75 Stories – Sergio Valletti, Majority Owner and Managing Director at Terranova SRL

This year marks our 75th Anniversary. To celebrate, we’re publishing 75 stories about members of our community. Sergio Valletti is the majority owner and managing director of Terranova SRL. He came to CPED in the spring of 2019 to complete his Advanced Management and Leadership Certificate.


Sergio was born in Milan, Italy. In 2003, he graduated from Polytechnic of Milan with a degree in management engineering. He stared his career at Valcom SRL, a company specialized in designing and manufacturing measurement and control instruments for the pulp and paper industry and marine businesses. He started out as an inside technical engineer and has since held the positions of service engineer, sales engineer, and many management roles. In 2012, with the support of Valcom, Sergio became the majority owner and general manager of Spriano SRL, and in early 2017 he helped merge the two companies into Terranova SRL, where he is now the majority owner and managing director.

Sergio finds great satisfaction in his career by working closely with his team.

“Organizing, designing a common strategy, and making sure we try to use all the possible tools to reach our goals is probably the most rewarding part of my job. Having people in the organization involved and aligned on our goals is not just part of the process, it makes reaching our goals even more rewarding. Even if it does not happen in all cases, I like to go back to the beginning and try to design a new strategy or a new model (hopefully better than the previous one). After sharing the basics with colleagues, we must work hard for it. Constructive comments are very much welcome, but no time shall be wasted for critics or regrets from that point until the end of our goal. The enjoyment for me, and for all of us, is to see our growth, not only in revenue but also in experience, in knowledge, and in relationships.”

Sergio encourages all professionals to get to know their team members whether or not they work closely with them, as it builds community within the workplace. “Never give up on human relationships and strive to understand all people working with you, independently of your level in the organization. You’ll have appreciation and encouragement for each of them. It is only by building relationships with the people working with you that you will have extra energy for moving past difficult moments.”

In 1994, Sergio spent six months as an exchange student at Oostburg High School in Oostburg, Wisconsin. He loved his time there and played on their state winning soccer team. He has stayed in close contact with his host family and siblings and is still passionate about Wisconsin athletics – including the Green Bay Packers. Since his time here as a student, Sergio has been back to the United States 20 times and has visited 21 of the 50 states. He has traveled all over the world for work, which he absolutely loves. Sergio played club level soccer for Italy from 1990 – 2007 as well as basketball and karate. Sergio is also the proud father of two daughters with whom he loves spending as much time as he can.


Sergio came to the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development in spring 2019 and while he was here, he completed all programs needed to receive his Advanced Management and Leadership Certificate.

“At a certain point of my career I was not satisfied with some aspects of my management and felt the need to improve. The motivation to improve at my job was growing stronger and stronger. My host siblings live in Madison now and introduced me to CPED. I checked out the programs and decided to complete my certificate in an inventive way – all at once. I called CPED, started speaking with Helen, and registered for the Advanced Management and Leadership Certificate.”

As the only international student in his programs at CPED, Sergio was able to take his learnings back into his business in Italy. “CPED was a big breath of fresh air for me. The facility and organization of the classes were perfect, but the classes’ composition was quite unique for me (the one member of all the classes I attended living the furthest was coming from Illinois!). Since I love travelling and love different cultures, I take this always as a good experience when it happens. What I learned was not only about the topics in the classes, but in our conversations, I learned in an authentic American way how organizations carry on in business and grow.”

Sergio enjoyed all the programs he participated in at CPED, but the two that stand out to him as most impactful were Business Acumen and Strategy with Harvey Bergholz and Managing Team Effectively with Steve King. “The tools I learned during these two programs were the ones I could implement with almost immediate, positive results. My experience with the instructors was truly, extremely effective during classes. Saying that, I cannot forget about all the others, with a particular mention for Scott Converse in Business Process Improvement Using Lean Six Sigma and Performance Metrics and Deb Houden in Effective Negotiations in the Workplace.”

Sergio made time to explore Madison during the program and enjoy two of his favorite past times: art and sports.

“Madison is beautiful. It helped having my host family here to visit, but I also had a lot of time for myself. I enjoyed going to the Memorial Union to overlook the frozen lake as I studied and got work done. I walked State Street up to the Capital, visited the Chazen Museum of Art and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and got to enjoy the fun of watching the Badger’s at the Kohl Center during March Madness.”

You can learn more about the Advanced Management and Leadership Certificate and its certificate path here. Check out more stories from our community in the 75th Anniversary section of our blog.