Who was Valter Baldaccini?

Valter Baldaccini was a man of faith, an enlightened entrepreneur, a father, a husband and a friend who believed that a person's greatest potential is cultivated through interpersonal relationships and by respecting others.

He was always had a heartfelt commitment to his community and transmitted all his humanity through his daily actions, in his life and work.

The family, studies and passions

Valter Baldaccini was born into a humble, working-class family in Cannara, a small town in the heart of Umbria, on November 28, 1945. Valter lost his father when he was just 13 months, so he grew up with his mother Rosa, his aunt Lola and his grandmother Vienna; three women with strong Christian values who, through many sacrifices, provided him with a solid education based precisely on those values. They first enrolled him in the Salesian schools in Gualdo Tadino and then in the classical high school of Macerata.

While in school, his deep passion for soccer also matured: he started playing in the Polisportiva Grifo Cannara and from that moment soccer played with honesty would remain his great love, until, as an adult, he became manager of the Cannara Sports Association.

For Valter friendship was an important value that he shared with his closest friends by travel, holidays, numerous dinners and the inevitable songs. 

Thanks to a scholarship, Valter enrolled in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pisa, where he graduated in 1970 bringing great joy to the whole family.

In the same year he began his experience as a municipal councilor in Cannara, where he remained in office until 1975.

In 1972 he married Mariangela; from their union Antonio, Leonardo and Beatrice were born. For Valter, the family was his most precious treasure. 

Valter and the job

In 1970, as soon as he graduated, Valter found a job in Foligno, in what would become Umbra Cuscinetti a few years later.

Thanks to his social and professional skills, Valter took on increasingly important roles. First head of the technical office, he would then become production manager, plant manager and then general manager.

In 1993, together with other local investors, he acquired 100% of the Umbra Cuscinetti shares and became CEO; a significant economic and financial commitment that stems from the desire to guarantee continuity to the company and safeguard all the jobs created.

Valter was aware that the growth of the company would go through numerous challenges such as product diversification, acquisitions, the construction of a new factory and a wider shareholder base.

His entrepreneurial choices were guided by a strong sense of responsibility towards his employees, their family members and the community. It was his humanity, courage and foresight that guided his choices helped transform the Umbra Cuscinetti of the past into UMBRAGROUP today, an international brand and world leader in precision mechanics and aeronautics.

For Valter, the real value of a company is the person and he was committed to creating a family atmosphere in the company where each person can grow to his full potential, basing his work relationships on mutual respect. Christian values motivate actions, including work, and bring us closer to the Greater Economy: a commitment to creating wealth so that it can be redistributed among employees and in the community. 

There are countless projects for the community. A concrete example is Foligno’s splendid Kids Library, created in 2011 thanks to a contribution from UMBRAGROUP and The Boeing Co.

Faith and concrete love for others

Faith deeply marked Valter's life. From the words of the Gospel Valter embraced the important teaching of being a man open to others, the value of Christian charity and of helping others in difficulty. 

The first occasion where this materialized was in 1966, when Valter was among the "mud angels" who came to the aid of the populations affected by the flooding of the Arno river. There he got to know the Focolare Movement, founded by Chiara Lubich, with whom he will start various humanitarian projects in Kenya and Burkina Faso. Projects that he personally followed and which were also travel and sharing opportunities with UMBRAGROUP friends and employees.

In 2009, to give substance to solidarity projects and with the conviction that only by fighting poverty and ignorance can a just world be created, Valter participated as a founding partner in the creation of the "La Gomena" Association. Thus the long distance adoptions and the construction of wells began. In those years he met a medical nun in Nairobi, Sister Federica Zoia. A solid and sincere friendship was born between the two that would last a lifetime.

For Valter the most vulnerable are not only the people who have had the misfortune of being born in the poorest areas of the world, but they are also our neighbors. For this reason, in 2009 he accepted the invitation of the Bishop of Assisi Monsignor Domenico Sorrentino (who recognized Valter’s extraordinary humanity), to join the Board of Directors of the Seraphic Institute of Assisi. This is an important institution in the territory that welcomes and takes care of kids with serious disabilities.

Valter's bequest

When Valter was diagnosed with advanced cancer in 2013, he was supported by his family and by prayer. It was his deep faith that gave him solace in saying "the important thing is to be ready" when he realized that he had reached his last days of earthly life. 

On April 9, 2014 he spoke for the last time to UMBRAGROUP’s employees, on the occasion of the annual Easter blessing in the company. There he pronounces the phrase "Together we have thrown a large seed that will become a large plant" which inspired, a year later, the birth of the Valter Baldaccini Foundation.

Valter passed to eternal life on May 4, 2014. There was a very large crowd, over 3000 people, who gave him the last farewell during the ceremony celebrated at the Cannara stadium.

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