Prestigious Women Awards Honorees: Valerie Barnhart

Valerie Barnhart is a founding partner of Perera Barnhart Aleman. Valerie focuses her practice on Business Litigation, Business Transactions, and Employment matters.

Valerie advises clients in all aspects of business and risk management, such as contracts, purchase and sale of assets, non-compete agreements, formation of business entities, subcontractor agreements, shareholder agreements, operating agreements, and data privacy compliance.

Favorite quote: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Fun fact: I have loved New Kids on the Block since I was a kid, and as an adult I always go to their concerts when they come to South Florida every two years.

How do you unwind after a long day of work? Cooking and hanging out with my husband and dogs.

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? One of the challenges was not being in control of what clients I worked with and my quality of life. I overcame this by starting my own law firm which was the best professional decision of my career.

What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? Starting a law firm with my awesome partners.

Who are your role models? There have been so many people in my life who have had an impact me, so it is hard to choose just one, but I respect people who know what they want and who they are and live their lives in accordance with that.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? ‘You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.’ Of course, I would never throw stones at a dog! – but a friend and mentor recited this quote to me years ago when we were talking out a situation I was dealing with. It reminds me to stay focused, stay the course, and not get bogged down with unnecessary distractions.

What advice would you give a young woman at the start of her career? Save and invest your money. You don’t want to be in a situation where you want to make a career move or follow a professional passion but don’t have the financial ability to do so. Financial freedom allows a lot of latitude.

How does being a woman has impacted your career? I think it has helped me greatly. For example, there is a group of female lawyers who go out of their way to send business to other female lawyers. Women tend to want to support one another.

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