Roger’s life-changing event

Our CEO, Roger, suffered an alarmingly serious injury while riding a mechanical bull in one of his World Presidents’ Association events. His injury was extremely scary, his need for urgent and emergency surgery was unexpected, his recovery was slow and painful.

In an eye-opening memo and in his annual Christmas thank you to each employee, he again revealed to all of his constant focus on the important things in life.

It was evident he cherished the loving care he received from his wife. It was evident he felt blessed by the compassion from his staff. It was evident he looked at each day as if tomorrow was not guaranteed. It was evident he intends to make each day on this planet count.

I appreciate his reminder to live life with purpose.

Let’s not waste any more time.

Mechanical bull gives VSP chief a good ride – to the ER

by Bob Shallit — Bee Columnist

Published 2:15 am PST Saturday, November 20, 2004 sacbee.com

Roger Valine, the amiable boss at Vision Service Plan, has a new outlook on life – thanks to a bizarre and scary accident he had last month.

Valine was in Monterey, attending a gathering of the World Presidents Association. As part of a team-building exercise, members were broken into groups and sent around town on a sort of task-oriented scavenger hunt. Valine’s team ended up at an arcade near the aquarium, where they could pick up 100 points if someone rode the mechanical bull.

“I was raised on a farm,” said Valine, 55. “I rode horses, been bucked off a few times. Without hesitation, I said, ‘I can do this.’ ”

And he did fine. But about eight seconds into the ride, he felt something “give way” in an area where no one likes having that happen. He was able to walk away. But he went to the ER the next day and was shocked to learn he’d broken his pelvis.

Surgery followed. He’s recovering now. He’s in the office a couple of times a week. But he says he’s a changed man. He’s learned how many friends he has and vowed to be a better friend to others when they’re in need. And he’s appreciating life a lot more after suffering an injury that sometimes can be fatal.

“I’ve learned that the simple things in life are most dear – like just getting up and being able to walk, and the value of friends and family.”

By the way, Valine got his 100 points for staying on the bull. His team won. Not that he’d say, right now, that that’s very important.

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