouri which provided safe rides home to students on the weekends where she oversaw a volunteer base of 250 volunteers, a fleet of 12 vehicles and a budget of $100,000.
Megan has traveled and volunteered at Smile Network’s Puebla, Mexico mission site. Megan has also done international volunteer work with the Department of Social Justice working in schools, daycares, and villages in Ghana.
Gino is currently a student at Montana State University studying political science with a focus in international relations and a minor in Spanish.
Gino has been actively involved with Smile since he was a child. He has traveled to Smile mission sites in the courtiers of Peru, Kenya, Mexico, and Guatemala. Additionally Gino has hiked the Inca Trail four times to raise funds and awareness of Smile Network in Peru, as well running a three week fundraiser at Southwest High School in Minneapolis which raised over $32,000 dollars.