Valley Business FRONT Post – Vanja

From Dan Smith, Editor, Valley Business FRONT:

Vinnie has just handed me his business card and I look at it and see that his name is Vanja Maric.

"How do you get Vinnie from that?" I ask.

"Americans can’t pronounce Vanja," he says, "and Vinnie seems to be easy for them." Vanja Maric of Maxtena

Vinnie likes to make things easy. It was hard for too long before he got here, first as a student at Virginia Tech, now as a sales manager at Maxtena, an antenna innovations company focusing on GPS systems.

Vinnie’s from Bosnia. He looks to be late 20s, which puts him into a generation that grew up with bombings and rapes and stabbings as everyday events, like buying sausages at the market.

"It was a tough way to grow up," he says, "being scared all the time."

He says his generation doesn’t have the values, the manners, the mores of his elders–a generation my age.

"People from my country in your generation are kind, gentle, considerate," he says. "They’re different from us. Our experience was a lot different from theirs."

But Vinnie’s working at a kind of civility he sees around him. He doesn’t want to make people have to work to know him, so we get Vinnie instead of the more difficult Von-ya, which probably isn’t so much harder, but Vinnie thinks we think it is and "Vinnie" is his way of being kind.

Thank you, Vinnie.

‘Preciate it, Vanja.

The Valley Business FRONT Post is written by Dan Smith, Editor, Valley Business FRONT, a monthly magazine featuring the business communities of the Roanoke and New River Valleys of Virginia. 

The inaugural issue of Valley Business FRONT will be on newsstands October, 2008.  To not miss it, feel free to subscribe (.pdf).

Dan Smith’s e-mail signature quotes Kingsley Amis:  "If you can’t annoy somebody, why write?’

The opinions Dan Smith expresses are solely his own and are not necessarily shared by Handshake 2.0.

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