I had known Valerie Percival professionally for many years due to our long careers at IBM. However, our working relationship moved to a new level in 2006 when I was appointed the CEO and Managing Director of IBM Australia and New Zealand, which was a company of over 15,000 employees and $4 billion in annual revenues.
Valerie was the Events Manager for all of our large and most important corporate events including our annual staff recognition conference, the very large annual gala dinner for long serving employees, and our many key client events.
The wonderful attribute about Valerie as an Events Manager was she invested time in getting to know my priorities and likes as a business leader but also on a personal level. This led to Valerie tailoring a bespoke calendar of client events that were just simply spectacular.
In senior business circles the corporate networking circuit can become a chore with event after event almost identical. Valerie’s brilliance was creating unique events that caught attention and created lasting memories. I had seasoned Chief Executives who would receive many hundreds of invitations each year tell me they attended my IBM function because they knew it was a “Valerie event”. She had her own trademark style and excellence, an eye for detail, and the willingness to do something different that delivered countless wonderful customer events.
I retired from IBM in 2011 – approaching 5 years ago now – but I still come across many people in the business world who say to me “remember that night” looking back on a “Valerie event” with great affection. Valerie has the ability to achieve more than organise just another corporate event but to create the magic that leaves a lasting memory and connection.
I unreservedly say she is the best in the business.
– Glen Boreham AM