Founder’s Story

Valeri Bocagi

Valeri Bocage started Powerful Women International in 2006 after moving to San Francisco, a move that was prompted by the loss of everything during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Valeri lost everything except her indomitable spirit to help others. Initially, Powerful Women International was formed to help women live their dreams and to begin to support each other worldwide to fulfill their utmost dreams and expand themselves as leaders worldwide.

Inspired by the vision, Pam Terry joined PWI in 2007. The two women began to work together to expand the mission and vision of PWI into several cities around the world with a team of compassionate experts.

In 2012, Valeri recalled her childhood dream of changing the world by positively impacting others’ lives in such a way that it would improve their lives and the lives of the children in their community, creating promising futures for themselves and the children within their communities. As a child, Valeri was surprised to learn that many children did not have simple things in life like coats and school supplies. She would often give away her own things to children in need. Valeri would spend long periods of time as a child wondering how she could help children because she felt that NO child should have to do without anything they needed. As she grew older, she saw that adults didn't have what they needed as well. She also saw that when adults went through a crisis, they could not always get back what they had. She wanted to make a difference so all people could live extraordinary lives.

Valeri believes that the key to making an impact in the world is to motivate and inspire people to focus on their innate gifts and talents. Then, use those gifts and talents to impact communities in which they have a great passion. With these principles and beliefs in mind, the process of rebranding PWI was born. Valeri believes that everyone has an innate path and purpose; however, due to how we are raised, our circumstances along the way, and the need to make a living, we don’t always fulfill our God-given path and purpose.

Most of us only yearn to do so. Yet, we all have the capacity to impact and inspire, and, deep down, we all have a desire to do something bigger than ourselves.

“We often get stuck in our circumstances and never get to do the things we really want to do which is to build a legacy and leave a powerful legacy for our families, communities, and the world. If we focus on our innate gifts and talents that come natural to us and look at how we can make a difference with those gifts for others, we would be both fulfilled and make a positive impact on society.” ~ Valeri Bocage

Valeri spoke to Pam and the team about her vision and they began the journey to change the focus and created a new company, Powerful Women International Connections, to collaborate with humanitarian women leaders.

PWI Connections connects, inspires, and encourages women leaders to make a positive impact on a community where their passion lies. These areas include stopping human trafficking and domestic violence, putting clean water in developing countries, empowering and educating women and children, the homeless and veterans, building schools and communities, and more.

Valeri was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her mom stayed at home and later found her gifts as an entrepreneur owning a restaurant, gift shop, and as a cosmetologist. Her dad, Eddie Bo Bocage, was a well-known musician in New Orleans, Europe, Spain, and Scotland.

Valeri has always owned businesses that would make a difference for others. She has received many awards for her work in communities. She has inspired hundreds of people to go far beyond what they felt they could achieve.

Valeri has spoken at Google, been a speaker at Dr. Oz' first event on women’s health, been written about in newspapers, magazines, and appeared on radio and TV.