Employee Spotlight: Rich Valladao
For the month of July, we have a very special feature for one of our employees who retired last month. Rich Valladao worked with MOUNTAIN for over 5 years and provided us with his expertise in business development expanding our footprint on the west coast, working out of California. We wish him the very best in his retirement and thank him for all of his hard work. Rich, you will always be a MOUNTAINeer!
How long have you been working at MOUNTAIN, LTD.
Five years last April
What position/s do/have you had at MOUNTAIN?
Business Development Manager supporting mostly the West Coast
What is your favorite thing about working for MOUNTAIN?
It’s a large company with a small company feel if that makes sense. That and the people that work there.
What is one of your greatest professional highlights?
Most rewarding was helping design a fiber-to-school project in Covelo, California, a very rural community in Northern California. We brought high speed broadband to lower income high school students. I think it’s easy to forget that not everyone has access to the technology that we use daily.
What are some opportunities that have come your way as a result of working at MOUNTAIN?
In the past year, I was dedicated to helping our wireless teams with process and new business development. Most of my background has been in wireline so I had to get up to speed quickly on our site acquisition and A&E capabilities. I enjoy learning new things.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m retired! We just returned from a family vacation in Denmark where my wife, Susan, is from. I’ve started lots of projects around the house. We watch our 14-month-old granddaughter while my daughter, Allie, teaches summer school. Add swimming and walking to the list.
What did you do yesterday?
Met with a commercial real estate broker and brainstormed a leasing strategy for property that we own near Palo Alto.
What is something you’ve learned at MOUNTAIN that you never thought you would?
I didn’t expect to learn about the wireless business. The company’s acquisitions of Juvo and NTP created that opportunity.
Tell us a story about a MOUNTAIN experience.
There are lots of stories. Still fresh on my mind is working with the wireless team to help us get into the Texas markets. It was almost a textbook case of business development from introductions to strategy meetings, finalizing pricing and holding on site kickoff meetings. It was a complete team effort where we earned the clients trust all along the way. Most important we were able to deliver on our promise with sound execution.
What do you like doing outside of work?
Camping and hiking. I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where there is always something to explore whether its in the mountains or near the ocean. And there’s always a few golf trips planned.
What are you passionate about?
What is your favorite movie?
“My Nephew Emmett” (the Emmett Till story). It’s a short movie filmed on location in Mississippi by my daughter Laura. A group of friends joined us at the local theater when it was shown. Needless to say we gave the film a standing ovation during the credits.