VOLUNTEER, business development executive, former politician or just Valentina Radu, which is the best definition of a local expatriate who decided to integrate in the multi-cultural Costa del Sol community?
Born during the communist era in Bucharest, Romania, Valentina studied foreign languages, graduated from two universities and found work with Martinez Echevarria Lawyers, a company based in Puerto Banus and set up in 1983.
She is fluent in three languages (English, Romanian and Spanish) but the journey to Spain did not end in Banus, as in 2012 the Manilva council gives her ‘a politician’s position’ at the town hall heading the departments of Town Planning and Foreign Residents.
For four years she was involved in helping local expatriates to integrate in Manilva and by doing so she was probably the best integrated expatriate of all. A politician´s job is never easy, but she remembers it with a smile and believes she left her mark on the community.
In her spare time -if she finds any – she is a volunteer in the local health centre as an interpreter, volunteer for Civil Protection either assisting locally or undertaking mountain rescue and is the coordinator of the Puerto Banus Business Association, all this after doing her day job of business developer at Martinez Echevarria Lawyers.
“A day in my life is never boring, I can advise an expat client on the details of purchasing a property or recovering a lost off plan deposit, I can translate at the police station for a robbery case and then I can record my TV show with Nicole King on RTV Marbella and in the afternoon, I will probably have a meeting with one of the local Banus businesses” she told RTN.
“I love to give back something to the community that took me in. That is why I always try and help as many people as possible and most importantly, integrate other expats into the wonderful Spanish culture.”
Unfortunately, the financial crisis, the bureaucracy in Spain and other factors sometimes gave a bad impression of Spain or the Costas, but for Valentina it was a wonderful world of possibilities.
Also, in her work with the Puerto Banus Association the members are all trying to work together, to keep Marbella and the Port safe and clean and to the high standards expected.
Valentina would like to see all of the local businesses who are not a part of the Association to register as there is free membership and working together it should be possible to provide a great service to the community.
She also collaborates with the National Police through their Marbella office by delivering information and talks to local residents about safety measures and precautions to take to prevent robberies.
Valentina also give talks in high-schools regarding bullying, drugs or domestic violence and holds periodical meetings with the citizenship participation office of the police to explain resident´s concerns.
If you ever need her advice or need her help, Valentina Radu will gladly offer a friendly ear and she can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.