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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Valerie Chiasson, Race Car Driver and Founder & CEO of VCE Auto Marketing Inc. Our Coverage Sponsored by Hallak Cleaners the Couture Cleaner

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Valerie Chiasson is a 2.0 athlete, a committed brand ambassador, a spokesperson and a talented female race car driver evolving in a men’s world. She is also a Founder and CEO of VCE Auto Marketing Inc. Valerie has been a race-car driver for 14 years. She has been racing in many different series like touring cars, late models, GT, Prototype, to name only few. She is also a young business women in the automotive and industrial marketing industry. As her career is growing, she would like to help young drivers with their branding and marketing ventures. 

This year, Valerie competes in two categories. She is the first woman to do a full season in Porsche GT3 Cup Canada and she also races for a second year in the Nissan Micra Cup part time. After being the first female driver to complete an official podium in the history of the Canadian Grand Prix, Valerie became the new 2016 representative of the WiM (Women in Motorsport) for ASN Canada at the FIA. She proudly represents women of her country in the world of motorsport.

Valerie is honored to be the first female recipient of the Les Amis du Grand Prix award linked to the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Quebec this year. For 2017, Valerie will be the Canadian representative in Monaco for the 150th anniversary of the confederation. She will be a part of six events in Monaco with the reputable Formula one champion Jacques Villeneuve.

She is a collaborator for Pole Position magazine in Canada who give her the chance to travel around the world to write articles about Formula 1, WEC, IMSA and create a lot of contacts. Valerie has evolved in marketing and she dreams to race with the best drivers in the world. Also her dream has always been to eventually race at the Monaco Grand Prix in Porsche Super Cup. She’s looking actually for new partners for her European adventure. She is currently the Brand Ambassador for Porsche Prestige, Total Canada, Anibal Automotive and LPM. A new German company will be associated with her before the end of the year… Stay Tuned! 

For her training, Valerie likes to do outdoor sports like biking, running amongst many more. She is also a high-level horse back rider. She owns a beautiful Dressage Friesian Horse. When she was 11 years old, Valerie dreamed of racing motorbikes on ice. After a discussion about the danger of racing motorbikes with her dad, Valerie chose to race karting the year after. 

In 2003, she did her first full year in karting F125 Rotax Max jr. in Quebec and national championships. She raced for four years in the provincial and national karting championship. In 2005, Valerie did her first race on ice in Open Class. Valerie had the chance to race at that event in Lanaudiere for 3 years.

In 2007, Valerie began road racing in Toyota Cup, and finished Vice-rookie of the year. In 2008, she ran part-time in the series.   
In 2009, Valerie joined ACT Castrol series. The ACT was the most competitive series on oval in the North of the USA and Canada. Those fast late models only race on ovals. She finished Vice-Rookie of the year with only a 1-point difference with the rookie of the year. Valerie raced in this series part time in 2010-2012 inclusive, and then in 2013, Valerie taught racing on different race tracks across Québec to generate the passion of racing to people. That year, she decided to stop racing. 

Valerie decided to jump back in road racing in 2014, and she raced in CTCC the most competitive touring car championship in Canada. She did two top 5 finishes at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal with a 4th position just shy away from a podium and a 5th position. Valerie also races at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in the GT class with a Lombardi Racing car. The same year, she also had the chance to race a Prototype (Formula Sthor WF1) on the Circuit Mont-Tremblant, and finished 1st and 3rd. 

In 2015 Valerie earned an opportunity to compete in the new Nissan Micra Cup series with Nissan Gabriel Group. She races a full season and finished 6th overall on 37 cars. She made also made history by being the first women at the Canadian Grand Prix to do a podium in all categories! She was really fast during that weekend, and Valerie recalls it being her best race and racing souvenir ever. She also got the chance to be back behind the wheel of the Stohr Prototype from WeTune team at Circuit Mont-Tremblant at the end of the season, and finished 2nd at the Fall Classic. 

In 2016, Valerie decided to take a step forward and move up with Groupe Gabriel, asking them to help her go in a really competitive series like the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada, with the help of the Porsche Prestige dealership in Montréal. After a major fundraising campaign to make sure she could race in the series, Valerie started her season behind the wheel of a Porsche GT3. She is also the first North American female to do a full season in Porsche GT3 Cup Canada.

