Inside Valente

Stories of our work and lives.

Valente Global Joins Washington Technology Industry Association

Taking care of our people, and giving them great benefits has always been extremely important for Valente Global. With great pleasure we would like to announce Valente joining The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA). As a member of Washington’s premier organization for the tech industry, Valente has made an investment in growing and building your community. WTIA is the ultimate connector for the tech industry, bringing together tech companies of all sizes and stages, colleges and universities, and Federal, State, and local government leaders. As a member, all Valente Global team members are now entitled to a myriad of benefits we have assembled for you. Including advocacy, and member discounts. The WTIA also puts on several events monthly. All Valente Global’s team members now have access to events. Many are free to attend. These events promote learning and community-building, with networking and exposure to other members. If you would like to take advantage of this new benefit available, complete this form to stay current on WTIA events and happenings. Any questions regarding the WTIA and membership, please reach out to Diane E....

What is transparency?

What exactly is “transparency?” If you date back to the days with the original Saturday Night Live cast (Steve Martin and Bill Murray), you might recall the skit “What the hell is that?” Seriously, though, this buzz word is showing up in headlines and conversations everywhere, along with the phrase “Join the conversation.” Okay, so let’s join the conversation about transparency for an authentic look at what this all means to us in our modern world. This is the Bing search definition: transparent [ tranˈspe(ə)rənt, -ˈspar- ] ADJECTIVE (of a material or article) allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen: “transparent blue water” synonyms: clear, crystal clear, see through, translucent, pellucid  To dig a little deeper with Google to define transparent: transparent transˈperənt/ adjective (of a material or article) allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen. “transparent blue water” easy to perceive or detect. “the residents will see through any transparent attempt to buy their votes” having thoughts, feelings, or motives that are easily perceived. “you’d be no good at poker—you’re too transparent” Well that was enlightening. Being transparent allows light to pass through, it is easily perceived, conspicuous and unconcealed. This is clearly a value, implying that humans are seeking easy, clear understandings from organizations and each other. Okay, I get that. What a great thing to see everywhere. The benefits are awesome. Transparency can help us define roles and make decisions based on honest and open information. So how does this apply to business life? For me, it means that I expect and I am...

Always a reason to celebrate

For many consulting companies working with a particular company that shall remain nameless in Redmond, Washington, the spring months are coupled with a bit more stress and fewer hours of sleep than the rest of the year. Questions lurk in the air until we nail down answers as quickly as possible: Will contracts be renewed? When will we know each client’s budget? Will there be a consolidation? What does our second half of the year look like? Just to name a few… There’s an old business adage that says to visit your clients when you don’t have to. This is akin to Valente’s motto—make sure to include something fun in your day, even when work (or life) gets tough. We add in the fun in meetings by sharing our current read, a client win or something we have recently learned. Occasionally we go offsite to learn something new together. Earlier in the year we went to Glassy Baby to blow glass, and just last week we went roller skating. Yes, roller skating. And the majority of us even dressed up from our favorite decade, the 80’s. Exhibit A: Our Client Director, Diane, went all out Madonna-style. There’s something about pushing comfort zones while also learning together that creates an unbeatable positive energy along with lasting memories. You can learn a lot about people as they conquer something new or get back to an old hobby. One of our recruiters, Vandana, zipped around the rink without an ounce of fear, a couple of us fell then got right back up, but we all gave it our best and laughed a...

20 Books We Love

A frequent topic of conversation at the Valente office is books–from our current read to how many are stacked on our nightstand. During one of our recent Corporate Team meetings we shared our personal book recommendations. The list covers fiction, business, history, self reflection and comedy. What book would you add to the list?   Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt History of Love by Nicole Krauss Daring Greatly by Brene Brown Yes Please by Amy Poehler Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath The Water Secret by Howard Murad Six Frigates by Ian W. Toll- Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg Angels in My Hair by Lorna Byrne The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd- Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer Marilyn Monroe: The Biography by Donald Spoto Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt...

Interview with Dennis Newell, Executive Director of the Valente Girls Foundation

The Executive Director of the Valente GIRLS Foundation, Dennis Newell, is a constant source of positivity and wisdom at the Valente Loft.  I had a chance to sit down with him to chat about his career background as well as those who have inspired and mentored him.  As you’ll read, we are fortunate to have such a giving and knowledgeable leader running the Valente GIRLS Foundation with the mission of inspiring young girls to dream big and achieve. Dennis, tell us about your career background.  My career began over 50 years ago. My Dad was a petroleum distributor and prior to leaving for college, I went to work with him on Saturdays.  When I graduated he said to me, “Dennis, you’re probably going to go into the petroleum world, maybe even take my business at some point in time.  The best advice I can give you is running a gas station.”  I said, “You’re kidding me, I’ve got a diploma, Dad.  You want me to get grease under fingernails, wash windows and do all the stuff that a service station operator does?”  “Yeah, and someday you’ll thank me,” he said.  And he was right.  I ran a gas station for a year and a half.  Every one of my employees was older than me and I got baptized by fire.  They were stealing from me and not showing up to work on time.  Needless to say, I learned quickly.  Then I went to work for him for about 8 months and quickly realized that I didn’t want to be under my Dad’s wing; I wanted to go out and...

