Valerie Guste Johnson
President & Founder
In 2005, Valerie established KEYS as a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization to serve the needs of the homeless. As an active Allied Member in the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C., and member of the Service Committee for the H.A.W.D.C. Valerie serves an integral, civic role with over 90 members and other corporate leaders serving the hospitality industry to strengthen our communities. She is a member of Leadership Greater Washington, Class of 2013 and feature articles in National Geographic Traveler, Lodging, Inc. E-Headlights for Hotel Association of Washington, D.C., Good 360, Spring Hill College Alumni Magazine, and newsletters of the 65 non-profit organizations served by KEYS have advanced the efforts for this vital work. Since its inception over a decade ago, Valerie serves full-time in managing all operational and development functions of the organization. She is an honored recipient of the Michele Heidenberger Award by St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth and Families and has been recognized by Catholic Charities for her outstanding work in the Nation’s Capitol.
Valerie obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and continued graduate studies from Marymount University, (Washington, DC, School of Counseling) and Georgetown University (Enrichment Study, Theological & Liturgical Studies Program). She taught as an Instructional Assistant and substitute teacher in Fairfax County for nearly 10 years. Prior to her move to Washington in 1988, Valerie co-managed all aspects of operations of a family owned and operated restaurant in Mobile, Alabama for seven years, and enjoys gardening, walking, English smocking and cooking. She is married to Robert Paul Johnson of Bronxville, N.Y. and they are the proud parents of six children, ages 26-36. Her family of origin is New Orleans, La. where she frequently visits.