BiographyValerie (Paidar) Almquist was born in 1970. She graduated from Luther College in 1992 with a BA in art. In 1995, she completed her MA at the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) with an emphasis in graphic design. From 1995-2000, she was a graphic designer with Parsons Technology/Mattel Interactive in Hiawatha, IA, and from 2001-2004, she was senior designer with Stamats Communications in Cedar Rapids, IA. Since that time, she has worked from her home in Shellsburg, IA.
Almquist has earned a number of awards for her design work, including an Addy Award from the Advertising Federation of Cedar Rapids for a 4-color poster; an Admissions Advertising Award (Silver) in the Outdoor Transit/Billboard category; an Addy Certificate of Excellence (billboard campaign) for her work with Our Lady of Holy Cross College, New Orleans, LA; and an Admissions Advertising Award (Merit) for a search brochure she developed for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.