2008 Distinguished achievement award: Valarie King-Bailey

// Civil & Environmental Engineering

Tags: alumni, CEE E-Day, Engineers' Day, Valarie King-Bailey

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Valarie King-Bailey
Chief Executive Officer
OnShore Technology Group
Chicago, Illinois

Three years ago, Valarie King-Bailey watched as the infamous Stateway Garden housing projects in Chicago were torn down. The deteriorating high-rises had been the scene of drug deals and gang violence for decades. They were also her childhood home. Now, she can still see the site of the projects from her condominium in Lake Point Tower, a prominent landmark in the Chicago skyline.

King-Bailey has come a long way from Chicago’s south side. She was the first student ever from her high school to attend UW-Madison, where she became the first black female to graduate from the civil and environmental engineering department. She went on to obtain an MBA from the DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago. She is still a dedicated Badger, with red-and-white memorabilia in both her office and home.

King-Bailey began her high-tech career at Intergraph Corporation. She was involved with projects such as the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and configuration of computer systems to facilitate the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster investigation. She has traveled extensively and gained an international reputation as a leading marketing professional for high-tech companies. She has served as a director at EMC/Documentum Inc. and Abbott Labs, and she became chief marketing officer for Ireland-based QUMAS, LTD, in 2000.

In 2004, King-Bailey founded OnShore Technology Group Inc. Based in Chicago, OnShore specializes in “rightsourcing”—the delivery of advanced technology and consulting resources to foreign companies seeking to establish operations in the United States.

King-Bailey started OnShore in response to the growing number of U.S. job losses due to outsourcing. She is committed to creating and keeping technology jobs on American shores.

OnShore is a family affair. Her husband, Vincent Bailey, is the chief technology officer. Her elder sister Paula King-Boston is her executive assistant.

King-Bailey also has two children. Vincent Jr. is studying computer science and game design at the Chicago Flashpoint Academy. Angela graduated from high school a year early and is studying environmental engineering at Loyola University.

King-Bailey’s greatest motivator is her mother, Jeanette King, who constantly encouraged her to get an education and move beyond Chicago’s project housing. To that end, Jeanette worked multiple jobs to support the family and fulfill that dream, which she shared with King-Bailey’s father, who died when she was 7. “My life is a living testament to the dedication, hard work and values passed on from my parents,” King-Bailey says.