International Women’s Day 2015

Happy International Women’s Day!  In its 107th year, IWD celebrates and recognizes the achievements of women worldwide in the movement toward equality.  In some countries it is a national holiday much like Mother’s Day in which gifts and flowers are given.  Backed with this year’s theme of “Make it Happen”, we invited current and former colleagues, friends and family to gather at the Valente office to share stories of women who have inspired us.  You know those days you will hold in your heart forever?  This was one of those days. We all stood in a circle and one-by-one shared stories of public figures and other “sheroes” we are so fortunate to call friends, mothers, grandmothers, “bonus moms” and best friends.  From the women (and our male Executive Director of the Valente Girls Foundation) standing in the circle, we heard stories that highlight the value of relationships.  We each grow and contribute to the web of empowerment every single day.  At the same time, our personal strength can be a light for the women around us in times of doubt or trepidation.    Yes, we are powerful. As each woman left the event, we asked that they sign a book with their name and the story they shared in the circle.  We will continue adding to this book every year.  Here are excerpts from the book: “From my grandmother, I learned the importance of caring for others, no matter who they are. “The working (‘exhausted’) mom!”  “My grandma was my inspiration…She was always interested in many activities when she was in her 80’s such as learning how to swim, how...

What I’ve learned in 6 short months

Written by Julie Flora, Employee Relations Manager Starting out with Valente six months ago was a leap into the unknown for me. After years of working in non-profits, I decided to enter into the consulting world and try something new. Before I found Valente, I expected a whole different culture from consulting: fast paced, cutthroat, insensitive and money-driven. I worried this could be the case, but believed that the right company could make all the difference. Valente stood out immediately. From the initial job description to all 4 interviews, I sensed a welcoming environment that was quite different from my preconceived notions. I observed an empathetic culture and progressive mindset all around. I wondered if this was normal. As time went on, I realized I had found a diamond in the rough. The culture at Valente is like nothing I have ever experienced before. In one word I would describe it as healthy. Each individual lives his or her life with a true work/life balance. People care about one another and teamwork happens naturally. Concepts such as enjoying life, living ethically, being inspired and growing constantly matter to everyone. In fact, those are core values at Valente! Lately I have started to reflect on what Valente has truly taught me over the past 6 months. I can’t ignore the invaluable life lessons that I have learned. So here are the most important ones to me: 1. Flexibility will take you far. My first day on the job corresponded with Microsoft announcing the 18/6 policy, which meant that after 18 months consultants cannot have access to internal Microsoft networks for...

Consultant Lifestyle: Shari Kjerland’s Kickstarter Success

The personal projects, talent, and lives of Valente Consultants are a constant source of inspiration.  We are honored to share some of their stories with you in the new Consultant Lifestyle series.  This week we share with you a story of Kickstarter success.  Shari Kjerland, a Valente Consultant, and her husband, Erik Kjerland, recently met and surpassed their goal of $30,000 to release their upcoming board game, Slaughterball.  In the interview, Shari gives insight to the game and tips for those wanting to do their own Kickstarter campaign.    Tell us about Slaughterball. What is it? Who is it geared towards? Slaughterball is a competitive board game simulating a ferocious future bloodsport where 2-4 teams of genetically-engineered super-athletes clash in a remorseless steel pit. You score points by making goals and injuring opponents. Whomever has the most points at the end of six rounds wins! The game is geared towards people who like board games with cool pieces, dice rolling, and strategy. How did the idea of Slaughterball come about? Let me first mention that my husband, Erik, is the mastermind behind Slaughterball. There was an old sports board game called Blood Bowl that he liked. It was based on a fantasy theme, with elves, dwarves, zombies, and so on. Erik wanted to play a more realistic science-fiction sports board game. Since he’s been an avid board gamer for years, and dabbled in hobby game design, he decided to create the game himself. Inspiration for the theme and style of Slaughterball include the computer games Speedball and Smash TV, and the movies Rollerball and The Running Man. The glitz, glory,...

Brand2Global Conference 2014

  On October 1-2 I attended the Brand2global Conference, which focuses on best practices in global branding, global marketing campaigns, and global digital media. New in 2013 and now in its second year, Brand2Global this year took place in London and attracted speakers from Coca Cola, Microsoft, Zipcar, Google, Lenovo, Volvo, Danone, Lego, Nike, KLM, and several others. What’s interesting about Brand2global is that it’s the only and first marketing event which is a user guide on doing digital marketing in a global, yet local, economy .  Global branding and digital marketing are at the core of Valente and are constantly evolving.  In order to keep up with media and technological advances, it is important that we continue learning and educating ourselves on the latest industry practices from marketing experts, so we can apply these in the work that we do for our clients. In our experience, more and more companies are deciding to broaden their scope to reach an  international audience, whether they are adding new markets to existing ones or taking the first step and determining which regions to target.  They prepare an expansion strategy and believe they are ready to go global, but they’re not. This is because a global mindset is not the only requirement for companies interested in expanding  beyond their local borders. A main requirement of a global mindset is a local perspective, and that is not contradictory. In fact, the concept of globalization came in the 1980’s and explained that standardization was the way to go for companies looking for international audiences. And then for a while with their centralized model most companies started...