Case Study: Barbara Valentine
Written by Larry Trivieri Jr.
The evidence has long been overwhelming that Hollywood is a world in which female producers, directors, writers, and actors face far more difficult challenges and hurdles than their male counterparts. Yet none of that has ever stopped Barbara Valentine from going after her dreams and achieving great success as an award-winning producer, reporter, on-camera host, and multimedia executive. Despite the roadblocks she faced, especially early on in her multifaceted career, Barbara achieved all that she has because she is a woman in which there is “no quit”.
“That determination, that little spark plug inside me, has really helped me to never give up. That’s always been my philosophy.”
In a career spanning 30 years, she has been nominated for an Emmy Award five times, winning the Emmy twice, while serving as an Executive Producer on hundreds of film, television, and digital media projects. In that time, her work has taken her all around the world while providing her services to many of today’s largest and most well-known entertainment, distribution, and manufacturing companies.
Her reputation as someone with a strong commitment to high-quality and excellence has also resulted in Barbara receiving numerous other industry awards, and led to her inclusion in Who’s Who of American Women in Business. Barbara is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences: Executive Peer Group, Women in Film, and Women’s Business Enterprise.
Besides her determination, Barbara’s willingness to keep learning and reinventing herself has also been a hallmark of the success she has achieved. “It is advantageous to be familiar with many areas of production. Take courses in lighting, editing, cinematography, graphics and areas of production that will keep you up to date with the latest equipment and production techniques.”
Learning Early On About The Value of Hard Work
Barbara credits her success in many ways to lessons she learned from her mother when she was a child. “My father died when I was only nine years old and my mother had to take over his general contracting business, splitting her time between running my father’s business and her beauty salon business, while still having time to raise her two children on her own. She was a wonderful, smart, loving and generous lady who was committed to her family. She was determined that nothing was going to hold her down. If you can dream it, you can achieve it, she would tell me.”
Barbara says she inherited her own strong determination and work ethic from her mother. “I’ve been working since I was eight years old, so I know what it is to work for a dollar, and appreciate everything I have worked for over the years. It builds character. I worked my way through college by helping my mother in her beauty salons. I believe if you study and work hard, treat people like you would like to be treated, have a good work ethic, doors will open for you.” Barbara has a very strong faith and positive attitude that have helped her get through some tough times in life. She says, “With the many successes I have been blessed with in life, I also had some failures, but I look at the failures as learning curves. I don’t dwell on the them, I build on them.”
Barbara also believes that with success comes an obligation to give back, “when you make it, find ways to give back, because when you give, blessings will keep coming to you.”
A Life Changing Diagnosis
Barbara’s own life was transformed in a most unexpected and challenging way last year when she learned she had developed breast cancer. “I got the diagnosis at a time when we were just getting ready to start production on 50 PLUS REPORT,” she says. “After receiving the diagnosis from the doctor, I just sat in my car and thought, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do now? I have so many people depending on me.'”
Rather than allowing herself to be overcome by despair and self-pity, Barbara has been able to marshal the same inner resources that have served her so well in her career. “I had a little cry, took a deep breath, put my shoulders back and turned my trust over to God,” she says.
In addition to determining her course of treatment with her doctors, Barbara realized she would also have to change how she oversaw her companies. “I had to take time-off to undergo Chemo treatment and medical procedures, but a little over a year-and-a-half later, I am feeling wonderful and strong enough to get back to work. Life has been a challenge since the diagnosis, but I feel that you only have two choices: you can dig a hole, climb in and wallow in self-pity, or put your boxing gloves on and come out fighting. I know what it’s like to be upset and angry when given such a diagnosis, but you can’t stay there. If you stay there, it’s like quicksand, it will pull you under. I chose to fight through it and with a great deal of faith, love and support of family, friends and colleagues, great doctors and a strong intestinal fortitude, I am doing great. It’s all been an incredible learning experience.” Barbara also feels drawn to set an example for other women with cancer, pointing out that one-out-of-three women develop breast cancer. “It’s awful. Their lives and lives of their families greatly change and it’s a tough journey. I’m not diminishing it. It’s a very tough journey! Maintaining a positive attitude and refusing to be a victim, Barbara feels, are essential to how well she is meeting her current life challenge. “As long as I am able to think, walk and talk, I am never going to give up. You just have to stay positive no matter how bad things get. I have learned not to take life for granted. I have learned to appreciate every minute and every opportunity.”
The NuCalm Difference
In addition to her positive attitude and inner resilience, Barbara reports that NuCalm has made a significant positive difference in her ability to face her diagnosis.
“NuCalm has saved me,” she states. “When you are given a diagnosis of Stage 4 metastatic – triple positive breast cancer you get really anxious. You get anxiety attacks because you just don’t know what is going to happen to your life, your loved ones, your business, your home, your friends. In the beginning, I had a lot of fear and I thought I’d be letting everyone down. All sorts of thoughts go running through your mind. I know what fear is. Every woman that I have met at my support group is scared like hell, and righteously so, because your life changes and your family’s life changes with you”.
