Valerie Smock has been a TV broadcaster for AccuWeather.com since November 2010.
Before joining AccuWeather, Valerie spent time at many places across the U.S. The most recent location was NBC24 in Toledo. There she was a reporter and the weekend weather forecaster. Before her time in the Glass City, she was in Youngstown, Ohio, at WKBN/WYTV/WYFX/MyYTV as the morning live reporter and fill-in weather-forecaster, anchor and producer. Valerie also spent two years in Big Sky Country at KFBB and KRTV in Great Falls, Mont., as a weather forecaster, reporter, anchor and producer.
She earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Kent State University. While there, Valerie was part of the university's television station, TV-2 News, and NewsOhio, a civic journalism show for WVIZ-PBS. She is currently attending Mississippi State University and will obtain her certificate of Meteorology in 2011.
Growing up in the snowbelt capital of Ohio, Valerie has grown accustomed to the cold and blustery winters as well as lake-effect snow. Getting the chance to live in Montana also gave her the opportunity to enjoy Chinook winds, which allowed her to golf and ski in the same day. With all the experiences of different kinds of weather, a career in the weather business seemed to be a perfect fit.
When not at work, you can find Valerie in camouflage. She is a Public Affairs Specialist in the Air Force Reserves. Before her time in the Air Force, she was in the Ohio Army National Guard as Military Police. Being in the service has taken Valerie to Haiti to help with hurricane efforts as well as Kuwait and Germany in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Valerie has traveled to West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee through the Appalachia Service Project. There she helped rebuild homes for those in need. During her free time, if there is any, Valerie enjoys exercising, traveling and writing poetry. She is a published poet and a member of the International Society of Poets.
You may find Valerie out walking the streets as she trains for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. It's a 60-mile walk to fight against breast cancer and 2011 will be her third year walking in the 3-Day.
- First CD/DVD you ever bought?
- I really can't remember, but it may have been Ace of Base or something silly like that.
- What made you choose weather/meteorology/broadcasting as a career?
- I was always interested in weather growing up. Whenever I turned on the news, I only wanted to watch weather and sports. I also was interested in the TV business, but I knew Hollywood wasn't calling anytime soon. So I decided to head in the news broadcasting direction. I decided to intern in the weather department while at WKYC in Cleveland. Luckily enough, my first job at a TV station saw I worked with weather and gave me a job as the weekend weather anchor. I fell in love with it and decided to go back to school for weather and the rest is history.
- Weirdest job you've ever held?
- I don't think I've ever had a weird job. Most of them made sense, but there was one that was "different." I worked at a golf course and had to sit outside with the golf carts. Whenever someone brought out a ticket showing they paid for a cart, I pulled it around and gave them the key. When they came back, you guessed it, I got to clean the cart.
- Favorite sports team? Music? Movie genre?
- Sports: Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns
- Music: I listen to anything I can understand the words to, but I'd say mainly country.
- Movie genre: Comedy and horror.
- Any weird talents?
- Not sure I have any real weird talents, but my elbows are double-jointed and I can crack about every bone in my body. People say it sounds like I'm breaking my ankles when I crack them. I also twirled baton growing up and I've twirled fire knives. It was pretty cool.
- Right or left handed?
- Last movie you watched/book you read?
- Last movie: "A-Team"
- Last book: "Roses Are Red" by James Patterson
- Favorite day of the year?
- Christmas Day
- Celebrity you (or other people) think you resemble? Who would play you in a movie?
- Elizabeth Banks and the sister in "White Christmas" (Vera-Ellen, I think)
- Song you hate the most?
- I don't really hate any songs, but if I can't understand the words to it, I'm not a fan.
- Any superstitions you believe/practice?
- I do believe in ghosts and spirits. My grandpa died in our house, and I think he still comes back to visit. I truly believe he is my guardian angel.
- Favorite/most addictive form of social media?
- If you could go back or forward in time, where would you go?
- I would go back in time. I would love to spend time as a Southern belle in the 1800s.
- Favorite Kevin Bacon movie?
- "Hollow Man"
- Coffee or Tea?
- Coffee (either Caramel Brulee Latte, Caramel Frappuccino or Iced Coffee with Caramel Swirl)
- Do you "label" yourself any certain stereotype?
- When I grew up, I was an outsider. Now, I'm a bit of a people-pleaser. I hate when people are mad at me!
- What's a word you say a lot?
- "Fail" or "Grrr"
- Favorite age you have been so far?
- That's a tough one. I'd have to say 29. I was able to spend time in Mexico with my sister and I traveled to Honduras, Haiti, St. Croix and the Dominican Republic with the Air Force to help during the Haiti earthquake. It was also the age when I got the job with AccuWeather.
- Your current desktop picture?
- A photo I took of the mountains at Glacier National Park in Montana. It was when I lived out in Big Sky Country. It's a truly beautiful place.
- Most influential person in your life?
- My grandfather because he served in the military and he had also always wanted to go into broadcasting. I feel as though I've followed in his footsteps. I'd also have to say my mother. She has rheumatoid arthritis and deals with pain every day. You would never be able to tell because she is a strong fighter. She also puts everybody in front of her, every time.
- Favorite Season?
- Autumn is my favorite season because I love the color of the leaves and being able to go outside in a light jacket for a beautiful walk in the park.
- What is your earliest memory?
- My long-term memory is pretty good, so there are a few. One I can remember in particular is my sister pushing me around the house in a toy baby carriage. She thought I was a doll.
- PC or MAC?
- What kind of tree or animal would you be?
- Tree: I'll say a maple tree because I love maple syrup and it reminds me of home. We are known for maple syrup, and my brother-in-law has a sugarhouse.
- Animal: Chimpanzees cause they are so cute or a golden retriever because they are very smart and very cute!
- If you were a car - What kind would you be?
- I'd be a Mazda, because they are sporty looking, but reliable.
- If you could be any fictional character - who would you be?
- Winnie the Pooh or Scooby Doo (I loved both of them growing up)
- What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
- Leftovers from Christmas dinner and cheese (I love cheese!)
- One meal for the rest of your life - what would it be?
- Steak or Pizza with extra cheese
- Hobbies / Special Interests / If Golf, what's your Handicap?
- I twirled baton for 13 years but haven't done so in a while. I also enjoy sports (baseball, football and volleyball). I golf and shoot about 52-54 for 9 holes. I love to ski, especially since I learned how to on the mountains in Montana. I love to travel. I also write poetry and have two of them published.
- Favorite place to vacation?
- Mexico (Riviera Maya)