Valerie Harriell
Vice President of Human Resources
Volvo Penta of the Americas, LLC 

“Manufacturing is the heartbeat of America. It is the key to success at home and abroad. It is through manufacturing that we bring high quality, reliable and innovative products to market for customers and provide high paying jobs that allow families to prosper. Strong manufacturing promotes a strong America.”

Valerie has been instrumental in branding Volvo Penta of the Americas to attract top talent. Over the 10 years she has been with the company, Valerie has recruited and retained more than 30 percent of its 250 employees in the U.S. When Volvo Penta began expanding its sales efforts in South America and Canada in 2013, Valerie extended her outreach efforts to find highly skilled internal employees in Sweden and Brazil who were interested in working abroad. By doing so, she enhanced Volvo Penta’s diversity footprint and brought talented workers to new environments.

Taking on leadership roles to implement change, Valerie has always championed diversity in the workplace. She initiated a Volvo Penta Professional Women’s Network for employees at Volvo Penta’s headquarters in Sweden, as well as a local Chesapeake chapter. Valerie expanded Volvo Penta’s Summer Internship program to include teambuilding activities, student mentoring and community outreach. She also began an employee “buddy” program to help employees start work on the right step and has conducted comprehensive year-round mentoring programs for the company. Stimulating engagement among employees and improving culture at Volvo Penta, Valerie has coordinated many workshops, town hall meetings, celebrations and leadership training classes. Also a Volvo Group Attitude Survey (VGAS) Leader, Valerie has global responsibility for providing VGAS engagement training to Volvo Penta’s more than 200 managers and encouraging greater dialogue with employees.

On and off the job, Valerie has made an impact in her community as an enthusiastic speaker, workshop leader and leadership coach. Valerie was particularly touched by mentoring young women through My Sister’s Keeper. There, she coordinated a weekly motivational program for older women in the community to teach life skills to at-risk grade school girls. Knowing the challenges that come with adolescence, Valerie was there to listen, mentor and inspire young women to make positive choices while navigating the rough waters of peer pressure. Valerie lives in Chesapeake with her husband, Jerome and daughter Brittany.

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