The VAL Group provides comprehensive, professional concierge service to hospitals, corporations, government agencies, and other businesses that need their visitations to Birmingham managed in a high quality, exemplary fashion.
The city of Birmingham has a unique story and vibrant community. Our goal is to show its appeal to your potential new resident/recruit, touring business partner, or visiting dignitary from any corner of the world. Your visitor will have a small window of time to understand the tremendous quality of life available in the Magic City! Our expert team will design a customized itinerary to have the most dramatic effect in this short timeframe.
At every turn, we demonstrate Southern hospitality while offering visitors the red-carpet treatment.
The VAL Group’s professional team is incredibly effective for any visitor that you need to fully experience Birmingham.
When a visit is scheduled, we know that we will have, generally one or two days for our guest to grow to envision their quality of life needs replicated in our community. We make pre-visit contact to discuss what they love about where they live, and their priorities for their new home: cultural or religious activities, visual arts, outdoor activities, musical performances, children’s activities, anything that might be important to identifying their best fit. Of course, Birmingham has it all! So, from our first conversation we hope to begin creating a bond between the visitor and our city.
Then we get to work, making all of the connections needed to design an itinerary that includes every element of the “quality of life priorities” these individuals need to see in order to think, “Wow!”
We also facilitate dining at any of our fabulous chef-run restaurants or the acquisition of tickets to concerts, theaters, and other special events to provide a true feel for Birmingham’s vibrant entertainment offerings. Our service is truly A to Z and the visiting VIPs’ interests and needs will always be fully addressed.
We offer Transition Service, which we provide to facilitate flawless move for our future residents of our city. Once an offer letter is signed, we continue to deliver resources and solutions to help the entire family during the period that might otherwise feel very hectic. We are the resource for all things Birmingham connecting your family to myriad of needs and information until you are settled in "The Magic City".
To ensure relocation goes as smoothly as posible, the VAL Group established a unique partnership with Realty South Relocation Services, providing a select team of real estate professionals assigned to support our clients search for their new home whether renting or buying.
By working together, transition clients benefit from a one stop shop experience. Our sole mission is making the transition as seamless and stress free as possible - from beginning to end.
Transitioning to life in a new community can be challenging for the spouse or partner. After the dust from the move has cleared, we will continue to stay connected to ease the transition by providing entrèe to business connections or community organizations that suit the spouse/partner’s goals and interests, and we’ll stick with them for months if needed, following the move to ensure they are settling in and finding their niche!
Valerie moved to Birmingham in 2010 with her husband, Steven, who accepted the director position for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital Burn Center. Reluctant to leave San Antonio, but always optimistic—she threw herself into getting to know the city. She fell in love with her historic neighborhood; the incredible variety of visual and performing arts; walking villages; and, of course, the outstanding food! She concluded that The Magic City is one of the nation’s best kept secrets and decided to change that by forming The VAL Group, bringing the expertise of an extensive corporate background to the table for her clients.
At IBM for over thirteen years, first as a systems engineer and then as a marketing representative, Valerie later pursued nonprofit management and development as executive director of Pitt County’s Domestic Violence Center (NC), director of development at the Allentown Art Museum (PA), manager of major gifts at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network (PA), and director of development for the National Trauma Institute (TX).
Steven, both a surgeon and a soldier, has precipitated twelve family relocations, making Valerie a “certified” expert in how to move a family and adjust quickly to enjoy a new community! An active community supporter, Valerie serves on the board of the UAB Women’s Club, Create Birmingham, Maranathan Academy, Red Mountain Theatre, Advisory Boards for the Alys Stephens Center and Pepper Place Market, and is a member of The Women’s Network and Southside Baptist Church. Valerie and Steven have two children. Their son Morgan lives in Birmingham. Their daughter Meghan, a West Point, Columbia and Harvard graduate, is a Dr. of Public Health in Boston and a Major in the Massachusetts National Guard.
Mary has proudly called Birmingham home since 1993. She has lived, worked and played in all parts of the Birmingham area, and has particularly loved watching the revitalization of downtown and surrounding areas for the past 10 years.
Utilizing her education degree from the University of Alabama, Mary taught four-year-old preschoolers for many years at the Early Arts Center in Homewood. She later become the Director of St. Stephen's Preschool in Cahaba Heights.
After the birth of her youngest son, Mary retired to stay at home with her children and had a lot of time to explore the wonders of Birmingham Zoo. The McWane Science Center, numerous parks, libraries and other child friendly options in the area. After a few years she began working as the Outreach Coordinator at Advent Episcopal School. This gave her the opportunity develop considerable knowledge of the program offerings of most of the early childhood development and preschools available in Birmingham.
Mary meet Valerie while conducting tours at Advent, and when she decided to leave that position she hoped that one day she could work with her to show off Birmingham to prospective new residents. That opportunity came in August 2019 when Valerie asked Mary to join her team at the VAL Group. It has proven tobe an excellent partnership to benefit VAL Group clients.!
Mary is currently the Chair of the Department of Camp McDowell. She currently chaired the Search Committee for the Executive Director of Camp McDowell, and served as senior warden for St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. She is very active volunteer in her church and her children's schools. When she is not cheering loudly for her kids in their countless sport activities, she enjoys walking her dog Lacey and reading whenever she gets a chance.
Mary and her husband Michael are proud parents of Eva, Walker, Jack and Watts.
I recently chaired an international executive director search task force for the Alabama School of Fine Arts. The task force wanted to make sure that the finalists and their spouses, many of whom had never been to Birmingham got a comprehensive, compelling, and honest impression of our city. To accomplish this, we engaged Valerie Thomas - and she did a fantastic job. Valerie is charming, extremely smart, insightful, and very knowledgable about Birmingham. I would enthusiastically recommend Valerie to any business recruiting in Birmingham.
Dr. William Webb Robertson
Chair, Alabama School of Fine Arts Board of Trustees
Valerie was such a key part of helping us to discover how great Birmingham is, while curating our experience to our interest/needs. She trully loves the city and was a major part of the reason that we decided to relocate here. She also continued to be a resource even after our visit to help finding child care, house-hunting, and the many details of moving to our new city.
Dr. Andrea Kane
Assistant Professor in Neonatology, UAB Department of Pediatrics
The VAL Group played a pivotal role in our recruitment process. Valerie was very attentive to our values and made recommendations that were in line with our needs and desires. Valerie is very knowledgeable and well known in Birmingham. She loves this city and does a phenomenal job in recruiting talent to stay here! Valerie is a gift to Birmingham!
Mrs. Jakitta Sullivan, CPA
Rodney Sullivan, PhD
Assistant Professor, UAB Department of Radiation Onology
Located @The Pizitz, 120 19th Street N Suite 806, Birmingham, AL 35203 | Office Number 205-873-3444