“NuCalm has helped me tremendously through my fears and anxiety attacks. After receiving the unexpected diagnosis, I was scared and didn’t know how I was going to cope. To overcome the anxiety attacks, I would take a prescribed anti-anxiety drug.” When Barbara’s good friend, Patrick Netter, who is known as the ‘Gear Guru’ because of his long career exploring innovative, helpful products told her about NuCalm and how it would help her through her cancer journey, Barbara’s initial reaction was, ‘it sounds too good to be true.’ Patrick loaned her his NuCalm for a couple of weeks to try.”
Once Barbara used NuCalm, she realized that Patrick was right. “The first time I used it I had a spiritual experience,” she reports. “I was listening to the audio tracks and suddenly I started dialing back to my childhood. Tears came to my eyes and I didn’t know why this was happening, but after a while, the experience became serenely peaceful. And then I wanted to experience more of it.”
Soon after, Barbara met Jim Poole, CEO of Solace Lifesciences, Inc, the company that created NuCalm. He provided her with her own NuCalm unit, and she has been using it regularly ever since, including through her chemotherapy treatments.
“NuCalm has been a real blessing in my life,” Barbara says, “even when I was administered my first chemo treatment, I was not accepting it well. You don’t know what to expect when you walk into the chemo lab for your first treatment. They are poking needles in you, while administering intravenous chemo drugs into your body, and you’re thinking, ‘Oh my God, how did I get here?'” During my first treatment, I became very sick and nauseous and they had to stop the intravenous transfusion. I asked the doctor if I could use my NuCalm that I brought with me and explained what it could do. Of course, everyone was curious about NuCalm and wondered what was going to happen. I used NuCalm for only 20 minutes and started to feel peaceful and anxiety-free. My anxiety meter went from a 10 to 0 in only 20 minutes. I was then able to successfully resume my treatment.”
The medical staff who witnessed the effect NuCalm had on Barbara during her first treatment wanted to know what it was. “I told them that NuCalm provides a fully immersive experience that helps erase stress and anxiety by using neuroscience relaxation technology. After her first experience using NuCalm during chemo, Barbara called Jim Poole to tell him how incredibly effective NuCalm has been for her. “I asked him what makes the product so incredible and he explained the years of science and technology that went into developing the product. “NuCalm definitely lives up to its name. It creates a new kind of calm. I don’t know what I would do without it. It has such a wonderful, soothing, relaxing, calming effect. It’s something you can’t really explain. You have to experience it.”
Barbara has also found that NuCalm helps her in her work. “When I have a major deadline to write a script, sometimes I am hit with writer’s-block and that’s a scary thing to happen. I can sit at the computer for a long time and nothing creative will come. So many things are going on in my mind and I can’t think…then I start to panic knowing there’s a deadline to meet. That’s when NuCalm plays an important role. It stimulates brain wave functions that help me to achieve a deep level of calm. This allows me to think clearly and come up with fresh and unique ideas and gets me back into the creative flow.”
NuCalm has become a good friend that I rely on to keep me calm and less anxious.
I could never say thank you enough for NuCalm and to Jim Poole. If you have ever seen a really good movie, you can’t wait to tell someone about it. NuCalm is like that for me. I can’t wait to share what this great product can do for someone else. NuCalm has greatly helped me on my road to recovery and gratefully, I am back to work.
Giving Back To 80 million People
Throughout her career, Barbara, has looked for ways and opportunities to make meaningful contributions to others. With that goal in mind, in 1995, she founded the Raval Media Group, a leading television and digital media production, post-production, design and marketing company, located in Studio City, California. As the company’s founder, Barbara oversees a talented team of creative producers, directors, writers, editors, artists and marketing consultants. Since its founding, the company has produced projects for numerous companies, including McDonald’s, Disney, CBS, HBO, ABC, Paramount, Universal, Sony, Showtime, 20th Century Fox, PBS, Cessna Aircraft Company, Southern California Gas Company for Sempra Utilities, Granatelli Motor Sports, and REMAX, among others.
Raval Media Group is also the publishing and production company for the 50 PLUS REPORT, a TV and online media company which Barbara also founded and serves as Executive Producer and Editorial Director of www.50PlusReport.com. As its name suggests, the 50 PLUS REPORT is targeted to the 80 million-strong, an underserved demographic of Americans who are 50 years of age and older. Now a member of this community herself, Barbara believes that this generation will reshape America’s marketplace for goods and services and create huge opportunities for companies that can meet their growing needs.
“People 50+ won’t simply grow old,” Barbara proclaims, “they will transform aging itself.” The new 13-week TV series, 50 PLUS REPORT is being produced for PBS and is in the planning stages of production. Each show captures the heart of America with an eclectic mix of human interest and lifestyle segments with a distinctive voice for the 50 Plus. It introduces viewers to highly successful innovators, inventors, scientists, artists and a wide range of movers and shakers who were 50 and older when they turned their ideas and innovations into global mega-companies and transformed the way we exist today. This type of program is timely. Every seven seconds in America an adult turns fifty. That’s 80 million consumers – the fastest growing, highest income demographic today. 50% of America is now 50+.
“That’s what motivates me. I want the 50 PLUS REPORT TV series and Online Magazine to be a voice for the 50+ community.”