The Falmouth Education Foundation will honor Joseph and Joan Valle, their son, Christian, and his wife, Jeannine Valle of The Valle Group at this year’s Winter Gala. The family-owned construction company was chosen for their collective contributions to the town of Falmouth.
The event will be held Saturday, March 21, at the Coonamessett Inn.
“In their professional lives and in their many volunteer activities, Joe and Joan and Christian and Jeannine have dedicated their skills to strengthening our community. FEF is proud that they have agreed to be our 2020 honorees, and we look forward to celebrating them,” FEF board president Ellen Barol said.
Joseph Valle grew up in Quincy and came to Falmouth in 1966 to work as a sailing instructor at Falmouth Yacht Club. He eventually met Joan, who hailed from Newton and was also spending her summers on Cape Cod. After the young couple married, they came back to Falmouth for two summers to work together at the clubhouse in Great Harbors, the East Falmouth neighborhood where they would eventually raise their family.
“Falmouth had become very special to us, and we both felt it was the place so it felt like a great place to establish our roots,” Mr. Valle said.
The Valles welcomed daughter Emily in 1973, followed by Christian three years later; twins Molly and Lauren arrived in 1987. Ten years later, the family expanded once again with the founding of The Valle Group, which was originally located in Waltham. With an eye to the future, in 2000 they purchased the East Falmouth Highway building—which houses their current location—with the intent of eventually moving the business to Cape Cod.
Christian and Jeannine, who married in 2003, were also considering a move. At the time, Christian was working for a custom home builder on the North Shore and Jeannine, a 1993 Falmouth High School graduate, was a special education teacher at Perkins School for the Blind. When Mr. and Ms. Valle decided to relocate the company in 2005, the timing seemed right for the younger couple to make the transition. Christian joined The Valle Group just as the company began a project in Mashpee, and Jeannine got a teaching job in Dennis. The couple are now parents to three young children.
Community involvement is a shared family trait. Joe Valle volunteered for eight years as a Falmouth Youth Hockey coach and also served as chairman of Historic Highfield. He spent three years on the board of Hospice and Palliative Care of Cape Cod and currently chairs the Falmouth Academy board of directors. Joan Valle volunteers her time and talent as the building and grounds manager for Waquoit Congregational Church, which also serves as a community venue for several nonprofits, including No Place For Hate, Falmouth Eats Together and Engage Falmouth.
“Falmouth is a really special town with a very strong sense of itself, considering all the organizations that people have had the foresight to establish, such as Falmouth Education Foundation,” she said.
Her husband agreed.
“The strength and quality of education in Falmouth has been enhanced and supplemented by FEF, which has provided countless opportunities outside the mainstream,” he said.
In an effort to attract and sustain a younger population on Cape Cod, The Valle Group, in collaboration with Housing Assistance Corporation, has created more than 100 affordable homes. The company also works with the Falmouth Housing Corporation, the Falmouth Housing Authority and the Falmouth Service Center, specializing in restoration and renovation rather than custom home building.
“By re-investing in the community and helping nonprofits provide opportunities, it weaves the fabric of our town even tighter,” Mr. Valle said.
Having the opportunity to raise his children in his hometown is something Christian Valle never takes for granted.
“It’s not easy to make a living on the Cape, so Jeannine and I feel grateful that we’re able to work and live here. That’s why I feel it’s important to give back,” he said.
To that end, he is a board member of Cape Conservatory and the Falmouth Historical Commission; he also serves on the Edward Marks Building Advisory Committee, which is tasked with deciding the fate of the historic Main Street property that once housed the Poor House and the Falmouth Artists Guild.
The Valle Group also donates labor and materials for community enhancement projects, including a new playground for the Cape Conservatory’s Falmouth campus; the company is currently building a new rehearsal space for College Light Opera Company.
As the owner of Valle Fitness at Uptown Body, Jeannine Valle empowers her clients by helping them realize their goals, a mission she brings to her role as a mentor for Falmouth Volunteers in Public Schools and as a volunteer for Falmouth Education Foundation.
“It’s been a privilege to serve on the FEF mini grants committee for the past three years. The best things about it are the wonderful people I work with and the thoughtful conversations we get to have. I also enjoy being involved with an organization where you can see the results in action. As a former teacher, I know how difficult it is to have your ideas put into action due to limited funding,” she said.
“I’ve seen so many projects come to life, including ones that benefit my own children. We are so lucky to have FEF in our community. It is impressive to see all the people who are involved, and how many people care about our schools and our children.”
Falmouth Education Foundation’s Winter Gala will be held Saturday, March 21, at the Coonamessett Inn. The event, which sells out regularly, will begin with cocktails at 6 PM, followed by dinner and a live auction featuring an array of prizes and experiences. Tickets are $75 and may be purchased by contacting Meghan Buckley at 774-763-2347. For more information about the foundation, visit www.falmoutheducationfnd.org.