Valerie Mars: A Life in Candy and Philanthropy

Valerie Mars is an American billionaire heiress and businesswoman who is best known for her work with Mars, Inc., a global confectionery company founded by her grandfather, Frank C. Mars. She is currently the vice president of corporate development for the company and sits on its board of directors. Mars is also a prominent philanthropist, having donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education, conservation, and cancer research.

Early Life and Education

Valerie Mars was born on January 20, 1959, in Tacoma, Washington. She is the daughter of Forrest Mars, Jr., and Virginia Cretella Mars. She has three sisters, Pamela, Jackie, and Marijke. Mars attended the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, and later graduated from Yale University with a degree in economics. She then earned an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Career at Mars, Inc.

Mars joined Mars, Inc., in 1992 as a marketing manager. She quickly rose through the ranks and was named vice president of corporate development in 2001. In this role, she is responsible for identifying and evaluating new business opportunities for the company. Mars is also a member of the company’s board of directors.

Philanthropic Endeavors

Mars is a passionate philanthropist who has donated millions of dollars to a variety of causes. She is a supporter of education, conservation, and cancer research. In 2007, she founded the Mars Foundation, which has granted over $1 billion to nonprofit organizations around the world. Mars is also a trustee of the Vassar College Board of Trustees and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Personal Life

Mars is married to Philip Michael White, and they have two sons. She is a private person and rarely gives interviews or makes public appearances.

Awards and Recognition

Mars has been recognized for her business acumen and philanthropic contributions. She has been named to Forbes’ list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World and Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. She is also a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award and the Jefferson Award for Public Service.

Valerie Mars: A Legacy of Business and Philanthropy

Valerie Mars is a remarkable woman who has made significant contributions to the world of business and philanthropy. She is a role model for women and girls everywhere, and her legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.

Additional Facts

  • Valerie Mars is a fourth-generation member of the Mars family.
  • Her net worth is estimated to be $11.5 billion.
  • She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.
  • She is a recipient of the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement.

Valerie Mars is a remarkable woman who has made significant contributions to the world of business and philanthropy. She is a role model for women and girls everywhere, and her legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.