Sam Valenza was born in Abington Hospital in 1956. Valenza, who is the oldest of six siblings, lived in a residence along Fitzwatertown Road from 1956 until 1974, when his family moved to Warminster.
During that time, Valenza attended , where he is a parishioner today. He then attended , back when the Middle School had a ninth grade. Afterward, transferred to Archbishop Wood High School, and is a member of the class of 1974.
After high school, Valenza attended Villanova University, when he graduated in 1978 with a B.S. in accounting.
He continued his studies at St. Joseph’s University, and achieved his master’s in administrative management in 1993.
Valenza held a real estate license in the early 1990s, but gave it up to return to his family’s business: BuxMont Transportation. According to Valenza, his grandfather started the business in 1951, and has been in operation in Upper Moreland since. When he was 14-years old, Valenza held his first job with BuxMont as a dispatcher.
At that time, BuxMont only had a taxi-transportation service, whose headquarters was located next to the Willow Grove Train Station, where the state parking lot is today.
“It was the focal point of the downtown,” Valenza said, explaining that downtown Willow Grove at the time had several businesses for entertainment, including a movie house, Willow Grove Park and several local bars, to and from which patrons used the taxi-service.
He even recalls the on Easton Road being built in 1975.
Today, Valenza is the CEO of BuxMont Transportation, and helps run the business with his family members.
Family and Community life
The year after his graduation from Villanova, Valenza bought a house with his wife in Upper Moreland, and had their first child in 1980.
“When we moved to Warminster, people didn’t talk to each other,” Valenza said, giving one of the reasons why he, and eventually the rest of his family, moved back to Upper Moreland.
“People love Upper Moreland, because of the camaraderie of the neighbors,” he said. “They support the schools, they follow the ball games - people really get involved.”
In all, Valenza has five children, and now several grandchildren.
As his children were participating with township sports activities, during the 1990s, Valenza also participated by holding various officer positions and coaching teams with such clubs as the and the .
He said one of his proudest community involvements was when he coached a boys and a girls travel team for the UMSC in 2002.
In his office at BuxMont Transportation, now located along Fitzwatertown Road, there is a wall of plaques and certificates of appreciation he has been awarded with over the years. Some show his participation with the sports activities; most are in recognition for his service as a Rotarian.
He joined the Rotary Club of Willow Grove in 1986, and has had perfect attendance to the weekly meetings since. He said he joined the Rotary of Willow Grove, because of its service-oriented programs that directly benefit his hometown.
During his time with the Rotary of Willow Grove, Valenza has been the chapter’s treasurer, president, assistant governor, and the 1996 – 1997 Rotarian of the year.
Valenza also became a member of the Willow Grove Chamber of Commerce in 1981. He was also helped lead a committee of township residents, independent of the township government, that helped raise over $100,000 for the new building.
In 1990, Valenza also helped raise funds for St. David School, where his children were attending at the time, to purchase top-of-the-line computers of the date, for the whole student body. He achieved this by collecting fees from classes in which he taught people how to use the new technology, as he was using it himself at BuxMont Transportation.
Valenza was also involved with the Montgomery County Youth Aid Panel until 2006.
His reasons for running
In the mid-1990s, an Upper Moreland Township commissioner retired in the middle of his term. Valenza sought the opportunity to be appointed for the vacancy position, but was unsuccessful. He was again unsuccessful in running for the subsequent open seat on the board of commissioners by 38 votes.
“It was a blessing in disguise. I got to spend more time with the kids,” he said.
In 2007, Valenza again ran for the office, and is now the current Ward 6 commissioner.
He said he originally ran because the opportunity was there to, “Step up and make a difference.”
“Today, a lot of people want me to continue,” Valenza said.
During his time as commissioner, he has become the chairperson of the finance committee and the president of the board. From the beginning, Valenza sought to be a highly informative and an available commissioner.
“As their commissioner, I have the availability to real-time information, and can give them that information,” he said.
It’s for that reason, Valenza set up an e-mail list-serve for all the residents in Ward 6, which includes nearly 1,550 families. Today, that list-serve has grown to 3,000 people.
I feel that I can make Upper Moreland a great place to raise your family, to live and operate your business,” Valenza said. “I have a sense of pride in this community.”
A more in-depth look into the positions on community issues and candidate’s politics will be presented in future Upper Moreland – Willow Grove Patch campaign coverage articles.
Look for more profiles on Ward commissioner candidates coming this week.