On top of that, Valerie is now the new representative of ASN Canada for the WiM (women in motorsport commission) at the FIA. Her last results and effort make her one of the 18 representants in the world in this important commission. Valerie is also the first women to win the award of Les Amis du Grand Prix for the GP3R in Trois-Rivieres, Qc. She is also an Ambassador for different companies and travels the world to make her dreams come true. She is an athlete, a business woman, spokesperson and a Brand Ambassador.  We are so pleased to present Valerie Chiasson as our newest Mover and Shaker!  Peachy Deegan interviewed Valerie for Whom You Know.  

Peachy Deegan: Tell us about the first moment in your life that you felt the need for speed.
Valerie Chiasson:
It was the first time I watched a moto race on ice in Quebec.

How can young boys or young girls become involved in the sport of racing in North America and in other parts of the world? 
The first thing is to try karting. After, you can go in the different auto-karting club of your states.

If you were stranded on a desert island with well-paved roads and could have any five cars with you, which cars and models would they be and why? 
GT3 RS in Purple! I'm a Porsche Fan and have fallen in love with this color!; Range Rover for the off road; Bentley Continental GT is the luxury dream car of my life; La Ferrari by Ferrari for my exotic dream car; and DB6 Aston Martin for my classic car!

What other drivers inspire you and why? 
 Lewis Hamilton for his talent and Daniel Ricciardo for his personality and his attitude in racing.

Do you know them? 
I did a cycling race with Daniel Ricciardo in April from St-Tropez to Monaco for the COCC event.

What do you know now about racing that you wish you knew 14 years ago? 
Oh my god ! So many things! Business thinking!

Do you think women are treated fairly and with respect in racing? Why or why not?
 In 2016 I will say yes. I'm racing for so long that I don’t feel any difference but I remember the first year that the comments from the guys affected me sometimes. 

What makes a great sponsor and what brands would you like to work with that you have not yet?
 The greatest sponsor is the most supportive one! Passion with passionate people- it's always a win-win. I dream of being sponsored by Monster! It's a brand that it means you have a strong personality.

Please tell us about your horse. 
I LOVE MY HORSE! I got my first horse log time ago when I was 8 years old and still am passionate about this animal. Now I have a dressage Friesian Horse, a miniature horse and a miniature goat. I don’t see my life without them!

Do you also love hockey and who is your favorite hockey player? 
I don't have a lots of time to follow hockey games but I still appreciate them. My favorite player is Sidney Crosby.

Manhattan has the speediest pace of life in the world we believe; would you want to live here? I'm a country person but always enjoy visiting during holidays in Manhattan with my friends and we catch up there.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?

What are you proudest of and why? 
My family believes in me a lot and it helps me in the hardest times.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? 
Be an equestrian in Dressage discipline.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession? 
To be the representative for the women in motorsport commission for my country at the FIA.

What one word best describes you and why? 
Determined because I never give up!  I put lots of time and energy into what I'm doing and I can work 24 hours straight without sleep.

What do you take your sense of identity from? 
From me! I'm just myself all the time and don’t play any games.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? And Canada? 
Central Park / Mont-Tremblant

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? And Canada? 
BookMarc / Denis Gagnon designer

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why? 
Zac Efron. Best funny actor and very cute!

What is your favorite drink? 
Vodka Soda with lemon

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
I was in front of the Princess of Monaco and I didn't know what to do and how to react. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? And Canada? 
Le Bernadin /e four, Mont-Tremblant 

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature? And in Canada?
Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams / The young millionaire

Who would you like to be for a day and why? 
Bernie Eccelstone because I would love to see and understand the behind the scenes of the Formula 1 and this powerful man!

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? And in Canada?
A street

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? And Canada? 

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? And Canada? Cycling with a selfie stick in central park. / Riding my horse.

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why? 
Gilles Villeneuve to understand his Ferrari F1 deal and his European business in the 70th. 

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? And Canada? 
Broadway show / The last show of Celine Dion. I cried the first 20 minutes!

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world? 
My branding/marketing experience in motorsport and my international business experience.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan? 
Times Square is overrated. But underrated … I don't know! 

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite WhomYouKnow​.com​ column and what do you like about it?
Brilliant Business People because of the fantastic interviews with bright people-I'm really involved with business and am curious.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
I'm the new Canadian ambassador in Monaco for the 150th anniversary with Jacques Villeneuve and I have my lego figure.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? 

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