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.
Fourteen years and 144 passport stamps later, Kim’s “project” otherwise known as Smile Network International, has resulted in 80 surgical missions on five continents and more than 3,500 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.
Alison joins Smile Network International after working in New York managing legal, operations and finance for nonprofit organizations including (RED), founded by Bono from U2 and The Ross School in East Hampton. Further, she worked for the founder of TIGER 21, an organization for high net worth entrepreneurs. Additionally, Alison worked in Los Angeles where she was involved with branding and gained legal experience at an entertainment law firm.
Alison enjoyed international travel and studies in various countries including Central and South America with an emphasis on her Spanish studies. She completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science at the University of Minnesota. With parents in the medical field, she developed a passion for giving back and helping people.
Marketing and Events Coordinator
Sarah joins the Smile Network International team immediately following her graduation from the College of Saint Benedict, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication. During her time in college, Sarah interned for Smile Network International and also spent a semester studying abroad in Rome, Italy, and Athens, Greece where her desire for travel and curiosity of the world only but expanded.
Sarah has always had a passion for helping, with a special place in her heart for the vulnerable. She has spent many hours working with children and is excited to be a part of an organization with such pure intentions and life-altering outcomes.