Originally from El Paso de Robles, Ca, Valerie Lake comes from a blended family of Spanish and French-Canadian immigrants. She graduated from Paso Robles High School in the top 10% of her class and studied environmental science at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Valerie later enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Broadcast Journalist where she served as a multimedia journalist for the American Forces Network’s Regional News Bureau in Ramstein, Germany. Valerie shared dozens of stories during her assignment in Europe including humanitarian missions in Mauritania, Africa, international training exercises in the Baltics, and NATO ambassador visits in Belgrade, Serbia. Valerie went on to serve as a Combat Videographer for the 1st Combat Camera Squadron in Charleston, SC where she documented U.S. and international military missions aboard C-17’s, Blackhawk helicopters, and KC-135 refueling jets. After transitioning from the military, Valerie worked as a video editor for WRAL News in Raleigh, North Carolina. During her time at WRAL, she edited hundreds of stories for the live newscasts including coverage of the Rio Olympics, the Bowe Bergdahl trials, and the presidential election of 2016. Valerie eventually moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where she still resides today. After experiencing military and commercial broadcasting, Val transitioned to public broadcasting where she still works as the Director of Production for Alaska Public Media: the state’s primary PBS and NPR affiliate. In this position, she creates documentary shorts for the digital series, Indie Alaska. She also oversees the video production department for Alaska Public Media and directs their public affairs TV show, Alaska Insight. Valerie’s work for Alaska Public Media has been featured at the Museum for International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Northern Aspects Film Festival in Anchorage, Alaska, and several times on the PBS Newshour. Valerie’s work has also been recognized by her peers with several awards from the Alaska Broadcasters Association, the National Educational Telecommunications Association, and the Alaska Filmmakers Organization. In 2022, she received the Best Video Journalism award from the Alaska Press Club, and she has received two Northwest Regional Emmys.
Valerie also enjoys pursuing personal and freelance creative work including stop-motion, photography, videography, and editing. Valerie has worked independently as a video editor for the documentary series, Life After, as a camera operator for the PBS series, Antiques Roadshow, as an on-tour documentarian for musicians Kuf Knotz and Christine Elise, and as an assistant editor for the feature-length documentary, Tactical Empathy. In 2022 Valerie independently shot and produced, A Lesson in Life, a documentary short that was accepted to the 2023 Anchorage International Film Festival. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, skiing, backpacking, and traveling. Valerie cares about giving back to her community through her efforts as a volunteer mentor for high school media-makers and a volunteer yoga teacher for the Hiland Correctional Center, Anchorage’s largest women’s prison. Valerie Lake has previously gone by the names, Valerie Lloyd and Valerie Kern.