Departing After 15 Years
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
As you may have heard, after 15 years at Valley Vision, I am handing the reins over to the next CEO. My last day will be January 31st. It’s been a true privilege to have led this organization for so many years, and to see it evolve and grow to prominence, like this region.
I believe any leader long in their position looks for signs of a “good exit.” Valley Vision today has an A-list board of directors, a top-flight staff team of 16, a strong and growing client base, money in reserves, and a long list of results – air that is getting cleaner, students who are better fed and taught, communities that are getting healthier, more mobile and connected, and people better prepared for jobs of the future. This work is never done, but it’s comforting to know Valley Vision is stronger and more resilient today than the organization I inherited as “employee number four.” I know Valley Vision’s next leader will do the same.
The work of Valley Vision is the work of inclusion and collaboration. It is about overcoming perceived and real differences between us. It is about imaginative problem solving that puts our people and our communities first. It is about bringing everyone together. This is not the stuff that lends itself to glittering news announcements. Far from it. It is instead mostly quiet, persistent, and very patient efforts carried out over many years by many people. Yet it is, without a doubt, the vital “connective tissue” that pulls us all together that makes all the rest possible.
I have the highest hopes for Valley Vision’s next leader. This organization and our region have come so far, and have so much promise ahead. As for me, I will return to the private sector February 1st as a consultant, supporting and advising business and government clients here in Sacramento and throughout California. It’s time for change. Time to build the new. My sincerest thanks to each of you for your advice, your support, and your friendship over the years. It has been a life-changing journey.
Bill Mueller is Valley Vision’s Chief Executive.