Trendsetter to Know: Jim Valenzuela, Founder & CEO of V’s Barbershop

Name: Jim Valenzuela

X, formerly Twitter: @jimvalenzuela

Facebook: Jim Valenzuela V’s Barbershop

Instagram: @the_real_jimmy_v


Age: 62.

Title: Founder/CEO.

Married/Single: Married to Deborah Vernasco, MD., a trauma anesthesiologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital.


Diego Valenzuela III, MD. Brophy, University of Notre Dame, Rush Medical College. Currently a 2nd year resident in internal medicine at Rush Medical Center in Chicago.

Christina Valenzuela. Xavier College Prep, Indiana University (Kelley School of Business) BS, Arizona State University, BA, University of Washington, MFA. Currently an artist living in La Jolla, CA.

Bella Valenzuela. Xavier College Prep, Northern Arizona University. Currently working for V’s as a Product Specialist.

Helena Valenzuela. St. Mary’s High School, University of Colorado. Currently a 2nd year graduate student at Northern Arizona University pursuing a PsyD in Clinical Psychology.

City you live in: Phoenix. We live in North Central Phoenix close to the Murphy Bridle Path.

A typical day in my life includes… Rowing a 10k workout on an ERG, work, and a glass of wine at night.

I was born… in Tucson and was fortunate to be raised as a rodeo cowboy. Rodeo and the cowboy way are still a huge part of my life.

My favorite thing about Arizona… as a native, I am always moved by the diversity of Arizona. From the deserts to the mountains, we live in an incredibly beautiful state.

I’m listening to… Our daughter Bella is getting married in Lisbon in November so I am currently listening to Father of the Bride songs. Normally, I listen to a wide range of music from George Clinton, to Merle Haggard, to the Stones, my music taste is eclectic.

My family… is everything to me. I was very social when I was younger, but the kids changed all that. They were diligent students and competitive swimmers, so my days were packed being their dad. My wife was stuck in an operating room, so a lot of the time I was both mom and dad. It was difficult due to starting V’s when they were young, but V’s turned out to be successful and so did the kids. I would not change a thing.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be… My dad who died in 2003. He was and still is the biggest influence in my life. He was tough on me, and I was resentful when I was young. As I matured, I came to realize just how right he was about almost everything. Simply put, I would not have been successful in business, or in life, without his influence.

One thing I cannot live without… my glasses. Blind as a bat without them.

When I was younger, I wanted to be… World’s Champion Calf Roper. Spent a lot of time when I was a kid living the cowboy dream. I miss it.

I’m inspired by… my wife. She is beautiful and brilliant. She continues to work 80-100 hours/week as a trauma anesthesiologist. Do not get me wrong, the money is good, but secondary to her as she considers work a calling. Incredible mom and still has a bit of sorority girl in her from her days as a Pi Phi at Indiana University. I have done thousands of deals in my life, but the best one I ever did was marry Debbie.

The person/people who motivate(s) me is/are… The people who work out the same time as me at the gym. Young or old, it is hard to show up and workout every day. I give them a lot of credit for the effort and when I look over and see some 80-year-old guy working hard, I figure that I have it in me to do the same.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be… the incredible anxiety and depression that has invaded the lives of young people. It is ubiquitous and harmful. I remember being anxious when I was young when I showed my parents my report card or came home late, but now it is crippling the young all day, every day.

The perfect day would be… Walking the streets of Florence, Italy with my family and their boyfriends and girlfriends. Midday wine, watching people and viewing renaissance art is not overrated.

My first job was… Working for Ernie Garcia in Tucson. Ernie is now the richest man in the state of Arizona, and I was horrible at my job of selling real estate limited partnerships. If I had to do it now, I would do very well. Especially working for Ernie – he is a financial genius.

My favorite escape… Walking the dogs early in the morning. Love watching the AZ sun come up and having an hour to breathe, think and talk to the dogs is cathartic for me.

My life… is like a movie that even Hollywood cannot imagine. Rodeo cowboy, college roommates with Dan Hicks of NBC Sports, marrying a beautiful doctor, starting a business from scratch with no experience in the field that grows across the country, raising smart and ambitious children, I have been blessed.

I’m currently working on… planning a wedding for my daughter in Lisbon, Portugal.

Always… Read, groom, exercise.

Never… Live beyond your means.

Favorite Quote… Fashion fades, Style endures.

Biggest Dream… Holding healthy grandchildren.

My Pet Peeve(s)… People who use the word “like” too often in their conversations.

Bio-on yourself/company:
Founder & CEO of V’s Barbershop, an authentic, upscale chain of barbershops located in18 states across the USA.  Starting in 1999, V’s reimagined the barbershop and led the worldwide renaissance of barbershops. 

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