Virginia B. Valentine Named Honorary Chair, Keynote Speaker for UI Engineering Design EXPO News Release uri icon



  • On May 2, the University of Idaho 21st Annual Engineering Design EXPO presented by the Micron Foundation welcomes honorary chair and keynote speaker Virginia Bax Valentine, who will speak on, “embracing failure as the path to succeeding in engineering and life.”

    Valentine is a member of the Class of 2012 University of Idaho College of Engineering Academy of Engineers. She graduated from the UI in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2000. 

     “We are honored to have Virginia Valentine, as this year’s honorary EXPO chair and keynote speaker.  She is a great example to our students of what they can accomplish and her presence and her speech is sure to inspire all of us, “said Larry Stauffer, College of Engineering dean.

    Valentine has had a prominent career in both engineering and public service. She began her career as a designer engineer with JUB Engineers in Coeur d’Alene. After several years working on infrastructure and environmental projects, she turned her talents to public service.  She first served in the role of city manager for the city of Las Vegas, then from 2002-06 as assistant county manager for Clark County, Nevada.  From 2006-11, she was the county manager for Clark County, Nevada where she managed regional and municipal services for over 2 million residents.  Currently, Valentine serves as the president of the Nevada Resort Association, an industry trade association representing Nevada’s resort and casino industry. 

    “I hope students starting their careers won’t let fear of failure constrain their potential. All things are possible if you are open to them and not afraid to fail,” said Valentine. “I am a firm believer that we set our own limits. Grit is a trait characterized by continuing to pursue a goal after failure and it often leads individuals not only to great discoveries but also personal growth. I want students to think about being gritty.” 

    Engineering Design EXPO is a free public event. Valentine’s keynote speech will take place in the Student Union Building, Vandal Ballroom May 2, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. The speech will also be streamed live at  Engineering Design EXPO 2014 is presented by the Micron Foundation.

publication date

  • April 23, 2014