Backed by more than four decades of professional experience, Valarie King-Bailey is highly regarded for her skill in computer systems validation, software testing, and civil and environmental engineering. Since 2004, she has excelled as the chief executive officer and senior validation consultant of OnShore Technology Group Inc., which offers a broad portfolio of compliance-related software and services to support independent validation and verification for life sciences companies.
As the founder of OnShore Technology Group Inc., Ms. King-Bailey’s career highlight has been raising $1 million in venture capital and breaking the seven-figure barrier for women-run businesses. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, less than 3% of women’s business enterprises exceed $1 million. She feels honored that her business has reached nearly $4 million while continuing to grow. Most notably, Ms. King-Bailey became the 39th woman of color in the history of the United States to achieve this accomplishment. She attributes her success to perseverance and hard work.
Among additional accolades in her career, Ms. King-Bailey received the highest honor from the Institute of Validation Technology in 2022 — the Kenneth G. Chapman Award, which recognizes significant contributions in validation excellence. Earlier, in 2016, she served as the institute’s Speaker of the Year. Ms. King-Bailey was also the recipient of the Chicago Urban League nextONE Program Award in 2009, the Women of Color S.T.E.M. Technology All-Star Award in 2008 and the Madam C.J. Walker Outstanding Business Achievement Award in 2007 and 2008. Additionally, she received the Center for Women’s Economic Independence Outstanding Business Award from American Express and Count Me In in 2006, a Frost & Sullivan Award in 2003 and the Market Leadership Award from the Irish Software Association in 2001 and 2002.
Ms. King-Bailey commenced her engineering career in 1981 as a management associate in the design and environmental engineering department at U.S. Steel South Works in Chicago. During her tenure, she won accolades from the plant chief engineer for computer programs she wrote that analyzed heat loss throughout the plant, saving them $2 million per day. In 1984, Ms. King-Bailey joined Intergraph Corporation in Huntsville, Alabama, where she quickly rose through the ranks to achieve the position of Midwest director of architecture, engineering and construction. In this role until 1995, she was recognized as the first Black female promoted to director in the Midwest.
Ms. King-Bailey transitioned from engineering to technology upon joining Documentum, Inc. in Pleasanton, California, in 1997 as the director of industry development for process and power. Leading the development of Documentum’s first “off-the-shelf” commercial application, she won the Significant Contributor Award in 1995. Subsequently, Ms. King-Bailey continued her career with Abbott Laboratories in Chicago as the senior director of document management and quality systems from 1998 to 2000. While at Abbott, Ms. King-Bailey’s efforts were rewarded with the Abbott Chairman’s Award — the highest honor bestowed on Abbott employees. She also won the Award for Outstanding Validation Project Performance for an unprecedented two years in a row in 1999 and 2000.
Following her success at Abbott, Ms. King-Bailey served her next role as chief marketing officer for QUMAS, Ltd in Cork, Ireland, from 2000 to 2004. In just four years, she helped lead QUMAS’ turnover rate from $800,000 to $11 million. For her efforts, she received the CEO ‘Extra Mile’ Business Achievement Award in 2004. To remain abreast of her field, she currently maintains membership with the International Society of Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers. She is also the author of “Pharmaceutical Processing, Advantage Business Media.”
Civically involved as well, Ms. King-Bailey has served as a guest speaker for the National Girls Collaborative Project since 2006 and is a former president of the University of Wisconsin Engineering Diversity Organization. She has also served as a board member for the Institute of Validation Technology, the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association and the University of Wisconsin’s civil engineering visiting committee. Dedicated to giving back to the community, she has also been a scholarship sponsor for inner-city children and has donated laptops and tablets.
Ms. King-Bailey became involved in her profession due to her desire to make a difference in the world. She grew up in the inner city in the 1960s, which she recalls as a tumultuous time. As she looked around her environment, she realized that she wanted something different. Inspired by the circumstance around her and the notion that she could achieve anything she wanted, her parents also set the foundation for confidence and success. Having been unable to attend college due to racial discrimination, her father was a strong advocate for her to receive a college education.
With the support of her family, Ms. King-Bailey enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the first Black female graduate to earn a Bachelor of Science in civil and environmental engineering in 1982. In later years, she was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering. Ms. King-Bailey also went on to achieve a Master of Business Administration in information systems from the Keller Graduate School of Management in 1985 and certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council in 2015.
Looking toward the future, Ms. King-Baile intends to grow OnShore Technology well beyond the $10 million mark. She would like to update their software application to add artificial intelligence and to continue to drive them forward and innovate. Ms. King-Bailey hopes to pursue her STEM advocacy and raise funds so that they can get more intercity children involved in STEM education to bridge the digital divide in their community.