About Us

Valerin’s talented team of marketing and communications professionals has a proven track record for creating successful, award-winning marketing and branding campaigns, communications strategies, and public awareness plans for a variety of public and private sector clients. With more than 200 years of combined experience and providing services on more than 500 projects, our team has the proven experience and skills to help our customers succeed in accomplishing their marketing and communications goals.

Valerie Ciudad-Real

President | Chief Executive Officer

As president of The Valerin Group, Valerie offers an authentic and refreshing approach to client relations, marketing and communications services. Each member of her carefully selected team possesses a wide range of knowledge and expertise, making Valerin extremely versatile in its service offerings and highly capable of achieving the client’s desired goals and outcomes. Valerie guides the firm’s mission, vision and values by promoting a high standard of excellence, and is actively engaged with and supportive of her team, facilitating creativity and collaboration. With more than 26 years of experience in public relations, marketing, and project management, Valerie realizes the importance of effective community outreach and the power of public participation in ensuring project success. Conscientious, diligent, and genuinely committed to integrity and positive outcomes, Valerie will stick with “Plan A”, and continue in her award-winning role as leading lady of a dynamic team!

Plan B: Actress

William Ciudad-Real, PE

Chief Operating Officer | Senior Business Consultant

William is a strategic, results-oriented professional with over 30 years of AEC industry experience. Through situational analyses and open lines of communication, William guides and facilitates the assessment of organizational strengths and weaknesses; helps to refine goals and objectives; and identifies ways to effectively leverage and maximize relationships, resources and opportunities in helping clients to achieve their organizational goals. Until William opts to pursue “Plan B”, we are confident that he will continue to champion Valerin’s mission by keeping client projects on track to the finish!

Plan B: Race Car Driver

Cynthia McGrail

South Florida Regional Director | Marketing & Business Development

Cynthia brings over 25 years of strategic communications, marketing and media expertise to Valerin. A natural collaborator and connector, Cynthia’s commitment to improving our communities guides her daily work with clients, stakeholders and colleagues. As the Director of Incite Austin, she led an award-winning team that produced hundreds of high impact, public awareness and behavior change campaigns for government and non-profit clients in transportation, healthcare, utilities and education. In her most recent role, Cynthia led marketing and public relations for transportation technology firm Metropia, Inc. and market launches for their mobile app (Metropia) that incentivizes travelers to engage in a variety of mobility options to help reduce traffic congestion in their communities. Cynthia loves to travel and explore destinations near and far and with Valerin projects throughout the state, we can help Cynthia achieve her Plan “B” too!

Plan B: “Freelance Travel Writer”

Michelle Greene

Director of Communications | Senior Transportation Planner

Michelle is an accomplished senior transportation planner and communications professional with more than 18 years of experience in community engagement, public affairs and government relations. Her expertise includes developing communications strategies, public involvement, community awareness and crisis management plans, and public education campaigns. As a senior planner Michelle is skilled in the NEPA process and has experience with all levels of environmental documentation. During her career, Michelle has served as FDOT District Seven’s Public Involvement Coordinator, Bicycle-Pedestrian Coordinator and Community Liaison, and as the Director of Planning for TBARTA. Luckily, Michelle decided to put the pedal to the metal, leaving her Plan “B” in the dust as she revs up new plans for Valerin’s future!

Plan B: Female Race Car Driver

Chuck Thompson

Creative Director

Over the course of his 32+ year career in marketing and graphic design, Chuck has earned multiple gold and silver Addy awards, as well as a Clio award, for his design work. He specializes in both traditional and non-traditional media and has served as creative director and project manager throughout his career. Chuck has a proven track record of success in creating marketing strategies that effectively connect client messages with target audiences through the incorporation of a variety of graphic elements to achieve effective project designs. Chuck’s vast experience and knowledge has taken us to new depths in graphic design and we are happy to report that he has opted for “Plan A”!

Plan B: Scuba Instructor on the Great Barrier Reef

Tina Allen

Business Manager | Community Outreach Specialist

Tina spent nearly 15 years with the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) providing executive-level support with a heavy involvement in operational and project-related initiatives. Throughout her time with THEA, Tina engaged in regular communications with city and county agencies, boards of directors, offices of elected and appointed officials, customers, and citizens. Her articulation, resourcefulness, ability to collaborate, and keen eye for detail, equip her with the dynamics needed to ensure that all elements of tasks and assignments are completed accurately, timely, and efficiently. Had Tina gone with “Plan B”, we would all be out to pasture!

Plan B: Glam Farm Wife

Kelly Hiden

Public Involvement Manager

Kelly’s professional career spans three decades and is heavily concentrated in providing public involvement for PD&E, design, and design-build transportation projects. Kelly’s specialized graphic art skills, combined with her careful attention to technical details, allows her to translate complex project materials into information that is clear and comprehensible. She is collaborative and resourceful in the coordination and development of public involvement and outreach programs and initiatives and is intuitive and creative in developing materials that are relevant and effective. Kelly doesn’t have to go with “Plan B” to be in the spotlight – she’s truly a shining star with us!

Plan B: Trophy Wife

Alice Ramos

Community Outreach Manager
Central Florida

Alice is a seasoned communications professional with over 18 years of experience in developing communications and outreach plans, creating and distributing collateral materials, and coordinating and conducting public meetings and special events. Alice is bilingual in English and Spanish and is an accomplished Spanish interpreter. She provides translation services in both verbal and written forms, using her communication skills to broaden and enhance public reach. Valerin is happy that Alice decided to camp out with our team rather than going with her “Plan B”; the journey has been amazing!

