Valentina Losa

"Work, my daughters and those prayers from Bahrain”

Valentina runs a small business making trophies and medals for the World Cup, the Champions League, for Middle Eastern royal families. "Everything has now stopped." Except the possibility, starting from faith, "to not let fear get in the way.”
Emmanuele Michela

"When I read what the son of the King of Bahrain had written to me, tears came to my eyes.” She speaks with the entrepreneur-like attitude of Valentina Losa, but her voice wavers when she repeats the words that that particular client had sent her on WhatsApp a few days ago: “We are praying for you all, for you and your family.” It all began from an unusual work message, addressed to her directly as a person rather than as a supplier: “He wanted to know how I was doing in this complex situation. “The whole Arab world is praying for you,” he wrote to me again. But he is not the only person with whom I realized that, in these days of emergency, my relationship had changed completely: many emails no longer end with "best regards", but with "take care"". Glimpses of humanity in a professional world totally sui generis, at a high level and, apparently, formal. Valentina runs a business, Gde Bertoni in Paderno Dugnano, near Milan, which produces trophies and medals for the world's biggest sporting competitions: the World Cup, the Champions League, volleyball trophies... It is small company with few employees, which the entrepreneur inherited ten years ago from her father, and which boasts among its clients brands such as Fifa, Uefa, Cio, Fivb, but also the Royal Court of Bahrain, the Arab football federation and Saudi rulers.

 The World Cup held by Fabio Cannavaro in 2006

In the current situation, however, it seems that roles and names are worth little in the face of something we all have in common: we all share the same apprehension and questions about the future. "I try to bring the simplicity of little things: not feeling sorry for myself, nor burdening others with my worries, but praying sincerely for myself and for others. And to share it. That, I think, is my contribution."

Whilst Valentina speaks, the words spoken by Pope Francis on Friday, March 27 in St. Peter's Square come to mind: "Like the disciples in the Gospel, we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disorientated, but at the same time important and needed.” In this storm, in what direction can we look so that we do not let ourselves be overcome by fear? "What is helping me is my faith, my relationship with God," says Valentina: "There are times when faith falters, but certainly not in these days." She says so carrying the responsibility of the company and, like many, with the worry of market deadlock. But she also says this as the mother of three daughters, with whom she has found herself living at home, twenty-four hours a day, in these weeks of lockdown: "I have gone through some difficult moments in my life. I experienced my parents’ separation, then, twenty years ago, I lost the use of my arm in an accident. And then, in 2010, I suffered the death of my father. In front of these dramas, I have always found that faith sustained me. And even today I find myself more certain, and I need someone to keep me on my feet." Of course, at times, there is no lack of anxiety and sleepless nights: "But I think that we now need a greater spiritual interiority: we are all forced to look at ourselves, at our being and what is around us. And you can find support... I find it in my dialogue with Jesus, but I also talk a lot with my father who has passed away." Faith, she says, is a companion in every daily gesture: "It is a continuous relationship with God. I have always grown up in the certainty of not being alone. Sometimes we think that something will go wrong, perhaps with my business. But I have the certainty that a way forward in life will be given to me."

Read also – Fr. Claudio Burgio: “Everything will be for good”

Thus, in these days, as never before, she is realizing how precious her daughters are: "In the last year, precisely because of work, I had to sacrifice a bit my relationship with them. They are really keeping me on my feet these days. They are so full of life... and they cannot do anything but infect me with their vitality." And the discovery of how important it is to have some friendships, such as those cultivated within Cdo Milano: "It is a continuous discussion, an opportunity to stimulate reflection upon how to deal with this situation." They speak on WhatsApp everyday, sometimes they meet “face to face” on Zoom: "We all share the same questions and issues: How do I deal with employees? When do I pay suppliers? What about banks? It is an enormous help, starting with the concreteness of things but always going deeper."