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Valerie Vainieri Huttle (September 15, 1956) is a Democrat who serves in the New Jersey General Assembly where she represents the 37th Legislative District, having taken office on January 10, 2006. Huttle served on the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 2001 through 2007.
In the Assembly, Huttle serves on the Appropriations Committee (as Vice-Chair), the Consumer Affairs Committee and the Environment and Solid Waste Committee.
In January 2001, Huttle was first sworn into office as a Bergen County Freeholder. Two years later on January 2, 2003, the Freeholder was unanimously chosen by her peers to serve the Board as the first ever Chairwoman under its present County Executive form of government. Her colleagues returned her to the Chairperson’s seat once again in 2004.
As Freeholder, Huttle sat on the Community Oversight Board at Bergen Regional Medical Center during her first two years of service, providing oversight of the privately managed county hospital. She has also served on the county Board of Social Services and is a member of the Community Action Partnership Board of Trustees for the last four years where she worked for development of a one-stop homeless shelter to better address the needs of that growing population. She was a member of the Board of School Estimate at the Bergen County Technical Schools, a former member of the Board of School Estimate at Bergen Community College and chaired the Freeholder committee for Health and Human Services.
Huttle is a former member of the Board of Palisades General Hospital and founder of the Southern Bergen County Homeowners Association. She is also a co-founder of “WIN”, Women Involved Now, an educational and social network for women in the community. Huttle sits on the Board of Trustees as Vice-President of Shelter Our Sisters, an organization that brings awareness to the plight of victims of domestic violence while providing hope and revitalization to their lives through counseling and direct care. She has served as a former Trustee of Vantage Health.
Huttle is a resident of Englewood, where she lives with her husband Frank and two daughters, Alexandra and Francesca. She runs a family owned and operated business in North Bergen, New Jersey, the Vainieri Funeral Home, which she has served as President and Director since 1981. Frank Huttle took office as Mayor of Englewood in January 2010, succeeding Michael Wildes.
Huttle and her husband were inducted into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in ceremonies held in September 2000 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, having been recommended for the honor by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick for the honor. Archbishop Edward Egan designated Mrs. Huttle a Dame and Mr. Huttle a Knight of the order.
Valerie Vainieri graduated cum laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a B.A. in English, and received state certification for teaching. She also attended Rider University, but did not receive a degree.
After the resignation of District 37 State Senator Byron Baer on September 8, 2005, Huttle had put her name in the ring to fill the Senate vacancy. Ultimately, she withdrew and endorsed Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck to fill the seat. On October 5, after an extended legal battle related to inclusion of five disputed ballots, Weinberg was ultimately victorious over Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa in her bid to replace Baer, both on an interim basis and on the November General Election ballot.
With Weinberg's court victory, Huttle and Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes both announced their candidacy for Weinberg's Assembly slot on the November General Election ballot and to fill the balance of her term in the Assembly once she took her seat in the Senate. The choice was decided by yet another special convention of the Bergen County Democratic Committee on October 6, 2005, with Huttle outpolling Wildes 121-96. Running together with Weinberg and Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson, Huttle was elected on Election Day, November 8, 2005, to the Assembly.
Each of the forty districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 37th District for the 2010-2011 Legislative Session are: