Valerie Grison, Founder & CEO, Give Us The Floor

Valerie Grison-Alsop is an experienced advertising and television executive with an entrepreneurial itch and deep expertise in engaging teenagers. After studying teen behavior, reflecting on her own struggles as a young adult and helping her daughters through those torturous years, Valerie had an epiphany: teens are uniquely able to help each other deal with distress and reduce stigma. She founded San Francisco-based nonprofit Give Us The Floor (GUTF) in 2015 to provide teens with the peer support they need to enter adulthood with self-confidence, comfort and optimism.

Today, GUTF creates peer support groups that use social media to provide constant contact in a teen-only, online community. Trained teens facilitate the confidential, supportive group chats and GUTF members help each other with common mental health and social issues such as depression, isolation, anxiety, body image, bullying and relationships. 

GUTF is based on the latest science related to teen well-being, but Valerie’s decision to embrace screen time was a true stroke of genius. The innovative format leverages teen devotion to social media to create a safe community online where teens can learn how to share and listen both to each other and to their own emerging voices and identities. GUTF members who actively participate in a supportive group chat report an increased sense of connection and belonging—more than 90 percent say their group chat has helped them after the first month.

Previously, Valerie founded and led StoraLab, a company specializing in online and mobile experiences for teens and tweens, including TBQE – The Best Question Ever. She also created and served as CEO and executive producer of Tipitina Films, a Paris-based joint venture with The Artists Company, an American production company. For more than 10 years, Valerie’s Tipitina Films team produced award-winning television commercials for advertisers, including L’Oréal, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Kraft Foods and Samsung. 

In between her successful entrepreneurial ventures, Valerie held leadership roles in finance and operations resulting in the successful acquisition of Others, a business-to-business advertising agency, by Gyro, a global communications firm headquartered in London. In 2017, she was named to the first FrenchWeb Talents list, which annually honors 100 French innovators and entrepreneurs. 

Valerie started her career as a freelance production and post-production assistant, then went to work in advertising and quickly became the youngest person to lead a television commercial production department in France. In the EURO-RSCG group, Valerie supervised all aspects of film production as well as on-site client relations. 

Valerie was born to an Algerian Muslim father and a white Catholic mother and grew up in a diverse neighborhood in the suburbs of Paris. She studied physics at the University of Paris Jussieu.

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