Choose Your Team
Event Planning

Have You Met?

 

Questions for Blacktie

Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment?

Getting it started in the first place.  To go from a simple idea of having extremely accomplished professional women mentor small groups of at-risk girls and then having a young woman run up to you and say you saved her life is pretty amazing.  When we gave out over a million dollars in scholarships – that was pretty amazing too.   

What do you enjoy the most about your work?

I’ve been a television journalist since I was 20 years old and everyday has been wonderful.  I got into television because I loved to write – so when I took a break from TV to write a novel it opened up a whole new world.  Suddenly I went from trying to craft a story from words that reflected the accuracy and integrity of a news event to changing the facts to reflect whatever words I liked.  It’s been a lot of fun.      

Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input?

My father always told me I could be anything I wanted in life, but I never had a real mentor in TV or in writing – but I’d still love one!  

You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met?

I met Frank Sinatra at his 75th Birthday party at Chasen’s in Beverly Hills and I subsequently spent a lot of time with him.  He was truly one of the coolest people I’ve ever known – a man with a tremendous heart and a real fighter for the underdog.  His wife Barbara used to sit him next to me at dinner parties.  We used to have incredible conversations about life, loyalty and integrity.  He was also very mischievous.  He was truly one of my favorite people.        

What is the most important thing you have learned through the years? 

That the best way to feel better about yourself is to do something for someone else. 

How do you relax?

Yoga, skiing and having a cocktail with good friends.

 What do you wish you could have a never-ending supply of?

The hugs of my children.

Is there an inspirational book you have read that you would recommend to others?

Of course.  Mine.  CERTAIN CURE.

When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?

An artist. 

What is a moment you will never forget?

When I made the decision to get into television news right out of college everyone told me I was wasting my time.  I didn’t even know anyone who knew anyone in television.  I was turned down by a lot of people and I was getting desperate.  Then, when I was about to give up the quest, the news director from a small station in Flint, Michigan called and said I had the job.  I’ll never forget that moment – when everyone tells you you can’t and then one person tells you you can.

It was the the greatest feeling in the world.

What is something you have learned from a pet?

That they can heal you.

What is your biggest fear?   

Being afraid.

What do you like the most about yourself? 

I’m an honorable person.

What do you have to say to all the young women/men out there ready to take on the future? 

For all the people who will tell you you can’t, it only takes one person to tell you you can.  And it takes just as much effort to achieve a big dream as a small one – so you might as well have big dreams.

 

  

 

 

 

Jennifer Valoppi, Ph.D. (Hon)

Author/Television Journalist

Women of Tomorrow President &Founder

Jennifer Valoppi is a multi-Emmy Award winning journalist who has been recognized four times on the floor of the United States Congress and is a 2006 recipient of Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s Points of Light Award, the highest honor in the state.

Her reputation as an influential community leader has made her not only an expert in media relations but a sought after public speaker and consultant, with a personal network that runs the gamut from the Dahli Lama to the late Frank Sinatra.

Jennifer recently completed her first novel, CERTAIN CURE, a medical/religious thriller, that quickly became the #1 bestselling Technothriller on Amazon during the highly competitive pre- Christmas buying season.  It also hit #1 in Religion & Spirituality – Mystery, and Religion & Spirituality – Science Fiction & Fantasy.   

As a veteran news anchor in Miami, New York and Los Angeles, Jennifer has covered almost every major news event of the past 25 years and has hosted numerous network, nationally syndicated and cable programs as well as consulting on and appearing in films.

As Founder and President of the Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program, from 1997 to present, Jennifer directs the mentoring of thousands of at-risk young women in South Florida public high schools and has helped provide them with over 1.5 million dollars worth of college scholarships, in the only program of its kind in the country. Through Jennifer's leadership, the program has received national recognition and has been the focus of study by the Harvard Business School Community Partners Program.  Jennifer was recently named as a South Florida Business Journal’s Heavy Hitter in Non-Profit. 

From 1994 to 2005, Jennifer was a lead anchor at NBC 6 WTVJ in Miami, managing coverage of multiple hurricanes, the infamous 2000 Presidential Election, the Elian Gonzalez Controversy, the Versace Murder, Olympics and California's Northridge earthquake (Jennifer's first day on the air at WTVJ), reporting live from the devastated areas. Concerned about declining standards of ethics, she also took a leading role in driving the station's commitment to fair, accurate and balanced journalism.

