MMA would like to welcome Valerie Darling as our new Business Representative. Valerie began working at MMA on June 2, 2021, and will be sharing duties with Jim Haney, Melissa Scheid, and Tony Brown.
Valerie is joining the MMA team with more than 17 years of labor and employment law experience in both the public and private sectors, including many years of labor relations experience at the State of Minnesota. Most recently, Valerie worked for the City of Minneapolis as an Assistant City Attorney and Director of Labor Relations. She previously worked for several years at the State of Minnesota as a Labor Relations Consultant 4 at MMB where she negotiated labor agreements (including the 2017-2019 MMA contract), advocated at grievance arbitrations, advised state agencies on contract interpretation, and conducted training, including supervisory core training.
Additionally, Valerie practiced labor and employment law in the General Counsel’s office at the Department of Human Services. She also practiced employment and immigration law at the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels (now Faegre Drinker) for more than 7 years.
Valerie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and French from the University of Minnesota and also earned her Juris Doctorate (JD) from the University of Minnesota Law School. While in law school, Valerie was a research assistant for Professor and Labor Arbitrator, Stephen Befort. This is where she first became interested in labor law. Valerie also worked for the Department of Human Services prior to attending law school and her parents were both long time State employees.
Valerie loves traveling, especially international travel. In the past few years before the pandemic, she visited Vietnam, Nepal, India, Bali, Thailand, and Morocco. She studied abroad in the south of France in undergrad and went lived and worked in Paris for a year before deciding to go to law school. She loves French language and culture. She also loves hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of Minnesota. Valerie is a proud U of M alum and an avid Gopher Football fan. Ski-U-Mah and Go Gophers!