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A New Beginning for Patrick Guild

Experts in All Things is something that Evan Schmidt and I started one day as a way of messing with our co-workers. It is a very real research organization (similar, but far superior to Valley Vision) that exists to learn a creepy amount about the behavior and mannerisms of our coworkers. We would put on comical glasses and then present our observations to the staff as some kind of roast and tribute to our colleagues. It is some kind of weird joke/serious birthday present that lets them all know that we are scrutinizing them heavily and we know little things about them – like how many times they got angry in all of 2016, or what kind of insane snacks they ate at their desks. It sums up my time at Valley Vision perfectly. It’s nerdy, but it’s fun and informed, and it pushes just the right amount of buttons.

But what kind of person would do that for fun?

Is it the same kind of person that would show up to an office everyday to do research projects and create large presentations/documents/media products on frustratingly slow Internet? Or the same kind of person that would choose to work in a building with no windows and bad a/c, that backs up to a busy alley, and is next to a recycling center where glass is being shattered ALL. DAY. LONG?

It’s exactly that kind of person.

As I found out after three years in that weird, stressful, fulfilling, confusing, and challenging environment, there are a lot of incredibly smart, dedicated, and compassionate people in this region that will deal with those conditions. There are people that are more than willing to show up day after day to work in any conditions necessary to make the Sacramento Capital Region the most livable region in the world. They’re doing it for those who live here now, and those whom will live here next. And it’s not only the people who work in that building – it’s the people who visit that building. It’s the lawmakers, the business leaders, the organizers, the activators, and the influencers. It’s the company that Valley Vision keeps.

Patrick racing to pick up cotton balls with a plastic spoon while blindfolded

But in the process of becoming the people that we want to be, we have to do some jumping around, and it’s time for me to go in a different direction. In December, I accepted a role with the Metro Chamber Foundation as a Program Specialist working on the Thousand Strong internship program and the Metro EDGE young professionals program. When I was made aware of the opening, I knew that it was the perfect opportunity to use the skills I’d developed and relationships I’d formed to pay back the greatest gift I’d ever been given – the opportunity that comes from internships. I started as an intern with Valley Vision, and worked my way to Office Manager/Executive Assistant/Project Lead/Handyman/Director of Office Hijinks. It gave my ambition direction, and set me on a path of continual improvement and exploration. It got me in front of the right people and changed the way I think.

So that’s a wrap. My time with Valley Vision has come to an end. In the last three years there, I learned how to balance work and life by completing my Bachelors in Business from Drexel University while working fulltime. I learned about leadership as a Fellow of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders, Class VIII, and how to manage up by being the boss’ assistant. I’ve booked a thousand meetings, and I’ve rocked ‘em all. I’ve been a guest speaker, been on review panels, written grant applications, travelled for work, burnt the midnight oil, rubbed elbows, and accidently unloaded the contents of a Lagunitas keg all over the office (long story). I’ve conquered old fears, developed new anxieties, and have had an endless amount of other new experiences.

While I am not now, nor will I ever be an Expert in All Things, I am somewhat, kind of, a little bit, experienced in some things, and that’s because I had the good fortune of being part of the Valley Vision family.  Thanks for everything.

Patrick Guild was Officer Manager/Executive Assistant at Valley Vision from February 2015 through January 2018.