U.S. Ambassador Mark Green and Dr. Valarie Daniels-Carter slated to inspire graduates at UW-Green Bay spring commencement

The 50,000th graduate will walk across the stage on Saturday, May 13

GREEN BAY, Wis. –Students graduating from UW-Green Bay’s associate, undergraduate and graduate programs in May will hear from two inspiring speakers. U.S. Ambassador Mark Green will speak at the 9:30 a.m. commencement ceremony; President and CEO of V&J Foods Holding Company, Dr. Valarie Daniels-Carter, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony. Both have shared their excitement with students via social media. Listen to U.S. Ambassador Mark Green and Dr. Valerie Daniels-Carter’s messages of congratulations.

More than 1,100 students have applied to graduate in May, which includes the 50,000th graduate from the University. Of those students, 50% of graduates are considered First Generation graduates (the first in their family to attend college) and 856 have signed up to cross the stage on Saturday, May 13. Two ceremonies will be held. Graduates of the College of Health, Education and Social Welfare and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Graduates of the
Austin E. Cofrin School of Business and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology will be celebrated at the 2 p.m. ceremony.

U.S Ambassador Mark Green (ret.) is the CEO of the Wilson Center, a Washington-based center that has been ranked the world’s “number one regional studies thinktank.” Wilson is unique among American policy institutes in that it’s Congressionally chartered, scholarship driven, and fiercely non-partisan and independent. Green is also author of the “Stubborn Things” blog, available through the Center’s website.

From 2017 to 2020, Green served as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. He has also served as President of the International Republican Institute, Executive Director of the McCain Institute, President of the Initiative for Global Development, and senior director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. Green served as the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania from mid-2007 to early 2009, as well as four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Wisconsins 8th District.

Green served on the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation during both the Obama and Trump Administrations, and has served on the Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Advisory Council and the Board of the Consensus for Development Reform. He holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and a bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. In 2012, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from Georgetown Universitys School of Nursing and Health Studies. He has received special honors from President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and President Ivan Duque of Colombia.

Dr. Valerie Daniels-Carter is President and CEO of V&J Foods Holding Companies, Inc. (V&J Holdings.) V&J Holdings multi-brand/multi-state operation developed the largest female owned franchise organization in the country. Within a development span of less than 15 years, Dr. Daniels-Carter’s quick-service restaurant empire comprised real estate and operations of Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels, Burger King, Coffee Beanery, Nino’s Southern Sides, MyYoMy Frozen Yogurt, Pizza Hut, VJ Café, and Captain D’s Seafood.

Daniels-Carter graduated from Lincoln University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In 1984, Dr. Valerie Daniels-Carter earned a master’s degree in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University. Dr. Daniels-Carter received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letter from Cardinal Stritch University in 2008 and Lincoln University in 2016. In 2019 Dr. Daniels-Carter was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame joining an elite group of successful African-Americans. Prior to establishing V&J Holding Companies, Inc., she worked in banking and finance.

Dr. Valerie Daniels-Carter is one of the most preeminent business owners in the United States. In addition to auspiciously commandeering several restaurants’ branded operations, she has been widely recognized for her adroit business ingenuity. As such, she is befittingly appointed to an array of community and corporate boards. She has also chaired a cluster of boards spanning a multifarious arc of civic, corporate and non-profit organizations. Dr. Daniels-Carter is currently a board member of the NFL Green Bay Packers and is a minority owner of the 2021 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks Basketball Team. In the spring of 2017, Automobile Association of America (AAA) appointed her as the First African-American Female Chair, believing in her abilities to drive the association to improved platforms.

She is consistently recognized as an astute business woman – an achievement that bespeaks to her unyielding belief and connection to God coupled with her rare commitment to honesty, excellence and hard work. She has been recognized by Essence magazine as one of the 50 Most Inspiring African-Americans in the U.S. In 2022 Dr. Daniels-Carter was recognized by Rainbow Push Coalition and Rev. Jessie Jackson as a Leader in Business. In 2021 the 40th Anniversary of Governor’s Conference of Wisconsin, Dr. Daniels-Carter was awarded the Distinguished Business Leader Award; Black Enterprise Magazine honored her in their 50th Anniversary Edition and in 2020 awarded Dr. Daniels-Carter the Legacy Award and being a part of 50 most Inspiring Women in Business. Also in

2021, in her home state of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Magazine feature her in honor of Women’s Month and in 2020, Biz Times Media granted her the Bravo Entrepreneur Award of Lifetime Achievement.

Daniels-Carter is an outstanding life coach and a generous humanitarian. Her business accomplishments can only have been matched by her philanthropic efforts. This CEO stays grounded by engaging in local and international philanthropic projects. She has been the catalyst to many causes, several which included hosting multiple health and wellness days in small African villages. She created an initiative in conjunction with the Minority Franchise Association to build a state-of-the-art wing for an orphanage in Kenya, Africa at Jubilee Orphanage Center. She created and built COGIC Medical Clinic in Bondo and Nairobi Kenya, where she tirelessly discovers ways to bring “state of the art” medical equipment to the communities in East Africa. She created the Empowerment Initiative for Africa, Inc. where she acquired 99 acres of land in Accra, Ghana. She initiated 12 women to start their own business to becoming self – sufficient and in five years the female entrepreneurs have grown astoundingly to over 2000. Additionally, she has built three educational facilities, and drilled a water well in Kenya for the surrounding community of 20,000 families.

Back home in Milwaukee, she, along with the rest of her family, have built and developed a state-of-the-art complex that has their church Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God In Christ. Along the street named after her esteemed mother, “Mother Daniels Way” you will find a Boys and Girls Club, a Family Service Center, three schools, loan center, and community meeting facilities “better known as” the Mother Kathryn Daniels Youth Center, developed in memory of her mother and husband; in addition to the newly innovated facility, “IPAMA,” the Institute for the Preservation of African American Music and Arts.

She has continued to offer her services and expertise to the Church of God In Christ locally, jurisdictionally and nationally. No matter what the demands of business are during the week, more often than not, she’s found serving the church as Minister of Music on Sunday mornings. Music Ministry is her love and passion. Dr. Daniels-Carter has produced several projects with Gospel Music’s greatest artists and has been conducting choirs since the age of 10. Apart from being, a successful business owner Valerie Daniels-Carter is a devoted mother to Jeffrey Alan Carter II, a motivational speaker, a generous Humanitarian, and a flourishing author. Her entrepreneurial aptitude inspired her to author, her newest release, booklet “The Journey of A Winner” “From Pandemic To Promise”, “Your Business Is His Business” and “Anointed Offering or Tainted Sacrifice.” Dr. Daniels-Carter attributes her success to her relationship with God, her family, committed employees and true friends. She is a national exemplar, but more importantly, she is a touchable woman.

About UW-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving more than 9,600 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students and 95,000 continuing education learners each year. We educate students from pre- college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2021, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.


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