Get to know the founders of Your Coaching Assistants: where we’re from, our experience and what our lives are like today
I am a Marine brat and consequently have moved several times in my life. I was born in Quantico, VA on the military base. I was one of the first redheads born in the hospital. My parents could not decide on a name, so my birth certificate was changed a few times. Finally, since it was a military hospital, and as my mother said, “your father out-ranked me” the name was finalized as Valerie Marie. (My mother wanted Joy Ann)
In the late ‘70’s my father retired and we settled in Miami, FL. With the great influence of the Cuban population, my parents quickly understood the importance of me being bi-lingual. Fortunately, my high school had a summer program that allowed me to study in Segovia, Spain and learn the language and culture. I fell in love with the country and begged to return for the second summer. After my third high school summer, I was admitted to the University of Salamanca and studied there for three months.
When I returned, I enrolled at Barry University for my first year of college. I spent two to three years at the University of Madrid and returned to graduate at Barry University with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Communications.
In 2001 my parents, cousin, husband and I decided to move to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I started Computers 101, an in-home computer repair business. In my second year, I met Johnna and Joel and we immediately hit it off. The three of us quickly grew the business to over 1,000 clients and were the largest repair company in San Miguel.
Around five years later, my mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness and passed away in 2010. We all took several months off to care for our mother. After her passing, we decided not to return to computer repairs but to venture into a new business. We founded and started Your Virtual Assistants.
I met my new partner, Sergio, on Facebook. After visiting him twice in Argentina, he decided to to move to Mexico.
In my free time I LOVE to travel, read, and serial binge watch television. I enjoy date night Tuesdays with my partner, Sergio.
I was born on the Fort Sill Army Base in Fort Sill, OK. My dad retired after serving 20 years as a Drill Sergeant. Many people have a very hard time with my first name, Johnna. My name is a bit unusual because my dad wanted a boy and got a girl.
With being and Army brat and with my father’s desire of wanting a boy, I was a tomboy growing up. I was very athletic as a kid. In junior high school I was in the band. Although we did move quite frequently (I even lived in Germany for a few years) I was lucky enough not to have to move my last years in high school and and was able to finish high school with all my friends.
I then decided to take a break from school and helped my dad runs his business. I met my husband, Joel, during this time. We have been together for 25 years. (yes I was young). But We are still happily together now.
After moving in together, we both decided to go back to school. I decided to focus my studies on computer networking and computer sciences and did get my Computer Networking degree.
Afterwards, we decided to open a website business together. After a few years of success, the tragedy of 9/11 hit. With that, our business quickly began to decline. Joel and I decided it was time for a new beginning. We sold everything and decided to back pack through Mexico. This would serve as our vacation/honeymoon, since we never took a honeymoon after we were married).
We were well into half our planned trip when we were robbed in Tampico. We decided not to be defeated by this adversity and continued on our trip. We eventually ended up in San Miguel De Allende. We met Valerie and her family, who quickly adopted us both.
Valerie, Joel and I grew a successful computer business together as well as becoming a strong family unit.
In my spare time I love to spend time with my birds and other pets (my kids, if you will). I also love reading, traveling, and binge watching television with Valerie.
I also still enjoy spending couples time with Joel. We also enjoy playing games together or going on date nights or just snuggling and watching a movie. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s our time together.
I was born on the Fort Sill Army base, like my wife Johnna. Shortly after, my family moved to Texas where I spent most of my life. Although I am not formally trained in the Graphic Arts, I do have over 20 years of experience. I am known to think outside the box. My muse for creation is my wife. Having spent more than half of my life with her, I am happy to say that when I need inspiration it usually comes from something she and I have done or experienced.
As well as my passion for graphics, I am an avid gamer and a diehard foodie who loves to put my creativity to work in cooking. All things to me are an experience — be it taste or sight or pure immersion into a project.
My biggest love is my wife, though like many couples we have faced some rocky roads. But we always find the reasons it takes to weather the roads together. In this day and age, it is one of the hardest things to find your soulmate, and even harder still to stay together. We grew up together but never really met. Then, one day we found each other, and it was that day that changed our lives and we have been together ever since.
My college degree brought me the understanding that though we may know what it is we want in the moment, does not always mean we will follow that path. However, my understanding or architectural and mechanical engineering also brought life to my appreciation for art and science.
The Rest of the Family
Besides the four of us living together, we also share our home with our own mini zoo. We have 11 birds, three rescue dogs and seven fish.
Chiquita, Emeril (yes, named after the Chef) and Tuesday (better known as BooBoo)
Margarita (blue) with her son Audacia (we named him before we knew he was a boy)
Pepe (Passed away last year) and Monie
Geronimo (Margarita’s baby) with Mirella
Bud (green) Ricky and Lucy (sitting on four eggs in the nest)
Serafin, one of the babies from the Love Birds. We think it is Ricky and Lucy but not known for sure