Hi Bruce, you were given an award at our Sales and Operations kickoff in 2017. Remind us about that award and were you surprised?
Yes! I was genuinely surprised to receive the National Sales Team Service Award! When Theresa was describing the award about half way through her speech, I realized she was talking about me and became overwhelmed with excitement, gratitude, and all the butterflies of emotion to walk on stage! It was truly an honor, as I understand it the National Sales Team decided not to create an award for their own team, instead choosing to recognize someone with the same values which is “Service to others, accountable to all.” Derek Matson, the VP of that team, says anyone can be a leader, and I’m grateful to be part of the team and Valet Living!
Congratulations Bruce! Servant leadership, service to others - that is a tremendous recognition. Tell us about your work before Valet Living. Inquiring minds want to know.
For a few years before starting with Valet Living, I worked several short term projects, the most recent being preparing the operations budget for an orange grove and juice trucking company in central Florida. Before that I worked six years for Bridgestone retail operations, having several roles as a Financial Analyst, Internal Auditor, including some time at a Tires Plus store changing oil and selling tires!
That is some diverse experience, Bruce. I am curious where did you grow up and what was it like growing up there?
I was born and raised in Longmont, Colorado. It was a small town back then. We would spend holidays on my cousin’s farm, Friday nights were for "cruising main street," and for a while, if you wanted to go to a mall or any decent store we drove to the neighboring city Boulder. I have a lot of good memories growing up in Colorado; many days were spent outdoors camping or snowboarding. But most importantly, if you didn't already know, I'm all about the Denver Broncos. Game days were with my Mom (who might even be a bigger fan than me), yelling and cheering at the TV!
So Alex Pasekova has been given (or given herself) the corporate title of Vice President, Fun. If that is the case, I'd like to give you the title of Vice President, Great Ideas, because every time we chat you have some cool idea on how we can be better tomorrow. What is the best idea that you have that we have not implemented to date?
Wow! What a great title! Well, I know that I am not the only one with great ideas, so my best idea is to have an online site or forum where everyone can share their ideas and engage in the discussion. My second best idea is an espresso machine, and sushi bar at corporate, productivity will be at all-time high. I’ll start the cost benefit analysis right away!
So as you have probably heard, we are starting a Wellness program which we have been calling #LivingWell. We are in the process of getting a Wellness Committee together. I think you and I have something in common. On some lunch breaks, I like to find a nice bench and sit and read for a few minutes or just take a breather. How do you balance life and work?
That’s a great question! For me, I always have some “me time” to do what I want to do; it often involves a good comedy and a good laugh! I also make it a priority each day to disconnect from my phone and emails, and to be mindful of the present moment. It’s easy to get caught up in all the emails and get my head spinning about what needs to get done at all hours of the day. When I finish my work and spending time with friends, family, or having some me time, I let go of the work thoughts to be present at the moment and just enjoy!
Bruce, how do you describe the work that you do (a day in the life)? Also, how do plan to “set the standard” in your role?
What I do varies day by day! I could be working with other members of the finance team, on various reporting for the board and executive team. I could be working with the sales team on sales reporting and market analysis or working with operations on KPI’s. I could also be working with the Sales and Operations teams, providing data and helping out where I can. I’ll set the standard by remembering the simple phrase, “to be better tomorrow than we are today,” keeping a positive attitude and a service to others mindset. And on the lighter side of things, I’ll start and end each day with a smile.