Senior Vice President
Windows Division, Microsoft Corp.
Centralia College, Washington
Brian Valentine encourages young people to stay focused on their education. His defining moment -- the one that got him started the computer industry -- happened in a geometry class at Centralia College, when he had to write a program that computed X+Y=Z. Now vice president of Microsoft's Windows 2000 team, Brian looks back on how a day like any other turned into a life changing moment.
Brian grew up in Centralia, Washington, and worked at a restaurant to pay college expenses. After receiving his associate degree, he transferred to Eastern Washington University to complete his bachelor's degree.
He joined Microsoft in 1998, bringing with him the core values of family and teamwork he learned growing up in Centralia. Those skills were manifested in the success of the heralded Microsoft Windows 2000, a world standard in computer software.
Outside of work he serves on the board of the Mountain Elk Foundation, coaches Little League and plays on the Windows hockey team, which raised $750,000 for the Seattle Ronald McDonald House.
His primary philanthropic activity is a $20 million effort to provide respite and vacations at his Montana ranch for ill and recovering individuals and their families.
Brian and his wife created an annual college scholarship at Centralia High School, which they both attended. They have also donated software to the high school and to Centralia College.