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uAspire Announces New CAO, Valeria Wells

November 28, 2023
By uAspire

uAspire Announces New CAO, Valeria Wells

uAspire is excited to announce the appointment of Valeria Wells as the new Chief Advancement Officer. Valeria comes to uAspire from Horizons National, where she held the positions of Senior Vice President of Development and Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications. 

As the Chief Advancement Officer, Valeria will oversee all philanthropic, earned revenue, marketing, and communication efforts to advance uAspire's mission to improve the economic mobility of underrepresented students by creating financial solutions for diverse postsecondary pathways. 

“As a first-generation college graduate struggling to finance my education, the uAspire mission hits close to home. Working closely with uAspire's leaders and community matters because it expands financial aid and educational opportunities for students to achieve and realize sustainable life," said Valeria, energized about this new role.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Valeria, a seasoned, creative leader with achievements at a national level, joining our team," said Jaclyn PiƱero, CEO of uAspire. "Throughout a rigorous national search process, Valeria's authenticity, strategic insight, and deep commitment to expanding financial aid and educational opportunity for the students and families we serve shined brightly. Valeria will be a tremendous asset to uAspire as we continue to grow our local, regional, and national work." 

Valeria has over 24 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, working in various sectors such as educational equity, early childhood and postsecondary education, workforce development, and criminal justice reform. Her extensive background in marketing communications, fundraising, board governance, and event production has raised over $200 million for nonprofit organizations.

Valeria holds a bachelor's degree in marketing and finance from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. She resides in Stamford, Connecticut, and volunteers her time focusing on environmental and climate sustainability.