Valerie Daniels-Carter, the president and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based V&J Holding Companies Inc., began her career at First Wisconsin National Bank as a retail and commercial lender. Later she was an auditor in the financial underwriting division for MGIC Investment Corp.
She wanted to start her own business and in 1982, Daniels-Carter and her brother John Daniels (an attorney who today is chair emeritus of Quarles & Brady) launched V&J Foods with a single Burger King restaurant, which they built at 5812 W. Lisbon Ave. in Milwaukee. The company still owns the restaurant.
John Daniels, the chairman for V&J, invested in the company and has served as an advisor for Valerie Daniels-Carter, who leads the day-to-day operations of V&J as its CEO.
Within 16 years, Daniels-Carter grew the company into a 137-unit, multi-brand operation. Today the company has 131 restaurant units including real estate holdings and operation agreements.
The success Daniels-Carter had in growing her business led to more opportunities as other brands approached her about adding franchises. In addition to Burger King, V&J brands now include Pizza Hut, Auntie Anne’s, Coffee Beanery, Nino’s Southern Sides, MyYoMy Frozen Yogurt and Captain D’s Seafood.
Daniels-Carter is also a part owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and board member of the Green Bay Packers.