Long Bio

As a strategist, storyteller, and community builder, Valery Navarrete has more than fifteen years of experience helping people and organizations make better decisions and have greater impact. Her career has spanned levels of government and crisscrossed the not-for-profit, charitable, community, hospital, mental health and addictions, and social innovation sectors. Core to all of her work is a passion for connection. She believes that positive personal, community, and social support networks and connections are critical to helping each one of us move from surviving to thriving.

A lifelong mental health advocate, Valery’s most recent role was as CAMH’s Director of Planning and Strategy where she led the development of the hospital’s new strategic plan, One CAMH. Previous to that Valery held senior roles in organizations including the YMCA of Greater Toronto, Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, and the Ontario Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care and Children and Youth Services.

Valery holds a Master of Arts, Canadian Studies from Carleton University, with a focus on gender and diversity studies. She also holds a Bachelor of Journalism (Hons.) from the same alma mater.

Valery is a former volunteer crisis counselor with Distress Centres Toronto and an advisor to the digital inclusion organization Free Geek Toronto. She is one of six co-founders of Clarens Commons, a co-house in Toronto that has been featured in the Toronto Star, CBC Tapestry, VICE and other media outlets.

A practicing intersectional feminist, Valery is dedicated to learning, unlearning, and unraveling the systems and structures in our society that push too many people to the margins. As a mixed-race, cis-gendered, Latinx woman-of-colour, her personal experiences at the intersections of privilege and oppression are a driving force behind her efforts to work with others to build healthier, more inclusive organizations, communities, cities, and societies.

Valery is a sought after facilitator of workshops and team-building experiences. Some of her favourite topics to engage with others around are cohousing, community building, and the lost art of letter writing. Valery lives with her partner, Daniel, and seven-year-old stepdaughter, Madeleine, in Ottawa, which is located on traditional and unceded Algonquin Anishinabek territory. Valery is available to work (currently remotely) across Canada in English, intermediate French, and beginner Spanish.