 

She has consulted on film projects, including Up Close & Personal (1996), with Michele Pfeiffer and Robert Redford, in which she also had a small part and her strong, working knowledge of the legal system as made covering court cases one of her specialties.

As a news anchor at New York’s superstation WWOR-TV for 7 years, she led the station’s coverage of the Gulf War and the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion, along with numerous news programs and specials.

Jennifer created, hosted and produced two of WWOR’s most successful entertainment specials – “Money, Power and Influence, I and II," nominated for "Best New Syndicated Program," and won two New York Emmy Awards for "Best On-Air Talent" and "Best Entertainment Special."

She conducted hundreds of celebrity interviews for the NBC network show "One on One" with John Tesh, hosted NBC Sports Specials, ABC's "New York Street Stories," numerous shows for CNBC, including "Real Personal," and the nationally syndicated "The Kennedy Assassinations," along with Robert Conrad. Her shows, the "Flavors of Italy" and the "Wines of Italy," remain in international syndication and were some of the longest running and most successful shows on the Travel Channel.

In addition, she hosted WWOR-TV's "News Nine In-Depth," guest-hosted "Nine Broadcast Plaza" with Matt Lauer, made appearances on "Everyday with Joan Lunden" and "The Dr. Ruth Show" and was a celebrity panelist on the remake of "To Tell the Truth."

From 1981 to 1984, Jennifer was an anchor and investigative reporter for NBC affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach, where she won the United Press International's Award for "Best Investigative Work," for the series "A Shot In The Dark," in which she helped free a man facing the electric chair.  Her work led to new training and procedural changes in the Palm Beach County Sheriff Department's SWAT Team.

Jennifer began her career as a weathercaster and science editor for WEYI, the CBS affiliate in Flint, Michigan, in 1981 and was immediately named "Best Weathercaster".

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

Heart of the Community Award, Florida Marlins (2008)

Woman of Impact, Women’s History Coalition (2008)

Valor Award, American Diabetes Association (2007)

Silent Storm Award, Women’s Power Caucus (2007)

Starfish Award, Social Affairs Magazine - Jackson Memorial Foundation (2007)

Miracle Maker, Big Brothers Big Sisters (2007)

Women of Style & Substance, The Miami Project (2007)

Gov. Jeb Bush’s Points of Light Award (2006)

Heavy Hitter in Non-Profit, South Florida Business Journal (2005)

U.S. House of Representative’s “Honored” (2005)

Giraffe Award, Women’s Advocacy Group (2005)

Honorary Doctoral Degree, St. Thomas University (2004)

Honoree, Miami Commission on the Status of Women (2004)

Mentoring Service Award, Coconut Grove Playhouse and Mercy Hospital.  (2004)

Woman of Valor, National Council of Jewish Women (2003)

Women Who Make a Difference, Junior League (2003) 

South Florida Business Women Awards, City of Hope (2002)

U.S. House of Representative’s “Honored” (2002)
U.S. House of Representative's "Honored" (2001)
Weizmann Institute of Science's "Women of Vision" (2001)
American Red Cross's "2001 Spectrum Award" (2001)
Jewish Federation's "Women of Community Service" (2001)
City of Miami Beach's "Distinguished Citizen Award" (2000)
106th U.S. Congress, "Honored" (1999)
March of Dimes "Leading Ladies" (1999)
City of Miami Beach's Jennifer Valoppi Day "A Woman Worth Knowing" (1999)
Macy's Miami Herald-El Nuevo Herald's "Follow a Leader Award" (1998)
Italian American Foundation's "Woman of the Year" (1998)
New Time's "Best TV News Anchor" (1995 and 1996)
South Florida Magazine's "Best of South Florida" (1995)
American Cancer Society's "10 Best Dressed" (1995)
New York Emmy, "Best On-Air Talent; Money, Power & Influence" (1991)
NY Emmy, "Producer Best Entertainment Program; Money, Power & Influence" (1991) American Committee on Italian Migration "Woman of the Year" (1990)
Auburn, New York "Key to the City" (1990)
Hudson County Columbus Association's "Christopher Columbus Award" (1990)
New Jersey General Assembly, "Honored" (1987)
United Press International's "Best Investigative Work; A Shot in the Dark" (1984)
GCEDC's "Best Weathercaster" (1981)

 

In addition to an honorary Ph.D., Jennifer, a Detroit native, studied in a Doctoral Program for Media Ecology at NY University and was to attend Law School at Wayne State University when she got into television.  Jennifer graduated with a B.A. in psychology from Oakland University in Michigan.