Play Big: Valary Oleinik has mastered the art of gamification and wants to teach you how to do it, too!

By Valary Oleinik

Little did I know when I was growing up, that my name carried within it my secret identity. I discovered that it wasn’t just Valary with a Y at the end, it was Valary with a Why and what I was great at was inspiring curiosity. That curiosity has led me to exploring the emerging trends in learning rather than sticking with the more-boring and less-effective traditional approaches.

For more than two decades, I have been working in L&D as a designer, facilitator, and project manager. I am now a sought-after speaker at learning events with a focus on gamification and creativity.

The truth is: I am one part artist and one part geek. Originally from New Orleans but I have lived half my life in the New York, and now New Jersey, area. I transitioned from a career in the performing arts to one in the learning sphere.

I have worked as a classroom instructor, online facilitator, instructional designer, presentations design and delivery coach, and project manager. I can often be spotted taking pictures of things many people don’t bother to stop and look at, like flowers and details on buildings.

I can be found throughout the cyberworlds blogging and tweeting on gamification, e-learning, creativity, communication in the digital age, and more.

Video and Podcasts

  • Valary chatted with Monica Cornetti on Gamification Talk Radio. Hear a little about the project that inspired 4 Cs to an A+ Learning Experience that I presented at GamiCon.
  • Giggles and ideas were shared between host Rob Alvarez and I during this episode of Professor Game where we talked about wins, failures, favorite games and resources, and more.
  • She did a special challenge to share dozens of gameful ideas in what became the 40 Gameful Days of Summer.

Speaking Engagements

  • The Catalyst (Online) – What Is Your GAME Plan for Gamification?
  • Learning with Belvista Studios (Online) – Gamification and Learning
  • Training 2020 (Orlando) – Start with the GAME Plan and End with Results
  • WELLFITANDFED (Online) – How to use gamification to get to your wellness goals
  • PLTG 2020 (New York) – MacGyver Your Training and Create Raving Fans
  • AECT 2019 (Las Vegas)
  • TechLearn 2019 (New Orleans)
  • GamiCon 2019 (New Orleans)
  • Serious Play 2019 (Montreal and Orlando)
  • TLDCasts 2019 (Online)
  • USDLA National Conference 2019 (Nashville)

What are people saying?

🗨 “Valarywithawhy is the person to learn from if you are ready to have your students, learners, followers, clients enjoying your products or services and pronouncing to world how great you are to others…. I wholeheartedly recommend her!” ~ Rachel Romaine

🗨 “You have a quirky unique personal style that is fresh, intoxicating and encourages people to Stop, Look and Listen because you definitely have something to say!” ~ Cathleen Nardi

✨ Up Next: 2020 is shaping up to be a busy one. I’ll be presenting at Training 2020, Learning Solutions, Serious Play, and others.

Stay tuned for our interview with Valary in an upcoming issue of Inkandescent Women magazine. 

Until then, learn more about this Truly Amazing Woman at

Financier of the Month

Play Big: Valary Oleinik has mastered the art of gamification and wants to teach you how to do it, too!