Plan B: Full-Time RV’er

Angel Streeter Gardner

Community Outreach Manager
South Florida

Angel is an established communications professional experienced in community outreach and public involvement. Having worked on major infrastructure projects, Angel is adept at providing public information, serving as a media spokesperson and engaging with stakeholders. She is well versed in developing and implementing community awareness plans, organizing public meetings and developing project-specific collateral materials. As a former newspaper reporter, Angel has substantial experience working with public sector entities, community organizations, special interest groups, elected officials and the general public.

Plan B: Best-selling author

Nanea Marcial

Public Relations Specialist | Governmental Affairs

Nanea is a versatile, bilingual communications professional with over 17 years of government affairs and public relations experience in both the public and private sectors. As chief of staff to several members of the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives, Nanea oversaw legislative and budget programs at the state and local levels, handled bilingual media and press communications, and consulted on policy and public relations strategies regarding statewide issues. Currently, Nanea serves as community outreach specialist on state and municipal infrastructure, transportation, and planning projects and while she could be on stage realizing her “Plan B”, we are happy that she is using her poise, natural grace, language and choreography skills in connecting Valerin’s clients with their communities!

Plan B: World Famous Flamenco Dancer

Erin Kleinfelt

Marketing & Communications Specialist

Erin Kleinfelt is an experienced public relations, marketing and public affairs professional whose background and experience includes marketing and public relations programming, copy and creative content development, graphic design, and public speaking (as both a trainer and presenter). She has served as a public relations manager for construction and engineering firms and led development of marketing strategy and implementation in print, online and social media. Erin is also experienced with crisis communications and public affairs, having spent time as a public information officer representing the American Red Cross. We are excited for Erin to write her story here at Valerin instead of her “Plan B”!

Plan B: Lifestyle Blogger

Sandra Mancil, APR

Senior Communications Specialist

Sandra is a highly skilled public relations professional with more than 20 years of experience in providing public information and outreach support. She serves as an effective client representative in communicating with and responding to stakeholder and media inquiries and is committed to delivering results that increase public awareness. Sandra’s genuineness allows her to establish and maintain a positive interface with members of the media and the public and we are pleased to announce that she is not going to pursue her “Plan B”, but rather, has become a part of Valerin’s huddle as a true team player!

Plan B: Sports Photographer

Tiffani Wilshire

Communications Specialist

Tiffani is an experienced communications professional with a passion for relationship-building, public engagement and achieving client outreach goals and objectives. Her 10 years of diverse public relations, community outreach, and social media management experience gives her an excellent skill set and strong communications foundation. Tiffani has also developed and implemented strategic communication plans for both private and public-sector clients. She has an in-depth understanding of the creative collaboration process necessary to facilitate public understanding of the purpose, issues, and benefits of a project. Her positive approach and keen ability to develop relevant public relations strategies make her a versatile and effective representative for our team and our clients. We are happy that Tiffani has skipped her Plan B and instead, is performing as a valuable member of our cast in helping to generate star ratings!

Plan B: TV Personality

Elise Elsberry

Communications Specialist

Elise is a seasoned communications professional with over 20 years of public engagement and outreach experience, to include having served as public information director for the Florida Department of Transportation. She also provided public information services on transportation and water infrastructure projects for Washington Group, International. A former broadcast journalist, Elise is articulate and concise in connecting with clients, stakeholders, elected and appointed officials, the media, and the public. An accomplished photographer, her public information skills are further enhanced by her ability to leverage her creativity in capturing images for use in project-related presentations, on project collateral, and on web-based/social media platforms. Elise currently serves as community outreach specialist on state, county and municipal projects throughout the Central Florida region. While she might be tempted to “cross the pond” to Plan B to serve as lead scone taster to the Queen, we will work to keep her busy serving the public and tasting of the rewards of effective community outreach on behalf of Valerin and our clients!

Plan B: Scone Taste Tester

Justina Hicklyn

Communications Specialist

As a public engagement, marketing and community outreach professional, Justina has served as a communications manager for a variety of public utilities and transportation projects for clients including municipalities, counties and state agencies. Justina’s professional experience includes marketing, communications and social media planning; copy and website content development; and event coordination. In addition, she was an operations/community outreach volunteer for the Florida House of Representatives, District 84, working with the State Representative, Legislative Aide and Legislative Secretary. Currently, Justina is providing outreach support as a community outreach specialist for FDOT Broward Operations through Valerin’s Districtwide Public Communications for Construction Projects contract in south Florida. Justina is a graduate of Morgan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications. While Justina has her sights set on farming, Valerin and its clients are “sow” fortunate to have such an expert in the “field” of harvesting happy stakeholders!

Plan B: Farmer

Kenny Gil

Multimedia Specialist

As a talented multimedia specialist, Kenny brings both creative and technical expertise to support our clients’ marketing and communication needs. Kenny’s role includes developing and designing websites, developing mobile apps, video and audio production, and graphic design. Outside of the workplace, Kenny has over 10 years of music industry experience as a recording studio owner, audio engineer, and record producer for over 70 internationally distributed musical releases. Kenny’s “Plan B” is to be a global music producer and DJ, but until his label skyrockets towards stardom, we are happy he is bringing his cool vibe and “music” to Valerin.

Plan B: Music Producer/DJ

Emma Long

GIS & Communications Specialist

As a communications specialist, Emma’s professional experience includes providing public involvement and technical support for transportation projects for municipalities, counties and state agencies. Prior to joining Valerin, Emma worked as a subconsultant for FDOT District Seven where she assisted in organizing historic and current drainage documentation through ArcGIS and other GIS applications. Currently, Emma provides public involvement and community outreach support on numerous public utility infrastructure and transportation projects. Emma is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a minor in Criminology. While she may be tempted to rescue every single shelter animal she meets, we are “dog” gone happy to have her as part of the Valerin Team.

Plan B: Animal Shelter Owner